Wales

Archbishop of Wales apologises for gay prejudice

Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan

The head of the Church in Wales has apologised "unreservedly" to gay couples for prejudice in the church.

Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan spoke at a meeting of the governing body in Llandudno on Wednesday.

The church tweeted "Archbishop of Wales offers a pastoral letter on same-sex relationships apologising unreservedly for prejudice within the church."

Last year, Dr Morgan said it would be "foolish" to bring forward a bill for same-sex marriages in church.

A statement released by the church said although it was not ready to allow or bless same-sex marriages, "the debate is not over".

It went on to apologise for "the persecution and mistreatment [gay people] have endured at the hands of the Church".

Dr Morgan also authorised prayers which can be said with same-sex couples following a celebration, but they fall short of a church blessing for civil partnerships and marriages.

Image copyright Church in Wales/Twitter

However, Welsh Anglican bishops ruled out a change in the law to allow same-sex couples to get married in church.

Dr Morgan told the meeting there was concern the issue might tear the church apart.

Last year, an informal consultation showed a small majority of bishops, clergy and lay members in favour of change, but it was nowhere near the two thirds of the governing body needed.

Bishops will send a copy of the pastoral letter to all clergy, explaining their position.

It includes the apology to gay people for the way they have been treated and promises a "safe space" for them within the church.

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