‘I offer my apology for Sydney’

24 June 2016

PA

Host: Counter demonstrators dressed as angels block the view of protesters near the funeral service for Christopher Andrew Leinonen, one of the victims of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting, outside the Cathedral Church of St Luke in Orlando, on Saturday

Host: Counter demonstrators dressed as angels block the view of protesters near the funeral service for Christopher Andrew Leinonen, one of the ...

THE Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, has, on behalf of his diocese, apologised to members of the LGBTI community for any verbal abuse they might have suffered from the Church.

Speaking at a memorial service held this week at St Andrew’s Cathedral for those killed in the Orlando massacre (News, 17 June), he said that “words of derision, mockery, and exclusion so frequently fall from our lips when directed against persons who are different from us. This is especially the case for members of the LGBTI community, who have suffered the verbal abuse that so deeply cuts into a person’s soul. Where we have been guilty of such words, I . . . offer my apology on behalf of the Anglican Church in Sydney.”

The service was attended by the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, as well as the state governor and premier, and the American consul-general. A multifaith ecumenical service was also held at St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne.

The Australian Primate, Archbishop Philip Freier of Melbourne, issued a statement condemning homophobia. He has also said that he hopes and prays that there will no backlash against Australian Muslims.

“It is always wrong to target any people because of their sexual orientation, whether it is name-calling in the school playground or this sort of atrocity,” he said. “Homophobia is always and everywhere wrong.” It would also be wrong to blame Islam as a religion for the actions of Omar Mateen, despite his claim to be acting on behalf of Islamic State.”

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