Anglican Leader: Irish Church Lost 'All Credibility'

Archbishop of Canterbury quickly apologizes
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2010 7:52 PM CDT
Anglican Leader: Irish Church Lost 'All Credibility'
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams gives a blessing during his visit to the baptismal site on the Jordan River, west of Amman, Jordan, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010.   (AP Photo/Nader Daoud)

The head of the Anglican church has set off a religious row by declaring that the Catholic church in Ireland has lost "all credibility" because of the sex abuse scandal. The archbishop of Canterbury made the comment in an interview with the BBC, then called the Catholic archbishop in Dublin (who declared himself "stunned") to apologize. The flap comes amid already strained tensions between the churches, notes the New York Times.

Here are the offending comments by the Most Rev. Rowan Williams: “I was speaking to an Irish friend recently who said that it’s quite difficult in some parts of Ireland to go down the street wearing a clerical collar now. And an institution so deeply bound into the life of a society suddenly becoming, suddenly losing all credibility—that’s not just a problem for the church, it’s a problem for everybody in Ireland.” (More Archbishop of Canterbury stories.)

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