Prince Andrew trying to ‘make amends’

Prince andrew

Highlighting the importance of forgiveness, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, says Prince Andrew is trying to “make amends”.

His comments refer to Andrew’s fall from grace following accusations of sexually abusing Virginia Giuffre two decades ago when she was 17.

Although he did not admit wrongdoing, the Queen’s son paid an undisclosed sum earlier this year to Giuffre.

In comments to ITV News, Welby said “Forgiveness really does matter. I think we have become a very, very unforgiving society.

“There’s a difference between consequences and forgiveness. I think for all of us, one of the ways that we celebrate when we come together is in learning to be a more open and forgiving society.

“Now with Prince Andrew, I think we all have to step back a bit. He’s seeking to make amends and I think that’s a very good thing.

“You can’t tell people how to respond about this. The issues of the past in the area of abuse are so intensely personal and private for so many people, it’s not surprising there are very deep feelings indeed.”

Welby – who is the Church of England’s most senior bishop – also spoke of the divide emerging between Prince William and Prince Harry, who has distanced himself from the royal family by moving to the US with his wife Megan.

“Of course, it’s sad when families are struggling, but what family isn’t?” he asked.

“I think if there’s any family where the relationships are perfect, they’re entitled to judge, but I’m not going to.”

The sensitivity around Andrew’s case prompted Welby’s office to issue a clarification after his ITV interview was aired.

Welby clarified – “In tonight’s interview with ITV News I was asked a question about forgiveness, and I said that there is a difference between consequences and forgiveness.

“Both are essential elements of the Christian understanding of justice, mercy and reconciliation. I also made the broader point that I hope we can become a more forgiving society.

“These are complex issues that are difficult to address in a short media interview and I hope they do not distract from this week’s joyful celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.”

Earlier this year, the royal family removed Andrew’s military links and said he would no longer be known as “His Royal Highness”.

Andrew is not expected to appear when the royal family gather to wave at crowds from the palace balcony on Thursday as part of celebrations to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.


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