Always a way forward, says Archbishop about royal family rift
The Archbishop of Canterbury said there is “always a way forward” but it must come “at the right time” when asked about the reconciliation between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the royal family.
Most Rev Justin Welby officiated at the couple’s 2018 wedding and said he couldn’t really comment on the rift due to pastoral confidentiality.
Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace have remained silent over Harry’s allegations on his Netflix show that the Prince of Wales had scared him after shouting and yelling at him during a summit in Sandringham.
Harry also claimed in the controversial six-part series that Kensington Palace “lied to protect my brother” when he issued a statement denying a story that William had bullied him out of the royal family.
And he accused the king of lying at the tense Megxit crisis meeting with the queen in January 2020.
Charles is said to have been hurt by Harry and Meghan’s criticism of the royal family but has not given up hope of building bridges, the Daily Express newspaper reported.
On Sunday, the archbishop was asked if he saw any way Harry and Meghan could reconcile with the royal family.
He told BBC program Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg: “I can’t really comment on that because I married her and there’s a kind of pastoral confidentiality.
“There is always a way forward, but it has to come at the right time.
“And as a Christian, I live by faith that forgiveness comes from God through Jesus Christ and that God bursts into the world especially at this time of year to open the way to forgiveness through the Christ channel.
“But the way we embrace this opportunity is different for everyone. And there has to be a right time.”
At the beginning of the program, in a separate section of the show that has nothing to do with the royal family, Mr Welby said that nowadays people absolutely get “crucified” if they make a mistake.
He was asked if he felt there was a lack of togetherness at the moment, saying: “I think so. I think we just haven’t adapted to the way we communicate, that’s a problem.
“I also think we’ve become very unforgiving. Absolutely, to use an expression from my own world, when people make a mistake, they are crucified for it – sorry, I couldn’t think of another word.”
He continued: “I think people suffer tremendously when they do something wrong, not only from the public shaming, but also from the horrific trolling that goes on and the inability to accept apologies, to ask for forgiveness.
“These are really difficult things.”
This week Lady Susan Hussey, who asked a black British charity boss where she “really came from” during a reception at Buckingham Palace, apologized to her in person.
Ngozi Fulani, founder of the charity Sistah Space, expressed shock at her treatment by Lady Susan, the late Queen’s lady-in-waiting, saying she had suffered “horrific abuse” on social media.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement the two women met at Buckingham Palace on Friday: “At this meeting, which was filled with warmth and understanding, Lady Susan sincerely apologized for the comments made and the distress she was causing to Mrs Fulani prepared.
“Lady Susan has pledged to increase her awareness of the sensitivities involved and is grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the issues in this area.
“Ms. Fulani, who has unfairly received the most appalling barrage of abuse on social media and elsewhere, has accepted this apology and appreciates that no malice was intended.”
Meanwhile, Mr Welby also spoke about the cost of living crisis during the Sunday morning programme.
“We’re seeing it in the church in a 400% increase in people coming to the boards,” he said, adding that the increase he was referring to took place in the last 18 months.
“We see that all the time. Increasing debt, pressure on families, just on every level,” he added.