The Most Rev. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, has provided the following statement regarding his visit to Canada this week.
I am honoured to be visiting Canada at the invitation of Archbishop Linda Nicholls.
The history of the Church of England in Canada is one that has, to my profound regret, caused lasting suffering and hurt to the Indigenous communities. The Church of England had pledged to walk with Indigenous people and advocate for them ‘as long as the grass grows’. Instead, we failed to honour our commitment to be an advocate, ally and relative of First Nations people.
A significant purpose of this visit is therefore to repent and atone for where our relationships and actions have done more harm than good—and to honour the sovereignty of Indigenous communities.
The visit will be an opportunity to listen, to lament and to pray for justice, healing and transformation in the relationship between the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island and the Arctic, and the See of Canterbury and the Church of England.
This relationship predates both the Canadian Confederation and the creation of the Anglican Church of Canada. I pray that through the power of the Holy Spirit this relationship can be reimagined not as one of jurisdiction, but as a covenant of relatives and disciples of Jesus Christ.
The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby
Archbishop of Canterbury
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