Senior Bishop's statement on offensive tweets
The Senior Bishop of the Church in Wales has apologised for offence caused by tweets published by the Bishop of St Davids concerning members of the Conservative Party.
In a statement, Bishop Andy John, the Bishop of Bangor, also reassures people of all political persuasion that they welcome in the Church in Wales.
Bishop Andy is the Church’s Senior Bishop following the retirement of the Archbishop of Wales in May.
Senior Bishop's statement
Clergy have a role to play in holding politicians and others to account in their public office. In order to do this effectively, clergy need to be respectful and robust in both their delivery and discourse. The Bishop of St Davids has apologised for the hurt she has caused as a result of her posts on Twitter and the Church in Wales has welcomed her statement.
I add my apology on behalf of the Church in Wales; I regret the intemperate language that she used and the hurt it caused. I have spoken with the bishop and believe her to be sincere in her apology and that she wishes to improve the way in which her ministry operates in the public domain. It is clear to me that bishops cannot make distinctions between personal and public statements when both are publicly available. It is also clear that bishops require advice and support which enables us to be effective in our ministry and it is my intention to secure this in consultation with my colleagues.
The Church in Wales seeks to be welcoming to everyone in the nation of Wales, regardless of whether or not they share our Christian faith. We do not discriminate and I regret the impression that has been formed that we favour one political viewpoint over another. All members and supporters of all mainstream political parties are welcome in our churches. The Church in Wales shares with our political leaders a longing for a better, fairer, more just society where discrimination and poverty are consigned to history.
- The Bishop of St Davids, Joanna Penberthy, has previously apologised for offence caused by her tweets.
Bishop takes sick leave
The Bishop of St Davids is unwell and is taking time off work, following the advice of her doctor.
Bishop Joanna Penberthy is expected to be away until mid October. Her office will remain open with queries directed to the diocesan archdeacons, who will keep in close touch with the Senior Bishop, the Bishop of Bangor.
The announcement was made to all clergy in St Davids Diocese on June 19.