Archbishop of Canterbury: Church statues to be reviewed 'very carefully'

01 July, 13:20
World news
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby - фото 1
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby
The Church of England is to "very carefully" review statues at major places of worship to see "if they all should be there", the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby said monuments at Canterbury Cathedral and Westminster Abbey would be included.

"Some will have to come down, some names will have to change," he told BBC Radio 4's Today.

The acts of those memorialised could be forgiven "only if there's justice," he said.

Forgiveness can only be granted "if we change the way we behave now and say this was then and we learn from that and change how we are going to be in the future," he said.

Canterbury Cathedral
Image captionStatues at Canterbury Cathedral will be reviewed

Across the UK, statues are being reviewed for links to the slave trade in response to Black Lives Matter protests that followed the death in US police custody of African-American George Floyd.

Archbishop Welby said it was not his decision whether to remove statues at Canterbury Cathedral.

"We are going to be looking very carefully and putting them in context and seeing if they all should be there," he said.

Asked if society focused too heavily on repentance over forgiveness, he said: "Yes, I think we do...repentance and justice must go together".

"We have seen in some of the other crises we have been facing over the last few months, not just Covid, but also Black Lives Matter and the economic downturn, that there is great injustice and we need a collective turning away from that, which is what repentance means, but we also need to learn to forgive."

BBC