Letter published in today’s Daily Mail regarding Archbishop Justin Welby’s speech in Dresden:
Neither the word ‘sorry’ nor ‘apology’ was used in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s speech in Dresden in response to the local mayor and the German President, both of whom took responsibility for the moral guilt of Nazi Germany.
Context and meaning for words, especially their Christian interpretation, is all important. Sorrow for loss and suffering is justified, even if one thinks the course of action was necessary at the time. The Archbishop’s words were in the spirit of reconciliation with Germany.
Mr Welby would never diminish the importance of the RAF. One of his relatives served in Bomber Command and was killed in the war; he’s well aware of the sacrifice and heroism of that group. The Archbishop is known for his straight speaking. Had he intended to apologise he would have done so.
Director of Communications
Lambeth Palace, London SE1