'Step Back a Bit': Archbishop Believes Prince Andrew Should Be Forgiven for Sex Scandals

© AFP 2022 / RICHARD POHLEBritain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York attends a Service of Thanksgiving for his late father, Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in central London on 29 March 2022
Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York attends a Service of Thanksgiving for his late father, Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in central London on 29 March 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.06.2022
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Queen Elizabeth's second son was earlier accused of having sex with a 17-year-old girl who had been trafficked by deceased paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein. Virginia Guiffre, his accuser, was eventually awarded over $16 million in a deal that avoided the case going to court.
Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, said that Prince Andrew should be forgiven following his sex scandal, and that everyone should "step back a bit."
In a recent interview with the ITV network, the reverend expressed his opinion that it was a "very good thing" that the embattled royal is attempting to atone for his role in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

"Forgiveness really does matter. I think we have become a very, very unforgiving society. There's a difference between consequences and forgiveness. I think for all of us, one of the ways that we celebrate when we come together is in learning to be a more open and forgiving society," he told the interviewer. "Now with Prince Andrew, I think we all have to step back a bit. He's seeking to make amends and I think that's a very good thing. But you can't tell people how they're to respond about this."

He further said he could not actually advise people on how to react since "issues of the past in the area of abuse are so intensely personal and private for so many," and "it's not surprising there are very deep feelings indeed."
However, after the suggestion turned heads, the archbishop was forced to explain his comments, saying he was not explicitly referring to Prince Andrew when he said we must become a more forgiving culture. Instead, he said he was making a "broader point" about the UK becoming a more forgiving culture, and that he was not referring to the Duke particularly.
The archbishop had previously stated that he did not "do pastoral stuff in public," supposedly implying that the duke may have sought his advice privately.
The queen's decision to walk with her second son at Prince Philip's memorial service in March was also justified by the archbishop, who said she was "fully entitled" to do so.
In this Tuesday, July 10, 2018 file photo Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan the Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry stand on a balcony to watch a flypast of Royal Air Force aircraft pass over Buckingham Palace in London. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.05.2022
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Welby's interview came out only days before the queen's Platinum Jubilee festivities, marking 70 years of her reign, during which Prince Andrew will be less visible than other senior members of the royal family, per the Daily Mail. The 62-year-old duke will also reportedly attend the ceremony on June 13 at Windsor Castle, where he will be joined by other senior royals for one of the most important events on the royal calendar.
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