In a message released to coincide with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Justin Welby and Dr John Sentamu are saddened by the "legacy of mistrust and competition" that came about through the Reformation. They further called on 'Christians' to repent for those things that had divided the faithful.
In their statement they lament the "lasting damage" done over the past 500 years to the unity of the Church. This they claim is "in defiance of the clear command of Jesus Christ to unity in love".
These two unhappy Archbishops bemoaned: "Those turbulent years saw Christian people pitted against each other, such that many suffered persecution and even death at the hands of others claiming to know the same Lord. A legacy of mistrust and competition would then accompany the astonishing global spread of Christianity in the centuries that followed. All this leaves us much to ponder".
In grovelling before the Church of Rome they stated that "remembering the Reformation should also lead us to repent of our part in perpetuating divisions. Such repentance needs to be linked to action aimed at reaching out to other churches and strengthening relationships with them".