In a new interview with BBC Radio Manchester, Archbishop Desmond Tutu has apologised for the persecution of gays by the Anglican Church.

Tutu spoke on the phone from Cape Town to Ashley Byrne from the The Gay Hour – a BBC gay radio show which was broadcast on Monday.

“I want to apologise to you and to all those who we in the church have persecuted… I’m sorry that we have been part of the persecution of a particular group… For me that is quite un-Christ like and, for that reason, it is unacceptable,” he said.

“Maybe even as a retired Archbishop I probably have, to some extent, a kind of authority, but apart from anything let me say for myself and anyone who might want to align themselves with me, I’m sorry,” he continued, “I’m sorry for the hurt, for the rejection, for the anguish that we have caused to such as yourselves.”

In November, also speaking to a BBC radio show, Tutu slammed the Anglican Church’s obsession with homosexuality and said that he wouldn’t worship a homophobic god.

“If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn’t worship that God,” he said in the earlier interview.

The global Anglican Church is facing a split between its liberal and conservative branches over the issue of gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex unions.

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