It is the Telegraph that brings us the headline: Charles Darwin to receive apology from the Church of England for rejecting evolution.
The apology, which has been written by the Rev Dr Malcolm Brown, the Church's director of mission and public affairs, says that Christians, in their response to Darwin's theory of natural selection, repeated the mistakes they made in doubting Galileo's astronomy in the 17th century.
"The statement will read: Charles Darwin: 200 years from your birth, the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still. We try to practise the old virtues of 'faith seeking understanding' and hope that makes some amends."
You can read the full text from Rev Dr Malcolm Brown, Director of Mission and Public Affairs here on the Church of England website Good religion needs good science he notes (in bold) Nothing in scientific method contradicts Christian teaching which is sure to piss off some christian creationists out there.
Charles Darwin: 200 years from your birth, the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still. We try to practice the old virtues of 'faith seeking understanding' and hope that makes some amends. But the struggle for your reputation is not over yet, and the problem is not just your religious opponents but those who falsely claim you in support of their own interests. Good religion needs to work constructively with good science – and I dare to suggest that the opposite may be true as well.
Still, this is progress. It only took 200 years this time for the church to catch up, unlike in the case with Galileo's works, where the official opposition to heliocentrism by the Church disappeared in 1835, and it wasn't until 31 October 1992 that Pope John Paul II expressed regret for how the Galileo affair was handled - a whopping 382 years later. Christian PR is moving faster these days.