Patterson issues apology while debate continues

Patterson issues apology while debate continues

Longtime Southern Baptist Convention leader Paige Patterson, embroiled in controversy over past remarks about domestic violence and his descriptions of women, has issued an apology.

“I wish to apologize to every woman who has been wounded by anything I have said that was inappropriate or that lacked clarity,” said Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) in Fort Worth, Texas, in a May 10 statement titled “An Apology to God’s People.”

“We live in a world of hurt and sorrow, and the last thing that I need to do is add to anyone’s heartache. Please forgive the failure to be as thoughtful and careful in my extemporaneous expression as I should have been.”

The statement was the latest response by Patterson to public reaction to an audio clip from the year 2000 in which Patterson said he considered it unbiblical to recommend divorce, even in cases of domestic abuse.

Since the audio clip emerged two weeks ago, separate groups of Southern Baptist women and men have issued open letters to the SWBTS board of trustees questioning Patterson’s current leadership.

A special meeting of SWBTS trustees is scheduled for May 22 to discuss the issue. (RNS)