The lead teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church has apologized for his response to — and the church’s handling of — allegations against founding Pastor Bill Hybels.

In a Friday blog post, the Rev. Steve Carter wrote, “I believe the women and applaud their courage,” referring to those who accused Hybels of inappropriate conduct at the suburban megachurch, leading to his abrupt retirement in April.

Carter wrote: “Specifically, I do not think it should have been said that the women were lying or that they were colluding against Bill and the church . . . I recognize that I am not blameless in this. I take full responsibility for my actions that contributed to the injustice that was done to these women.”

He added that he has apologized in private to several of the women and their families for the way they have been treated.

Read more at the Daily Herald.