Category : Archbishop of Canterbury

News about, sermons, letters, commentary by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams

Archbishops’ Commission on Racial Justice releases First Biannual Report

Mandated to drive ‘significant cultural and structural change on issues of racial justice within the Church of England’, the Archbishops’ Commission for Racial Justice (“ACRJ”), headed by The Rt Hon Lord Paul Boateng, is charged with monitoring, holding to account and supporting the implementation of the forty-seven recommendations of the Racial Justice Taskforce which were laid out in the Taskforce’s comprehensive 2020 report From Lament to Action.

In his foreword letter to the First Report, Lord Boateng writes, “This is a painful process, and necessarily so, in that the response to an examination of racism and the exposure of injustice is often one of denial and defensiveness or obscuration and delay. This must not go unchallenged.”

Released today, the Commission states: “In this, the first of the six reports the ACRJ will produce, we have outlined the beginning of this work, reporting on the formulation of the seven workstreams in the last three months, and the progress of work on the five priority areas and the forty-seven recommendations identified in From Lament to Action.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture

A Church Times Article on the upcoming Partial Lambeth Gathering

THE Lambeth…[Gathering] will “look outwards” at issues such as evangelism, climate change, and economic injustice — but will also address matters of sexuality, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

Archbishop Welby was speaking at a virtual press conference on Wednesday afternoon, alongside the organisers of the Conference.

He said that the “basic aim” of the Conference would be “to look outwards”. The Church should express its “evangelistic mission and its life of discipleship through engagement with the great challenges that the next 30 or 40 years will impose upon the vast majority of Anglicans, especially those in areas of climate fragility, and of political and other fragility.

“But the knock-on impact of those crises will reside around the world, and it’s something that all God’s people in this world, all the Churches, are called to respond to, and to respond to prophetically and also, above all, compassionately with the love of God in Jesus Christ.”

With this in mind, he said, some of the “key themes” of the Conference would be “evangelism and witness”, and “reconciliation, both within the Church . . . but also as a reconciling agent in a world torn by war”.

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Posted in - Anglican: Latest News, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Archbishop Welby presents The Queen with Canterbury Cross for ‘unstinting service’ to Church of England

The Archbishop of Canterbury has presented HM The Queen with a special ‘Canterbury Cross’ for Her Majesty’s ‘unstinting’ service to the Church of England over seventy years.

The Archbishop made the presentation during an audience with Her Majesty at Windsor Castle today.

The Canterbury Cross was given to The Queen in recognition and gratitude for Her Majesty’s “unstinting support of the Church throughout her reign” and to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.

Archbishop Justin Welby gave the Cross as “a heartfelt symbol of the love, loyalty and affection in which the Church of England holds Her Majesty”.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, History, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(Church Times) Bishops unite to condemn ‘shameful’ Rwanda plan for asylum-seekers

The Government’s “offshoring” policy, under which the first people are due to be deported to Rwanda as early as Tuesday, “should shame us as a nation”, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and 23 other bishops, have said.

The policy was included in the Nationality and Borders Act, which came into law in April despite objections and attempted amendments from bishops and other peers (News, 29 April). It was explicitly criticised by Archbishop Welby in his Easter sermon (News, 27 April), and reportedly by the Prince of Wales last week, who is said to have called it “appalling” in a private conversation.

Last week, campaigners failed to win an injunction against the policy in the High Court, which ruled that it was in the “public interest” for the Government to carry it out. An appeal on Monday was rejected for the same reason. A full hearing on whether the policy is lawful is due to take place next month.

In a letter due to be published in The Times on Tuesday, the full complement of bishops who sit in the House of Lords have written: “Whether or not the first deportation flight leaves Britain today for Rwanda, this policy should shame us as a nation.” The letter continues: “The shame is our own, because our Christian heritage should inspire us to treat asylum seekers with compassion, fairness and justice, as we have for centuries.”

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Immigration, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Rwanda

(Guardian) Archbp Justin Welby–‘Is a world without violent conflict really possible?’

The effort we are rightly making to support Ukraine in defending itself against aggression needs to be matched by efforts towards negotiation, dialogue, reconciliation and peace. You cannot have one without the other. Our challenge is to put in place the infrastructures of reconciliation and the architecture of peacebuilding that enable disagreement to happen robustly, but not violently.

In a culture that often expects instant results and gratification, this work does not happen overnight. There is no “kiss and make up” moment. More often, there is the gradual transformation – sometimes over generations – of enmity and hostility to respect and trust. I clearly remember a leader in Northern Ireland being interviewed on the radio in the early summer of 1998, a few weeks after the signing of the Good Friday agreement. He was asked whether reconciliation had been “achieved”, and responded that the idea that something called reconciliation could be achieved in weeks, after 30 years of the Troubles and several centuries of bitterness, was absurd.

Deep wounds take a long time to become scars. Each of us carries our own pain, which makes it difficult to apologise and to forgive where we have wronged and been wronged. When we look towards reconciliation, we must also recognise – and have compassion for – our own conflicted and hurting hearts. Reconciliation is often risky and always costly – but it is less costly than the alternative.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology, Violence

Eleanor Parker–An Anglo-Saxon Hymn to St Dunstan

The text comes from Hymns of the Anglo-Saxon Church, ed. Inge B. Milfull (Cambridge, 1996), pp. 317-8. Here’s a translation:

Hail Dunstan, star and shining adornment of bishops, true light of the English nation and leader preceding it on its path to God.

You are the greatest hope of your people, and also an innermost sweetness, breathing the honey-sweet fragrance of life-giving balms.

In you, Father, we trust, we to whom nothing is more pleasing than you are. To you we stretch out our hands, to you we pour out our prayers….

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Posted in Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship

(CC) Timothy Jones interviews Rowan Williams–Eastern wisdom for Western Christians

At the outset of his Confessions we see his renowned prayer that “our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee.” That affirms what you’ve been saying about seeing ourselves as unfinished: even at the beginning of his spiritual autobiography he tees that recognition up.

He does. Because if we see ourselves as finished, if there’s nothing more to long for, it’s as if we are blocking off a pathway toward the deep source of our being, which is God.

If we try to imagine ourselves standing on our own internal foundation, being in ourselves solid, grounded individuals, the truth is we are going to be very disappointed—because the truth is beneath and beyond. Our life opens up to the generous and creative gift of God.

Perhaps no period has riveted so much attention to confessional, personal narratives as ours has. Augustine seemed prescient in this. For him, identity was “storied,” as someone put it.

Our identity is something that always grows. What Augustine doesn’t like is the idea that somehow there’s a moment of static perfection and achievement, after which we can stop growing. Oddly enough, that’s why he’s so critical of the extreme ecclesiastical puritans of his day, the Donatists. What do they mean when they pray, “forgive us our trespasses”? Do they really not expect that they are going to be trespassing every day? So that’s part of the story: an interest in our own growth.

But Augustine looks at his life and experience and says, it’s not me who makes a story of this, ultimately. It is God who does that, because the witness of my life is God.

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Posted in --Rowan Williams, Anthropology, Church History, Orthodox Church, Theology

Archbishop of Canterbury apologises to Indigenous peoples of Canada

The Archbishop of Canterbury has apologised for the “terrible crime” of the Anglican Church’s involvement in Canada’s residential schools – and for the Church of England’s “grievous sins” against the Indigenous peoples of Canada.

The Archbishop spent this weekend visiting Indigenous Canadian reserves, meeting with Indigenous leaders and Anglicans, and listening to residential school survivors, as part of a five-day visit to Canada.

Addressing survivors and Indigenous elders in Prince Albert on Sunday, the Archbishop said: “I am so sorry that the Church participated in the attempt – the failed attempt, because you rose above it and conquered it – to dehumanise and abuse those we should have embraced as brothers and sisters.”

He added: “I am more than humbled that you are even willing to attempt to listen to this apology, and to let us walk with you on the long journey of renewal and reconciliation.”

The Archbishop is visiting Canada to repent and atone for the Church of England’s legacy of colonialism and the harm done to Indigenous peoples – and to share in the Anglican Church of Canada’s reconciliation work with Indigenous, Inuit and Métis communities.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop of Canterbury, Canada, Children, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Teens / Youth, Violence

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Easter Sermon 2022

But the Easter message is that what we cannot do has been brought into the world by God.

For Christ Jesus is alive with the life of the world to come. A life where every tear is wiped away, every injustice righted, every evil exposed and judged and banished. And through Jesus a new future is set for the whole world. The resurrection promises each nation, and every victim and survivor, that the injustices, cruelties, evil deeds and soulless institutions of this world do not have the last word.

Not only his blood stained grave clothes are left behind in the tomb but all of our grave clothes.

This is what we proclaim at Easter. It is a season of life and hope, of repentance and renewal. This week in the Eastern Orthodox world it is Holy Week, the greatest time for repentance. Muslims are in Ramadan, a time for purification and change, coming to Eid. Jews celebrate the Passover and liberation. Let this be a time for Russian ceasefire, withdrawal and a commitment to talks. This is a time for resetting the ways of peace, not for what Bismarck called blood and iron. Let Christ prevail! Let the darkness of war be banished.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Easter, Holy Week, Preaching / Homiletics

(Spectator) Archbp Justin Welby–How do we celebrate Easter in the shadow of war?

I appeared on Question Time in Canterbury, the diocese I serve. It was the first time an Archbishop of Canterbury has been on the programme, so no pressure there. There were impassioned discussions about the appalling atrocities in Ukraine, the cost of living crisis, the government’s energy strategy and the impact of lorry tailbacks on the people of Kent. There were also lots of sharp disagreements, but I came away with a strong sense that so many of us share a deep desire for justice, fairness and the common good.

Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury, arrived in nearby Thanet in 597 ad. Being in this diocese, surrounded by reminders of my predecessors, I’m struck by the history of this church in this country – from the violent death of Thomas Becket on the orders of Henry II to the welcome of French Huguenot refugees in the 17th century. Our calling has remained the same: to be the Church for England, making the good news of Jesus Christ known, serving those on the margins and loving our neighbour. As I celebrate this Easter Sunday, I will do so with the suffering of people at home and abroad on my mind and the hope of the risen Christ in my heart.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Holy Week, Religion & Culture

Archbishop Welby calls for the Government to work with faith groups to achieve net zero carbon

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Corporations/Corporate Life, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Stewardship

Jeremy Morris reviews Lord Carey’s memoir ‘The Truth Will Set You Free’

Given the continuing controversy over these matters, and also over the handling of the allegation against the long-dead George Bell (on which Carey also has much to say), most readers will be tempted to skim through the early chapters, which deal mostly with Carey’s involvement post-retirement with the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, and the World Faiths Development Dialogue.

That is a pity, because Carey was deeply involved in these matters, and casts an interesting light on the tensions that bedevil those who want to assert the continuing importance of faith in international relations and economic development. Given his own background as the first truly working-class archbishop in many centuries, and not a product of public school and Oxbridge, his participation in these circles is testimony to an extraordinary career — something perhaps not always appreciated by his critics. He gives little sense here of any lack of confidence.

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Posted in Archbishop of Canterbury, Books, Church of England (CoE), Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(New Statesman) Rowan Williams–Putin believes he is defending Orthodox Christianity from the godless West

But we might do worse than ask why non-Western cultures so fear being sucked into what they consider a moral vacuum. If all they see is a series of reactive demands for emancipation acted out against a backdrop of consumerism and obsession with material growth, the suspicion and hostility is a bit more intelligible. What do we in the shrinking “liberal” world think emancipation is for? Perhaps it is for the liberation of all individuals to collaborate in a positive social project, in a society of sustainable and fair distribution of goods. Perhaps it is for the construction of a social order in which our interdependence, national and international, is more fully acknowledged.

Solidarity with Ukraine involves sanctions that will cost us as well as Russians – decisions that will affect our reliance on oil and gas and open our doors to more refugees. If we are willing to accept these consequences for the sake of a positive vision of interdependence and justice, we shall have a more compelling narrative to oppose the dramatic, even apocalyptic, myths arising elsewhere in the world.

Unwelcome neighbours, after all, tend not simply to disappear; in which case, we must work out how we live respectfully with them. One thing that might be said in response to Patriarch Kirill is that neighbours have to be loved, not terrorised into resentful silence – a matter on which the God first acknowledged in Kyiv in 988 had a good deal to say.

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Posted in --Rowan Williams, Church History, History, Military / Armed Forces, Orthodox Church, Religion & Culture, Russia, Ukraine

P&O: Joint statement from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Dover

Ill-treating workers is not just business. In God’s eyes it is sin.

P&O has sacked 800 people in Dover, a town dependent on shipping. Dover is a major part of the Diocese of Canterbury which we serve as Bishops.

The extraordinary move is at the command of DP World, the Dubai based and owned parent company, which made record profits last year. The move is cynically timed for a moment when world attention is on Ukraine. Done without warning or consultation it is inhumane, treats human beings as a commodity of no basic value or dignity and is completely unethical.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Corporations/Corporate Life, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Religion & Culture

Archbishop of Canterbury honours outstanding people in 2022 Lambeth Awards

Announcing the awards, the Archbishop said, “The world around us is not as it should be. There is grave injustice and we currently face war in Europe, while Covid-19 continues to cause much grief. But we do not despair. Our faith in Jesus teaches us that we are justified in maintaining hope. One thing which feeds that hope is the work and service of the people we recognise today.”

25 of the recipients and their families and colleagues were at Lambeth Palace today to celebrate the awards, where they joined in a special service of Evening Prayer. The Archbishop added, “Many of those receiving an award have worked quietly, discreetly and are known only to a few. They have worked for justice and reconciliation, for the relief of poverty, for the extension of the Kingdom of God, for the advancement of education for all, for understanding between denominations and faiths, for authenticity in worship and prayer on behalf of this broken world. These awards represent an opportunity to acknowledge their valuable work. I present them on behalf of the Church of England but also, I hope, on behalf of people of goodwill everywhere.”

The current Lambeth Awards began in 2016. Recipients are recognised for contributions to community service, worship, evangelism, interfaith cooperation, ecumenism and education.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Religion & Culture

(Former Archbp of Canterbury) Lord Rowan Williams–on the Failure of the Russian Church

Posted in --Rowan Williams, Ethics / Moral Theology, Military / Armed Forces, Other Churches, Russia, Ukraine

(Church Times) Ukraine needs negotiated peace, not more war, says Archbishop Justin Welby

The Archbishop of Canterbury has called for peace negotiations in Ukraine and compassion for refugees, as the humanitarian crisis in the country worsens.

Speaking to pupils at a school in Crawley, on Saturday, Archbishop Welby said: “We need negotiation, mediation, getting people to support peace but not creating more war.” He also called for UK citizens to show generosity towards refugees. “We need to turn towards each other and care for each other,” he said.

More than 1.6 million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion on 24 February, according to UN figures.

On Friday, USPG and the diocese in Europe announced an emergency appeal to help those caught up in the conflict. Funds will go to Christian charities and churches working on the ground to support people fleeing Ukraine.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Military / Armed Forces, Politics in General, Russia, Ukraine

Archbishop of Canterbury visits Pakistan’s Christians

The Archbishop of Canterbury visited Pakistan this weekend to show support for its Christian community. During the three-day visit he prayed with Christians, listened to their experiences and offered comfort to those grieving in the wake of attacks. He also met with national leaders to raise the concerns of Christians and discuss protecting freedom of religion or belief for all people in Pakistan.

In a meeting in Islamabad on Monday with the Prime Minister, Imran Khan, the Archbishop informed Mr Khan of his visit yesterday to the city of Peshawar, where a priest from the Church of Pakistan was murdered in a terror attack in January. The Archbishop raised the issue of creating social cohesion and the importance of respecting people’s freedom of religion or belief, particularly in education systems.

During the meeting, the Archbishop also said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was both a tragedy and “an act of great moral evil”, and spoke of the need for urgent efforts to build peace.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Pakistan

(Church Times) Ukraine invasion: Church leaders and charities react with horror and dismay

Earlier on Thursday morning, the Bishop in Europe, Dr Robert Innes, wrote on Twitter: “We wake this morning to the sickening sights and sounds of war. Praying for all in Ukraine, for all who are fearful of what lies ahead and for the minimum possible bloodshed.

“At a time of international crisis, please join me in praying fervently for peace in Ukraine and especially for the wellbeing of our little Anglican community of Christ Church, Kyiv (which meets in the German Evangelical Church of St. Catherine’s).”

Bishop Robert co-ordinated an online prayer vigil on Thursday evening, including the Anglican chaplain in Moscow, the Revd Malcolm Rogers, and members of the Anglican community in Kyiv if it safe for them to do so. A further vigil is being organised by the Diocese in Europe on Shrove Tuesday (1 March) at 6 p.m.

On Thursday afternoon, the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, said: “This act of aggression impacts very harmfully on a free, democratic European state and on all the nations of Europe. I exhort you to pray for peace with justice for the people of Ukraine.”

In their statement, the Archbishops invited Christians to “make this Sunday a day for prayer for Ukraine, Russia, and for peace”, and also endorsed Pope Francis’s call to make Ash Wednesday (2 March) a global day of fasting and peace for Ukraine.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Ecumenical Relations, Military / Armed Forces, Religion & Culture, Russia, Spirituality/Prayer, Ukraine, Violence

Archbishop Justin Welby’s Thought for the Day today

To wake up to the news of war is terrible.

To wake up to its reality is orders of magnitude worse.

Shakespeare refers to war as chaos – the loosing of the dogs of war – and calls for one of his characters to cry out the warning about what it means.

Those in the Ukraine will be thinking about their relatives on the front lines, or the friends on the front lines. We are thinking, where is it going to go next? Politicians are thinking, what do we do?

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England, Military / Armed Forces, Religion & Culture, Russia, Ukraine, Violence

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York Appeal for Prayer

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), Foreign Relations, Military / Armed Forces, Politics in General, Russia, Ukraine

(Church Times) Archbishop Welby under fire for comments about ongoing consistory-court case

The Archbishop of Canterbury has been reprimanded for his remarks in the General Synod about an ongoing consistory-court case: whether to remove the Tobias Rustat Memorial from the chapel of Jesus College, Cambridge. Rustat (1608-94) was a significant benefactor of the college who had financial links with a slave-trading company.

Speaking during an impassioned debate on racial justice last week (News, 11 February), Archbishop Welby asked: “Why is it so much agony to remove a memorial to slavery that sits in front of the Dean of a college — Jesus College, Cambridge – who has to look at it every time she sits in her stall?” He said that the Church needed to change its practices on faculty jurisdiction.

The case is currently being considered by the Deputy Chancellor of Ely diocese, Judge David Hodge QC, who heard evidence and gathered submissions from representatives of the college and objectors in the week before the Synod met.

In a letter to the Church Times this week, a former Dean of the Arches and Auditor, Charles George QC, and a former Chancellor of Derby and Blackburn, John W. Bullimore, write that Judge Hodge “was, and is, preparing his judgment, in which he will give detailed reasons for his decision. His Grace’s clear indication that the result should allow the relocation is a breach of the sub judice rule that forbids discussion of matters under active consideration in the courts.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Religion & Culture

(Telegraph) Catherine Pepinster–Justin Welby claims he’s ‘not the Pope’ – but he’s acting like one

Just who does Justin Welby think he is? In an interview this week the Archbishop of Canterbury declared “I am not the Pope”. But to some Anglicans, there was a hint of The Boss in the way he dealt with Covid-19 in the early days, when the Church of England locked down, shutting its doors not only on churchgoers but on its own clerics, banning them from their altars. The evidence was that this came from the top, though he now says not.

But back in March 2020, Archbishop Welby and the then Archbishop of York, John Sentamu wrote to all priests that they were bringing in measures to shut down churches. It meant an end to weddings, funerals, baptisms and Sunday services – the first time that churches in this country had entirely closed their doors since the days of King John. Services went digital with vicars live-streaming from their kitchen tables or rectory studies – and it infuriated many Anglicans. They couldn’t understand why the vicar could not celebrate at the church altar, alone, with that service live-streamed. After all, that was what Roman Catholics were doing – although decisions about worship came from local bishops, not directed by Rome.

The familiar altar table, with its candles, its altar cloth, and glimpses of the much-loved nave where countless generations had worshipped down the years – all these were banished and invisible for months at a time when they might have brought comfort to those at home.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s presidential address to General Synod today

A society that forgets about God, that loses the sense that it needs God (something discussed in the second interview I did), that no longer desires God – for John’s gospel has desire at its heart – such a society loses the profound call to see the wholeness of the individual human person and the call to love, by that person being set free in relationship with others. And without the church, without that community of faith, as the salt and light of that society, that society loses its way. Without God it cannot maintain a determining objective except power. As Nietzsche shows so clearly. Jacques Maritain, the Roman Catholic philosopher, wrote during the deepest darkness of 1942;

‘…deprived of a determining objective, political communion will carry its demands to the infinite, will absorb and regiment people, swallow up in itself the religious energies of the human being. Because it is not defined by a work to be done, it will only be able to define itself by its opposition to other human groups. Therefore, it will have essential need of an enemy against whom it will build itself; it is by recognizing and hating its enemies that the political body will find its own common consciousness.’[1]

Does that not speak to us as much today as it did in 1942? From the individual events like the shocking, disturbing and utterly abysmal harassing of Keir Starmer and David Lammy yesterday, to the threats of war in Eastern Europe, to the actual wars around the world. Do we not see societies forgetting God and therefore existing by the creation of an enemy. Do we not see it in our own society, and I fear do we not see it far to often in our own church?

And so in politics our concern about truth-speaking and truth-acting is not about political groupings – or in the church – but about where we find the foundations for confidence in government, confidence in leadership and above all the confidence in one another which enables us to function as a good society which seeks the common good.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(NC Reporter) Archbishop of Canterbury: South Sudan trip with Pope Francis may happen in coming months

Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby may undertake their much anticipated, but delayed joint trip to South Sudan in “the next few months” to encourage peace in a country still recovering from a bloody civil war and a humanitarian crisis.

“God willing, sometime in the next few months, perhaps year, we will go and see them in Juba, not in Rome, and see what progress can be made,” said the head of the global Anglican Communion on Feb. 6, referring to South Sudan’s leaders.

“That is history,” said Welby of the likely trip that will mark the first time the two ecumenical leaders have traveled together in such a capacity.

Francis and Welby had sought to visit the war-torn country in 2017, although the country’s violent conflict and deteriorating conditions had foiled those plans.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic, Sudan

A [front page London] Times article on a possible sweeping change being proposal in How the Church of England organizes itself

Church leaders could be appointed to full-time cabinet-style roles such as “Brexit bishop” or “Covid bishop” under proposals seen by The Times for the biggest overhaul of how the Church of England is run in centuries.

The ecclesiastical map of England could also be redrawn via mergers between the 42 dioceses, the creation of new constituencies for bishops based on cities or counties and the appointment of senior “regional” bishops to oversee large areas of the country.

The church has been accused of wanting to form a “shadow government” because of proposals that some senior bishops could be detached from geographical regions to serve as spokesmen or women on political matters.

A consultation document commissioned by the church’s three top leaders, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the Bishop of London, sets out a wide range of ideas for “significant changes to the shape, structure and number of dioceses and bishops”.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(Pzephizo) Ian Paul–On the appointment of senior leaders in the Church of England

The Church of England keeps asking its gay members to go against their convictions and consciences.

Her most recent victim is the new Archbishops’ Appointments Adviser Stephen Knott. He is a gay man who has married his partner in another member church of the Anglican Communion, the Scottish Episcopal Church. He clearly disagrees with the Church of England’s apostolic teaching that marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman: he has signaled that in what is surely the most public and permanent way possible. And yet the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have asked him to take charge of the process of appointing the Church of England’s most senior leaders (deans, bishops, and archbishops) who are all duty bound to teach that he cannot be married in the sight of God. How can they have asked him to do something that must be so troubling to his convictions and conscience?

Perhaps he feels, or they have indicated, that this situation won’t be for that long. That soon, post Living in Love and Faith, he will be able to help appoint people who will be able to “bless” his same-sex marriage (indicate the Church of England’s half-hearted acceptance of it), or even allow people like him to get married as Anglicans south of the border too. If so, it is my convictions and conscience that the Church of England is going to trample on next – I am a gay Anglican who lives in the light of historic teaching that marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. As a result, I am single and celibate, in the reassuring knowledge that this is what my church has consistently asked of people like me. Am I soon to be told that, somehow, we’ve got it wrong for centuries? At what cost to me and my many spiritual forebears? I’m increasingly uncertain as to whether that matters to the archbishops when they appoint someone like Stephen Knott to such a senior and influential position.

Some will say that neither Stephen Knott nor myself need to worry too much because neither of us are clergy and it is only the ordained, and not lay officeholders, in the Church of England, who need to live in the light of the Church’s official teaching on marriage. This is an idea that has gained traction in recent years as part of an uneasy unofficial settlement that has kept liberals and traditionalists together. The Church of England’s victims this time have been gay clergy who have been disciplined when they have, like Stephen Knott, entered into a same-sex marriage (celibate civil partnerships are permitted). He will now, in theory, be partly responsible for making sure that no ordained man or woman in his position gains preferment in the Church of England – unless his appointment signals a change in the rules. How he can be asked to do this beggars belief, how gay clergy can put up with one rule for him and another for them also strains too many people’s convictions and consciences once again. He, I, may not be ordained but we are both in positions of authority in the Church of England and so surely need to be living in the light of her teaching in all areas of faith and conduct?

What is the solution to this personal struggle for so many of us?

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

(Church Times) The Anglican Communion is asked: Do you want to help choose the next Archbishop of Canterbury?

An international consultation has begun to ask whether Anglicans from around the world should have a greater say in the choice of the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

The consultation, set up by the Archbishops’ Council on Friday, takes up a diocesan synod motion from Canterbury diocese asking it to consider reducing the diocese’s representation on the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC). The Archbishops’ Council proposes reducing the diocese’s quota from six voting CNC members to three.

At the same time, it has put forward the more radical suggestion of increasing the voting members from the Anglican Communion from one to five.

The new-look CNC would thus comprise: a chair appointed by the Prime Minister; two bishops, including the Archbishop of York if he or she is not a candidate; six central members elected by the General Synod (three clergy and three lay); three representatives from the Canterbury diocese; and five representatives from the Anglican Communion. The total number of voting members will increase from 16 to 17. In addition, there are the two non-voting appointments secretaries (the Archbishops’ and the Prime Minister’s); also the secretary-general of the Anglican Communion is a non-voting member.

The CNC’s task is to choose two candidates in order of preference. Voting is by secret ballot and successful candidates must gain at least two-thirds of the votes.

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Posted in Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Globalization

A Church Times Article on the BBC Archbishop Welby Interview–Covid19 vaccination should be encouraged but not compulsory

People who choose not to be vaccinated against the coronavirus should be encouraged to change their minds — but not compelled by law to do so, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

In an interview on Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday, Archbishop Welby was asked what attitude people should have towards those who do not have health reasons not to be vaccinated but decline anyway.

He replied: “I think we need to be encouraging rather than condemnatory, because condemning people doesn’t do much good. . . Also, it increases the general sense of anger that comes at a time of insecurity and fear and grief.

“I think we need to be encouraging to people to look after their neighbours. Jesus’s great words “Love your neighbour as yourself”: if you do that, it seems to me you go and get vaccinated, and I’d encourage people — I’m not personally in favour of compulsory vaccination by law, but I am very much in favour of encouraging people, of incentivising people — to get vaccinated. It makes a difference. It’s not decisive, it’s not the whole story, but it’s an important part of the story.”

Read it all (registration).

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Death / Burial / Funerals, Health & Medicine

BBC Radio 4 Today programme interviews Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

Listen to it all (starts just past 2:42 minutes in and goes around 5 minutes).

“One way we grieve well is to reach out to others…”

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Religion & Culture