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Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Archbishop’s sermon part 2

‘It does not matter to the killers if their victims are Christian or Muslim, Hindu or Humanist’

Well clearly it’s meant to be a representative list rather than an exhaustive one, and I was inclined to give the Archbishop the benefit of the doubt here. But I can’t blame Melanie Phillips for feeling that the absence beginning with “J” is a rather significant one. Let’s just agree with Melanie that one would like to know what was going through his mind.


Anglicans for Israel report that Lambeth Palace has apologized for the omission of 'Jews' from the phrase above, which is said to have been 'inadvertent'. Citing an earlier Melanie Phillips piece, they suggest, however, that the Archbishop has 'form' when it comes to ignoring Jewish terrorism victims.

I'd like to ask how widely this absent-mindedness is spread. When the Archbishop of Canterbury writes a sermon for such a high-profile occasion, doesn't he get members of his staff to check it over? Don't Buck House and No. 10 expect to get a preview? How many people read this sermon and didn't say 'hang on, what about the Jews?'

And I can't help being reminded of the letter I sent to the Archbishop about Christian Aid's anti-Israel bias, which Lambeth Palace acknowledged but then mislaid before they could produce a proper response. My second attempt at writing to him did elicit a considered reply, but the writer was 'unable to confirm' whether the Archbishop knew that Christian Aid News had quoted him out of context so as to make him seem critical of Israeli security measures but not of Palestinian terrorism. Still less did the letter confirm whether he was bothered about it.

I still cling to the hope that all this really reflects is Lambeth Palace's desperate need for an organizational shake-up. But I badly need Rowan to restore my faith.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The dear Archbishop's inadvertent slip would be understandable - were it the FIRST time he has committed such an, er, error ....

"That's MY wine, Archbishop!"