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Friday, September 08, 2006

Anglican news, mostly good

Anglicans for Israel bring the wondeful news of the joint Declaration signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the two Chief Rabbis of Israel. AFI have issued a statement welcoming the Declaration which I heartily endorse. It is enormously to the Archbishop's credit, notwithstanding my past criticisms of his stance.

It is tempting to write that one of the best things about the declaration is that it has made Bishop Riah Abu al-Assal hopping mad. The temptation is to be resisted because actually it's pretty tragic that the Bishop of Jerusalem, of all people, can't be looked to to play a positive role in Anglican-Jewish dialogue. But his reaction makes it very clear why it was right and necessary to bypass him.

It would be good to hear a more welcoming response from Anglicans across the pond. The Episcopal Church's history of anti-Israel bias is documented here (via). Once again I'm staggered by TEC's double standards. This the church which is prepared to risk schism in the name of a stand of principle on gay rights. And yet it is repeatedly laying into the one country in the Middle East where gay rights exist in any shape or form.

A country where they emphatically don't exist is Iran. But that's apparently no reason why former President Mohammad Khatami shouldn't be an honoured guest of Washington's National Cathedral. I'm glad to see that some TEC liberals have drawn the line at this.

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