Justin Welby “taken aback” by Curry criticism

From here:

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has said that he is “taken aback” by criticism of the decision to ask the Presiding Bishop of the U.S.-based Episcopal Church to pray for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. Curry prayed for the victims at the start of Evensong in Canterbury Cathedral, England, on Oct. 3, the first day of the Primates Meeting.

The Rev. Canon Andrew Gross, canon for communications and media relations for the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), speaking on behalf of GAFCON, said that the decision to invite Curry to lead the congregation in prayer at the Evensong service “put the GAFCON primates in a difficult spot.” He said that they were “forced to look like they are walking together when they are not walking together.”

Welby’s claim to be “taken aback” is either a sign of startling naivety or disingenuousness.

It would be naïve for a leader in his position to fail to understand the depth and breadth of the rift that has divided the Anglican Communion and he should not be surprised that at least one faction is unwilling to pretend, under any circumstances, that it isn’t there. More plausibly, he does understand it and has seized the opportunity to score a political point against his opponents by claiming they are attempting to score a badly timed political point themselves.

On the other hand, if, as Rev. Canon Andrew Gross says, being present at Curry’s prayers presents difficulties for the GAFCON Primates, why on earth, I wonder, did they attend the, let’s pretend we are all getting along, Primates’ Meeting in the first place?

Justin Welby’s sense of humour

The Scottish Episcopal Church voted recently to approve same-sex marriages. At the last Primates’ meeting, TEC, which also marries same-sex couples, had to suffer the consequences of their action, including not participating in formal Anglican Communion meetings or voting on decisions related to policy or teaching. Neither of these were enforced and TEC representatives continued to vote and gabble incontinently to their hearts’ content.

Now the same consequences may be imposed on the Scottish Episcopal Church. Its leaders must be shedding many tears at the prospect of being similarly afflicted. Tears of laughter.

From here:

The Scottish Episcopal Church is likely to face ‘consequences’ from fellow Anglicans for its decision to allow gay marriage.

Senior figures from around the worldwide Anglican Communion, including from the largely conservative global south, will meet in Canterbury next week and are expected to impose restrictions on the SEC after the vote permitting same-sex weddings last June.

At the last meeting of global Anglican primates in January 2016 The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the US was handed the same ‘consequences’ after they permitted same-sex couples to marry.

Church figures at the time stressed they did not amount to sanctions or a punishment but meant representatives from TEC could not represent the 80-million strong Anglican Communion on formal bodies or vote on decisions related to policy or teaching.

Why Welby?

Justin Welby, supposedly an evangelical byproduct of big oil and Holy Trinity Brompton – home of the industrial strength evangelism programme, Alpha – is preoccupied with all the things we have come to expect from an Anglicanism that has capitulated to the spirit of the age: homoerotic sex, global warming, wealth redistribution, globalism, transgenderism, lady bishops. You get the idea – all the important stuff.

While the Anglican Communion crumbles around him, Welby has managed to find the time to climb out from under the rubble to declare that Britain’s economy is broken. Are Webly’s extra-curricular obsessions a diversionary tactic? Or perhaps he just can’t face the prospect of following in his predecessor’s footsteps by failing to do his own job and has decided to do someone else’s instead, hoping no one will notice.

Someone has and he is asking: what is the point of the Archbishop of Canterbury?

What IS the point of Archbishop Welby? QUENTIN LETTS questions why the Church of England leader is giving his views on the economy rather than filling emptying pews

The British Social Attitudes survey found the number of people who belong to a religion has for the first time dropped below half of the population.

Only 47 per cent of us now align ourselves with an organised religion and only 15 per cent say we follow the Church of England. Fifteen per cent!

As the U.S. novelist Raymond Chandler nearly said, it’s enough to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window. If only they would.

Unfortunately, today’s bishops are too wet to be stirred to such action.

As for the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, he only seems interested in issuing Left-wing cliches about Brexit and egalitarianism.

The fundamentals and the mysteries of belief never seem to pass the lips of this outwardly dull ex-oil executive.

Yesterday’s statistics suggest the C of E is in a dire state.

Here is a once mighty civilising influence, an institution which from the time of Henry VIII has helped mould our sense of national identity and the British character.

It has for 500 years helped the poor and spread ideas of mercy and justice. Its Book Of Common Prayer and King James Bibles are wonders of world literature. This most lyrically Protestant of Churches has for half a millennium defined laws and inner horizons on morality and mortality.

Now barely one in six of us admits to being an Anglican and more than half of us set our faces against any organised idea of the spiritual and transcendent.

In other words, when our loved ones die, more than 50 per cent of us stonily refuse to countenance any glimmer of optimism that their souls may have passed elsewhere, and accept some cold, ultra-rationalist view that we humans are no more than a mere bagatelle of skin and gristle, extinguished at death as surely as a guttering candle.

How did Archbishop Welby respond to yesterday’s depressing social attitudes figures?

I wish I could say he met this crisis head-on, saying he understood or disputed the findings. I wish I could tell you he knelt in Trafalgar Square in public penance, or issued a fire-and-brimstone sermon, or told a joke, or issued a blood-curdling curse on all our houses.

Instead, he gave us his views on . . . the economy. He was putting his name to a report by a Blairite think-tank about economic justice and telling us (not that anyone was listening) Britain’s ‘economic model is broken’ and ‘we need to make fundamental choices about the sort of economy we need’.

Oh, and he was writing an opinion article for the Financial Times. That’s really going to bring in the faithful.

The report promoted yesterday by Welby had all the usual buzzwords and phrases of the London centre-Left: social commission . . . gap between rich and poor . . . new vision for the economy . . . zzzzzz.

Justin Welby asked to intervene in beef-laced banknote production

Apparently, the polymer used to manufacture some British banknotes is made with fat from cows. This has outraged Hindus worldwide since the “cow, the seat of many deities, is sacred”.

Such is the Hindu consternation at this flagrant act of bovine desecration, that Justin Welby, whose efforts at Dethroning Mammon even before he knew it was rife with ruminants have clearly made a deeper impression than his efforts to run the Anglican Communion, has been enlisted to expunge the cow, along with its many deities, from the banknote.

Insiders have confided that Welby’s next book will be entitled Debeefing Mammon.

From here:

Hindus worldwide are upset over Bank of England’s blunt decision to continue making £5 and £10 polymer banknotes and introducing polymer £20 note, which reportedly contained traces of tallow, despite the serious concerns raised by the Hindu community.


Zed urged BOE Court of Directors Chair Anthony Habgood and Governor Mark Carney to reconsider the BOE decision and halt the production/circulation of £5, £10 and £20 polymer notes.
Rajan Zed also urged UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to intervene.
Products from tallow (rendered form of beef or mutton fat) were reportedly used in the manufacture of the polymer substrate for the £5 and £10 polymer banknotes.
Consumption of beef is highly conflicting to Hindu beliefs and it is certainly banned from entering Hindu religious centers. Cow, the seat of many deities, is sacred and has long been venerated in Hinduism.

Justin Welby denounces Donald Trump’s politics as fascist

Justin Welby is struggling with abuse scandals in his church, a Communion that is fracturing and a denomination which, according to Rev Dr Gavin Ashenden, is dying.

What is to be done? Launch a diversionary offensive, of course. Accusing someone of being a fascist throws anyone who is listening – admittedly, not many – into paroxysms of righteous indignation or outrage, depending on one’s political bias. The main thing is, it helps people forget about the things the Church of England’s commander-in-chief has left undone.

An added benefit is that, as George Orwell noted, “the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless” making its use consistent with most other pronouncements any self-respecting Anglican Archbishop might make.

From here:

Donald Trump is part of the same “fascist tradition of politics” as far-right European politicians such as Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders, the Archbishop of Canterbury suggested last night.

In his most outspoken comments since the American president’s ban on travellers from some Muslim-majority countries was announced, the Most Rev Justin Welby accused Mr Trump of being part of a group of leaders from a “nationalist, populist, or even fascist tradition of politics”.

Easy reflections from Auschwitz

Easy? Yes, these remarks from Justin Welby are easy because he is making them from a distance – a temporal distance of over 70 years. It is easier to blame our forebears for their sins than to acknowledge our own sin of failing to denounce a horror that is in front of our noses – just because it is a cultural norm.

Between 1940 and 1945 up to 1.5 million people were murdered in Auschwitz – an incomprehensible atrocity. In 2016, 40 million babies were murdered in the womb; around 125,000 per day, an atrocity so far outside the safe space of liberal pseudo-thought that it is beyond the ability of churchmen like Welby to even acknowledge, let alone denounce. Perhaps, one day, just as the residents of Dachau were made to view the horrors on their doorstep, crypto-liberals like Welby will be compelled to acknowledge the holocaust that is too close for comfort.

In the meantime, we will have to put up with some easy reflections:

This was my third visit to Auschwitz / Birkenau, and each time has been even more appalling. In early January the cold is penetrating, between nine and 14 degrees below centigrade. We were fully equipped with snow boots, layers of clothing, hats, gloves, scarves. . . yet it worked through layer after layer until we were cold to the core. The prisoners wore the equivalent of pyjamas and clogs. We were out in that cold for five hours in the day. They would be out for 12 hours. We were fed. They were starved.

There are so many statistics about Auschwitz / Birkenau, but it defies description. Eighty-five per cent of prisoners died. Many in just days of arriving. Then there was the industrialised killing of the gas chambers. The vulnerable, the disabled, marginalised minorities, and above all the Jews: children, adults and the elderly, taken from a train to their deaths in as little as 30 minutes. Accounts were kept, profits were sought. No one can deny the reality of what happened. There is simply far, far, far too much evidence.

Justin Welby wants to wipe out AIDS by 2030

Read and watch here.

There is nothing particularly surprising about this since the Anglican church seems to have an obsessive interest in making broad declarations about things over which it has no control or influence. When Anglican leaders are not parading their impotence by Making Poverty History or demanding justice on behalf of the climate, they are, with no medical knowledge whatsoever and a diminished confidence in the efficacy of prayer to heal, trumpeting that AIDS is to be banished by 2030. But why AIDS?

As you can see from the following chart, heart disease kills five time the number of people as AIDS. Even diarrhoea kills as many people as AIDS. Why isn’t the Archbishop of Canterbury telling us what a great privilege it is to be invited to give a message on the fight against diarrhoea?


The reason, I suspect, is that, in a similar vein to Romans 1:18-32, as the church’s interest in eternity has waned, so its interest in sex – homosexual sex in particular – has increased, attracting a disproportionate number of homosexual clergy.

Although AIDS can be spread through heterosexual contact, the preferred way to contract it is still through homosexual activity. As this article points out, homosexual men are more severely affected by HIV than any other group in the United States.”

So for Anglican leaders, combating AIDS is a species of group self-interest.

Justin Welby and the Dead Parrot

There have been numerous articles – here is an example – written about Justin Welby’s attempt to inject an illusory aura of unity into something that has been decomposing since it expired in 2003: the Anglican Communion. Rowan Williams tried to do this too by channelling Hegel; he failed miserably – does anyone remember the Covenant? – and retreated to academia.

Justin Welby is inviting the Anglican primates to a “special gathering” in January 2016 to “look afresh at our ways of working as a Communion”.

The Anglican Church of Canada has its own parochial perspective on all this. In a 2012 visit to see Justin Welby, Fred Hiltz expressed his “ongoing concern about efforts by the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) to be recognized by the Church of England”. The last thing the rapidly dwindling Anglican Church of Canada needs is more competition from another Anglican Province in North America – one that is recognised by Canterbury. Hiltz’s worst fears may be coming to a nail-biting climax since ACNA’s Foley Beach has been invited to the January 2016 gathering; it looks likely that he will attend. The Anglican Journal sees this as “fuelling the controversy”, omitting the obvious fact that the controversy was ignited by Hiltz and Jefferts-Shori in the first place when they decided to promote same-sex blessings in spite of strenuous protests from the rest of the Communion:

Fuelling the controversy was an invitation extended by Welby to Archbishop Foley Beach, head bishop of the Anglican Church in North America, to be present for part of the meeting.

Welby points out:

We each live in a different context.

“The difference between our societies and cultures, as well as the speed of cultural change in much of the global north, tempts us to divide as Christians: when the command of scripture, the prayer of Jesus, the tradition of the church and our theological understanding urges unity. A 21st-century Anglican family must have space for deep disagreement, and even mutual criticism, so long as we are faithful to the revelation of Jesus Christ, together.

If that sounds like the old familiar Anglican Fudge it’s probably because it is. The ACoC and TEC are not “faithful to the revelation of Jesus Christ”. That has always been the problem, is still the problem and unless Jesus returns before January will almost certainly continue to be the problem.

Happily, the GAFCON primates, having already been fed Anglican Fudge to the point of gagging, see what is going on perfectly clearly and have issued something that is quite unfamiliar to Western Anglicans: a lucid statement. It contains this:

It is on this basis that the GAFCON Primates will prayerfully consider their response to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s letter. They recognize that the crisis in the Communion is not primarily a problem of relationships and cultural context, but of false teaching which continues without repentance or discipline.

For my part, I am somewhat indifferent to the outcome of the “special gathering”. My main interest is to be a part of an institution that is easily identifiable as a Christian Church, something that, while sober, I could not accuse the Anglican Church of Canada of.

I just wish I could be in the room when the GAFCON primates tell Fred Hiltz and Michael Curry that they must repent of their false teaching.

Justin Welby peddles “inclusive capitalism”

I was under the naïve impression that there was nothing left to which the overused to the point of meaninglessness adjective “inclusive” could be applied – but I was wrong.

From here:

The Archbishop of Canterbury today calls on business and market leaders to be less self-serving and to adopt a new model known as “inclusive capitalism”.


“Rather than just seeking a return on investment, there has to be a generosity that reaches out.”

Any model of capitalism that relied solely on self-interest would lead to the collapse of society, he warns, writing in the Telegraph.

“Altruism, the imitation of the God who acts in love that does not seek return, is a crucial part of a stable and functional society.”

To what organisation should we look for inspiration in eschewing financial self-interest and seeking no return on investments? The Church of England, of course:

The Church Commissioners hold investments whose value was approaching £6.7 billion at the end of 2014.


Their long term target is a return of at least RPI [inflation] plus 5% over the long term.

A paradigm of inclusive capitalism: it includes £6.7 billion and 5% return over inflation.

Archbishop of Canterbury hosts multi-faith Lambeth schmooze

It should be the beginning of a joke and, in a way, I suppose it is: a Muslim, Jew, Sikh, Hindu, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Jainist and Christian all walk into Lambeth Palace; they look at the Christian and decide he doesn’t belong.

From here:

The Archbishop of Canterbury last night hosted a reception for inter-religious and community leaders at Lambeth Palace.

Speaking at the annual event, which brings together members different faith groups to foster relationships, Archbishop Justin Welby reflected on the theme of reconciliation, which is one of his ministry priorities.

The event was attended by a wide range of people from Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Jain and Christian traditions.

I can think of a number of reasons why Welby might do this, none of which have anything to do with the hope of converting anyone, least of all the visitors, to Christianity.

The first is to demonstrate the pride with which Western Anglicanism holds firm to the proposition that it doesn’t much matter what anyone believes, so long as we can all get along.

The second is to disabuse those who are under the mistaken impression that the Anglican trinitarian god has three persons named Diversity, Inclusion and Equality; no, the one true Anglican god is now named Reconciliation.

The third is related to the first and second. If Jesus had simply learned to get along with everyone, to reconcile with them, he wouldn’t have ended up on that embarrassing  cross, removing a major stumbling block in our getting along with Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Zoroastrians, Buddhists and Jainists.

Fourth, Justin Welby has finally realised that it is easier to find agreement between Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Zoroastrians, Buddhists and Jainists than between Anglicans.

I write in jest, of course. To be absolutely serious, Welby himself tells us what this was really all about: the need to create a space that is relational:  a convenient void into which one can jettison unwanted relations. What could be clearer than that?