Telegraph—Carefully does it, Dr Rowan Williams: we’re listening

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Dr Williams last week spoke out against government policy on public spending, likening it to "an addict returning to a drug". This Christmas week, he wrote in these pages on the dangers of sticking to political principles at all costs, a road that at its most extreme end leads to the kind of abomination that was Nazi Germany, a mindset in which people's lives are disposable and sacrificed on the altar of those principles.

When it comes to observations such as these, Dr Williams will still have his critics and detractors, in spades. It seems to be a characteristic of his that he doesn't much care that he has them; it clearly doesn't seem to discourage him from saying the unsayable. In that, he follows an honourable episcopal tradition of speaking truth to power. But his interventions in these straitened times feel peculiarly more appropriate. It may well be that what prelates have to say fits times of recession and depression rather more directly than in times of boom and plenty. That's perhaps as it should be; yesterday's great Christian festival celebrates the birth of the son of God in the hardship of a stable. It also means that Dr Williams and his fellow bishops should brace themselves for a demanding and wearing 2009, because rather more people might be listening more carefully.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury

Posted December 28, 2008 at 6:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Irenaeus wrote:

Abp. Williams makes big, resonant statements about economic and fiscal policy, subjects in which he lacks expertise and on which people do not seek his guidance.

Yet he clams up, wimps out, and sidetracks action on pressing Anglican controversies, over which he has more influence (and very possibly, more responsibility) than anyone else in the world.

His pronouncement remind me of an art historian who, striken by writer’s block in his field of expertise, loudly advocates restoring the gold standard.

December 28, 11:35 pm | [comment link]
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