Archbishop of York Welcomes Prime Minister’s “Global Lead” on Millennium Development Goals

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“I wholeheartedly welcome and support this re-commitment to the Millennium Development Goals. The Archbishop of Canterbury and I are on record for calling on the Government to act urgently. The Prime Minister’s global lead in this speech today is a sign of hope that such action is imminent.

“Seven years ago solemn vows were made to honour our common humanity through the adoption of the MDGs. These vows have been broken and we have clearly fallen behind. I recognise the Prime Minister’s desire, as expressed in this speech, to fulfil the vows made and to deliver the MDGs once promised. This speech is a call to renewed partnership by all in our global village to work together to eradicate poverty. The meaning of partnership is that we sink or
swim together.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)

Posted August 1, 2007 at 12:58 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Newbie Anglican wrote:

Oh dear.  ++York is sounding more like a reappraiser every day.  Now he’s even pushing the UN MDGs.

August 1, 2:56 pm | [comment link]
2. Dale Rye wrote:

If you want to run off all the Anglicans who support the MDGs, you will have to begin with the Global South primates, who clearly regard them as a much more important issue for their provinces than the North American events (see their various communiques). Since the GC group is chaired by Abp. Akinola, I think it is hard to label this as a reappraiser issue.

Among the several reasons why Fr. Kendall prefers “reasserter” to “conservative” is the complete disconnect outside the United States between theological, political, and economic conservatism. If the conservative Americans who are joining GC provinces expect primatial sympathy in their support for free markets and limited government, they are going to be disappointed.

August 1, 3:15 pm | [comment link]
3. Philip Snyder wrote:

Newbie Anglican
I, a strong reasserter, support the MDGs.  They are worthwile goals.  I understand the natural inclination of reasserters to think that if 815 supports is and if the UN supports it, it must be a bad idea.  However, in this case, there may be two strikes against the proposal, but I think it is still worth swinging at.  We should work to alleviate poverty and towards education of children and enviornmental sustainability as well as working in partnership with people, not giving their governments money.  Can you share with me what is wrong with the idea of MDGs?  I see no theological or social problems with working towards these 8 goals.

Now, some people may make the MDGs the whole of their “gospel.”  That is not a reason for use to make them a part of our living out the gospel where we care for the poor and sick and homeless and those in prison (Matthew 25). 

Just because people whose theology we don’t like support something it does not mean that we should not support it.  If what they support can and should be supported within a Christian framework, then we should support it.  In this case, the MDGs can be supported from a Christian worldview and use Christian organizations to do their work.  We should support the MDGs.

Phil Snyder

August 1, 3:26 pm | [comment link]
4. In Newark wrote:

#3—I completely see your point, but would feel a lot more comfortable if people like ++York would say something along the lines of “The MDG’s provide a good strategy for following our Lord’s command to feed the hungry and clothe the naked.”  Unfortunately, I’m hearing statements that sound like idolatry, even if that’s not what’s intended.
I once had the privilege of hearing Bishop Adams of W. Kansas preach, and the gist of his sermon was that when we do “good” things, we should let the recipients know that we are doing them at Our Lord’s command.  I’d like to see Christ get more credit than the UN!

August 1, 3:43 pm | [comment link]
5. Philip Snyder wrote:

I remember reading in First Things (about 10 yrs ago or so) that Fr. Neuhouse walked into a Church that had a banner that read:  “God is Other People!” - indicating that when “as you did it to the least of these my brethern, you did it to me.” 

Fr. Neuhouse then said that he wanted to put a comma between “Other” and “People” so that the sign read:  “God is Other, People!” - thus showing the utter transcendence of God.

Both are true.  We are called to make Christ immanent through our work with the poor and all people.  We are also called to remind people of God’s transcendent nature so that we do not worship the creation instead of the creator - even when that worship is worship of service or worship of liturgy or worship of justice.  God is immanent and we should strive to bring that immanence to those whom we serve in Christ’s name.  God is also transcendent and we should always remember that to make anything but God the supreme goal of our lives is idolatry.  Aim for Justice (or Service or whatever) and you will not even attain what you aim for.  Aim for God and make Him the goal and you will attain God and everything else, in its own time, will follow.

Phil Snyder

August 1, 4:00 pm | [comment link]
6. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

It is a shame when good words and things become contentious in other contexts, so that we can no longer see their real value - such as ‘shalom’ and MDG’s.  I am sure the ABY’s theology and understanding are much wider; but is this not a focused comment on a focused issue and therefore appropriate?

August 1, 4:12 pm | [comment link]
7. MargaretG wrote:

Among the several reasons why Fr. Kendall prefers “reasserter” to “conservative” is the complete disconnect outside the United States between theological, political, and economic conservatism.

It may also be worth remembering that many of those who live in other parts of the world find the issues that congregate together in the United States conservative Christian milieu somewhat perplexing. (Two for instances, so you can see what I mean but please don’t let them divert the conversation: the support for the death penalty and the lack of sympathy for Palestinian’s).

In my neck of the woods it is the conservative churches that support the MDGs—the liberal ones are too busy being prophetic over gays, transsexuals and prostitutes to be concerned about millions of insignificant folk overseas who are dying of hunger and disease.

August 1, 6:53 pm | [comment link]
8. Katherine wrote:

The thing that bothers many of us in the US about the MDGs is that the liberal churches here are promoting them as governmental action.  TEC members are urged to write their Congressmen and Senators about it.  Too many of us have watched decades of huge sums of tax money being poured into “good works” that ended up being useless or even counter-productive because of corruption, poor design of projects, and bureaucratic inefficiency.  If we were being urged instead to direct a percentage of our church funds, and other personal charitable giving, into well-designed and well-administered projects with Christian charities which genuinely help the world’s poor, there would be no negative comments.  My own small parish devotes 10% of its income to such giving.

August 1, 11:03 pm | [comment link]
9. Oldman wrote:

The difficulty with the attaching any significence to the MDG’s goals is that they are basically government to government, something that so few want to realize.  They have become a salve to the people who “want something done,” but won’t look beyond the deplorable records of the UN and our own government’s AID programs.

As they say, “I have been there and done it.”  But will add, “I have experienced it.”

Zimbabwe is a powerful example of extra territorial government and UN aid propping up hideous governments which persecute people by using outside aid money to keep them in power. It’s your money that the TEC is turning over to the UN to sustain such as Zimbabwe. 

I know all Christians must think about those all over the world who live in poverty and who are the Lord’s children just like we are, but who cry for help. 

If ++KJS and 815 really want to help those destitute people, then do it through the churches in Africa et al that are nearer to the people in need than those high UN bureaucrats living abundantly in New York.

The church has a ready made apparatus to help people.  It is called Missions, run by missionaries on the front line.  They can help those who need it and they need your and my help.

Don’t make yourself feel good by giving money to UN bureaucrats in New York who care not a penny for the “poor people,” but only the monetary succes to them for overseeing the programs.

I speak out of direct experience.  There is another poster, I think Karen, but am not sure, who is doing just what I say. I know someone well who is a missionary who is being supported by many churches as well as me.  Find them, support them that the Lord’s will can be done.

Otherwise, don’t waste your money and hurt those in need at the same time.

August 2, 1:34 am | [comment link]
10. Reactionary wrote:

Societal prosperity and cultural advancement are driven by free markets and the rule of law, the latter including secure property rights.  The MDG’s are premised on government control of resources.  So despite, and in fact as a result of, the billions of dollars poured down the UN rathole, the MDG’s are unattainable by such means.

August 2, 2:34 pm | [comment link]
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