The Archbishop and Thought for the day

It was a sensible gesture of the Today programme to offer the Good Friday “Thought for the day” to the Head of England’s established Church, despite him saying he never listened to the programme himself. You would have thought that on this of all days, the Archbishop would wish to use all his time to explain the importance and significance of the Crucifixion to Christians.
Instead he spent the first part of his allotted time describing the Cyprus Euro problems. He wrongly stated the bail out was Euro 10 billion, leaving out of account the far more contentious Euro 5.8 billion part of the package that had to be raised from the deposit holders and bond owners of the banks there, the very centre of the storm. Perhaps he thinks only taxpayers’ money provided by governments counts. Nor did he mention the negotiation to roll over and extend the Russian loan.
He spoke much more convincingly when he came on to the history and significance of Good Friday. There is a lot to be said for people on the religious slot sticking to religion, especially if they do not seem to know the numbers and issues involved in more modern secular crises.

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72 Comments

  1. James Matthews
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    “There is a lot to be said for people on the religious slot sticking to religion, especially if they do not seem to know the numbers ” True, but when did the Church of England last show any such inhibition?

    • Hope
      Posted March 29, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Totally disagree. With Cameron and Clegg installing the Ministry of Truth it will not be long before only a few will be able to speak out. I note Mitchell is issuing a writ to the Sun about his disgraceful behaviour towards a police officer. He admits swearing at them, is that not enough to demonstrate he is not fit to ever hold public office? Right to recall is desperately needed to install any form of standard in public office at Westminster. It is clear IPSA is not fit for purpose and the institutionalised lack of integrity persists with public information and with individual cases as we have seen with Huhne case. Similarly conflict of interest,lobbying and second jobs need to be tightly controlled because MPs have proven and have a track record not to be trusted.

      • Credible
        Posted March 29, 2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        Indeed

      • James Matthews
        Posted March 29, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        If and when the Church of England starts speak on the BBC in favour of an untregulated press your points will have some validity. Suspending of respiration not recommended.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 29, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        Andrew Mitchell did not admit swearing at the police. He admitted swearing at the fact of having to walk round the gate. Its a very big difference. He is emphatic that he didn’t call the police ‘plebs’ which was the toxic charge of the Sun and others, taken up with alacrity by Milliband E and the Labour (words left out- these matters are disputed and will be settled in court-ed) If he wins his case it will show that, like other free countries, we do not need censorship of the press in order for wronged individuals to obtain redress.

        • sjb
          Posted March 30, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

          Richard1 wrote: If he [Andrew Mitchell] wins his case it will show that, like other free countries, we do not need censorship of the press in order for wronged individuals to obtain redress.

          Even if he wins, I am not sure a monetary award will provide adequate redress because his political career suffered; he was a Cabinet Minister.

          Furthermore, he could win and still be out of pocket either because he does not recover his costs or have to pay costs of both sides if the judge’s award is not greater than any settlement offer.

          Win or lose, litigation is a stressful experience for an individual.

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 29, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

        Oh come on, who of us might not have muttered a few words to ourselves having has a jobsworth refuse to open the gate for us because we were on a bike rather than a car perhaps and after a stressful day at work. Let him cast the first stone! He was surely stitched up was he not? And Cameron’s government even failed to allow him see the tapes initially, I understand, for “security” reasons.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 29, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Religions are about saying what (in the main fairly dim unthinking but kindly people) want to hear. Logic rational thought and reason are rarely present. Politics is very similar as is the green religion.

      One does not expect church leaders to say anything much very sensible. Things such as “easy hire and fire and a smaller, state (largely parasitic) sector will create more jobs”, the rich and productive should be encouraged to come to the UK not taxed out, or landlords need to be encouraged to make more rental properties available rather than castigated as unscrupulous all the time or the church should clearly have no preferential place in government as it does now. Nor should they be forcing people not to shop on “their” special days any more than I force them to do things.

      • zorro
        Posted March 29, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God, the things that are God’s,”

        ” The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want’

        “If a man will not work, he shall not eat…”

        I bet he didn’t quote those scriptures in his sermon……

        zorro

        • lifelogic
          Posted March 29, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

          Indeed these are rather out of vogue I understand.

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted March 29, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        “Religions are about saying what (in the main fairly dim unthinking but kindly people) want to hear. Logic rational thought and reason are rarely present. ”
        Have you actually ever been to Church recently?
        Today we had a young priest of early 40s who sang most of the Good Friday Liturgy, who obviously believed every single word of it and who spoke pure common sense for a few minutes in the middle.
        If you ever get round to reading Pope Benedict’s works on Jesus, you will see that the man is a giant among scholars, yet he writes in a way which can be easily understood anyway.
        Don’t forget: he doesn’t have to be re elected!

        • lifelogic
          Posted March 29, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

          No I have not been to church for about 30 years (other than a few weddings and funerals) but was in a c of e church choir several times a week, from about 7-18. I think as a scientist/engineer after all, perhaps that is why I have my current rational views on religion, politics and yet still a strong liking for William Byrd, Monteverdi, Bach, Vaughan Williams, Wagner, choral works in general and similar.

          If one must have a religion the c of e always seemed to be the least harmful.

      • Bazman
        Posted March 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        Logic rational thought and reason are rarely present in your arguments that mainly rely on Daily Mail ‘think’ and blind religious belief in doing nothing. Except in banking when now you ‘feel’ there should be ‘some’ regulation, but a short time ago would have been screaming blue murder about interfering with the free market.

  2. English Pensioner
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    I rarely listen to senior CofE clergy these days. Invariably their sermons seem too much like a party political broadcast, usually for the Labour Party. Can’t remember when I last heard a clergyman extolling the virtues of hard work, self-sufficiency and responsibility. As for the Ten Commandments, most have long been abandoned long ago.

    • Mactheknife
      Posted March 29, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Saw Giles Fraser on Andrew Neils polictics programme last week. I thought Brillo was way too soft on him, it was left to Portillo to highlight the questionable logic from yet another lefty preacher who would look more intelligent if he shut up.

    • Duncan
      Posted March 30, 2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Well said – this is what has driven me away from the Church. – their ignoring, like the loony left, of the responsibility of ALL able people to look after themselves and contribute to society – their ignoring of the feckless, like the work-shy benefits seekers who, in effect, steal from those who truly need help.

  3. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Maybe he was briefed by the EU – such obfuscation is meat and drink to them.

  4. Credible
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    There is a lot to be said for people with no scientific background not providing scientific theories.
    There is a lot to be said for people with no economic or accountancy qualifications not running the ecconomy.
    There is a lot to be said for people with no qualifications or experience in education running education.
    There is a lot to be said for doctors and surgeons being listened to instead of politicians who know nothing about medicine.

    There seems to be a belief amongst the powerful and wealthy that they know more than the experts in the fields in which they meddle. They think they have become qualified without having to do the work. Our government and indeed the whole house of commons is full of people who think they are too important to listen to the people who really understand.

    When another person outside of that ‘elite’ club who has the ear of the media makes statements about things they are not trained in, politicians object (unless the opinion supports their view), but people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    • behindthefrogs
      Posted March 29, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      I agree. In particular politicians with little scientific background should stop commenting on climate change. Religious leaders should as part of their remit be commenting on worldly matters, however like many others who are not trained staticians they should not try to interpret the figures. They actually don’t stand a chance with the statistics as they are usually misquoted by the press who didn’t understand them in the first place.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      Well to a degree, but they cannot have a free hand to stitch up the system. Then it ends up run mainly for the benefit of their professions. The political & legal professions (especially), the medical profession (less so) and the global warming AGW religion (very greatly) all have large element of this.

      • Bazman
        Posted March 30, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        Don’t seem to be able to come up with any credible sources to debunk global warming though do we lifelogic. The religious belief seems very much in your court. £Every source you come up with is either dubious or none scientific Daily Mail claptrap. Have another ‘think and do reply this time with credible references. The global warming ‘religious’ types can, but I will not as you cannot come up with a single one other than Dingbats opinions of other opinions. Do you really understand the term ‘scentific’?

        • Edward2
          Posted March 31, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

          You still havn’t looked at the Met Office and Hadley Centre graphs showing no rises since 2000 then Baz.

    • Credible
      Posted March 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      When I said ‘not trained in’, actually Justin Welby is much more qualified to talk about finance and business that our Chancellor and most of our government.

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 29, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        He may be well qualified but he clear clearly deluded on economics or perhaps is just saying what he thinks his flock wish to hear. We shall see which as time passes.

      • zorro
        Posted March 29, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        That wouldn’t be very difficult…..

        zorro

    • margaret brandreth-j
      Posted March 30, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      Gosh, we better not be persuaded or vote then.So little knowledge about most things would render a voteless society if we were restricted to the things we know.

  5. formula57
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    As a former treasurer of Enterprise Oil he should have done better, certainly.

    As an Archbishop though he would indeed have done well to recall that the message to Cypriots and others affected at this trying time has been delivered previously and on the highest authority – “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s”.

    It is nice though that he takes an interest in matters of present, worldly concern rather than pretend that His ministry was only spiritual.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 29, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      It is just about your congregation, educated by the BBC in “BBC non think” want to hear – nothing to do with logic and reason. All about envy of the rich and feeling good and nice.

      • Bazman
        Posted March 30, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        This post is just pure ‘think’. You cannot see it though can you? What does that tell you?

  6. Jon
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    I could never connect with Rowan Williams’ speeches, he spent time getting involved with politics and economics. I was hoping the new Arch Bishop might learn from that mistake but seems not.

    Initially I have more optimism where the new Pope is concerned. He seems more focused on the church’s job showing humility and being the good samaritan.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 30, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      I was also hoping Prince Charles might have taken on board the excellent example of his parents and kept well out of politics, but alas no.

      Did Cameron learn anything from the ERM fiasco and John Major burying the party for 3+ terms no he just repeats seems to want to repeat it all.

      Some people never learn from either good or bad examples.

  7. Dee
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Worship of human sacrifice is never acceptable, let alone one meant to atone for the sins of the first soil people 4,000 years prior.

  8. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Some people that speak during “the religious slot” are as ignorant about religion as they are about economics.

  9. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Since there is no God, there is a lot to be said for theologians retraining. I am sure that Professor Richard Dawkins could recommend a few courses. They could start by reading ‘The Selfish Gene’.

    • Credible
      Posted March 29, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      They could balance it up by reading the first few chapters of Miracles by C S Lewis. It goes far deeper than any book by Dawkins.

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 30, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps, but deeply into what exactly?

  10. Terry
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Well, after this debacle it is clear the CoE has replaced one liberal-lefty Arch Bishop with another. Now, he can no longer bitch about elected Governments interfering in Church matters. I am surprised his personal consiglieri did not point this error of judgement out to him.

  11. Tad Davison
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    This rather confirms my point, that people who should be better informed, simply aren’t. That is a dangerous situation, for it allows all manner of excesses to be overlooked – the very thing that got us into this God awful mess in the first place!

    But with all that skill and expertise at their disposal, did the dear old pro-EU BBC act in the public’s best interest and put him right?

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  12. Christopher Ekstrom
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Any crises must be preferable to the one the Archbishop is supposed to solve: that is the erosion of the Church of England.

  13. Mactheknife
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I had to stop listening to the Today programme on Radio 4 for many reasons. The openly left wing content, views and presenters was bad enough, but then to have some religious figure preach about everything from supporting the Euro to AGW with little or no grasp of the subject, just became too much for me.

    • Duncan
      Posted March 30, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more Mac. What I still can’t understand why we, the great British public, put up with the BBC as it is, bearing in mind we pay for it. WHY ?

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    How would the Archbishop like it if what is being done in Cyprus was done here?

    The Church of England has numerous bank accounts at all levels from central down to parishes, what would he think if it was decreed that chunks should be taken out of all those accounts?

    On TV it was highlighted that the levy on deposits will not just hit the allegedly ill-gotten gains of Russians – and I guess that anyway some of those will have seen it coming and got their money out beforehand – it will also hit a church restoration fund collected by members of the congregation.

    As well as the working capital of numerous companies held in bank accounts supposedly for safety, and money people have saved out their legitimate earnings for their old age.

    In the initial form of the proposal, it would even have taken a slice out of a monthly salary which had just been paid into a current account.

    People who say that the Cypriots have got off lightly compared to the pain inflicted on UK savers through excessive inflation and low interest rates are plain wrong, as they, and also the Archbishop, would find out if it was done here, and all bank accounts were frozen, and when they were eventually unfrozen around £500 billion had disappeared.

    I see on the ECB website a recent press release entitled:

    “ECB’s reaction to the agreement on the Cypriot macroeconomic adjustment programme”

    which is a euphemism for the punitive destruction of the economy of Cyprus at the behest of German politicians pandering to German taxpayers who don’t want to suffer for the mistakes made by the politicians they elected.

    I ask again:

    “If it is right for the Cypriots to suffer for the mistakes made by their politicians, Cyprus being a democracy, is it not also right for the Germans to suffer for the mistakes made by their politicians, Germany being a democracy?”

    And I’m reminded of that passage in Tacitus supposedly quoting from a speech made by a British leader called Calgacus condemning the Romans:

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Tacitus

    “They make a desert and call it peace.”

    • uanime5
      Posted March 30, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Why should the Germans be punished for the failure of Cypriots to control their banks? Germany shouldn’t have to bail out every country that fails to manage their own economy.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 30, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        Insofar as an explicit prohibition on bailouts was deliberately written into the Maastricht Treaty the Germans shouldn’t have to bail out any country; but insofar as the German government knowingly allowed a succession of economically unsuitable countries to join the euro for its own political ends, the Germans should take accept responsibility for the reckless and illegal actions of their elected government and accept punishment.

        • APL
          Posted March 31, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

          Denis Cooper: “Insofar as an explicit prohibition on bailouts was deliberately written into the Maastricht Treaty ..”

          Again, an instance where the contracting parties have willfully failed to meet the terms of the contract.

      • Duncan
        Posted March 30, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        Exactly.

        And that is why the euro, the Eurozone and the EU should be dissolved – with immediate effect.

      • stred
        Posted March 31, 2013 at 8:05 am | Permalink

        It was the EU that lead to Cypriot banks losing E50b on Greek bonds. It was the EU that was supposed to be controlling EU banks. It was not the fault of honest people living in Cyprus. The pain should have been shared, as was done with other EU countries. They invented the system and they should be responsible for it.

  15. alan jutson
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    I have no problem with the Archbishop speaking about anything.

    I just wish he would get his facts right, and avoid trying to be politically one sided.

    Given he belives he is such an authority on many things, perhaps he may be able to fathom out what actually makes people choose to go to church, he can then perhaps show an increase in the attendance.

    Like many things those in charge should sort out their own patch before telling others what they should do.

    Perhaps Cameron should also understand this as well.

    Charity begins first at home, so cut overseas aid.

    • APL
      Posted March 31, 2013 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      alan Jutson: “I just wish he would get his facts right, and avoid trying to be politically one sided.”

      He should concentrate on his brief, the afterlife. We have politicians for everything else.

    • Bazman
      Posted March 31, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Overseas aid often means the difference between life and death to many people with nothing such as rural Indian woman, so as you and others point out their is no poverty here why should it begin at home? No reply? Do not ever write about this again please. Rammed.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        Baz,
        Is this the India that spends billions on nuclear weapons and a space programme.

  16. Nicol Sinclair
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    @Credible: “There seems to be a belief amongst the powerful and wealthy that they know more than the experts in the fields in which they meddle.” Apart from a notable exception concerning economics & banking (you all know who he is – I do not wish to appear (too) sycophantic!), I couldn’t agree more. We are ‘ruled’ by a bunch of career politicians, who have little/no/experience/idea of the real world outside their Westminster ‘bubble’. Bring back the 19th Century amateurs with experience.

  17. frank salmon
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    In a zombie world order, the pious become stazi controllers. What the hell does this guy know about economics? More than Brown, surely, and more than Brendan Barber, but less than Pinnochio.

  18. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    This chap has an oil background Jon, so he will understand, unlike people like myself the sway of money matters even if his comments were off the mark ,yet for goodness sake Good Friday is not about money , it is about love , about pain , about sacrifice , about the martyrdom of one loving man in opposition to the earthly crewdness of power of the cruel.
    Thought for the day has not been the same since Lionel Blue.
    I have had a fantastic day in my garden , not Gethsemane ( thank goodness for my earthliness), so a happy and fruitful easter to all .

  19. nTropywins
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Religion only exists as a means to quell the unruly rabble. Adopted by the power-hungry as a matter of expedience. Life is (bad-ed)but the after life is ….brilliant. Oh really? Do you have perchance any snake oil for sale. They say it is good for warding off bullsh1t. I would no more seek the advice of a churchman than I would of a football commentator. They both have the same tendency to talk (nonsense-ed)

    • Credible
      Posted March 29, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      Early Christians were mostly not influential people and lived under the threat of persecution and death daily for what they believed. Jesus was a manual worker in a small country who didn’t even write down any of his teaching and was killed as a criminal. If the people around him had not been certain that he had come back to life, any belief in him would very quickly have vanished.

      • stred
        Posted March 31, 2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        Have you read the Gnostic Gospels. A lot was written down, then destroyed by the Roman church, along with murdering followers of the original teachings. A large proportion of the gospels were found in upper Egypt in the 1950s and have been tranlated and discussed by academics since then.

        If we were allowed to follow the teachings of Jesus instead of worshipping the deity etc, there might be a few more bums on seats. Why intelligent people persist in the mumbo jumbo is difficult to understand. The best thing about the C of E is that it allows priests of all opinions to work in it. I have met a vicar who descibed the worship of Jesus as a god and the Christmas story as ‘just for children’. Possibly the new CEO is one of them.

        • stred
          Posted March 31, 2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink

          to Credible

  20. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    apologies not Jon but John.

  21. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Interesting tale here:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9959917/The-EU-has-detonated-a-bomb-under-the-Cypriot-financial-industry-says-former-Laiki-bank-director.html

    “The EU has detonated a bomb under the Cypriot financial industry, says former Laiki bank director”

    And interesting letter of reassurance from the Central Bank of Cyprus dated February 11th:

    denying any intention, or legal possibility, of taking money from depositors.

    • APL
      Posted March 31, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Denis Cooper “letter [snip] from the Central Bank of Cyprus dated February 11th: denying any intention, or legal possibility, of taking money from depositors.”

      A pattern emerges: “When it becomes serious, you have to lie, .. ” Jean Claude Junckner.

      The basis on which the EU project is founded.

      But don’t trust our politicians further than you could throw one of them, either.

  22. Electro-Kevin
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    When I was an active member of the CofE it seemed to me to be very much influenced by The Guardian. Jesus was presented as a sandle wearing, socialist hippy and half of the Gospel message was abandoned. They didn’t explain salvation properly.

    Salvation … from what exactly ?

    I don’t think that even the most ardent religionist in the CofE would have the courage to preach that the Devil exists. That would be ridiculous of course, and anyone doing so would be thought of as rather mad.

    But there went 70% of the CofE’s market – those who would fill pews seeking redemption and those who might be incentivised to behave better from the threat of a bit of fire and brimstone.

    I am now an athiest of the Richard Dawkins mould. Religion has become an impediment in re-establishing behavioural standards in modern Britain. The CofE loathes judgment except of conservative people it would seem.

    • Duncan
      Posted March 30, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Same here Kevin – gave up on the CoE because, basically, it is the religious arm of the Labour party.

  23. Richard1
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Modern clergy are not humble enough – a key Christian virtue. If they had greater humility they would not pontificate on subjects on which they are so patently ill-informed.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted March 29, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      Did you see the Pope kissing the feet of a criminal today? Or washing the feet of women who, for the first time, were allowed into the prison washing ceremony?

      • Richard1
        Posted March 30, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        No I didn’t. Generalizations are of course unfair. I was referring to the political bishops and other clergy of the C of E.

  24. Bob
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Maybe the Archbishop would like to voluntarily give up the CofE’s tax exemption and pay something to the poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged “in our society” (as the mantra goes).

  25. Simonro
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    John 8:7 “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone”

  26. wab
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    “There is a lot to be said for people on the religious slot sticking to religion, especially if they do not seem to know the numbers and issues involved in more modern secular crises.”

    People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

  27. outsider
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,
    Like His Grace, I do not listen to Thought for the Day (or the rest of the Today programme) but have now caught up on i-player and find your reaction unwontedly perverse, to say the least.

    His Grace did not try to analyse the issue. He just used it as an analogy (or parable) to show that reactions to events reflect where you are standing, something very familiar from the spectrum of comments on your blog. The forces of regional and global power (the eurozone elite and the IMF) congratulate themselves on a deal to rid themselves of a little local problem while the ordinary people who have been “sorted out” are left in despair.

    On the first Good Friday, the local and global powers ( the Jerusalem elite and Rome) congratulated themselves on sorting out a little local difficulty while the little people who followed Jesus were left in despair. History proved that the initial reaction of both groups was 180 degrees wrong. His Grace thereby offered hope to all those in despair.

    A neat use of a current event to make a clear pastoral point I would have thought.
    If there was any political message ( and I doubt that any was intended) it was surely that the self-satisfaction of the euro elite at “sorting out” little Cyprus was likely to turn to ashes. That would surely echo your own instincts and might have been music to your ears. It was certainly not a case of a prelate interfering in politics, whether that is a good thing or bad.

    Your criticism that His Grace should have said E16 billion instead of E10 billion seems merely pedantic, not least because he did not suggest who was doing the baling/bailing out or whose money they were using.

  28. David Langley
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Indeed, makes you wonder about the House of Lords and the religious sages there pondering on the secular issues they know not what. I think we need better than divine inspiration.

  29. Andy
    Posted April 3, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Dear John,

    Since the COE has not allowed women bishops perhaps now would be a good time the remove bishops from the House of Lords?

    The lack of equality the represent is not acceptable in a modern society.

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