Thinking Anglicans

bishops report on countering terrorism

A working group of the House of Bishops has published a 100-page report under the title Countering Terrorism: Power, Violence and Democracy Post 9/11.

The working group, set up in October 2004, consisted of: The Rt Revd Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford (Chair); The Rt Revd Colin Bennetts, Bishop of Coventry; The Rt Revd Peter Selby, Bishop of Worcester; The Rt Revd Peter Price, Bishop of Bath and Wells.

This report is available only as a PDF file and can be found here.

No doubt a link to this will eventually appear here.
Update it now is included on that page: scroll down to “Terrorism”; the page also includes an email address to which comments can be sent, and details of how to obtain a paper copy of the full report.

A press release has been issued about it, see here

Preview comment:
Observer Richard Harries How the Church can tackle terrorism

Press reports about it:
Telegraph Jonathan Petre Bishops suggest apologising to Muslim leaders for Iraq war
Guardian Stephen Bates CofE bishops criticise US over foreign policy and war on terror
The Times Ruth Gledhill Bishops want to apologise for Iraq war
BBC Bishops suggest apology for war

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Thomas C. WyldJohn HaasePeterDavidJohn Farre Recent comment authors
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dan
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dan

How ridiculous. The CofE really seems to be losing its sense of direction. The bishops can’t apologise for something they didn’t do or advocate themselves. This is just gesture politics that simply feeds the sense of righteous victimisation that Muslim extremists use for recruitment. And I bet no one in the benches of the CofE actually supports this sort of thing. Disstablishment looks more attractive every day . . .

Andrew Conway
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Andrew Conway

I don’t agree with everything in the Bishops’ report, but it is more judicious and balanced than the press reports make it appear. While it is unashamedly written from a liberal perspective, it isn’t just a piece of liberal hand-wringing and does make a serious attempt to accommodate the views of those who supported the war. Personally I am not convinced of the need for a South-Africa-style Truth & Reconciliation Commission in Iraq (and I wish Anglicans would be a little more critical in their attitude to the TRC, instead of treating it as a universally applicable model for conflict… Read more »

G J Hartwell
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G J Hartwell

Dan is quite right – how many Church of England members support this kind of statement? Or the statement on civil partnerships? Have the bishops forgotten that we are supposed to be a synodical church?

Perhaps we will see newly-elected lay members of the General Synod holding up placards at the first session, “Not in my name!”

Alan Harrison
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Alan Harrison

Andrew Conway writes that the report is “unashamedly written from a liberal perspective”. I’m not so sure, at least where issues of war and peace are concerned. What is noteworthy, I think, is that one of the authors is the Bishop of Oxford, Richard Harries. Dr Harries has been the most reliable exponent of the “just war” tradition of Christian thought, and could be relied upon by editors to come up with a piece arguig a Christian case for, say, nuclear weapons. Whether one agrees with him or not, he can’t be written off as a liberal patsy.

John Farre
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John Farre

Andrew, we may have been culpable in supporting Saddam Hussein’s Iraq against the Iranians. However, arming is another matter.

Iraq had Russian tanks, Russian rifles, Russian artillery, Russian missiles, Russian armoured personnel carriers, Russian (OK, and some French) aircraft, Russian radar, Russian radios.

I think I spot a pattern there…

David
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David

Well I’m glad to see that the church of Scotland hasnt lost its cahones, unlike liberal anglicanism.

http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1818182005

Peter
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Peter

What is going on?

4 people blow themselves up in the name of Islam but we rightly recognise that the Moslem community as a group does not need to apologise.

Britain fights a secular war to depose an odious secular dictator, gaining support from many Moslems such as the Kurds, yet now we are all guilty, and Christians have to apologise.

Do you think that such a move will make the next suicide bomber think again or do you think it will confirm him in his view that the West is deliberately setting out to destroy Islam?

John Haase
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John Haase

It seems once again the Liberal element within global Anglicanism has forsaken the biblical tension between truth and love (Eph. 4:1f). As with the ordination of homosexuals, does anything go? Is no sense of inherent value placed in Scripture anymore, except that which appeases the carnal nature? There is such a thing as ‘truth,’ even in our postmodern world, and it is sometimes worth standing for. Colin Powell recently commented that he did not support all the reasons for the Iraq war, but did support it based upon the violation of UN (talk about no back-bone!) sanctions (thanks in no… Read more »

Thomas C. Wyld
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Thomas C. Wyld

I had read the thread here a few days ago, was about to comment but, as an Episcopalian and citizen of the United States, I figured I had better things to do this side of the pond. Then, this morning, someone invited my attention to an interview of Anglican Bishop N.T. Wright in “Response,” a magazine of the Seattle Pacific University. I was particularly struck by Bishop Wright’s discussion of the unity of politics and religion, which, after all, is both the substance of the CofE working group’s report and, interestingly, the main thrust of their criticism of U.S. policy.… Read more »