Comments: CofE bishops write to Prime Minister on refugee crisis

A most encouraging initiative on the part of the Church of England's Bishops! This ought encourage all Anglicans around the world to respond to this international humanitarian crisis - in order to fulfil the requirement of the Gospel for a radical inclusive hospitality that ought mark out the Body of Christ.

In a similar spirit, it would be lovely for the Church of England's House of Bishops to offer hospitality to the 'Stranger Within its gates' - those of the LGBTQ community who need to be seen as part and parcel of the wonderful mix of humanity that makes up the population of every part of our world. This would give a real signal to those paqrt of the Church that persist in the persecution of LBGTQ people within their borders.

Here again is the great reminder of Jesus that: "They will know you are my disciples by your Love"

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 18 October 2015 at 12:58am BST

It's morally commendable, but are we really going to peddle the notion that Our Lord was a refugee? because Herod 'slew all the little childer' and all that? That's why we'd do it?

Posted by Lorenzo at Sunday, 18 October 2015 at 7:19am BST

Just listened to the Sunday programme to a Syrian Archbishop who thinks the letter is charitable but not the right solution.Surely he is more in touch than this grouping, which includes several non bishops. keep them in Turkey, with substantial aid and help. Then they are more likely to return to Syria, once the civil war ends.

Posted by robert ian williams at Sunday, 18 October 2015 at 8:01am BST

Our Lord certainly was a refugee - Matthew 2.13-15 says that he was taken to Egypt by his parents as they fled from their homeland fearing violence from a brutal despot.

Posted by Philip Hobday at Sunday, 18 October 2015 at 3:15pm BST

It's overwhelmingly likely that the birth narratives are theological fiction, and that Jesus of Nazareth, born in Nazareth, never fled from a place he'd never been to escape a massacre that never happened.

Moreover, I'll bet that plenty bishops don't believe it, either. Not that they'd ever say. As usual, it's so much easier to keep quiet.

I do, however, agree with their call to take more refugees.

Posted by James Byron at Sunday, 18 October 2015 at 4:19pm BST

You don't have to believe the birth stories verbatim to see a Biblical reason to support refugees:

""Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt." Exodus 22:21

Or, if you prefer the New Testament:

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in..." Matthew 25:35

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Sunday, 18 October 2015 at 10:05pm BST

Re Pat O'Neill, "You don't have to believe the birth stories verbatim to see a Biblical reason to support refugees" Exactly right, and your other citations are poignant. Notwithstanding, I think the symbolism in the infancy narrative, even as a kind of midrash, is powerful. It highlights, in the symbol of Jesus as the Christ, the unchanging narrative of the poor as pawn in the grip of mercantile imperialism. The infancy narrative, in this instance and in its own way, under-grids the contemporary notion of the preferential option for the poor. It's an example, with reference to the kingdom of God, of how as an idea. the potential exists in the actual.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Sunday, 18 October 2015 at 11:47pm BST

Three Cheers for the Anglican 84. Made me feel quite nostalgic for the good old days when the Church of England was effectively the Party of Opposition and it was Runcie v Thatcher. Yes, I remember it well and how irritated Maggie was with Bob's Falkland Islands sermon at St. Paul's. "Faith in the City" and "The Church and the Bomb" were two reports that had an enormous impact and contributed significantly to the debate. Much more meaty than the latest offering on whether or not to close rural churches or turn them into "Festival Churches". So, well done to the Bench of Bishops in spotting the gap in the market now that Corbyn is the new Foot and speaking up for the marginalised and the dispossessed. Our Lady would be proud of you as she sings her Magnificat with even greater vigour now that you have spoken out. Surely, your letter deserves more than the derisory reply that it has so far received from Dave?

Posted by Father David at Monday, 19 October 2015 at 8:10am BST

Yes, Pat, that's exactly my beef: so many texts could have been used rather the Christmas story, but I bet that, since Christmastide's already upon us the 'our Lord was a Middle-Eastern refugee' meme will be everywhere.

Posted by Lorenzo at Monday, 19 October 2015 at 8:37am BST
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