Comments: Archbishop of Canterbury’s New Advisor for Reconciliation

"...offering safe space in which to address misunderstanding of the “other”..."

I've just tripped over the broken remains of my irony meter.

Posted by Laurence Cunnington at Wednesday, 27 July 2016 at 4:14pm BST

I was struck by the lack of humility in the reference to "MY reconciliation ministry" (emphasis added).

Is there really no way we can follow the Conservatives, Labour and UKIP and have a leadership election?

Posted by Kate at Thursday, 28 July 2016 at 12:41am BST

Poor woman. She'll soon realise she's failed when she talks to members of Anglican 'Mainstream'.

Posted by FrDavidH at Thursday, 28 July 2016 at 7:48am BST

Kate For what it is worth I don't read it that way at all. She has a ministry of reconciliation. Can't she say so? And I simply don't understand your second comment about holding elections like political parties. Do you mean we should hold church-wide elections for anyone appointed onto the Lambeth staff?

Posted by David Runcorn at Thursday, 28 July 2016 at 12:11pm BST

David R I think you misunderstand. "My reconciliation ministry" are the words of the ABC not the new advisor. And the rather cheeky but funny reference to holding elections was surely a reference to Augustine's successor not the Lambeth staff.

Posted by Disgraceful at Thursday, 28 July 2016 at 9:04pm BST

Ah - apologies. The mist is clearing.

Posted by David Runcorn at Friday, 29 July 2016 at 6:19am BST

Reconciliation in Christ and his liberating Gospel or political correctness?

Sadly the word reconciliation is now as hi-jacked as evangelical.

Posted by robert ian williams at Friday, 29 July 2016 at 7:56am BST

This is putting the cart before the horses: you reconcile *after* discrimination has ended, not before; and the victims of discrimination have every right to choose not to.

Gotta be the first time that an institutionally homophobic organization refers to "safe spaces," just as Welby is punctilious about using "LGBTI." Say all the right things, while continuing to do all the wrong ones. Talk about schizophrenic!

Posted by James Byron at Friday, 29 July 2016 at 2:01pm BST

Maybe they were thinking about this kind of thing

Posted by David Keen at Saturday, 30 July 2016 at 8:56am BST

David, I sincerely hope not because it seems to be contrary to the teaching of 1 Corinthians 10.

Posted by Kate at Saturday, 30 July 2016 at 5:07pm BST

Reconciliation means reconciling oneself with Welby's strategy for the Communion. Good disagreement? Agree with me or else face the consequences. If it means there are to be no safe spaces for LGBT ministers, even in supposedly liberal dioceses, then so be it: that's absolutely central to the strategy for unity with GAFCON. Another Primates Meeting is pencilled in for October next year apparently. Forget 'shared conversations', he has no hope of getting them all to attend unless CofE bishops are absolutely uncompromising in relation to the HoB's Pastoral Statement on same-sex marriage.

Posted by Andrew at Saturday, 30 July 2016 at 9:04pm BST

The world needs more interfaith sharing, not less. When we hold different beliefs, we still share common humanity, and the command to love crosses faith boundaries. Yes, we should be grateful for the opportunities to eat together and journey together, as - in common with one another - we face the challenges of building community, helping our neighbours, caring for our elderly, encouraging our young.

Reconciliation of this kind, between faiths, and between communities in places of strife, is desperately needed.

I enjoy worshipping and studying at East London Mosque when I am in London. I am transsexual, I am respected, and I am offered really appreciated hospitality and welcome.

The epithet 'Allah is all-loving' occurs more frequently than any other in the Quran. The epithet 'God is Love' is a dominant statement in the Bible. And both religions know the yearning for divine peace.

In our bitterly-divided world, and our economically-divided society, reconciliation is needed more than ever. Reconciliation with justice and reconciliation in living relationships between people of many faiths (and people with non-religious convictions too).

Posted by Susannah Clark at Saturday, 30 July 2016 at 11:26pm BST

There is a vast chasm of difference between inter-faith dialogue and co-operation which should be encouraged, and the archbishop hosting - or even attending - an iftar to break a Ramadan fast.

There is a very sharp line between being respectful of the observances and customs of another religion and participating in, or giving the impression of, participation in, the observances and customs of another religion. That line absolutely should not be crossed by anyone in ordained orders.

Posted by Kate at Monday, 1 August 2016 at 9:03am BST


Fasting is a custom of the Christian religion too. As is hospitality. I see absolutely nothing wrong with fasting and sharing food, in solidarity with one another, and it highlights things we have in common.

Considering the mayhem caused around the world by religious extremists, I'd have thought that idealistic young people and faith leaders joining together - expressing the moderate values of their faiths or beliefs - eating together, being friends together... is far more constructive than the kind of bunker mentality that extremists adopt.

Christian leaders setting an example seems to me like a positive thing. What are we afraid of when we get alongside one another, acknowledge God together, share food, share friendship? Each of us may approach God in our own ways, and our own traditions, but we are travellers together on this earth, all facing suffering, all facing mortality, and if - along our distinctive paths - we occasionally come together, I think that is lovely.

Jesus was sometimes looked at askance for interacting with people who seemed 'not like us'. He even attributed godly virtues to people who were routinely seen as 'other'. He broke the rules about the Sabbath (or fulfilled them)... and I think that, in opening to the love of God by sharing and by friendship, and hospitality... we are fulfilling the law, not breaking it.

Some customs and practices of other religions are admirable. In drawing together, and sharing values and expressions of faith, we witness to the love and goodness of God, and in doing so we promote moderation and the sanity of love, in the face of a religious evil and extremism that threatens terror on every side.

Love your neighbour... it doesn't get much more basic and fundamental than that. And part of loving, is respecting and opening up and trying to understand and sharing with the person we seek to love, to show value and worth to them - who they actually are, and the values and things that are precious to them.

I have sternly criticised Julian on some previous occasions (for example the tawdry way he misrepresented the ACC meeting earlier this year)... but on this occasion, he looks happy and generous-hearted and kind in the picture, and I think it was excellent that he shared iftar with all those young people and leaders of various faiths.

Posted by Susannah Clark at Monday, 1 August 2016 at 4:32pm BST

Oops - Justin, not Julian! *typo*

Posted by Susannah Clark at Monday, 1 August 2016 at 7:30pm BST

"Reconciliation in Christ and his liberating Gospel or political correctness?"

What I (gratefully) call the former, RIW, you would probably dismiss as the latter. Conversely, anyone who speaks of the latter, usually seems to be badly in need of experiencing (for a change) the former.

Kyrie eleison. Lord, grant us all more Light!

Posted by JCF at Tuesday, 2 August 2016 at 5:25am BST

Kate: Surely you are not suggesting that the mere sharing of a meal with those of another faith (even a meal with some religious connotations) is tantamount to eating the flesh of a sacrifice? In your eyes, did I commit a sin when I accepted my friend's invitation to his Seder?

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Friday, 5 August 2016 at 9:03pm BST
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