The Telegraph has a report today by Jonathan Petre that Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop-designate of York, has used the foreword of a new book implicitly to criticise fellow Church leaders for failing to deal properly with discrimination in the organisation. See Black bishop attacks Church racism. An excerpt:
The book to which Dr Sentamu has contributed, Rejection, Resistance and Resurrection, Speaking out on racism in the Church, is a hard-hitting account of the rejection felt by many black Anglicans.
Written by Mukti Barton, the adviser on black and Asian ministries to the Bishop of Birmingham, Dr Sentamu’s present post, it describes racism as a “deadly poison” often unconsciously spread by white Christians.
It also claims that black people are significantly under represented in the clergy, even in the diocese of Birmingham.
Dr Sentamu, who is to launch the book in Birmingham cathedral next month, said in the foreword: “The stories in this book speak of the pain of what it is to undergo institutional racism.
“The cost is in terms of the lives of people who are hampered in their growth into the image of God created in them.”
However, the editors of the Telegraph know better than the bishop, and have published this leader The way to empty pews in which they say Dr Sentamu is wrong:
A useful litmus test can be applied to distinguish vibrant, fast-growing denominations from struggling or moribund ones. Those that are obsessed with accusing themselves of racism tend to be in a worse state of health than those that – while vigorously opposing racial prejudice, as the Gospel demands – have resisted the breast-beating and grievance-mongering of secular multiculturalists.
For the past 20 years, the race relations industry has exerted a formidable grip on the mainstream churches in Britain: Anglicans, Roman Catholics and Methodists have been falling over each other in their eagerness to send themselves on “racism awareness courses”.