Final Update Friday
An even more ridiculous attack on RW’s article by TE Utley in the Telegraph
Simple English for the Church of England
The Guardian has published this attack on the Telegraph for what they did:
The bishop who believed. An extract:
The sensational headline was simply a lie. The story beneath it, though clumsy, was not blatantly false. Of course – Dr Williams was quoted as saying – terrible events like these shook people’s faith. But Christians must face the challenge, and focus on a passionate engagement with the lives that were left. Nowhere at any point did the story suggest that Dr Williams was questioning God’s existence. Inside, for those who cared to look for it, was the text of what the archbishop had actually written. I cannot see how any literate person reading this piece could honestly have drawn the conclusion that the Sunday Telegraph headline did.
…The Daily Telegraph here was asking us to accept not just that the headline writer honestly thought the sentence about upsetting faith could be equated with Dr Williams doubting the existence of God, but that various higher editors, culminating in whoever was in charge of the paper, were dozy enough to share the same delusion. (And you don’t need to read the archbishop’s piece “several times over” to notice the difference. A single swift reading will do.)
The Daily Telegraph carries this editorial leader concerning the matter reported below:
Faith in plain language. An extract:
We have some sympathy with the archbishop. Those who had time on their hands to read his article several times over will realise that he was not in fact doubting the existence of God. The headline writer had clearly been misled by the sentence: “Every single random, accidental death is something that should upset a faith bound up with comfort and ready answers.”
The archbishop’s purpose here, it now appears, was to say that the Christian faith should not be upset by natural disasters, because it is a faith that is not “bound up with comfort and ready answers”. But what a convoluted way of putting it.
If Dr Williams was indeed misrepresented by our sister paper’s headline, he himself must accept much of the blame. His prose is so obscure, his thought processes so hard to follow, that his message is often unclear.
The Sunday Telegraph carried an article by Rowan Williams and a news story about it.
The article was published under the headline:
Of course this makes us doubt God’s existence
and the news story was headed
Archbishop of Canterbury admits: This makes me doubt the existence of God
Lambeth Palace issued the following release concerning this at 11 pm on Saturday evening:
1st January 2005
For immediate use
Lambeth Palace has issued the following statement in response to the Sunday Telegraph’s first edition story with the headline ‘Archbishop of Canterbury admits: this makes me doubt the existence of God.’
“Whilst the Archbishop’s article itself has been transcribed faithfully, the headline reporting it is a misrepresentation of the Archbishop’s views.
“As any reading of the text makes instantly clear, the Archbishop nowhere says that the tsunami causes him to question or doubt the existence of God; rather that the Christian faith does not invite simplistic answers to the problem of human suffering”.
“It is extremely disappointing that what is a thoughtful response to the challenge posed by events of these kinds to the mind and heart of the believer has suffered in the search for a headline.”