Tuesday, September 20, 2005


More on the Church of England House of Bishops' report on power, violence and democracy post 9/11 (yesterday). The official Church House press release is here. Interesting to compare how they set it out (I almost said 'spun it'!) alongside the major newspaper reports - which basically picked up on the initial BBC trail. (See: the Daily Telegraph's Jonathan Petre, Bishops suggest apologising to Muslim leaders for Iraq war; The Guardian's Stephen Bates, C of E bishops criticise US over foreign policy and war on terror; and The Times' Ruth Gledhill, Bishops want to apologise for Iraq war.)

Bishop Richard Harries' Observer article, How the Church can tackle terrorism is worth checking out, too. He rightly says: "Religion has too often been used to justify illegitimate violence; there is a seed of violence within all religions, including Christianity. There is no way that we in the church can contribute to the public debate without taking this fully into account. At the same time, the churches do have a special mandate from their founder for the work of reconciliation." He goes on to reference the work of Canon Andrew White in the Middle East, and the TRC model.

However, over on Thinking Anglicans, which does a fine job of covering the news bases, Andrew Conway comments: "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 resolution), but I am rather taken with the idea that the Western democracies should apologise for their role in supporting and arming Saddam's monstrous regime." [emphasis added]

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