September 18, 2009

Archbishop urges church to take political stance

by Benjamin Graham

The leader of the Anglican Church in Wales this week urged church members to get more involved in politics.

Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan said it is the responsibility of the church to put morality back into the centre of public debate.

Speaking at the start of a two-day meeting with the governing body of the Church of Wales, the Archbishop said that the credit crunch happened because of market driven policies that put a monetary value on everything, including human life.

According to the Archbishop, the church should have shown moral leadership and spoken out against this view of the world.

“Since the 1960s, moral and ethical debates and passion for great causes have been increasingly frozen out of politics, which has helped to create the divided society we have today,” he said.

“To some extent the church has been complicit in this.”

However, with a “groundswell” of public concern about the “excessive self-interest” of financial institutions, Morgan sees the recession as an ideal opportunity for the church to speak out.

“Despite the undoubted pain it has brought in its wake, the global recession may have helped bring us to a tipping point. Market-driven politics have been discredited,” the Archbishop said.

He blamed “aggressive secularists” and “nervous public officials” for making the church reluctant to have its say on matters of public life.

“The growth of ethnic and religious diversity, political correctness, the rise of atheism, our absorption in our own internal politics as well as the prevailing political atmosphere have all conspired to still our voices.

“Now we need to start lifting them again, raising the consciousness of our congregations and communities, challenging perceptions, looking at the bigger picture and helping to put the difficult moral debates firmly back on the political agenda.”

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