August 12, 2011

Church leaders condemn riots

by Jan Harris

The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the Bishop of London Richard Chartres and the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, have all spoken out against the riots that swept across England this week.

Dr Williams criticised the education system for failing to teach good citizenship in schools.

“Are we prepared to think not only about discipline in classrooms, but also about the content and ethos of our educational institutions – asking can we once again build a society which takes seriously the task of educating citizens, not consumers, not cogs in an economic system, but citizens,” he said.

Dr Sentamu spoke out over the breakdown of family and community, and the creation of a “selfish underclass that has little respect for hard work and decency”.

“In many ways, we have made a god of self and self-interest,” he said.

“We have created an individualistic, disposable society, with weakened family and community structures, where the interests of me, myself and I have become paramount.”

The Rt Rev Chartres also said that family breakdown was at the root of the disorder, together with a lack of positive role models

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