Archbishop Welby under fire over his ‘political’ sermon

Two of the UK’s most influential daily newspapers have sharply rebuked the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rev Justin Welby for his denunciation of a Conservative government scheme to send illegal migrants in Britain to the east African state of Rwanda.
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The Times in London, in a hard-hitting editorial, said Archbishop Welby’s Easter Sunday message went too far in its critique of the government on radical migration policy.

The paper said the archbishop is fully entitled to comment on political matters. “He is an important religious voice in debates on public policy and welfare, but he is not more than that.

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“In declaring that a particular government scheme is ‘unGodly’ and to use his Easter sermon to convey that sentiment to the congregation of Canterbury Cathedral is beyond the archbishop’s reach. Where the archbishop went wrong was not in his theological reflection, but in implying that God favours and disfavours particular policies.”

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

The Times said the archbishop has earned public respect by his ability to convey the essence of discipleship, but he should not squander it by preaching politics from the pulpit.

The Daily Mail, meanwhile, in an editorial, said Justin Welby was entitled to his opinion but asked: “Was it wise to risk alienating conscientious Anglicans on an Easter Sunday by attacking a policy which national polls indicate are popular?”

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