Welby backs use of armed force

The Archbishop of Caterbury the Most Reverend Justin Welby
The Archbishop of Caterbury the Most Reverend Justin Welby

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said the war against extremism “must involve the use of armed force”.

Speaking to the General Synod, the meeting of the governing body of the Church of England, Justin Welby said “the events of the last two weeks in Paris have broken our hearts”.

He went on: “Religious extremism is global and faces us with a generational ideological struggle.

“It is a war against extremism and the fundamentalism that prefers to defy God Himself rather than live in holiness with those whom we are called to love.”

Saying “the conflict is generational”, Mr Welby continued: “There will be aspects that must involve the use of armed force in a quasi-policing form. We will differ over what is right and wrong.”

Calling on his bishops to help “overwhelm extremism not by extremes but with hope and love”, the Archbishop said: “If we are a Synod that engages with the world around, that puts our own issues in a broader context, that demonstrates that deeply-held differences in hugely important questions can be held in love through the grace of God, we can acquire the right to speak prophetically, and the courage to act courageously and compassionately in a world of war.”