ARCHBISHOP OF YORK RESPONDS NEGATIVELY TO VOL STORY
VOL Responds to Archbishop
By David W. Virtue
The media office of the Archbishop of York has responded to VOL's story "The Troubling Orthodoxy of John Sentamu." The following is the unedited, unexpurgated letter to VOL.
[quote]Dear, O Dear.
Where to begin with all the factual errors in this article?
I list the first five, the fifth of which is a corker. That's even before we get on to really basic facts like his father being a headmaster and not a priest, but let's stick with these five for now.
1. "A photograph in the Church Times of Archbishop Sentamu prostrating himself before a Sikh shrine in Leicester".
Nonsense. The photograph showed him sitting on the floor. There are no chairs - where else is he supposed to sit? He did not have his head bowed, nor was he prostrate on the floor. He was simply sat with his legs tucked under him.
2. The Archbishop of York is, as it is well documented, is a Ugandan by birth, a British trained barrister.
Wrong! The Archbishop of York trained and practiced as a Barrister in Uganda. He came to Britain in his late twenties having practiced as a lawyer in Uganda and been called to the bench.
3. In his first address he said the Church of England was institutionally racist and got a postbag of hate mail from an irate public, known more for its tolerance.
Wrong again! His first address as Archbishop of York mentioned no such thing. He spoke about racism whilst Bishop of Birmingham, and even then this was by no means his first interview or address.
4. In his first set-piece interview as archbishop last week...
Wrong yet again ! His first 'set piece' interview was 11 months ago. Since then he has given over a dozen newspaper and television interviews.
5. "For the first time in human history Europe has suggested that it is possible to live without the concept of God," he said. "Muslims find that hard to understand. Islam may be posing questions we need to hear, and sometimes it is us who need to understand those asking the questions."
Despite his importance in the Church of England, the archbishop declared he is happy for Muslims to attend Anglican schools. More controversially he said it was acceptable for pupils to be educated in Muslim schools even where the intake is predominantly Christian.
His remarks infuriated Christians and secularists alike. When asked if he is troubled that Muslim schools might not treat girls equally, he replied: "Muslim schools I know of are very well run. They invite me to talk about God because under the national curriculum religious education classes must include the teaching of comparative religion. So you have fantastic dialogue. In the long run I want to say to people, 'Could we be slightly more relaxed?' "
Three whole paragraphs of utter nonsense. The Archbishop did not say any of those things during his interview with the Daily Mail. Not one. Where is your source for the fact that he said this last week ?
This piece is a joke. It has a factual error in almost every other sentence.
If you had any integrity whatsoever you would take it off your site and re-write it in entire and re-post having done some actual research rather than (incorrectly) cutting and pasting.
I trust from your own comments that you do have integrity. As such I hope to see this piece removed and re-written so as to maintain even the slightest semblance of credibility for your site.
Arun Arora Media Office Archbishop of York
First of all the observations you make about my story do not touch the very heart of the story. You deal only with superficialities.
But let us deal with them first.
1. Your "prostration" before the Sikh shrine. The various orthodox Anglican Blogs and websites where this photo appeared made no mention that you might have been squatting. In fact one Anglican Mainstream Blog (from which I drew my comment) used the word "prostrate". Why was this not repudiated by you months before my story appeared.
2. You write:
[quote]"Wrong! The Archbishop of York trained and practiced as a Barrister in Uganda. He came to Britain in his late twenties having practiced as a lawyer in Uganda and been called to the bench."[/quote]
On this point I stand corrected. The information was obtained from a British broadsheet. We were both wrong. My apologies.
[quote]3. In his first address he said the Church of England was institutionally racist and got a postbag of hate mail from an irate public, known more for its tolerance.
Wrong again! His first address as Archbishop of York mentioned no such thing. He spoke about racism whilst Bishop of Birmingham, and even then this was by no means his first interview or address.[/quote]
VOL response: In an article on "The Social Affairs Unit' Blog, Peter Mullen in an article Lies and Paranoia in Bishopthorpe Palace: The Archbishop's Press Officer and "Institutional Racism" the rector of St Michael's, Cornhill & Chaplain to the Stock Exchange, describes his recent dealings with Archdeacon John Barton, the Archbishop of York's Media Officer.
"There is something rotten in Bishopthorpe Palace. Last December I wrote a newspaper column to welcome Dr John Sentamu as new Archbishop of York. I sympathised with him because, as I said, the media will never let him escape the cliché "first black Archbishop". But I also urged Dr Sentamu not to complain so incessantly that the Church of England is "institutionally racist". I said it appeared the Archbishop was obsessed with the colour of priests' and bishops' skins. Mullen then takes a lot of heat from the archbishop but then discloses this. In fact, this is what Dr Sentamu says in his Foreword: "Kinds of institutional racism are in society and so inevitably to some degree found in the churches, both in the Church of England and other churches."
So I stand by my use of the term "institutional racism."
4. "First set piece." This is an issue of who said what when. The timing of when you said something is irrelevant to WHAT you said. This point misses the point.
5. Muslims, schools and God. What you said by way of response to the Daily Mail appeared in the Sunday Times and can be viewed at this link: l It is found in your comments about the "Postbag of hate for a Black Archbishop."
SO LET ME RESPOND TO WHAT YOU FAILED TO RESPOND TO IN MY ARTICLE.
There was no mention in your reply to the point I have pressed, that (as far as I am aware) that you as Archbishop has ever been associated with evangelicalism, that no evangelicals would recognize you in any sense as a leader from within the evangelical community, and that you have never identified yourself as an evangelical and that no evangelical leader of stature has shared a platform with you.
Furthermore you have never published with an evangelical publisher, spoken at an evangelical conference, preached in any of the larger evangelical churches, joined any of the evangelical networks, supported any evangelical cause (where were you in the latest furor over Christian Unions on campus) etc...
I hate to say it, but I think some people were duped by the fact that you came from Uganda and assumed therefore that you were standard global south orthodox.
Your name has never been dropped to me by any of the 22 orthodox Anglican Primates of the Anglican Communion as an Archbishop they could trust to speak for them, most of whom I know personally.
Your name was not spoken of when Global South archbishops met in Kigali recently and a new structure was spoken of for North American orthodox parishes under siege by revisionist bishops, bishops that you pandered too at General Convention led by Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold.
Furthermore, as one who proclaims his orthodoxy why did you not come down hard on Griswold and his fellow revisionist bishops when you were at GC2006 rather than look the other way or say nice things about us all staying together, when that was clearly untrue. Why did you not support Rochester Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali who declared that General Convention saw two very different religions at work, irreconcilable and irresolvable living in opposition to one another, in fact working against each other.
You lost a golden moment to stand up for the truth archbishop. You failed. You went along with the whole $9 million charade because you are not an Evangelical, but a broad church centrist, the type of archbishop that is neither hot nor cold, and we know what Scripture says about such persons.
I and millions of Evangelicals looked to you Archbishop. In fact Dr. Peter Moore, the former president of the only Evangelical Episcopal school for Ministry in The Episcopal Church wrote an article saying what a great idea it would be if you in your position could galvanize and rally the Global South and other evangelical Anglicans to come under your authority and the liberals came under Archbishop Williams. Sadly that will never happen.
As the Anglican Communion slowly comes unglued and fragments, and it is surely doing that, regrettably you will not be the person we as Evangelicals or Anglo-Catholics can turn too for help and support against the lesbigay agenda that is sweeping the Western Church. That, apparently, will never happen.
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