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LAMBETH: Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks Advises Anglicans on Divisions

LAMBETH: Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks Advises Anglicans on Divisions

By Hans Zeiger in Canterbury
July 29, 2008

CANTERBURY-Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, gave a stirring address to Anglican bishops gathered under the Big Top tent at the decennial Lambeth Conference Monday evening. He said that Anglicans must come together despite their differences.

Speaking in his main remarks about covenants between God and the people, Rabbi Sir Jonathan discussed the divisions in the Anglican Communion during the question and answer period. "It is the hardest thing in the world to hold the adherents of a faith together," he said. "The Anglican Communion has held together quite different strands of Christian theology and practice better than any other religion I know, certainly than any other Western religion I know."

He called on Anglicans to be as tolerant of one another, as he had known them to be when he was a student in Anglican schools. "Covenant is predicated on difference," he said. "Between God and humanity-that is the covenant of ultimate difference."

Beyond the call to unity in the Anglican Communion, Rabbi Sir Jonathan said that Anglicans can help to unite people across religions. He said that Anglicans can help "to hold us together in a world that is drawing us apart."

In his main remarks, Rabbi Sir Jonathan said that societies without faith disintegrate. "Relationships break down. Marriage grows weak. Families become fragile. Communities atrophy. And the result is that people feel vulnerable and alone."

"That is where we are."


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