Anglican bishops question morality of UK government policies

 Five Anglican bishops today (28 December 2008) called into question the morality of UK government policies. The bishops of Durham, Carlisle, Hulme, Manchester and Winchester, told the Sunday Telegraph the UK was beset by family breakdown, debt and poverty.

The Bishop of Manchester the Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch said Labour was "beguiled by money" and "morally corrupt". The Bishop of Durham the Rt Rev Tom Wright accused ministers of making promises that had later "vanished into thin air".

"We have not seen a raising of aspirations in the last 13 years, but instead there is a sense of hopelessness. While the rich have got richer, the poor have got poorer," he said.

In a separate interview with the paper, Bishop McCulloch echoed those criticisms, just days after he used his Christmas Day sermon to warn that society was facing an inevitable come-uppance for its "buy now, pay later" culture.

The Rt Rev Stephen Lowe, the Church's Bishop for Urban Life and Faith, said he feared Britain would simply return to a "financial system based on indebtedness" after the current crisis. "The government isn't telling people who are already deep in debt to stop overextending themselves, but instead is urging us to spend more. That is morally suspect and morally feeble. It is unfair and irresponsible of the government to put pressure on the public to spend in order to revive the economy."

Bishop Lowe, who is bishop of Hulme within the diocese of Manchester, later told the BBC he wanted to see an end to "the notion of greed, of getting something you want immediately using the credit card".

The Bishops of Carlisle and Winchester said ministers had squandered their opportunity to transform society. The Rt Rev Graham Dow, the Bishop of Carlisle, said: "I agree with the Conservatives that the breakdown of the family is a crucial element in the difficulties of our present society. The government hasn't given sufficient support to that because it is scared of losing votes."

Last week, the Archbishop of Canterbury also launched a public attack on the government. Dr Rowan Williams said Gordon Brown's plans to spend more in order to tackle the recession were like an "addict returning to the drug", and suggested the economy had been going in the wrong direction for decades.

Source: BBC/Telegraph

Share this story