|Archbishop Justin Welby, "a risk-taker and reconciler by nature".- Gurardian/Photo: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA|
From the Guardian, Thursday 21 March 2013 08.00 GMT:
"Justin Welby doesn't do fluffy spirituality – he's the tough leader the church needs
"The new archbishop of Canterbury will not be easily fazed by the burdens thrust upon him. Welby is a decisive man of action.
"Rowan Williams' parting wish, as he bid farewell to Lambeth Palace after a difficult decade, was that his successor might be blessed with "the constitution of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros". Many are wondering how the new archbishop of Canterbury will cope under similar stress. Justin Welby, a risk-taker and reconciler by nature, is gifted with unusual mental toughness, shaped through personal suffering. His background at Eton, Cambridge and Kensington gives the impression of untroubled privilege, but must be set alongside a broken home, an alcoholic father, and the tragic death of his firstborn daughter aged just seven months."
Fast forward to the Telegraph, 11 OCTOBER 2017 • 9:45PM:
"Archbishop of Canterbury opens up about 'black dog' as he reveals he suffers from depressive episodes
"Justin Welby has opened up about suffering with a "black dog" as he reveals for the first time that he has suffered with depressive episodes. The Archbishop of Canterbury revealed that he has only recognised that he experiences the bouts of feeling "hopeless", which have not been formally diagnosed, within the past year.
"Asked in an interview for GQ Magazine whether he had been depressed, he said: "I think if you had asked me a year ago I'd have said no, and ten years ago I'd have said absolutely not. "But what was that phrase Churchill used? 'Black dog'. There is an element of that. I think as I am getting older I am realising it does come from time to time."
In his customary, forthright manner the Rev Dr Peter Mullen says it as he sees it when writing in his 'All Things Considered' blog. He writes, "Welby admits he’s hopeless" before going on to illustrate how the teaching of Scripture concerning sexual relations turns darkness into light, something Dr Mullen assumes Archbishop Welby has not done:
"Difficult as this might be to believe, it seems that the Archbishop of Canterbury has not thought to look at the 3000 years old tradition of Judaeo-Christian ethical teaching to help him settle his mind on the matter of sexual relations."
Depression has been described as a "common mental disorder that causes people to experience depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration". Anyone who suffers from it deserves sympathy and understanding.
Less severe but also debilitating are periods of stress and anxiety, especially when brought on by others. So consider all those poor souls whose religion has been their only solace, taught from an early age to leave their problems at the altar to be borne by Him, "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light". How are they expected to cope when their church has left them?
One would think on that basis that many bishops, particularly in the Church in Wales, would be feeling depressed at the misery they have caused to others. There is no evidence of contrition as they sideline the many while elevating the vocal few who allege injustices despite a church presence which is out of all proportion to their numbers in society (2%). Perhaps the bishops today have problems with numeracy as well as biblical erudition.
Looking wider, according to Pew Center Research, "Five Centuries After Reformation, Catholic-Protestant Divide in Western Europe Has Faded". From their August 31, 2017 Report:
"As Protestants prepare to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that the prevailing view among Catholics and Protestants in Western Europe is that they are more similar religiously than they are different. And across a continent that once saw long and bloody religious wars, both Protestants and Catholics now overwhelmingly express willingness to accept each other as neighbors – and even as family members.
While some Catholics look down their noses at the Ordinariate and over zealous converts dismiss Anglicans who, for many legitimate reasons, have not followed them across the Tiber, there are also new Anglicans who see no problem in defining faith according to their own desires rather than as it has been received.
How ironic, then, that while the average (often lapsed) Catholic and Protestant has come closer together, the new 'liberal' Anglican church is tearing itself apart over the LGBTQI+ ascendancy when they account for just 2% of the population in the United Kingdom leaving many cradle Anglicans excluded because they remain faithful to biblical teaching.
Christianity in the UK is approaching crisis point as illustrated by the headline: An Oxford College has banned the Christian Union from its freshers’ fair on the grounds that it would be “alienating” for students of other religions, and constitute a “micro-aggression”:
"The organiser of Balliol’s fair argued Christianity’s historic use as 'an excuse for homophobia and certain forms of neo-colonialism' meant that students might feel 'unwelcome' in their new college if the Christian Union had a stall. Freddy Potts, vice-president of Balliol’s Junior Common Room (JCR) committee, said that if a representative from the Christian Union (CU) attended the fair, it could cause 'potential harm' to freshers".
While Christians face "worse persecution than at any time in history" according to a new Report, 'progressive' Anglicans are happy to reject other Anglicans who remain faithful to scripture and tradition resulting in an alarming drop in numbers regularly attending church services put at only 1.4 per cent of the entire British population.
If we don't get a grip, Christianity which has formed the basis of Western society will become something for academics to ponder over in secular institutions and madrasas.
According to a 'Christian Today' report, the supermarket chain Lidl has edited out the Christian cross from churches in its Greek food range because it 'does not wish to exclude any religious beliefs'.
I wonder if they are have read about the boy in Mosul who was buried alive because he "steadfastly refused" to throw away the small cross he was wearing around his neck when ordered to do so by "IS terrorists". Read The Last Christians: Priest Describes Horror, Courage of Christians Being Killed for Their Faith
Depressing, isn't it.