It is all very well for bishops to say that poverty in Britain is a disgrace. It certainly is. But perhaps bishops should not live in their palaces and live off their revenues from shares, rents and from private property. Perhaps they should withdraw from the House of Lords where they are unelected and receive up to £300 a day just for attending.
Priests used to take one third of the fruits of the labour of peasant farmers – another third went to local squires of the manor.
Most thinking people today however do not want the Archbishop of Canterbury to be an integral part of the state, to bless the government’s wars and foreign interventions. They do not want Anglicans like the Catholics to refuse to share power with women or condemn homosexuality among consenting adults as an unnatural perversion.
It’s no wonder that Anglicans in their empty churches are called the Tory party at prayer. It’s not surprising that Jesus is called the ‘lamb of God’ from the pulpits only for ageing and dwindling congregations to stop to laugh at the playful antics of gamboling lambs in the fields and then return home to tuck into a lamb roast for Sunday dinner.
Where is the teaching of Jesus Christ on love and forgiveness, on turning the other cheek, on giving up all one’s possessions?
Such is the way of all organized and hierarchical religions who forget the message of their original founders.