Leader: The United States and the EU have
responded with threats of sanctions; but these threats may well
prove hollow: it appears that such sanctions will hit the West at
least as hard as they hit Russia.
Leader: By deliberately choosing a wide
range of authors for this last instalment of our health check, we
present readers with a similarly large range of visions.
Leader: THE release of the Bishops' Pastoral
Guidance on Same-Sex Marriage missed St Valentine's Day by one
minute, but it was a near thing, and perhaps not the best end to a
week in which the C of E attempted to demonstrate that, despite
differences, it had a working knowledge of what unity demanded.
Leader: The degradation of the world's
forests and the irresponsible use of fossil fuels are clear causes
of the chaotic weather that, having brought mayhem to the more
vulnerable regions of the world, now brings hardship to the
Leader: AS A rule of thumb, we would like the
Archbishop of Canterbury to be right. This is not the case with his
turn-of-the year sound-bite correlating church growth with good
Leader: IT IS not all about the numbers, of
course. In our new series on the health of the Church of England,
we begin by looking at trends in attendance. Official C of E
figures suggest an overall decline of nine per cent in the past
decade. We are not in the business of public relations: this is a
sign of a body in poor health.
Leader: The problem is that nobody really
knows what Christian Unity (the phrase seems to require upper-case
letters) looks like.
Leader: Over four days in early June 1984,
Indian government forces stormed the Golden Temple. The death toll
is disputed, but thousands were killed. It was a dark episode
in India's history, and the involvement of the British Government
is acutely embarrassing
Leader: Expectations must be high. The work is
the Lord's work. It has been said that they can be unrealistic: a
parish advertises for a new incumbent, and someone suggests that it
is asking for an archangel. But it is far more dangerous to set
expectations too low.
Leader: Factual trivia are the stuff of
Christmas and end-of-year quizzes, which celebrate the human
capacity to remember unconnected bits of information. There is more
at play than that, however. The popularity of such quizzes reflects
the human capacity for wonder.
Leader: WE WISH our readers a merry Christmas
and a happy New Year. To review the past 12 months is chastening:
the troubles of the Middle East and the plight of its Christians
stand out, as does the terrible impact of natural disasters in the
Philippines, India, and Australia.