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Sentamu bounces back in Sun

by
08 March 2012

by Ed Thornton

NEARLY three-quarters of respondents to a Church Times online poll this week said that the Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, was wrong to praise The Sun newspaper (News, Press, 2 March).

Dr Sentamu wrote a column for the first Sunday edition of The Sun. In response to the question, “Was Dr Sentamu right to praise The Sun?”, 72 per cent answered “No”. About 250 people voted in the poll.

This week, Dr Sentamu wrote another column for The Sun: “Initially, I offered to write in this column only once — but it seems I’m back by popular demand!”

The column, which Dr Sentamu said he was “not paid” to write, spoke of the importance of “self-discipline, prayer, fasting, and doing many deeds of kindness” during Lent. It also called on the Government “to ensure that care in older age is both affordable and compre­hensive”, and paid tribute to the “brave service­men and women overseas, who put their lives on the line on a daily basis”.

On Monday, a prayer by Dr Sentamu for the media, which gives “thanks for those who risk their security and even their lives to expose injustice and to bring news of hope”, was published, as was one by the Revd Richard Coles, a broadcaster and Anglican priest, on the website of the Church and Media Network.

The Network’s director, Andrew Graystone, said: “This call to prayer is part of our res­ponse to the intense discussion of media standards over the past 12 months. The media is under pressure as never before, with financial constraints and many illegal and dubious practices being rightly brought under the spotlight. We certainly do not condone any of these practices.

“Yet, at its best, the media performs a vital role in our society, giving a voice to the voiceless, holding the powerful to account, keeping people informed, and highlighting wrongdoing. As Christians, we want to affirm the vast majority of journalists and others who work in the media who are doing their best to work to high ethical and professional standards, and to pray for them.”

Dr Sentamu also praised the BBC World Service this week, which marks its 80th anniversary this year. He said: “We should not underestimate the role that the World Service plays for those living overseas.”

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