THE Bishop of Doncaster, the Rt Revd Peter Burrows, has said
that he felt a "palpable sense of fear" on his trip to Argentina
He learned how people were afraid when travelling on public
transport, and that the Bishop of Argentina, the Most Revd Greg
Venables, had been mugged at knife-point in a taxi. A pastor from
an Evangelical church in an urban area of Buenos Aires, who said
that he had been shot, left Bishop Burrows "impressed by his
commitment and faith".
Argentina is linked with the diocese of Sheffield. Bishop
Burrows last visited the country shortly after the economic crisis
of 1991-2002, and, writing on his blog, he said that the current
government was "edging towards a crisis".
Inflation was running at almost 11 per cent and there had been
rioting in the streets of Buenos Aires. "Few people supported the
President," he wrote, "and many were critical of the government's
policies. Corruption appears endemic within political circles, and
there is little trust of politicians."
He noted, however, that, although there were "many deep and
searching questions to ask", there was a sense of "hope for the
future, and a sense of God's presence". The country was "90 per
cent Roman Catholic" and the other Churches that had grown
"significantly" were the Pentecostal, Free, and Evangelical
The Anglican Church had only six paid clergy, and was
"struggling financially", yet it was "rich in opportunities and
commitment to the gospel and God's mission".
Bishop Burrows's address to the Anglican Synod tackled "how the
Church can witness in a pluralist society", a timely topic for a
church "focused on how to engage with society which is both
conservative and avant-garde".
On Friday, Bishop Burrows said that the Argentinians whom he had
met expressed "huge pride and joy" in the election of Pope Francis.
"He is clearly seen by many to be a real person of holiness, but
also a person prepared to take on the government and other
officials on the questions of poverty and health and security.