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Quotes of the week

17 June 2022


Whether or not the first deportation flight leaves Britain today for Rwanda, this policy should shame us as a nation. . . We cannot offer asylum to everyone, but we must not outsource our ethical responsibilities, or discard international law — which protects the right to claim asylum. Deportations — and the potential forced return of asylum-seekers to their home countries — are not the way. This immoral policy shames Britain

Archbishops and bishops in the House of Lords, letter, The Times, 14 June


I just don’t follow the logic that inflicting further cruelty on profoundly disadvantaged people will deter the traffickers who exploit them. This is quite obviously wrong, immoral and ineffective. From my point of view it’s all very basic Christian teaching

James Walters, director of LSE Faith Centre, Twitter, 14 June


It is only by facing this painful reality that we can take steps towards genuine healing and reconciliation — the path that Jesus Christ calls us to walk. This is a moment for lament, repentance, and restorative action

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, apology that accompanied an acknowledgement of links between Queen Anne’s Bounty and the slave trade, 14 June


We are not there yet on the journey towards the light. We name the reality, the darkness that happened at Grenfell. Yet we also declare hope . . . that the God who has planted the desire for justice in our hearts stands with us as we seek goodness

Graham Tomlin, Bishop of Kensington, address at memorial service to mark the fifth anniversary of the Grenfell Tower disaster, 14 June


I didn’t come to this diocese with a clear vision to lay before you, or a strategy to get us there. Indeed, as a rule I’m not so comfortable with that kind of language which is currently widely deployed in the Church. It risks, it seems to me, putting too much emphasis on our human powers — that if only we try hard enough and pull together well enough and all follow the same programme, then we can solve the problems and challenges and ensure the future survival of the Church. . . The language of vision and strategy risks . . . missing the blessings in that which is small and vulnerable and marginal, the unexpected, the surprising

Guli Francis-Dehqani, Bishop of Chelmsford, diocesan synod address, 11 June


My heart was completely in it. In the same way I was a true believer in Jesus and how the love of God could save your soul when I was 14, now I was sold on rock’n’roll

Pete Doherty, former Libertines front man, from his memoir A Likely Lad, quoted in The Guardian, 11 June


His life in France is pretty quiet. “I try to just keep my feet up and walk the dogs. Read. Find a good gaff. Talk to people. Go to church sometimes.” Really? “Yeah. Katia doesn’t come. But it’s nice”

Pete Doherty, interview with Hadley Freeman, The Guardian, 11 June


Confession comes before forgiveness. “Father, forgive them” is a prayer request, not a pronouncement of absolution. That God’s forgiveness is always available, even for the most heinous crimes, gives us sinners hope but requires our response to become effective. . . Forgiveness presupposes a contrite heart, and should be followed with the command to “Go, and sin no more”

Kip Bennett, Letters, The Guardian, 10 June

As an occasional teacher of religious education in a Kent secondary modern school, I’ve long remembered a textbook definition of forgiveness as “taking the offence, throwing it into the deepest ocean and putting up a ‘no fishing’ sign”

Brian Thomas, Letters, The Guardian, 10 June


We invite readers’ contributions. Quotations have to be from the past few days (or quoted therein), and we need author, source, and date. Please send promptly to: quotes@churchtimes.co.uk


Sun 03 Jul @ 23:00
"If bishops are now to be distanced from the disciplinary process for clergy, surely it is also time for the same p… https://t.co/Kek0hANQi1

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