Right of Reply Dr Michael Nazir-Ali ; the Bishop of Rochester Responds to an Article by Terence Blacker, Who Said That the Church of England No Longer Engages in Meaningful Public Debate
Nazir-Ali, Dr Michael, The Independent (London, England)
TERENCE BLACKER claims that the voice of the Church of England is hardly heard in public debate these days ("Why the ethical atheists shall inherit the earth," 1 August).
One of the reasons for this, surely, is that the media is increasingly reluctant to report the Church's stance on a whole range of issues. Mr Blacker tells us that Robert Runcie's attitude to the Falklands conflict was one act of "mild rebellion" in a supremely cautious man. Has he forgotten that it was Mr Runcie who commissioned the Faith in the City report that first highlighted the plight of Britain's inner cities in the 1980s?
Throughout the Thatcher era, the opposition parties were so emasculated that the Church often became the unofficial opposition. Its voice was credible because there were clergy on the ground in local communities who understood what was happening. The present Government does listen to the Church, even though it may not agree with them. …