The Archbishop of Canterbury Speaks to Need for Dialogue, Faithfulness

February 24, 2006

Source: Church Times

On February 24, 2006 the Church Times reported, "Christians were not called to win competitions or arguments in favour of their 'product' in some religious marketplace, the Archbishop of Canterbury told the WCC Assembly in his opening address. Speaking on 'Religious Identity and Religious', Dr Williams reflected on what was essential to Christian identity. The claim of Christian belief was not that first and foremost it offered 'the only accurate system of thought, as against all competitors', he suggested... Dr Williams went on to say that to work patiently alongside people of other faiths was not 'an option invented by modern liberals seeking to relativise the radical singleness of Jesus Christ and what was made possible through him. It is a necessary part of being where he is.' He urged Churches and the whole of the assembly to keep constantly in focus the sufferings of Christian minorities. He commended the courage of Christians working alongside non-Christian neighbours in Egypt, Pakistan, the Balkans, and Iraq. 'This is not the climate of "dialogue" as happens in the West or in the comfortable setting of international conferences; it is the painful making and remaking of trust in a deeply unsafe and complex environment. Here we see what it is to model a new humanity,' he said."