David Cameron hails ‘exciting time’ for Christians in Easter message
David Cameron has hailed an “incredibly exciting time for the Christian faith” in an Easter message.
By Patrick Hennessy – 10:49PM GMT 30 Mar 2013
Downing Street released the message in the wake of an attack by Lord Carey, the former archbishop of Canterbury, who accused Mr Cameron of failing to protect Christians’ freedoms.
After the row over plans to legalise same-sex marriage, Lord Carey accused ministers of “aiding and abetting” discrimination against Christians, many of whom now felt they were part of a “persecuted minority” in Britain.
He saluted the government’s achievement of spending 0.7 per cent of Britain’s national income on overseas aid, meeting an international commitment.
His Easter message, which No 10 insisted had been prepared before Lord Carey’s intervention, continued: “In the Bible, Saint Peter reminds us of the hope that comes from new birth through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As Christians, it also reminds us of Jesus’s legacy of generosity, tolerance, mercy, and forgiveness.
“That legacy lives on in so many Christian charities and churches both at home and abroad. Whether they are meeting the needs of the poor, helping people in trouble, or providing spiritual guidance and support to those in need, faith institutions perform an incredible role to the benefit of our society.
“As long as I am Prime Minister, they will have the support of this Government.
“With that in mind, I am particularly proud to lead a Government that has kept its promise to invest 0.7 per cent of our gross national income on helping the world’s poorest, and I am grateful that we have been able to partner with both Christian and non-Christian charities to relieve suffering overseas.”
Contrary to the recent statement by an ex Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, that the government is making life hard for Christians in Britain; the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, would seem to be embracing the place of the Christian Churches in their care for the poor and disadvantaged of Britain (which many see as the real task of the Church).
Lord Carey has made many statements recently accusing the British Government of marginalising the Church in the way it has promoted the understanding of relationships between LGBT people as being ‘normal’ and acceptable in British society – a situation which Lord Carey, when he was Archbishop of Canterbury, did his best to subvert.
Sadly, for those same-sex persons who have hailed the Government’s determination to open up the situation of legal marriage for them – on the same basis as for heterosexual couples – the Church of England seems still be be equivocal about the propriety of such a move, even though; now threatened with the prospect of same-sex marriage, the hierarchy of the Church are seemingly in favour of Civil Partnerships for Gays, while stopping short of endorsing same-sex marriage. Also, in another interesting move, the House of Bishops has recently opened up the way for Gay clergy to be elected Bishops in the Church of England, provided they make a vow of celibacy.
Unfortunately, Lord Carey’s protests do little to improve the credibility of the Church in the present political climate where most Church members believe that homosexuality is a ‘given’ state of being for a minority of the population of the world, and that the Church needs to deal with that reality more charitably than it seems to be doing at present.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand