jQuery Slider

You are here

Welby's India Trip Proves to be Major Miscalculation in Ecclesiastical Diplomacy

Welby's India Trip Proves to be Major Miscalculation in Ecclesiastical Diplomacy
Virtue-signaling while groveling before 100-year-old massacre shrine is mocked
Climate scientists objected to his message on global warming

ABC ignores multi-million-dollar corruption by CSI bishops
Welby fails to draw attention to the open persecution of Christians

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
September 12, 2019

If there is one single reason why Justin Welby should step down as the leader of some 80 million Anglicans, it would be his recent disastrous trip to the subcontinent of India. He dropped the ball by failing miserably to address the real issues that bewail Indian Anglicans, namely vast financial corruption by its bishops and the open persecution of Christians. He virtue-signaled over a 100-year old slaughter of unarmed Indian civilians where Indian Christians played no part in the massacre.

It was a Kafkaesque-like moment. The London Times reported that the Archbishop of Canterbury has expressed his "profound regret and shame" for the massacre of more than 400 unarmed Indian civilians by British Indian army troops a century ago.

"Prostrating himself before a memorial to those shot in the Jallianwala Bagh walled garden in Amritsar, the Most Rev Justin Welby said that the shootings were a crime and a sin.

"The action was ordered in 1919 by General Reginald Dyer in response to demonstrations against the arrest of two leaders, one Hindu and one Muslim. Determined to "punish the Indians", Dyer's troops blocked the narrow entrance to the garden and without warning fired 1,650 rounds into the crowd, aiming at the five exits to prevent anyone from escaping. More than 1,000 people, including women and children, were seriously wounded, with many left to die as a curfew prevented anyone from going to help the injured.

But then the Archbishop said; "I have no status to apologize on behalf of the UK, its government or its history. But I am personally very sorry for this terrible atrocity. It is one of a number of deep stains on British history."

The Archbishop went further, however: "I recognise the sins of my British colonial history, the ideology that has too often subjugated and dehumanised other races and cultures." Christ called on us, he added, "to turn away from sin -- not just repenting old ways but to live in a new way that sought the kingdom of God".

The Bishop of Amritsar who hosted the Archbishop reported a mixed response to the Archbishop's action in India. While many were positive about the Archbishop's action, the people of the Punjab still felt it came short of their continued pressure on the British Government to apologize. There was no response or commentary from the Hindu nationalist party, the BJP.

"The Archbishop stressed that he was acting in a purely personal capacity and was doing it for himself. His words and actions would have been unexceptionable in that capacity. But he was visiting India not as a private citizen but as a religious leader of a worldwide Christian community. He is also a member of the British Parliament. He was dressed in his purple cassock. He gave a statement to the press after his visit. His prostration was captured by waiting cameramen. This raises the question of the identity of a person. Can any person be divorced in their actions from the community of which they are a part? Can a religious leader publicly expressed spiritual activities ever be 'just for oneself', asked Anglican writers Chris Sugden and Indian-born theologian Vinay Samuel?

"So for which community was the Archbishop speaking? The Christian community in India who were his hosts? This could be very dangerous for them. For he has provided photographic evidence of a Christian leader appearing to take some responsibility for the 'massacre'. This will reinforce in those opposed to Christian faith in India the idea that Christians were in some way linked with the perpetrators of the events of that day, and therefore can be justly targeted for their collusion then and now with the former colonial powers," they said.

This puts India's Christians already under siege by India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu Nationalist Party in an even more frightening position.

The Archbishop said he was personally very sorry. Well, who the hell cares what he feels? Were Indian Christians asking for forgiveness through his words and actions? Indian Christians played no part in the massacre. Was he representing the Church of England? They were not involved either. Was he speaking for England? But the British Government at the time took decisive action in stripping Dyer of his command and censuring him.

Have the upper castes of India, who oppressed the 'outcaste' Dalits for centuries, ever said sorry or asked forgiveness? Have the descendants of the Persian ruler who invaded India in 1739, sacked the Mughal capital Delhi massacred, according to the most conservative estimate over 100,000 men, women and children and took tons of jewelry including the Kohinoor diamond ever considered apologizing?

All the archbishop did was virtue-signal on a grand scale, equal only in size to his equally fallacious call for reconciliation among Anglicans irretrievably divided as they are over sexuality issues!

PERSECUTION

But then it got worse. A notable Indian historian Zareer Masani took the ABC to task saying that Welby should stand up for Christians being persecuted by India.

"What such apologies achieve is hard to imagine, especially when even the grandchildren of victims are hard to find. The archbishop lying flat on the ground, as though awaiting martyrdom, made lively images for the Indian media," he opined.

"Justin Welby is an unlikely virtue-signaller, sharing a bloodline with luminaries of the Raj such as Sir Charles Napier, who famously punned "I have sinned" after the conquest of Sind. While maintaining that his trip to India was pastoral, not political, the archbishop lauded India's tolerance of diverse faiths. It did not occur to him how such plaudits might be exploited by India's Hindu chauvinist government of the BJP as it cracks down on the Muslims of Kashmir and suspends their democratic rights with force."

Masani said he tried to put it out on twitter but the archbishop "blocked" him.

"Welby's trip has also managed to stir up criticism from climate scientists, who objected to his message on global warming, and from rival sects of the tiny Anglican Church. Just over 2 per cent of Indians are Christian, the vast majority Roman Catholics. At the very least, one would have expected the head of the Anglican communion to stand up for fellow Christians who have suffered arson and desecration of their churches, attacks on priests and even the rape of nuns. But that would have involved challenging Hindutva, the wave of militant Hinduism that is transforming the tolerant India of Welby's imagination into a land where people are lynched on suspicion of eating beef, which is now forbidden by law."

CORRUPTION

And what of the vast sea of financial corruption that haunts the Church of South and North India? VOL has reported more than 20 stories on this ongoing sea of financial shame with not a word of rebuke from Welby. These same bishops have all gotten invitations to the Lambeth Conference next year in Canterbury, while orthodox Anglicans like Foley Beach and his HOB have been shut out.

"Both churches (CSI & CNI) are central to the life of the Anglican Communion. Both churches are a blessing not only to their own life in their own country, but to the Communion worldwide," Welby said recently. Really! These bishops have ransacked and sold off churches and pocketed millions of dollars with many bishops now facing jail for their grand scale larceny.

How much moral and financial corruption will Welby tolerate before it all comes tumbling down on his head.

Is it any wonder that GAFCON was formed? GAFCON has taken more than 70% of the Anglican Communion from the Lambeth Conference! If they had not done so, the very stones would have cried out.

END

Subscribe
Get a bi-weekly summary of Anglican news from around the world.
comments powered by Disqus
Prayer Book Alliance
Trinity School for Ministry

Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee

Drink Coffee

Do Good

Sustainable Ministry

Coffee, Community, Social Justice

DrinkCoffeeDoGood.com

Go To Top