Church with flaws trumps caricatures – Archbishop

Posted: April 1, 2013 by Rizwan Riyad in News, world
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Need for a more balanced view of the church: Primate of the Anglican Church Dr Phillip Aspinall.

Need for a more balanced view of the church: Primate of the Anglican Church Dr Phillip Aspinall. 

Churches aren’t perfect and any suggestion they are is a ”poisonous lie”, a senior religious leader says.

The Anglican Primate, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, made the admission during his Easter Sunday address, when he lamented the way the church was often viewed as a caricature of itself or for its failures.

Dr Aspinall told the congregation at St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane there needed to be a more balanced view of the church, with a particular focus on the good it did in the community.

”Religion in general and churches in particular are sometimes seen as out of date, throwbacks to times when people were uneducated, naive, superstitious and gullible enough to fall for a bunch of hocus pocus,” he said. ”Either that or religions and churches are seen as hotbeds of intolerance, fundamentalism and extremism that are a big problem for society because they threaten our peace and security. Mostly these caricatures are far from the truth.”

However, Dr Aspinall conceded the church had its sins, as highlighted by the royal commission into child sexual abuse.

He said the inquiry would bring ”deep shame” to churches.

”[It should not] be forgotten that church communities continue the long-term, painstaking work of rebuilding the community’s trust.”

Dr Aspinall said church practices that condoned or ignored abuse ”had to die” and it was a ”poisonous lie” to suggest the church was perfect. ”But healing and care and reconciliation is gradually happening,” he added.

The Anglican Church donated more than $1.3 million to the Queensland flood appeal in 2011. Anglicans also provided comfort for people in hospital and prison and supported the homeless and those with HIV/AIDS, Dr Aspinall said.


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