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Archbishops of Canterbury urge caution on Syria intervention

Archbishops of Canterbury urge caution on Syria intervention

Both Archbishop Justin Welby and former Archbishop George Carey are warning of the consequence of military action in Syria.

From John Bingham’s article in The Telegraph on Welby:

The Most Rev Justin Welby insisted that MPs must ask themselves whether they are “sure” about the facts on the ground before acting amid a “really delicate and dangerous situation”.

Archbishop Welby, who spent several years promoting reconciliation in war zones in Africa and the Middle East, insisted that there were “numerous intermediate steps” between doing nothing and full regime change in Syria which could be considered.

But speaking to The Daily Telegraph, he acknowledged that there was no “good answer” to the crisis in Syria and that a simple solution “just doesn’t exist”.

Speaking from his own experience after touring the Middle East to meet Christian and Muslim leaders recently, he spoke of a mood of mounting fear which was “beyond description and horrible”.

Bingham also reported in a later article that former Archbishop Carey believes military action in Syria would spark Middle East war:

(Lord Carey said) “I am not in favour of the UK entering into this conflict.

“I share the PM’s sense of moral outrage at a government using chemical weapons against its own, or any other people.

“But intervention will only drag us into a war that could engulf the entire Middle East.”

Also quoted is the Twitter post of the Dean of Westminster Abbey, the Very Rev Dr John Hall:

“At the time I thought we were right to go into Iraq – wrong. Now I am clear that a western strike on Syria would be disastrous. Am I wrong?”


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The farther we roll along on the way to an attack on Syria,the more troubling is our own Church’s official silence on the matter.

Bill Dilworth

Gregory Orloff

You’re not alone in wondering about that incongruity, Bill. I’ve been scratching my head over it too — and for that reason was very happy when Archbishop Desmond Tutu spoke out about the moral dilemma of drone attacks, bringing the question out in the open (though it seemed ignored or ridiculed in America).


I’m just unclear as to why it’s okay to shoot, bomb, drone, napalm, and even nuke (on occasion), but chemical weapons are a crime against humanity that rouses our moral outrage and demands action.

Bill Dilworth

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