Support the Café

Search our Site

On racist threats to Archbishop of York

On racist threats to Archbishop of York

At the end of last month, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, the second-ranking cleric in the Church of England, told The Telegraph marriage should strictly be a male-and-female thing. Criticism of the archbishop rang around the Internet.

Now, though, we know from Sentamu’s publiclicst that

A large quantity of correspondence was received in response to the archbishop’s interview with the Daily Telegraph, which touched on a wide range of issues.

Among many positive emails that he has received, there have been a small number of abusive and threatening emails of a racist nature which North Yorkshire police are investigating as hate crimes.

Particularly disheartening in light of how Sentamu expressed views on racism during the same series of interviews.

When I was a vicar there was a lady who didn’t want me to take her husband’s funeral because I was black. I took one funeral and at the end a man said to me, “Why did my father deserve to be buried by a black monkey?” We received letters with excrement in.

I used to chair the committee for minority ethnic Anglican concerns, and we seemed to be making some progress but that now seems to be going backwards. Where we have lost out is black people who had been realised Anglicans, who are now joining Pentecostal churches. That’s a huge drain.

Changing Attitude has condemned these communications:

Those who have sent abusive and threatening emails to the Archbishop are not modeling the teaching and pattern of Jesus Christ, who embodied the infinite, intimate, gracious love of God. We have been victims of homophobic abuse and know what it can feel like to be on the receiving end of abuse and threats. We pray for Dr Sentamu, his wife, and the staff at Bishopthorpe. No-one should be subjected to hate mail.

We at the Café join our voices to condemn actions that subject anyone, cleric or otherwise, to threats of physical violence, or that engage in unproductive discrimination. Whatever places the Body of Christ in peril should be prayerfully addressed.

Needless to say – but I’ll say it anyway – this is a moment in the life of the Anglican Communion in which “cooler heads” are so desperately needed. Whatever gets us away from that can’t possibly help.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Hanging out at (predominantly) LGBT discussion sites, if someone voices a racist opinion, they are IMMEDIATELY smacked down. No If, Ands, or Buts. As they should be. As these…dipsticks sending racist emails to Sentamu should be. Categorically.

Speed the day when homophobic sentiments are ALSO as immediately, UNIVERSALLY condemned.

JC Fisher

Matthew Buterbaugh+

While I disagree with his statements, racist threats are completely unacceptable and deplorable. He certainly needs our prayers.

For some reason, this makes me think of Dr. King’s quote: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café