CoE Archbishop Rowan Williams, Marxist agitator, "urges rich to share pain" this Christmas

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Archbishop urges rich to share pain in Christmas sermon

25 December 2010

The Archbishop of Canterbury has used his Christmas sermon to question whether the richest people are bearing their share of the economic downturn.

Dr Rowan Williams' comments amounted to a rebuke to the most prosperous in society, said BBC religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott.

He also suggested Prince William's wedding in 2011 could help restore the popularity of life-long relationships. The service took place at Canterbury Cathedral, in Kent. Meanwhile in a sermon at York Minster, Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu also referred to victims of the economic crisis, including "those who have lost their jobs, savings, pensions [and] homes".

In his service Dr Williams spoke of the importance of mutual dependence, fellowship and loyalty in current economic times, stressing the need to share the burdens of adversity. He said society could only bear hardship "if we are confident that it is being fairly shared."

"We shall have that confidence only if there are signs that everyone is committed to their neighbour, that no-one is just forgotten, that no interest group or pressure group is able to opt out. "That confidence isn't in huge supply at the moment, given the massive crises of trust that have shaken us all in the last couple of years and the lasting sense that the most prosperous have yet to shoulder their load," he added.

Citing Prime Minister David Cameron's "big society" concept, he said everyone had to be ready to meet that challenge, and to restore "mutual trust". "It's no use being cynical about this; whatever we call the enterprise, the challenge is the same - creating confidence by sharing the burden of constructive work together," he said.

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