Friday, September 11, 2009

Door is closing on Church’s foot, says Williams

Church Times-

“THE FOOT is still in the door, even if it is being squashed very painfully,” the Archbishop of Canterbury said last weekend when he was asked about the Church’s participation in public debate. He did not think that the Church had yet “dropped off the radar”.
Dr Williams was in dialogue with Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye and panellist on the BBC’s Have I Got News for You, at an event during “The Gathering”, a series of activities for all ages at Canterbury Cathedral.

Mr Hislop described the difficulty that Dr Williams faced with the media when people called for a moral lead from the Church. “When the Archbishop of Canterbury says anything, they say, ‘Shut up,’” he suggested.

Dr Williams responded that “the leadership thing is a problem.” It was “a matter of trying to remember that when you’re speaking from the Church you’re trying to give some sort of critical perspective to try and show some thing”. The Archbishop admitted that he was “not brilliant at sound-bites”.

There was scepticism towards the media, Dr Williams said, and “people do know there are other places to go” to get information. “When I go to the theatre, I’m glad theatres are full, and there are ways of opening up the world that don’t depend on news.”
The media wanted simple stories, and “the way that news is hand
led is not neutral.” Dr Williams warned that “the consolidation of the media into big business does pose a problem to independence, truth, fullness, and re flection,” a situation that he described as “concerning”.

Mr Hislop said there was a lack of analysis and history in today’s media. Questions were asked, but there was “no time to digest”.

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