Monday, December 26, 2011

Anglican leader: Britain risks tearing itself apart

From London-

Riots and bankers' greed have sent Britain's communities "spinning apart in the dark" this year, the head of the Church of England will say in his Christmas Day sermon, warning against building a society on foundations of selfishness and fear.

Rioting and looting erupted across England this summer, leaving some towns ransacked and divided, while public anger against irresponsible behaviour and big bonuses in the banking sector has remained strong throughout the financial crisis.

"The most pressing question we now face, we might well say, is who and where we are as a society. Bonds have been broken, trust abused and lost," Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams (picture) will say at Canterbury Cathedral in southeast England on Sunday, according to extracts released in advance by his office.

"Whether it is an urban rioter mindlessly burning down a small shop that serves his community, or a speculator turning his back on the question of who bears the ultimate cost for his acquisitive adventures in the virtual reality of today's financial world, the picture is of atoms spinning apart in the dark."

Williams, the spiritual leader for 77 million Anglicans around the world, told the Conservative-led coalition government earlier in December to consider the social impact of its austerity drive, particularly in cuts to youth services. He warned that Britain could face more riots unless communities and the authorities did more to reach out to disenfranchised young people.

Williams, no stranger to courting controversy with his remarks about politics, fairness in society and morality in global affairs, has also previously said the wealthy are not bearing their fair share of spending cuts.

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