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Don't let suffering 'slip from our minds', Archbishop urges

The Archbishop of Canterbury has urged people not to let the Ebola crisis or war in areas such as South Sudan "slip from our minds" in his New Year message.

The Most Rev Justin Welby, who was diagnosed with pneumonia after being forced to pull out of his Christmas Day sermon at Canterbury Cathedral, issued the message from the National Memorial Arboretum.

Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

He praised the "extraordinary dedication" of the British military in Sierra Leone, one of the three west African countries worst affected by the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

He also spoke of his "unspeakable gratitude" to servicemen and women following the end of the war in Afghanistan.


Archbishop seeks to 'bridge' gay marriage split

Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said he is trying to bridge the split within the Anglican church over the issue of same-sex marriage.

Expanding on comments he made earlier this month, the Most Rev Justin Welby told BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs that he was determined to try to listen to both sides. And he admitted he has "moments" of frustration about the issue.

In human terms it looks impossible and many people say that we shouldn't be bothering to try.

The reality is that when I listen to people I know that I'm listening to people for whom not just the issue of sexuality but the whole way in which the Church lives and exists and reaches out to people, what it looks like to be a holy church, is something on which they feel passionately and are deeply, deeply, deeply disagreeing.

And if you love them you listen carefully, and in obedience to the work of the spirit of Christ, we have to seek to love one another.

– Justin Welby

Archbishop: UK doors should be open to Iraq refugees

Britain's doors should be open to refugees fleeing "terrible suffering" in Iraq, the Archbishop of Canterbury has urged.

The Archbishop of Canterbury said Britain's doors should be open to Iraqi refugees. Credit: PA

Justin Welby, who is currently in Papua New Guinea, said Christians and other religious minorities who have been displaced by advancing Islamic militants should be helped to find safety.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been forced to flee their homes after the Islamic State group issued an ultimatum to convert to Islam, pay a religious fine or face death.

The Archbishop said: "It is extremely important that aid efforts are supported and that those who have been displaced are able to find safety.

"I believe that, like France, the United Kingdom's doors should be open to refugees, as they have been throughout history."

Assisted dying is 'compatible with Christianity'

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has said assisted dying is "compatible with the Christian faith."

Lord Carey is backing the assisted dying bill after a dramatic U-turn. Credit: PA

He told peers in the House of Lords: "For those who chide me, and they have, that my arguments and my change of heart is light on theological backing, let me tell you what theology is.

"It is about accompanying those very sick and very dying to that place where they feel most abandoned. If that is not theology of the best and purest kind, I really don't know what is."

Legalising assisted dying 'mistaken and dangerous'

Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby. Credit: PA

The current Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, has said the Bill to be debated in the House of Lord legalising assisted dying would be 'mistaken and dangerous.'

His comments came after his predecessor Lord Carey changed his long-standing views on the subject and spoke out in support of it.

Writing in the Times, Archbishop Welby said he understood how seeing a loved one suffer prompted the desire to "do almost anything" to alleviate their suffering.

He cited the agony he suffered seeing his own seven-month-old daughter Johanna, who was fatally injured in a car crash in France, die in 1983.

But he warned that the "deep personal demands" of one situation should not blind people to the needs of others, including more than a half a million elderly people who are estimated to be abused every year in the UK.

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