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A Cross to Bear ?

July 27, 2020

MIxed messages from the Archbishop, the Most Rev Justin Welby, who said that statues of Canterbury Cathedral are going to be looked at "very carefully" - including the overriding image of Christ as white, rather than Middle Eastern - to see if they should be there and suggested "some will have to come down". Pressed on whether he was saying statues will be taken down in the cathedral, Mr Welby said: "No, I didn't say that. I very carefully didn't say that."

All of which leaves us wondering exactly what he means? Such decisions must indeed be a cross to bear, with the weight of patriarchal history pressing on his shoulders.

On the recent calls for statue removals in the UK, the archbishop said people should forgive the “trespasses” of people immortalised in the form of statues, rather than tearing them down. And whilst forgiveness is a laudable aim, perhaps the simple conclusion is that if a figure is set up on a plinth then we are being asked to admire that person, to "look up to" that person and thier values, in which case those who are set up on plinths should not embody hateful and criminal activities.