Justin Portal Welby (born 6 January 1956) is the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury and the most senior bishop in the Church of England. Welby was the vicar of Southam, Warwickshire, and most recently was the Bishop of Durham, serving for just over a year. As Archbishop of Canterbury he is the Primate of All England and the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
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Address to the Catholic Institute of Paris (November 19, 2016)
Transcript (November 19, 2016)
- We need 21st-century answers. And we will find satisfactory answers only if they are grounded in a vision we can all recognise, and one that seeks the common good. It is no use treating God as a means to a 21st-century Europe: to do so is the creation of an idol, not the service of the true God whose revelation in Christ is the foundation of our values. I shall be seeking to argue that Europe's future lies in a process of subsidiarity, re-imagination and inclusion, especially the development of concepts of intermediate communities of many kinds. This is a theological vision, one that allows commonality of vision, but sets strong boundaries to what is acceptable.
- Brexit, the migration crisis, religiously-motivated violence and terrorism, and many other issues - must be to reach for the common good, intermediate institutions (schools, charities, companies, churches, civil society, families above all) and subsidiarity, rather than the barriers of the past. We must eliminate the barriers, tear them down - but not erect others, even more dangerous. You may be sceptical of a British cleric talking about the common good and a shared vision for the next century - and with reason. To view the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union as a raising of the drawbridge from all of our relationships with the European continent is something that none of us can afford. A vision for Europe must go beyond the boundaries of the European Union.
- When we look at the progress made since the end of the Second World War, it is hard to argue that economically, European cooperation has been anything other than a great success. Of course, since 2008, this has not been the whole story. In Southern Europe particularly, talk of economic success would be met with confusion and anger.
- On the one hand we look at the progress since the war and see a huge increase in the material wellbeing in the vast majority of Europeans. But on the other we see policies that are pushing and keeping large sections of entire countries in increasingly desperate circumstances, with no apparent vision for how the circumstance might be overcome.
- The vision for Europe needs to renew its commitment to true subsidiarity. Having structures of economic, political and social relationships that liberate subsidiarity will make accepting complexity more realistic. It seems to me that current debates about what Europe is have fallen into the trap of equating strength and unity with simplicity. As I have just said, the opposite seems to be true. Attempts to explain European structures and identity with a single overarching story have ended in failure because they have not allowed sufficient flexibility for these structures to be lived out below the continental level.