Anglican church apologises for remarks harmful to Jews

February 16, 2015 by Keren Cook
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The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has issued an apology for ‘hurtful’ remarks made by a bishop in Christchurch, which offended both Jews and Muslims.

Bishop John Gray

Bishop John Gray

Three Anglican Bishops, Archbishop Brown Turei, Archbishop Philip Richardson and Archbishop Winston Halapua have apologised and issued a statement.

“We as leaders do not share or support the views that Bishop John has expressed, and his comments do not represent the Anglican Church’s view on these matters,” they say.

The Bishop of Te Wai Pounamu, Rt Rev John Gray – is the South Island’s first Maori bishop – invited representatives from the interfaith community to the diocese’s annual ministry school.

During the session entitled “Hard Talk” the bishop told a Jewish speaker that the Holocaust “should have taught you a lesson”.

Bishop Gray also held two Muslim guests personally responsible for the murders inflicted by Islamic State and Al Qaeda, asking they were doing about it, and questioning why their Muslim faith did not accept the Trinity.

The local Sunday Star Times quotes representatives of the Jewish and Muslim communities as finding Bishop Gray’s comments offensive, but welcomed the apology.

President of the New Zealand Jewish Council Stephen Goodman says, “It is important for all religions to accept that we have a valid place in society.

“Entering into interfaith discussions should promote tolerance and understanding. This needs to take place in an environment of openness where there is no overtones of inferiority, discrimination, trivialisation or ridicule”.

Anglican Church leaders are currently addressing the matter and Bishop Gray was not available for comment due to being away on official business.

Goodman says: “We appreciate the prompt and sincere way the Anglican Church has dealt with this issue and fully accept their apology”.


4 Responses to “Anglican church apologises for remarks harmful to Jews”
  1. Bishop J. David McGuire, DD says:

    Bishop John’s remarks were totally inappropriate and I hope he comes to the realization that the history of the Jews is the history of the civilized world. I pray for the prosperity and liberty of Israel and know that the only lesson to be learned by anyone from the Holocaust is that “Evil triumphs when good men do nothing!” Another lesson that everyone must learn to help prevent history from repeating itself is to NEVER give up your weapons to a dictator whether his name is Adolf or Hussein!

  2. Cody Flecker says:

    We are dealing with Gentiles who really should know better, but are anti semitic nonetheless. We cannot change their attitudes here on earth, only the heavenly tribunal will do that, but by then it will be too late. The crusade of a Gentile is to convert all who do not believe in their specific view of God, and will do everything possible to achieve that end, even if the method is obscene or bizarre. This Bishop is no different.

  3. Phillip says:

    Bishop Gray should perhaps tour the Holocaust Museum/. Perhaps then he can tell us just what “lesson” we were supposed to “learn” from this most terrible time.
    I’m not sure if the Muslim faith does or does not accept the Trinity, but perhaps he can enlighten us on why his Church rejects so much of Jewish and Muslim theology also.
    Archbishop Brown Turei, Archbishop Philip Richardson and Archbishop Winston Halapua are to be commended on their stance.

  4. Rabbi Pinchos Woolstone says:

    The Bishop is a myopic thinker, the Church needs to monitor his utterance, such people keep embarrassing themselves and their flock.
    No one should be alarmed if he says idiotic, undiplomatic and crude things again.

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