The Words of the Orme Family
Michael Ramsey Archbishop of Canterbury
One of the most interesting remarks heard in 1970 concerning the Church was the remark of a Roman Catholic priest who said "If Rome and Canterbury did not exist the rest of us would get on much better." His point being that established leaders frequently make statements that embarrass their supporters.
1970 was the turn of Dr. Ramsey-Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England who criticized the new government of Mr. Heath. Mr. Heath was pledged to reverse the previous left wing government's withdrawal East of Suez. He was pledged to support allied nations defending the sea routes of the Indian Ocean and in this context to ensure South Africa helped in this role.
So vital are these sea routes that over 50% of Western Europe's oil and 25% of the foodstuffs for the U.K. come round the Cape of Good Hope. Faced with the blocking of Suez, and Soviet expansion and naval activity the British government felt compelled to act. Therefore when Dr. Rawsey decided to attack the government's policy on the pretext of no arms to South Africa many Anglicans were upset. The South African government -- a Christian government has been the most strongly anticommunist of all western governments. Three times their troops have defended freedom in the First and Second World Wars, and in the Korean War. However they have fallen into difficulty over their racialist policy-apartheid-strongly condemned by the majority of Christians and the British Government in particular. The debate hinges on our Christian duty. When a nation-albeit not perfect either religiously or politically-falls upon difficult times should other nations abandon her to a greater evil -- communism, or should they defend her against this greater evil? Obviously Mr. Heath and his colleagues decided to co-operate with the present South African government. They badly need South African support in protecting the Cape sea routes.
Consequently Dr. Ramsey has shown his left wing sympathizes. Until recently the Church of England had within its ranks the notorious Red Dean of Canterbury-an acknowledged member of the communist party. To what extent he has influenced the present Archbishop remains to be seen.
At the moment Dr. Ramsey-who visited Moscow without voicing any opposition to the denial of religious freedom there-he was strangely quiet, has decided to attack the prime minister of the government for his decision to defend Western Sea Routes. Whether this conflict will lead to a final rejection of the Anglican Church by the British remains to be seen. The British are already largely anti-church with less than 3% attending church regularly.
The British people are faced with several left wing Christian Leaders who have remained silent over the persecution of Christians in Eastern European Communist Countries. Since they have done little to alleviate their suffering the churches of this country must come under judgment. We are our brothers' keepers.
The only religious group that is consistently anti-communist and having the support of members from the major denominations is the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity founded by Sun Myung Moon in Korea in 1954.
The HSA-UWC is firmly behind Mr. Heath and his government in their actions to defend Western Sea Routes against Soviet Aggression. Even the British public is becoming disturbed. We hope 1971 will be a better year for Christians than 1970.