Letter: Humbel welcome for the Archbishop

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The Independent Online
Sir: Michael De-la-Noy's disgruntled strictures on George Carey's ministry and leadership (Section II, 6 January), with its reference to his visits to the wider Anglican Communion, display arrogance and ignorance in about equal measure.

The Church of England theme I leave to the English. In this letter I wish to comment merely on the tone and attitude underlying his mention of 'the easily acquired plaudits of black Anglicans, who see you (George Carey) not as an ineffectual Archbishop of Canterbury but as a Great White God, or at least an Anglican Flying Pope'.

Do we? Do we indeed?

We have traditions of hospitality that determine the way in which we receive honoured guests from anywhere, some of whom then face rigorous programmes. The singing, dancing, ululation and feasting at the reception of a guest such as an Archbishop of Canterbury could not be interpreted by any African as 'adulation', not even that of unlettered savages bowing down before a Great White God.

Our god (has Mr De-la-Noy not heard?) is the triune god of the Creeds, which make scant mention of his colour. And it is hard to see where 'plaudits' - easily acquired presumably because they come from black Anglicans lacking discernment - enter the picture except from Mr De-la-Noy's feverish imagination.

Yours faithfully,


The Archbishop of Central Africa

Gaborone, Botswana

12 January