Letter: The Bulger killing: Church teachingson evil; fears of the British public; family failings

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The Independent Online
Sir: Following the James Bulger case, how can a Home Office minister claim to know that the 'Church is strangely silent' when it comes to teaching children right and wrong? (report, 26 November).

Is the Home Office monitoring every Sunday school and Bible class? Are there Home Office agents making notes on every sermon that is preached in every one of the 10,000 or so Anglican congregations (to say nothing of our friends in other denominations)?

The truth of the matter, I suspect, is that the Home Office minister has formed his perceptions of the Church from the media, not realising that what makes news in any sphere of life (the Church included) is what is not normal, rather than what is. The Church should be judged on what the vast majority of its members and ministers teach and hold, rather than on the views of its media-favoured exceptions.

If the minister in question would contact me, I will gladly send him a very, very long list of churches that teach the difference between right and wrong.

Better still, an apology from him might be in order.

Yours faithfully,

GAVIN MAIDSTONE

Bishop of Maidstone

The Diocese of Canterbury

Ashford, Kent

25 November

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