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Breakfast with Frost
Bishop Richard Chartres
Bishop Richard Chartres
BBC BREAKFAST WITH FROST INTERVIEW: BISHOP RICHARD CHARTRES BISHOP OF LONDON MARCH 23rd, 2003

Please note "BBC Breakfast with Frost" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used

DAVID FROST: And now in churches the length and breadth of the British Isles there will be sermons today on this the first Sunday for many years that the nation has been at war. Not of course domestically, quite a long way away, but the nation is at war. The head of the Anglican church and the head of the Catholic church both said in advance that the war wasn't justified and should be avoided. But now that it's upon us, what's the message that senior ecclesiastical figures will be sending out from their pulpits today/ Bishop Richard Charters, the Bishop of London, is in our Westminster studio. Good morning to you again.

RICHARD CHARTERS: Good morning.

DAVID FROST: What will be your message about the war from the pulpit today?

RICHARD CHARTERS: I think the message is how do we pray to the god that Jesus Christ shows us in a crisis like this? And I think the first thing is that we are praying for those caught up in the war. I have personal experience of British forces, I went to visit them soon after they went into Kosovo. I know the blend of professionalism and the ability also to make a positive impact on local populations, but one knows the cost and our thoughts and prayers must obviously be with them, with the journalists, with their families waiting at home. And the second thing is that we're praying because God is the God of all people. We're praying for a just and lasting peace. We're praying that those words about liberation rather than conquest are what this is really all about, and we're praying most emphatically for that.

DAVID FROST: And in terms of victory, you quoted the fact that the Church was right in the last war not to pray for victory, and praying for victory is not the right thing to do, do you think?

RICHARD CHARTERS: Well, what I say is that we're praying to the God who's shown to us as the God of all people. So what we're praying for is a just and lasting peace. All sorts of things can go wrong in a campaign like this and it's very important that we keep our eyes on that goal.

DAVID FROST: And in terms of the moralities of the situation - we touched on this last time. Do you feel now that it's a just war?

RICHARD CHARTERS: I think that everybody knows that the Bishops of the Church of England were totally united in raising doubts, not about coercive diplomacy and the role it has in bringing situations to some kind of resolution, but on the timetable, on the ticking clock. But now we're where we are. The situation is the bombs are falling, the bullets are flying and clearly our responsibility now is to underline the fact of the interconnectedness of the region and of the world. I mean, that's one thing that's grown since September 11th, on how interconnected we all are and that we've got to find some way of living as one world or we risk there being no world at all.

DAVID FROST: Bishop, thank you very much indeed.

END OF INTERVIEW


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