Page last updated at 19:29 GMT, Monday, 9 January 2006

Views on respect: Archbishop of York

Dr Sentamu, Archbishop of York
Ugandan-born John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu became Britain's first black archbishop last year
Dr Sentamu was previously a barrister and judge in Uganda

Archbishop Desmond Tutu was profoundly influenced by the respect shown to his mother by the late anti-apartheid campaigner, Archbishop Trevor Huddleston.

Archbishop Tutu wrote: "I know that he made an indelible impression on me as a boy of nine, when he doffed his hat to my domestic-worker mother and greeted her with 'good morning, ma'am'.

"It was unheard of and certainly rare in the South Africa of those days for a white man to show such respect to a black woman.

"It showed that he really did believe that those created in the image of God, of whatever colour, were indeed creatures of infinite worth, precious to God.

"I know that when he walked the dirty streets of Sophiatown, young grubby children clutched his cassock, saying all the while with much affection - "Fada, Fada".

"They would soon uncover a fake; you can't easily deceive them. His affection helped and perhaps exorcised, a likely bitterness of hatred of the whites and made my future ministry more possible."


If we expect young people to be respectful, we should show respect. If they are not treated lovingly and forgivingly, they will be unforgiving.

If we do not trust them, they will not trust us.

The word "respect" literally means "to look back". We need to look back with humility and attentiveness in order to assess adequately the present - and have a realistic hope for the future.

What are young people going to see when they look back?

My mother taught me that when you point the finger accusingly at someone else, there are three more fingers pointing back at you. So, if we want to be treated with respect, we must show respect.

Jesus treated each person as a unique, God-made, individual. That is how He regards us and that is how we must regard one another.

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