Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Throwing decorum to the winds in reacting to costs of Tanzania visit

Chris Bryant, a gay Labour MP and former vicar, asked Stuart Bell, the MP for Middlesbrough who represents the church commissioners in parliament, how much it had cost to send the archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Anglican bishops' conference in Dar es Salaam last month. Cantuar's trip cost £2,094, while Ebor came in at a pricier £2,866. However, the honorable member's reaction was unrestrained. 'It is particularly depressing," he said, loudly, "that the two British archbishops chose to side with the fundamentalist BIGOTS from other parts of the Anglican communion, rather than representing the ordinary faith of most Anglicans in this country, who are entirely tolerant and decent!"

Stuart Bell was indignant: the money had been well invested and well spent, he said. "If he wanted to talk about bigotry and extremism, he could not have done better than he did today!" Arguing that the conference communique produced a common statement on the subject of gay bishops, Mr. Bell concluded, "Blessed are the peacemakers." Mr Bryant was unimpressed. The reporter hoped that he would rise "to condemn Mr Bell's reply as a load of old cassocks," but the discussion moved to other topics.

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