Anglican Bishop: Christians Look to Rome for Leadership in the Face of Radical Islam
All Christians, regardless of their denomination, look to the Catholic Church to lead the defense against radical Islam, according to Church of England Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali.
His October 2 speech is not available online, but the press release published by the event’s organizer states:
Bishop Nazir-Ali said that with the growth of Islamic militancy and the persecution of Christians worldwide, many people were now looking to Rome as the voice that could stem the tide. He said these people included many Evangelicals he knew who never, in the past, would have thought about Rome. “So the Catholic Church has both a great opportunity and also a great responsibility.”
Nazir-Ali resigned as the bishop of Rochester in 2009, and is now president of the Oxford Center for Training, Research, Advocacy and Dialogue (oxtrad). As the Church of England’s first non-white diocesan bishop, he is a prominent voice in the church.
Almost as remarkable as his words was the venue. Nazir-Ali spoke to the clergy of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham—the group established by Pope Benedict xvi to facilitate Anglicans return to the Catholic Church while keeping their Anglican traditions.
The ordinariate has grown more slowly than its founders expected, nonetheless it is still growing. Pope Emeritus Benedict xvi encouraged the group in a letter a few days ago.
Nazir-Ali is right. Evangelicals and other Christian groups that just a few decades ago viewed the Catholic Church with suspicion, if not hostility, now look to Rome for leadership. It is a remarkable shift. The rise of Islamist groups like Islamic State and the worldwide persecution of Christians is just one of several pushes is this direction.