Archbishop says 'Humanist Englightenment has a poor history in Europe"

( [email protected] ) Jul 04, 2003 01:24 PM EDT

This week, the European Conference of Churches General Assembly in Trondheim, Norway, brought together organizations committed to promoting unity and presenting a common witness to the people and institutions of Europe.

Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said the humanist enlightenment has a poor history in Europe. "We have had a century when humanity has been insulted and obscure more than ever before," he said. "That is why I don't feel hopeful that we can rely on humanist englightenment in Europe.

"Churches need to earn the right ot be heard and must have a 'prophetic edge' on questions of the environment and ecology," he said.

The keynote speaker of the Assembly was Kenneth Kaunda, founder and former president of Zambia. Throughout his address, he acknowledged the contribution of Europe to Africa.

"He was very strong in his criticism of the Iraq war and the British and American governments, but said we mustn't demonise the Britisn and American people, many of whom had been opposed to war," said Dr Jean Mayland of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, describing the powerful address of Kaunda.