Dual Church of England takes on Jubilee

June 2, 2012 at 1:44 AM
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LONDON, June 2 (UPI) -- While the head of the Church of England praised Queen Elizabeth's sense of humor, another bishop decried an "epidemic" of moral decline during her reign.

The Right Rev. Richard Chartres, the bishop of London, said in a pamphlet written for the Bible Society that British society is "more strained, more fragile" than when Elizabeth came to the throne in 1952, The Independent reported. He said the Biblical meaning of the word jubilee, referring to a cycle of years, is a reminder to take a long view and to try to improve conditions for future generations of Britons.

Chartres, a friend of Prince Charles and a member of the church's conservative wing, said "promiscuity, separation and divorce" are at "epidemic" levels and condemned the thousands of abortions in the country. He said Britain needs to curb its debt and end the "waste of human talent" caused by joblessness among the young.

Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury and head of the church, had a more upbeat take on queen's Diamond Jubilee. He said he had no experience with royalty before he became archbishop, The Daily Telegraph reported.

"I didn't know what to expect, really," he said in a tribute on YouTube. "I found in the Queen someone who can be friendly, who can be informal, who can be extremely funny in private -- and not everybody appreciates just how funny she can be -- who is quite prepared to tease and to be teased, and who, while retaining her dignity always, doesn't stand on her dignity in a conversation."

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