In the first of three keynote addresses to the Lambeth Conference, the Archbishop Canterbury warned that new “empires of financial, economic, scientific and technological power” risk exploiting the world’s most vulnerable people.
He will condemned corruption, profiteering from climate change and using the poorest countries for their resources before discarding their people.
He said: “The rich gain the benefits of the new advances and they do as they choose. The poor are shut out of the gains and live as they can. The wealthy have choice, the poor suffer the consequences.”
In front of delegates from across the 165 countries of the global Anglican Communion on Friday evening, Most Rev Justin Welby also recalled the “reluctance of the rich countries to share the advantages of the Covid vaccine. That will be repeated with many diseases, leaving the poor to live short lives serving the powerful.”
Speaking at the University of Kent Canterbury, he urged Anglican bishops to “look outwards” to a world facing crises of climate change, war, poverty, religious extremism, cultural change, and rapid scientific and technological development that risks leaving behind the world’s poorest people. He challenged the Anglican Communion to consider how the Church can serve the needs of the world in the 21st Century.
The Archbishop also shared his hopes for the Lambeth Conference: “My prayer for this Conference is very simple. It is that everyone here, whoever you are, wherever you’ve come from, and whatever hopes and fears you may bring with you, may leave with a greater desire for friendship with Jesus Christ.
“To desire Jesus is to desire God. To desire Jesus is to desire to be filled with love for God and love for His people. Whatever else we do over the next two weeks, the one thing that is essential is that we learn afresh to hunger and thirst for God.”
His second keynote speech is scheduled for 5th August and will address how to live in the world as a Christian.