NOTE FROM BB: Who is in charge of the Diocese of Washington? Crazy people? This fascist thug they've invited to speak wants Israel annihilated. And let's not mention what he wants done to gay people. He wants them killed. EXECUTED. Has the Diocese of Washington just completely lost its mind? This is unbelievable. And Bishop Chane is the same guy who smeared Peter Akinola in the Washington Post from his ivory tower on Mount St. Albans, pointing his own self-righteous finger at everyone else but himself. Is there justice left in the world? What more evidence do we need that "TEC" is lost? Can we go now, Rowan?
Row over Iran visit to US
The invitation from the Episcopal Church’s National Cathedral in Washington to former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami to speak to the role of religion in promoting world peace, has drawn sharp criticism from Jewish activists in the United States, and may give Archbishop Rowan Williams a further American headache.
Khatami, who has endorsed the call of the current president of Iran for the annihilation of Israel, is scheduled to arrive in Washington on September 7, two days after Dr. Williams meets with the chief rabbis of Israel at Lambeth Palace. Announcing the invitation on August 22, the Rev. Canon John L. Peterson, the Cathedral’s director of the Center for Global Justice and Reconciliation stated President Khatami’s visit creates an opportunity for interfaith dialogue in a time of heightened international tensions. “The Cathedral is a place of reconciliation that opens its doors to people of all faiths, and we have a special commitment to embracing the children of Abraham,” he said.
Cathedral Dean Samuel T. Lloyd, III, Dean described Khatami as a man of peace and moderation. “President Khatami’s commitment to a dialogue between civilizations and cultures is an important component in the peace process. This is much needed in the world today,” he said. While he entered office with the reputation of a reformer, President Khatami has backed his predecessor’s hard line stance against Israel and the West, homosexuals, trade unionists, and religious and ethnic minorities. In 2000 he told Iranian television that God commanded the faithful to kill the wicked. “We should mobilize the whole Islamic World for a sharp confrontation with the Zionist regime,” he said, adding that “if we abide by the Koran, all of us should mobilize to kill.”
Khatami has also backed his nation’s strict anti-gay laws, which calls for, and has carried out, the death penalty for sodomy. Speaking to parliament in 2001, President Khatami defended the use of flogging and stoning, saying the government had “100% support of people for conducting such punishments”, the IRNA news agency reported. Members of Congress, Gay and Jewish advocacy groups have urged President George W Bush to block the visit. “Granting former President Khatami a visa at this time, coming on the heels of both Iran’s proxy war in Lebanon and it’s refusal to drop its nuclearization program will be viewed by the mullahs as a reward for their policy of confrontation and hatred toward the United States and her allies,” the Simon Weisenthal Center argued.
Khatami’s invitation from the Episcopal Church’s National Cathedral will add a further complication to the Anglican Communion’s already strained relations with Judaism. Dr. Williams’ summit with the rabbis had been postponed from May to September following Jewish concerns over General Synod’s February vote on Israel. Protestations from Dr. Williams that the Synod vote was not a call for divestment and behind the scenes negotiations resurrected the meeting, which seeks to begin a formal dialogue between Anglicanism and Judaism.
The Cathedral’s decision to give a platform to the Iranian leader however may overshadow the Lambeth meeting. Khatami “has always denied the validity and centrality of Israel to Judaism, a fact embraced by the overwhelming majority of world Jewry. So, with whom is he dialoguing?”, the Simon Weisenthal Center asked.
–Church of Enlgand Newspaper