Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby sparked outrage when he claimed that politicians who fail to act on climate change will allow an “infinitely greater” genocide than the Holocaust and be judged “in far stronger terms” than those who appeased Nazi Germany.
Speaking at COP26, the de facto leader of the Church of England and British lawmaker, as a member of the House of Lords, said that politicians who do not adopt the green agenda will be “cursed” and that future generations “will speak of them in far stronger terms than we speak today of the politicians of the ’30s, of the politicians who ignored what was happening in Nazi Germany, because this will kill people all ’round the world for generations, and we will have no means of averting it.”
“That’s very strong language,” offered BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, noting that he was “saying failure to act on climate change would be worse than people allowing genocide to happen” — perhaps in an effort to allow him on an opportunity to row back the audacious claim.
The woke clergyman merely doubled down, however, clarifying that climate change will “allow genocide on an infinitely greater scale” than the Holocaust.
“I’m not sure there’s grades of genocide but there’s width of genocide, and this will be genocide indirectly by negligence, recklessness, that will in the end come back to us, or to our children and grandchildren,” he asserted.
Future generations will speak of current politicians in "far stronger terms than we speak today of… the politicians who ignored what was happening in Nazi Germany", Justin Welby says
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) November 1, 2021
Perhaps inevitably, the archbishop did feel the need to take to social media to apologise for these claims, tweeting that he “unequivocally apologise[d] for the words I used when trying to emphasise the gravity of the situation facing us at COP26.”
“It’s never right to make comparisons with the atrocities brought by the Nazis, and I’m sorry for the offence caused to Jews by these words,” he added.
Despite the Church of England’s rapidly diminishing membership being predominantly Brexit-supporting and Conservative-leaning, Welby and other senior churchmen such as the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cotterel, constantly push left-liberal political lines on issues such as the European Union, Black Lives Matter, immigration, raising taxes, and “whiteness”, in addition to climate change.
Welby, for example, made a great show of denouncing his own “white advantage, educational advantage, straight advantage” and saying he was “ashamed of our history” at the height of the Black Lives Matter unrest in 2020 — although he did not give up his position to make way for an archbishop from an ethnic or sexual minority — and launched a BLM-inspired review to find supposedly problematic memorials and statuary in Church buildings.
He also openly backed a Remain in vote during the EU referendum and extolled the political bloc as “the greatest dream realised for human beings since the fall of the Western Roman Empire” and repeatedly pushed the government to embrace legal mass migration, import more Middle Eastern refugees, and refrain from tackling illegal immigration; badgering the public to “be generous and allow ourselves to change with the newcomers and create a deeper, richer way of life.”
He is seldom in the press for speaking out on sin and salvation — although he does occasionally reference God when making modish political statements, as when he declared Him to be gender-neutral — “not male or female” — in 2018.
I unequivocally apologise for the words I used when trying to emphasise the gravity of the situation facing us at COP26. It's never right to make comparisons with the atrocities brought by the Nazis, and I'm sorry for the offence caused to Jews by these words. https://t.co/T0Be5rpnc1
— Archbishop of Canterbury (@JustinWelby) November 1, 2021