Church of England Vicar Likens Disruptive Climate Protestors to Jesus

British police officers carry an activist as they remove them from Waterloo Bridge on the second day of an environmental protest by the Extinction Rebellion group, in London on April 16, 2019. - Environmental protesters from the Extinction Rebellion campaign group started a programme of demonstrations designed to block five …
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty

An eco-activist has praised a Church of England clergyman for playing a major role in bringing Waterloo Bridge in London to a standstill during this week’s illegal protests by Extinction Rebellion, with the vicar going on to liken the protestors to Jesus Christ.

Reverend Canon Giles Goddard of St John’s Church, Waterloo, London, had agreed three weeks ago to allow the eco-extremists to use the church crypt to sleep in between shifts whilst blocking traffic on Waterloo Bridge, according to The Times.

Mr Goddard, who is a member of the Church of England’s legislative body the General Synod, told the newspaper that he was “very committed” to tackling alleged man-made climate change and wanted to give “all the support that we can to Extinction Rebellion,” which brought London to standstill over the past week and resulted in nearly 1,000 arrests so far.

In comments made during Holy Week, the left-wing vicar said, “I think there is recognition that the time to act globally is now for the sake of populations across the world. Here we are in Holy Week.

“Jesus went to Jerusalem knowing he was going to be arrested and believing that he had to be to bring about the change that was necessary.”

The far-left environmentalist group — which wants to halt all greenhouse gas emissions in six years, hand over political decision making to a “citizens’ assembly” devoted to climate justice, and for the government to declare an “ecological emergency” — also used the church’s toilets, showers,  and kitchen, and accessed the church’s electricity for charging phones used for coordinating the illegal activity.

The churchyard was also used as a storage area for potted trees which were later erected in a “garden bridge” blockade.

Extinction Rebellion activist Amos Jacob said, “I don’t think we would have held the bridge if we didn’t have it [usage of the crypt].”

Rev Canon Goddard denied to the newspaper that he had “facilitated” the illegal protest, saying, “They think we have facilitated [the blockade] but I don’t think we have really. I think we have made it easier.”

The Shropshire Star reports that another Church of England clergyman, Reverend Helen Burnett, also joined the protest to “bring about change for the entire planet.” While a group called ‘Christian Climate Action’ said they held a Good Friday service in the middle of St Pancreas Station, with its Twitter accounting posting pictures of many of its members at the London protests.

The vicars are not the only church figures to back the extreme actions of the protestors, who glued themselves to buildings, trains, and vehicles this week and threatened to shut down Heathrow airport — the failed attempt ending in tears, however — with support coming from former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

In October, Dr Williams signed a letter in the opinion section of The Guardian, “declaring support” for Extinction Rebellion. The clergyman and some 90 other signatories signalled their support for ‘rebellion’ and civil disobedience writing, “it is therefore not only our right, but our moral duty to bypass the government’s inaction and flagrant dereliction of duty, and to rebel to defend life itself.”

Catholic Pope Francis likewise believes in man-made climate change and claimed last summer that radical change was needed to stop global warming.

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