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Home > Media

In A Nutshell: Know The Truth by George Carey

Former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey has just published his autobiography. It's called 'Know the Truth' and it's hard to imagine anyone taking the time to actually read the thing.

So with this in mind, we at TFT have taken it upon ourselves to serialise the best bits, starting with chapter 79: 'the difficulties involved in knowing the truth'.

2 July 2004

'One of the problems I regularly encountered during my time as Archbishop of Canterbury was the issue of other people thinking that they were right.

It might have been argued that they had opinions which they believed were right, and we could notionally conclude that in such instances my own views were wrong.

For myself, I could not be that cavalier. It was very useful to consider what other people thought and I felt a deep responsibility to engage with the debate, within the context of knowing that I was right, a view that was readily concurred with by my greatest supporter, and wife, Eileen.

I saw nothing wrong with other people having opinions, but no one should confuse this with knowing the truth. I recall God speaking to me with commendable frankness. "You know, Carey," he said, "you can be a real tosser sometimes". He went on to add, "and that's all you'll ever be remembered for."

I was aware that this was a view shared by other people, and indeed I respected them just as they respected me for respecting them even though they knew that I disapproved of them and didn't really respect them at all. But as I reflected on the matter, Eileen and I could only conclude that God was, in this instance, wrong.

The simple reason was this: I know the truth. My own place in history was secured by that, and I decided I would write a very long book about it to ensure that everybody is aware of quite how wrong they are about things about which I am right. This decision became especially pertinent as it grew apparent that nobody else was going to write my biography for me.'


Next week - Chapter 90: 'You want the truth? You want THE TRUTH? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH.'

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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