Young people involved in UK riots 'were having spiritual experience', says bishop
London, July 9 (ANI): Youngsters involved in burning buildings and looting shops across Britain during last years riots were having a "spiritual" experience, a senior bishop has said.
According to the Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Right Reverend Peter Price, smashing up homes, cars and shops and attacking police were a way of providing "release" and "escape" for troubled youth.
He told the Church's General Synod that the events of last August were "evil", but added that it was hardly surprising that young people had turned to mass criminality in the UK's major cities because they had been "condemned" to lives with no hope in run-down areas.
"I have no intention of being sentimental about the people, mainly young people, who took to the streets last August and destroyed property, ruined other people's lives and walked off with looted trophies," The Telegraph quoted the bishop, as saying.
"But as the Passionist priest, the late Fr Austin Smith, said after the Toxteth riot in the 1980s, rioting can be, literally an ecstatic spiritual experience," he said.
"Something is released in the participants, which takes them out of themselves as a kind of spiritual escape," he added.
According to the paper, the Bishop also suggested that consumerist capitalism should also be blamed for the actions of those who stole trainers and other designer goods.
He was speaking as he presented an official Church response paper to the riots, which argues that those 'who took part should not necessarily be blamed for the actions and that we are all responsible.' (ANI)
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