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The Sickness Of The C of E.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Jude Fawley, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

  2. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Last Sunday our congregation of 18 elderly expat ancients, many on the basic state pension, scraped together £200 for Australia fire relief. We did rather better last month for a Spanish children's milk fund but that was Christmas. I can almost guarantee that nobody in the church had heard of bishop Peter Ball so they might be mildly intrigued if I remembered to tell them that a chap on the TES forum (which they won't have heard of either) thinks they need destroying.
  3. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Star commenter

    This is from John Holroyd's excellent study Judging Religion: A Dialogue for Our Time. Holroyd is a prominent atheist philosopher who also happens to be a former schoolteacher, an ex-Head of Religious Studies.

    'A...point of criticism that relates specifically to the involvement of the Church - most especially the Catholic Church - in the schooling and upbringing of children, is the issue of child abuse, both physical and sexual, suffered by very many thousands of children in Ireland, the US, Australia, Australia and elsewhere. One recent report indicates in fact that at least ten thousand children were abused in Australia alone. The fact that it was organised among Catholic priests in Ireland and in the US and that the abuse took place throughout most of the twentieth century and into this century and went on unchecked, raises grave concerns about unquestioned authority and the dangers of such authority. It indicates that we should be highly sceptical about the view that religious institutions be considered moral guardians in any reliable sense at all. We have compelling reasons to be morally suspicious of all closed systems of authority. It is disquieting how easy it is for a society, whose representatives are always adults, to forget the persecution and abuse of children'.

    To these observations I would add two more: many years ago I was told that the same kind of abuse was happening in foreign Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. No specific names and places were given.

    And in his book on the Qur'an, Ziauddin Sardar describes his revulsion at the beatings that children were undergoing in Pakistani madrasahs.

    So this isn't an exclusively Christian issue.

    As to the issue of whether all religious institutions should be abolished, or whether religion itself is in need of eradication, there are two problems:

    1. It is not easy to see what remains of secularism's liberal and democratic credentials if it would seek to annul all forms of organised religion, as this would have to include even the most broadminded and tolerant manifestations of faith.

    2. Secular rationalists can live in hope that their message will eventually take root in places outside Western Europe. But as far as I can tell, this isn't happening. The USA and the Islamic world do not seem to have embraced the secularization process, so much so that former advocates of this hypothesis, like Peter Berger, are starting to abandon it. In 1999 he wrote:

    ‘…the assumption that we live in a secularized world is false. The world today….is as furiously religious as ever‘secularization theory’ is essentially mistaken.’

    What is perhaps needed is better engagement, better dialogue and better disagreement with religious adherents. This is the path advocated by Holroyd and I would thoroughly recommend his book. It is far more nuanced and better informed than the publications that I have read by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris.

    When it comes to charitable donations, the psychologist Jonathan Haidt has observed that studies of charitable giving in the USA indicate that people who are in the most religious fifth of the population (based on church attendance) give far more to charity than those in the least religious fifth. And this greater level of charitable giving on the part of those with faith even extends to secular charities, such as the American Cancer Society. According to Haidt, religious people also do more volunteer work than secular folk and tend to be more active in their local communities.

    Over and against this one could point to the work of Peter Singer:


    But Haidt's remarks seemed to be worth mentioning in the light of the second post.
  4. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Saw the last few minutes of this programme - the hypocrisy of the 'establishment' (incl. a senior judge and a Tory MP - Tim Renton) was nauseating. I remember he was also a friend of Prince Charles:


    It does still seem it is who you know that determines how much you get away with - as was also the case with Jimmy Saville (friend of Thatcher and various Royals).
    cissy3, MAGAorMIGA and Jamvic like this.
  5. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    I don't think the issue is to do with the C if E specifically. Nor has it to do with religion. The issue revolves around organisations with strong authority structures, where those in authority circle round to protect themselves.
    Similar narratives come from sport: football and swimming have been in the news; schools; young offenders' institutions; children's homes and elsewhere.
    It's fair to say that all these organisations are doing better than they have done.
  6. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Indeed so, but there are multiple layers of scandal in the case of Peter Ball. How was it that a senior civil servant (Sir Robin Catford) managed to persuade John Major to override the decision of the Crown Appointments Commission and appoint Ball as Bishop of Gloucester against the first choice of the church? Was there pressure from Peter Ball's friend, Prince Charles? We shall never know.

    How was it that the Archbishop of Canterbury managed to persuade the Home Office to direct the Crown Prosecution Service to let Ball off with merely a caution for serious crimes of abuse?

    How come one of the country's most respected judges, Dame Butler-Sloss, deliberately kept mention of Ball's crimes out of her report into how the Church of England dealt with paedophile priests?

    Why did Archbishop Carey allow Ball to continue officiating as a priest after his police caution for abuse, especially as his work involved visiting schools?

    It was not just the CoE protecting itself, but the fact that many others in authority rallied around in a vain attempt to protect the church - while doing little or nothing to help victims.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
    cissy3, MAGAorMIGA, lexus300 and 6 others like this.
  7. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    Noble though your response is, the dogoodiness of a few congregations and "nice" vicars hardly dents the evils of the C of E since the mid 1500s. I my home town the worst slums were owned by the C of E and they resisted redevelopment until well in the 60s so they could keep the poor rent paying families crammed into the back-to-back dumps.
    Jamvic likes this.
  8. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    I will read this. Thank you.
    NoseyMatronType likes this.
  9. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    They should have done though so they could have held him to account as a senior representative of their church. These cover up’s by those in power are an insult to the very people you describe.
  10. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    Not the people, the organisation.
    I would hope true Christians would reject the C of E. I'm forever telling my vicar friend she needs to get out of it. She says that by remaining she hopes to change it, but it is rotten to the core.

    All I see is middle class vicars most of who don't believe what they preach.
  11. Jonntyboy

    Jonntyboy Lead commenter

    What a very wise and measured comment, if I may say so. "...those in authority circle round to protect themselves." Absolutely.

    This is why in my opinion it is so vital that whistle-blowers are protected. Sadly, this is rarely the case. Why? Well, of course, because "those in authority circle round to protect themselves". You see it happening in almost all hierarchical organisations.
    Sally006, Laphroig, lexus300 and 2 others like this.
  12. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    Bishop Rachel Responds.

    Episode 2 tonight at 9 p.m. on BBC2.
    cissy3 likes this.
  13. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    I've only just come on here, so quickly I'll add: There is a lot of good done in our churches and it's important that our Christian faith is taught - but sometimes I wonder what Jesus would say about it all. He never told people to go into a synagogue or anywhere else. He went out and preached God's word to the people of the world. I try, through my poems and my website, to reach out to the children of the world and I don't preach to them, but there are many spiritual and thinking poems which relate to my own Christian faith. Jesus told us to go out, not in.
  14. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Star commenter

    Jamvic likes this.
  15. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    So we have Prince Andrew and Jeffery Epstein and Prince Charles and Peter Ball.

    We know it's old news but . . .

    Prince Charles provided the house and money for Peter and Michael Ball and gifts of money and offered " I'll see off this horrid man if he tries anything again" speaking of Neil Todd who later committed suicide due to the sexual abuse he had suffered.
  16. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    It was interesting to watch these programs to help work out how to get the teaching profession to make progress with the way it deals with some of it's special needs pupils. Attitudes need to change.

  17. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    I haven’t seen the program yet, but I have recorded it to watch later.

    In no way do I want to endorse any cover up by any organisation, but it is easy in an increasingly secular world to focus in what is wrong in some parts of the church and put forward the view that the church is riddled with this throughout. The vast majority of Christians, and of priests, do the right thing, and on balance I think the church does more good than harm. It is similar to Social Services - we only get to hear about the times when things go wrong, not the overwhelming number of times that things go right.

    Clearly there have been horrendous cases in the past that should have been followed up and prosecutions made, and the church still has catching up to do. It is probably also true that a higher proportion of abuse occurs in the church because it provides opportunity (the same could probably have been said about education in the past and other organisations such as the Scouts now). However, the horrendous, highly publicised activities of a minority should not be seen as the norm.
    Sally006 likes this.
  18. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    In the C of E Bishop Peter Ball case we are seeing that it was a member of the royal family, archbishops, bishops and members of the house of lords who protected paedophiles and frustrated police investigations. It's the very top of the organisation and those with the power to close down inquiries.

    We also have Rochdale Social Services still refusing to provide files and cooperate with inquiries.

    There's a deep sickness in society and in those organisations seen as 'caring' and 'concerned'.

    We need to clearly understand that these organisations and the people at the top of them are the problem and cause of suffering and not the answer or support to victims. They cause the victims and then they protect the abusers.
  19. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    I suppose headteachers are like bishops. Happy with the status quo.
  20. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    ... and this evening we have the Channel 4 report on grooming in Manchester and the failures of the police and social services.....
    grumpydogwoman likes this.

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