A few years ago there was a popular game of Bug the Bishop. Every Easter at least one newspaper would publish a shock story about a bishop who didn’t believe in the Resurrection. They don’t do it much now, because nobody cares what bishops think.
The catch was: if the bishops didn’t believe Jesus rose from the dead they were betraying their duty as church leaders. But if they did believe it they would be out of touch with reality.
The recent revelations of sexual abuse horrify us, particularly when the victims were children.
It is one thing to feel horrified, another to respond in a constructive way. Much of the public response has sounded to me like Guardian readers making Daily Mail responses, which they would not have made if the crime in question was, for example, addiction to illegal drugs.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) is currently investigating the Diocese of Chichester as part of its study of whether Church of England leaders have failed to protect children against sexual abuse.
Abuse survivors sometimes say that in their experience the motivation was power rather than sex. This post reflects on power relations within religious communities. Of course other factors are involved as well, but here I focus on power.
The ‘nones’ (those who, when responding to surveys, tick ‘none’ in the ‘religion’ box, but might possibly tick C of E if pressed) need look no further for a home.
Bishop David Jenkins, that prophet of our time, once was heard to declare that God is not interested in the Church. God is all about the Kingdom.
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