justin welby child abuse
Church of England

The year is 2067, and long-dead archbishop Justin Welby is accused of child abuse…

It is absolutely shocking. No one ever guessed. No one even suspected. No one knew the darkest secret, the chill in the air, the poison in the communion chalice of Justin Welby’s tenure of episcopal office. Lambeth Palace has been quick to make everything public, as is its longstanding policy when such serious allegations against clergy are made. They are committed to equality of justice and transparency: there are no exceptions; there can be no whiff of a cover-up.

Justin Welby’s children and grandchildren are dismayed, horrified, mortified. They loved and trusted the man whom the world knew as Archbishop Justin, but they simply called ‘Dad’ and ‘Grandpa’, little knowing that to one boy (at least) he was the shadowy, dark figure at the top of the stairs who used and abused a child (or was it children?) for his own gratification.

And the boy – known as ‘Nick’ to protect his identity – described those stairs so accurately: five or six of them, cold and grey, then a left turn up to what seemed like an ante-room, with dark panelled walls and a stone fireplace which had a desk in front of it. A small ink-sketched portrait hung above that desk; random antique chairs scattered around. To the left of the desk was a leaded window and then a little further along was a heavy curtain which, when drawn back, led to a balcony overlooking the chapel altar, where the nightmare would wait. The memory is slightly distorted – it has been so long – but the details are there. For those who know Lambeth Palace, ‘Nick’ had described the path up to the study in Cranmer’s Tower.

Justin Welby’s children are adamant that their father never used this space, but ‘Nick’ is a very credible witness; a person of profound dignity and integrity. Why would he fabricate such evil slander? Besides, a psychiatric report supports his testimony: there is no evidence of personality disorder or any reason to believe this to be a case of false memory.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev’d and Rt Hon Martine Percival, has herself presided over a “very thorough” (her words) inquiry into these allegations. Independent reports have been commissioned and considered. She said: “The survivor of Welby’s abuse must be taken seriously.” She emphasised that she had no desire at all to damage Justin Welby’s reputation, and has reassured the church and the world that the gospel of Christ is the safest of spaces, and that safeguarding children is foundational to her mission.

Archbishop Martine was full of praise for her predecessor’s immense achievements, making it clear that she feels she owes him her current position. In a further written statement she said:

Archbishop Justin Welby is one of the great Anglican heroes of the 21st century, and a personal hero of mine for his commitment to gender equality and justice for all. The decision to publish his name was taken with immense reluctance, and all involved recognised the deep tragedy involved.

In all cases of sexual abuse, including those where the person complained about is dead, we are utterly committed to seeking to ensure just outcomes for all. The complaint about Archbishop Justin Welby does not diminish the importance of his great achievements.

We realise that a significant cloud is left hanging over his name. Let us therefore remember his ‘Reform and Renewal’ programme, which helped to turn the tide in church decline; his ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ initiative, which turned the whole Christian world toward prayer; his establishment of the Community of St Anselm, through which many thousands of young disciples of Christ have learned to love and serve their Lord; his steady hand of national leadership following the death of Her Gracious Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and his distinguished presiding over the Coronation of the new King, who was crowned Defender of the Faith – the Christian Faith – at Archbishop Justin’s insistence. Let us not forget his moral stand against persecution, discrimination and human suffering; his personal risks in the cause of peace and reconciliation, and his long service in the cause of conflict resolution.

No human being is entirely good or bad. Archbishop Justin was in many ways a hero. He is also accused of great wickedness. Good acts do not diminish evil ones, nor do evil ones make it right to forget the good. Whatever is thought about the accusations, the whole person and whole life should be kept in mind.

The Welby family aren’t entirely happy about this ‘kangaroo court’: they feel cheated of justice in a church seemingly more obsessed with its national reputation and damage limitation than with truth-seeking or justice-serving. They have asked why Canon David Porter was not interviewed in relation to these appalling allegations. As Justin Welby’s chief of staff throughout his time at Lambeth Palace, Canon Porter was at the Archbishop’s side virtually 24/7. He might be in his 90s, but isn’t his primary testimony important? Might he not possess diaries of dates and meetings which could shine some light on the plausibility of these allegations? And what about the Archbishop’s chaplains throughout his period of office? Why have they not been asked to give evidence in defence of the man they served faithfully and honourably, in very close proximity, believing him to be a faithful and honourable man?

And what about the Archbishop’s wife, Caroline? Was their marriage a sham; a ruse to conceal homosexual urges and paedophilic inclinations? Did she ever speak of this to anyone? Did none of her closest friends and confidants really know absolutely nothing? How could this even be possible?

Archbishop Martine Percival has made it clear that her inquiry was not asked to determine whether or not Nick’s devastating memories of decades ago could be verified: she was adamant that the victim must be taken seriously. “Paedophiles almost always have form,” she explained, “and offenders like Welby are likely to re-offend.” She made it clear that other survivors of “Welby’s wickedness” (her words) behind closed doors may be afraid to come forward or speak out, and so this very thorough inquiry is to reassure them that they will be heard and that this Archbishop will listen to them sympathetically.

“If Archbishop Justin were alive today, he would certainly be arrested,” she added, omitting to remind her audience that an arrest does not signify guilt. She has reassured the Welby family and all those who knew and loved the late Archbishop that her investigation was not only objective and fair, but proper and robust, and that “on the balance of probabilities,” she said, “it is reasonable to believe Nick.”

So Nick has been paid £180,000 compensation, and received a letter of apology from the church. Nothing more can be said for legal reasons.

So now a significant cloud broods over the name of Justin Welby – one of disgrace, shame and sin. But please remember that the wicked acts of which he is accused should not cause us to forget the immense good he did. He was undeniably a man of rich complexity, ecclesial nuance and great pastoral abundance. As Archbishop Martine has said: “The whole person and whole life should be kept in mind.”

Yet what an injustice it must seem to his children and grandchildren, and indeed to all those who remember his passion for peace and his zeal for the gospel, that henceforth he is to be known as Unjustin Welby – the archbishop who, on the balance of probabilities, molested Nick up Cranmer’s Tower.

  • Father David

    OUCH !!!!

  • Father David

    P. S. As he will be 82 in 2034 won’t + Pete be a bit past his sell-by date to be appointed as Welby’s successor?

    • Brian

      No – he’ll be a tad younger than the average worshipper in the C of E then.

      • OnTheWay

        Indeed. Already there is a team ministry rural CofE benefice somewhere in the east of England where at 16 out of the 17 churches no children are present at services. At the church where children do attend and bring their parents services are usually lay led, the clergy keep away fearful of what their input might produce.

    • bluedog

      It would be surprising if Bishop Sarah is not the first of many. One can envisage a process that both builds a quorum of female talent from which to draw further high level appointments, and also conditions the electorate to accept such appointments, including of course, Canterbury. One doubts that Bishop Pete would have any chance of success in 2034, Martine will already be short-listed to succeed Sarah.

      • Father David

        Indeed so, bluedog. The difficulty is Martine Joy Percival is a figment of Cranmer’s vivid and active imagination albeit based upon the name of Justin’s nemesis – the Dean of Christ Church but it is quite clear for those with eyes to see that Justin is grooming Sarah to succeed him – then we shall all indeed be up a certain creek without a paddle.

  • Bullseye!

  • Martin Sewell

    The Bishops are building the scaffold upon which many an episcopal reputation will hang.

    Specifically, without proper process and rigorous insistence on the presumption of innocence, nobody who attended a Iwerne Camp when John Smyth was present is safe.

    Under current CofE standards they are all but one allegation away from reputational ruin and that is absolutely outrageous.

    • Anton

      Your second paragraph is every bit as sharp as His Grace’s satire!

  • Father David

    I feel sure that natural justice alone will demand that Archbishop Justine ensures that someone is appointed to speak in defence of Archbishop Welby and thus protect his posthumous saintly reputation?

    • disqus_5FxF9H1HiV

      No. Why should Archbishop Martine appoint someone to speak in her predecessor’s defence and behalf? After all, she has the procedure for such instances laid down in former Archbishop Welby’s time as a model of how the church should handle such claims, and the former archbishop himself expressed on several occasions his confidence and trust in those procedures. For Archbishop Martine to appoint such a person would be seen as a betrayal of the legacy of her predecessor’s legacy.

      • Father David

        Which simply is not working efficiently and is not fit for purpose as has been clearly demonstrated in the disastrous mismanagement of the allegation against Bishop Bell.

  • michaelkx

    this points out the danger of listening to accusations of long ago, there should be a limitation on this sort of disclosure. and if found to be a lie swift imprisonment of the bringer of lies.

  • David

    The article is a hard hitting but necessary device to ensure equity and justice.

  • Manfarang

    I don’t think Justin Welby has any dark secrets.
    How many murderers, Broad Moor patients, and pedophiles have you met your Grace?

    • Damaris Tighe

      You’ve missed it …

      • Manfarang

        Not at all. This communication is purely an insult.

        • carl jacobs

          No, Damaris is right. You completely missed the point. This wasn’t insult. It was transposition.

          • Manfarang

            All allegations that have been currently made are without substance?

          • carl jacobs

            This post is satire. Cranmer is simply putting Welby into the position of George Bell so that people living now can see how people living then would have reacted to the charges. It makes real and visceral what is otherwise abstract and bloodless. Cranmer chose Welby for this satire because Welby did not defend George Bell given the chance but instead sought to protect the public reputation of the CoE.

          • Manfarang

            Unfortunately these kind of allegations are much more widespread among churches and don’t revolve around any one single individual Bishop Peter Ball comes to mind for example.

          • Brian

            And what a fiasco that was, too. I remember when the hierarchy of the C of E lionised Peter Ball in the 1980s as one of the Great Hopes of the C of E – imagine, an Anglo-Catholic with a Youth Following! – when throughout this time he was sexually molesting young men. It was the fallout over Ball that led the C of E to throw Bell under the bus – to prove how ‘robust’ they are.

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    Ouch! That must smart…

    • disqus_5FxF9H1HiV

      Good. Maybe it will goad someone in the parallel universe that is Lambeth to take a long, hard look at the cant, humbug and flannel they have produced in the case of GB and apply some humility to the mix.

      I give one name on which the Lambeth press office – and their master – should reflect: IWERNE.

    • The Snail @/”

      So true my dear Lady but remember

      Matthew 7

      New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)

      Judging Others

      7 ‘Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. 2 For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get”

      Satire I know but it says it all..

      • sholland

        Twist not Scripture, lest ye be like Satan! Besides, didn’t Jesus Himself say to ‘judge rightious judgement’? John 7:24

        • The Snail @/”

          Well Welby Judged Bishop George Bell – with little or no evidence. This article Judges Welby, in a satirical manner, with little or no evidence – tit for tat I think.

        • The Snail @/”

          19 ‘Did not Moses give you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why are you looking for an opportunity to kill me?’ 20 The crowd answered, ‘You have a demon! Who is trying to kill you?’ 21 Jesus answered them, ‘I performed one work, and all of you are astonished. 22 Moses gave you circumcision (it is, of course, not from Moses, but from the patriarchs), and you circumcise a man on the sabbath. 23 If a man receives circumcision on the sabbath in order that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because I healed a man’s whole body on the sabbath? 24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgement.’

          I am afraid Jesus is not talking to his disciples but rather to the Pharisees.

          Jesus might well say to Archbishop Welby in this case- “Judge with a right judgement”

    • Anton

      I thought it was your weekly column until I checked.

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        I am honoured dear Anton, but no….this is His Grace’s work.

  • James60498 .

    Excellent

  • dannybhoy

    Good article and very apt.
    Now then, what are Anglicans doing to make things better?

    • Homer Simpson

      Leaving the church of England and starting other Anglican churches under orthodox Anglican jurisdictions.

    • dannybhoy

      Danny does not like the fact that he sometimes comes across as pompous or critical, but confesses this is a part of who he is.
      “PBPWM,GHFWMY.”
      However the reason for my rather terse comment is that there is a way of making one’s views known.
      Commenting here is the relatively safe one.
      The other avenue is to actually encourage Anglicans to get in touch with their vicar/rector/dean//canon/ whatever, bishop: and make their views known.
      If at some level you’re not doing that, you’re as much a part of the problem as the people you condemn.

      • Too little, too late. It’d be the equivalent of writing to Stalin in 1950 claiming Communism wasn’t delivering common ownership of the means of production, the absence of social classes, money and the state.

        • dannybhoy

          My point is Jack that whilst it’s great to comment, those who count themselves as Anglicans have recourse to the chain of command to register their disapproval for decisions taken by the leadership.
          If we don’t do that it can hardly be because we hold them in Godly awe -else why criticise?
          No one in earthly leadership is infallible. If they think they are it’s because those they lead acquiesce..

          • The only hope is to reclaim membership of the House of Laity at General Synod.

          • dannybhoy

            Concerned Anglicans could band together to lobby their bishops or whoever, and ask for explanations as to why they are departing from the faith, why they are teaching/supporting practices clearly denounced by Scripture, why they remain in positiions of ecclesial authority wnen they openly admit that they don’t believe foundational doctrines, etc etc.
            It’s not rocket science Jack, but these people busy subverting the Christian faith rely on the unquestioning respect of the faithful to carry on with their mission of destruction.

      • Jilly

        ‘Please be patient with me’ ‘God has found why….’ ‘God has fashioned …’
        Oh, I give up…
        Letter will be winging to local Bishop but as he is of Chichester he might not take much notice…

        • dannybhoy

          Please Be Patient With Me, God Hasn’t Finished With Me Yet!
          Well done Jilly.
          I have sent loads of letters and emails over the years on issues sacred and secular. A minority have had a positive result, but regardless, I think it’s important to exercise our rights and speak up for others.
          Else, what’s the point of freedom?

          • Jilly

            Yes, we must make the most of it. Our freedoms are under threat.
            Objections are being labelled as Hate Crimes.

  • Homer Simpson

    Brilliant! Surely now Justin must resign? A Christian who cannot say sorry does not know the meaning of repentance — a word at the very heart of the gospel (before Mullah Mullally redefined it by saying ‘safeguarding is at the heart of the gospel’).

  • IanCad

    Lambeth Palace deserved every bit of this. All that could be shaken was shaken.
    A lot of hard work there YG. You didn’t miss a trick. Quite brilliant – well done!

  • Brian

    Worthy of Dean Jonathan Swift. But rather touching to think that the C of E will still be here in 2067. At its current attrition rate of 20,000 p.a. (equivalent to the attendance on an average diocese), C of E plc will have wound up its affairs by 2060 and all profane monuments will be removed from the newly dedicated Grand Mosque of Canterbury.

  • Ian Paul

    Do all these comments mean that I am the only person who thinks this post has crossed a line?

    • Maalaistollo

      I think it assumes that Lambeth Palace won’t have the nerve to say just that.

    • Phil R

      A Church must be seen to value Justice.

      However the CofE has been for a long time been seen to value protecting the Brand as it’s primary concern

    • Chefofsinners

      Yes

      • Anton

        The line between good satire and excellent satire?

    • Brian

      Do you mean: ‘It failed in the fundamental duty of telling the truth’? You know how literary genres work. This is satire and parody, very long established genres in English public commentary. Do you think it is lying, unfair and dishonest, rather than just very uncomfortable?

    • Peasant Farmer

      In what way specifically?

      Bishop Bell has had his reputation posthumously trashed on the flimsiest of evidence, Archibishop Welby has presided over it.

      What’s to stop Archbishop Welby suffering the same fate?

    • carl jacobs

      He didn’t cross the line. He stamped it on Welby’s forehead.

      • CliveM

        I will admit to having concerns about the use of the name ‘Nick’ as the connotations of this in relation to ‘Carol’ maybe unfortunate.

        • carl jacobs

          I don’t understand. Is this more inscrutable British logic?

          • CliveM

            ‘Nick’ was the name of a fantasist who made claims of a high level paedophile ring including politicians and ex prime ministers. Police wasted time and money on this rediculous claim.

            Carol, whoever she is, might object to the possible parallel being drawn with regards her complaints.

          • len

            This was the case that no one dare touch?

          • Anton

            There appears to be a concerted effort to say that this is all about Ted Heath as being the accused and all about Nick as the accuser. I have a memory of more than one senior politician being mentioned in the media and more than one accuser, before the media oddly went into reverse and narrowed it down to matters readily smearable. Never forget the experiences of Geoffrey Dickens MP, who received death threats and whose house was twice burgled, and the anomalous vanishing of his dossier on the subject within the Home Office after he had handed it to them:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster_paedophile_dossier

            As well as the death threats, Dickens had his constituency abolished at the next election (although he managed to get another). And the present enquiry is very seriously stalled through having been given too wide a brief and the repeated choice to lead it of persons ill-suited to the task.

          • CliveM

            That ‘Nick’ is a fantasist is pretty much an established fact, as evidenced by the police apologising for using the term ‘credible and true’ in relation to his evidence (with its lurid claims of boys being ripped apart) and the apologies they have had to make to Lord Branwell, Harvey Proctor and the widow of Leon Brittan.

            Edward Heath is different in that there are other complaints driving the investigation. With regards the public enquiry, this was never intended as an investigation into ‘Nicks’ claims.

            If it was it would be a complete waste of time.

            My concern is that by using such a loaded name, it maybe interpreted that ‘Carols’ evidence is also as fantastical and her claims as baseless. Especially in a piece of satire where parallels are very clearly being drawn.

          • Anton

            I would not have made that third apology.

            I do see the point in your last paragraph.

      • Ian Paul must be an American.

        • carl jacobs

          I’M an American and I had no difficulty understanding it. He is a Brit and you know this as well. Me thinks you doth protest too much.

          • Yes ,but as an American, you felt the need the need to explain the article. Telling.

          • carl jacobs

            I wasn’t explaining. I was defending our weblog host from Brits who didn’t seem to understand.

          • One Brit (a rather intelligent and erudite one too), one Irishman and some guy from out East who makes random comments.

          • carl jacobs

            Which is sufficient to dismantle your typically British “You know about those Americans” condescending head pat.

          • Hardly. One Brit who “got” the satire but didn’t think it appropriate.

          • carl jacobs

            Oh, so now it’s only one. And how would I defend its appropriateness without explaining it?

          • [Joined now by another Brit]
            It was unnecessary, Grasshopper. Join in the spirit of the satire and make your points that way.

          • carl jacobs

            So then fundamentally your true complaint is that I chose a direct line of attack instead of ironic sniping. In other words, it had nothing to do with Americans not being able to get irony. Glad we have that settled now.

          • “What does this post set about to accomplish?”
            Was the unwarranted comment. As if Brits need to be taught by an American how to suck eggs. We understand subtlety. It’s not a characteristic of all Western nations.

          • carl jacobs

            It was a cheap fast way to get into the topic. I used it because I didn’t want to spend any thought on a clever introduction. In truth I use that literary device not infrequently. You are reading waaay more into that sentence than you should.

          • Jack is just winding you up, Carl.

          • carl jacobs

            … Oh.

            I knew that.

          • Grasshopper ….

        • dannybhoy

          He’s a Brit, has a good blog -more scholarly than this one, but not so much fun..
          https://www.psephizo.com/

          • Yes, Danny. Jack knows and reads his Anglo-Catholic blog from time to time.

          • dannybhoy

            I think you and Carl would fit in there, but you’d both miss Cranmer..

    • Homer Simpson

      Yes. Cranmer’s most prophetic post.

    • Homer Simpson

      You mean the line Welby and his apparitchiks crossed long ago?

    • Father David

      I think the line was crossed when Archbishop Welby published his much criticised comment on Lord Carlile’s Report stating that “A significant cloud” is left over Bishop Bell’s good name. As Andrew Chandler points out “The cloud that hangs in the air today is not to be found over Bishop Bell, but over Lambeth Palace.” And it is a very dark cloud indeed!

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        No future bishopric for you…naughty boy

        • Father David

          Nay, but the future promise of a parish in the bucolic diocese of Barchester will be good enough for me.

        • Anton

          The word ‘bishopric’ takes on a new meaning.

      • Merchantman

        It isn’t even a hanging, sorry to say its a Lynching. That’s how they do it down Lambeth ways.

    • Ray Sunshine

      No, by no means. There are two of you.

    • Manfarang

      Using innuendo is not a good way to make a point.

      • Anton

        If you think that this is innuendo then you have misunderstood what His Grace’s point is. His Grace is not making any implication that Welby has been doing what Bishop Bell is accused of. Rather, Cranmer is implicitly asking Welby how Welby would feel if a complaint about him were dealt with in the way that Welby has dealt with the complaint about Bell.

        • Manfarang

          Given the climate of opinion today there are those who would come across this post and think it reveals something about the present Archbishop of Canterbury.
          It is not a good way of making a point.

    • magnolia

      No. It’s a bit too ad hominem for some tastes, mine included. Satire yes, super stuff at best, but this makes me feel a bit uncomfortable, despite my conviction Bp. Bell has no cloud hanging over him any more, not that he is not above such things, of course.

      • Anton

        Genuine satire is meant to make people feel uncomfortable; it’s not just for comedic purposes.

        • magnolia

          I know. I am an English graduate, and not one who spent heaps of time on some fancy deconstructionism that is now unfashionable and passe, like the sidewater they got into at Cambridge (!!) Hence I am well familiar with Swift and a book called “The Anatomy of Satire”- an excellent book. There are different sorts of uncomfortable…

  • Anton

    Cranmer won’t be getting any more invitations to media receptions at Lambeth Palace…

    • Ray Sunshine

      I think maybe he will, enabling Welby to keep up his pretence that it’s beneath his dignity to take notice of scurrilous lampoons.

  • Chefofsinners

    Perfect satire in all but this one detail:
    By 2067 it will be heterosexuality which will be the great evil.
    “Welby’s hetero-normative lifestyle deeply hurt LGBTQI Christians, many of whom begged him to take them up Cranmer’s Tower for a bit of mutual flourishing.”

    • Brian

      I suspect by 2067 the country will have drifted ever further into a strictly monitored police state in which the government will be struggling to know what to do about the murders of homosexuals by vigilante Muslim gangs.

      • Anton

        I hope that Jesus Christ will have returned by then. My best guess (note: guess not prophecy) is late this century.

        • Ray Sunshine

          You’re not alone, Anton.
          Like Cyrus 2,500 years ago, Trump is seen as an instrument of God. And the plan: to build the Third Temple on the Temple Mount – where the Al-Aqsa Mosque currently stands
          https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.828733

          • Manfarang

            Seen by whom? Not throughout most of the world.

          • There’s no *Divine Plan* requiring the establishment of a modern State of Israel, having Jerusalem as its capital or rebuilding a Third Temple.

          • Anton

            Evidently you don’t know how to read your Bible, Jack, although I refer to the State not the Temple.

            Isaiah 11:11-12 for a start.

    • Homer Simpson

      Or by 2067 Islam will be our national religion.

  • Excellent post, highlights the pain and carnage that is caused by people in responsible positions when they fail to do their job properly. Jumping to conclusions far too quickly instead of taking the time and effort to investigate thoroughly. A few heads need to roll.

  • Dolphinfish

    Well, it must be nine below zero in Hell, because I’m about to defend the Archbishop of Canterbury. You’re offside, Cranmer. If this is your way of making a point, I suggest you take some writing classes, because this is tacky, tasteless and diverts the mind away from the very issue you’re trying to illuminate.

    In any event, the Church of England was created as a political entity designed to be all things to all men. Its true purpose was to take religion out of the English public square, and at this task, it is actually quite expert. It’s a chameleon. For one of its members to complain that it changes colours depending with whom it is dealing is like complaining that the sea is wet. This is its nature. It doesn’t take moral stands, just like the C of E, and if that means you trash a decent man’s reputation and bung a complainant to keep them smiling, so be it. If you can’t take a joke, you shouldn’t have joined.

    • Anton

      To what joke do you refer?

      • Dolphinfish

        The Church of England.

    • Homer Simpson

      Cranmer has outdone himself. This is perhaps his best and most prophetic post. No wonder it is upsetting powers and principalities in high places.

    • Anton

      If you can’t take a joke, perhaps you shouldn’t persist in commenting on this blog.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Bishop Bell opposed the bombing German civilians. Many will think that his view was naive. After all, there was a war on and the longer a world war is dragged out the more suffering there will be. However whether you agree with Bell or not you cannot deny it was a moral stand. Large elements of the modern Church of England are all in favour of taking “moral stands” provided those stands have the approval of the Holy Guardian.

      Furthermore, can you suggest a better and more effective way for Cranmer to bring home the folly of the way the Archbishop of Canterbury has handled this case?

      • carl jacobs

        Naive? Certainly. Meddlesome, annoying, ignorant, and defaming to the airmen who died carrying the war when no one else could. Certainly.

        But you cannot deny that it is a moral stand.

        Yes I can. Just as I can call the conscientious objector a moral imbecile. Sincerity is no defense against foolishness. I would have killed every German in Germany to keep Hitler from winning that war. In a war like WWII, there is only one law: “Win.”

        I have no patience for people who argue that it is better to lose nobly.

        • Royinsouthwest

          I agree with your first paragraph. Bombing played a very important part in the destruction of Nazi Germany. Although there were some spectacular cases of precision bombing,e.g. by the Dam Busters, precision bombing was not possible in the first half of the war and there was only a limited number of vital targets. Therefore German cities had to be attacked.

          Nevertheless I do feel sorry for the civilians who died. I even feel sorry for German soldiers, sailors and airmen who died and that is not mere sentimentality. There was a mutual respect between soldiers of the 8th Army and the Afrika Korp. In later life when 8th Army veterans like my father met elderly veterans of the Afrika Korp they got on well.

          I think Bishop Bell was misguided but his opposition to bombing was one of principle, not self interest, and opposing Churchill did not make him popular.

          • Dolphinfish

            Your pater was a Desert Rat, Roy? Snap. And mine would completely agree with regard to mutual respect for the Afrika Korp. He respected the Germans, and he actually LIKED the Italians. The people he hated were the Americans. He would often say he’d rather a division of Germans in front of him than a company of Americans behind. They’d cut down anything that moved, friend or enemy.

          • dannybhoy

            My father respected the Germans too. He also got on very well with the Egyptians.
            But let’s not be too hard on the Yanks, without them we would have lost the war.
            Don’t forget Winston Churchill got a lot of stick for trying to wake us up to the Nazi threat, and there were plenty of British politicians and members of the Establishment who would have made peace with Hitler (whilst maintaining the moral highground of course..)

          • CliveM

            Before we eulogise the Germans on the western front remember what these same Germans did in the East. It wasn’t just the SS that indulged in mass slaughter and rape.

          • dannybhoy

            Well, you have me there Clive, but do you believe that we Brits have nothing to be ashamed of in our military past?

          • Ray Sunshine

            Yes, I expect we have, but carpet bombing isn’t one of them. Churchill was right and Bell was wrong. I have no doubt about that.

          • “Right” – morally or strategically?

          • dannybhoy

            Strategically..

          • carl jacobs

            The question cannot be severed like that.

          • dannybhoy

            From a Christian point of view all war is wrong,
            But Christians live in the fallen world, and are not in control of what their nation does. They are influencers not imposters.
            So in this case non Christian governments initiate a war and non Christian governments seek to defend themselves.
            The need from our side is to survive, look for allies with whom to unite, and then attempt to resist the enemy and win the war in the shortest time possible with the minimum loss of life.
            Carpet bombing was seen as a way of destroying enemy infrastructure used for the war effort, and also to demoralise the civilian population.
            Therefore it was regarded as a necessary evil to help achieve the defeat of the enemy.

          • dannybhoy

            From a Christian point of view all war is wrong,
            But Christians live in the fallen world, and are not in control of what their nation does. They are influencers not imposters.
            So in this case non Christian governments initiate a war and non Christian governments seek to defend themselves.
            The need from our side is to survive, look for allies with whom to unite, and then attempt to resist the enemy and win the war in the shortest time possible with the minimum loss of life.
            Carpet bombing was seen as a way of destroying enemy infrastructure used for the war effort, and also to demoralise the civilian population.
            Therefore it was regarded as a necessary evil to help achieve the defeat of the enemy.

          • carl jacobs

            Maybe you should ask the Poles. They might have an opinion.

          • Anton

            Or the Jews, who actually begged the Allies to bomb Auschwitz knowing full well that it was packed with Jews, in order to put it out of action.

          • carl jacobs

            Interesting point. I wonder if Jack will respond to that because he should say it would be wrong due to the lack of military value. I’d never thought to confront him with that.

            Of course, bombing Auschwitz would have been a diversion from a mission that contributed to Nazi defeat. It was the correct decision to reject the idea. But still. It would be interesting to see how Jack responds.

          • Of course it would be immoral. What is there to debate?

          • carl jacobs

            What is there to debate?

            The lives of the Hungarian Jews, for example.

          • So in the summer of 1944, you air bomb and knowingly kill countless Jews in the camp in order to save the lives of an unspecified number of Jews? It’s legitimate to ask whether some alternative action was feasible and whether it could and should have been taken. Bit air bombardment?

          • carl jacobs

            That unspecified number was 500,000. And it seems relevant to me that Auschwitz had a one-way door by intention. It wasn’t a matter of dying or living. It was a matter of dying today or dying tomorrow.

            Yes, there was a legitimate alternative. It was called “Advance an army to the camp and liberate it.” That didn’t happen until three months before the end of the war. So in May 1944 the option was “Destroy the camp.” The allies didn’t do it because of the exact reason you offer. It also would not have contributed to winning the war. But it certainly would have been a moral choice. Maybe you couldn’t save A & B. But you could certainly save C, D, E, F, and G.

            The better question is whether it would have saved the Hungarian Jews. We don’t know. But it couldn’t have hurt their chances. Without the killing machine in place it would have been much harder to kill that many people.

          • Vengeance is no basis for moral decision making.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, I wasn’t talking about vengeance. I was wondering what the Poles should have been willing to do on 1 September 1939 in order to avoid defeat. It’s a thought experiment.

          • CliveM

            Probably, but nothing even close to what happened in the Eastern front. It wasn’t just the SS that massacred Jews.

          • carl jacobs

            By and large, it was the SS. Not totally, you are correct. But it is still reasonable to recognize the huge chasm between the SS and the Wehrmacht. My Dad never expressed a bad word about the Germans he fought.

          • CliveM

            As I say, the behaviour of the Germans was considerably different against the western allies then it was against the Poles and Russians. You should read Soldaten (I’ll check spelling and author when I get back), very illuminating.

          • carl jacobs

            It’s a fair point.

          • bluedog

            There’s a German saying, ‘Asia begins at the Polish border’.

          • Anton

            Nowadays the Poles say it begins at the German border.

          • bluedog

            Jawohl. Roles reversed!

          • CliveM

            Right it’s Soldaten by Sonke Neitzel and Harald Welzer.

          • carl jacobs

            The people he hated were the Americans.

            One of whom was my father. He was in northern France in 1944. But I’ll let it go. Once.

          • dannybhoy

            Good for you Carl!
            Don’t put up with that nonsense..

          • Dolphinfish

            It wasn’t rudeness. It was a simple statement of fact by someone who was there. They were almost as dangerous to their friends as to their enemies.

          • carl jacobs

            There are many things I could say to this dumbass comment, but most of them would be unfair and nothing more than a response in kind. I would end up engaging in the same kind of ignorant generalizations demonstrated here. I would certainly offend people who don’t deserve being offended.

            I’ve grown tired of you, Dolphinfish. Do have a nice life.

          • CliveM

            Scottish Nationalists they’re all the same, beautifully balanced with a chip on both shoulders.

          • dannybhoy

            It was rudeness in the sense that..
            a) the fact is all of Europe would have fallen under Nazism had it not been for the USA getting involved.
            b) Carl has been posting here a long time and on various occasions has mentioned his family’s military involvement.
            c) If that were typical of the USA military, we would never have won the war.

        • dannybhoy

          I agree Carl. If you love your family, your community, your country you must be prepared to fight for them.

    • Ray Sunshine

      Congratulations, Dolphinfish. That’s a lot of skubalon you’ve managed to pack into a single comment.

  • len

    As Cranmer’s article so clearly shows no one is above accusation.It could happen and does happen and how is the truth ascertained?
    If an accusation is made and nothing is found, that lingering suspicion will remain “well there no smoke without fire is there?” will be the assumption made by many.
    This is a extremely difficult situation because no one wants abusers to go undetected and no one wants false accusations to destroy someone’s life.

    Of course all sorts of accusations are made against Christians anyway but let the truth be known not just assumptions.

  • carl jacobs

    Interesting, isn’t it. Our weblog host is accused of crossing a line because he wrote down an obviously fictitious charge and published it. And yet isn’t that exactly what was done to George Bell. Someone simply published a public charge and the mob took it as Gospel. And where were those in the authority to defend his reputation? They suffer more angst over a satire then they do over the actual event. Perhaps because they see how easily the innocent can be slandered. And who are the innocent in view?

    This post is brilliant. He did not cross the line. He took out an indelible marker and drew a big red circle around it. And who now can deny its existence? Welby should consider this post carefully. For by the standard he judges he will also be judged.

    • Homer Simpson

      I agree. I stand with Cranmer on this post.

  • One wonders what Archbishopette Martine’s transgendered (second) wife, Thor, the self identified Asgard, has to say about all of this, not forgetting their shared, peripatetic spouse, Wayne, who recently returned from a stay with Timmy.

    [Will there be a Church of England in 50 years time? Not according to recent surveys and projections]

    • Royinsouthwest

      Even though you are a Catholic Jack wouldn’t it be better to hope for a revival in the Church of England than to look forward to its demise?

      • carl jacobs

        The CoE is already dead. Nothing will revive it. The light in the lampstand has been extinguished. The quicker it is buried, the quicker the Church in England can set about doing what it should be doing.

        • Overseen by Pope and Patriarch, John Chrysostom I, presiding over the Catholic Church of the East and West.

          • len

            Out of the frying pan into the fire?.

        • Manfarang

          There have been periods of lack of interest in religion before in England. These things can go in cycles

      • dannybhoy

        I don’t accept Jack’s theology re the Catholic Church, but unless those who profess to be Anglicans and loyal to our Lord Jesus start getting in touch with the leadership to protest at where they’re going, then Jack will be proved right.

        • Give the Sisters a chance.

          • dannybhoy

            I shall Jack, I shall.

      • In all honesty, Roy? No. A revival of orthodox Christianity, yes. Not a revival of a church that Jack considers to have been fundamentally flawed from its very inception with fault lines meaning its demise was only a question of time.

        Jack knows this is not the “ecumenical” answer and, God knows, the Catholic Church has its own problems. There are many good and true Christians in the Anglican community, just as there are many poor and unfaithful Christians in the Catholic Church. However, in Jack’s view, the Church of England is now in its final stages and the sooner the false Gospel being given air time by the “Established Church” and publicity in the media, ends, the better.

        • Anton

          And also with you.

          • When did you return to Anglicanism?

          • Anton

            ??

          • Of course.

          • Anton

            Good.

          • It’s destined to happen before Christ returns.

          • Anton

            Agreed. I trust you get that from the Bible?

          • It’s Catholic teaching and, as you know, all this is consistent with Scripture.

          • Anton

            I know that some of it isn’t. What is the source for this Catholic teaching?

          • The Church’s ultimate trial
            675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.

            676 The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism.

            677 The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven. God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.

            http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c2a7.htm

            The Catechism provides us with a general order of events at the End [CCC 673-677]. Chronologically they are,

            1. the full number of the Gentiles come into the Church

            2. the “full inclusion of the Jews in the Messiah’s salvation, in the wake of the full number of the Gentiles” (#2 will follow quickly on, in the wake of, #1)

            3. a final trial of the Church “in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth.” The supreme deception is that of the Antichrist.

            4. Christ’s victory over this final unleashing of evil through a cosmic upheaval of this passing world and the Last Judgment.

            As Cardinal Ratzinger recently pointed out (in the context of the message of Fátima), we are not at the end of the world. In fact, the Second Coming (understood as the physical return of Christ) cannot occur until the full number of the Gentiles are converted, followed by “all Israel.”

            Approved Catholic mystics (Venerables, Blessed and Saints, approved apparitions) throw considerable light on this order, by prophesying a minor apostasy and tribulation toward the end of the world, after which will occur the reunion of Christians. Only later will the entire world fall away from Christ (the great apostasy) and the personal Antichrist arise and the Tribulation of the End occur.

            Although this is not Catholic doctrine, arising as it does from private revelation, it conforms to what is occurring in our time, especially in light of Our Lady of Fátima’s promise of an “Era of Peace.” This “Triumph of the Immaculate Heart” (other saints have spoken of a social reign of Jesus Christ when Jesus will reign in the hearts of men) would seem to occur prior to the rise of the Antichrist. The optimism of the Pope for the “New Evangelization” and a “Civilization of Love” in the Third Millennium of Christianity fits here, as well. This would place us, therefore, in the period just before the events spoken of in the Catechism, that is, on the verge of the evangelization of the entire world. Other interpretations are possible, but none seem to fit the facts as well, especially when approved mystics are studied, instead of merely alleged ones.

            https://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/endtimes.htm

          • Largely agree with this. I wonder though whether the conversion of Israel happens at the point of Christ’s return when ‘they look on him whom they pierced’ and proclaim about ‘the deliver who is coming out of Zion’ ‘blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

          • Anton

            Who is it that calls out to him “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD”? The answer, we are told is “Jerusalem”, and the word is clearly being used in the sense of “London responded to Washington’s deadline”. So Israel’s leaders become Christian – and they are hardly going to be floating atop a totally apostate nation.

          • I take it that the nation as a whole recognise and believe. Jerusalem is code not merely for the leaders but for inhabitants of the city, indee for the nation just as new Jerusalem is a metaphor for the church. The deliverer comes out of Zion (the heavenly city) to turn away ungodliness from Jacob (unbelieving Israel).

            The nation will not be totally apostate but largely apostate as it is now.

          • Anton

            Could you reconcile your statements that at that time “the nation as a whole recognise and believe” and “The nation will not be totally apostate but largely apostate as it is now”, please? To me they seem contradictory.

          • I mean as Roms 9-11 develops that presently the nation viewed holistically does not believe (is under judgement). Only a remnant (a small number) believe. At Christ’s return there will be a massive change when most if not all of ethnic Israel will see Messiah, repent and believe. Then, a largely apostate nation, will see Messiah and believe and so ‘all Israel will be saved’.

          • Time will tell ………

          • Indeed.

          • Manfarang

            A Pew Research Center survey in 2012 found that more than half of Muslims in Iraq, Lebanon, and Tunisia—and just under 50 percent in Morocco and the Palestinian territories—believe in the “imminent return” of Jesus. Outside the Arab world, more than half of Muslims in Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Thailand say Jesus will return to Earth in their lifetime.

          • Interesting.

          • bluedog

            Hmmm. Time for some creative work by HM Department of Computer Generated Images.

        • bluedog

          ‘meaning its demise was only a question of time.’ Nearly five hundred years and you now predict its demise? You’re on the wrong track. The CoE is an instrument of the British state, and as long as the state sees merit in the Church it will survive. Recall that the CoE is very close to the monarchy, with the Archbishop of Canterbury being first in the order of precedence, while the monarch is Supreme Governor. One can argue that the monarchy is theocratic in structure. If you want to put down a marker that predicts the time of the CoE’s demise, it would be the day a republic is declared by the British government. Your prediction will not be determined doctrinally.

          • Then it’ll be a church with virtually nil attendance; a tourist attraction, like the Monarchy.

          • bluedog

            The monarchy is not a tourist attraction, it has deep support. Check out the Instagram account of kensingtonroyal, which reflects the interest of a younger generation.

          • Let’s stay with the “Established Church”. If it means anything, it should mean the State being subject to its influence in ensuring natural and divine law are held to be superior to particular political interests. It’s actually the other way around. The Church of England is the creature of the State.

          • bluedog

            Agreed that the CoE is the creature of the State. But the current Head of State takes Christianity very seriously indeed, and so it seems, does her son. It follows that for the foreseeable future the Monarch will be a Christian influence. One could go further and speculate on what might happen to the CoE if the admittedly monarchial govt. decided that the CoE had lost all influence and voted through dis-Establishment. A possible outcome, in extremis, might be that the Church would reduce to the Royal Peculiar state, becoming in effect a Royal Chaplaincy. The question therefore revolves around the electoral equation of dis-Establishment. Would it win or lose votes for the government of the day?

          • Agreed about Her Majesty – not so sure about her son or his offspring. Would anyone care other than those with an understanding of the Constitutional Settlement?

          • bluedog

            Charles shows genuine concern for persecuted Christians in the Middle East. His interest seems completely sincere and witness to his own faith. Agree his son William is a blank page in this regard.

          • Indeed. But in the West at least I suspect all churches will be severely sheared which may be no bad thing if those who are real are left. The only hope for significant church growth anywhere is a powerful outpouring of the Spirit giving life to dead bones.

            Hope does not lie in institutions, even those that claim apostolic continuity and to be the true church. The ‘true church’ even in NT days had turned away from Paul’s gospel. Christ looks at the churche in Revelation and finds them wanting. Real believers in them were called to develop individual fellowship with Christ; there was little hope for the corporate church. Indeed, when the Son of Man comes will he find faith on the earth? He will, but Jesus’ words suggest that apostasy will greatly overshadow persevering faith.

          • Mike Stallard

            C – O- R- B- Y- N

          • bluedog

            Hopefully the old codger will reach senility before getting a chance to move in to No 10. The burden of being Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition seems to be sapping his dwindling energy as it is.

    • Manfarang

      Will there be a schism in the Roman Catholic church in 50 years ? Who knows.

      • Rather ask: will any of us be here in 50 years time? Will anyone?

        It’s more profitable to reflect on the Four Last Things – Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell.

        • Manfarang

          I hope this blog has some young readers. If not then there isn’t much hope of any church.

          • Jack was eluding to the New Jerusalem.

          • dannybhoy

            Kiddies and old’uns welcome!

          • Anton

            I hope it doesn’t elude you!

          • Thank you.

          • carl jacobs

            We cut you some slack since English isn’t your first language.

          • Mike Stallard

            Why?
            In the NT, Jesus deals mainly (though certainly not entirely) with adults.
            I should have said the OT is very much the same.
            Kiddies belong to Grannies – the very worst people to attract men of all ages and younger women who are the Mums. Remember that a smiling old Grannie is also a Mother in Law.

          • Manfarang

            Goodness! Didn’t you go to Sunday school?
            I see no reason why young adults shouldn’t be interested in religion.

    • len

      C of E will have probably caught up with the RCC and gone pagan?

    • Chefofsinners

      Evening, Jack. This seems as good a time as any to declare myself a lifelong supporter of Bristol City.

      • One expects no less. Congratulations on Bristol City’s win this evening.

      • bluedog

        It’s terribly hard to take this post at face value.

        • Chefofsinners

          The one and only professional association football match I have ever attended was Bristol City at home to Bristol Rovers, somewhere in the 1980s. I use the word ‘professional’ very loosely. Indeed, I use the word ‘football’ very loosely. More of a fight really. I stood behind the goal at the City end, in a seething mass of what could be called humanity, at a pinch. Rovers scored first. Taking any goal to be a good thing, I let out a cheer which echoed in the silence…
          I remember now that I did return once or twice. I think what finally put me off was the whole crowd singing ‘get yer tits out for the lads’ at a WPC who was patrolling the touch line. She was smiling, but cabinet ministers have had to resign for less.

          • bluedog

            Pass.

          • Chefofsinners

            Not a word that was familiar to the Bristol City team of the 1980s.

          • bluedog

            Don’t knock the lads, they knew the Relegation Trophy was theirs for the taking.

          • Anton

            These are the men who joined the army in the days of Empire.

  • Ray Sunshine

    If Cranmer had really crossed the line with this post, he would have heard from the Lambeth Palace legal department by now. The post has been up for five hours or more. We can be sure that Sue, Grabbit and Runne have gone over it with a magnifying glass and have concluded that the best thing Welby can do is to pretend he hasn’t noticed it.

    • Homer Simpson

      You’ve hit it. Welby always pretends not to notice pieces that tell the truth. That’s something that he simply cannot stand.

      • Manfarang

        Examples?

        • disqus_5FxF9H1HiV

          His refusal to acknowledge the truth about the Iwerne “bash” camps, his friendship with John Smyth QC who is accused of administering beatings so severe they drew blood, conveniently “forgetting” he returned to an Iwerne camp to give a lecture, etc, etc, etc.

          From the announcement of his promotion to the throne of St Augustine ++Justin has proclaimed he is here to listen – well maybe, but he is only prepared to hear the things he finds acceptable or comfortable.

  • layreader

    I see Bishop Pete finally got to be the Archbishop of Canterbury, even though he was 104 when he finally retired.

    • Anton

      Well he does go on a bit.

    • Royinsouthwest

      A late ordinand?

  • carl jacobs

    What does this post set about to accomplish?

    1. It brings home to the living just how disturbing it is to see a man’s name associated with a reprehensible act. George Bell is long dead. Few people know or remember him as a man instead of a history lesson. Welby is still alive.

    2. It brings home to the living that the reputation of a dead man should be given weight. What they cannot experience viscerally through the fate of George Bell they can experience viscerally through the satired fate of Justin Welby. They see Bell as a picture in a book but they know Welby as a living breathing man. That makes a difference.

    • Manfarang

      The reputation of a dead person isn’t given any weight. Anything can be said about them no defamation action will follow.
      The problem here is the reputation of an institution.

      • carl jacobs

        That’s a legal standard. That’s not a moral standard. And that’s exactly why Welby chucked George Bell under a bus. And that’s also the purpose of this post – to bring home the implication of that decision in a tangible and visceral manner.

        • Manfarang

          Very much a legal issue. Ask those in the Boston archdiocese whether they had to deal with a court case.

      • Royinsouthwest

        What about the family of a wrongly accused deceased person.

  • Mrs S wilson

    Congratulations on your article. It really brings home the injustice that was done to Bishop George Bell which many of us feel so angry about. the Carlisle report was a shocking indictment of the C of E hierarchy, and if Archbishop Carey was asked to resign his duties, surely Archbishop Welby should do likewise?

  • Sir John Oldcastle

    Ouch.

    Well done.

  • Manfarang

    The man on the Clapham omnibus doesn’t go to church anymore.

  • len

    ‘There are few nudities so objectionable as the naked truth’.
    Agnes Replier.
    (Yes Jack…I know)

  • Chefofsinners

    How festive. The Spirit of Christianity future has given Welbynezer Stooge a vision of things to come…

    “Before I draw nearer to that parchment to which you point,” said Stooge, “answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of the things that May be only?”
    Still the Ghost pointed downward to the internal report by which it stood.
    Stooge crept towards it, trembling as he went; and, following the finger, read upon the paper the dreaded phrase “Old Nick is a credible witness.”

    • dannybhoy

      Very good!

    • Phil R

      That just about sums up the lunacy of our “justice”

      No evidence required

    • Brian

      “What Welby Welby. Ask not for whom the Bell tolls – the Bell tolls for thee.”

  • not a machine

    My thanks

  • Albert

    This is the kind of thing everyone of us needs to consider. The point about taking child abuse accusations seriously is to protect children. But when the accused is dead, children are protected already, and the accused can’t answer back.

    • carl jacobs

      But what happened to George Bell was never about protecting children. It was about delegitimizing certain people and the ideas they hold. As in …

      “What he believed is evil, and therefore it is reasonable to expect it to manifest itself in evil acts. People need to see this today so they will reject these evil beliefs today.”

      That was why people were so quick to assume guilt. Because the charge fit their preconceived stereotypes and served their ideological prejudices. How quickly do you think these charges would have been rejected if the dominant secular culture had discerned a vested interest in protecting itself by protecting the accused?

      • Albert

        I have now doubt about that. Censorship is alive and well and all the more insidious for it’s being hidden. I assume the quote is yours?

        • carl jacobs

          Yes. That is how I expect the defamation of George Bell would be rationalized if his accusers were honest with themselves. And that is why Welby’s actions were so craven. He implicitly acquiesced to the charge that his own church is a propagator of evil in order to appease the secular mob.

          • Albert

            I think you have thought rather ahead of Welby. I think he was just thinking in terms of the institution. He was future-proofing the response, as it were. But there’s only one way to future proof the Church: to be faithful and just, for there is only one perspective from the future that counts. And besides, down here, we never know what the earthly future will be worried about.

  • Ray Sunshine

    Breaking news. Cardinal Bernard Law died this morning, in Rome, at the age of 86. Despite the Boston paedophilia scandal, he is to get a full cardinal’s funeral tomorrow, at St Peter’s.
    https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2017/12/20/world/former-boston-cardinal-bernard-law-dead/index.html

    • disqus_5FxF9H1HiV

      Actually he died on Wednesday last week.

      Otherwise you are quite correct: his funeral will be conducted by the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Soldano, with Pope Francis doing the final commendation.

      Rome can wring its hands and don the metaphorical sackcloth all it likes: the attendance of the Pope at the funeral of the man who presided over such a litany of abuse says loud and clear that Rome will look after its own way ahead of those its priests have abused.

      • Anton

        Wednesday 13th or 20th?

        • Ray Sunshine

          Wednesday 20th. This morning, at about 5 a.m. I was late with the news, but not that late.

        • worrywort

          It was the 13th but nobody realised until the 20th as he hadn’t touched his porridge.

          • Dominic Stockford

            It was said that one of the monks at Downside, a housemaster, died in a loo in the school part of the building at the end of one term. He was due to visit relatives so no-one noticed, it was claimed, for many days – until a cleaner finally insisted that he must be allowed to clean that loo…….

      • James M

        This is genuinely problematic. Does one give priority to the harm the deceased did – or, to the greatness of the wrongdoer’s need for the Divine Mercy ? Since Christ sided, especially when He died, with the trash of society, the accursed, unclean and rejected, ISTM more in keeping with His Spirit to show mercy rather than to deny it.

        Anyone who goes to the Vatican website will be able to see that the Vatican is trying to help those who’ve been abused. It is certainly not “wringing its hands”.

        It would be propaganda, not truth, to treat the dead man as though all he had to his name was the paedo scandal. Just saying.

    • Dominic Stockford

      That’s astonishingly quick for a funeral, anyone would think they’re trying to hide something in plain sight…..

    • Maxine Schell

      He should get the burial of any other sinner.

  • bluedog

    The only surprise in His Grace’s brilliant satire is that ++ Martine does not somehow implicate her own immediate predecessor, ++ Pete Alan Broadbent in the wickedness. After lighting a homeopathic candle and chilling out to her favourite whalesong CD, one might expect her to smear yet another middle-aged white male, for good measure.

  • Chefofsinners

    Time for a Christmas truce. Anyone fancy a game of football in No Man’s Land, as they call the CoE these days?

    • Royinsouthwest

      “No Man’s Land?” Are only women wanted in football teams now?

    • Anton

      Or Nomad’s Land… they’re all trekking out.

  • ardenjm

    “[H]is ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ initiative… turned the whole Christian world toward prayer”

    Turned the whole Christian world?
    Hilarious.

    I’m afraid the sheer fantastical impossibility of this quite distracted me from all the no doubt very plausible remainder.

    • Anton

      Are you soliciting a letter from Justin’s solicitors?

  • Mike Stallard

    “A fish rots from the head down.”
    But the CoE is rotting from the bottom up.
    All this shock horror about sex and the new Bishop of London is not where the problem lies.
    Our village Church stands empty and locked. The Vicar is a caricature of what the Wesley brothers had to put up with in their time. The village is bursting with new people – all unvisited.
    I could go on about other local villages too.
    The CoE is dying at the roots.

    • Dominic Stockford

      At least those the Wesley’s and Whitefield opposed believed in something, and in the Trinity.

    • James M

      He, and she, will be committing adultery if he marries a divorced woman whose first husband is alive (as hers, Trevor Engelson, is). So a ring would be inappropriate. The C of E, by allowing adulterous pseudo-marriages, is not much different from those Churches that allow gay pseudo-marriages. The failure of Welby and the other C of E bishops to raise any objection is an utter disgrace.

      • Jonathan

        The Church of England came into existence on the back of a royal divorce and remarriage. How is this “new”?

        • James M

          Even if one grants that that is a true statement of the origins of the C of E, “The King’s Great Matter” almost 500 years ago, is no reason not to oppose this wrong-doing now. If anything, the fact of the KGM in the old past is a powerful reason not to repeat such things in the recent past or the future.

          The Law of Christ regarding marriage did not lose its force after Henry VIII’s union with Anne Boleyn. It is still in force. It therefore still obliges those Christians who undertake to marry. Royalty in particular, because of the responsibility their rank imposes upon them to give good and not evil example.

        • MichaelA

          A royal annulment and marriage, actually.

          Annulments were regularly granted by the Papacy, even where the union had produced children. So everyone knew that the Pope wasn’t witholding an annulment from Henry for spiritual reasons.

          The debasement of marriage in European civilisation started long before Henry VIII, and the established church was part of it.

          • Anton

            Yes, Henry’s own sister got an annulment from Rome at around the time that Rome sat on Henry’s petition. It might have been when Henry twigged that he was never going to get a reply, coupled with the opportunity presented by appointing a new Archbishop of Canterbury following the death of the old, that Henry acted. Oh, and a king of France had got a divorce (sorry, annulment) late a few decades earlier.

      • disqus_5FxF9H1HiV

        Not so very long ago I attended a wedding at a RC cathedral, presided over by a cardinal, where between them the happy couple had 5 partners still living and 14 children. ALL of their previous marriages had been anulled, 2 over the objections of the ex-partners.

        But you are getting yourself worked up by a wedding yet to take place where one – ONE – of the parties made a youthful marriage which was ill-considered and, with no children involved, called it a day and the person they now intend to marry has never taken any vows.

        You don’t seem to understand that NO church can perform a marriage: a marriage is the relationship between two people, the ceremony that happens is called a wedding.

        The only thing any church can do is decide whether or not to perform the ceremony which recognises the marriage and, since all churches claim to be in the business of promoting monogamous covenanted relationships, it seems odd that you think it preferable for the church to say to people who wish to publicly state their commitment to each other “Go away, we who are pure think you unworthy of God’s blessing”. How very uncharitable and un-Christian.

  • Kentigern

    As one who has followed this blog almost since its inception, I have to say that this is possibly the best – and most apposite and necessary – piece that I have ever read here.

  • MartinWW

    A well-deserved criticism of the CoE’s shocking handling of the Bishop Bell affair. This article should shake the Welby and the Church out of their complacency and wicked inaction, but I don’t hold out much hope in that regard.