Leaders of the Church of England are often not held to account for their behaviour and I thought that I might have blogged about this enough for now. However I am intrigued by the responses from a few who want to emphasise legal rights as a form of remedy against these miscreants, and indeed the benefit of structures within the church as means to regulate wrongdoing. I am intrigued because it may be an indication that there is a fair level of naivety around concerning church practice, organisation and clerical ambition.
I want to be very clear with you; I know that most of our clergy are hard-working, honest and valuable people who deserve our support at every level. I hope that I am making this quite clear here. However it is the deserved reputation of good people that the deliberately wicked people trade on; taking to themselves, by virtue of office, the reputation of honesty and truthfulness, goodness and selflessness whilst treating many in despicable ways.
However, this is not the point of this blog, railing against corruption in the church. This blog is about the naivety of the people who are allied to the church when it comes to understanding the nature of the people governing that church.
When I wrote the blog, I was fully aware of the legal strictures and indeed the structures intended to regulate wrongdoing. I wrote the blog because these things fail on a daily basis. The appalling record of so many dioceses on employment, as an example, indicates that much is wrong in the system and this is just one example.
The culture of sweeping things under the carpet is alive and well in the Church of England. However, it would appear that quite a few of us are utterly unaware that this is the case. In addition to this ignorance, which we cannot be blamed for, when faced with the possibility that something may be rotten, many of us prefer to waft sweet smelling bags of disbelief under our noses and think as hard as we can of the good priests we know and have known.
In the case of some forms of scandal, senior clergy have learnt to drop the offender like a hot potato; begging the question, should the Church abandon sinners at all? However in many other situations of potential scandal the senior clergy are willing to use financial incentives to keep things quiet; begging the question, should the Church reward wickedness?
It may be that in the end we all want things like this to go away and so nothing is done. Life, these days, is full of bad news and cherished institutions, people and ideals are ‘exposed’ and destroyed so very often. T.V. Programmes debunking heroes became quite an industry in the naught-ies, and now we have Newspaper Corporations, whole Police departments and politicians exposed as liars, cheats and ‘being on the take’. Yes, I know, there are good people here too.
Living in a world like this is horrible and it may be that we have had enough and simply don’t want to expose more wickedness and certainly not in Christ’s beloved church.
The mini-principality type structure of the Church of England is a warm place for the bacteria of wickedness to grow, and it has. Diocesan structures encourage cover up’s and personality cults, bullying and jealousies. The behaviour of too many of our clergy is unbelievable and stories of their blatant arrogance are as common as cockroaches; if only you know where to look.