Updated Thursday noon
Olivia Rudgard reports in the Telegraph that ‘An attack on Lord Carey is an attack on us all’, say Church of England figures
A criminal case against Lord Carey would be an attack on us all, conservative Church of England figures have said.
In a letter to the Daily Telegraph, 10 signatories including the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, former bishop of Rochester, suggested that the former Archbishop of Canterbury was being targeted for his involvement in the Bishop Peter Ball case because of “what he represents of biblically faithful Christianity”.
The letter, also signed by Simon Rufus Isaacs, Marquess of Reading, who is a friend of Prince Charles, former bishop of Woolwich Colin Buchanan, and campaigner Andrea Williams of Christian Concern, says that similar high-profile cases have not resulted in prosecutions for misconduct in public office…
The same story is also reported at Christian Today. And Mark Woods has written this comment article there: Why conservative Christians should stop defending George Carey.
…The signatories to the letter – among them the Marquess of Reading, who chairs the Barnabas Fund, former bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali and Christian Concern chief executive Andrea Williams – represent a particular strain of conservative evangelicalism.
This kind of evangelicalism is fundamentally oppositional. It divides the world into those who hold the right beliefs and those who don’t. But doctrinal orthodoxy is not enough: it’s also a mindset that sees modern society as deeply opposed to the gospel, with culture and church locked not in dialogue but in conflict. Everything from gay marriage to judgments against Christians at employment tribunals – usually, when all the evidence is read, richly deserved – is seen as evidence of a ‘war on Christianity’…
The text of the letter is copied below the fold.
Richard Bartholomew has published a further analysis of the letter: Conservative Christians Denounce “Bizarre” Consultation Between CPS and Police on Lord Carey.
SIR – Operation Yewtree and its successor Operation Hydrant have investigated hundreds of cases of suspected misconduct in public office and have yet to bring a case to trial.
For example, no one has been charged with any offence in relation to the misdemeanours of Jimmy Savile. The cases against Lord Bramall, Leon Brittan, Edward Heath and Cliff Richard were all dropped. Why is Lord Carey being targeted at this time? Certain public leaders appear to be being attacked by insinuation without due process.
The notion that a criminal case could be brought against Lord Carey is so bizarre that we can only surmise that the object of the persistent pressure that brings these public attacks is not only Lord Carey but what he represents of biblically faithful Christianity. An attack on him is an attack on us all.
Marquess of Reading
Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali
Rt Rev Colin Buchanan
Canon Dr Vinay Samuel
Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life
Canon Dr Chris Sugden
Member, General Synod
Canon Andrew Wingfield Digby
Mrs Valerie Nazir Ali
Rev Paul Perkin