Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Hereford case delayed again

The employment tribunal hearing last week in the case of John Reaney and the Diocese of Hereford adjourned without the Remedies being settled. The tribunal chairman said it would be at least mid-January before judgment would be given. That’s yet another month’s delay in a case which started over a year ago.

Some press reports:

BBC Gay row bishop ‘sorry for pain’

Wales News Bishop hurt by ‘derogatory’ comments, and in the Western Mail next day Bishop regrets gay case distress.

And in today’s Guardian, Stephen Bates has a piece in the People column.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 8:48am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | equality legislation

Just a little contrition and admittance that he actually got it wrong might convince....he isn't doing himself any favours.

He certainly deserved his award!

Posted by: Merseymike on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 10:40am GMT

The absolute non-comprehension of the bishop who made a public spectacle of himself and of his church reminds me of the man in the canoe coming back as if nothing had happened.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 11:40am GMT

It is amazing that the bishop can paint himself as the victim, when he has broken the law by abusing his position of power to victimise another person! It shows what a culture of denial there is about homophobia in the Church.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 1:07pm GMT

The bishop is in a hole of his own digging, and he should accept that it gets very dark down there.

Posted by: Pluralist on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 2:59pm GMT

So, I'm calmer now. Thanks Simon for ignoring the last bit! But, really! HE'S hurt? Maybe he should consider that the satire is at least based on reality. How would he feel if someone on the other side of the globe pronounced that he wasn't human and ought to be in jail? How would he feel if someone falsified data to "prove" that bishops live thirty years less than normal people? How would he feel if he were not allowed to comfort his wife in illness, because being a bishop, his relationship isn't really a marriage and he is not next of kin to the woman he has heard snore every night since they said "I do"? One little piece of debatably justified satire is "hurtful"? He should try a lifetime of being lied about, dehumanized, and cast aside. He should think what it might feel like to know that, when it comes right down to it, his life isn't worth a "normal" person's life. He should use the experience to develop a bit of comapassion for those worse done by than he is. Maybe then he'd begin to realize what he did.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 5:07pm GMT

Yes Goran, and the wife who colluded is also facing charges...

Covenant of peace? What Covenant of Peace?

Joy to the world and peace on earth? Bah humbug say the world's spiritual scrooges.

But please, don't tell me they are worshiping the Jesus acknowledged at birth and resurrected after the Cross.

Their little "g" Jesus might have the same name, but their idol does not have Jesus' love nor God's endorsement.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 6:17pm GMT

This really does demonstrate, though, just what a little world of their own these conservative religionists exist within

Posted by: Merseymike on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 6:39pm GMT

Merseymike: I often find myself agreeing with you so much, I suppose I should be afraid that I'll end up an atheist too! (But then I did like Richard Dawkins' book - especially the story about Randoplh Churchill.)

Posted by: Fr Mark on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 7:11pm GMT

"We wouldn't want to be in a position where we discourage people of homosexual, lesbian or bisexual orientation to apply for posts".

I wonder how many would apply for posts with the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulation 7(3) exemption, "celibacy" condition, included in adverts. This would be a blatant admission that the Church does indeed discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation.

The Church needs to decide whether it wants to continue with its barely legal and institutionally homophobic employment practices, or come into line with every other sphere of public life and adopt proper equal opportunities employment policies, which the public can have confidence in.

Posted by: Hugh of Lincoln on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 9:15pm GMT

Victimizers who "Play Victim" are EXCRUCIATING to those of us they victimize! >;-/


IIRC, Fr. Mark, Merseymike identifies as a *Quaker* (not an atheist).

Posted by: JCF on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 10:35pm GMT

Oops, JCF/Merseymike, sorry about that!

Posted by: Fr Mark on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 8:55am GMT

One of the things I love about Merseymike is their ability to succinctly say in 35 words or less a crucial lesson or message. It is almost like reading the bible where you read the sentence, and then the implications unfold, so you re-read it and then an hour or day later another insight comes to mind.

God bless him/her/it.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 9:13am GMT

Thanks Cheryl. Definitely s fella here!

I don't honestly know what I identify as these days. A human being, exasperated with organised religion?

Posted by: Merseymike on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 11:53pm GMT

You can't be alone in that, Merseymike!

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Thursday, 13 December 2007 at 10:55am GMT

Merseymike: whatever it is you identify as, I don't blame you!

Posted by: Fr Mark on Thursday, 13 December 2007 at 11:28am GMT

Thing is, Mark, that I actually feel the church is a harmful and unhealthy place for gay people to be at present - it may be different in TEC or Canada.

Posted by: Merseymike on Friday, 14 December 2007 at 11:08am GMT

Merseymike: I spend a lot of the time agreeing with you. Yes, the Church, as an institution, is currently a harmful environment for gay people. But there are pockets of safe spaces within it. And there are some of us who will do all we can from the inside to end this institutional evil. It will happen, I am sure: these are the last screams of a few angry and narrow people within the Church. The thing that saddens me is how few of the decent straight ones are prepared to stick their necks out for justice.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Friday, 14 December 2007 at 2:10pm GMT

"The thing that saddens me is how few of the decent straight ones are prepared to stick their necks out for justice."

That depends on where you're looking.
Our local Changing Attitude group has at least as many straight members as LGBT. That's the political aspect.

And pretty much everyone in my parish has accepted my partner and treats us just like any other family. Yes, there has been a high profile row too, there always are some. But on the whole it's just not an issue for people. That's not to say they'd go on a gay pride march with me. To them the whole thing is a genuine non-issue and they prefer to focus on what's important in the church today. I can't help but think that's by far the healthiest attitude.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Friday, 14 December 2007 at 5:10pm GMT

Erika: you are right about grass roots support. I have that too. I was thinking, though, of all those nice straight clergy (including bishops), who never stand up to the bullies for us.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Saturday, 15 December 2007 at 6:21pm GMT

Fr Mark
I don't know how I feel about that, really.
Straight priests support us by just being there for us without a fuss. But they have the whole parish to think of, the whole of their work and vocation.
To us, this is a huge issue, to most people it simply isn't. They welcome us, they affirm us - what more can they be expected to do? To do that openly in some dioceses is already making a courageous stand.

On the other hand, of course you're right. We're in this mess because those who are quietly supportive don't stick their necks out to be openly outspoken.

But we're also our own worst enemies. How many of us are open where we live? You can only be truly honest about yourself once you're ready to accept all possible consequences. It's a tough call! And if we're not even open about ourselves, how can we expect others to fight our battles?

If we all stood up on the same day to be counted the whole issue would disappear over night.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Saturday, 15 December 2007 at 10:17pm GMT
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