Comments: Pilling: Changing Attitude sends report to Bishops

The Pilling Report was written by bishops, and so it is not surprising, although disappointing, that their grasp of everything except theology was inadequate.

Changing Attitude is right to single out, by way of example, the astonishing equivalence given in the Pilling Report to the consensus of independent expert scientific and professional opinion and research on the one hand, and the views of the Core Issues Trust on the other.

The Report was skewed, and not only in his lengthy solo dissent and appendix (comprising 48 pages of the 195 page total), by the Bishop of Birkenhead, who is himself on the "Council of Reference" of the True Freedom Trust. I notice that the Bishop of Birkenhead's account has caused an "erratum" to be put up on the Church of England website in his name:

"Erratum: The Bishop of Birkenhead has asked for the words in brackets on page 163, first paragraph of Section 5 of Appendix 3 '(and argued, e.g. by Richard Burridge)' to be disregarded from the online document, and apologizes unreservedly for any misrepresentation of Professor's Burridge's views caused by their inclusion."

I assume that the Rev. Prof. Burridge, Dean of King's College London, Professor of Biblical Interpretation, and Member of General Synod, complained about a passage in which he was, in fact, the only person referenced. It looks as if the dissenting Bishop of Birkenhead didn't even read the theological writing very well.

Posted by badman at Thursday, 23 January 2014 at 10:56am GMT

It's not really accurate to say that the report was written entirely by bishops. The report itself makes clear that most of the drafting work was done by two staff members at Church House. One of them happens to be a priest, the other (who happens to have just left) is a lay person. And of course Sir Joseph is not a bishop.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Thursday, 23 January 2014 at 6:08pm GMT

I agree with all that Changing Attitude say about the corrosive DADT culture, but their case would benefit from spelling out the necessary reforms, namely:-

* Synod repeal of the 1987 Higton motion
* a House of Bishops statement that withdraws 'Issues in Human Sexuality'
* altering the canons to allow same-sex marriage
* full adoption of the Equality Act

Posted by James Byron at Thursday, 23 January 2014 at 6:12pm GMT
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