Comments: Welsh MPs write to the Bishops of the Church in Wales

Gosh, MPs teaching morality to a bench of Bishops. That is "interesting"!

Posted by Chead at Tuesday, 21 March 2017 at 6:29pm GMT

Pity that MPs now cannot spell properly. (Unless it is a mistake on the part of TA.). 'Council' should be 'counsel'.

Posted by Marian at Tuesday, 21 March 2017 at 7:06pm GMT

It is apparent from this letter that the MPs who signed it (or, at least, those who drafted it) need to go back to school! Leaving to one side their views on the ‘primary qualifications’ for the tasks facing a bishop in Wales, I draw attention to these three points:

“We are aware that neither homosexuality nor civil partnership are a bar to appointment within the Church in Wales.” This should be "IS" a bar.

“We are of the opinion that ‘exhaustion’ cannot be acceptable as a reason not to appoint someone eminently qualified and what we are informed was the unanimous choice of the electors of Llandaff.” This should be "WHO" we are informed?

“We respectfully recommend that there is a pause in the appointment process to allow emotions to cool and sound council to be heard.” Surely ‘COUNSEL’, not ‘council’?

Posted by David Lamming at Tuesday, 21 March 2017 at 7:48pm GMT

Chead - my thoughts exactly. Between this and the Philip North debacle, the church is fast losing those dregs of moral authority we still had. It is so sad.

Posted by cathy at Tuesday, 21 March 2017 at 8:02pm GMT

What a wonderful and Godly response by these Welsh politicians to the 'uncertainty' of the Church of Wales hierarchy in the appointment of a Bishop in that Church.

We moan when governments seem to overlook the mission of the Church, yet here is an example of the world leading the Church in a mission of justice and credibility in Christ! Bravo!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 21 March 2017 at 8:28pm GMT

A bit of trivia: Chris Bryant MP is a priest.

Posted by DBD at Tuesday, 21 March 2017 at 9:41pm GMT

The letter as published here was cut and pasted from an email without any editing.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Tuesday, 21 March 2017 at 11:11pm GMT

Having thanked David Lamming for his correction of the English, can I ask if he would favour us with some comment on the content or the substantive issue?

Posted by Stanley Shaw at Wednesday, 22 March 2017 at 2:36am GMT

Once again MPs are telling the church what Christianity is.

The bishops should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by Jeremy at Wednesday, 22 March 2017 at 3:25am GMT

Are these all Labour MPs?

Posted by Malcolm French at Wednesday, 22 March 2017 at 5:58am GMT

My word, it only took a letter from one Yorkshire Labour M. P. Louise Hague, the sitting Member from Sheffield Heeley (with a little help from the Dean of Christ Church) to help bring about the downfall and withdrawal of acceptance of the see of Sheffield by Philip North.
Now, here we have no less than nine Labour M.Ps expressing concern over the handling of the succession at Llandaff following the retirement of Barry Morgan.
They write "leadership, scholarship, compassion and communication skills are the primary qualifications for the task facing a Bishop in Wales" - I wonder who they have in mind as the ideal candidate who ticks all these boxes? N. B. they don't see the much vaunted and surely now redundant "Focus of Unity" as a primary qualification!
They do say that Religion shouldn't interfere in Politics and the same can be said vice-versa, that Politics shouldn't interfere in Religion but, in this case, I'd make an exception as the "exhausted" bishops in Wales continue to make such a pig's ear of the Llandaff appointment.
All power to the Socialist Walian Nine as they lobby to place the Dean of St. Albans upon the cathedra of Llandaff cathedral.

Posted by Father David at Wednesday, 22 March 2017 at 6:29am GMT

Am I right in thinking that the Church in Wales is disestablished, and has been for quite a long time? What business do these servants of the secular state have in dictating to the Church how it ought to go about its business? Are they writing as concerned private citizens and members of the church, or are they stating their 'recommendations' in their capacity as Members of Parliament? Do they think that Parliamentarians ought, as a rule, to influence decisions about appointments to sacred offices in the church and in other religious bodies? Do they think that where the mechanisms of the church lead to disagreement and division that Kings and Emperors should step in and sort things out in the public interest? Or are their comments just a slightly-more-public equivalent of the below-the-line blather and carping from the likes of yours-truly here at Thinking Anglicans? It would be nice to get some clarification.

Posted by rjb at Wednesday, 22 March 2017 at 8:22am GMT

The college of Bishops of the Church in Wales should take note and act upon this letter, for the benefit of the church, and the folk of the diocese of Llandaff.

Lent is a period of reflection and penance, hopefully the College of Bishops will make personal use of this time !

Fr John Emlyn

Posted by Fr John Emlyn Harris-White at Wednesday, 22 March 2017 at 8:34am GMT

In his St Patrick's day sermon, the Archbishop of Dublin, Michael Jackson, referring to another abuse scandal in Ireland, said

"This has been sustained over decades as a society, both dealing with and failing to deal with its own phobias about the realities around sexuality, has found itself serving human hypocrisy in the service of the mirage of moral monopoly. The prospect of it is incredible; the facts of it are incontrovertible; the evil of it is inescapable. For all the churches, these events have hardened and sharpened the deep antagonism now felt towards churches around betrayal because of our incapacity to get our head around something which to others is not as complicated as it sounds or looks: accepting that those of us who went before us have done wrong; saying that we are sorry for the wrong that was done; offering a heartfelt apology; asking for forgiveness from neighbour as well as from God. Institutions find this tremendously difficult..."

His words could equally apply to the Fawltyesque shambles unfolding in Wales and the failure of five bishops to simply act with moral courage - or say sorry for their high-handed abuse of process and confidentiality.

Posted by Simon R at Wednesday, 22 March 2017 at 9:04am GMT

So relieved to see that TA correspondents Marian and David Lamming have their priorities in order: never mind truth and justice and naked homophobia - get your spelling and grammar right!

Posted by Steve Morgan at Wednesday, 22 March 2017 at 10:14am GMT

I am no expert on the Church in Wales but it is unusual in that although the Welsh Church Act 1914 gave the appearance of full disestablishment, it still retained certain legal responsibilities to the community, expecially its status for marriage law, highly germane to this debate. It is the reason it got into a muddle over the application of the quadruple lock, which applies to it under the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 and which can only be removed by the Church in Wales petitioning Government to make an Order (likewise the CofE) but without the same Canon Law issues that will in all probability thwart the CofE for some time to come. So the Welsh MPs have every right and locus to be involved as they are, whether they can spell or not!

Posted by Anthony Archer at Wednesday, 22 March 2017 at 1:36pm GMT

Whilst grateful to David Lamming for his dissection of the MP's English I should be grateful for his opinion of the content and the substantive issue

Posted by Stanley Shaw at Wednesday, 22 March 2017 at 9:48pm GMT

We need no lessons about the election of effective leaders from the Labour Party.

Posted by Gwynne Watkin at Saturday, 25 March 2017 at 9:31am GMT
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