Comments: IICSA: Archbishops' Joint Pastoral Letter

What an attempt at preemptive self serving institutional jibber jabber spin. Any thinking person would be 'ashamed' to buy into this. Good night, good luck, good-bye.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Saturday, 24 March 2018 at 1:27am GMT

They clearly haven't listened to anything which has been said. The most obvious thing people wanted was action, not words but the archbishops do exactly the opposite and send out a letter. Not just more words but a letter devoid of any actions whatsoever.

If that wasn't bad enough, the words "survivor" and "victim" aren't used. Unbelievably, instead of concentrating on survivors, they take the time to thank Bishop Warner showing that hierarchical clericalism is still very much alive despite what Welby said just a few days ago.

There have been too many instances recently of poor and insensitive communications from Church House and the archbishops but this one raises crass to a whole new level.

Posted by Kate at Saturday, 24 March 2018 at 5:26am GMT

I think I have to say that "tak[ing] action that demonstrates clearly we have learned the lessons" involves resignations at a number of levels, certainly including Archbishop Sentamu, along with unequivocal apologies from them for their specific failures. Public penance an optional extra. This statement just reads like hand-wringing and mealy-mouthed corporate "regret" rather than admission that individuals have done specific things wrong.

Posted by Jo at Saturday, 24 March 2018 at 7:40am GMT

' So, we do need to continue to listen carefully to all that IICSA has to say and, above all, to listen to the voices of the survivors.' End of paragraph. Opening sentence, next paragraph, 'Holy Week is about listening to God, the priority for all Christians.'

Listening to survivors lasted about as long as Welby's tears of shame at the Church's failings. But I think they will find that God is speaking through the survivors. And the best way they can observe this Holy Week is by real and positive action.

They could start by answering letters from survivors - I still haven't had a reply to mine of last 11 November. They could spend the week meeting and listening to survivors. They could decide to proceed with Matt Ineson's CDM against Sentamu and 4 bishops. Sentamu could resign as an acknowledgement of failures in his diocese on his watch.

To call this a 'pastoral' letter is a cruel joke. They haven't changed.

Posted by Janet Fife at Saturday, 24 March 2018 at 8:29am GMT

Breaking my Lenten discipline of not commenting on TA - just for this piece - however appalled I have been, and I have, by what has emerged over the last few days, it is AS NOTHING compared to the crass, sanctimonious, and po-faced tone of this letter. If you want evidence of clericalism, look no further. They seem to think that the readers of this lamentable epistle need to be told that action will be taken. Who, in their right minds (if there are any left in their right minds who care two hoots what arch/bishops think, say or do) would doubt that action is required? It's as if they are addressing a class of infants who can not think for themselves. But that pretty much sums up the Church of England these days. "It is a fact that Bishops and Archbishops are now rightly" regarded as criminal.

Posted by Stanley Monkhouse at Saturday, 24 March 2018 at 8:37am GMT

Amidst all this shameful horror which has cast a significant cloud over the entire Church of England it would seem that the slur against Bishop George Bell and the taint on his reputation has been sidelined. Are we any further forward in discovering the nature of the "fresh information" or identifying who exactly will be examining the content of the, so far, undisclosed fresh information.
I, for one, will certainly not be reading out this "Pastoral" Letter to the congregation on Palm Sunday.

Posted by Father David at Saturday, 24 March 2018 at 9:23am GMT

Janet, thank you for sharing that you are a survivor. Please be assured that the archbishops do not speak for most of us. We ache for survivors' pain and believe you deserve proper and rapid support from the Church.

Posted by Kate at Saturday, 24 March 2018 at 2:26pm GMT

The Archbishop Cranmer blog has a very strongly worded article, with the headline
Where’s the headline: ‘Welby slams Sentamu’s lack of humanity and leadership’?

This deals with Matthew Ineson's charges against various bishops, including the former Bp of Sheffield and the current Archbishop of York. Which have been reported extensively on TA. Matthew provides further exposition and detail in the comments there.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Saturday, 24 March 2018 at 7:31pm GMT

Sorry but I don't think the Archbishop Cranmer blog does anybody any favours here. If Jules Gomes is on your side, you know you are in trouble.

Posted by Charles Read at Saturday, 24 March 2018 at 9:00pm GMT

In this week of dramatic readings of the Passion I suggest that Pilate, Peter, the priests and the crowd baying for blood should be read by clergy, while the part of Jesus should be given to victims, survivors and whistleblowers in parishes. Where better to do this than in our minsters and cathedrals as an act of contrition.
In most places I assume it will be the usual: the priest will be Jesus, a churchwarden the narrator, and the baddies will be us bums in the pews.

Posted by Mother Hubbard at Saturday, 24 March 2018 at 10:17pm GMT

I agree with Charles about the Archbishop Cranmer piece. I see no justification for the claim that mainstream media is soft on the Archbishop of York because he is black.

Posted by Kate at Sunday, 25 March 2018 at 12:56am GMT

@Kate, I honestly believe the mainstream media are soft on the Archbishop of York, not because he is black; but because he has made himself the 'Darling of the Tabloids' over several years, in his attempt to prove he is more loyal to the Establishment than anyone else. His speech during the last Brexit debate in the Lords was sufficient evidence of this. He can always be relied on to 'wave the Union Jack' whenever necessary. In that sense, we have never had two more Establishment Tory archbishops in recent memory.

As always, @Stanley Monkhouse is spot-on, and his comments justify the breaking of his Lenten fast.

Posted by Michael Mulhern at Tuesday, 27 March 2018 at 11:18am BST

Had Mr Sentamu or Mr Welby any *genuine pastoral concern for any victims/survivors then they would have both been posting RTs of the Anglican Hearing on their Twitter Feeds. Welby alone has 120k Followers and a wide mention reach. Instead, he (/his representatives) used his platform as Arch Bishop to prioritise promoting his *own book.

It appears that instructions to (almost) all Diocesan Twitter Feeds *not to report on the Anglican Hearing* was in place throughout the 3-week dates.

Note: Wallace Benn admitted to 'inheriting...a paedophile ring' when he took up his post in 1992. Why has that salient information not been included anywhere in Welby or Sentamu's communications? Why haven't they - or Peter Hancock, 'Lead on Safeguarding' - argued for Mandatory Reporting? Who is being protected by The Church hierarchs obdurately ignoring @MandateNow's detailed, informed advice?

Posted by The Revd Colette Annesley-Gamester at Tuesday, 27 March 2018 at 3:24pm BST
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