Thinking Anglicans

sacked for insulting the Bishop of Rochester

Updated late Sunday night

The BBC reports that

A member of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s staff has been sacked for insulting the Bishop of Rochester in an official document.

The worker wrote the obscenity next to the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali’s comments on a vicar’s job inquiry.

More details in the story Sacking over senior bishop insult.

Update

The Independent has a more detailed article: What did the aide say about the Bishop …?

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intheknowmynsterpreost (=David Rowett)RobJoan of QuarkNom de Plume Recent comment authors
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BillyD
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I wonder what happened – the wrong copy of a document get xeroxed and distributed, perhaps?

dodgey_vicar
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dodgey_vicar

However much you dislike a bishop, it is a mistake to put it in writing, unless you are prepared to live with the possible consequences, or have a very good legal team onboard. Unite the Union have a good clergy section membership of which after 6 months gives free legal cover.

MRG
Guest
MRG

But the rest of us are still free to execrate the Bishop of Rochester, right?

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“A former Catholic, Bishop Nazir-Ali is known for his traditional views” – BBC picture-heading –

What ought to worry us most over this is that the Bishop of Rochester is labelled as a ‘former Catholic’ under his picture on the BBC news item.

Is that meant to be a ‘former Roman Catholic’ I wonder? He certainly was never a ‘former English Catholic’. Perhaps this accounts for his anti-gay, anti-women, stance?

Gregory of Langres
Guest

What anti-women stance? I was under the impression that he ordained women to the diaconate and priesthood… or has something changed? What a Christmas present that would be!

Tobias Haller
Guest

Perhaps it would have been better for the staff person to have used Minister Hacker’s code phrase, “Brown objects.” Then others could have asked, as did Sir Humphrey, “Who is Brown, and what does he object to?”

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Gregory of Langres,

My comment (above) was meant to imply that if he had been a truly English Catholic, he might have understood the reality of a woman’s (the BVM’s) priestly action in bringing Christ into being in the tabernacle of her womb. – Good Catholic theology, surely, of whatever particular brand? This might have made him a more serious advocate of the validity of women’s ministry.

Happy Christ-e-mass!

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Surely, this was a v e r b a l attack?

Oriscus
Guest
Oriscus

While the unnamed staffer’s comment was certainly impolitic, I cannot, in all charity, characterize it as inaccurate.

So much for truth?

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Yes Ron, he’s a former Roman Catholic who became an Evangelical Anglican. however he is totally on the ball when it concerns Islam..as he is from Pakistan. He also spoke out on the contraceptive mentality which is destroying our nation.

Pete Broadbent
Guest
Pete Broadbent

The Independent’s version of the story is accurate. It actually happened several months ago. The document in question was the Clergy Appointments Adviser’s list, which sends round details of clergy looking for a move. The offending words were inserted into a reference written by the Bishop. John Lee, who is the Clergy Appointments Adviser, was completely unaware of what had gone out in the list, and apologised in a subsequent edition.

Wilf
Guest
Wilf

Does anyone else think that summary dismissal was rather a strong response?

madeline
Guest
madeline

What puzzles me is that someone at Lambeth thought that Nazir Ali was deserving of this epithet, yet the other bishops weren’t. It seems rather harsh to have left out at least twelve other Diocesan Bishops I can think of. Was the member of staff dismissed for being unfairly selective?

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Fr Ron

“This might have made him a more serious advocate of the validity of women’s ministry.”

You must be mistaking him for someone else. Whatever one can say about the Bishop of Rochester, he is a staunch advocate for women’s ministry. Rochester had the first female Archdeacon in England and he has always supported women Bishops.

Sam R
Guest
Sam R

‘however he is totally on the ball when it concerns Islam..as he is from Pakistan. ‘

Is the implication is that just because he is from Pakistan anything he says about Islam is correct…If that is the point being made, then I don’t agree!

Also, how could ‘being from Pakistan’ make him an authority on whether or not parts of the UK are now no-go areas for non-Muslims?

andrew holden
Guest
andrew holden

Definitely an OTT response. An apology and a quiet word perhaps would have been better but do we know the whole story?

I’m reminded of the sign in Talbot House (TOC H) in which Tubby Clayton advised that there should be:

No swearing aloud!

Many of us may think it – but should not say it out aloud – and certainly not write it down.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“how could ‘being from Pakistan’ make him an authority on whether or not parts of the UK are now no-go areas for non-Muslims?” I would think growing up around conservative militant Muslims would give a person some understanding of a conservative militant Muslim approach to life. It might offend people’s sensibilities to have to face the practicalities of how human beings behave once they believe they have been given Divine Guidance, but too bad. Muslims are people too, after all, and just as free to be evil and nasty as every other human being. In fact, I’d argue that if… Read more »

Ferdinand von Prondzynski
Guest

“While the unnamed staffer’s comment was certainly impolitic, I cannot, in all charity, characterize it as inaccurate.”

I’m afraid this story is no fun for me at all, as I live too innocent a life to have heard what the comment was. Is there a reference to it somewhere? Do I need to have smelling salts to hand before reading it?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“might have provoked such hateful abuse from a Lambeth Palace official.”

This is a bit much. Nasty, yes, uncalled for, perhaps, unbecoming in a Christian, yes, and even more so in someone “official”, poor witness to the Gospel, definitely, but “hateful abuse”? Conservatives say far worse things about me and mine, and call it evangelism.

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

Conservatives say far worse things about me and mine, and call it evangelism.¨ Ford Elms Exactly, for example, +Akinola’s grossly tainted opinion on the ¨HOOLIGAN CHILDREN¨ of LGBT people or perhaps, Henri Orombi and his IMPORTED, to Uganda, Homosexuality…+Orombi thinks its a foreign sickness/plague and therefore requires a ¨witch hunt¨ currently at all levels of Ugandan everydaylife…these not-so-thinking Anglicans actually generate fear and hate and HARM and persecute others at Church…perhaps someone from Lambeth Palace might offer an apology for the illwill these Primates, and other likeminded GAFCON types, spew within The Anglican Communion as they attempt to DESTROY the… Read more »

rjb
Guest
rjb

‘however he is totally on the ball when it concerns Islam..as he is from Pakistan. ‘

I am from Cambridge – presumably that makes me an authority on nuclear physics. The most charitable thing that can be said about the Bishop of Rochester’s views on Islam is that they are not inconsistent with a certain kind of evangelical exclusivism. Which can also, usefully, be applied to gays, women, immigrants, and any other group that happens to be convenient.

intheknow
Guest
intheknow

I know the person involved and suffice to say that even though they apologised immediately and admitted their wrongdoing they were sacked by a senior church official who called them malicious…

So much for forgiveness.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“presumably that makes me an authority on nuclear physics.”

If the vast majority of your neighbours are nuclear physicists, if they set the laws under which you must live, then you are an authority on what it is like to live in a society dominated by nuclear physicists. Nuclear physics itself, not so much.

JPM
Guest
JPM

Of course, Nazir-Ali could have been a gentleman and a Christian about this, but he did not, which surprises no one.

Alan Harrison
Guest
Alan Harrison

JPM writes: “Of course, Nazir-Ali could have been a gentleman and a Christian about this, but he did not, which surprises no one.” Sorry, but what is “this”? Nazir-Ali, so far as I can discern from the reports, had no input into the decision to sack the employee. There’s no indication in the story so far that he even knew about it. He seems to rattle some TA cages to the extent that people lose contact with reality – for example in the comments about his alleged attitude to women, He ordains them (mistakenly in the view of this “spike”.)… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“I’m afraid this story is no fun for me at all, as I live too innocent a life to have heard what the comment was. Is there a reference to it somewhere? Do I need to have smelling salts to hand before reading it?” – Ferdinand –

Ferdinand, please tell me you’re joking here!

JPM
Guest
JPM

>>>Sorry, but what is “this”? Nazir-Ali, so far as I can discern from the reports, had no input into the decision to sack the employee.

Well, he could publicly forgive this person and ask that he or she be rehired.

It’s not like he’s ever been shy about expressing himself in public, you know.

Nom de Plume
Guest
Nom de Plume

There is a lesson in this for all of us. I am very sorry the individual in question has been sacked. What he or she did was to give in to an impulse of the moment to insert an uncalled-for comment into a document that was about to be distributed. Maybe there was an intent to remove the comment before passing the document along to the next level, or maybe the equivalent of the “send” key was pressed too soon. There are few of us who have never said things that, on sober second thought, we wish we had not.… Read more »

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest

Nom de Plume: “The lesson is that when we give in to such impulses, in documents, in e-mails, and on blogs, people can be hurt. And as a result, people can lose their jobs or worse.”

True story – when I ran the virtual diocese of Bolsover (which some may dimly recall), one web-page featured imagined, ludicrous and corrupt discussions in the bishop’s office.

We were telephoned by someone we knew who worked in such a place and asked to desist. They were being accused of leaking confidential information….

Joan of Quark
Guest
Joan of Quark

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams:
“He also spoke out on the contraceptive mentality which is destroying our nation.”

What is that? Is that like when my GP asks me what I use for contraception and I reply, “Memories of my ex”?

Rob
Guest
Rob

” I know the person involved and suffice to say that even though they apologised immediately and admitted their wrongdoing they were sacked by a senior church official who called them malicious…
So much for forgiveness. “

________________________________

Why yes … Forgiveness in the institutional church? You’ve got to be kidding!

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest

“when my GP asks me what I use for contraception and I reply, “Memories of my ex”?”

Wonderful! How can I work that into a sermon???

intheknow
Guest
intheknow

Of course the one person not mentioned in all of this is the person who dismissed the unfortunate aide in the first place. Caroline Boddington, who is the Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments, sacked them saying that they were malicious and hurtful.

Of course Boddington is her working name, her married name is Caroline Redfern, aka the wife of the Bishop of Derby. So truly unbiased in her opinions of the ramblings of those dressed in purple then…