on Wednesday, 10 November 2021 at 11.31 am by Peter Owen
categorised as Opinion
Archdruid Eileen The Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley Let’s Hear it for Zebedee
Rosie Harper ViaMedia.News General Synod: Over and Out!
Rosie Harper is good. It’s been said before but here it is again: the C of E has a problem with niceness. The crazy notion that to be Christlike is to be nice: “more tea, Vicar”. The Master said “I came to bring a sword”. Sure – and his life and death display this – there is a time for being passive, but fighting for justice is love in action. There will never be peace until there is justice (or something like that: Pope St John XXIII, Pacem in terris). The suffering servant theology is taken way too far. I… Read more »
I shared my reply with a friend – a company director and NSM – who wrote:
“what is even worse is that ‘nice’ is a thin veil behind which lies hypocritical insincerity. I see it at work all time. We are not allowed to criticise openly any longer – that is insensitive – so instead we take it underground. But the church isn’t “nice” to everyone – it is okay to treat your own clergy like dirt – look at the CDM.”
Niceness is an interesting word in the church. I have often seen it used to hide manipulation and insincerity. People are nice to you when you seem to have power but that can quickly slip away when you are no longer useful. Of course I have seen this at work but I was truly shocked when I encountered it far too often in the church.
Maybe I was unlucky or naive but at least I no longer have to deal with it as I no longer attend church now I have retired.
I’ve struggled to find a church where I feel safe since I retired and I feel like a comparison shopper at times as I plod on with my search. On more than one occasion my jaw has dropped open at some or other crass statement from a cleric. I often sit there thinking anyone new to this would be running for the hills.
Given the more familiar concerns about the CofE and its behaviour on TA discussion threads the idea that it has a problem with ‘niceness’ sits oddly. But yes, I have encountered niceness and rudeness in this community of faith – and been guilty of both myself at times. One is manipulative, the other is simply counter productive if you want to achieve anything (if you don’t then just blast away). But between the two is a wide vocabulary including words like respect, patience, truthfulness, honesty, directness, discretion, courtesy, empathy and sensitivity. Against such qualities there is no law. For all… Read more »
I invite you to ponder the problem that arises when in the church as in any organization legitimate concerns of disrespect, dishonesty, obfuscation, traducement, discourtesy, lack of empathy and insensitivity are set aside or ignored. It is in such cases that as my friend writes they are taken “underground” perhaps in the form of subversion or, worse, buried in the psyche leading to depression and despair and even suicide. What causes the infantry to say “yes, we need more of that” may well threaten the egos and vested interests of institutionalised hierarchs in all organizations. There are several definitions of… Read more »
A sad note from Rosie Harper; but understandable in the light of recent developments (or should it be ‘non-developments’ ?) in the Church of England. Some things still worry some of us who look to Mother Church (C.of E.) to exemplify our embrace of ALL people as God’s children – not only the miasmic ‘hope’ of inclusion in LLF, but also the Constitution of the C. of E. which still allows for the institutional rejection of women as priest and bishops. We, in the Provinces, are still waiting for ‘Mother Church’ to catch up with the more eirenic among her… Read more »
Well said, Fr Ron. I too found sadness in Rosie’s article. She has laboured long and hard in Synod to support inclusiveness. Sadly we still have many who reject the idea. Like her, I still hang on!