I accept that my blogging activities do not help when it comes to me finding a job. Then there's my history (ancient) of mental illness and the fact that I was a curate for so many years; those things don't help either. Also, there's the way bishops swap notes with each "off the record;" that really does not help when you have publicly outed your bishop as a person who uses legal exemptions to get away with actions that are illegal under secular law. All these things are a big enough hurdle for me to get round. You would think the haters would be content with that.
But no. Today a Church of England priest contacted me who was under the impression that Ruth Gledhill of The Times had blogged that I had been sacked for presiding at the marriage of a gay couple. Of course, this is completely untrue. I've never even been asked to and have never been in a position in a church where it was up to me to arrange the weddings. Anyway, as I have made it perfectly clear on this blog on various occasions, I don't knowingly break church law as I believe this would weaken my verbal attacks on the injustices and bigotries of my church.
So, I Googled it and discovered that Ruth had said no such thing but someone, called David Ould, had posted the following on a website entitled "Stand Firm" in 2010.
Now, I don't bother reading the opposition's websites because I campaign from a positive position and I don't have a word search in place looking for my name on the Internet, so this was the first time I had seen this. It's quite horrid. In fact it's libellous, especially if it has effected my chances of getting a job both in the past and in the future. The fact that a perfectly nice, inclusive minded priest had given this story credence shows that I may not be being paranoid in believing that it is part of the reason why I am still unemployed and that nobody, who could do so, is eager to stick their necks out to help me.
The full libellous article can be read at STAND FIRM.
What really upsets me is that Ruth Gledhill contacted my former diocese and they said nothing to crush the rumour. they just said that they could not comment because it was "a matter between a priest and his bishop."
And it's me who is being kept out of the ministry having to accept a year's probation if I want to "work in the wider church?"
God help us.