THE WHISPERING OF BISHOPS

I hate Sundays. Every week without fail one turns up and reminds me that my life has been a complete waste of time. All that work, all that study, all that money, all of my wife's sacrifices as she fitted in with what the Church of England instructed me to do - a complete and utter waste of time. And this is all down to one bishop who decided, on his own and against the advice of others, that I should not continue to be a parish priest because I suffered from a depressive illness for a while in the past. Not that his bigotry would make it impossible for me to work in another diocese if it wasn't for the fact that all other bishops stick by the decision of individual members of the house of bishops even if they believe,  even if they know, the decision is a bad one. You see, before they will consider employing you they "have" to get a "safe to send" thumbs up from your previous diocese. This has nothing to do with being unsafe to send. You can be free from any sin or habit that would make you unsafe to send and still not get a safe to send recommendation. In other words a bishop who wants to screw up a priest's life can do so without having to prove any wrongdoing. Basically, if a bishop doesn't like you, you're screwed, especially if the bishop is only in it for the money and does not have a pastoral or Christlike bone in his body.

The "safe to send" requirement should be used to make sure child molesters and collection stealing vicars are unable to just nip across a diocesan border and carry on their corrupt ways with their new employers being unaware of their passed crimes. It should not be used by bishops to summarily defrock priests without due process just because they don't get on with them.

The problem is that people who are unaware of how secular minded  and/or plain vicious some bishops can be, assume that a sacked priest, unable to get another job because of the "safe to send" requirement, is guilty of some terrible crime with the number one most possible crime, due to recent events, being that of paedophilia. Even other bishops fall automatically into such suspicions. A diocesan bishop told me recently that he couldn't believe the bishop who sacked me could be capable of such an action - which, if you flip the statement over, means he did believe that I was guilty of something truly dreadful.

In every other walk of life a person cannot be condemned to the living death of a wasted life by whispered, unrecorded slanders over a telephone or over the breakfast table at conference. In the UK it is against the law for a secular employer to give a bad reference without written proof of wrongdoing. But the Church of England is not subject to employment law because believing women are inferior and gay people are evil is perfectly okay in my country if it is a religious conviction.

Church of England clergy of all ranks know this sort of thing goes on and some even know of the constant pain of exile that I am personally experiencing and have experienced for over three years now. Yet they sweep such things under their mental carpet and do nothing. Furthermore they carry on preaching about how wonderful being a member of the church is and encouraging people to join. They are leading people astray. They are leading people away from Christ and into the courts of the pharisees.

Comments

THE WHISPERING OF BISHOPS — 4 Comments

  1. I have started disliking Sundays too.

    “A diocesan bishop told me recently that he couldn’t believe the bishop who sacked me could be capable of such an action – which, if you flip the statement over, means he did believe that I was guilty of something truly dreadful.”

    Could it be that he didn’t think you had done anything wrong and was aghast at the Bishop’s actions, as a result?

  2. I’m afraid not, Chelliah. In fact, he warned me not to visit him for help because the bishop who sacked me had been his tutor at college and they had been together recently at a bishop’s conference and got on really well together.

  3. I usually do not post comments but after reading your post it got me to thinking. What would prevent you from forming and leading your own ecclesial community where you live? (aside from your online presence) This may seem like heresy from me, a staunch Episcopalian(ECUSA), but it seems as if the Church of England has left you with not a lot of other options for exercising the ministries and charisms of your priesthood.