Sunday, February 14, 2016
Does the Church of England have any regard for basic justice?
Peter Hitchens writes on the matter below. It's another case from Britain where the uncorroborated words of an accuser will be automatically believed if the accusation is of a sexual nature. Such an odious practice has in recent times led to the to the hounding of many innocent and distinguished men by the British police.
Fortunately for the accused in this case, he was was dead. When the accuser came forward maligning the saintly Bishop Bell, however, the Church of England promptly paid up, without any judicial process. Is it any wonder that the British police don't accept innocence until proven guilty when the Church of England doesn't accept it either?
The deep injustice done to the late Bishop George Bell, publicly pilloried on the basis of unproven abuse charges, continues. This great and saintly man has been robbed of his name and reputation by the Church that ought to treasure him. Instead, it has sparked a Stalinist campaign to erase his memory.
When criticised, its bishops seek (rather revoltingly) to hide behind the anonymous accuser, who of course must be treated with kindness and sympathy. This fails to conceal their own confusion. Today I can reveal that a very senior figure in the Church, involved in the actions that have done so much damage to George Bell’s good name, has written to a complainant: ‘You will note that at no point have I stated that Bishop Bell was guilty.’ This follows a similar statement in the House of Lords by the Bishop of Durham, which I reported last week.
How strange, then, that several newspapers and the BBC have somehow got the idea that he is guilty. Who told or briefed them that this was so?
Lambeth Palace has clumsily tried to unsay the Bishop of Durham’s words, issuing a garbled mass of piffle in his name, in which he appears to contradict himself.
Odd that this happened only after I publicised his speech here. These flapping prelates should not think this matter is anywhere near finished.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).