Comments: Conservatives defend Lord Carey

So an investigation of Lord Carey is an attack on Christian belief? I don’t get it. If he is to be investigated, it will not be because of his belief, but on the ground of a failure of safeguarding. The suggestion that his belief puts him beyond reproach is a sad example of the inherent failure to take safeguarding issues seriously. He might well be entirely innocent, but if there are any issues to answer, these need to be addressed, not covered up on the basis of what he believes. Sadly it seems that the signatories to this letter still don’t get it.

Posted by Nigel LLoyd at Wednesday, 7 March 2018 at 3:59pm GMT

This is clearly potty. If action is taken against Lord Carey then it will presumably be because of action or inaction he took whilst in office; not because of his theological position

Posted by Confused Sussex at Wednesday, 7 March 2018 at 4:16pm GMT

It is utterly shocking that a group of extreme fundamentalists should regard their ridiculous creed as more worthy of defence than the victims of Peter Ball's odious behaviour. Where is their condemnation of sexual abuse? These people bring further disgrace on an already besmirched Church of England.

Posted by FrDavidH at Wednesday, 7 March 2018 at 5:00pm GMT

Re: The Statement by conservatives on Archbishop George Carey (Telegraph), I have no comment on Carey's situation per se; but the Conservative premise about the affair is galling in the extreme. This is what one comes to expect from people who believe that they have the truth from God's mouth to their ear alone. They ought to spend less time reading the bible and allocate some time to reading Dante's Divine Comedy. They could see it as a mirror of sorts.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Wednesday, 7 March 2018 at 10:24pm GMT

Oh, it's always alright if *conservatives* do it. Didn't you know?

Posted by MarkBrunson at Thursday, 8 March 2018 at 7:24am GMT

I wonder if the signers of this letter gave the slightest thought, the smallest of nano seconds, as to how it would be heard by survivors/victims of clerical abuse - Ball's but more widely too. I had expected better from at least one of them.

Posted by Judith Maltby at Thursday, 8 March 2018 at 10:27am GMT

This is just a variation on the protestations of the previous Bishop of Lewes, Wallace Benn, when he defended his negligent handling of the abuser Gordon Rideout - i.e. he couldn't have possibly done it because he is 'one of us.'

Having said that, it's very easy for us to look back and apply today's standards and insights to the culture of 25 years ago. It doesn't make it any less wrong (and I am no fan of Carey); but given the Evangelical naivete surrounding sex and sexuality, Carey's emphasis on forgiveness and rehabilitation was probably a case of doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, at a time when the scale of abuse in the Church as a whole was nothing like as clear as it is today. That's absolutely no comfort to the victims - but it does raise a question about the present. If Carey was singled-out for what he did then, why not Sentamu for most recent negligence?

Posted by Bill Broadhead at Thursday, 8 March 2018 at 3:01pm GMT

I like Lord Carey and enjoyed working with him, on General Synod and once on the Crown Appointments Commission (CAC) in 2002. Every archbishop discharges his office in their own way, and he was no exception, but the notion that further inquiries by the police, CPS or any other body into the Peter Ball case are in some way motivated by what his supporters term his ‘biblically faithful Christianity’ is fanciful in the extreme, even if these agencies (who are acting independently) know what that means. The reality is, however, that there are aspects of the case that raise unanswered questions, largely of the 'who knew what and when?’ and ‘what did they do about it?’ variety. He did not nominate Peter Ball to be Bishop of Lewes in 1977 (Runcie did) but he would have chaired the CAC in 1992 when Ball was translated to Gloucester. The Gibb Report (An Abuse of Faith – June 2017) makes clear that ‘there [was] evidence of sexual abuse and improper conduct by Ball during the 1970s and 1980s.’ (para 3.2.7). Ball’s career and influence in the Church continued to thrive throughout the 1980s, though there is also evidence of rumours and rumblings of disquiet about his activities. In 1985 he was a candidate for the position of Bishop of Norwich but diocesan representatives opposed his appointment’ (para 3.2.10), largely for reasons of his domestic arrangements. ‘Ball was appointed as Bishop of Gloucester in April 1992. Records indicate that the appointment process deviated in part from standard practice – he was chosen despite being the second of two options considered.’ From my limited appointments perspective of this case, what were members of the CAC told? None of this is possible under today’s Crown Nominations Commission practice. Due diligence on all candidates is thorough and transparent. Unfortunately, in Ball’s case as with many others, he was continuing to abuse despite mounting evidence of concern, evidence that was not acted upon. It is inevitable that more questions will be asked, of archbishops, past and present, bishops and other senior church office holders. We owe it to all the victims.

Posted by Anthony Archer at Friday, 9 March 2018 at 9:12am GMT
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