Sunday, 30 November 2008

A rock and a hard place

News that the embattled Bishop of the Murray, Ross Davies, is seeking $1 million in order to leave his job (The Sunday Mail..November 30) will come as no surprise. Though most will be horrified. It is a surprise (because it is news) but no surprise (because it is part of a litany of woes) that Archdeacon Michel Whiting has quit his post as Vicar General. One wonders why he took it in the first place.
I have a modicum of sympathy with the Bishop, he is after all slightly younger than myself and still has to think about proper provision for his family.Many would have thought that you just cut your losses and go back to being a parish priest, though I imagine he wants to join the Pope of Glenalta, who probably can't afford to pay him and Bp Ross most likely has no intention of staying in the Anglican Church.
Survivors of sexual abuse, none of whom I imagine has received $1 million, will be deeply hurt if the Church pays out that sort of money to one of its own, who some regard as part of the problem.

4 comments:

Mandy said...

Fr Clarke appears to be assuming that the priest who Bp Davies allegedly failed to deal with is actually guilty of sex abuse. As this matter is still unresolved, I believe that Fr Clarke should await the decision of the Church's appointed body before connecting anyone's name with sex abuse. The vulgarity and ignorance of the newspapers should not be emulated by the clergy.

stephen clark said...

I am making no such assumption Mandy.
My post was about the difficulty the Bishop finds himself in, and indeed the publicly reported comments that he wanted $1 million to settle and resign.
This has nothing to do with any of the cases.My point is that there are any number of people who have been or are in the process of being compensated...none of whom appears to have been offered anything like a million dollars.
I still maintain it would be an outrage for the church to pay a Bishop such a sum, when it has not seen fit to compensate any victims to that degree.
The case which I imagine you may be referring to is only one amongst many (sadly.) I do not presume to make any comment on its outcome.

Mandy said...

Okay: it appears that I've jumped the gun, and that there was no implicit accusation in your post. However, if there is no connection to be made between Bp Davies and perpetrators of sex abuse, why compare payments (real or otherwise) made to either? One does not logically follow the other. If we relate everything the Church does to sex abuse, we may find little point in doing anything that matters. As for the alleged asking price of the Bishop's departure, of course it would be outrageous, but can we be sure of the truth of this news report? I don't personally think that it is worth dignifying with unquestioning acceptance. The sources must always be examined.

stephen clark said...

Mandy
I don't want to add to your discomfort in this matter, just to thank you for recognising that you had presumed that I was referring to a particular case when I was not.
I take your point that we don't need to accept everything we read in the press.(and I don't)
But nor, should we go to the other extreme of just assuming that the press always gets things wrong.