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Source: (consider it) Thread: The Bishop Peter Ball Affair
Bishops Finger
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This wretched saga seems to have reared its ugly head again:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-40368573

++ Justin has asked former ABC Lord Carey to step down from acting as an Honorary Assistant Bishop, which is a sad way to end one's ministry....

Thoughts? Comments?

(And, if this a Deceased Equine, please would a Kindly Host do the burial honours?)

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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quetzalcoatl
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I didn't know much about this, but what an incredible litany of corruption. Letters from victims not passed on to the police; church leaders claim that Ball is innocent; he is given money for support, and given a clear Criminal Record Bureau check. One of his victims committed suicide - how much support did he get?

I read that the Bishop of Chichester described victims as mischief-makers. What a dark foetid morass.

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no path

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Robert Armin

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How very, very sad. Words fail me.

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

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Martin60
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So, with all the safeguarding measures now, this can NEVER happen again, right? In the catholic churches? Something else we need to learn from Islam.

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Love wins

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quetzalcoatl
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I'm curious who this is sad for? Undoubtedly for the victims, but who else? Surely not for those who covered it all up?

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no path

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Rosa Gallica officinalis
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Something else we need to learn from Islam.

I'm unsure what you're implying we need to learn from Islam. To suggest that there's no abuse in Islam seems somewhat naive.
In 2006 the BBC covered a report claiming that Muslims could face a child abuse scandal on a par with the Catholic Church

[ 22. June 2017, 14:08: Message edited by: Rosa Gallica officinalis ]

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Martin60
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And in the 11 years since? And before? And more? No allegations? Is the conspiracy of silence that effective? Domestic abuse in the Muslim community is reported. Grooming of vulnerable non-Muslim girls by Muslim men was known for YEARS by the police before they acted upon it. Human nature is human nature, but what is it about Islam that means that in mosques and madrasas predation appears to be pre-empted? Or are the - male - victims all too terrified? Including too terrified to take their vengeance as men?

I suspect it's that in a positive sense there is no privacy.

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Love wins

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Erroneous Monk
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Well we can all be wrong, especially about people. But that's why there are official processes.

This wasn't - relatively speaking - that long ago. I can imagine believing someone I'd known and worked with for years and sincerely believed to be a good person couldn't have done such awful things. But in that case, one would still hand over the letters to the police. One might well say "I think these are a load of cobblers" - but surely you'd still hand them over? Or perhaps especially *because* you thought it was load of cobblers, you'd hand the letters over the better to be sure that exoneration was full exoneration?

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And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
And in the 11 years since? And before? And more? No allegations? Is the conspiracy of silence that effective? Domestic abuse in the Muslim community is reported. Grooming of vulnerable non-Muslim girls by Muslim men was known for YEARS by the police before they acted upon it. Human nature is human nature, but what is it about Islam that means that in mosques and madrasas predation appears to be pre-empted? Or are the - male - victims all too terrified? Including too terrified to take their vengeance as men?

I suspect it's that in a positive sense there is no privacy.

Your argument is an idiot, Martin. On several levels.
  • Islam is not monolithic. None of the major sects are centralised. There is no solution Islam can have just as there is no solution Christianity can have. It is down to individual organisations.
  • Abuse will happen anywhere there is trust to be breached.
  • Abuse cannot be ended completely anywhere. It can be reduced and guarded against, but not ended.
  • It still happens frequently in some Muslim cultures.*

Not saying Islam is any worse than any other religion, just that it doesn't have a magical solution.
The key factor in much abuse will happen is power. The more power and authority vested in the structure, the more abuse there will be.


*The abuse is not tied to Islam, but particular cultures that happen to be Muslim.

[ 22. June 2017, 16:00: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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quetzalcoatl
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One of the most shocking things about it is how Ball was gradually rehabilitated, so much so, that he ended up working in schools. I get that this was a while ago, when people probably didn't really understand the nature of groomers, and also their addictive behaviour. But time and time again, the victims come last.

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no path

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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quote:
"I believed Peter Ball's protestations and gave too little credence to the vulnerable young men and boys behind these allegations," he [Carey] said.
He is not entitled to this as an explanation. The article says this is "uncomfortable reading", but it isn't. It is outrageous.

People are absolutely not entitled to make certain types of judgements. Emotional or spiritual reasoning can be used to shelter beliefs and ideas that should have been abandoned. It leads to thinking and holding as true what you want to be true, not what is actually true. Far more is expected of clergy in general and must be expected, and this guy is a senior cleric.

Does his three-legged Anglican stool have only two legs? having lost Reason: well fall off man, go boom, you're done, Scripture and Tradition don't carey you.

We are all required to sit down before the facts, say "not my will, but thy will", where "will" can be read also as reasoning and judgement.

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

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Rocinante
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
And in the 11 years since? And before? And more? No allegations? Is the conspiracy of silence that effective? Domestic abuse in the Muslim community is reported. Grooming of vulnerable non-Muslim girls by Muslim men was known for YEARS by the police before they acted upon it. Human nature is human nature, but what is it about Islam that means that in mosques and madrasas predation appears to be pre-empted? Or are the - male - victims all too terrified? Including too terrified to take their vengeance as men?

I suspect it's that in a positive sense there is no privacy.

Recent case:

Koran teacher guilty of Cardiff mosque sex abuse

No religion or institution is free of child sex abuse. It is endemic in our society.

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Robert Armin

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I'm curious who this is sad for? Undoubtedly for the victims, but who else? Surely not for those who covered it all up?

Very sad for the victims, of course. Sad too for George Carey. He wasn't my favourite ABofC, he fucked up massively over this, but he was a servant of Christ who did much good elsewhere. Sad too for Peter Ball. Not that I'm excusing him for the terrible things he has done, but he is a fellow Christian. I grieve for them all.

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

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The Midge
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I was listening to a Radio 4 interview with one of the victims on the way home (sorry can't remember his name).

I was impressed how he had seen through his call to the priesthood and said that he bore Bell no ill will.

But was shocked at the way the church still seems to be ignoring letters from the victims and even how the victim had been, as he described, black listed because of it all.

We still have a lot to learn about abuse and its prevention. *sigh*

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Bishops Finger
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What Robert Armin said.

Carey did good work back in the 80s at St. Nicholas, Durham (whose new Vicar is being installed etc. this coming Saturday).

Alas, he'll probably be remembered more for the Ball affair than his time at Durham.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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leo
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I loathe Carey - but I can't help thinking that he is being judged by 21st Century standards for attitudes and procedures (or lack of them) which were commonly held in the 20th Century (and I know that doesn't make everything right)

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Penny S
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I keep thinking, sadly of my mother's close friend since college, who, in retirement worked as a sort of secretary for Peter Ball, and thought he was wonderful. She died before this became public.

[ 22. June 2017, 18:07: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
And in the 11 years since? And before? And more? No allegations? Is the conspiracy of silence that effective? Domestic abuse in the Muslim community is reported. Grooming of vulnerable non-Muslim girls by Muslim men was known for YEARS by the police before they acted upon it. Human nature is human nature, but what is it about Islam that means that in mosques and madrasas predation appears to be pre-empted? Or are the - male - victims all too terrified? Including too terrified to take their vengeance as men?

I suspect it's that in a positive sense there is no privacy.

Recent case:

Koran teacher guilty of Cardiff mosque sex abuse

No religion or institution is free of child sex abuse. It is endemic in our society.

A friend ran an archaeological dig in Damascus 35 years ago. He had two prepubescent lads with him (there mother not long dead). He was told to let them go where they like, no one would touch them. So he did and no one did. I wouldn't have mind.

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Love wins

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Rocinante
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
And in the 11 years since? And before? And more? No allegations? Is the conspiracy of silence that effective? Domestic abuse in the Muslim community is reported. Grooming of vulnerable non-Muslim girls by Muslim men was known for YEARS by the police before they acted upon it. Human nature is human nature, but what is it about Islam that means that in mosques and madrasas predation appears to be pre-empted? Or are the - male - victims all too terrified? Including too terrified to take their vengeance as men?

I suspect it's that in a positive sense there is no privacy.

Recent case:

Koran teacher guilty of Cardiff mosque sex abuse

No religion or institution is free of child sex abuse. It is endemic in our society.

A friend ran an archaeological dig in Damascus 35 years ago. He had two prepubescent lads with him (there mother not long dead). He was told to let them go where they like, no one would touch them. So he did and no one did. I wouldn't have mind.
And I grew up in the C of E at around the same time and never experienced any hint of anything untoward, despite being alone or in small groups with priests and other authority figures, with no other adults present. At the time, I don't think anyone would have thought twice about this. However, others were not so lucky.
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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
I loathe Carey - but I can't help thinking that he is being judged by 21st Century standards for attitudes and procedures (or lack of them) which were commonly held in the 20th Century (and I know that doesn't make everything right)

No. Unless the UK are so far behind underpopulated hillbilly Sask. We had proper procedures in place from the mid 1980s.

I am currently on a diocesan committee revising the canons and procedures here, and these date from then.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
I loathe Carey - but I can't help thinking that he is being judged by 21st Century standards for attitudes and procedures (or lack of them) which were commonly held in the 20th Century (and I know that doesn't make everything right)

A lot of us remember the 20th century, having been alive then. Even way back then at the dawn of recorded history most of us knew that child rape was a) morally wrong and b) a crime. For some reason the pretense that neither of these facts was widely known way back in the dim mists of the late twentieth century seems particularly common when some clergyman is accused of this kind of wrongdoing.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Rocinante
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
I loathe Carey - but I can't help thinking that he is being judged by 21st Century standards for attitudes and procedures (or lack of them) which were commonly held in the 20th Century (and I know that doesn't make everything right)

A lot of us remember the 20th century, having been alive then. Even way back then at the dawn of recorded history most of us knew that child rape was a) morally wrong and b) a crime. For some reason the pretense that neither of these facts was widely known way back in the dim mists of the late twentieth century seems particularly common when some clergyman is accused of this kind of wrongdoing.
Child molesters, as they were then rather quaintly known, were no more tolerated back in the 70s & 80s than they are now. However, back then most people would have reacted with consternation to the idea that molestation of children could have occurred in a religious context (or in the BBC, or in a hospital, etc.). It is now a matter of public policy that being a well-known and respected pillar of society is no guarantee of sexual morality or trustworthiness. Back then this notion was kept under wraps.
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mr cheesy
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the issue with Peter Ball was about child sex abuse.

Also iirc Adrian Plass wrote approvingly about Ball. Which possibly tells us something - but I'm not sure what.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Bishops Finger
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Ball was convicted of sexually abusing 18 'teenagers and young men', so no children as such. Fair point.

What Adrian Plass says about him is immaterial to the case.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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mr cheesy
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The wikipedia page is confusing - it is possible that the church covered up the worst offenses, it appears.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I'm curious who this is sad for? Undoubtedly for the victims, but who else? Surely not for those who covered it all up?

Personally, I'm not sad, I'm spitting tacks. I am reconciled to the Church of England operating on the basis that one gets on if one is a good chap but I really draw the line on the reporting of child abuse being done on that basis.

Lots of good people thought Peter Bell was a Holy Saint of God, when he was nothing of the sort. Perhaps if the relevant information had been put into the public domain sooner they might have been disabused of this particular notion.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Ball was convicted of sexually abusing 18 'teenagers and young men', so no children as such. Fair point.

Sorry, does a 13 year old count as an adult in the U.K.? Or does the fact that Ball cut a deal and so was never formally tried or convicted on that particular allegation mean that it definitely didn't happen?

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Bishops Finger
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Sorry, I missed that bit, but, as you point out, he was never actually convicted of abusing underage boys.

If, indeed, he did 'cut a deal', that only adds to the shamefulness of the whole business as far as the Church is concerned.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
]A lot of us remember the 20th century, having been alive then. Even way back then at the dawn of recorded history most of us knew that child rape was a) morally wrong and b) a crime.

I remember when a 21 year old man sleeping with an 17 year old man was legally child rape.

I also remember when groups of conservative Christian social workers launched a series of groundless accusations of ritual abuse of children: some of the most notorious cases were just prior to Carey's installment as Archbishop of Canterbury.
The tabloids are still prone to witch hunts against paedophiles once the paedophiles have been publically identified.

Finally, I remember That's Life's campaign against child abuse which if I remember correctly was instrumental in raising public awareness of child abuse as a serious matter. My father remembers that there was one teacher at his school whom the boys knew not to be alone in the room with; he and his more emotionally robust friends regarded it as a sort of joke or form of hazing.

So my impression is that reasonable people could have considered that concerns about child abuse were a matter of moral panic.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Sorry, I missed that bit, but, as you point out, he was never actually convicted of abusing underage boys.

"[H]e was never actually convicted" seems a problematic standard to apply to situation like this. The article you linked to at the top of this thread deals with church collusion in a cover-up of accusations. I don't think it's reasonable to receive credible accusations of child rape and then wave them away with "he's never been convicted". That's gaming the system to insure he'll never be convicted.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:

I also remember when groups of conservative Christian social workers launched a series of groundless accusations of ritual abuse of children: some of the most notorious cases were just prior to Carey's installment as Archbishop of Canterbury.

Shame they missed all the real abuse happening at the same time.
quote:

The tabloids are still prone to witch hunts against paedophiles once the paedophiles have been publically identified.

This does not mean it is OK to ignore or dismiss any complaints of abuse.
quote:

So my impression is that reasonable people could have considered that concerns about child abuse were a matter of moral panic.

ISTM, it was more that such things were not spoken of and whatever excuse it took to not investigate was used.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Bishops Finger
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Fair point, and I apologise if I appeared to condone or wave away his crimes. The fact remains that he wasn't convicted of abusing children, but I think that he should have been accused, and tried accordingly. The crimes themselves are bad enough, without the Church's shameful collusion and covering-up.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:

So my impression is that reasonable people could have considered that concerns about child abuse were a matter of moral panic.

.. but equally everyone knew the horror of rape and wouldn't have wanted it to happen to their own children.

They put their 'sons (and daughters) to the flame' to protect an institution and a class hierarchy.

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irreverend tod
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Many of the people Peter Ball abused where not legally children and the Church failed to see that they were vulnerable because of the position of power that Ball wielded as a Bishop. This is still a problem today as vulnerable adults are too often seen as those who have limited intelligence or are have a severe physical impairment that leaves them potentially at risk. The reality is that if you have a position of real power then anyone is potentially vulnerable to you. Think Teachers, Doctors etc and the dangers are more obvious.
Where the C of E has a massive weak link is that way too many of its clergy and staff have been removed from mainstream workplace practice for too long, and are unaware of what is normal. I have seen examples of behaviour which would be classed as gross professional misconduct in any other workplace and lead to instant dismissal, being greeted with disbelief when they are pointed out. This leads to a very distorted view of what is and isn't ok in many cases, not only abuse, and it might serve the Church well to think about the case where they would lose there jobs if they didn't report rather than the other way around. We have mandatory reporting in my place of work - and there is no cop out with seals of the confessional type excuses.

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Diocesan Arsonist and Lead thief to the Church of England.

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lilBuddha
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We are evolved to become habituated to authority/hierarchy. Our societies and business thrive on this. Religion adds a layer onto that by invoking the divine.
This is no excuse. Especially for positions which have ethics/morals as integral to their function.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Fair point, and I apologise if I appeared to condone or wave away his crimes. The fact remains that he wasn't convicted of abusing children, but I think that he should have been accused, and tried accordingly. The crimes themselves are bad enough, without the Church's shameful collusion and covering-up.

Are they "bad enough"? We go from assertions that "the issue with Peter Ball" had nothing to do with children (and 13 years old apparently being adulthood by mr cheesy standards), and then suddenly there's a shift from vague talk of "the issue" to a hyper-legalistic focus on criminal conviction, without which the allegations and cover-up don't really count as "bad enough".

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Bishops Finger
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I don't seem to be making myself very clear.

1. The crimes are, and were, awful.

2. So are, and were, their effects on the victims.

3. So is, and was, the Church's collusion.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Vulpior

Foxier than Thou
# 12744

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We have seen some damning criticism of the Anglican Church and of individual bishops during the hearings of our Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse. Bishops have resigned and been defrocked (the latter subsequently reversed), or stepped aside prematurely from their duties, when their failings in handling allegations have come to light.

Cardinal Pell has been the subject of much public focus, but the past behaviour of the Anglican hierarchy is shaming.

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I've started blogging. I don't promise you'll find anything to interest you at uncleconrad

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Are they "bad enough"? We go from assertions that "the issue with Peter Ball" had nothing to do with children (and 13 years old apparently being adulthood by mr cheesy standards), and then suddenly there's a shift from vague talk of "the issue" to a hyper-legalistic focus on criminal conviction, without which the allegations and cover-up don't really count as "bad enough".

Just a second. I thought that Ball was accused of abusing adults. It appears this impression was because he was convicted of a small number of incidents and that there were other incidents that were covered up or negotiated away.

Abuse of vulnerable adults is a terrible thing and abuse of a 13 year old is child abuse.

At no point did I suggest anything didn't count or than anything wasn't "bad enough".

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
One of the most shocking things about it is how Ball was gradually rehabilitated, so much so, that he ended up working in schools. I get that this was a while ago, when people probably didn't really understand the nature of groomers, and also their addictive behaviour. But time and time again, the victims come last.

I think the telling phrase here is 'people... didn't understand'. Better knowledge about human behaviours, and how those in positions of power can misuse it, plus improving means of finding out about it will, one can only hope, lessen such abuses in the future.

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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dyfrig
Blue Scarfed Menace
# 15

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
but I can't help thinking that he is being judged by 21st Century standards for attitudes and procedures (or lack of them) which were commonly held in the 20th Century

Not really. Even those of us old enough to remember the 20th century know that the general default position of not really wanting to believe that clergy do anything wrong was untenable.

This is not surprising for a Church that venerates Thomas Becket, an advocate of excluding clergy from the scrutiny of the law that applies to everyone else.

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"He was wrong in the long run, but then, who isn't?" - Tony Judt

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Vulpior:
We have seen some damning criticism of the Anglican Church and of individual bishops during the hearings of our Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse. Bishops have resigned and been defrocked (the latter subsequently reversed), or stepped aside prematurely from their duties, when their failings in handling allegations have come to light.

Cardinal Pell has been the subject of much public focus, but the past behaviour of the Anglican hierarchy is shaming.

And don't forget that at least 1 bishop offended rather than just mis-handled complaints. Bp Greg Thompson, recently retired as bishop of Newcastle, has recounted how he was molested by Bp Ian Shevill, who was bishop there in the 1970s. Until this disclosure, Bp Ian had had a glowing reputation for his episcopacy in both North Queensland and Newcastle.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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ThunderBunk

Stone cold idiot
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Over and over again, the powerlessness of knowledge is proven. Many, many people crave certainty, and any group, any position can more or less guarantee itself uncontested power by the simple expedient of demonstrating why people don't need to think, don't need to question the authority of the certainty they are being offered.

The tendency to question authority is always a minority position. Conformity is the norm, even among non-conformists, as witness the self-appointed righteousness of puritans, and the amount of time they spend picking motes out of the eyes of other non-conformists. True dissenters, who are the contesting tendency wherever they are, are rare. This is just as well for the coherence of any movement, but it does give the lie to the idea that knowledge has any power of itself. It has to have a route to disruption in order to be anything other than an expedient to shore up the power of the status quo.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

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Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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I still meet people who describe Bell as a "saintly man." And for me it's a class thing. The upper middle class closes ranks like no other. Apparently he used to wander about in his cassock. People lapped it up. And while I can not claim any mind reading abilities the look on their faces as they talk about him is half "I still can not believe it" and half "If he pulled of such a good job of fooling people and was like this are people falling for my little show*"

I can not get my head around Carey's actions and words in this matter when aligned with his words and actions in others. Our ability to fool ourselves seems limitless.

The greatest institution of all is still the greatest abuser - the family. Until we address this truth - we are taught to abuse by our families. Then all other human institutions will merely reflect it. Upper Middle Class families are by far the worst for the lies, manipulations and pressure that place upon themselves. Unto the 7th generation.

Dear God pour your balm on his many victims, in Your way and in Your time. Amen.

Pyx_e


* at no point have I thought "my little show" was anything to do with abuse, more to do with the spiritual malaise that infects us all and at its worst leads to actually harming others.

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It is better to be Kind than right.

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Eutychus
From the edge
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
I can not get my head around Carey's actions and words in this matter when aligned with his words and actions in others. Our ability to fool ourselves seems limitless.

Your last sentence is certainly true, but after reading the BBC report mentioned in the first post several times I would not rush too quickly to judgement before reading the original report.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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quetzalcoatl
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I find the confusion between eros and agape interesting, in people like Ball. This has often been termed 'concretization' in therapy, that is, turning an emotional/spiritual connection into a physical one.

Of course, we can all do that quite appropriately via a romantic relationship, but I suppose for someone like Ball, that was ruled out. Or was it?

But this is a bit vague, and ignores the specific details of individuals. You would think that other factors include a power relationship over someone else, and an eroticization of that. Again, fairly normal in relationships, but not between cleric and layperson.

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no path

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L'organist
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posted by Leo
quote:
I loathe Carey - but I can't help thinking that he is being judged by 21st Century standards for attitudes and procedures (or lack of them) which were commonly held in the 20th Century (and I know that doesn't make everything right)
I was born in the 1950s so have what might be described as working knowledge of the attitudes of the 20th century. At no time was it ever considered acceptable for young people - whether male or female - to be preyed upon by adults for their sexual gratification. In particular, as a clergy child I can attest that some bishops from the late 1950s onwards who were very aware of the danger of paedophile priests and who did their utmost to stop them in their tracks (writing honest references, refusing to appoint, etc) and some archdeacons also refused to shield paedophiles from prosecution.

As for the assertion that Ball "was not a paedophile", I think this from Dame Moira Gibb's report puts that to rest:
quote:
Of the 18 victims cited when Ball was sentenced in 2015, five had encountered Ball while they were still at school. At least one abusive encounter took place on school premises.
What makes the appointment of Ball to Gloucester even more grotesque is that as early as 1985 diocesan representatives in Norwich successfully opposed his appointment as bishop there, saying "...we needed someone married and that Norwich really could not take a group of young men living with the bishop in the bishop’s house – nor was this pastorally wise for the bishop - this is quoted in Dame Moira's report. While the notion that a bishop "needs" a wife might strike us as quaint, it was well-known shorthand for the time that they recognised the candidate as homosexual which, coupled with the comment about the "group of young men" left little doubt of their reading of the bishop and his proclivities.

One is bound to ask that if such concerns were seen as being valid and relevant to a diocesan appointment in 1985, what had changed by 1992 so that he could be sent to Gloucester? The immediate answer is that the Archbishop of Canterbury had changed...

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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andras
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St Paul's advice to Timothy that a bishop should be a married man with one wife (ok, I know the Greek is a little ambiguous, but that's the usually-taken sense of it) would seem to suggest that Norwich were taking the Scripture seriously. Certainly they saved themselves a lot of trouble.

Bishop Peter Ball has had his sins very clearly called out, and we know a lot about those whom he hurt; and now we know a lot about those who enabled him to keep doing so. God help us, most of us manage to fly beneath the radar with our own failings.

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God's on holiday.
(Why borrow a cat?)
Adrian Plass

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fletcher christian

Mutinous Seadog
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Posted by Leo:
quote:

I loathe Carey - but I can't help thinking that he is being judged by 21st Century standards for attitudes and procedures (or lack of them) which were commonly held in the 20th Century (and I know that doesn't make everything right)

As many have pointed out, there was never a time - during the time in question - when this behaviour was tolerated by society or that didn't have some manner of of legislative standard or procedure to at least criminalise if not prevent. You do however raise an important issue; namely that at that time it was thought by some that this behaviour could be halted in some way and that those who committed such crimes had simply succumbed to temptation. Whether we like it or not, there was an attitude in the church (and not just the CofE) that moving a person could, or might, help alleviate or halt the issue.

What I do not understand is that through the passage of time, as more and more accusations were made, there seems to have been little done to remove him from office. But the really damning aspect of it all is in the fact that these cases never seem to have been looked at again later by the church. As an understanding grew of the predatory nature of these crimes and their extent, why was it not investigated in light of more recent procedures and the new understandings of the behaviour? To me, this is the most damning thing about all of it. It suggests an attitude of 'let sleeping dogs lie' in order to protect the name of the church and those who served it. It shows that those who knew about these crimes placed more value in the secrecy employed by Ball than in the justice denied to his victims.

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'God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe'
Staretz Silouan

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chris stiles
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# 12641

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Richard Bartholomew has a fairly measured piece on his blog, with extracts from the review and his own comments on them - drawing in additional context:

http://barthsnotes.com/2017/06/23/some-notes-on-the-independent-review-into-bishop-peter-ball/

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