Posted in Climate Change, Debate, Environment, God, Human Rights, Modern society, Politics, Religion, Thoughts

Climate, Church and Abuse.

My friends know me for my eco stance and concern over the environment, so I should welcome the Church of England taking the moral line over this issue; calling on us to have a duty to protect and help save our planet. After all, as Christians, surely we are custodians over God’s wonderful planet and living creation-if indeed he created it. (The jury is out on that one folks but for now we will assume he has.)

However, whether the Church has just decided to go eco to gain some brownie points either socially or politically, an article in the Times today exposed the Church of England to some very negative press over the issue of climate change and linking this to a recent headline abuse scandal. Here is an extract of the newpaper report.

Survivors of sex abuse by Christian clergy today responded with anger and shock to the Church of England bishop who said that everyone who failed to act on climate change was as guilty as Austrian child abuser Josef Fritzl.

Victims accused the bishop of being “facile and demeaning” towards Fritzl’s daughter, who was kept in a cellar for 24 years, raped repeatedly and who had seven children by her own father.

The Bishop of Stafford, the Right Rev Gordon Mursell, an expert on Christian spirituality and near the bottom of the hierarchy of Anglican bishops, said that people who ignored global warming were, in effect, locking their children and grandchildren into a world without a future and throwing away the key.

 Need-less to say there has been much criticism of these comments from survivers of sexual abuse and a calling to account of the sex scandels and abuses within clergy ranks and communties.

I found this analogy utterly astounding and think it is so off beam and off the planet. What ever is the church thinking of making such a suggestion by suggesting this kind of linkage? It just seems absurd to me. The Bishop went on to qualify his analogy stating that people needed to realise that doing nothing to save the planet for future generations were as quilty as Fritzl abusing his own daughter.

No wonder the pews are emptying in many C of E churches if this is what is being preached. Where is the credibility in this? The gross insensitivity of the comments. I wonder what old Archie Rowan Williams think to this one, as the Church of England is publishing its own report complaining of the quality of its clergy.

What an own goal! As more and more reports of child sex abuse in the Catholic priesthood and other Christian denominations are exposed, I think the whole report is rather a hoot and a corker. If this is the Churches thinking around such an emotive and sensitive subject then what else must it indeed think about other highly contentious subjects.

In conclusion, I quote one final extract from the article:

It is with horror and shock that survivors sexually abused as children or as adults within Christian churches and by Christian clergy and ministers should hear their own bishop declare that perhaps buying oranges from South Africa is the equivalent to being locked into a dungeon and being raped repeatedly for 20 years by an evil father.

Sums it up for me that. It makes the Church look quite ridiculous. Now what did I say about the quality of Church leadership and accountability? Oh, I remember now. That other blog I wrote. Proves a point in a way I think.


I have always cared about health and education and have worked in both settings. Now I like to walk, love visiting church buildings and connecting with nature and its weather. I teach medical English as well as being a novice piano player. My dream is to play the organ.

2 thoughts on “Climate, Church and Abuse.

  1. I suppose you might be able to argue that his heart was in the right place in wanting to highlight the potential cruelty and disaster of ignoring climate change. However, victims of sexual abuse often hurt because few people seem to be able to grasp the reality of the horror of what they have experienced, and many of them would just find this to be another example of someone using their unimaginable pain to make a political point. I think, for me, it just suggests that the guy has never really had any experience of meaningful conversation with abuse victims. If he had, he would probably have chosen his words more carefully.

  2. It doesn’t seem to be a very helpful analogy to me, other than that it has got a lot of people talking about and discussing both issues. And talking is always good.

    Not sure I can say a lot more really – I am an environmentalist (it is my passion and my job) but global issues, even when you bring them down to the way they affect us all personally are just not in the same bracket as sexual abuse or torture. Maybe if he had said that people failing to act on climate change was the same as neighbours/bystanders failing to act if they suspect abuse is taking place, then the analogy would be a bit more appropriate.

    We all have a responsibility to take action at a personal level when we believe in something.

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