Deep shame at CofE as hundreds of new sexual abuse cases come to light
A review of 75,000 past abuse cases in the Church of England found 383 new cases, some of which were not treated by current safeguard standards. Most were against children and vulnerable adults, 242 involved clergy as perpetrators, and most of them were sexual. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Justin Welby and Stephen Cottrell, sincerely apologized for “the pain and misery endured”. They said they faced the failings of the Church “always with great sadness and deep shame”. The report makes 26 recommendations, including a charter to ensure children are heard. But he warned that the story is not over. The church has remained open to deal with new and past revelations – the agenda is never closed or concluded. Church Time Report here; Thinking about Anglican links here
Church of England ‘at risk of being disbanded’ in its stance on lesbians and gays
Ben Bradshaw, Labor MP for Exeter and former Culture Secretary, has warned that the Church of England risks being dissolved if it continues to discriminate against lesbians and gays. In a interview with the Guardian, he said CofE must act quickly to welcome lesbians and gays and embrace same-sex marriage or face growing questions in parliament about its role as an established church. Patience was running out and it was untenable to exclude a significant minority of the population, while claiming a church role for England. Proposals to allow same-sex marriage are being presented to the church’s governing body, the General Synod, early next year, but the church is deeply divided.
Thérèse Coffey, Deputy Prime Minister and practicing Catholic who takes faith seriously
Therese Coffey, the new Deputy Prime Minister and Health Secretary, is a practicing Catholic who takes her faith seriously. Christopher Lamb describes how his faith ran through his life from childhood in the North West of England to power in Westminster. While she has opposed abortion and same-sex marriage, the government she works in appears to be at odds with Pope Francis on the economy and the environment, he says. But her “well-documented enjoyment of karaoke, cigars and champagne suggests that she instinctively understands that a Catholic understanding of the world seeks to affirm the good things in life as fruits of divine abundance.” Read Christopher Lamb’s full report here
Violence escalates in third week of Iran hijab protests
The Telegraph reports that violence is escalating in Iran as protests continue for a third week following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested for breaking hijab rules and is died in custody. The Telegraph shows a film of schoolgirls shaking their headscarves and shouting in protest at the leader of a paramilitary group. In Strasbourg, Abir Al-Sahlani, the MEP from the Swedish Center Party, cut her hair on the platform of the European Parliament. On Monday, the Foreign Office summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires to protest the “shocking use of violence” by security forces, and in retaliation Iran summoned the British ambassador to Tehran, rejecting British interference and provocative interpretations.
Charity Commission opens inquiry into Brighton mosque
The Charity Commission opened an investigation into Brighton Mosque and Muslim Community Center and appointed a new interim director. Earlier this year, the regulator issued an official warning to the mosque after a former administrator was found guilty of encouraging terrorism in a speech given at the charity’s premises. The Commission said the directors knew or should have known of the risk posed, but that an ongoing dispute within the charity meant it was uncertain whether appropriate steps would be taken to protect the charity from further undue risk of harm. The new director will appoint new directors and the inquiry will review the administration, financial affairs, governance and management of the charity.
Lawyer Seeks Survivors of Jesus’ Army Abuse Who Qualify for Compensation
The Northampton Chronicle reports that an attorney acting for survivors of Jesus’ army is asking them to come forward for compensation. The group disbanded in 2020 after allegations of sexual, financial and emotional abuse were filed against leaders. Malcolm Johnson, Chief of Lime avocados‘ abuse service says 70 people are known to them, but he believes there are thousands more who qualify for the compensation scheme, released last month, which could mean they receive £80,000 each. Jesus’ army was based in Northampton and had around 5,000 members at its peak. It was charismatic and evangelical, but considered a cult, with members sometimes living in townships and known to travel around city centers by bus, evangelizing people in the streets.
Apology after cardinal says German church was using Nazi thinking in reforms
The Vatican cardinal overseeing Christian unity has apologized for any offense caused, after comparing the German Catholic Church’s reform process to the thinking that backed the Nazis. The Associated press reports that Swiss Cardinal Kurt Koch suggested that the German Church was introducing new sources of divine revelation, beyond Scripture and Christian tradition, to justify the theological change. It is, he said, the same thing that some pro-Nazi Protestants did when they “saw the new revelation of God in blood and soil and in the rise of Hitler.” The German bishops demanded a retraction, and Koch apologized to anyone who felt offended. The German church opens debates on issues such as priestly celibacy, the role of women in the church and homosexuality.
Quick action needed after football fans gave Nazi salute in Sydney
Representatives of Australia’s Jewish community are calling for further action by football authorities after fans were shown giving a Nazi salute during the weekend’s Cup final between Sydney and the McCarthur F.C. ABC reports tA lifetime ban has been issued and police are continuing to investigate to identify others who may have been involved. ABC quotes NSW Jewish Council of Deputies leader Darren Bark as saying it was clear others were involved and looked forward to ‘swift and heavy penalties to be applied by Football Australia when those fans are identified.”