|Photo: Church in Wales|
Bullying, or 'alleged' bullying, rears its ugly head at the forthcoming meeting of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales.
In Question time (Item 16) on Day 2 the Archdeacon of Llandaff continues her campaigning. She demands to know:
"What steps have been taken by the Standing Committee and dioceses to
circulate the (Todd) “Report on the Representation of Women in the
Church in Wales 2015” to deaneries and parishes, and what actions have
been taken in response to the recommendations?"
This late entrant to the Church seems more intent on advancing the role of women in the Church regardless of merit than proclaiming the Gospel message as received.
The Todd Report was debated at GB last April. Here is a flavour.
Dr Gill Todd (Swansea & Brecon):
"The proposals in the report, she said, were designed to "achieve change and embed gender equality unequivocally in the Church in Wales for ever; and, secondly, to make the Church in Wales recognise the joy that comes from men and women working together in God's name; and the pain that comes from continued discrimination and bullying. A failure to recognise the gifts, calling, and vocation of others is a failure to demonstrate Christlike behaviour."
The Archdeacon also adds her name along the Rev Jan Gould of Llandaff to the question:
"In the light of the final communiqué from the Primates of the Anglican
Communion after their meeting in January, can the Bishops outline how
they propose to respond now to continuing calls by the LGBT members of
the Church in Wales and their supporters for full and equal inclusion and
That anyone from Llandaff could add their names to such a question seems ridiculous from what I hear and read about Llandaff. Granted some commentators complain of not being accepted although no evidence has been produced and I do not know anyone who has experienced it. The question alleges that there is not "full and equal inclusion and acceptance" in which one has to ask, how do all the gay clergy manage to perform their ministry?
On a practical level, if the questioners have the laity in mind, what do they propose? Stewards and welcomers asking, "Excuse me, are you gay?" so that they can give them an affirming hug? When it comes to worship a person's sexuality is irrelevant so why would anyone see the need to flag it?
Such questions are bullying in themselves. They present statements as factual then demand action regardless of proof but it is this statement by Dr Todd which takes the prize for double standards:
"Bullying also played a part in persuading women to leave the Church, she said. Many victims "vote with their feet, and leave the organisation. Unfortunately, they also leave the bully to make the next person's life a misery." [My emphasis -Ed.]
Considering how many worshippers have left the Church, including many devout women, over the ordination of women and the bullying which took place at all levels in order to secure the vote, such statements would be laughable if they were not so pathetic, especially when the prime bully continues to pursue his agenda against the real victims when it is he who is out of step with the teaching of the wider Church.