Bishop Pete Broadbent deletes Ruth Gledhill as a Facebook friend
You've heard of kicking the cat?
Well, it appears that the Bishop of London has suspended the Suffragan Bishop of Willesden for his ill-judged remarks about the forthcoming Royal Wedding. The Rt Rev'd Richard Chartes wrote:
Dear Colleague,In asking the Bishop to 'withdraw from public ministry', the Bishop of London has effectively suspended his suffragan.
I was appalled by the Bishop of Willesden’s comments about the forthcoming royal marriage. In common with most of the country I share the joy which the news of the engagement has brought.
I have now had an opportunity to discuss with Bishop Peter how his comments came to be made and I have noted his unreserved apology. Nevertheless, I have asked him to withdraw from public ministry until further notice. I have also been in touch with St James’s Palace to express my own dismay on behalf of the Church.
Arrangements will need to be made in Bishop Peter’s absence and further details will be given in due course.
With thanks for your partnership in the Gospel.
The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Richard Chartres KCVO DD FSA
Yet there is confusion, for +Pete appears to have told the Church Mouse that he has not been suspended.
If he be not suspended, it is not clear what his present status is, insofar as he is prohibited from officiating in public ministry, which must include celebration of the Eucharist.
To His Grace, if a bishop may not officiate and oversee, he has ceased to fulfil the functions of a bishop.
Suspended: debar temporarily from a function, office, privilege, etc (OED)So, however it is wrapped up, +Pete is suspended.
But the pettiness in +Pete's decision to remove the exquisite Ruth Gledhill as a Facebook friend really does suggest a certain level of childishness in the reaction to his suspension.
Perhaps His Grace shouldn't hold his breath for +Pete to confirm him as a Facebook friend.