Carey, Carey, quite contrary
His Grace has reflected.
He has concluded, with regret, that the Rt Rev'd Dr Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, not only bears false witness; he bullies those with whom he disagrees. This is not only His Grace's observation: it has been corroborated by two peers, a very senior MP and sundry church officials. And his chaplain, Canon Rosie Harper, unable to defend her views on 'Assisted Dying' theologically (or reasonably), is content to defame and spread untruths about those who have the audacity to challenge her opinion. Both the Bishop and his chaplain hold positions of authority within the Church of England, and yet are content to use distortions, exaggerations, dishonest straw men and personal defamation to undermine the Church's doctrine and the authority of the House of Bishops.
It is not His Grace who needs to reflect. Perhaps the Bishop might consider that tweeting lies is not an edifying Christian witness and is manifestly incompatible with his role as a leader and shepherd. And Canon Harper might meditate on whether or not she can worship a God who required "the most extreme suffering" of His Son on a cross. After all, God is sovereign and has no need to shore up that sovereignty. Anachronisms and cultural constraints aside, surely He could have arranged a swift, merciful and compassionate beheading for Jesus, as he did for St Paul, instead of "requiring (him) to suffer extreme agony on behalf of (His) own conscience"?
How 'moral' or 'Christian' was it of God to 'require' the 'extreme agony' of crucifixion?
Now, to the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey of Clifton, who has today come out in favour of 'Assisted Dying'.
His Grace has long admired, respected and supported the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr George Carey. Since being made a peer in his own right (as opposed to ex officio), he has made some bold interventions for truth on behalf of Anglican traditionalists. But he is now retired: as cross-bench peer, he speaks on behalf of no constituency but himself, and certainly not on behalf of the Established Church. The bombshell he drops today, while the General Synod is gathered in York and (most likely) about to declare a unified position on the future of women's ministry, is unfortunate, to say the least.
While the current Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby writes boldly in The Times that Lord Falconer's Bill is "mistaken and dangerous", Lord Carey unhelpfully tells us via the Daily Mail that "The old philosophical certainties have collapsed in the face of the reality of needless suffering".
"Had I been putting doctrine before compassion, dogma before human dignity?" he asks, making the precise allegation recently deployed by Canon Harper against His Grace.
The inference is that ++Justin, who tragically lost a young daughter and has surely tasted grief, is "putting doctrine before compassion". For Canon Harper, his opposition to Lord Falconer's Bill is "neither moral nor Christian". And so, on this matter at least, Lord Carey is perceived by the world as enlightened and progressive, and ++Justin is seen as obstructive and lacking in compassion.
Now Bishop Alan of Buckingham and his chaplain Canon Rosie Harper find themselves in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with a homophobic bigot.
Still, at least he's not a troll.