As one who is a master of the fine art of Logopodeia (that's 'foot in mouth' disease) I can but applaud Justin's actions as he addressed the BBC's institutional failures and called on it to have some integrity. Would that he had remembered the advice given to people in glasshouses regarding stone-throwing as many consider the birthday advice to be deep and damaging hypocrisy.
Helping the BBC to get a feel for what was needed, Justin paraded the integrity he obviously feels that the C of E and RC churches has shown with their own child abuse scandals - and this was not a good move at all! The Gibb report (An Abuse of Faith) is a good start, but that's all it is and whilst witch-hunts are never good, neither is the token offering of eighty-one pages of report wrapped around with an (according to some who have engaged me) hollow mea culpa!
There\s too many people out there with horror stories and untreated wounds inflicted on them by people in church leadership. The 'long shadow' spoken of by Dame Moira Gibb is still evident and the 'dark area' which Justin considered the BBC to be surely exists in the same shadow.
Justin, speaking for the C of E as he does, has surely opened a challenging can of worms here. Unless he wishes to own the accusations of engaging in “breathtaking hypocrisy” he needs to deal with the abuse survivors have hurled at him (and the church he leads) by being seen to be doing it right. I for one trust the bloke to be that man and look forward to seeing where this debacle takes him, and us, his brothers and sisters in Christ.
Meanwhile, elsewhere, a radio interview with one of those who have be subjected to abuse in a church setting spoke of the, “Evasion, denial and silence that those claiming abuse had been met with”. A man who stopped me outside of our town centre church asked my opinion on the sacking of George Carey (a former archbishop of Canterbury) as a result of the Gibb Report. His view was that it was an 'easy hit' and that many of those wearing dog-collars (and purple shirts) were equally, or even more, culpable and yet were hidden within the protection the C of E. Whether this is a true assessment of the situation, time alone will tell.
|Just read the book and apply it!|
i. Please stop beating Justin up - he was doing his job when he spoke regarding the BBC's shadow.
ii. Please pray for Justin - and all in ministry - that we would act wisely and deal with abuse
wheresoever we find it.
iii. Ensure that your church engages in a robust (yet not oppressive) safeguarding practice. We not
only have an organisational duty of care but we have a personal biblical call to protect those in
our congregations and beyond.
iv. Take the time to get yourself trained up so that you can have a basic awareness of safeguarding:
You can do this through the C of E Safeguarding portal - which you'll find @