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Quotes of the week

23 July 2021


The UK Parliament votes to turn refugees into criminals and to use reasonable force to send them back across the channel. Once again I feel ashamed

Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Twitter, 20 July


The allegations against Father Griffin passed on to the Roman Catholic Church were supported by no complainant, no witness and no accuser. There was no concern raised by a victim of abuse, by a child, parent, teacher, youth worker or other witness. No person said they had been the subject of or had witnessed any concerning behaviour, save that Father Griffin had been seen to have dinner with men in an Italian restaurant, for which he might have paid the bill. The C of E safeguarding adviser finally tasked with dealing with the matter did not consider that there was any safeguarding concern. And yet on this basis, Alan Griffin found himself to be under investigation for over a year, without ever having the allegations and their source plainly set out for him

Mary Hassell, coroner, extract from Prevention of Future Deaths report, 9 July


It is true that we have been overtaken by very rapid social change in which we can expect the Holy Spirit to reshape the Church. As an era in which, perhaps, we felt too much at home passes away, it is right to look expectantly for the living forms that Jesus and his Church will take in the Christian centuries to come. But alongside this proper expectancy, there is an insidious temptation to believe that we can abbreviate the birth pangs of the new age by drastic surgery when we really don’t have the spiritual insight to understand what we are doing.

Richard Chartres, former Bishop of London, sermon in St Mary’s, Bourne Street, London, 17 July (requiem mass for Fr Bill Scott)


It seems to me that we are in particular danger of reducing the Christ-given sacramental character of the Church to a thin and insubstantial sociological concept. The Wesley brothers were well aware of the potential of lay-led cells for praise, mutual encouragement, and study of the Bible. . . But, as the Wesleys would have been the first to point out, they complement but cannot replace the Church



The effect of the current government proposals on legacy is to prevent too much prying into dark corners of a dirty war. That will protect reputations but will not help the hurting ones for whom Jesus was most concerned. A system that appears to prioritise the feelings of the perpetrators over the distress of the victims is guaranteed only to perpetuate the pain, not draw a line under it

Donal McKeown, Bishop of Derry, homily 18 July


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