By now most of my good readers have surely read of Lambeth Palace’s juvenile attack on The Bishop of Rochester. Here are the stories on the sordid matter from The Daily Mail and from the Independent, which actually broke a religion story for once.
The most directly responsible perpetrator has been found and sacked. To most, that’s the end of the matter. And perhaps it should be. But I’m not so sure.
For Lambeth Palace is full of hostility to traditionalists and to orthodoxy. It is just usually not so overt as the noted slur. It is a passive-aggressive brand of hostility that doesn’t call traditionalists names, but does oppose them, even ignore them on everything that matters – very politely, of course. Even key decisions of the Primates Meeting have been ignored by the Lambeth crowd.
Given this record, the naughty word is almost an improvement.
In any case, Lambeth is such a politely poisonous hothouse of hostility toward traditionalists that someone felt comfortable letting the polite façade drop and put such a slur on a document to be distributed to the Prime Minister and all 43 of the Church of England’s diocesan bishops. (Perhaps the perpetrator intended to remove the offending word before document actually went out, but that is speculation.) Yes, the person is question is surely a rogue maverick; but I suspect he is so only in method, not in attitude.
And guess who is ultimately responsible for the atmosphere at Lambeth being so poisoned? That’s right. Dr. Rowan Williams.
And I much prefer he fire himself.