Recently, I was embarrassed by relying too much on the Telegraph’s religion reporting.
It nearly happened again yesterday.
I thought about blogging on this article from the Telegraph. After all, the Bishop of Chichester openly saying he would be “happy” to swim the Tiber would be quite newsworthy.
The problem is that is not what he said. He has clarified matters on his site, politely making it clear the Telegraph ripped his words out of context:
An article has been published today in the Sunday Telegraph asserting that I have announced that I am about to become a Roman Catholic.
This is not the case.
The report appears to come from a misunderstanding of an answer I gave to questions from the floor at the recent ‘Forward in Faith’ assembly, at which I spoke.
A questioner had asked about the Papal condemnation of Anglican Orders. I responded by speaking about the subtlety of the position. I referred to the moment when it seemed as if the issue of how the Roman Catholic Church sees Anglican orders might be reopened but how the ordination of women to the priesthood and other developments have now made that impossible.
In the light of that I stated that in the event of union with the Roman Catholic Church I would be willing to receive re-ordination into the Roman Catholic priesthood but that I would not be willing to deny the priesthood I have exercised hitherto.
This is clearly a contentious and complex issue and one where it is easy to misunderstand the nuances of the debate. I think I made my position clear in my address at the Forward in Faith assembly.
That is twice this month already that the Telegraph has twisted the words of a senior CofE bishop. May I suggest that paper needs to get their act together?
And let this be a lesson to current and prospective bloggers to be very careful about what sources you trust. Don’t learn this lesson the hard way as I have.