Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Forget culture. It’s a new theology we need

From The Church Times-

LISTENING to the evidence of abuse and cover-up in Chichester diocese has been a miserable experience. The experiences recounted by survivors were harrowing, the explanations offered by senior clergy were shocking, and the juxtaposition of the two was a lesson in inhumanity.

Nobody who spoke at IICSA, including Archbishop Welby, denies that the problem goes deep and calls for serious reform. Everyone agreed that procedural and structural change was insufficient without a change of culture. But no one drew the obvious conclusion that this must include theology. Operative theologies in the Church of England are part of the problem; so a ruthlessly honest theological audit is going to have to be part of the solution.

An urgent place to start is a Christian understanding of forgiveness. In Chichester, a faulty doctrine of forgiveness was used by abusers to salve their consciences, by church officials to move on without dealing with the problem, and by parishioners and clergy to marginalise “unchristian” victims and whistleblowers.

More here-

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