Once again, the Church has lost an industrial tribunal, and once again it is trying to brush away the findings. This one was so cut and dried that an immediate decision was made in the appellant's favour.
The findings included the following gems about the Bishop of Liverpool:
1. He doesn't like the city
2. He is more interested in national fame and his public image that what happens here. It is a standing joke here that if you want the Bishop to attend all you have to fo is let him knw that the BBC will be there - he is to microphones what dogs are to .....
3. He is known to be economical with the truth
4. He cares more about his personal 'credibility' than anything else and will sacrifice anyone else to maintain it
5. He desperately wanted to be Archbishop of York
All of those things emerged during the tribunal; there is no reason to believe they are not the case given the outcome. Of course, some will disagree.
My own impression is that the Bishop really ought to consider his position. He is not popular and not respected in Liverpool.
My own experience is that he, in my view, doctored a report which I was involved in producing and ensured that it made little impact. I used to meet him and liaise with him regarding gay issues when I was involved with the church. When I started to draw away, I know that he was aware of why - yet I heard nothing at all from him. This is his problem. As the appellant in this case noted: "There was no grace or mercy: no humanity". Wouldn't a pastorally concerned church leader have wanted to talk to me and find out why i felt so disillusioned?
The Bishop should accept that he is unpopular , not up to doing the job, and resign. On the other hand, maybe he shouldn't - because the Bishop, and the result of this, and the tribunal lost by the bishop of Hereford, epitomises what I have realised the Church is really all about. Which is why I left.