The ongoing disaster which is the Presbyterian Mutual Society has rightly excited interest from many unionist politicians including Arlene Foster and Jim Allister amongst others. Most of them have (again rightly) been pressurising the government and the banks. David McNarry (not normally one of my favourite politicians) has been one of those involved. Saturday’s News Letter has reports of letters from the PMS implying a pretty inextricable link between the PMS and the Presbyterian Church.
This from 1992
“That it is fulfilling a very necessary function within our Church is evidenced by the number of applications coming before the Board.
“It is indeed a further mark of the Church’s caring concern for the welfare of its people.”
A letter sent the following year to an investor again described the PMS as a “helping agency within the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.”
The same article quotes David McNarry making the most direct criticism I have seen of the Presbyterian Church in this affair:
“It was never acceptable that the stance taken by the Presbyterian Church to distance itself from the PMS excused it from or absolved it from any responsibilities.
There is no doubt in my mind that in the ‘good days’ the Church made no such efforts to set itself apart from the PMS.
The Church now has two obligations and duties to perform first they must involve themselves in guarantees to the savers and second they must avoid a split in the Church developing.
Guarantees by the Church, which will clearly signal to the savers that the Church will not desert them, are urgently required.
I have argued this before but it really is past time for the Presbyterian Church to step up to its (financial) moral responsibilities.