CoI prelate snubs church magazine on Eames Bradley

Sunday Sequence carried an article this morning about the disagreement between the Church of Ireland Gazette and the Bishop of Clogher, Michael Jackson (also covered on William Crawley’s blog). Bishop Jackson was chairman of the CoI’s working group on the Eames Bradley proposals (though we learned in the process of the Sunday Sequence report that not all the committee members attended the meetings). The working group’s comments are mostly as one might expect; albeit somewhat mealy-mouthed. However, on the Ford Focus of money (the £12,000) the working group reported that “The feedback from members of the Church of Ireland is mixed” and on the Quigley Hamilton proposals on wiping ex-terrorists slates clean they suggested “that such a proposal would not have consensus across the Protestant community.”

Both these comments are so disingenuous as to be utterly dishonest. It is overwhelmingly clear that there is consensus amongst the vast majority of members of the CoI (along with most other people, of all religions and none; unionist, nationalist and other). That consensus has been overwhelmingly opposed to the £12,000 and indeed to the Quigley Hamilton proposals. However, the CoI working group seem to have preferred craven obeisance to the noble Lord Eames’s proposals. The CoI is of course not really a democracy and leading prelates such as Jackson can pontificate as they wish. However, they are not able to control the Church of Ireland Gazette which seems to take a stance more in keeping with that of the members in the pews. The Gazette has published letters (here) and 15th January (not yet on line) highly critical of Bishop Jackson’s submission.

The CoI however, also has a strategy for avoiding the problem of its members disagreeing with its hierarchy: initially they refused to release the document. Subsequently the submission was released under a Freedom of Information request to the government. Not to be outdone, however, the prelate in charge (Jackson) simply refused to speak to the CoI Gazette. He is, however, due to speak to William Crawley on next week’s Sunday Sequence.

  • ranger1640

    The lack of posts on this issue, sums up the influence the CoI has within the Protestant, Unionist and Loyalist communities.

    Irrelevant, middle class, sanctimonious, pompous twits.

  • Rory Carr

    Since there no such diocese of “Clogher Michael Jackson” exists, I must presume, Turgon, that in your first sentence above you intended, “..the Bishop of Clogher, Michael Jackson…”.

  • west belfast

    Turgon I have to hand it to you – you keep plugging away at this.

    I remain of the belief Eames Bradley was an impossible task and just because it went beyond some peoples comfort zone doesnt make them wrong.

    I find your personal vendetta against Eames distasteful if not surprising. He doesnt deserve it – in my view he has been a man of peace and dedicated his life to bringing peace to our crazy part of the world.

  • Turgon

    west belfast,
    I will take that as a sort of compliment. I think Eames Bradley is almost dead but until I see it completely destroyed I will keep plugging away. As a Kenyan wildlife ranger once told me about crocodiles: If it is trying to attack, you keep firing until it stops moving.

    I would never be so arrogant as to suggest that my views matter but I think that keeping up attacks on the thing every time it comes up has value. If some of my more analytical blogs on it have helped in some small way then I am delighted.

    As to Eames himself, it is the hypocrisy I find nauseating. With the Eames Bradley report he seems to have bought completely into the “We were all responsible” line. This is utterly at variance with what he said previously and indeed totally at variance with standard Protestant (and others?) understanding of responsibility.

    You may take a different view and that is fine. However, I would submit that that is the position of most Protestants / unionists and quite possibly / probably most Catholics / nationalists. The anger and practically universal condemnation of Eames Bradley from the unionist community seems to bear that out.

    As I said if and hopefully when Eames Bradley is finally destroyed I will stop.

  • west belfast

    I think I have discussed my views – I do buy into we were to blame, as in no-one came out of the last 40 years particularly well.

    I don’t want to rehearse it all again. I think you will have your wish for now – although I think its as much about money as it is about the report itself.

    However I firmly believe we will have to come back to this at some point because the past isnt going to go away.

    It keeps cropping up every now and again – whether that is HET, Police Ombudsman, Coroners etc. Only when unionism genuinely faces up to its part in the chaos will our society be able to lay all the ghosts to rest.

    Finally I just believe you are very harsh on Eames – I think he is a good man and deserves a bit of respect. It all just seems so personal when you make your comments.

  • Turgon

    west belfast,
    Eames may well be a good man. However, he has done something which has been colossally unpopular within the unionist (and I suspect much of the nationalist) community and unpopular for extremely good reasons. He has also been extremely disingenuous, especially in his (essentially stalled) attempted self rehabilitation campaign.

    Before he regains any respect from the unionist community I suspect he needs to say sorry for what he has done and not merely admit a few mistakes. Essentially he needs to repudiate the whole report and his own part in its intellectually lazy, dishonest and amoral conclusions.

  • Paddy

    The CoI Gazette is a right wing, sectarian rag. Terrorists used to post it to anyone writing to the papers expressing a nationalist or non fascist pov. The Anglican CoI is certainly not without sin. Drumcree and all that.

  • But surely Eames was being consistent with his view of Christianity?

    Wouldn’t he expect every Protestant to love their Catholic neighbours (or otherwise burn in hell)? And to love their Republican enemies (or suffer eternal torment)? Isn’t the points of the good Samaritan story that people different from us, may be better than us? (In Judea at the time, Samaritans were treated like Roma in Slovakia.)

    So of course you have to treat your enemies well, and not reserve any restitution or compensation just for people in your own church or tribe?