Sunday, 6 January 2013
Dear Bishops, do not fear your past lives
Difficult times lie ahead, almost certainly. Here is a platitude, but, I think, a most pertinent one in these times: We are all sinners. It is in this spirit that I have written the following. It is not addressed to any particular Bishop in England and Wales; I don't actually think I'm on their radar, let alone their reading lists, and in any case I have no particular knowledge of their lives. It is a general plea.
Dear Bishops, please do not ever fear the revelation of whatever sin may have been committed in your past; do not let it silence you; do not let it cause your courage to fail. Please speak out, and take action, as one sinner striving to save other sinners; but as a sinner who is a successor of the Apostles, with the power and authority given to them and to you by God. His strength will be given to you.
Your flocks are sturdier than you may think. Although you are in authority over us, you and we are also brethren. In the face of any opprobrium you may suffer, even for real wrongdoing in your earlier lives, and of which you have repented most sincerely, may you always be borne up by our prayers.