Colin Coward of Changing Attitude speculates that the person who leaked the information about a possible nomination of Jeffrey John as Bishop of Southwark is a member of the Crown Nominations Committee. Someone who feels he can violate the oath of confidentiality to keep gay men from becoming bishops:
The more likely source of the leak was someone who believed that it was morally right to protect the church from appointing a partnered (even if celibate) gay priest. That person has to be a permanent member of the CNC and a conservative evangelical layman. There are two possible candidates and one name in particular has been circulating for some months.
The same person is likely to have been told about the exchange of lawyer’s letters because he is a permanent member of the CNC. He has never admitted that he was the original source of information, thus condemning Colin Slee to a series of deeply painful accusations in the period before his death.
That is a scandal in itself. The person believes he is right to break oaths of confidentiality and leak information with the aim of sabotaging the place of gay people in the church. I’m convinced he did it again prior to last weekend.
There is more that is scandalous. I believe senior church staff must know who the person is. They allow this abuse to continue. They tolerate the presence of a colleague who personifies ugly homophobia.
Martin Reynolds' comment at Thinking Anglicans on the Jeffrey John business:
There was once a Welshman and a Welshman and a Welshman ........
This increasingly acrimonious and hugely damaging story has emerged from where? And this very private letter was released by who and to what effect?
Nowhere can I find a reference to the supposed quote in the Mail on Sunday headline, and as the letter is from a lawyer, when is Jeffrey supposed to have said this? Isn't that rather key information to the story?
And who, on this Commission, would leak a legal letter - surely this is yet another breach aimed at damaging John? Did the last secret enquiry throw up a culprit who revealed the names on the shortlist for Southwark?
What seems to emerge from all this is that these letters changed hands some time ago, after the Southwark fiasco where Rowan was discovered browbeating the Commission members to reject Jeffrey. bullying some to tears.
The legal exchange must be seen in this context, the aftermath of the Southwark fiasco when it now seems clear a conservative evangelical member of the Commission revealed that John and Holtam were on the shortlist - probably the same person who has now revealed this letter. Jeffrey John would have discovered that although clearing with Rowan Williams that he was OK to allow his name to go forward for Southwark he was then stabbed firmly in the back and ruled out. This despite having be assured by Lambeth that a few years after Reading he would be acceptable as a bishop.
~Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Tuesday, 17 January 2012 at 3:24pm GMT