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Removal of bishop of Aberdeen recommended by investigation into bullying

Removal of bishop of Aberdeen recommended by investigation into bullying

After complaints about the behavior of the bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney, the College of Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church ordered an investigation. Professor Iain Torrance was invited to investigate and report on the behavior of Bishop Anne Dyer. The Torrance Report concludes

Does the Bishop have the personal capacity to bring about healing and reconciliation in the diocese? This is a matter of trust and confidence.

I cannot recommend the continuation of a tenure in which I fear that more people will be made to feel diminished and discouraged. Consequently, I recommend that, for the good of the diocese, she be immediately granted a period of sabbatical leave and step back permanently from the diocese.

Emphasis in the original.

The College of Bishops, however, say in a statement that rather than removal there should be mediation:

The College met …. and agreed that a mediation process, set up under the Canonical processes of the Church, would be the best way forward for Aberdeen and Orkney.

Dyer was elected by the College of Bishops in 2019 “after the diocese itself twice failed to draw up a shortlist of at least three suitable candidates.”

But 18 clergy and lay members of the church who objected to the appointment said the process was “divisive” and “disrespectful”.

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Bruce Cornely

The College of Bishops, however, say in a statement that rather than removal there should be mediation:

This is unfortunate and gives further credence to the problem of clergy, especially hierarchy, not being held completely accountable for their misbehaviour. Beneficial therapy would be acceptable, but people with severe personal problems involving abuse of any kind – physical, mental or emotional – should be REMOVED from service in the church. All of my life (73 years) the most common complaint I’ve heard against the church is hypocricy and it should not be tolerated in any form or at any level. In my fifty-year service in the church as an organist/choirmaster I have served under too many bullies, especially the “evangelicals” who use the Bible as their bat. The church is supposed to be a place of peace, comfort and understanding where the touch of Jesus is clearly and constantly found.

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