Tag Archives: Current Affairs

Canon fired

19 Nov

Ok, misleading title but I simply couldn’t resist. Ronald Johns

who looks like this, kids

is actually already the ex-canon of Carlisle Cathedral in Cumbria and he’s just been jailed – for four years! – for child molestation offences going back some thirty years.

Naturally, once the Church officials found out about this turbulent priest, they lost no time in alerting the police.

No, of course not. His bishop moved him to another parish and fresh victims. How far away? About half an hour down the road:

The court was told Johns was demoted by his bishop instead of police being informed of the allegations made by his first victim.

The victim had made an official complaint to the church in 1993. By that time Johns was a canon at Carlisle Cathedral.

Johns made admissions to the then bishop, the late Right Rev Ian Harland, who felt the appropriate sanction was to move him to a church in Caldbeck.

The matter only came to the attention of police this year when another victim complained he had been abused by Johns.

So how has the Diocese of Carlisle responded to this? They’ve issued this notice in which they

apologise unreservedly to his victims that we failed to take the action that we should have taken to prevent children and young people being harmed. We also apologise to the parishioners at Caldbeck and recognise the profound and damaging impact on all those affected

and state that

even though at that time the complainants did not wish to pursue the matter with the Police, it was absolutely wrong that Mr Johns should have been offered another post.

Quite how they square this with

We will not tolerate abuse and work closely with the Police and Social Care if such issues come to our attention

they don’t say, but to their credit, they have set up a special NSPCC freephone number to offer such advice as can be trusted from a corrupt organisation that has demonstrated repeatedly just how trustworthy it is.


Down with this sort of thing (careful now)

20 Sep

Well, here beginneth my first ever attempt at a blog.

As our perennially-popular pontiff wends his self-satisfied way back home, swapping the shores of a Third-World nation for a Third-Century city-state, the satellite channel More4 appears to be taking advantage of the sudden lull in the saturation coverage of Ratzinger and presenting a more acceptable face of the Roman Catholic Church – in the shape of the wonderful evergreen classic Father Ted; specifically the episode called “The Passion of St. Tibulus.” For anyone unfamiliar with that episode, the title refers to a controversial film which the (unseen) Pope has condemned as blasphemous; and so, when it arrives on Ted’s home turf of Craggy Island, it falls to him and his cohort to deal with it.

The image of Fathers Ted and Dougal protesting outside the cinema daring to show the banned film, placards warning passersby with the slogans I borrowed for this post’s title, represents a softer, gentler, rather bemused and befuddled type of parish priesthood that perhaps still exists in the world, if only in the public imagination.

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