Well, err, yes, I suppose so

A married Church of England priest has lost his job and is being evicted from his home after having an affair with a parishioner.

The Rev Stephen Vincent, 40, said his family had been left “on the brink” after his removal from office as a result of a relationship with a woman he had been asked to mentor.

Copper goes stealing, he loses his job. Spy reveals secrets he loses his job. Man preaching sanctimony of marriage shags around loses his job.

All seems fair enough really.

19 thoughts on “Well, err, yes, I suppose so”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    Man preaching sanctimony of marriage shags around loses his job. All seems fair enough really.

    Depends on what you see his job is. If you take a Calvinist approach to the world, this man has shown he is one of the damned, not one of the saved. Luckily he is not. He is a member of the Church of England. Does the CoE require moral purity for its priests? Well, they would have very few left if they did.

    There is actually a technical word for this – if the CoE means it. It is Donatism. It was condemned as heresy in 313 AD.

    But they probably don’t mean it. They are just spineless and weak. Perhaps he could not longer be an effective priest at that particular parish. But there is no reason not to move him.

  2. Politician destabilises Middle East and becomes Peace Envoy.
    Labour party replaces traditional working class with cheaper imports probably will win election.
    NHS serves employees, kills patients.
    Social services….
    Education…
    Sorry Tim, it’s the exception rather than the rule, that wrongful actions have consequences.

  3. Engineer submits knowingly wrong data in order to meet a management imposed deadline? Expressions or gratitude from said mangement (until something goes wrong). Happens all the time.

  4. It’s not actually Donatism. Donatism was a matter of whether a one bad apple could break the chain of ordination of the priesthood.

  5. Surely, a significant part of the question involves his current status – is he repentant, bitterly regretting his actions (and not just because said actions have seen him become unemployed and homeless), or has he decided to brazen matters out, arguing that it’s all OK really?

    > He is a member of the Church of England. Does the CoE require moral purity for its priests? Well, they would have very few left if they did.

    There is a bit more to it than that – the bible recognises that if we look for perfection in church oversight, we won’t have any. However, there are are some straightforward rules about who is (and by implication isn’t) suitable – one of the qualifications being that they are the husband of one wife (2 Timothy 3 v 2). Having a ‘bit of the side’ is a clear beach of that, so he is clearly at present unsuitable.

  6. What happened to forgiveness and” go and sin no more”. He at least deserves a second chance to sin no more. If it turns out he still can’t keep it in his pants–then sack him.

  7. Father Ted:(puts phone down) “Great News”
    Father Dougal “You’re getting married”
    Father Ted: “Is that a joke?”
    Father Dougal (slightly puzzled)” “Er… Yes”

    Stigler–His wife’s hot for a Priest’s wife??

  8. “The Rev Stephen Vincent, 40, said his family had been left ‘on the brink’ . . . ”

    Here’s a good part of the man’s problems right there. Thinking his family was *left* on the brink – no man, you *put them there*. Take some responsibility for your actions.

  9. Ah, Father Ted. Along with Britpop, that feels to me as the defining end of an era, that era being “the one where you felt like you were allowed to have a bit of fun”.

  10. So Much for Subtlety

    Ian B – “It’s not actually Donatism. Donatism was a matter of whether a one bad apple could break the chain of ordination of the priesthood.”

    No it wasn’t. The question was what to do with those who had been arrested by the Roman Authorities and renounced their faith. Could they still serve as priests and bishops. The Donatists said no. The Catholics said yes.

    The first question, therefore, was whether the Sacrament of Penance can effect a reconciliation whereby the apostate, or in some cases specifically the traditor, may be returned to full communion.
    ….
    The second question was the validity of sacraments celebrated by priests and bishops who had been apostates under the persecution. The Donatists held that all such sacraments were invalid; by their sinful act, such clerics had rendered themselves incapable of celebrating valid sacraments. This is known as ex opere operantis, Latin for from the work of the one doing the working, that is, that the validity of the sacrament depends upon the worthiness and holiness of the minister confecting. The Catholic position, according to Augustine, was ex opere operato — from the work having been worked; in other words, that the validity of the sacrament depends upon the holiness of God, the minister being a mere instrument of God’s work, so that any priest or bishop, even one in a state of mortal sin, who speaks the formula of the sacrament with valid matter and the intent of causing the sacrament to occur acts validly. Hence, to the Donatists, a priest who had been an apostate but who repented could speak the words of consecration forever, but he could no longer confect the Eucharist. To Catholics, a person who received the Eucharist from the hands of even an unrepentant sinning priest still received Christ’s Body and Blood, their own sacramental life being undamaged by the priest’s faults.

    There is nothing about adultery that prohibits a qualified priest from offering the Eucharist. If you are at the Catholic end of the CoE spectrum.

    theProle – “has he decided to brazen matters out, arguing that it’s all OK really?”

    But that is the new morality – that I am sorry to see TW adopt some times. It does not matter what he has done, as long as he is not ashamed and utterly unrepentant, that is fine. That is why we give homosexual activists a free pass on this issue.

    “one of the qualifications being that they are the husband of one wife (2 Timothy 3 v 2). Having a ‘bit of the side’ is a clear beach of that, so he is clearly at present unsuitable.”

    For a bishop if you believe the King James Version.

    1 Timothy 3:1-5

    1 This [is] a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
    2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
    3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
    4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
    5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

    But as they let women and Gays do it, it hardly matters.

  11. It’s not just moral turpitude (to use a delightfully old-fashioned phrase) or breach of trust in his marriage; it’s breach of trust in his professional duties. Are there any professions where having it off with a mentee is not, if discovered, met with stern disapproval?

  12. Yes Tim. But as you say about tax avoidance it’s all perfectly legal (which by the by it often isn’t).

  13. Well, tax avoidance is by definiton perfectly legal; when it isn’t legal it’s evasion.

    Plenty of things, while legal, would not be acceptable in a profession and attract censure, discipline or dismissal.

  14. Person tries some tax avoidance. Found by the Courts not to work therefore illegal.

    You seem to be saying that although something is
    legal does not make it morally right. Tim refutes this argument ( at least as far as tax avoidance is concerned).

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