Professor Andrew Chandler, Bishop Bell’s biographer, who has been campaigning to clear Bell’s name, said on Thursday evening that the statements “show that they are clinging to the wreckage of their old position as best they can.
“It is simply self-justification, but it does indicate that they will just maintain for the sake of consistency the views that got them into such trouble in the first place.”
He questioned why, in January of last year, the Church had issued a statement and commissioned a second investigation: “What today has really exposed is the ridiculousness of what has been going on, and the foolishness of people who have real power in the Church. . .
“Many people will say that the Church was trying to control, or retrieve control, of the narrative of Lord Carlile, to shut down the critics, and create a doubt in the public mind that Bell might be a serial offender of some kind.
“They have nothing to hide behind now. It looks like a highly calculating, politicised outfit indeed.”
While parts of the Archbishop’s statement were “meaningful, welcome, and appropriate”, the reference to the Church’s “dilemma” in weighing up a reputation against a serious allegation did not exist, Professor Chandler argued….
UPDATE: “Many people will say that the Church was trying to control, or retrieve control, of the narrative of Lord Carlisle. . . It looks like a highly calculating, politicised outfit indeed.”
Response from Bell’s biographer, Andrew Chandler:https://t.co/znvBrEJWhn
— Hattie Williams (@hattieewilliams) January 24, 2019