Saturday, 12 July 2014

I agree with George...

The Daily Mail seems to be having a bit of a thing about people named George at the moment. It has got itself in a pickle with George Clooney by running a completely false story about his future mother-in-law. When George challenged The Mail they offered an extremely rare apology. This apology turned out to be another piece of journalism which George has rejected as disingenuous if not dishonest. George Clooney deserves great credit for being prepared to take on a newspaper that trades in this type of journalism, particularly on-line, on a daily basis.

Today the Mail has published another article, this time penned by George. However, in this case it's George Carey the former Archbishop of Canterbury. This George is making a bit of a habit of dropping bombshells on the Church he used to lead at the most inappropriate of times. So while General Synod meets in York, George takes the headlines with an article explaining why he has shifted his position on the issue of Assisted Dying. It just so happens that George has decided to take a position on the Assisted Dying Bill before Parliament at the moment which is diametrically opposed to the official position of the Church of England on the issue. So no surprise what took the headlines in the media this morning. Let's set aside the complexities of the arguments about this sensitive and important issue for a moment; I have blogged on this in the past and will do so again and you can read about my views here and here. And before anyone lectures me, as has happened today, that this is an issue about compassion verses cold theology, I can assure you that this is an issue that directly affects my own family circumstances. I would simply make the point today that it is unhelpful and inappropriate for a former leader of the Church of England to make life so difficult for the present incumbent of that office. George Carey was fortunate to be preceded by an Archbishop who, upon retirement, on the whole held his counsel on contentious matters affecting the Church; George Carey's successors have not been so blessed.

So to be clear: I agree with George about The Daily Mail article. George Clooney that is, not the other one.

Update: Some good responses to George Carey's article being posted today. I found +Nick Baines' critique particularly lucid: Dying matters.

P.S. I tried to find an unflattering picture of Clooney so as not to unduly influence this post but to be honest I couldn't find any!

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