Following, not Forsaking Context

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Thank you to everyone who got in touch to let me know I got named in today’s  Fairfax piece by Elizabeth Farrelly, “When the Anglican church can’t follow its own code” originally titled “When the Anglican church has forsaken it’s own values”.

I’ll let the reader decide for themselves what they make of the article. My concern here is to address what Farrelly writes about me, to whit:

Since then, bizarrely, one David Ould, a self-described “orthodox Anglican” Sydney rector, blogs repeatedly about Thompson, suggesting that his refusal to discipline Rod Bower for “false teachings” is “divisive” and that his response to the sexual abuse issue has generated “widespread dismay with Thompson’s actions”. He also highlighted a suggestion the 16 parishioners made in their letter to the archbishop that Thompson may require a “medical, psychiatric or psychological examination”.

In the context of the article, Farrelly’s agenda is to present me as accomplice to those who are opposed to Bishop Greg Thompson of Newcastle, particularly in their actions of opposing his work in dealing with allegations of abuse of children in the Diocese. So note very carefully what she writes:

[David blogs] that [Thompson’s]  response to the sexual abuse issue has generated “widespread dismay with Thompson’s actions”.

The implication is clear. I am alleged to have reported that there was widespread dismay with Thompson’s handling of the sexual abuse issue.

Now examine the actual piece I wrote, “Royal Commission Evidence Claims Wide Concerns about Bishop Greg Thompson’s Leadership” (published on 2 September 2016) from which Farrelly quotes where I write:

Rather than there being a single “bloc” (as the counsel for the Commission describes it) there is now widespread dismay with Thompson’s actions outside of his robust handling of the matters before the Royal Commission.

The label of “widespread dismay” which Farrelly says I associate with Thompson’s handling of child abuse is actually something I associate with matters other than what I describe as a “robust handling” of the Royal Commission matters.

Farrelly is therefore simply incorrect in what she writes. The context of the quote she takes clearly shows a contrary meaning to that which she communicates in her piece. She has either not even bothered to read the article I wrote or, even worse, decided to deliberately misrepresent me. Either way it’s pretty poor form.

Further, I have been on the record several times affirming Thompson’s handling of the sexual abuse allegations. Those who wish to read some examples can click here. Given the seriousness of the matters that the Royal Commission are dealing with, the suggestion that I would be opposed to sexual abuse claims being dealt with properly is obviously one that needs to be responded to, particularly since I am already on public record on the matter.

As we have reported before there are wider issues in Newcastle than the legacy of sexual abuse and they must be distinguished. We can praise Thompson and the Diocesan leadership for their handling of the Royal Commission matters while still raising other concerns.

I will be writing to Farrelly and the Sydney Morning Herald asking for a retraction and apology.

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