Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Stand by your man... (NOT!)

Anyone in the UK cannot have missed the story today of Father Tim Jones, parish priest at St Lawrence and St Hilda in York, who has been pilloried not only by the media but by his Archdeacon as well. Unbelieveable... well, maybe it isn't so surprising.

It is well worth reading the full transcript of Fr. Tim's excellent sermon on Sunday 20th, based around the Magnificat which includes the sentence: 'My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my saviour.' Now although Fr. Tim does actually concede that shoplifting could, in extremis, be a solution, the context is clear in his sermon. Over and above that is the point he made so clearly on BBC Five Live today that the 'tut tutting' contempt of the relative wealthy (who spend 100s or even 1000s on 'utter tat for Christmas') for some poor unfortunate who has just taken a can of ravioli worth 80p is a 'grotesque indictment of who we are'. I am minded of the established Biblical principal of allowing certain of our crops at the side of our fields to be gleaned by the poor... there is a precedent for taking only what you need, remember the Manna in the wilderness?

What was really encouraging was to listen to some of the callers who had shown enormous and generous compassion, some simply turning a blind eye to some transgressors and others simply paying for the goods that someone had tried to liberate. In stark contrast the Archdeacon of York was condescending and dismissive, promising to give Father Tim a good talking to to put him straight. How ironic that, once again, the establishment is so readily prepared to undermine someone acting in a Christlike manner and, in a corporate sense, not stand by their very own?

Respect Fr. Tim, keep up the good work... oh that we (read I) may learn how to be as dangerous as Jesus too.

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Chris Hall said...

Perhaps the most reasoned blog post about the unfortunate hoo-ha that Father Tim's sermon has created!

Society can complain about someone being driven to nick a can of beans yet remain silent over the circumstances that lead them to do such a thing.

Timothy Titus said...

I suggest everyone emails archdeacon.of.york@yorkdiocese.org in support of Fr Tim Jones. Careerists won't, but I will.

Peter Banks said...

Thanks, Chris for your generous review and Timothy for the action suggestion!