Priest de­fended

Midland Reporter - - Front Page -

BUL­LY­ING claims have been lev­elled against the Perth Angli­can Dio­cese over its treat­ment of Fa­ther Chris Bed­ding, who was sus­pended for “tones of blas­phemy” in his so­cial me­dia and theatre per­for­mances.

In a show of sol­i­dar­ity last week, sup­port­ers spoke in sup­port of Fa­ther Bed­ding, known for his work as a stand-up co­me­dian, an ac­tivist for same-sex mar­riage and asy­lum seeker rights and his ir­rev­er­ent ser­mons pop­u­lar with his Dar­ling­ton-Belle­vue par­ish.

Unit­ing Church Min­is­ter the Rev­erend Bren­ton Prigge said he was “shocked and out­raged” by the treat­ment of Fa­ther Bed­ding.

“Ev­ery church leader I have spo­ken to is ap­palled at the treat­ment Chris Bed­ding has re­ceived,” he said. “This is clearly an abuse of process. “Min­istry work­ers on the ground are too eas­ily sub­ject to this kind of mis­treat­ment and bul­ly­ing by those who have over­sight of them. Cur­rent sys­tems al­low them to hide their lack of trans­parency and poor pro­cesses be­hind the guise of con­fi­den­tial­ity.”

Co­me­dian Paul ‘Werzel’ Mon­tague said the church was “bul­ly­ing” Fa­ther Bed­ding.

“At a time in Aus­tralian his­tory when many Chris­tian lead­ers have the cred­i­bil­ity of pyra­mid scheme sales­men, Chris Bed­ding stands amongst the pre­cious few as the real deal,” he said.

“As an artist I find this kind of mil­i­tant cen­sor­ship con­temptible.

“This bizarre and ar­cane at­tempt to si­lence a unique and valu­able voice in our so­ci­ety is rem­i­nis­cent of the Mid­dle Ages.”

Unions WA pres­i­dent Steve McCart­ney said he would not stand by and watch Fa­ther Bed­ding be bul­lied by his boss.

“It doesn’t mat­ter if you are a boss or a bishop; if you are a bully you should not be in the work­place,” he said.

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