Priest who claims he was forced to retire because he says women shouldn’t be ordained loses court

0

Church of England priest who disrupted consecration of first female bishop loses court over religious discrimination after claiming he was forced to retire at age 70 because of his belief that women should not be ordained

  • Paul Williamson claims he was forced to retire because of his beliefs about women
  • Reverend Williamson interrupted the 2015 dedication service by shouting “Not in the Bible”
  • The priest tried to claim age discrimination when he was forced to retire in 2019
  • He lost the last court challenge on grounds of religious discrimination because it was late










A Church of England priest who protested the consecration of the first female bishop lost a religious discrimination complaint in court after claiming he was forced to retire because he believed the women should not be ordained.

Reverend Paul Williamson has claimed he was forced to retire at the age of 70 – as is common practice in the Church of England – due to his unpopular opinion.

His notorious campaign against the ordination of women dates back 25 years when in 1997 he attempted to sue the dean and chapter of St. Paul’s Cathedral for appointing a minor canon.

In 2015, the priest publicly interrupted the ordination of Libby Lane – England’s first female bishop – to York Minster to oppose it, shouting that it was “not in the Bible” and that it was acted as an “absolute impediment”.

Reverend Paul Williamson, a Church of England priest who claimed he was forced to step down because of his controversial belief that women should not be ordained has lost a case of religious discrimination – his second attempt to claim he was forced to retire at age 70 due to discrimination

Reverend Williamson interrupted the service where Reverend Libby Lane was ordained bishop

Reverend Williamson interrupted the service where Reverend Libby Lane was ordained bishop

Protestant priest shouting “Not in the Bible” disrupted dedication of Church of England’s first female bishop

The consecration of the first female bishop in Church of England history was disrupted by a protest by the vicar, the Reverend Paul Williamson, in January 2015.

Reverend Libby Lane became Bishop of Stockport in a service headed by Archbishop of York John Sentamu to York Minster.

The historic event was briefly interrupted by the appearance of the ultra-conservative priest, the Reverend Paul Williamson, shouting “Not in the Bible” as she was introduced to the congregation.

A Church of England spokesperson described him as a “serial protester” who had to be present.

He said: “He has the right to protest, but the contrast was between a single voice protesting and a sea of ​​voices asserting.”

Ms Lane, an Oxford educated mother of two, was appointed bishop last month, in a landmark move that ends five centuries of all-male leadership in the church.

The announcement came just weeks after the General Synod formally passed a law allowing women to assume this role, after years of fierce debate on the issue.

Now Reverend Williamson has lost his second Labor Court after being forced to step down as priest at St George’s Church, Hanworth, London.

Reverend Williamson, 72, first lost an age discrimination case in 2019 after retiring at age 70.

All priests retire at age 70 under Church of England rules, except in exceptional circumstances.

Although he lost the case, he has now attempted to bring the same complaints in addition to the allegations of religious discrimination.

‘[Rev Williamson] believed he was discriminated against because of his religious beliefs regarding the ordination of women into the clergy, ”a court report said.

Watford Labor Court was informed: “[Rev Williamson] considers that the ordination of women in the clergy does not conform to biblical doctrine.

“Historically, he has pursued a number of legal challenges because of this belief.”

The court heard Reverend Williamson ask to continue working after his 70th birthday in November 2018, but the Bishop of London decided to only extend his service until April 2019.

In early 2019, the court heard that Reverend Williamson was “distressed” by thoughts of his impending retirement and asked for mental health support from his GP.

He was diagnosed with stress and prescribed antidepressants – but declined to receive counseling – and concerns have been expressed that he is expressing “suicidal thoughts”.

Reverend Williamson lost his latest case because his religious discrimination complaints were filed 10 months too late – a panel wondering why he hadn’t raised them in his first tribunal.

The tribunal panel said: “The second complaint, as rephrased, includes a new complaint of religious discrimination that did not appear in the first complaint.

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu (left) and Reverend Libby Lane attend a dedication service where she became the eighth Bishop of Stockport to York Minster on January 26, 2015

The Reverend Libby Lane in York Minster, England, where she was consecrated

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu (left) and Reverend Libby Lane attend a dedication service where she became the eighth Bishop of Stockport to York Minster on January 26, 2015

“It is clear that Reverend Williamson was of the opinion, prior to the filing of the first petition, that the refusal to extend his service was motivated by his religious beliefs regarding the ordination of women.

“Despite this, he and his representatives apparently decided not to include these issues in the first claim. There is no reason why these questions could not have been included when filing the first application. ‘

Reverend Williamson was first ordained a deacon in 1972 and a priest the following year. He has served as St George’s Priest in Hanworth since 1992.

Reverend Williamson is known for his opposition to the ordination of women to the priesthood.

It made headlines in 2015 when tReverend Libby Lane became Bishop of Stockport in a service headed by Archbishop of York John Sentamu.

The historic event was briefly interrupted by the appearance of the Reverend Paul Williamson, shouting “Not in the Bible” as she was introduced to the congregation at York Minster.

At the time, a Church of England spokesperson described him as a “serial protester” who needed to be present.

He said: “He has the right to protest, but the contrast was between a single voice protesting and a sea of ​​voices asserting.”

Reverend Williamson was declared a “vexatious litigant” by the High Court the same year he tried to sue the dean and chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral, over his lawsuits.

He also protested against the legality of Prince Charles’ marriage to Camilla in 2005.


Source link

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.