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Impressions are important

April 4, 2015

Institutions can convey good and/or bad impressions. An organisation can fail to distance itself from controversial views. A corporation can neglect its reputation by assuming it is beyond reproach.

The Anglican Consultative Council’s (ACC) appointment of a new General Secretary is a case in point. (See yesterday’s post on the appointment and subsequent clarification by the appointee of his views.) Significant questions remain outstanding for the ACC, the appointee -Bishop Idowu-Fearon, and in the Scottish context – the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

For the ACC: When sexual identity is a major contentious issue for the Anglican Communion and an appointee has extreme views attributed to him in the media, why were no reassurances given in the announcement of Bishop Idowu-Fearon’s appointment?

ForBishop Idowu-Fearon: Are the words attributed to him in the media, statements that he has made at some time or other?  If not, was he aware of such attributions at the time of the ACC selection and appointment process?  If the statements were correctly attributed to him, given his recent repudiation of the Nigerian government’s criminalisation of homosexuality, when did the Bishop’s views change?

For the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church: Given the acute pastoral concern around sexual identity in this Province – heightened around Christmas time by a statement from the College of Bishops on Equal Marriage – why did he offer ‘delight’ at this appointment without also publicly acknowledging the sensitivities surrounding extreme views attributed to Bishop Idowu-Fearon?

Impressions are important.  Impressions conveyed – especially if they are not those of the institution or individuals – are part of the broader canvas against which public opinions are formed. On majorly contentious issues not saying something can be as damaging as saying it. Saying it late is not without its problems too.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2015 8:01 am

    There’s a lot of sense here Eric, but strictly speaking, I don’t think it was the ACC that made this appointment. I think it was the rather more shady “Standing Committee of the ACC” which was introduced a few years ago.

  2. April 4, 2015 5:11 pm

    Sound sense, as always.

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