Bleating bishopesses and the dirty tricks that failed to silence ‘Rebel Priest’

Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester

By David W. Virtue, DD

OPINION, February 6, 2018

A reporter with his pen dipped in post-truth poison and two feminist bishops with cassocks dripping wet in the swamp of identity politics spun a faux grievance narrative of sexism and misogyny in an attempt to disinvite the keynote speaker Rev’d Dr Jules Gomes and derail the Bishop Bell ‘Rebuilding Bridges’ Conference at Church House last week.

Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester, fired the first shot, expressing her dismay against the keynote speaker because of his ‘judgemental’ articles ‘against women who are ordained as priests and bishops’. Mrs Treweek’s point was clear. She simply failed to understand how someone with such shocking views on the ordination of women could be invited to speak at a conference with such a ‘wonderful’ title, ‘Rebuilding Bridges’.

Treweek helpfully appended links to two of Dr Gomes’s columns published on (you’ll never guess!) The Conservative Woman website.

The first was on how Justin Welby was being sucked into the feminist mire by appointing radical feminist clergy to positions of influence. Gomes criticised the women clergy who had worn ‘pussy hats’ and attended or tweeted about the women’s anti-Trump rallies.

Gomes pointed out how Anglican female clergy had joined in or approved of the anti-Trump rallies which sported placards reading ‘Roses are red/ Fascism ain’t new/ F**k Donald Trump/ and F**k Pence too’.

Gomes wrote: ‘As ordained women representing the church, they are not campaigning for the sanctity of marriage, the family, or the unborn child. They express no disquiet at the epidemic of teenage pregnancies, single mothers or children without fathers. They voice no revulsion against the practices of female genital mutilation, honour killings of women, burning of brides who have not brought sufficient dowry, disfiguring the faces of women with acid, the sex slaves of Isis, and the treatment of women in many parts of the Islamic world.

‘In the digital age, they march against the democratically elected President of the free world, wear “pussy hats” and join the orgy of obscenity shouting out various nomenclatures for a certain part of the female anatomy.’

Anglican women clergy wearing ‘pussy’ hats and participating in the Women’s March

In the second article which Treweek brought to the attention of the organisers, Gomes referred to the extensive rape and sexual abuse of white, working-class, teenage British girls in Muslim-dominated no-go zones of Britain.

Gomes wrote: ‘The major factor uniting the rapists and child abusers is their religion. The major factors common to the abused girls are their ethnicity, class and lack of religion. All the men without exception are Muslim. All the girls without exception are non-Muslim, white, and come from the underclass of our society.’

Christine Hardman, Bishop of Newcastle, fired the second shot, denouncing Gomes for his ‘extremist views on a range of subjects and his personal attacks on Islam’ and warning the conference organisers that she could not ‘see how the credibility of your event will not be seriously undermined’.

The latest abuses of white, working-class girls by Muslim men had been uncovered in the city of Newcastle and in his article Dr Gomes pointed out how Mrs Hardman, instead of speaking up for the sexually abused victims, had ‘signed a “community statement” (what an obnoxious term!) along with other well meaning but good-for-nothing religious leaders’.

He wrote: ‘If these teenage girls were prevented from gender transitioning to boys, woe betide, every bishop in the C of E would be taking the next Flying Scotsman train to Newcastle. There are now 11 or 12 of these overpaid women-bishops and Rachel Treweek, Bishopess of Gloucester, is into self-esteem for white middle-class anorexic girls. But not a peep out of the female mitred gaggle when white underclass girls are systemically abused and raped by Muslim men.’

The grooming gang who targeted white, teenage, underclass girls in Newcastle

When the organisers of the Bishop Bell Conference did not buckle under the pressure and ban Gomes, the Dirty Tricks Department of the Church of England recruited the services of the poison pen reporter, Harry Farley, who jumped on his white steed and rallied to their defence with a smear campaign against Gomes.

Farley not only attacked Gomes in Christian Today before the conference but after the conference published an ‘exclusive’ report based on a ‘statement’ from Treweek who found it ‘outrageous that he has been allowed to speak at Church House under that title’. She claimed that Gomes’s ‘writings about me and other bishops who are women are being destructive and destroying bridges not building them’.

In his first report Farley had cited Gomes’s writing about a ‘gaggle of anorexic and bulimic teenage girls [who] accompany Rachel Treweek, Bishopess of Gloucester’. However, Farley failed to mention that Gomes’s satire was targeted at an interfaith gathering at Gloucester Cathedral, where the uniqueness of Christ was downplayed and Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Rastafarianism and other religions were welcomed as if they were equal alternatives to Christianity.

‘The new gospel in the C of E tells us that the only truth is that there is no truth and that all truth is relative,’ wrote Gomes, dissecting the flawed analogy of the seven blind men and the elephant.

There is a delectable double irony in the protests of the feminist bishops and their stooges in the Left-wing Christian media.

First, Gomes is the real feminist. Through his writings he has been fighting the cause of women who are genuinely suffering and are the real victims of Islam, female genital mutilation and abortion. Gomes writes for The Conservative Woman, which is headed by two distinguished editors who both happen to be women (and for some strange reason apparently approve of Dr Gomes’s writings and have even offered him a Sunday column entitled ‘Rebel Priest’!) So by attacking Gomes’s writings, are the two feminist bishops really attacking the two women editors of The Conservative Woman?

Second, none of the women bishops has so far dared to voice protests against the epidemic of teenage pregnancies or the sexual abuse of white working-class teenage girls in Britain, or many of the other systemic abuses of women to which Gomes refers in his columns.

Third, it is the feminist bishops who have been the most divisive of all. By pushing their agenda of radical feminism on the church and forcing women’s ordination to the priesthood and episcopate even on traditionalists, they have burnt bridges with the Bible, with two thousand years of tradition, and with the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. They have even burnt bridges with conservative evangelicals and traditionalist Anglo-Catholics in their own church.

The biggest church in Christine Hardman’s diocese now has a ‘rebel’ bishop, Jonathan Pryke, and the conservative evangelical Jesmond Parish Church refuses to ‘build bridges’ with Hardman, who has found herself paralysed and unable to discipline Pryke for fear that the entire congregation might leave the Church of England.

Bishop Gavin Ashenden puts his finger on the root of the rot. The problem is that ‘feminism doesn’t like the Bible’, he observes. ‘The Bishop of Gloucester, Rachel Treweek, finds the fatherhood of God so offensive and personally difficult that she urges the Church to drop calling our Father “father” and call Him “it” instead.’

(Originally published in