Thursday, May 31, 2012

Vicar makes unholy Facebook posts

Church bosses have launched an investigation into a vicar's online postings after a complaint was made about swearing and comments about having to go to church on Sunday.

Canon Dr Paul Shackerley, the vicar of Doncaster Minster, used a four-letter word and joked about "the fizz of tonic in my gin beckoning".

The comments, posted on Facebook earlier this year and reported in the Yorkshire Post, have prompted a complaint and forced senior clerics to launch an investigation.

Dr Shackerley is set to have a meeting with his boss, the Bishop of Doncaster, to discuss the comments.

The posts begin at around 7pm on a Saturday and say: "I think I will put my feet up. I've done f*** all today other than jazz lesson and visit a friend. I hear the fizz of tonic in my gin beckoning. Alas, I have religion tomorrow. At least I'm not preaching this week."

Bishop of Doncaster Peter Burrows said: "We are aware of the complaint and we will be investigating it. I think we all know that things like Facebook, Twitter and other social media are immediate ways of communicating 'in the moment'. But we do as clergy need to be very conscious of making the distinction between something that might have what I would call a work focus and something that might have a more personal or private focus. Obviously for clergy these two lives are often not completely separate, but I will be seeing Paul as soon as I possibly can so that we can talk about what has happened in this case. There are a number of quite complex and difficult issues for the church that have been raised by this. They will need to be addressed and we do take seriously the complainants' comments."

Dr Shackerley was unavailable for comment.

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