Bishop sues troublesome blogger: The Church of England Newspaper, May 12, 2013 p 6 May 13, 2013Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Canada, Church of England Newspaper, Free Speech.
Tags: Anglican Samizdat, David Jenkins, Diocese of Niagara, Michael Bird
The Bishop of the Diocese of Niagara in the Anglican Church of Canada has filed a lawsuit against conservative blogger claiming “defamation of character”.
On 19 Feb 2013 David Jenkins, author of the Anglican Samizdat blog received notice that Bishop Bird had asked a court to shut down his blog, ban him from making further comments about him and to pay him $400,000 in damages.
Mr Jenkins stated that he had been surprised by the lawsuit. “Contrary to what one might expect in such circumstances, I did not receive a cease and desist letter in advance of the suit.”
The Statement of Claim filed with the Ontario Superior Court Justice alleged Mr. Jenkins maliciously and falsely stated Bishop Bird was a “ weak and ineffectual leader and that his actions were motivated by avarice or financial gain”. That the bishop was a “thief” and had a “sexual fetish”, and that he was an “atheist and heretic bent upon the destruction of Christianity.”he will
Among the examples of malicious and defamatory utterances alleged to have been made by the defendant were a photo of the bishop altered so that he appeared to be wearing a mitre made of underpants, that the bishop’s call to engage in “prophetic social justice” ministries meant “closing churches” and that the clergy of the diocese were not “authentic Christians”.
The 31 posts cited in the complaint were subsequently removed from his website. At the bishop’s request other posts were also taking down, Mr. Jenkins noted, “as a gesture of good faith.”
“I have made offers to settle and meet/talk, but they have been rejected,” he added.