Bishop Stephen Venner wasn't the best choice for Bishop to the Forces after he retired early as Suffragan Bishop of Dover.
The report in the Kentish Gazette of his retirement speech last month has been much abridged on line since the first publication.
He was reported then (this is a google cache) thus
But I’m not surprised his churches are empty when he comes out with this as his first important statement as the newly appointed Bishop to the Forces. A post not to be confused with the Bishop for the Forces which is the Roman Catholic office. Bishop Richard Moth is also a new appointment but if this interview is anything to go be the RC man has a bit more sense. Praise be.
Venner is also Bishop of the Falklands. He needs to make a long slow pastoral visit.
I know that the soldiers have a higher opinion of the fighting ability of the taliban than they have of the 'Afghan Army' they work alongside; this is not the same as admiring a group who ill treat women and use children as suicide bombers.
Damian Thompson can be funny and because of his forthright views on Islam I find Christian forgiveness for him when he (frequently) snipes at the Church of England. In this instance he is right. I do despair of my own church’s leaders sometimes.
He puts Bishop Venner’s words into the context of another war.
-And now the Bishop apologises for his remarks!
"Armed forces bishop sorry for praising Taliban"
And, the Bishop does not refer, by name, to the religion of the Taliban. We have to guess what he's talking about. What was it about Islam which he made positive inferences about a few hours ago, which he no longer makes positive inerences about, and why? It's sheer unfathomable dhimmi-speak.