08:00 Friday 15 February 2013

'Our culture has had some terrible effects'

Written byBY ADRIAN JENKINS

St Oswalds Church Ashbourne,Licensing of the new parish priest Rev Geraldine Pond by the Bishop of Derby the Rt Rev Alastair Redfern assisted by The Archdeacon of Derby The Venerable Dr Christopher J Cunliffe. St Oswalds Church Ashbourne,Licensing of the new parish priest Rev Geraldine Pond by the Bishop of Derby the Rt Rev Alastair Redfern assisted by The Archdeacon of Derby The Venerable Dr Christopher J Cunliffe.

A CHURCH leader has railed against Britain’s culture of individualism for fostering evils such as sexual exploitation, abuse and trafficking.

The Bishop of Derby, Right Reverend Dr Alastair Redfern, launched his stinging attack during a House of Lords debate on women’s safety.

“Our culture is dominated by people’s right to feel something, express it and be who they want to be,” he said.

“That has many great effects and outcomes but it also has some terrible ones.”

These included a ‘terrible profusion of pornography, an inordinate explosion of promiscuity, enormous stress in personal lives and the sexualisation of young people and the sexualisation of society’.

It was difficult for the Government to legislate for behaviour as most violence and sexual abuse took place in private spaces devoid of moral guidelines.

“Sadly, in our culture of freedom for people to behave as they think they want to and feel, grooming and abuse are highly organised,” said the bishop.

“They are organised by gangs and by older men grooming younger women.

“It is a very scientific and commercial operation, sadly, for many people.”

Rt Rev Redfern said evidence showed there was a ‘significant shortfall’ in therapeutic services for vulnerable and abused women.

He said he hoped the Government would give serious consideration to the proper resourcing of formal services and voluntary groups to help them.

The bishop also encouraged the coalition to educate people by working with schools and faith groups, including Christianity.

This encouraged people ‘not to love yourself first and do what that is about but to love others first and put yourself second’, he said.

It was this kind of moral and spiritual discipline that was the only way of encouraging people to learn some kind of respect and understanding of human life, said Ret Rev Redfern.

This was ‘based on some kind of discipline, some kind of self-denial and some kind of honouring other people rather than oneself’, he said.

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