London, Jun 3: Sex abuse victims by Christian clergy fumed over a Church of England bishop's claims that people who ignore climate change are as guilty as Austrian incest dad Josef Fritzl. The survivors of sex abuse accused the bishop of being "facile and demeaning" towards Fritzl's daughter, who was kept in a cellar for 24 years, raped repeatedly and who had seven children by her own father.
The Bishop of Stafford, the Right Rev Gordon Mursell, an expert on Christian spirituality and near the bottom of the hierarchy of Anglican bishops, had said that people who ignored global warming were, in effect, locking their children and grandchildren into a world without a future and throwing away the key.
Bishop Mursell, who spoke last year at a conference organised by the ultra-liberal Modern Churchpeople's Union, said in a pastoral newsletter to parishes that such people were "destroying the future of our children" and were "as guilty as" Fritzl.
In his pastoral letter, Bishop Mursell wrote: "Josef Fritzl represents merely the most extreme form of a very common philosophy of life: I will do what makes me happy, and if that causes others to suffer, hard luck."
"In fact you could argue that, by our refusal to face the truth about climate change, we are as guilty as he is - we are in effect locking our children and grandchildren into a world with no future and throwing away the key," Times Online quoted him, as saying.
"We are right to be disgusted at these crimes. But mere disgust is too convenient. There are lessons for all of us to learn," he added.
Survivors condemned the Bishop and urged church leaders to take more action against abuse by clergy.
The attack was also joined by academics. Leading sociologist Frank Furedi, professor at Kent university and author of the book Invitation to Terror, accused the Bishop of demonising climate-change sceptics.
"The Bishop's linking of the crime of child abuse with scepticism about today's received wisdom on the climate exemplifies a new kind of demonology," he said.
"History shows that crusades against heretics and demons havem a nasty habit of disorienting society, and undermining civilised and humanist behaviour," he added.