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Bishop responds to racism claim

Says no clergy are racist

The Island’s Lord Bishop has rejected suggestions any of his clergy harbour racist views.

It comes after a vicar in the south of the Island alleged he’d been subjected to a campaign of bullying and abuse since moving here three years ago.

Dr Jules Gomes, vicar of St Mary’s on the Harbour in Castletown and St Columba’s in Arbory, says he’ll petition parliament on Tynwald Day to ask for tougher race laws.

But in a statement, Bishop Robert Paterson has dismissed allegations of racism within the diocese.

The Lord Bishop says he’ll meet Dr Gomes later today but adds he can’t comment on what will be a confidential meeting.

He says: “I strongly repudiate any accusation of racism by the Island’s clergy and lay ministers; they are among the most generously open-hearted and committed world-citizens.”

He adds since 2013, the Island diocese has been subject to the same employment laws as those in the UK, bringing Island clergy in line with 12,000 other clergy in the Church of England.

And Bishop Robert says he’ll be interested to discover which of those rights Dr Gomes thinks inadequate.

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