Some of my early memories are of Rolf Harris in black and white when we only had the choice of BBC or ITV. Now he is in jail with his memories. We hear of a missing dossier on some very dodgy politicians and leading establishment figures, including churchmen. More scandal awaits, it seems. What lies behind all of these stories is a fundamental and arrogant belief that the powerful and well-known are protected either by their celebrity status or political power.
Jesus said, For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light. (Luke 8: 17) These are challenging words to any culture which looks to protect the powerful rather than the vulnerable. This is the reason why it is right to pursue those who use power to abuse and cover-up. It is not that others can claim a moral high ground and certainly not a means of satisfying a prurient gaze into the lives of those we might otherwise envy.
And there is another troubling aspect to this sorry tale, and that is the disillusion with those who should be providing role models in society. When exposure reveals corruption it can easily feed a culture of cynicism where no one dare take anything seriously. And this corrodes all who play a part in public life.
Jesus’ concern was that we should enjoy integrity in our relationships. He said, you will know the truth and the truth will make you free. (John 8: 32) Jesus refuses to use power of whatever kind to protect the powerful or to manipulate others. The same should be true of all who claim to follow him.
The Revd Canon Tudor Griffiths, Area Dean, Cheltenham Deanery