A senior bishop in the Church of England has compared people who ignore climate change to Josef Fritzl, the Austrian who kept his daughter locked in a cellar for 24 years, repeatedly raping her and fathering seven of her children.
The Bishop of Stafford, the Right Rev. Gordon Mursell, made the comparison in a parish "pastoral" newsletter and said that people who fail to act to prevent global warming are “as guilty as” Fritzl and “destroying the future of our children,” the Times of London reported Monday.
The bishop denied Monday that he was accusing those who ignore climate change of being child abusers, but said Fritzl was “the most extreme form” of a common selfish streak in humankind.
“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,” he wrote in the letter entitled "following our dream," distributed around the Diocese of Lichfield.
He defended his comments, saying he did not wish “to shock people unnecessarily.” But he said: “I am simply trying to use an analogy to get people to wake up to the consequences of what we are failing to do, because if we don’t there won’t be a future for our children either.”
Mursell's comments come about a year after the Bishop of Carlisle, the Right Rev. Graham Dow, came under fierce attack when he said the floods that devastated swathes of England were God’s judgment for the sins of the country.
A spokesman for the Bishop of Stafford admitted people may take offense at the Bishop's comments but defended them nevertheless.