One month after he warned about the employment pitfalls of Internet oversharing in a newsletter to his congregation, a parish priest apologized for his own inappropriate comments posted on Facebook and now finds his own job in danger, the UK Telegraph reports.
"I think I will put my feet up. I’ve done f--- all today other than jazz lesson and visit a friend. I hear the fizz of tonic in my gin beckoning," Canon Paul Shackerley, vicar of the Minster Church of St. George in Doncaster in northern England, wrote in one Facebook post noted in an anonymous letter to Church of England officials.
In another, Shackerley posted, "Alas, I have religion tomorrow. At least I’m not preaching this week. Preaching next week at St Mary Abbotts [sic] Kensington though. Best make that a good one eh?"
There was more.
"P--- myself! H, you are so funny!!!," read one of Shackerley's comments on a friend's Facebook post. "It was good to share over lunch yesterday and at the URC Homelessness 'event’. I say 'event’. It was hardly worship, was it? I hope you managed to get home okay. It was late by the time the URC [United Reformed Church] and Methodists finished. Good job we are Anglicans eh?"
Shackerley also posted photo of himself posing with a snowman, accompanied by the caption, "Forgive my sin of frivolity. Sin is such fun! But I haven’t been having an inappropriate relationship with Snowy, who can longer be called a 'snowman’ in the name of political correctness."
According to the Telegraph, copies of the posts were sent to church leaders in an anonymous letter that read in part:
"Your priest colleague uses language that most would find abhorrent for a man in his position.
"His present behaviour makes him totally unfit to serve the minster or the people of Doncaster, and totally unfit to serve the Church at all in the opinion of many Doncaster residents."
Shackerley met with a senior church official on Friday, and officially apologized in a letter, the Associated Press reports. "I have received Paul's letter of apology and have been assured that this will not happen again and that we can now draw a line under this matter," Bishop Peter Burrows said.
In April, Shackerley wrote in a newsletter, "I have known employees (to) receive disciplinary and dismissal notices for inappropriate postings." Now Shackerley serves as model to his congregation, though probably not in the way he had hoped.
More on the annoying way we live now: