Several recent reports and articles have highlighted the fact that clergy are a group particularly vulnerable to abuse and nastiness. Rowan Williams himself contributed to a report, The Future of the Parish System: Shaping the Church of England for the 21st Century which was published earlier this month.
I think there are several factors that make the clergy particularly susceptible, from the appalling lack of legal protection in the workplace, an issue rightly highlighted by Unite, to the attitude of superiors and parishioners.
Having grown up as a clergy child, it never fails to amaze me that parishoners think vicars exist in some special category of human being and responses can range from resentment to venom when people discover otherwise. So, just remember, only Jesus was without fault, loved everyone unconditionally, performed miracles and walked on water - and he still upset people and got crucified!
Lets get some decent legal protection to make sure our clergy aren't nailed up.
NB: the image above in no way represents the abilities of any Church of England clergy person