Top cleric admits he beat wife

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The Independent Online
One of the two special evangelists on the staff of Dr George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, spent a decade in a violent marriage, it emerged yesterday. Canon Michael Green, one of the Church of England's two Archbishops' Advisers for Evangelism, told the Church Times: "There may have been an incident of having a go at each other. But what marriage doesn't have that?"

However, his wife, Rosemary, told the Anglican Journal in Canada that she had broken his tooth and he had blacked her eye. He also admitted to the same paper: "There was violence there. It would be precipitated. I would not initiate but I would respond to it. I shouldn't have done that."

Mrs Green now works as a Christian counsellor and is much in demand, according to her husband, because of her openness. The couple say their marriage is stronger than ever. Indeed, she tells stories from it to groups who come for spiritual guidance. Neither partner could be reached for comment yesterday.

The couple's troubles came to a head while he was a high-profile evangelical rector at St Aldate's, Oxford, in the Eighties, after a spiritual experience, which they described as an encounter with the Holy Spirit. After his spell at Oxford he went to Vancouver, before being chosen in 1990 by Dr Carey to advise him on the Church's Decade of Evangelism.

Canon Green told the Anglican Journal: "Rosemary had at that time a very violent temper which came from deep within and that's part of the healing. Rosemary learnt that being open to the spirit meant digging up a lot of mud."