Sony confirmed the letter is legit and says that they also offered to meet with the Church to discuss their grievances. The Very Rev. Rogers Govender said they'll accept the offer to meet, but says they've still got issues. Yeah, like where's their money? The Church of England went into this for a payday. Originally the Church started off saying they were shocked that a "place of learning, prayer and heritage [was] being presented to the youth market as a location where guns can be fired," but in the end, it just comes down to money.
Sony's letter did make one point very clear. There is no connection between "contemporary issues in 21st century Manchester and the work of science fiction in which a fictitious 1950s Britain is under attack by aliens." We'll see what happens after Sony meets with the Church. Ethically, the final outcome should be announced publicly considering the Church made such a public stink in the first place.
Update: We did contact Sony to receive the full contents of the letter abridged by the AP. They informed us they are not making the letter public. Sony also said, "We believe that our letter adequately sets out our position and we look forward to showing the Cathedral authorities the game in its full context."
Update 2: The Sony letter as reprinted by the Church of England found after the break
The Sony letter, according to Church of England:
Dear Dean Govender,
Thank you for your email of 11 June 2007.
Please understand that Resistance: Fall of Man is a work of science fiction.
It is fantasy entertainment set against a backdrop of an alternative reality of 1950's Britain. History has been rewritten and the Second World War has not happened but a race of alien creatures has attacked the earth and the human race is engaged in a struggle to defend itself from this alien invader.
Early in the time line of the story, Manchester Cathedral is utilised as a field hospital to tend to the human casualties of the war. When the story line reaches chapter 8, the Cathedral is empty and abandoned, no longer used as a place of worship and the sequences that take place inside are to defend the building from the aliens.
We do not accept that there is any connection between contemporary issues of 21st century Manchester and a work of science fiction in which a fictitious 1950's Britain is under attack by aliens. We believe a comprehensive viewing of the work will make its content and context clear.
Accordingly we would be pleased to demonstrate it to you at a mutually convenient time.
It was not our intention to cause offence by using a representation of Manchester Cathedral in chapter 8 of the work. If we have done so we sincerely apologise.
In conclusion we note that you are consulting lawyers. We confirm that it is our policy to seek all necessary permissions for our products and services, and we believe with this particular work we have done so.
Dr David A Reeves
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe