Child abuse in the Church of England

This video says about itself:

Church of England Paedophiles: Victims Special

For more than a year, the BBC have been investigating predatory paedophile priests in the Diocese of Chichester and the ineffectiveness of their adopted safeguarding measures. In this ‘Inside Out’ special, award winning journalist Colin Campbell speaks with victims about the unimaginable damage caused, not only by the initial abuse, but also by the Church’s continued failings and cover-ups.

Originally aired on the BBC on February 13th 2012.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

Hypocrisy alive and well at York synod

Sunday 14 July 2013

A stinking mess of priestly child abuse in the Church of England has been reluctantly re­vealed over the last few years.

Scores of cases have become public and some have resulted in criminal charges, jail sentences or police cautions.

Many more have seen paedophile vicars moved, retired or simply warned about their behaviour.

Some abusers have died unpunished, to be buried with ecclesiastical honours, their reputation intact and unsullied.

The church authorities have invented a number of strategies to reduce the bad publicity.

An early strategy was to blame it on the Church of Rome. My own local vicar once told me knowingly: “It really isn’t our problem, It’s much more common among the Catholics.”

The church hierarchy has tried to suggest it’s a geographical issue mostly in the Chichester diocese.

Tell that to the abused parishioners and their children in Northamptonshire, Cumbria, Jersey and a dozen other locations all over Britain.

The church has set up its own so-called independent inquiries team which, to their credit, have exposed some of the wrongdoings and the negligence and cover-ups within the church itself.

The worst offenders in the whole sorry story are the bishops – still an all-male preserve of course.

The church’s stained-glass ceiling still prohibits women from taking such an important post.

Many of the church’s bishops have obviously seen their main priority as to protect the church’s reputation and to hush up the scandals if they could.

Bishops have even turned out to be abusers themselves.

As so often in these cases the protection of reputations is seen as much more important than protecting children.

Now, at long last, the church’s leading cleric has made some kind of public apology.

At its meeting in York last week the general synod voted unanimously to endorse the apology that had already been made by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to victims of abuse.

The synod backed the apology with some steps to tighten the church’s existing lax and clearly unsatisfactory child safeguarding procedures.

Amazingly, however, the church continued its gross hypocrisy by refusing to let any actual victims of priestly abuse take part in the debate.

Priests, bishops and lay members could have their say but not the victims.

One wonders what happened to Jesus’s command, “Suffer the little children to come unto me?”

No wonder the victims of sexual abuse in the church have rejected the Archbishop’s apology.

They are demanding a truly independent public inquiry to ensure abusers are held to account and real and lasting safeguards put in place.

On Sunday 7 Paul Butler, the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham and head of the Stop Church Child Abuse group, told the synod: “The church had failed victims of abuse big time by refusing to listen to their stories and by moving offenders to different areas in the hope that the problem would go away.

“The church had sinned through its failure to act just as much as the abusers had sinned through their actions.”

He went on to say that abuse survivors have struggled for years to have their voices heard.

“They have put up with institutional resistance time and again. In doing so, we have repeatedly re-abused them.”

“The synod’s apology did not go nearly far enough for abuse victims.

“Until a full and independent public inquiry was held, many would suspect the church was merely going through the motions.

“Once such an inquiry has reported, once individual cases have been acknowledged, and once the church has begun how to learn to respond appropriately, maybe then the apologies, general as well as to individuals and their families, will carry some meaning.”

Meanwhile victims of the Church of England’s clerical sexual abuse, some of them still keen to return to church to practice their faith, are angry and sad.

Some of those victims, excluded from the synod, like Jesus, wept.

9 thoughts on “Child abuse in the Church of England

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