17 Mar 2011

Church of England and Church in Wales complete child protection review of thousands of personnel files

BBC News - Wales March 9, 2011

Action after Church in Wales child abuse check

The Archbishop of Wales says that the religious notion of forgiveness does not mean the church will forget incidents of child abuse and re-employ perpetrators.

Dr Barry Morgan was speaking after a Church in Wales review which checked for allegations of child abuse.

A comprehensive study was carried out of staff records dating back decades.

The children's commissioner for Wales says lessons must be learned.

The employment files of five clerics were investigated by police and social services, but no further action was taken following an investigation.

The archbishop welcomed the report, which made 36 child safety recommendations.'Forgiveness'

Dr Morgan said he would leave "no stone unturned" to see the church "safe for children" and welcomed one recommendation which called for a debate on the subject of forgiveness.

He told BBC Radio Wales: "If I can compare it to a church treasurer who commits fraud, it may be possible to forgive him as a person but we would not employ him again as a church treasurer.

"By the same token, it's up to the victim to forgive the perpetrator of violence against a young person, but the church would never employ them again.

"In other words forgiveness doesn't mean let's forget about it, you've repented and you can work with children again - that would never happen."

The Church in Wales said the historic cases review was not prompted by a particular case or incident.

A total of 1,381 files across the six dioceses were opened up and checked for allegations of child abuse as part of the review "to ensure the safety of young people".

The files of every serving and retired cleric in the Church in Wales were scrutinised to "make sure any concerns previously raised have been properly dealt with in the light of current best practice".

The Church in Wales said the review was a result of its child protection policy which it had been developing since the mid-1990s, and follows the example of the Church of England, which carried out a similar review in 2007. [see article below]

An independent specialist social worker seconded from the office of the commissioner, Keith Towler, trawled the church's employment files for 18 months to produce the review.

Five of the files were referred to police and social services who, after investigation, decided not to bring any charges or take further action.

Domestic violence

Two of the five were also referred to the Independent Safeguarding Authority, which helps prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults, which decided not to act in either case.

Mr Towler said: "It was imperative that these historic cases were reviewed and that lessons would be learned.

"I commend the archbishop for accepting all of the review's recommendations and for restating the Bench of Bishops' commitment to safeguarding children and young people within the church community."

The report made 36 recommendations, including further training for clergy on child protection issues, such as heightening their awareness of "grooming" and domestic violence.

Responding to the review, John Cameron, the head of NSPCC Helpline, said: "Whilst this review has now come to an end, it's important to remember that we can all play a valuable part in helping to keep children safe in all communities."

This article was found at:


BBC News  -  UK    February 24, 2011

Church child abuse review completed

Thirteen cases which needed formal action have been identified following a Church of England review into child abuse in the church.

About 40,000 diocesan files dating back more than 30 years were examined during the investigation.

The review was launched in 2007 following claims the church had covered up abuse dating back decades.

Six of the cases were referred to police, who said they were unable to take any further action.

As a result of the review of 40,747 files, 11 cases were referred to the authorities. Eight involved a member of the clergy and three involved a non-ordained person holding some form of church office.

Five of the cases had originally been investigated by police and some had resulted in convictions, the church said.

Action by the statutory authorities was not possible in two further cases, relating to members of clergy, but they were deemed by the reviewers to warrant formal disciplinary actions by the church.

The individuals involved in those cases will be referred to the Independent Safeguarding Authority for consideration for inclusion on their barred list.


The other six cases were referred to the police for investigation but they said they were unable to take further action.

In three of these cases, a risk management strategy has been put in place by the diocese's multi-agency child protection management group. There are no cases where a police investigation is still ongoing.

The review involved the examination of personnel files held on diocesan staff, clergy, and lay ministers.

Some 900 letters were sent to bishops, senior clergy and diocesan staff asking for further information.

Rt Revd Anthony Priddis, Bishop of Hereford and chair of the church's central safeguarding liaison group, said: "While no such review can be perfect, and we can never let our vigilance slip in this vital area of concern, we have done all we can to ensure that it has been as comprehensive as possible.

"It indicates there are no outstanding issues of which the church has previously been made aware relating to any clergy or other office holders' suitability to work with children that have not now been investigated by the police or other relevant professional authority."

He added there was no room for complacency and the church remained committed continually to developing procedures for safeguarding vulnerable people.

In 2007, three people were jailed for abuse dating back decades. In each instance, the church had been alerted but failed to take action.

This article was found at:


Church of England vicar sentenced to nine months for downloading child pornography

Anglican archbishop says Catholic church has lost all credibility in Ireland

Church of England's proselytising plans will target children for recruitment and indoctrination

Former vicar jailed over sex abuse

Abuse vicar is sacked by Church


  1. Welsh abuse scandal: A nightmare without end

    Does the scandal of sexual abuse in Welsh children's homes really need another inquiry? Roger Dobson, who helped expose it, reports

    Independent UK November 7, 2012

    In the summer of 1991, a white envelope marked "Confidential" dropped on to the desk of the Chief Constable of North Wales. The note inside was about a former care worker in North Wales, who had just been jailed for 12 years for rape and indecent assault.

    He was not the first care worker in North Wales to appear in court, nor would he be the last, but his case was pivotal because of the evidence that had been given. "I understand that when your officers investigated this case they were at one stage concerned as to the question of the existence of a paedophile ring," read the letter from Clwyd Council. "This question exercises my mind greatly and I believe it will be a matter of equal concern to you."

    Shortly afterwards, a wide-ranging police inquiry began. Over two years, some 2,500 people were interviewed, with allegations against 365 people. The Crown Prosecution Services recommended action against eight, and six were convicted. There, the affair might have ended. There was no widespread clamour for inquires – and no internet through which allegations and names could find their way into the public domain.

    It is hard to appreciate today, as the Home Secretary, Theresa May, announces an investigation into claims that a senior Conservative figure was involved in abuse at North Wales care homes in the 1970s and 1980s, but in those days attitudes to child abuse and to children in care were different. After all, the Paedophile Information Exchange, which campaigned for acceptance and understanding of paedophilia, had disbanded only seven years earlier.

    And the interests and welfare of children in care were not issues that attracted great public attention In these closed worlds, too many children were easy prey to abusers.

    Nonetheless, with the police inquiry complete, Clwyd Council decided to review its residential child care provisions, and commissioned John Jillings, a former director of social services in Derbyshire, to chair a tribunal,

    It took nearly a year to complete its inquiry and much was expected. But, astonishingly, the council decided not to publish the 300-page report and it was regarded as so sensitive that copies were numbered and, at one point, recalled.

    It was the non-publication of Jillings that triggered the interest of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday, and abuse at children's homes in North Wales rapidly climbed the news agenda.

    Malcolm King, then chairman of Clwyd County Council, whose tenacity had helped to put the spotlight on abuse, did not hold back. "The evidence emerging is that children's homes were a gulag archipelago stretching across Britain – wonderful places for paedophiles but, for the children who suffered, places of unending nightmares," he told The Independent on Sunday.

    It emerged that there were other unpublished reports, one of which showed that warnings about the possibility of a paedophile ring operating around children's homes in North Wales and the North-west had been given four years previously. There were 12 internal reports on alleged abuse in all. Only six made it to the social services committee and just two were reported in any detail. As a result, it was almost impossible to have an overview of what was happening in children's homes.

    Had anyone put the reports, convictions, suspensions, suspicions and resignations together at any time during the 1980s, they would have seen a worrying trend in abuse and allegations of abuse. They would have also have seen that there were links between some of the convicted abusers. Four – Peter Howarth, Stephen Norris, Frederick Rutter and David Gillison – worked at one time or another at the Bryn Estyn children home.

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    At this stage it seemed that more than 100, possibly more than 200 children might have been sexually abused in the homes. At least 12, perhaps 16, were dead, some by suicide. Prominent public figures were persistently rumoured to be among the abusers: members of a paedophile ring to whom the children were supplied as sexual playthings.

    The Jillings report had been expected to provide an overview and answer some of these questions, but it had been suppressed. The Independent and The Independent on Sunday gained access to some of the recommendations, and eventually were given unrestricted access to one of the numbered copies.

    Its contents were explosive: "It is the opinion of the panel that extensive and widespread abuse has occurred within Clwyd residential establishments for children and young people. Our findings show that time and again, the response to indications that children may have been abused has been too little and too late." It condemned professionals: "There has been a conflict of interest between safeguarding professional positions versus the safety of children and young people. The interests of children have almost invariably been sacrificed.

    "It is clear that in a significant number of cases the lives of young people who have been through the care system in Clwyd have been severely disrupted and disturbed. "

    The report, which called for a judicial inquiry, contained information which suggested council insurers might have feared that its contents could provoke a flood of compensation claims. "Every inquiry is a dress rehearsal for claimants and a further incentive to the bandwagon syndrome," they said in a letter to the council. The outcry over non-publication of Jillings and continuing revelations about what was actually in it, eventually led to the North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal. This judicial inquiry, chaired by Sir Ronald Waterhouse, spent a year – and £20m – listening to more than 350 former residents, and other witnesses, trying to get at the truth.

    Allegations of abuse were on a colossal scale. More than 700 complaints, relating to approximately 40 homes, were made, including 138 from former residents of Bryn Estyn. Although the inquiry made a series of recommendations, some issues remained unresolved. Were there – are there? – other people who should be investigated? Was a ring at work? Were prominent public figures involved?

    "One of the disturbing features of Bryn Estyn is the large number of employees who were later to be identified as serious abusers. There can be little doubt that most or all of the most serious sexual abusers knew each other," said Gerard Elias QC during the tribunal hearings.

    Clwyd Council was concerned enough to raise questions about a paedophile ring with the Chief Constable, and one of the internal reports, which was obtained by The Independent at the time, raised the issue, too: "There remain worrying current instances of conviction and prosecution for sexual offences of persons who are known to have worked together in child care establishments both in the county [Clwyd] and in other parts of the North-west," it said. "These suggest that abuse could have been happening unabated for many years and, that there could be operating a league or ring of paedophiles."

    And were prominent public figures involved? Allegations and rumours of abuse of children in care in North Wales have been rife for many years, and leading politicians are consistently alleged to be involved. Some have been named on the internet – repeatedly so, in recent days.

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    The Waterhouse inquiry effectively barred the naming of anyone accused of abuse who had not been convicted, arguing that there was a "substantial risk that the course of justice... would be seriously impeded and prejudiced if there were to be general publication of the identity of the abusers and persons against whom allegations of abuse are made."

    In fact, one or two politicians' names were mentioned at the tribunal, but they did not appear in the report, and, it being the pre-internet age, they remained anonymous. The report concluded: "No evidence has been presented to establish that there was a wide-ranging conspiracy involving prominent persons and others with the objective of sexual activity with children in care."

    But for two or three decades, survivors of abuse have been adamant about who they thought was involved, and now some of those allegations have been resurfacing.

    Should we take them seriously? As a journalist who was deeply involved in the story for some time, I saw the allegations as being sincerely held, and they have persisted. But to publish them would have needed solid evidence. Sadly, the very nature of sexual abuse of this kind means that such solid evidence was and is very hard to come by.

    Yet, despite two tribunals, 10 or so court cases, more than a dozen reports, and several internal inquires, there remain unanswered questions about exactly what happened in and around those children's home in North Wales over two decades.

    Jillings, too, had encountered talk of the involvement of public figures. His report said he was unable to tackle some issues because of the lack of a mandate, adding: "This includes the suggestion that public figures may have been involved in the abuse of young people in Clwyd."

    None of these allegations has diminished over time. If there is a new inquiry, it needs to be structured in such a way that it can have a reasonable chance of finding conclusive answers for the survivors of child abuse that wrecked so many lives.

    Q&A: Abuse in Welsh care homes

    Q When did the abuse occur?

    A Between 1974 and 1990. About 100 children, and possibly many more, were sexually abused in children's homes in Clwyd.

    Q What was done about it?

    A Seven men were eventually jailed for their role in the abuse, including John Allen, head of the Bryn Alyn home.

    Q Shouldn't there have been an inquiry at the time?

    A There were several: 12 internal council reports; an inquiry for the Welsh Office, which concluded that a full judicial inquiry would not be in the public interest; the 300-page Jillings report, prepared for Clwyd council in 1996 but never published; and a £20m judicial inquiry under Sir Ronald Waterhouse QC, which reported in 2000.

    Q What were the Waterhouse inquiry's conclusions?

    A The inquiry's report, Lost In Care, concluded that widespread sexual abuse had taken place. However, it reached no conclusions about persistent allegations that prominent public figures had been among the abusers.

    Q Why not?

    A The difficulty of substantiating claims against named individuals was seen as making it harder for victims to get a hearing for their claims of abuse, so the Waterhouse inquiry granted anonymity to all such named alleged perpetrators.

    Q Did the guilty go unpunished?

    A We have no way of knowing. Now, as then, claims about "prominent perpetrators" mean little without corroborating evidence.


  4. Retired bishop Peter Ball arrested on suspicion of child sex offences

    Rt Rev Peter Ball thought to be most senior Church of England figure to be arrested in connection with a sex abuse inquiry

    by Robert Booth The Guardian, November 13, 2012

    Detectives investigating complaints of sexual abuse in the Church of England have arrested a retired bishop on suspicion of eight sexual offences against eight boys and young men ranging in age from 12 to early 20s.

    Officers from the Sussex police serious crime directorate involved in a six-month investigation into historic allegations at the diocese of Chichester arrested the Rt Rev Peter Ball, former bishop of Lewes and later bishop of Gloucester, on Tuesday morning at his home address near Landport, Somerset.

    Ball is thought to be the most senior figure in the church to be arrested in connection with a sex abuse investigation. The bishop, now 80, has connections to Prince Charles, whom he has described in the past as "a loyal friend".

    Police also arrested a 67-year old retired priest at his home address near Haywards Heath on suspicion of two separate sexual offences against two teenage boys in East Sussex between 1981 and 1983.

    Detectives carried out a "comprehensive and painstaking" three-month analysis of two reports from Lambeth Palace, "which contain reviews of church files relating to certain child safeguarding issues within the Chichester diocese from between 20 and 25 years ago". They also reviewed internal church files containing details of clergymen's careers in the diocese, including Ball's.

    A spokeswoman for a group representing the survivors of abuse by clergy said the arrests were "historic in terms of the seniority of the people being looked at". "This is the first bishop we have seen arrested over abuse allegations," said Ann Lawrence, of the Ministry and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors Group.

    Sussex police said: "The investigation, which relates to alleged offences not previously reported to Sussex police, has taken six months so far. This is a very complex inquiry, in the course of which many people, all now adults, have had to be traced, together with other witnesses and records from a wide variety of sources, and there is continuing consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service.

    "There are no allegations of recent or current offending and police emphasise that there is nothing to suggest that any young people are currently at risk. Police also stress that the allegations are being treated separately and do not involve the two men allegedly acting together."

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  5. The handling of allegations of abuse in the Chichester diocese was subject to an inquiry this year commissioned by the outgoing archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, thought to be the first such CofE "visitation" in more than 100 years. When he published the interim report in August, which did not identify any of those accused, Williams said the "abiding hurt and damage done to [survivors of abuse] is something that none of us in the church can ignore, and I am deeply sorry that they should have been let down by those they ought to have been able to trust".

    In May 2011, Baronness Butler Sloss produced a report, commissioned by the church, reviewing the cases of two separate priests serving in the diocese who between 1996 and 2010 were the subject of allegations of child abuse that took place before 1984. She concluded that across the diocese there was "a lack of understanding of the seriousness of historic child abuse". There was, in the early stages, "a failure to respond appropriately to disclosures of abuse by victims and to give them adequate and timely support", the report said.

    Ball was a senior figure in the diocese before he was enthroned as the bishop of Gloucester in 1991, a ceremony attended by Prince Charles. When Ball resigned in 1993 he moved to Manor Lodge, in the Somerset village of Aller. The wisteria-clad property is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, the private estate headed by Charles.

    At the time, Ball said: "He has been wonderfully kind and allowed me to have a duchy house. The prince is a loyal friend. I have immense admiration for him, he has been through horrific times and is a great person."

    In a statement responding to the arrests, the chairman of the Churches National Safeguarding Committee, the Rt Rev Paul Butler, bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, said: "The Church of England takes any allegations of abuse very seriously and is committed to being a safe place for all. To this end we have robust procedures and policies in place.

    "But we can never be complacent. We would like to urge any victims or those with information to feel free to come forward knowing that they will be listened to in confidence. We have also put support systems in place for all those involved with today's arrests. Should anyone have further information or need to discuss the personal impact of this news, the church has worked with the NSPCC to set up a confidential helpline number: 0800 389 5344."


  6. Former bishop and retired priest arrested over abuse claims

    BBC November 13, 2012

    A former Church of England bishop and a retired priest have been arrested on suspicion of sex abuse.

    The Right Reverend Peter Ball, a former bishop of Lewes and Gloucester, is being held on suspicion of abusing eight boys and men in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

    He was arrested at his home near Langport, Somerset.

    Retired Church of England priest Vickery House, 67, was arrested at his home near Haywards Heath, West Sussex,

    Sussex Police said Mr Ball was later released on medical advice and officers intended to interview him at a later late.

    Mr House was bailed pending further inquiries.

    Police said the allegations against the two men were being dealt with separately.

    Teenage boys
    The arrests followed a police investigation which started when the Church of England passed on two reports on the safeguarding of young people in the Chichester Diocese during the 1980s and early 1990s. The diocese includes Lewes.

    Continue reading the main story

    Start Quote

    Allegations of historic offences are treated just as seriously as any more recent offences”

    Det Ch Insp Carwyn Hughes
    The 80-year-old former bishop, who resigned in 1993, was arrested over allegations of sexual abuse at properties in East Sussex and elsewhere.

    Mr House, 67, was arrested on suspicion of two sexual offences involving two teenage boys in East Sussex, between 1981 and 1983.

    Det Ch Insp Carwyn Hughes of Sussex Police said: "The Church of England, including the Diocese of Chichester, are co-operating fully with police.

    "Although the matters referred to are still subject of police investigation, Sussex Police make it clear that the force will always take seriously any allegations of historic sexual offending and every possible step will be taken to investigate whenever appropriate.

    "Allegations of historic offences are treated just as seriously as any more recent offences."

    Child protection inquiry
    The Diocese of Chichester confirmed Sussex detectives had made the two arrests on Tuesday.

    "These arrests relate to allegations of sexual abuse in the 1980s and 1990s.

    "We can confirm that the retired bishop has had no ministry in Sussex for many years and no longer lives in this area.

    "The retired priest has had his permission to officiate suspended," it said in a statement.

    The statement said the diocese had been working closely with Sussex Police.

    "Our co-operation with Sussex Police in this investigation continues our ongoing commitment to do all that is necessary to bring any alleged criminal matters to the attention of the public authorities, and to ensure that the Diocese of Chichester is a safe place for all in our church communities, whilst being an unsafe place for any who may seek to abuse them."

    The diocese is currently subject to a "visitation process" which includes an inquiry into its child protection policies.

    Under the process, its powers and authority have been taken over by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

    Three former Church of England priests from the diocese have been charged this year with sexual offences against children.

    A 24-hour helpline manned by staff at the children's charity NSPCC has been set up on 0800 389 5344.


  7. The Anglicans, Round One (Or: His Grace Falls from Grace)

    by Lewis Blayse Commentary on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Australia) February 9, 2013

    [For the sake of transparency, it is necessary to point out that this author was subject to abuse in the St George’s Orphanage in Rockhampton, which was operated by the Anglican Church. Despite supporting material from many people, including a Professor of Psychiatry, leading politicians, and former Governor-General, Sir Zelman Cowen that the abuse was responsible for the author not reaching his natural potential in society, a class action resulted in an offer of $4,000, which was duly rejected as inadequate. The postings on the Anglican Church should be viewed in this light, although a sincere attempt has been made to fairly comment.]

    Peter John Hollingworth, AC OBE (pictured below – to the right), became Archbishop of Brisbane in 1989. In 1991, he was named Australian of the Year. He reached the pinnacle of his public career when he was appointed Governor-General of Australia in 2001. Then things went wrong, horribly wrong.

    Just prior to Mr Hollingworth’s award of Australian of the Year, the author approached the heads of all churches and government in Queensland with a list of complaints by several former residents of their children’s homes. These meetings eventually resulted in a written public apology, signed by Queensland State Premier Peter Beattie, (then) Families Minister Anna Bligh (later Premier), and the heads of all of the major churches, including Mr Hollingworth representing the Anglican Church.

    The only one that did not agree to that original meeting was Mr Hollingworth. The only time the author met Mr Hollingworth was just before he became Governor-General. This was in the role of an observer at a meeting between Mr Hollingworth and a victim of a church official. Also present was a social worker advocate for the victim.

    In an example of just how concerned the Australian public had become, even a decade ago, about the churches’ responses to the paedophile priest issue, Mr Hollingworth was eventually forced to resign as Governor-General, although he and then Prime Minister John Howard held out for some months. The key issue was the claim that he had protected a paedophile priest, John Elliot. Many, however, regard the real turning point in public opinion towards Mr Hollingworth as occurring when he made a comment to the media which suggested he was of the opinion that the victim in one case had, in effect, invited the abuse. Days later, he resigned, avoiding the necessity of the government to remove him.

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  8. The Anglican Church’s own enquiry had concluded that Mr Hollingworth had allowed a known paedophile to continue working as a priest. Mr Hollingworth has admitted he made a, “serious error of judgment” and has apologised to the victim’s family, but it was not good enough for most people. The report was conducted by Melbourne QC Peter O’Callaghan and Adelaide academic Professor Freda Briggs.

    The report notes that, after being revealed in 1993, Elliot was allowed to remain in the parish until his retirement in 1998. Mr Hollingworth’s lawyers had argued to the enquiry that a, “sudden termination” would have caused, “unwarranted concern” in the parish and been, “very difficult to explain publicly.” Elliot has since been gaoled for multiple charges arising from the 1970s. A psychiatrist had warned Mr Hollingworth that the priest’s “problem” was, “something which keeps recurring and is likely to happen again.”

    Even when the problem was raised by the Anglican Church’s insurer in 1999, Mr Hollingworth continued to support the priest. He urged him to keep a low profile because of the, “potential for legal action on the part of the aggrieved individuals, some of whom may feel it is now open season to do so.” (The case caused the Anglican Church to pay approximately $500,000 in damages to a victim). Mr Hollingworth thanked Elliot for his, “happy and fulfilling” work. “I am sure it was valued by all.” Elliot then thanked him for his, “understanding.”

    [POSTSCRIPT: On the 17th of November last year, ABC News reported that, “retired Anglican Archbishop and former Australian Governor-General, Peter Hollingworth says he welcomes the royal commission into child abuse and says he would happily appear as a witness. He told Saturday AM’s Elizabeth Jackson that he believes legislating against the sanctity of confession would be useless, because he says priests and ministers would simply break the law.]

    Read more here:

    Anglican child sex abuse shame (The Age, 31 May, 2004).

    Aspinall defends handling of child sex abuse (The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 May, 2003).

    Church Sex Abuse Scandals are Not Just a Catholic Crisis (Karen Stephenson, 30 April, 2010).

    Peter Hollingworth (Wikipedia).

    Peter Hollingworth welcomes child abuse Royal Commission (AM, ABC News, 17 November, 2012).

    TOMORROW: Another Anglican Bishop resigns

    To read more of Lewis Blayse's analysis go to:


  9. Anglicans Round Two (Or: R.I.P. – Retire in Peace)

    by Lewis Blayse Commentary on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Australia)

    February 10, 2012


    Ten years ago, two Anglican clergymen, frustrated by internal inaction, went public with claims of up to 200 sexual abuse cases by Adelaide Anglican Church officials. One of the abusers, church youth leader, Bob Brandenburg, confessed to his crimes. He committed suicide on the day his trial was to be held. At the time of the allegations, Brandenburg was reportedly connected to the suburban Magill parish in Adelaide and Dr Aspinall (now Anglican Primate for Australia) was assistant archbishop to Archbishop Ian George for the Adelaide diocese.

    Another case involved the Rev. Colin Mountford, the chaplain at Adelaide’s most prestigious Boy’s school, St. Peter’s College. Mountford fled Australia after reportedly admitting to the college’s headmaster in June 1992 that he had sexually assaulted a 14-year old male student. Mountford has claimed that he was told at the time by the Adelaide Archbishop, Ian George, to flee the country or police would be called. He went to Bali and later lived in the U.K. finally ending up in Thailand.

    George has said that he did not inform police because he thought it was the school’s responsibility, and not his. While denying Mountford’s claims about him, George did admit meeting with Mountford the day he left. George also claimed that before he met with Mountford, he had been informed by the victim’s family they did not want to pursue the matter with the authorities.

    Giving in to public outcry, Mr.George instituted a Church inquiry. Perhaps Mr. George should have heeded the advice of Sir Humphrey Appleby in the BBC series, “Yes Minister”, not to set up an enquiry if you don’t know the outcome. The report was damming of Mr. George and the Adelaide diocese.

    The report was compiled by former Supreme Court judge Trevor Olsson and senior social lecturer Dr Donna Chung. It found that Adelaide’s Anglican Church was more concerned with protecting itself from child sexual abuse claims, from the legal and insurance perspectives, than with healing victims. The church's first priority when confronted with sex abuse claims was often "protecting the church at all costs. The report was tabled in the South Australian Parliament.

    The report said the Anglican Church was "uncaring towards victims and, at times, had the result of undermining the character of both victims and their families". "The primary focus was essentially on the church and any likely effect upon it, or where relevant, its clergy," the report said. "There was an emphasis on the complainant needing to `forgive' and `understand' the perpetrator's motives. "The potential possibility of the involvement of the police, at the instance of the church, was seemingly abhorrent."

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  10. The church's Adelaide diocese board was initially defensive when confronted with sex abuse claims, the report said. "Often, its first priority seemed to be one of protecting the church at all costs," it said. "Even to the extent, on some occasions, of warning complainants that they could be sued for defamation if their complaints could not be substantiated."

    The South Australian Rann Government launched an unprecedented attack on his administration and demanded his immediate resignation, claiming he had failed to effectively lead the church through the trauma of child sexual abuse allegations. Mr. George said he was ashamed at the findings of the report, which said complaints of child sex abuse within the diocese dated back 50 years, but he resisted calls to resign.

    South Australian Treasurer and acting Premier Kevin Foley said he was "stunned and shocked" at the actions of the church and the exclusive St Peter's College. Things got worse when the former Bishop of Tasmania Phillip Newell revealed that he had contacted Dr George and warned him of sex abuse claims against Brandenburg. The phone call on July 1, 1998, was followed the next day by a letter to the same effect, but Mr. George denied knowledge of either communication.

    In a South Australian ABC Stateline interview with Ian Henschke, Mr. George indicated that the diocesan council wanted him to continue and that “I have only 10 weeks to go you see”, to which Mr.Henschke replied “ Is that a good reason to stay though, for 10 weeks”.

    Finally Mr.George gave in to pressure and resigned rather than retire peacefully. At the time, a planned commemorative service for Dr George was cancelled after victims complained it was insensitive to their suffering.

    A South Australian police taskforce formed in May 2004 to investigate the allegations has so far found 143 victims of child sex abuse and 58 possible offenders. One of the former Church of England Boys Society leaders, 45, will face five charges of gross indecency allegedly committed between 1986 and 1988 on a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old. A former Church of England Boys Society leader, 69, was arrested for 14 indecent assaults allegedly committed on six victims aged between 12 and 16, between 1970 and 1982.

    In June 2004, Premier Rann called for the Reverend John Mountford to be found and charged. He was arrested in Bangkok in October by Royal Thai Police after a provisional arrest request by Australian authorities.

    Mr. George’s peaceful retirement will probably be interrupted shortly when required to front the Royal Commission, under oath.

    Further information:-








    Tomorrow: The Primate


  11. Church of England facing new child abuse allegations

    Archbishop accused of not reporting claims made against former dean of Manchester to police at the time

    by David Batty, The Guardian May 10, 2013

    The Church of England is facing a new child protection scandal after accusations that the former archbishop of York failed to report allegations of child abuse by a senior clergyman.

    Lord Hope of Thornes, the former archbishop, said he stripped the Very Rev Robert Waddington, a former dean of Manchester cathedral who was once in charge of church schools, of his right to conduct church services after allegations of child abuse against him. But Hope said he did not report the matter to the police or other child protection agencies because he deemed Waddington did not pose a further risk to children.

    The extent of the allegations against Waddington have emerged in a joint investigation by the Times and the Australian newspaper that uncovered internal church files showing Hope was made aware of abuse allegations in 1999 and again in 2003. The Office of the Archbishop of York confirmed it was aware of legal action by an alleged victim. Dean died in 2007. The controversy comes after a report published earlier this month, ordered by former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, warned the church risked a ticking "time bomb" if it failed to take urgent action to prevent further incidents of child abuse.

    The allegations will also add to the pressure on Williams's successor, Justin Welby, who now faces the prospect of dealing with historic childhood sexual abuse in addition to rows about same-sex marriage and women bishops.

    Hope ordered internal investigations, interviewed Waddington and revoked his "permission to officiate" in church, according to the Times. But, in a statement, the former archbishop said he did not deem the alleged abuser to pose a further risk due to his ill health after cancer surgery.

    He added that the action taken was in line with the church's then child protection proceedures and denied that he or his then staff had "acted negligently". Greater Manchester police told the Times they were concerned that the diocese had chosen not to report the case while Waddington was still alive. It was only last October when Eli Ward, a former choirboy, made a report of his alleged abuse to officers.

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  12. The statement from Hope, issued through Bradford Diocese where he is assistant bishop, said the guidelines did not legally oblige the church to refer allegations made by adults to the authorities. But they did require him to consider whether children might still be at risk and if necessary to ensure that appropriate steps were taken to protect them, including reporting the matter. Hope said: "In considering whether children would be at risk from Robert Waddington I decided under these guidelines that this would not be the case given his serious ill health following cancer surgery. The following year I revoked Robert Waddington's permission to officiate. He died two years later."

    He added: "I am deeply aware of the pain caused to any victim of child abuse, especially at the hands of a trustworthy person within the church."

    Waddington, whom the Times reports had close links with the scandal-hit Chetham's music school while in Manchester, died of throat cancer in 2007.

    A spokesman for the office of the Archbishop of York, currently Dr John Sentamu, said he understood that a personal injury claim had been sent to the the dean and chapter of Manchester cathedral, which had refered the matter to its own insurers and solicitors. "The archbishop has not seen that letter of claim. In light of the above, it would not be appropriate at this time for the archbishop to respond to these questions," the spokedDiocese of Manchester said it was aware of the abuse allegations and was "working co-operatively with the parties concerned".

    The Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, chair of the Churches National Safeguarding Committee, said the church now had robust child protection policies in place.

    He also acknowledged that in the past procedures had fallen short of protecting abuse victims.

    "As a church we will always apologise for past systems that let down the vulnerable and offer support to anyone whose life has been affected. We would encourage anyone who has any safeguarding concerns within a church context to come forward with the assurance they will be listened to."

    Earlier this month a report into the church's child protection policies following abuse scandals in the Chichester diocese found that safeguarding of children and other vulnerable people had fallen "woefully short" of what should be expected. It also warned that there may still be abusers who have not yet been identified.

    It recommended that every diocese should have a list of qualified people who could support those making allegations against clergy. Investigators said bishops must be given mandatory powers of suspension to ensure that alleged perpetrators were adequately dealt with.


  13. Church of England makes Chichester child abuse apology

    BBC News July 7, 2013

    The Church of England has formally apologised for past child abuse by Anglican priests and its own "serious failure" to prevent it.

    The ruling General Synod, meeting in York, endorsed a report apologising for abuse in the Chichester diocese.

    Members also unanimously backed an earlier apology issued by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.

    The Archbishop of Canterbury said there needed to be "a complete change of culture and behaviour" in the Church.

    The Most Reverend Justin Welby told the Synod: "And, in addition, there is a profound theological point.

    "We are not doing all this, we are not seeking to say how devastatingly, appallingly, atrociously sorry we are for the great failure there has been, for our own sakes, for our own flourishings, for the protection of the Church.

    "We are doing it because we are called to live in the justice of God and we will each answer to him for our failings in these areas."

    The cases of two priests - Roy Cotton and Colin Pritchard - who abused several children during the 1970s and 1980s, prompted an inquiry by the Archbishop of Canterbury's office into safeguarding procedures in the diocese.

    The ensuing report described a "profoundly unhelpful and negative culture" there, producing an "appalling" and "dysfunctional" record in handling allegations of abuse.

    'Individual wickedness'
    Opening the debate, the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, the Right Reverend Paul Butler, said the Church had "failed to listen properly".

    "We did not acknowledge the wrong done and we protected the institution at the expense of the person abused," he said.

    "We cannot do anything other than own up to our failures - we were wrong."

    He said the church's "failures were sin just as much as the perpetrators sinned".

    The bishop read out a statement from victims of child abuse in the Church who called for a public inquiry to find out the number of victims, how the Church protected abusers and whether there was a cover-up.

    In response to the report, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, offered their own apology for the "individual wickedness on the part of abusers" and serious failures by the Church to protect children or listen properly to victims.

    They said the suffering inflicted on the victims would be a source of grief and shame for years to come.

    The motion before the Synod endorsed the archbishops' apology and the contents of the report.

    After a debate lasting about 1 hour 45 minutes, it was approved by 360 votes to none.

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  14. The Synod also agreed plans to take further steps to improve policies and practices on safeguarding children, including by ditching the current one-year limit on making complaints of child abuse, and giving bishops the right to suspend clergy who are credibly accused of abuse.

    Meanwhile, a man was arrested after two stewards were allegedly attacked at a Synod service in York Minster.

    A Church of England spokesman said a man entered the minster as the service was starting and attacked the stewards when they asked him to stop.

    He was restrained as members of the congregation and senior members of the church, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, looked on.

    A member of the Archbishop of York's staff and a steward suffered minor injuries.

    'Inescapable truth'
    The General Synod also debated the government's welfare changes.

    Archbishop Welby and Dr Sentamu were among the 43 bishops to write to the Daily Telegraph earlier this year criticising the government over benefit cuts.

    And a briefing document drawn up by Philip Fletcher, chairman of the Church's Mission and Public Affairs Council, had accused government spokesmen of making "political capital" by presenting unemployment as a "strivers" versus "scroungers" debate.

    The Synod backed by 331 votes to 1 a motion that rejected the "misleading characterisation" of welfare recipients.

    The motion recognised that "in times of austerity hard choices must be made" by the government but urged politicians to "pay close attention to the impact of welfare cuts on the most vulnerable".

    On Saturday, the MP who acts as the Church of England's link in the House of Commons told the Synod it had been divided into a "gathering of tribes" as a result of disputes over the role of women.

    Sir Tony Baldry, Second Church Estates Commissioner was speaking after General Synod members spent the day in private talks in an attempt to solve the impasse over introducing women bishops.

    A debate and vote on endorsing draft legislation on women bishops is to take place on Monday.

    Sir Tony told the meeting: "There is, I believe, an inescapable truth that the Church of England probably has no more than 20 years to reassert its position as the national Church of England."


  15. NOTE: SEE RELATED ARTICLES ABOVE AT: Perry Bulwer 14 November 2012

    Archbishop and MPs wrote in support of bishop later convicted of sexual offences

    Raft of public figures stepped forward to defend Peter Ball in letters revealed after freedom of information requests

    Harriet Sherwood, Religion correspondent The Guardian December 31, 2015

    Letters written by a former archbishop of Canterbury and a coterie of establishment figures – including a former government minister and a high court judge – in support of a bishop accused of sexual abuse more than 20 years ago have been disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act.

    The confidential letters to police and prosecutors springing to the defence of Peter Ball, the former bishop of Lewes and Gloucester, are likely to fuel accusations by survivors of sexual abuse of a cover-up at the heart of the Church of England and wider establishment.

    Ball escaped prosecution at the time, resigned his post as bishop and retired to a rented cottage on the Prince of Wales’s Duchy of Cornwall estate. After a fresh investigation was opened in 2012, Ball, now 83, was sentenced to 32 months in prison in October 2015 after pleading guilty to abusing 18 vulnerable young men between 1977 and 1992.

    George Carey, who was archbishop of Canterbury at the time when police were investigating claims of sexual abuse by Ball, wrote to the director of public prosecutions and the chief constable of Gloucester police in February 1993. While repeatedly stressing he was not trying to influence the outcome of the investigation, Carey wrote of Ball’s “excruciating pain and spiritual torment” and the implications for the state of his mental health.

    A separate letter from Tim Renton, then the Conservative MP for Mid Sussex and a former government minister, spoke of Ball “suffer[ing] terribly” during the investigation while implicitly acknowledging that the bishop may have broken his vows of chastity.

    At Ball’s trial, the Old Bailey heard that a string of senior establishment figures, including a member of the royal family, had written letters and made telephone calls supporting Ball at the time of the original investigation. No details were given.

    On Thursday, the Crown Prosecution Service published a series of letters, written by “‘significant’ figures of society at the time”, in response to an FOI request. It declined to publish further letters in support of Ball by “non-senior individuals”.

    The CPS said that “whilst we appreciate some embarrassment may be caused by the release of these letters, we believe this is outweighed by the public interest in accountability under their respective titles”.

    The published letters were sent by two archbishops of Canterbury and a bishop, a former high court judge, two Conservative MPs, three former heads and two chaplains of leading public schools. No correspondence from a member of the royal family was disclosed.

    In his letter to the chief constable of Gloucester, dated 5 February 1993, Carey wrote: “I have been keeping an anxious eye on developments concerning my colleague Peter Ball, whilst being keenly conscious of the need to avoid any suggestion that I might be attempting to influence the police enquiries.”

    Saying that he wished to offer a “few personal reflections”, the then archbishop of Canterbury wrote of Ball’s “wholehearted commitment to his Lord and the Christian Church”. The sexual abuse investigation came as “a terrible shock to me” and “seemed to me at first most improbable”. He added: “If he is guilty of unprofessional behaviour it is quite unrepresentative of his style.”

    He acknowledged that “‘special pleading’ would be entirely inappropriate; at the same time ... I believe I am justified in drawing to your attention the excruciating pain and spiritual torment which these allegations have inevitably brought upon a man in his exposed position and with his sensibilities”.

    Carey’s letter to the DPP, written almost

  16. a month later, referred to “disturbing impressions of the bishop’s state of health” and enclosed a psychiatrist’s report on Ball. The letter urged the DPP to come to a speedy decision about prosecution, saying a delay “may endanger further his already fragile health”.

    A handwritten letter from Donald Coggan, the archbishop of Canterbury who consecrated Ball as a bishop in 1977, referred to his regard and respect for a “godly man, totally devoted to his church and to the people whom he has loved and served since his ordination”.

    Renton, who was arts minister in John Major’s government until 10 months before writing to the DPP in support of Ball, said the bishop had “suffered terribly over the past six weeks” of police investigation.

    Renton said he had never heard a “breath of any suggestion of impropriety” regarding Ball’s behaviour while bishop of Lewes in the MP’s constituency. He continued: “However, I know him well enough to be certain that no punishment will be greater for him than any knowledge that he has broken his own vows of chastity. This alone will make him suffer for the rest of his life. To add the further shame of criminal action seems far too great a punishment.”

    Former high court judge Anthony Lloyd wrote that the bishop was “the most saintly man I have ever met” and that “if there is a latter day St Francis, then Peter Ball is him”.

    He added: “And now he finds himself in this appalling situation ... He has obviously suffered far more already than any of us can imagine, and far more than a more ordinary human being would have suffered.”

    None of the correspondents made any reference to the suffering of those who had made allegations against Ball.

    The other correspondents were Tim Rathbone, then Conservative MP for Lewes; Peter Nott, then bishop of Norwich; James Woodhouse, headteacher of Lancing college and former headteacher of Rugby school; Ian Beer, former headteacher of Harrow school; Richard Morgan, former head of Cheltenham college; and the Reverends A J Keep and N A T Menon, both chaplains at Cranleigh school.

    After Ball retired as a bishop, he was permitted to continue officiating in the C of E by Carey.

    At his trial, Bobbie Cheema QC, prosecuting, said that the police had received letters and phone calls of support from many dozens of people, including a member of the royal family.

    Clarence House issued a statement at the end of the trial, saying that the Prince of Wales had “made no intervention in the judicial process on behalf of Peter Ball”.

    Responding to the FOI request, the CPS said it had “not received any correspondence nor seen any correspondence to others from any members of the royal family”.

    Neil Todd, one of those who accused Ball of abuse in 1993, killed himself three years ago after three earlier attempts to take his life. His sister, Mary Mills Knowles, said in a victim impact statement: “The church wanted to sweep this under the carpet. They had no concern for Neil’s wellbeing. He was very distressed, vulnerable and distraught. He felt nobody believed him.”

    Responding to the publication of the letters, a C of E spokesperson said: “It is a matter of deep shame and regret that a bishop in the Church of England was sentenced earlier this year for a series of offences over 15 years against 18 young men known to him. There are no excuses whatsoever for what took place, nor for the systematic abuse of trust perpetrated by Peter Ball.”

    The church apologised unreservedly to the survivors of Ball’s abuse, the statement said. Justin Welby, the present archbishop of Canterbury, commissioned an independent review in the way the church handled the Ball case and was co-operating fully with Justice Goddard’s sexual abuse inquiry.

    The church took allegations of sexual abuse very seriously, it said, while being “painfully conscious of our past failings”.


  17. Damning report reveals Church of Englands failure to act on abuse

    Review of priest’s assault against boy in 1976 criticises Justin Welby’s office and expresses disbelief that senior figures cannot recall being told of attack

    by Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian Religion correspondent March 15, 2016

    The Church of England is to make far-reaching changes to the way it deals with cases of sex abuse, following a highly critical independent report that details how senior church figures failed to act upon repeated disclosures of a sadistic assault by a cleric.

    The first independent review commissioned by the church into its handling of a sex abuse case highlights the “deeply disturbing” failure of those in senior positions to record or take action on the survivor’s disclosures over a period of almost four decades.

    The Guardian understands that among those told of the abuse were three bishops and a senior clergyman later ordained as a bishop. None of them are named in the report by Ian Elliott, a safeguarding expert, but the survivor identified them as Tim Thornton, now bishop of Truro; Richard Holloway, former bishop of Edinburgh in the Scottish Episcopal church, now retired; John Eastaugh, former bishop of Hereford, now dead; and Stephen Platten, former bishop of Wakefield and now honorary assistant bishop of London.

    The church acknowledged the report was “embarrassing and uncomfortable” reading.

    Elliott examined the case of “Joe” – described in the report as “B”, and whose identity is known to the Guardian – who as a 15-year-old was subjected to a “sadistic” assault in 1976 by Garth Moore, a leading figure in the church, the chancellor of three dioceses and vicar of St Mary’s Abchurch in the City of London. Moore, who died in 1990, is described in the report as “A”.

    Over a period of almost 40 years, Joe made disclosures about the abuse to dozens of people in the C of E, including senior members of the hierarchy. While some of those Joe spoke to had clear recollections of his disclosures, none of the senior figures had any memory of such conversations. Elliott describes this as “a deeply disturbing feature of this case”.

    The report says: “What is surprising about this is that [Joe] would be speaking about a serious and sadistic sexual assault allegedly perpetrated by a senior member of the hierarchy. The fact that these conversations could be forgotten about is hard to accept.”

    Despite the seriousness of the disclosure, no records were kept by the four clergymen Joe spoke to and no further action was taken. “Practice of this nature is simply not acceptable,” the report says.

    Last October, the C of E paid £35,000 in compensation and apologised to Joe, saying “the abuse reported is a matter of deep shame and regret”. It also commissioned the independent review into its handling of the case.

    The review also criticises the office of Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, for failing to respond meaningfully to repeated efforts by the survivor throughout 2015 to bring his case to the church leader’s attention.

    The review’s conclusions were released on Tuesday as the government-appointed inquiry into child sex abuse prepares to examine hundreds of thousands of files relating to the abuse of children and vulnerable adults within the church. Welby has said that abuse by church figures and within other institutions has been “rampant”.

    The full 21-page report has been seen by the Guardian, although the C of E published only its conclusions and recommendations.

    Chief among them was the need for training on keeping records and taking action for those who may receive disclosures of abuse. This was particularly important for those in senior positions, the report said.

    It also recommended that the church prioritises its pastoral responsibilities above financial and reputational considerations, and that “every effort should be made to avoid an adversarial approach” in dealing with survivors of abuse.

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  18. Welby has made “a personal commitment to seeing all the recommendations implemented quickly”, said Sarah Mullally, bishop of Crediton, speaking on behalf of the C of E. “He thinks the situation is embarrassing and uncomfortable for the church.”

    In a statement, Thornton said: “I remember having several conversations with [Joe], mainly about his faith. But I am sorry to say that I simply do not recall the conversation that he has referred to. Had I been party to a conversation of that nature, I would either have referred him to somebody who would have been well placed to help him, or would have told somebody myself about such a serious disclosure.”

    A statement from the diocese of London said Platten had apologised to Joe for his “lack of detailed recollection of their conversations in the 1980s” and “regretted he was unable to help further”.

    Holloway said he did not recall any disclosure: “I have no memory of it, but I’ve no reason to challenge it. I had many pastoral conversations with many people.”

    Joe also repeatedly sought to bring his case to Welby’s attention. “His persistence in doing this is a product of the deep sense of frustration and anger that he feels about the lack of responsiveness from the church,” says the report. However, the archbishop’s office failed to provide “meaningful replies”.

    While acknowledging that Welby could not be expected “to reply personally to each safeguarding concern that is received by his office”, survivors should receive “a response that is meaningful and helps them move on,” the report says.

    Joe formally reported the abuse to the church’s safeguarding officers in July 2014, and later lodged a claim for compensation. On receipt of the claim, the church cut off contact with Joe on the advice of its insurers, who wanted to avoid liability.

    The report is highly critical of the church’s actions, saying the withdrawal of support “can create risk of self-harm and should be avoided at all costs”. It added: “The pastoral needs of the survivor were set aside to avoid incurring legal liability for financial compensation.”

    In conclusion, the report says that in Joe’s case the church did not comply with its policies on safeguarding, and structural changes were needed. “The existence of policies alone is not enough. What matters are the actions taken to implement those policies.”

    Responding to the report, Mullally said: “The church has treated [Joe] appallingly. Not only was he horrifically abused, but despite him trying to get his story heard over decades, the church did not hear him, believe him or respond appropriately. That’s appalling.”

    Describing Joe as enormously courageous, she added: “I can only begin to imagine what it has cost him. We owe it to him and other survivors to get this right. This should never have happened.”

    The church will require members of the clergy to record disclosures of abuse and take action. It will ensure that pastoral care of survivors takes precedence over protection of reputation or financial considerations.

    Mullally is drawing up an action plan to implement the report’s proposals, covering education and training, communication and structural change.

    Joe welcomed the report, saying he hoped to see rapid changes. “It would be incredibly embarrassing if in two months there are more survivors in similar situations of insurers and bishops playing legal games,” he said.

    He added: “The church has told me no one can do much about the bishops who have walked away with ‘no recollection’ – nobody can make them remember. But I will always find it difficult to believe they have no hint of memory of a significant story.”

    The church, he said, “has run out of time, but let’s hope they take ownership of painful questions and really show a willingness to change their culture and make their structure safe for survivors. I hope Welby is now wide awake.”