Arabic AR Chinese (Simplified) ZH-CN English EN French FR German DE Japanese JA Portuguese PT Russian RU Spanish ES Ukrainian UK

‘Basket case’ diocese had ‘major issue’ with child abuse

Latest news

    Chichester Cathedral
    Image caption The diocese of Chichester is being investigated by the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse

    The diocese of Chichester had a “major issue” with priests carrying out abuse, an inquiry has heard.

    Bishop of Chichester, the Rt Rev Martin Warner, made the claim when giving evidence to the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.

    Dr Warner said there had been a “breakdown of trust” between the Church of England and the local council.

    He also said he was warned by a senior Church of England official that the area was considered “a basket case”.

    The bishop claimed Caroline Boddington, who was the Archbishop of Canterbury’s appointments secretary, made the remark when he was appointed in 2012.

    Dr Warner said there was a “damaged relationship” between two bishops in office at the time – his predecessor John Hind and a junior bishop in the diocese Wallace Benn.

    Both have been accused of not responding properly to reports of abuse.

    Dr Warner claimed officials at East Sussex County Council had urged the Archbishop of Canterbury to sack Bishop Benn – the Bishop of Lewes – and that he had held talks with colleagues about a “dignified exit” for the bishop soon after he moved to the diocese.

    There were also issues with parishioners, with Dr Warner describing a “hostile” response over the church’s treatment of Bishop Peter Ball – who was convicted of abusing children.

    “I was kind of persona non grata with them because they believed the church had mistreated him and was continuing to mistreat him badly, and that was a shock to me,” he said.

    ‘Pride and arrogance’

    The bishop said there was an atmosphere of “defensiveness and pride” at the diocese’s headquarters in Hove, along with a fear of the media.

    “It wasn’t clear who was going to say what to them when they were asking legitimate and pressing questions and nobody knew quite where the answer was due to come from,” said Dr Warner.

    “There was a fear of making an answer which would be taken, particularly by Bishop Wallace Benn, to be a slur on his character.”

    He added: “Pride and arrogance sometimes stems from a genuine commitment to the church, and there are aspects of that which are positive. But it can also bind us to its real failings.”

    But he rejected calls by some survivors that it should be an offence not to report a disclosure of sexual abuse.

    Dr Warner said: “I’m not sure that mandatory reporting is necessarily the way that we are going to achieve best protection for children.”

    Ending his evidence, he repeated his apology to survivors, saying he “grieved for the loss of access to faith that this has often resulted in”.

    The inquiry continues.

    View the original article:

    In the same category are

    St Leonards shooting: Man charged with double murder Image copyright PA Image caption Police cordoned off the scene of the double shooting in St Leonards A man has been charged with murdering a mothe...
    Gower wedding venue sorry for ‘Slightly OCD’ wanted tweet Image copyright Twitter Image caption Fairyhill tweeted images of misaligned cutlery A wedding venue on the Gower Peninsula has apologised for adv...
    Serena Williams: Miami Open tournament director says seeding rules should change Serena Williams played in the doubles in the USA's Fed Cup tie against the Netherlands last month - with her daughter in the crowdSeeding rules in wo...
    Anthony Watson: Bath & England back out for season with Achilles injury Anthony Watson made his England debut against New Zealand in 2014Bath and England back Anthony Watson will miss the rest of the season with an Achill...
    Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon to run for NY governor Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Cynthia Nixon is a lifelong New Yorker Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon has announced she launching ...
    Paul Pogba: Manchester United midfielder ‘can’t be happy’, says France coach Didier Deschamps Paul Pogba has made just 27 appearances for Manchester United this season, compared to 51 during the whole of last seasonManchester United midfielder...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *