February 22 2018 – “Archbishop of Canterbury to be quizzed in person at inquiry into Church of England’s handling of sex abuse allegations” – MailOnline

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5422805/Archbishop-Canterbury-quizzed-sex-inquiry.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

EXCLUSIVE: Archbishop of Canterbury to be quizzed in person at inquiry into Church of England’s handling of sex abuse allegations

  • Justin Welby will appear at Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA)
  • Former archbishop Rowan Williams will also be called to answer questions
  • They’ll be asked about the handling of abuse claims in the Diocese of Chichester
  • Welby will be pressed on the investigation involving the Reverend George Bell
  • Bell, who died in 1958, is alleged to have sexually abused a young girl in the 40s
  • The hearing will also look at the Lord Carlile Report, which criticised the Church for a ‘rush to judgement’ and failing to consider the rights of Bishop Bell
  • The hearing in London will start on March 5 and continue for three weeks 

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The Archbishop of Canterbury is to be questioned in person over how the Anglican Church dealt with allegations of sexual assaults against children.

Justin Welby is due to give evidence as a witness at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in central London next month.

The most senior clergyman in the Church of England – and his predecessor Rowan Williams – will be quizzed on their handling of a number of high-profile abuse allegations in the Diocese of Chichester in Sussex.

Most notably he will be pressed on the investigation into assault claims surrounding the Reverend George Bell, former Bishop of Chichester.

Bell, who died in 1958, is alleged to have sexually abused a young girl, starting from when she was just five-years old, in the 1940s and 50s.

A complaint was initially made to the then Bishop of Chichester, Eric Kemp, in 1995 but it wasn’t until a second complaint was made to Welby’s office in 2013 that the matter was passed on to the police.

The subsequent investigation by Sussex Police found that there was sufficient evidence to have arrested Bell had he still been alive.

The diocese apologised and paid compensation to the victim, known only as Carol, in 2015.

Justin Welby is due to give evidence as a witness at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in central London next month

Justin Welby is due to give evidence as a witness at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in central London next month

The archbishop will be pressed on the investigation into assault claims surrounding the Reverend George Bell, former Bishop of Chichester. Bell, who died in 1958, is alleged to have sexually abused a young girl in the 1940s and 50s

The archbishop will be pressed on the investigation into assault claims surrounding the Reverend George Bell, former Bishop of Chichester. Bell, who died in 1958, is alleged to have sexually abused a young girl in the 1940s and 50s

While the inquiry will not examine the truth or substance of the allegations into Bishop Bell, it will analyse how the victim was treated and what improvements in safeguarding the Church has made since.

Crucially, the £100 million hearing will also look at the findings of the Lord Carlile Report, published in December, which criticised the Church for a ‘rush to judgement’ and of failing to give proper consideration to the rights of Bishop Bell.

At an IICSA preliminary hearing on January 30, it was announced that the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Williams had provided witness statements.

The investigation into the Anglican Church has its first public hearing on March 5 which will last for three weeks.

Lambeth Palace say they will make a formal statement once the witness schedule has been finalised.

However, a spokesman for the Archbishops’ Council told MailOnline: ‘The Archbishop was one of the first to call for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and the Church of England is committed to working with IICSA in a transparent way.

‘He is aware that for the survivors who are brave enough to come forward to the Inquiry and give their testimony this will be a very difficult time which is why he is prepared to do the same.’

The inquiry, chaired by Professor Alexis Jay, is investigating the extent to which institutions in England and Wales failed to protect children from sexual abuse.

Welby's predecessor Rowan Williams will also be quizzed on their handling of a number of high-profile abuse allegations in the Diocese of Chichester in Sussex

Welby’s predecessor Rowan Williams will also be quizzed on their handling of a number of high-profile abuse allegations in the Diocese of Chichester in Sussex

 The investigation into the Anglican Church has its first public hearing on March 5 in central London which will last for three weeks

 The investigation into the Anglican Church has its first public hearing on March 5 in central London which will last for three weeks

As part of its investigation into the Diocese of Chichester it will examine allegations of abuse by other priests, particularly Roy Cotton, Colin Pritchard and Gordon Rideout.

Rev Cotton, a parish priest in Brede, near Rye, Sussex had been convicted for an indecent assault on a child in 1954 but despite this was ordained in 1966.

He is thought to have had as many as 10 victims, which included two brothers from Eastbourne who won damages from the diocese after it recognised that the Church had failed to stop them being abused as choirboys in the 1970s and 80s.

Cotton died in September 2006 before he could be brought to justice.

Pritchard served as the vicar of St Barnabas, in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex until 2007 after being arrested over sex abuse claims

He pleaded guilty the following year to sexually abusing two boys in the 70s and 80s and was jailed for five years.

The offences took place while he was parish priest at St Andrew’s Church in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.

A subsequent report in 2011 into Cotton and Pritchard found that victims’ claims had not been treated seriously.

Meanwhile Canon Rideout was found guilty of 36 separate sex offences by a jury at Lewes Crown Court in 2013.

While the inquiry will not examine the truth or substance of the allegations into Bishop Bell, it will analyse how the victim was treated and what improvements in safeguarding the Church has made since

While the inquiry will not examine the truth or substance of the allegations into Bishop Bell, it will analyse how the victim was treated and what improvements in safeguarding the Church has made since

While the inquiry will not examine the truth or substance of the allegations into Bishop Bell, it will analyse how the victim was treated and what improvements in safeguarding the Church has made since

Crucially, the £100 million hearing will also look at the findings of the Lord Carlile Report, published in December, which criticised the Church for a ¿rush to judgement¿ and of failing to give proper consideration to the rights of Bishop Bell (above, centre)

Crucially, the £100 million hearing will also look at the findings of the Lord Carlile Report, published in December, which criticised the Church for a ‘rush to judgement’ and of failing to give proper consideration to the rights of Bishop Bell (above, centre)

The attacks, which included attempted rape and indecent assaults on both boys and girls, some of whom were 13-years of age, took place between 1962 and 1973 in Sussex and Hampshire.

He later pleaded guilty in 2016 to one charge of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16 at a children’s home in Reigate, Surrey which took place between July 29 1969 and July 21 1974.

The Chichester hearing will also consider the case of Peter Ball, formerly Bishop of Lewes and subsequently Bishop of Gloucester, and investigate whether there were inappropriate attempts by people of prominence to interfere in the criminal justice process after he was first accused of child sexual offences.

However a separate, more detailed hearing into Ball, who was friends with Prince Charles, will take place in July.

On the website, the inquiry states: ‘There have been a significant number of internal investigations of the diocese carried out both by child protection individuals and individuals within the church itself.

‘The Chichester hearing will examine those investigations, what they found and what has changed as a result.

The inquiry, chaired by Professor Alexis Jay, is investigating the extent to which institutions in England and Wales failed to protect children from sexual abuse

The inquiry, chaired by Professor Alexis Jay, is investigating the extent to which institutions in England and Wales failed to protect children from sexual abuse

The inquiry, chaired by Professor Alexis Jay, is investigating the extent to which institutions in England and Wales failed to protect children from sexual abuse

‘The Chichester hearing will also examine what steps the Church of England as a whole has taken to improve its practice and to respond to the experiences discovered within the Diocese of Chichester.

‘Of importance to the focus to the hearing will be the accounts of disclosure of abuse by complainants from within the Diocese of Chichester: both whether they were believed, how they were treated, and what happened as a result of the complaint.

‘If they were unable to disclose their abuse at the time, why they were so unable and what steps they consider the church could and should have made to improve the processes in respect of safeguarding where they consider that the response given was not adequate.

‘The case study will investigate, amongst other things, the following: the culture of the church, by which the investigation team means its behaviours, values and beliefs, and if those behaviours, values and beliefs inhibited or continued to inhibit the investigation, exposure and prevention of child sexual abuse.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5422805/Archbishop-Canterbury-quizzed-sex-inquiry.html#ixzz57rKe2oTt
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