Tag Archives: Sexual Abuse

Former Goddard Inquiry “out of control” – The Times – Front Page -September 6 2016


Royal Court of Justice

Dame Lowell Goddard…the judge who quit as its chief [National Public Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, previously called The Goddard Inquiry] last month…said that she had quit…to challenge the basis and scale of the inquiry…The new head is Professor Alexis Jay, a social work specialist who is backed by a panel, victims of sex abuse and other expert advisers

“Ultimately…I had to face a situation I could not solve and which would continue unless challenged. I resigned to make that challenge occur” said Dame Lowell.







“Church told bishops not to apologise to abuse victims” – Daily Telegraph -22 August 2016


Chichester Cathedral

“The approach to survivors is often a corporate model and this document supports that – it shows a church led by lawyers and insurers. You get the impression that these people are really their masters,” he [‘Joe’] said. “The Church will say ‘our hands are tied’, but they are paying the people who are tying their hands. They should say ‘we need to stop this nonsense’, but they wash their hands like Pontius Pilate.”

A Church of England spokesman said: “The Church of England published new guidance in 2015 emphasising that: ‘The pastoral response to alleged victims and survivors is of top priority, and needs to be separated as far as possible from the management processes for the situation, and from legal and insurance responses.’ That superseded all previous advice.”

~ “Church told bishops not to apologise to abuse victims”, The Daily Telegraph, 22 August 2016



Chichester Cathedral

“The Bishop Bell affair; and the plea to unfrock” – Church Times – Letters – 26 August 2016


The Bishop Bell affair; and the plea to unfrock

From the Diocesan Secretary of Chichester

Sir, – Marilyn Billingham (Letters, 19 August)


asks for an explanation of the basis on which the settlement of the claim made against Bishop George Bell was made public.

As the Bishop of Horsham, the deputy Lead Safeguarding Bishop for the Church of England, explained last year (Letters, 11 December 2015),


“Had we not published – and others would – we would also rightly have been criticised.”

In addition, the concern that there might be other victims, and the concern that to keep silent would have made us complicit in maintaining in public an image of Bishop Bell on which doubt had now been cast, meant that publication was important.

The diocese of Chichester participated in that decision and supported the national Church’s media release. A fuller explanation of the decision to settle with the survivor, and then to publish, can be found in a blog published last month by the Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler ( http://cofecomms.tumblr.com/post/147338306887/further-points-on-the-george-bell-case ).

I would add that the Church shares the police’s regret that Bishop Bell’s niece was not informed before publication. The Bishop of Chichester apologised to her in January for the failure of the Church’s efforts to trace family members, shortly after she made herself known.


Diocesan Church House, 211 New Church Road, Hove BN3 4ED

The Bell Tower – Chichester Cathedral


The Bell Tower – Chichester Cathedral – Photo by Richard W. Symonds

“The Diocese of Chichester, where there have been multiple allegations of sexual abuse, and numerous investigations and reviews” (Source: ‘After Goddard quits, inquiry said to retain high priority’, Church Times, August 12 2016)

“Australian bishop exposes cover-up of serial abuse” – Church Times – July 29 2016


Australian bishop exposes cover-up of serial abuse

by Muriel Porter, Australia Correspondent

Posted: 29 Jul 2016 @ 12:04


Click to enlarge

Ongoing inquiry: the Commission hears evidence at a hearing in Sydney, in February


THE Bishop of Newcastle, New South Wales, the Rt Revd Greg Thompson, has publicly condemned his diocese’s previous handling of sexual-abuse cases, accusing former diocesan personnel of removing documents and covering up serial offending.

Speaking on a current-affairs programme on national television, Bishop Thompson said that “this is what ‘mates looking after mates’ looks like in the Church at times. And that is an appalling thing to say for a Christian person.”

He was joined by two senior diocesan officials on the programme, where they were described as whistleblowers. Both the diocese’s business manager and the director of professional standards said that death threats and vandalism had accompanied their exposure of the earlier cover-up of a paedophile ring involving clergy and lay people.

Bishop Thompson, who became Bishop of Newcastle in 2014, said that he was being criticised “because I am opening the cupboards and we’re finding the skeletons”. He also suggested that some Australian bishops were still part of the “old culture”, and were refusing to accept that it needed to be addressed.

The television programme has also suggested that a former Bishop of Newcastle in the 1970s, the late Ian Shevill, was himself an abuser, and that former bishops failed to take action against abusing clergy: Bishop Alfred Holland, who was Bishop of Newcastle from 1978 until his retirement in 1992; and his successor, the Most Revd Roger Herft, who is now the Archbishop of Perth. The diocese’s now closed theological college, St John’s, at Morpeth, has been named as the place where the abusive clergy were trained.

The Australian Primate, Archbishop Philip Freier of Melbourne, has issued a statement calling the allegations “shocking and distressing”. He has welcomed the “very complete examination” that the allegations will have at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse RCIRCSA) public hearing into the diocese of Newcastle next month.

He has also expressed “solidarity” with Bishop Thompson and his officers, “who have worked diligently to end the culture of abuse and silence within the diocese”.

Bishop Thompson is himself a survivor of sexual abuse in his diocese. He told the programme that he had been groomed and abused by Bishop Shevill when, as a young man, he was seeking selection for ordination in the ’70s. This meant that he was in a vulnerable position, he said.

“The offending affected me significantly, and it still does. It affects the way I see myself. But it’s also galvanised me not to turn a blind eye to these matters.”