True Extent of Child Abuse in the Catholic Church Revealed.
Recent statistics from the Australian Royal Commission into child sexual abuse
show the real extent of child abuse in the Catholic Church in Australia.
Similar statistics have also been found relating to abuse in Ireland and it is
MACSAS' belief that these shocking figures will also be born out across
the rest of the U.K.
The Salisians, specifically targeting young people, one of the worst offending
Seven per cent of Australia’s Catholic priests were accused of abusing children
in the six decades since 1950, according to new data from the Australian
The Australian royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse
has released damning statistics on the scale of the crisis within the Catholic Church.
The numbers confirm the extent of sexual predation already suggested by four years of
royal commission hearings involving the church, which are now entering their
Up to 15% of priests in some dioceses were alleged perpetrators between 1950 and
2015, with abusers most prevalent in the dioceses of Sale and Sandhurst in Victoria,
Port Pirie in South Australia, and Lismore and Wollongong in New South Wales.
The numbers were even worse in some national Catholic orders. By far the worst was
the order of the St John of God Brothers, where a staggering 40% of religious brothers
are believed to have abused children.
Twenty-two per cent of Christian Brothers and 20% of Marist Brothers, both orders that
run schools, were alleged perpetrators. More than one in five priests in the Benedictine
community of New Norcia were alleged perpetrators, while 17.2% of clergy were accused
of crimes against children in the Salesians of Don Bosco order.
In total, between 1980 and 2015, 4,444 people alleged incidents of child sexual abuse
relating to 93 Catholic Church authorities. The abuse allegedly took place in more than
1,000 institutions. The average age of victims was 10.5 for girls and 11.6 for boys.
The overwhelming majority of survivors were male. Almost 1,900 perpetrators were
identified and another 500 remained unidentified. Thirty-two per cent were religious
brothers, 30% were priests, 29% were lay people and 5% were religious sisters.
The royal commission said 37% of all private sessions it held with survivors from
all institutions related to abuse in the Catholic Church.
Click here for full story
See our Survivors page for case studies and survivors stories >>>> Click Here
Sex abuse bishop Peter Ball released from prison
A man allegedly abused as a child by a former bishop has criticised his early release
from jail as "a poor reflection on the criminal justice system".
Peter Ball, 84, was jailed for 32 months in October 2015 after admitting a string of
historical sex offences against 18 teenagers and young men.
The former bishop of Lewes and Gloucester was released from jail on Friday after
serving less than 16 months.
Phil Johnson said he had served "less than a month for each of the victims that he had admitted to - and there were many more!".
Ball was sentenced to 32 months for misconduct in public office and 15 months for indecent assaults, to run concurrently, after using "religion as a cloak" to carry out the abuse between the 1970s and 1990s.
Richard Scorer, a lawyer representing a number of Ball's victims, said his early release was "an affront to justice" and "a huge blow to his victims".
"This was a man whose appalling crimes represented a gross and systematic abuse of trust spanning decades," he said.
Mr Johnson, from Eastbourne, who was not one of the 18 people Ball admitted abusing, alleges that Ball inappropriately touched him as a 13-year-old boy.
He said the sentence handed down to him was "in no way proportionate to the crimes committed", and it seemed he had been freed "at the earliest opportunity".
A Church of England spokeswoman said Ball's offences were "a matter of deep shame
In February 2016, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby, commissioned
an independent review of the Ball case.
Mr Johnson said its publication was not likely "for several more months".
"I think it's utterly ridiculous that it's taken longer to write a report on what happened than
it has for Peter Ball to serve his jail sentence," he said.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said sex offenders were "robustly risk assessed and
subject to a strict set of conditions".
"If they fail to comply, they can be recalled to prison," he added.
Northern Ireland child abuse inquiry singles out police and church
Police were guilty of a “catalogue of failures” over the abuse of boys at a Belfast
care home run by a paedophile ring, a comprehensive report into child
mistreatment across Northern Ireland has found.
The historical institutional abuse inquiry, established in 2014, found that a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) investigation into sexual abuse at the Kincora care home in east Belfast was “inept, inadequate and far from thorough”.
The report, released on Friday, also accused the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland of ignoring repeated warnings about a serial paedophile, Fr Brendan Smyth, who sexually assaulted and raped dozens of young victims.
The implications of the Smyth scandal and other clerical abuse in the region were so serious that a senior Catholic cleric was due to discuss the findings with the pope later on Friday.
Kincora care home was run by a number of paedophiles whom it was alleged were agents of the state. They included the prominent Orange Order member William McGrath, who was accused of being an informer for MI5 and special branch in the 1970s, spying on fellow hardline loyalists.
At least 29 boys were sexually abused by McGrath, the Kincora housemaster, and others at the home. One boy is said to have killed himself by jumping off a ferry into the Irish Sea in the late 1970s following years of abuse. Three senior staff at Kincora – McGrath, Raymond Semple and Joseph Mains – were jailed in 1981 for abusing 11 boys.
The retired judge Sir Anthony Hart, who chaired the inquiry, said if the RUC had carried out a proper investigation into Kincora many of the victims might have been spared. He said 39 boys were abused byMcGrath and others running Kincora at the height of the Troubles.
He stressed that all requests by the inquiry for classified files relating to Kincora were “honoured” by government and security agencies.
Hart said there was “no credible evidence” to support allegations that a paedophile ring including senior British establishment figures had abused children in Kincora. The report had “stripped away decades of half-truths masquerading as facts in relation to Kincora”.
The inquiry, which sat at Banbridge courthouse in County Down for two years, investigated children’s care homes and institutions from the Northern Ireland state’s foundation in 1922 to 1995.
During the Kincora section of the inquiry it emerged that MI5 and MI6 were legally represented at Banbridge. Critics of how the hearing into Kincora had been framed expressed concerns the government would use the Official Secrets Act to prevent the inquiry gaining access to files from MI5 and MI6.
Among the other scandals highlighted in the report was that surrounding Fr Brendan Smyth. He was a paedophile priest whom the Catholic hierarchy kept moving around parishes in both Ireland and the United States long after it knew about his abuse of children in places such as west Belfast.
The report severely criticised the Catholic Church’s behaviour.
“Father Brendan Smyth was able to carry out widespread sexual abuse of children, including some children resident in homes investigated by the inquiry, due to the failure of branches of the Roman Catholic church to properly address his behaviour from before he was ordained as a priest, despite clear warnings,” it said.
“There was repeated failure to assess the risk he posed to children, to confine him to his abbey, to thoroughly investigate allegations of abuse, to notify the police and social services, and to share information between dioceses and report matters to the appropriate civil and ecclesiastical authorities.”
The report also criticised an order of Catholic nuns, the Sisters of Nazareth. Of the homes they ran in Belfast and Derry, it said: “In each of the four homes, some nuns engaged in physical and emotional abuse against children. Emotional abuse was widespread in all homes.”
Hart and his team found that a disinfectant was used in baths in the orphanages. He said there was a significant number of cases of sexual abuse involving priests and lay staff. Many of these incidents were known to members of the clergy, who did nothing to stop them, the report said.
The leader of Ireland’s Catholics, archbishop Eamon Martin, said he would discuss its findings with Pope Francis when he met the pontiff in Rome later on Friday.
He said the report “reminds us that much work remains to be undertaken in this regard”.
Public hearings were held into 22 institutions across Northern Ireland which were run by the state, local authorities, the Catholic church, the Church of Ireland, and other voluntary organisations. Hart’s report runs to 2,300 pages and contains 10 volumes of findings and testimonies.
The NSPCC children’s charity said: “This inquiry has shed light on horrendous and widespread abuse carried out against children in Northern Ireland in the past. Institutions must now be held to account for the prolonged, systematic failings against the children in their care. It is right that the survivors receive the justice they deserve and we support the recommendation for redress.”
Former Oxted priest now facing
24 indecent assault charges
as trial date set
Two more victims have come forward with sex abuse allegations against a retired priest who is already facing a string of indecent assault charges, Guildford Crown Court was told on Friday December 16th.
It brings the number of complainants prepared to testify against the former Rector of Oxted, Guy Bennett, from 10 to 12, it was revealed.
Bennett, 83, of Lewes Road, East Grinstead, appeared to face a new indictment containing a total of 25 counts – 24 of indecent assault against complainants who were under the age of 16 at the time, and one of outraging public decency.
When the defendant appeared at Redhill Magistrates' Court last year, he faced 22 charges of indecent assault and one of outraging public decency between 1977 and 1998.
Eloise Marshall, prosecuting, said the allegations made by the two new complainants stemmed from incidents said to have happened in the late 1980s.
Bennett, who was Rector of Oxted from 1972 to 1998, entered no pleas at today's hearing. He was remanded on bail until March 17, 2017 for a plea and trial preparation hearing.
Paul Walker, defending, said a medical report would be presented to the crown court on his client's fitness to plead.
"He is physically fit," he said. But Mr Walker said it was vital to carry out tests on his client's memory.
"It's important to have this medical report," he said.
Judge Jonathan Black asked: "Is he saying this number of complainants are wrong?"
Mr Walker said there might be a mixture of "misunderstandings, confusions and fabrication".
The court was told that a date for a trial, lasting nearly three weeks, has been set aside for September 11, 2017.
Granting Bennett bail, Judge Black ordered that he must have no contact with prosecution witnesses or be in the company of anyone under the age of 18 in the meantime.
The defendant was chaplain to the London Palladium from 1972 to 1998 which earned him the title "chaplain to the stars".
He has written a book about the celebrities he has known. He was also a friend of Harrods boss Mohamed Al Fayed who lived in the Oxted area while Bennett was rector there.
"We apologise unreservedly ...
for the hurt and distress caused
The Rt Rev James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester, apologised for the hurt and distress caused to the women after the release of the original Kendall House report, and did so
again for the extension.
He said his Diocese would undergo an independent audit of its safeguarding structures
and resources as a result of the Kendall House review.
“We are very grateful to all of the women who courageously came forward to tell their
stories, and we recognise how challenging that was,” he said.
“The Diocese would like to thank all of the former residents who have participated and
we apologise unreservedly to them for the hurt and distress caused to them.”
The Rt Rev Trevor Willmott also issued a statement and described the findings of the extension as "difficult but essential reading".
He added: “Bishop James and I are hugely grateful to the women who have come
forward – both for the original report and the addendum – for their courage in sharing
“They have done this so that we may learn the lessons of the past and we want to
assure them that we have fully resolved to do so. I would like to echo Bishop James’
apology to them for the pain they have suffered."
One of the four former residents to contribute to this week’s report was Teresa Cooper,
who has spent the last three decades fighting for a full investigation into Kendall
House. Ms Cooper did not take part in the original review due to a dispute over the
terms of reference, but the panel felt she should be included in the extension.
The panel acknowledge that many of the complaints made about Kendall House
in the years since its closure were made by Ms Cooper.
Their report reads: “Teresa has worked relentlessly to try to make the church
understand, accept and act in response to her concerns about the abusive practices
at Kendall House.
“Through lobbying, researching, and detailed analysis, she has supported many
other former residents to seek affirmation of their experiences, as well as working
on her own process of recovery.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank Teresa Cooper for all her efforts,
and her struggles in seeking the truth about Kendall House.
“In respect of this review, we are most grateful for her contribution, in her interview
and her emails, and to all who participated, for showing such courage in speaking
You can read the report by clicking HERE
IICSA publishes first anonymised summaries from the Truth Project
The 45 accounts, which have been anonymised, provide a first indication of the
abuse suffered by children who were abused and/or let down by those in authority
who should have protected them.
The Inquiry aims to publish as many anonymised summaries as possible and will use
the information to better understand the scale, scope and nature of child sexual abuse.
Panel member Dru Sharpling, who leads the Inquiry’s work on the Truth Project, said:
“I have personally facilitated some of the Truth Project private sessions, so I have
heard some of these experiences first hand. This first summary of personal experiences serves as a powerful reminder of the devastating consequences of child sexual abuse.
“Reading these accounts will be difficult for many people, but nowhere near as difficult
as it is for the victims and survivors who have come forward to help the Inquiry by
sharing their experiences. I want to thank them and reassure them that their bravery
will help us to identify how we can better protect children in the future from such abuse
Around 500 victims and survivors have expressed an interest in attending a Truth
Project private session; to date nearly to 150 people will have shared their experiences
with us in a private session. Victims and survivors can also share their experiences in
writing and we will publish these anonymous experiences in due course, with the permission of those who took part.
IICSA says that The Truth Project provides a safe environment in which victims and survivors of child sexual abuse can share their experiences with a trained facilitator
who will listen to them, not challenge them, and not judge them. For some it may be
the first time they have spoken to anyone about their abuse. The Inquiry will provide
support before, during and after people share their experiences.
It is noteworthy that 13 out of the 45 published accounts had a religious context, where abuse was committed bt clergy, church staff or in church schools.
IICSA has been hit by the
resignation of another senior lawyer
Aileen McColgan has quit IICSA due toserious concerns over the inquiry's leadership.
She was the barrister leading the inquiry's investigations into the Anglican and Catholic Churches.
The inquiry said that lawyers come and go according to their professional obligations -
and a spokeswoman declined to "comment on specifics".
It is understood Aileen McColgan had concerns over the competency of the inquiry's leadership and the way it had previously responded to the resignation of lawyers
instructed by it. As well as working on the inquiry, she is also a Professor of Law at
King's College London.
It is understood that two other barristers have told the inquiry of their desire to leave
because of similar concerns.
The inquiry has suffered a series of setbacks in recent months, including the departures
of a number of senior lawyers.
Former Archbishop Admits he "Deserves Criticism" over Bishop Sexual Abuse Cover-Up
Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has admitted he deserves to be
criticised over his support for a bishop convicted of sexual assault, as it emerged separately that his son, a priest, has been arrested for historic child sex abuse.
The retired Anglican Archbishop has been warned he can expect to face “explicit
criticism” over claims the criminal activities of Peter Ball, the then Bishop of Gloucester,
were covered up by the Church of England.
Lord Carey, who was a friend of Ball’s, has now been given his own lawyer, paid for by
the Church of England, to represent him personally at the national child sex abuse
inquiry. Lord Carey had previously been using the Church’s own lawyers but last month requested his own team over concerns of a “conflict” between the Church’s interests and those of its former leader. A source close to Lord Carey said he accepted that he would
be criticised for his handling of the allegations against Ball.
“He knows he will be criticised and he knows he will be criticised rightly,” said a source close to Lord Carey.
“Clearly the Church didn’t handle it well and Lord Carey was naive in trusting peter ball. The acknowledgment now is he wasn’t doing the Christian thing by the victims of Ball.
He would accept he didn’t discharge the pastoral duties to the victims very well.”
Separately, his son Rev Mark Carey was arrested this week at his home in Harrogate,
North Yorkshire, on suspicion of historic child sex abuse claims. His alleged victim, now
in her 30s reportedly claimed she was assaulted when Rev Carey was in his late teens.
The 51-year-old father of three, who was ordained in 1995 at Wakefield Cathedral, has
been bailed by police and has since been suspended by the Church of England while inquiries continue.
His brother Andrew, and Lord Carey's official spokesman, told the Sunday Telegraph
that his family did not wish to comment on the allegations against Rev Carey.
A Church of England spokesman said: “A 51-year-old priest in the Diocese of Leeds
has been suspended by the Bishop following his arrest by Durham Constabulary
concerning allegations of historical abuse. Appropriate pastoral and safe guarding arrangements have been put in place. No further statement will be made at this time.”
Lord Carey, who has denied any involvement in a cover-up of Ball’s offending, has
now been granted ‘core participation’ status by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), entitling him to his own legal team and personal access to material
submitted to the inquiry.
The Church of England insisted relations with Lord Carey remained amicable and
denied any suggestion the former archbishop was being cut adrift.
Peter Ball, 84, who was also Bishop of Lewes, was jailed last October for indecent
assault and misconduct in public office after admitting the abuse of 18 young men between 1977 and 1992. Ball was arrested for indecent assault in 1992 but only received a caution and was able to carry on working in the church and in schools for another 15 years.
Lord Carey intervened in the case, telephoning a senior Crown prosecution service director and claimed to have been told: “The matter is closed"
Carey has denied a "cover-up". Files show that at the time Lambeth Palace was in possession of six letters detailing allegations of sexual assaults by Ball shortly after
his arrest that should have led to him being charged but these were not shared with the police.
As well as the IICSA inquiry into Ball, the Church of England is carrying out its own independent review in February led by Dame Moira Gibb. Her report is likely to be completed by the beginning of next year long before IICSA even embarks on open
evidence sessions that could be devastating for Lord Carey and others involved.
senior member of the Royal family is also said to have tried to intervene on ball’s behalf.
In granting Lord Carey core participation status, Professor Alexis Jay, the IICSA chairman, said: “The inquiry will consider the extent to which any failings identified in relation to the diocese of Chichester and Peter Ball are representative of wider failings within the Church
of England and/or the Anglican Church in general, and the nature and extent of any failings of institutions to protect children from abuse.
It is possible that Lord Carey, in his capacity as former Archbishop of Canterbury, may be subject to explicit criticism by the inquiry in due course.”
A Church of England spokesman said: “We continue to work with the Inquiry in an open
and transparent way, complying with the information requests relating to Bishop Peter Ball and other Church of England investigations.
"We have arranged for Lord Carey to receive independent legal advice and are paying his legal fees from central funding. This is all part of our commitment to the important work of
the Inquiry in hearing the voices of survivors and looking at institutional failings.”
Lord Carey’s actions in backing the then Bishop of Gloucester who was being investigated for sex offences almost 25 years ago is being scrutinised by two separate inquiries.
Former Archbishop Faces Criticism over Bishop Abuse Cover-Up
The role of Lord Carey of Clifton in the case of Peter Ball will be scrutinised by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The former Archbishop of Canterbury
could face “explicit criticism” over how he dealt with a paedophile bishop, the head of
the child abuse inquiry has warned.
The role of Lord Carey of Clifton in the case of Peter Ball, a former Bishop of Gloucester who was jailed last year for sex offences and misconduct in public office, will be
scrutinised by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).
There have been allegations of a cover-up in the case of Ball, who resigned his as Bishop
of Gloucester in 1993 after accepting a police caution rather than being charged for
indecent assault young young men when he was Bishop of Lewes.
It has also been disclosed that Lord Carey wrote to the director of public prosecutions
before the charging decision in 1993 expressing concern about Ball’s “fragile health”.
Alexis Jay, chairwoman of the IICSA, agreed that Lord Carey should be legally
represented at the inquiry as a “core participant”.
The former archbishop applied to be personally represented at the inquiry, rather than by
the Church, because of a possible conflict of interest.
In a ruling, Professor Jay said:
“The inquiry will consider the extent to which any failings identified in relation to the
diocese of Chichester and Peter Ball are representative of wider failings within the Church
of England and/or the Anglican Church in general, and the nature and extent of any failings of institutions to protect children from abuse. It is possible that Lord Carey, in his capacity
as former Archbishop of Canterbury, may be subject to explicit criticism by the inquiry in
Lord Carey has denied any involvement in a cover-up of Ball’s offending.
Ball, 84, was jailed at the Old Bailey last year after admitting a series of indecency
offences and misconduct in public office.
Ceremony to Welcome New
Bishop of Oxford is Overshadowed by Sexual Abuse Protest
Hundreds of people gathered on Friday 30th September for the official appointment of
the new 43rd Bishop of Oxford. But his ceremony was overshadowed by controversy -
MACSAS members protested and handed out leaflets outside the ceremony.
One man known as 'Michael' claims that the Bishop failed to properly investigate
allegations of sexual abuse by a priest in the 1980s. The victims of abuse by Anglican
clergy led a peaceful demonstration outside the consecration - calling on the
The Rt Rev Dr Steven Croft to properly address the issues.
C of E handling of Child Sexual
Is the driving force behind combative response from the Church their insurer or actually the Church ?
MACSAS has uncovered disturbing relationships between the Church, its insurers and lawyers advising in child abuse cases.
The discovery of these links comes in the wake of a series of cases involving priests and
a Bishop in which the church has gone to great lengths to avoid responsibility.
In the case of Bishop Peter Ball it is alleged that members of the church and “the establishment” protected him from prosecution until he was finally jailed in 2015. See here
In another case a survivor who wishes to be known as “Joe” was met with a wall of silence and in one instance more sex abuse when he tried to report the crimes committed against him. See link here
Joe’s case led an independent expert, Ian Elliott to recommend changes to the church system of responding – see here
Another survivor, Josephine Stein has also written, in The Crucible in July 2016, of her struggle to persuade church officials to respond well to her complaint.
Another survivor and Law Professor, Julie Macfarlane, highlighted the litigation tactics employed against her by the insurers in the Church Times
And in a recently whistle-blown document, it is clear that Bishops were urged not to apologize fully for child sex abuse to minimize liability risk. They were instructed to consult with lawyers and insurers first. See Here
At the heart of survivors’ complaints is the relationship between senior clerics and the church’s wholly owned insurer. They say that the church has a direct interest in avoiding liability and reducing the numbers and value of child sex abuse claims. The numbers of clerics on the board of institutions which influence insurer policy suggests that clerics are able to influence how the insurer behaves and vice versa. The church in public however states that it has been committed to responding positively to claimants coming forward.
“Joe” believes that the church and its insurer are morally and institutionally and financially joined at the hip – despite claims by the Church of England (“CoE”) and the insurer that
they are entirely separate. Senior clerics sit on the boards of Ecclesiastical Insurance Group (“EIG”) and bring influence and patronage directly connected to the interests of the House of Bishops, yet the church has been able to wash its hands like Pontius Pilates during at least the last decade – while the insurer has worked to restrict and limit liability
for any survivors of sexual abuse.
There are three main bodies. All Churches Trust, a charity established by the CoE in the early 1970’s to take ownership of their insurer Ecclesiastical which they had previously created in 1887 to cover their own insurance needs. EIG also includes within its corporate nexus the management of Eden Tree, a two and half £billion set of funds. Eden Tree
used to be Ecclesiastical Investment until it was re-branded as Eden Tree in 2015,
perhaps to distance it from the insurer at a time when CSA cases were increasing.
Eden Tree is registered at the same Gloucester address as both EIG and ACT, and run
from EIG’s City of London offices.
At a recent meeting in Church House with the clerical trustees of All Churches Trust (“ACT”) which owns the insurer EIG, Joe told Bishop Stock and Archdeacon Cooper at Ian Elliott’s request about the legal games employed by EIG. The range of loopholes that EIG put him through came at the end of a year in which many issues and questions had been totally blanked by the Bishop in charge of safeguarding in his case. The “ugly horse trade” took place less than four minutes’ walk from the church associated with the abuse, where Joe
had served for the priest the morning after he was sadistically raped - which meant that
Joe was disorientated and humiliated from the start of the settlement process.
Joe comments: “They went up £5000’s and I felt I was fighting for my life. There was zero dignity in the process – especially when I remember the shocking and bewildering arguments they used against me”.
Joe adds : “My impression was that Bishop Stock got it – he understood the issues and acknowledged the church’s failure to address the powerful nexus and how it has been
used against survivors. I think he saw that the church has been washing its hands of responsibility from the malevolence and legal games of this corporate nexus.”
Until recently Bishop Nigel Stock was one of the trustees that owned the church’s insurer. The other clerical trustee on the board that owns the insurer, Archdeacon Annette Cooper, also sits on the church’s national safeguarding advisory panel. Joe asked whether this
was not a conflict of interest.
Joe says: “It strikes me as an incestuous arrangement especially as the insurer has
another senior cleric on its board of directors, the Dean of Lincoln, one of the senior women in the Church who is also a representative at the House of Bishops. The Bishop of Brechin also sits on the Amity Board of Eden Tree Investment and was previously an EIG's director. This is yet another link in the close relationship between the insurer and the church.”
Will things improve ?
Joe has gathered from Bishop Sarah Mullally that the key structural changes recommended in the Elliott review, some of which might address these difficulties and begin to make the church’s response much better monitored, will not begin until 2018 at the earliest. Joe has said:
“this is ridiculous and completely unacceptable and shows a church in effect hoping to ride out the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, waiting to see if it can water down
any changes in the next two or three years. It feels like their strategists are using the Inquiry as an excuse to delay – a sort of wait-and-see approach.”
He has said to Bishop Sarah that the church needs to start making provisional and pro-
active changes before the year is out – and show that it can map out a process of real change.
“Why wait to gold-plate a blueprint? They have to get a move on and start making change
in months. They are like an armor plated tank protecting the engine of a lawnmower! But
it’s simply not good enough to delay changes and hope no-one will notice. Survivors are angry. And many survivors recognize in the recently whistle-blown House of Bishops document that the response the church has given across the past decade has been a mirage, a smoke and mirrors operation.”
Joe adds : “The church must end this mirage once and for all, and make big changes now. Not in two or three years’ time. When will they learn? No bishop came into this church with
a vocation to be a strategist – so why do they become this when they are bishops?
They are too easily led by an unquestioned corporate nexus.
They need to address the anger and sense of deep betrayal that survivors have - now that the Stephen Slack HB(07)29C document has been whistle-blown and the corporate church/insurer nexus at last exposed. They need to come clean and make good, and create a fair system of redress. They need to put right the spectacularly bad way they have
handled so many of our cases. Their pastoral response has been fused incestuously with their legal response - and it's got them into an enormous mess with bishops facing CDMs and an archbishop blanking 17 letters about bishops' amnesia, and any number of
situations where there have been cover-up of major issues and even whole stories.
They say they repent but it remains hollow until they take action and show definite changes. If they wait to gold-plate a blueprint til after the Inquiry has forced them to make change -
they will have left it too late and they might as well pack up and wait for the next generation of archbishops and bishops to redeem the mess.”
Joe has activated a CDM complaint against Bishop of Durham for his part in blanking and silencing major issues and critical questions in his case, and will also be activating CDMs on Bishop Tim Thornton, the other senior figure who watched in silence as he tried desperately to alert Lambeth Palace to major issues in the Church’s safeguarding structure including the amnesia of senior figures. He is also activating complaints against the Bishop of Truro’s chaplain who told him “What did you expect me to do – go bang on the gate of Lambeth Palace for you?” before putting the phone down. And a complaint against the Archbishop’s correspondence clerk, Andrew Nunn – who seemed to take it upon himself to make sure that nothing reached Justin Welby, despite seeing that the issues were serious. Of this man, Joe says:
“Lambeth Palace must be a very odd place – when I told this man I’d been pinned down across a bed and raped by a senior priest his response was very inappropriate”.
Joe says: “I have to believe that Archbishop Welby had no awareness of what went on in Butler's handling of my case and the silence to major questions from his bishops –
otherwise I’m sure he would have been immediately concerned. But the culture of his bishops is something he needs to address fast. Personally I think he needs to make it a resigning issue to give himself the voice and power he needs to bring change much
quicker. He needs to sort his senior bishops out.”
Joe has never heard from Archbishop Welby but hopes that he will one day.
The changes survivors are bringing to the church through their experience will be far reaching and have enormous consequence. As Joe says;
"A church led by insurers and lawyers is a profoundly unhealthy one. A church that finally lets go of this contamination and does the right thing may be less wealthy ... but it will be much healthier. It will be a church returning to gospel values".
David Greenwood of Switalskis solicitors, a child abuse lawyer working with survivors of clergy abuse, comments :
“With all this evidence of overlap between the church, their insurers and lawyers we would expect to see a good and consistent response to sexual abuse allegations. The opposite
has been the case. What I have actually seen until recently has been behaviour from the church that has deliberately alienated the people it has harmed. When complaints are
made about their behaviour we would expect openness, acknowledgement and
willingness to make amends yet the church has chosen to treat survivors badly.
“The church’s commitment to real change is absent and the time has come to have an independent body appointed to take complaints about the church, to investigate allegations properly and to force the church to provide appropriate redress.”
David Greenwood and the law professor from Ontario, Julie Macfarlane, have worked with EIG to develop a progressive approach to these claims. See MACSAS Factsheet
There are parallels between this case and that explored in the file on 4 programme here
File on 4 explored the influence that insurers have over the bodies they insure.
Another child abuse lawyer, Richard Scorer of Slater and Gordon adds :
"Of all institutions, the Church is astonishingly slow to make changes in the face of acute embarrassment - when you think embarrassment would be enough to jolt them into action. What do they need?
Ex-priest Philip Temple jailed for
child sex abuse
A former social worker and Catholic priest has been jailed for 12 years after admitting child sex abuse charges dating back to the 1970s.
Philip Temple, 66, admitted abusing 12 boys and one girl while working in south London care homes and a north London church. He also admitted lying on oath in the 1990s when he was cleared of child sex abuse charges against a teenage boy.
Judge Christopher Hehir apologised to the victim at Woolwich Crown Court.
He said: "I am sorry justice was not done when you came to court in 1998 and 1999."
The victim, who cannot be named, told the court he self-harmed, became a recluse and
even tried to kill himself after the previous trials. He said: "I can only imagine the damage
he has caused to other victims. We can never escape what he did and we can never be
free of it."
In a statement read out in court, one victim said: "I feel like I have been robbed of my childhood and sometimes when I see other children in the street I wish I could go back in time and be a child again."
During sentencing, the judge told Temple: "You of course exploited the opportunities your deceit as to your character had afforded you, not only by sexually abusing children but, as
a priest, by lying on oath to deny the truthful accusations brought against you by one of
"Your actions as a priest demonstrated that in truth you were a wolf in shepherd's clothing."
On Tuesday, Temple admitted seven charges committed in the 1970s. He had already admitted 20 similar charges and two of perjury at Croydon Crown Court in April.
Temple abused boys and a girl while working as a social worker in Lambeth and Wandsworth councils between 1971 and 1977.
He became a priest in 1988 and served at Christ the King Monastery in Cockfosters,
where he abused two children, including an altar boy.
He abused youngsters in children's homes in south London, including the Shirley Oaks complex near Croydon, the court heard.
Raymond Stephenson of the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association said: "If Temple had
been caught at Shirley Oaks he would not have been able to abuse anyone else."
A Lambeth Council spokesman said it was cooperating fully with the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) and added: "We hope the outcome provides some solace
to the victims of these dreadful crimes."
A spokesperson for the Catholic Church in England and Wales said when concerns were raised it was limited in the measures it could take because as a monk he was answerable
to the head of his order in Italy rather than the archdiocese here.
In the 1970s, Temple worked as a social worker at three south London children's home.
He abused children in each of the homes but gained successive promotions
Eventually made a "housefather" of Rowan House in the Shirley Oaks complex near Croydon
Suspended in 1977 after allegations of sexual offences were made
Became a monk in the Roman Catholic Church in 1981
Ordained a priest in 1987 based at Christ the King Monastery
Faced trials in 1998 and 1999 after a teenage boy from the church accused him of sexual abuse, tirst trial ended without a verdict and the second with an acquittal
Following the trial in 1999, the diocese wanted to have Temple removed. His order set up
an internal commission of inquiry
In 2002 the diocese was reassured by the order Temple was not in the UK and would not
In 2015 Temple was arrested and questioned in London after the Metropolitan Police launched a new investigation
At first he denied sexual abuse, but during further police interviews he admitted many of
the offences and volunteered the names of more boys he had abused
Fugitive Catholic priest at centre of five-year manhunt arrested in Britain over historic sex abuse
A Catholic priest who skipped bail five years ago has been arrested on suspicion of nine counts of historic sexual assaults.
Father Laurence Soper, 72, the former abbot of Ealing Abbey, was wanted on a European Arrest Warrant over allegations of child abuse.
The accusations date back to when he taught at St Benedict's School, a private
independent Catholic school which is part of Ealing Abbey in west London.
In March 2011, Fr Soper was believed to have been living in a monastery in Rome and
was due to return to London to answer bail but he failed to show up, sparking an international search.
After spending five years living as a fugitive, he was arrested in Kosovo in May.
However, attempts to bring him back the UK to face charges were thwarted when a
Kosovan judge blocked the extradition order on the basis that his alleged crimes have expired in Kosovo, which has a 30-year statute of limitation.
On Sunday night, Scotland Yard announced that Fr Soper was arrested as he arrived
back in the UK at Luton Airport from Kosovo.
A spokesman said he was “arrested on suspicion of nine offences of sexual assault committed over a period from 1972 to 1986”.
In 2011, Lord Carlile of Berriew stripped monks of control at St Benedict's School, which offered a "heartfelt apology for past failures".
The peer said he hoped his decision to take powers away from Ealing Abbey would
"set a template" for other schools.
In his inquiry into the sexual abuse, Lord Carlile outlined a catalogue of failures by the
abbey to intervene as allegations of abuses came to light.
"I have come to the firm conclusion ... that the form of governance of St Benedict's School
is wholly outdated and demonstrably unacceptable," he wrote.
"The abbot himself has accepted that it is 'opaque to outsiders'."
The report added: "In a school where there has been abuse, mostly - but not exclusively
- as a result of the activities of the monastic community, any semblance of a conflict of interest, of lack of independent scrutiny, must be removed."
Retired Anglican Vicar Questioned over Child Abuse Allegations
The Reverend Guy Bennett who is now
83-yeasr-old was arrested on Saturday, 2 July
in connection with a number of non-recent
indecency offences against ten girls in the Oxted
area of Surrey in the 1980s.
Bennett, who now lives in East Grinstead,
West Sussex was interviewed by police and
released on conditional bail until October
pending further enquiries by Surrey Police.
Senior Anglican clergy accused of failing to act on rape allegations
The Archbishop of York and four serving bishops have been accused of misconduct by a Church of England priest who claims they failed to act on allegations he was
repeatedly raped by another vicar when he was 16.
The priest says none of the five senior clergy properly responded to his disclosures, made verbally and in writing, of the rapes which he alleged took place in 1984.
“Michael” filed the complaints under the C of E’s clergy disciplinary measure (CDM)
against John Sentamu, the archbishop of York and second highest-ranking figure in the church; Peter Burrows, the bishop of Doncaster; Steven Croft, a former bishop of
Sheffield, and now bishop of Oxford; Martyn Snow, the bishop of Leicester; and Glyn Webster, the bishop of Beverley.
All five have contested the complaints because they were made after the church’s required one-year limit.
Spokespersons for Sentamu and the four bishops said they could not comment on a matter that was the subject of an internal church process and a police investigation.
Sentamu has previously said he was “deeply ashamed” that the church failed “both to
watch and to act, where children were at serious risk” in a separate abuse case concerning
a C of E dean.
Michael has made a further complaint against Roy Williamson, a former bishop of
Bradford, for failing to take action to bring the alleged perpetrator to justice at the time of the abuse. He has also filed a misconduct complaint against the alleged rapist, who is currently the subject of a police investigation into Michael’s claims. He continued to work as a
C of E priest for at least a decade after the alleged offences. Although now retired,
he is still licensed to officiate as a priest.
A West Yorkshire police spokesperson confirmed the force was investigating a report of a historical serious sexual offence and that a 69-year-old man had been interviewed.
Cases of sexual abuse that have emerged in recent years have prompted claims that the Anglican church has a track record of ignoring or covering up sex crimes committed by its clergy. The most high profile case concerned Peter Ball, the former bishop of Lewes, who was jailed last October, 22 years after the church became aware of allegations against him. The church commissioned an independent inquiry into how it dealt with the case.
This week, the inquiry by Dame Lowell Goddard into child sex abuse will hold a
preliminary hearing into the way the C of E has handled allegations of abuse by its clergy.
According to Michael’s account and the complaint papers he has submitted to the C of E,
he first disclosed the rapes to Burrows, the bishop of Doncaster, in July 2012 following a meeting about an unconnected child sex abuse allegation in Michael’s parish.
It was the first time in 28 years that Michael had told anyone about the repeated rapes he said he endured over a period of weeks as a vulnerable teenager. He says he was silent because he feared he would not be believed and was ashamed.
But a plea for help from the mother of two boys who said they were being abused by a member of staff at a C of E school led Michael to seek a meeting with Burrows. He told the bishop he believed abuse at the school was being covered up or ignored.
At the end of the meeting, he disclosed the allegations of his own abuse to Burrows. “That bishop did nothing,” said Michael. “Nothing.”
He later told other church figures about the alleged abuse, and reported the alleged crimes to the police.
In December 2012, Michael told Croft, the bishop of Sheffield, about the alleged offences.
In February 2013, he repeated the disclosure to Croft and, separately, to Snow, who was then an archdeacon but now the bishop of Leicester. Neither acted on the information, according to Michael.
Soon after, Snow made a complaint against Michael for his failure to inform the diocese
that he had given shelter to a newly released prisoner for three nights. The man had been convicted of child pornography offences and was on the sex offender register.
The bishop of Sheffield decided to take no action on the complaint. By then Michael had resigned as a vicar.
After his resignation, Michael wrote to Croft in June 2013 to comment on his decision not
to proceed with the complaint. In the letter, Michael referred again to the alleged rapes.
He said: “You will never know of the courage it took me to tell you both [Croft and Burrows] and you will never know of the hurt and stress it has caused me that you have both failed
to support me in any way.
“It is obvious to me that … the abuse I suffered at the hands of a priest when I was a youngster [is] of no interest to you and sweeping it under the carpet or covering it up is
much more important.”
The letter was copied to Sentamu, Burrows and Webster. Only Sentamu acknowledged receipt with a four-line response, saying he had read the letter. “Please be assured I will keep you in my prayers through this testing time for you,” Sentamu wrote.
No action was taken to offer Michael support, nor was Michael advised to report an alleged crime.
A spokesperson for the archbishop said that Sentamu had simply acknowledged a copy of
a letter addressed to someone else. “The original recipient of the letter had a duty to
respond and not the archbishop,” the spokesperson said.
The archbishop could not take any action “without consent … to do anything without their consent would be abusive”.
According to Michael, “not one of them did anything to support me. Not one of them even said they were sorry it happened”.
Last year, Michael formally reported the alleged rapes to the police. Earlier this year, he instructed David Greenwood, a lawyer specialising in child abuse, to make a claim against the C of E. In May, he filed his formal CDM complaints.
However, under the CDM procedure, complaints must be brought within a year of the
alleged misconduct. As Michael’s complaints fall outside this period, the church must first rule whether the complaints can be considered.
The archbishop of York and the four serving bishops have contested Michael’s request to make a complaint out of time. Williamson, the retired bishop, and the alleged rapist have
not contested the request, so these complaints will be considered.
Michael, whose case is being put forward to the Goddard inquiry by his solicitor, said he
was disgusted with what he describes as continued attempts by the church to cover up abuse and discredit survivors. “I feel like I’ve been abused all over again,” he said.
In an interview with the Guardian, he recalled being repeatedly raped as an “immature and naive” teenager who was placed in the care of a vicar following family difficulties. He says
he suffered both physical injuries and long-term psychological damage that meant he
could not be intimate with anyone.
“I feel extremely ill, exhausted all the time, physically in pain, I can’t sit still, I can’t sleep.
I’m very cautious about who I trust,” he said. “I’ve never had a proper relationship in my life.”
Michael rejected the church’s claims that it had put in place proper safeguarding
procedures. “They’re lying. How many times have they said that? And nothing changes.”
A spokesperson for the four bishops said they were unable to comment on the specifics
but added: “If this complaint goes forward, our bishops will make a full response to the various allegations made in due course. In the meantime, we continue to hold all victims
of sexual abuse and exploitation in our prayers.”
A spokesperson for the diocese of Southwell & Nottingham, where Williamson is now an honorary assistant bishop, said: “The diocese places great emphasis on the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults and is committed to making church a safe place for everyone.
“We cannot comment during a live investigation except to say that if approached by the authorities we will offer them every cooperation. We continue to pray for all victims of
Lord Carey 'Should Face Police Investigation' over Sex Offending Bishop Cover-up
A former Archbishop of Canterbury should be investigated by police, lawyers said,
after newly released Church of England files exposed the scale of the alleged cover-up
of sex offending by a disgraced bishop.
Peter Ball, who resigned as Bishop of Gloucester in 1993 after being cautioned for gross indecency with a teenage boy, was later given permission to conduct services in top public schools, attend Scout functions and return to the ministry while the church chose not to
pass evidence to police which showed he was a serial sex offender.
Ball, a friend of the Prince of Wales, was jailed last year after a fresh police inquiry was given full access to church archives but lawyers for his victims say he should have faced justice years earlier. They called for a police investigation into whether senior church leaders, including Lord Carey of Clifton, archbishop from 1991-2002, had perverted the course of justice or committed misconduct in public office.
The files, including detailed internal reviews of the Ball case, were released by Sussex police in response to a Freedom of Information request. They show that after publicity
about the original investigation into Ball a number of victims wrote to Lambeth Palace
saying the bishop had sexually exploited young men who came to him for religious instruction.
The church had six letters and further verbal reports concerning Ball's conduct but none were passed to police. Lord Carey, however, wrote to the director of public prosecutions
and a chief constable in support of Ball in February 1993. Shortly afterwards, Ball was
given a caution and avoided trial.
The victims' letters were unearthed in the Lambeth Palace archives in 2008.
David Greenwood, lawyer for several of Ball's victims, said he had no doubt evidence had been covered up and urged Scotland Yard "to consider opening an investigation into perverting the course of justice by church officials".
A spokesman for Lord Carey declined to comment but said the former archbishop was
co-operating fully with an independent review of the Ball case. Lord Carey previously expressed regret over the way the Ball case was handled.
It is MACSAS' understanding that at least one of Peter Ball's victims has filed a formal complaint about Lord Carey's conduct with the Metropolitan Police, others are expected
Girls Drugged, Abused and Raped at Church of England Children's Home
Girls at a church-run children's home were routinely drugged, locked up and physically, emotionally and sexually abused, a review has found.
Hundreds of girls were sent to Kendall house in Gravesend in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, before it closed in 1986. The independent review set up by the Bishop of Rochester said
the home was a place where cruelty was normalised. It found girls were heavily sedated and placed in straitjackets. The Church of England has apologised.
In a report the inquiry team said: "The findings are harrowing." The home was "a place where control, containment and sometimes cruelty were normalised."
The review found girls as young as 11 were "routinely and often without any initial medical assessment, given antidepressants, sedatives and anti-psychotic medication".
Drugs were administered in dosages exceeding usual prescribed adult levels to control
girls' behaviour, placing them in a constant stupor, and restricting their ability to communicate, the report said.
The review found: "The effects of the drugs also increased their vulnerability to emotional, physical and sexual abuse".
On at least two occasions girls were placed in straitjackets and others were threatened
with transfer to a local mental health hospital, the report said.
Launched by the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev James Langstaff, the review chaired by Professor Sue Proctor, who led the inquiry into Jimmy Savile's abuse at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, found the abuse had led to many "broken lives".
She described the Church's initial response to allegations about Kendall House as
"woeful and inadequate" and said the administration of powerful drugs appeared to
have an "experimental approach". The report said: "The evidence we have heard and
read during this review tells of a place which was, on the whole, toxic and destructive to
the girls placed there."
In 2009, Teresa Cooper told BBC Radio 4's Today programme she was given major tranquilisers, anti-depressants and drugs to counteract side-effects while in the children's home. The programme found 10 ex-residents at Kendall House had gone on to have children with birth defects after being forcibly given cocktails of drugs, including
tranquilisers, during the 1970s and 80s.
In 2010, Ms Cooper agreed an out-of-court settlement with the Church of England, which
did not accept liability.
The review recommended the dioceses of Rochester and Canterbury make payments to
all former residents who took part in the review.
Bishop Paul Butler, lead bishop on safeguarding for the Church of England, said:
"The appalling standards of care and treatment should never have been allowed. On
behalf of the national church I apologise unreservedly to all the former residents whose
lives were and continue to be affected by their damaging experiences at Kendal House."
The Bishop of Dover and Canterbury, the Rt Rev Trevor Willmott, said the Church would
act on the report's recommendations speedily. He said: "It is clear that we failed. We know words cannot undo the failings of the past, but I would like to echo both Bishop James's apology to former residents of Kendall House."
Church failed to pass Peter Ball abuse evidence to police
Church leaders failed to give police incriminating evidence about disgraced former Bishop Peter Ball in 1993, according to Sussex police documents.
Ball, 84, was jailed last year for sex assaults on 18 teenagers and young men in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
Files obtained by the Mail on Sunday and the BBC indicate Lambeth Palace received six letters detailing indecency allegations shortly after an arrest in 1992.
Ball was cautioned but worked in churches and schools for 15 more years.
Richard Scorer, a lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said: "It's an absolute scandal. It is wrong and unacceptable that the Church of England sat on the information and didn't pass it to
"There is no question Peter Ball would have been prosecuted, convicted and jailed for child abuse at that time."
The Church of England has declined to comment.
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey told the BBC last year that he had
placed Peter Ball on a list of priests banned from the ministry.
But Sussex police documents, released under an Freedom of Information (FOI) request, suggest Ball's name was not included.
The documents also indicate Ball associated with other sex offenders in the clergy and that he was investigated in 2008 for being part of a suspected paedophile ring.
The police files also suggest Ball covered for and helped other priests accused of sex abuse, including:
In 1978, Ball failed to take appropriate action against a priest who abused a child and went on to abuse others.
In 1985, Ball let a priest who had abused a 14-year-old boy stay in his home after his release from prison, and provided the abuser with a positive report enabling him to
return to work within a year of his release from prison.
In 2009, Ball tried to persuade a teenage boy to apologise to a priest who had
allegedly abused him.
These files give a further insight into how the church handled Ball's case. It seems the Diocese of Chichester did not share documents which could have jailed Ball earlier.
There is no explanation about how he was able to gain a clear Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check, so he could continue working in the church.
The documents reveal Bishop Peter Ball considered asking the home secretary to overturn his caution in the 1990s.
They also detail the "limited disciplinary action" taken by the-then Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey in relation to Ball and "his return to ministry".
In February, it was announced Dame Moira Gibb was chairing an independent review of
the Ball case to consider what information was available to the Church of England, who
had it and when.
A month later, Justice Lowell Goddard's inquiry into historical child sex abuse announced
it would consider whether there was interference by the Church in the Peter Ball case.
Lord Carey's spokesman, his son Andrew, declined to comment on the new claims but
said: "Lord Carey is working with and cooperating fully with two ongoing enquiries
- Dame Moira Gibb's review and the Goddard Enquiry. "
Bishop George Bell:
Church of England Launches Inquiry
An independent review is to be carried out into how the Church of England handled the case of a former bishop named as an alleged paedophile.
The church settled the civil claim of a woman who said she was abused by the late Bishop of Chichester, George Bell, in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
The review will look at how it handled the allegations, first made in 1995, and the decision to settle the case.
Bishop Bell's supporters have been critical of the church's investigation.
The George Bell Group said Bishop Bell - Bishop of Chichester from 1929 until his death in 1958 - was "much admired" and noted for being one of the first to speak out in the 1930s against the dangers Adolf Hitler posed.
Its members claim the Church of England made little effort to corroborate the allegations with any reference to the clergyman's diaries or papers, or those who had worked with him.
The Church of England said its national safeguarding team would commission the review to see what lessons could be learnt from how the case was handled.
It said it had always recognised Bishop Bell's principled stand in World War II, but it also had a duty to listen to survivors.
The allegations of abuse, by a woman known as "Carol", were first taken to the Diocese of Chichester in 1995 but no action was taken.
It was only after she took the allegations to Lambeth Palace in 2013 that a claim was settled last year.
The review will look at the how both sets of allegations were handled and the settlement of the case.
"As in any serious safeguarding situation, it is always important to learn lessons from the process and this review will ensure this is done," said Bishop of Chichester Dr Martin Warner.
"I have, however, made it absolutely clear that the survivor in the case be reassured that we will do everything we can to continue to support her as we have done throughout this process."
Former archbishop investigated
over claims of sex abuse cover-up
A former Archbishop of York is under police investigation over his failure to tell the authorities about complaints that a fellow senior Anglican was a child abuser.
North Yorkshire police is investigating Lord Hope of Thornes, 76, for a possible offence
of misconduct in public office over his handling of the case of Rev Robert Waddington,
the former dean of Manchester.
Waddington’s abuse of choirboys and schoolboys, spanning more than half a century, was exposed by a Times investigation in 2013, which also revealed that the Church of England repeatedly failed to report suspicions about him to police or social services.
A judge-led inquiry in 2014 criticised Lord Hope, saying that his handling of the case had
put children at risk and that his failure to report concerns meant that opportunities were missed to prosecute Waddington before he died, aged 79, in 2007. The North Yorkshire force has been investigating for several months and is understood to have consulted the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on how to proceed.
The investigation is thought to come under Operation Hydrant, the nationwide co-ordination group for historical abuse inquiries that is now looking at tens of thousands of cases.
The use of the common law offence of misconduct in public office could be controversial. The Appeal Court heavily criticised the prosecutions of journalists under the offence for paying for stories but it was used successfully against the former bishop of Gloucester,
Peter Ball, who was imprisoned last year after admitting sexual offences.
Lord Hope, a former bishop of London, served as archbishop of York, the second highest ranking bishop in the Church, from 1995 to 2005. During part of that period Waddington,
who was once the Church’s head of education, lived in retirement in York.
Allegations that Waddington abused choirboys in Manchester and schoolchildren in Australia were brought to Lord Hope in 1999, 2003 and 2004.
He took the view that Waddington, who had had treatment for cancer, was too frail to pose any further threat to children. In 2004 he stripped Waddington of his permission to officiate
at church services but did not alert the authorities to the allegations.
The Times exposed Waddington as a child abuser in a series of articles in 2013,
prompting the new archbishop of York, the Most Rev John Sentamu, to set up an inquiry
led by Judge Sally Cahill, QC. Her report was published in September 2014 and
concluded that Lord Hope was guilty of “cumulative” failings, including holding personal meetings with Waddington, not making notes and not considering any present risk to children. The inquiry found that Waddington had access to the choirboys’ locker room at York Minster until at least 1999.
Lord Hope resigned his ministry after the Cahill report and has denied any cover-up in the Waddington case. He was unavailable for comment last night but in 2014 called it “a matter of great regret” that he had not been more active in seeking out complainants.
Eli Ward, a former choirboy in Manchester who was abused by Waddington, said: “No one should be above the law and nothing should be more important than the welfare of children. It is not acceptable to look after your own and it is right that people who take that stance should be investigated.”
A spokesman for the police said: “The investigation is at an early stage and at this point in time it has not been determined whether any criminal offence has been committed.”
British Catholic Priest Wanted Over Sex Abuse Arrested in Kosovo
A British former Catholic priest wanted over child sex abuse allegations has been arrested
in Kosovo, local police sources say.
Lawrence Soper was being hunted over sex offences allegedly committed at
St Benedict's School in Ealing where he taught in the 1970s and 80s. He was arrested
in 2010 and bailed, but failed to return to a London police station in March 2011.
A European Arrest Warrant was issued for him in 2012.
After teaching at St Benedict's, Mr Soper became abbot of Ealing Abbey, which had founded the school and supplied monks to teach there.
Police in Kosovo's capital Pristina confirmed to the BBC local reports that he had been arrested in Pec, in the west of the country, on Thursday. A senior official, speaking anonymously, told the BBC that the extradition process was under way to return him to
Police in London said: "The Metropolitan Police is aware of an arrest and is currently in liaison with the relevant authorities." A Foreign Office spokesman told the Press
Association: "Our embassy is providing assistance following the arrest of a British national
in Peja, Kosovo, on Wednesday 11 May."
In June 2010, a man then in his 40s made an allegation of sexual assault at St Benedict's School in Ealing, west London, that was also attended by actor Andy Serkis and comedian Julian Clary. Mr Soper was questioned three months later. London's Metropolitan Police obtained a European Arrest Warrant in September 2012 after he failed to answer bail.
Police said at the time that they believed Mr Soper had been living in Italy. Kosovo's Insajderi newspaper said Mr Soper had been living under the name Andrew, and had
lived in Pec for several years. He is believed to be in his mid-70s.
The Grave Case of Fr. Jonathan
Rev Jonathan Graves appeared at a Plea and Case Management Hearing at Lewes
Crown Court on Thursday 5th May. He is charged with 11 counts of abuse, these include:
- Indecent assault against a male,
- Gross indecency against a male,
- Assault / neglect / ill treatment / abandonment of a child,
- Indecent assault against an adult female.
He pleaded not guilty to all charges and a trial date has been set for 5th December 2016.
Fr. Jonathan was the vicar of St. Luke's Church, Stone Cross in the Diocese of
Chichester from 1995 - 2002, where most of the alleged offences took place.
He later had his Permission to Officiate as a Church of England priest withdrawn.
Despite this Fr. Jonathan continues to officiate and play the organ at funerals,
particularly at Hastings Crematorium - he conducted 137 funerals in a four year
period AFTER being banned by the Church of England.
You do not have to be licences to conduct a funeral and Fr. Jonathan is a 'retired priest'
conducting 'humanist' funerals… apparently,
even though they have prayers and hymns?!?
- This is completely legal.
We are not trying to pre-judge the outcome of the trial and recognise that everyone is
innocent until proven guilty but….
Is it right for a man facing such serious charges to be visiting families in their
homes at a time when they are vulnerable due to their recent bereavement with,
it would appear, no real safeguards being put in place?
Former Newport priest found guilty of indecently assaulting girl
A PRIEST who spent nearly a decade working in Newport was found guilty of indecently assaulting a girl in the city 40 years ago.
John Farmer, who is also known as Barry, worked at St Mary’s Church in Newport from 1970 until 1979. He then moved to a Cardiff parish.
The 84-year-old, now of Cranleigh Road, Guildford, was also a governor of St Joseph’s RC High School in Duffryn.
Farmer was initially charged with 27 charges of indecent assault against one girl, who was between 12 and 14 when the abuse took place, but was found guilty of a remaining nine charges after the rest were dropped.
The jury of six men and six women spent about three hours deliberating, having been sent out by Recorder Richard Williams to consider their verdicts on Thursday at Newport Crown Court.
The woman was abused, as a schoolgirl and one of Farmer’s parishioners, between 1974 and 1976. She said he referred to his lap as
“the soft seat”, and then touched her inappropriately. Farmer denied ever doing so.
The woman told police she believed Farmer to be her boyfriend. She said she had seen him wearing a bracelet marked with her name during a mass.
She said the bracelets were worn commonly by couples of her age around Newport at that time and were available at the city’s market.
The court was told that another investigation into the potential indecent assaults was started in 1993 by Bedfordshire and Gwent Police forces but never completed.
Farmer told the court in evidence earlier in the week that the woman had been a “fantasist as a child” and such fantasies had developed over time.
Former priest to go on trial accused of sexual abuse at Catholic seminary
A former priest accused of historic sex offences against two schoolboys at a catholic college run by the Archdiocese of Liverpool is set to stand trial.
Michael Higginbottom, 73, is alleged to have sexually abused children at St Joseph’s College in Up Holland, near Skelmersdale, in the late 1970s.
The school, which shut in 1992, was a Roman Catholic seminary and provided a secondary education to boys aged 11–18 who wished to go into the priesthood.
The alleged offences are said to have taken place in the late 1970s when the complainants were in their early teens.
Higginbottom appeared at Liverpool Crown Court this morning where he pleaded not guilty to four counts of indecent assault and two counts of buggery.
The defendant, with grey receding hair and glasses and wearing a grey suit, blue shirt and blue tie in the dock, spoke only to confirm his personal details and enter his pleas.
Dan Travers, prosecuting, said his trial would be estimated to last seven days.
Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, said it would take place on September 19.
Higginbottom, of West Farm Road, Newcastle, was granted bail.
St Joseph’s College, which first welcomed pupils to its 153-acre semi-monastic environment in 1883, was run by a board of trustees headed by the Archbishop of Liverpool.
The school closed in 1992 following a decline in pupil numbers.
Known by pupils simply as ‘Upholland’, it was a boarding school and all boys who attended would live and study at the college.
Priest suspected of child abuse
found dead in Oswestry
A CATHOLIC priest who had been arrested on suspicion of child sexual abuse was
found dead in Oswestry on the day he was due to report to the police.
Father Ernest Sands, 67, was found dead at an address in the town on Monday, April 11.
Last year, Fr Sands was arrested by Lancashire Police on suspicion of sexually abusing
five boys aged from 11 to 15 at a Catholic seminary in the late 1970s and 1980s.
The alleged offences were believed to have occurred during Fr Sands' time as a teacher
at St Joseph's Roman Catholic College, Upholland, Lancashire.
A Lancashire Police statement said the death was not suspicious and that his alleged victims had been informed.
A spokesperson for the police force said: "A 67 year old man was arrested last year in relation to historical offences of indecent assault.
"He had been due to answer bail on April 11th but was found dead at an address in
Oswestry on April 11. There are no suspicious circumstances and a file has been
passed to the coroner."
Reading vicar jailed for abusing
two teenage girls
A vicar from Reading has been jailed for 15 months after he pleaded guilty to
sexually abusing two teenage girls.
The Reverend Peter Jarvis, 51, of Spencer's Wood, admitted two counts of causing or inciting a girl aged between 13 and 17 to engage in sexual activity.
He also pleaded guilty to possessing an indecent image of a child when he appeared at Winchester Crown Court. The Bishop of Reading, the Rt Revd Andrew Proud, said it was
a matter of "sorrow and regret" for the church.
Chief crown prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS),
Adrian Foster said Jarvis, who committed the offences between 2008 and 2012,
had "abused his position of trust".
"Despite his pastoral responsibility towards them, he had an inappropriate sexual
interest in them, encouraged them to participate in sexual acts with others while
underage, met them after school and at weekends, allowed them to smoke and bought
"It is only due to the great courage of the victims that the despicable behaviour of this
man has been exposed," he added.
Bishop Proud said Jarvis has been suspended from his duties at St Michael's Church
in Spencers Wood, Reading, and a disciplinary process had started.
"We recognise that the suffering of survivors of sexual abuse is profound and
long lasting. The Church of England will not tolerate abusive behaviour in its clergy
or anyone else for whom we have pastoral responsibility."
"All those involved in this sad case remain in my thoughts and prayers," he added.
Former rector Stephen Crabtree Jailed for Sexually Abusing Girl
A disgraced clergyman who repeatedly sexually abused a 15-year-old girl has been given
a three-year jail sentence. Stephen Crabtree, 59, from Bradford, committed the indecent assaults in the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire between April 1992 and April 1993.
The former Church of England minister had previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced
at Lincoln Crown Court.
The Bishop of Lincoln said: "I am very sorry indeed that it has taken so long for proper
justice to be served."
Speaking after the hearing, the Right Reverend Christopher Lowson added, the sentence was a "just and appropriate punishment for the appalling abuse to which he subjected a child".
Diocesan safeguarding staff had recently discovered the allegations against Crabtree and immediately passed the information to Lincolnshire Police, the bishop said.
The Church would offer support to anyone who contacted it about issues of harm and
abuse and pass all information to the police, he added.
Crabtree, who served as minister in a number of parishes and was rector of Washingborough and Heighington in Lincolnshire between 2002 and 2014, is no longer a practising clergyman.
Det Supt Rick Hatton, of Lincolnshire Police, said Crabtree's "betrayal of trust had a profound effect upon the victim".
"It has taken great courage and a period of time for this abuse to come out."
He said police were currently working in partnership with the diocese to investigate "a number of allegations of non-recent abuse".
He added: "These investigations have come about due to a detailed file review carried out by the diocese and a desire to ensure truth and justice for all past victims of abuse.
"The sentencing of the Rev Stephen Crabtree is as a result of this investigation."
The current operation investigating claims of historical abuse had the "full support" of the bishop, Det Supt Hatton said.
Crabtree, of Ollerdale Avenue, admitted six counts of indecent assault, at a hearing on 4 March.
Justice Goddard opens IICSA investigation
into the Anglican Church
A PROPER investigation into the abuse carried out by the disgraced former Bishop of Gloucester, Peter Ball, was delayed for 20 years because the former Archbishop
of Canterbury, Lord Carey, failed to act on a “very detailed complaint” sent to him in
Justice Goddard, the head of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA),
heard on Wednesday 16th March 2016.
Bishop Ball finally faced justice last year, and was sentenced to just under three years in October 2015, after he admitted a string of indecent assaults and the abuse of 18
2 other allegations that Bishop Peter Ball sexually abused children currently lie on file.
The allegation against Lord Carey was made by the national manager for abuse claims at
the law firm Slater and Gordon, Richard Scorer. Mr Scorer represents 14 victims of abuse
whohave been given core-participant status at the IICSA. He made his comments at a
preliminary hearing of the inquiry’s investigation into the Church of England and Church in Wales, which was heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on Wednesday.
Mr Scorer was making a renewed application for three of his other clients to also be made
core participants. The three, identified as A10, A11, and A13, had had their previous
applications for core-participant status rejected on the grounds that they were over 18 at
the time they were abused.
At public inquiries, core participants are entitled to legal representation, can make opening and closing remarks, are entitled to disclosure of relevant documents in advance, and can
cross-examine witnesses or suggest lines of questioning to the Counsel to the Inquiry.
In arguing for core-participant status for the three additional victims, Mr Scorer said that
“there is no diocese in the Church of England that has given rise to so many allegations
and so many concerns about its response than the diocese of Chichester”. Bishop Ball,
he said, abused young people as well as children, and it was important that the inquiry
took a rounded view of the Church’s response.
Patricia Leonard, a barrister who is representing seven core-participant victims and the
support group MACSAS, made a renewed application for core-participant status for an
additional victim who was also over 18 at the time of the abuse.
She told the hearing that the victim, identified as C8, was another of Bishop Ball’s victims
who was over the age of 18 at the time of the abuse. “Although he was a young adult at the time, the law was that he was unable to consent,” she told Justice Goddard, explaining that the age of consent at the time was 21.
Justice Goddard also heard from Desmond Brown QC, representing Dr Andrew Chandler
of the George Bell Institute at the University of Chichester; and the Dean of Christ Church,
Oxford, the Very Revd Dr Martyn Percy.
Mr Brown said that the two had applied to be core participants to “give Bishop Bell the
voice that he was effectively denied in the diocesan investigation”.
Last year, the diocese of Chichester caused controversy when it announced that it had
settled a claim from an unnamed individual, who later went public using the pseudonym
Carol, who had alleged that they had been abused, as a child, by Bishop Bell.
Mr Brown criticised the diocesan investigation, and said that a witness statement had been prepared by Bishop Bell’s surviving chaplain, Canon Adrian Carey, who “for a number of
reasons . . . contends that it was impossible for the abuse to have taken place.
As a resident of the house, he would have seen if a child was present.”
Justice Goddard said that she would give her rulings on the core-participant applications
in writing before Easter.
The core participants include victims, police, and prosecutors, as well as the C of E, the
Church in Wales, and Ecclesiastical Insurance. Peter Ball himself is also a core participant.
He did not attend but was represented by a lawyer.
Nigel Giffin QC, for the C of E, said that the inquiry would be a “difficult process” for the
people involved, “particularly for survivors of abuse sharing their stories”, and also for the
Church as it “hears where it has failed in its responsibility”. A further preliminary hearing would take place “before the summer recess”, when decisions would be made about whether the full hearings will be televised. The substantive hearings are expected to
begin in the autumn.
Church’s in-house insurer told it to
shun abuse victim
An order to senior bishops to end all contact with a victim of clerical sexual abuse came
from an insurance company that was established “to protect the Anglican Church”,
The instruction was given by the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group (EIG), which was set up
in the 19th century to insure the Church of England and states on its website that it remains
“committed to doing this today”.
The insurer is wholly owned by the Allchurches Trust, an Anglican charity whose directors include the Right Rev Nigel Stock, a bishop who is senior aide to the Archbishop of
Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby.
The revelation that the decision to put financial interests above pastoral duty came from
within the Anglican community, not a City insurer, will intensify demands for the
archbishop to revise child protection in the church.
An independent review found this week that the church acted recklessly in July 2014 when
it cut links with the victim, known as Joe, after he made a legal claim for compensation
following abuse by senior clergymen in the 1970s. Joe’s letters to Lambeth Palace were
not passed on to the archbishop. One of the clerics who stopped communication was the
Right Rev Paul Butler, the Bishop of Durham and the church’s national spokesman on
safeguarding. The insurer claims that its advice to the church over Joe’s case “followed
Law Society rules . that communications about the claim had to be made through his lawyer”.
In the same year that EIG was dealing with Joe’s claim, settled with a £35,000 payment,
it delivered £23.5 million to the charitable trust.
The independent review of Joe’s case said that the church hierarchy felt “shackled by its
advisers with regard to financial considerations”. It added: “The pastoral and spiritual
needs of the survivor must take precedence at all times. Sadly this did not happen.”
David Greenwood, the victim’s solicitor, said he wanted church leaders to pressurise the
insurer over its treatment of vulnerable claimants. He added: “Archbishop Welby has
publicly expressed his intention to ensure his organisation responds less aggressively to
complaints of abuse. I have seen the church’s advisers mount aggressive legal defences
The church and EIG insist there are firewalls between the insurance business and the
charity, although both share the same address in Gloucester.
A spokesman for EIG said its advice “was not intended to deflect the church from any
wish or intention to provide direct pastoral or counselling care”. A church spokesman
said: “We are working with Ecclesiastical to develop better protocols.”
Damning report reveals Church of
England's failure to act on abuse
Review into priest’s assault against boy in 1976 criticises Justin Welby’s office
and expresses disbelief that senior figures cannot recall being told of attack
The Church of England is to make far-reaching changes to the way it deals with cases of
sex abuse following a damning independent report that details how senior church figures
failed to act upon repeated disclosures of a sadistic assault.
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 church
acknowledged the report was “embarrassing and uncomfortable”.
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. 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 by safeguarding expert Ian Elliott 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 for those who may receive abuse disclosures on keeping
records and taking action. This was particularly important for those in senior positions, the
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.
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.”
'Sadistic' Garth Moore
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”.
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.
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 those Joe spoke to
and no further action was taken. “Practice of this nature is simply not acceptable,” the report says. 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
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.”
Guilty plea from London vicar
on abuse charges
A retired London vicar has pled guilty to four counts of historic child abuse. Last week the
Rev. Leonard Skinner (79) entered a guilty plea at the Highbury Magistrates Court
admitting two counts of indecent assault on a boy aged under 14 and two counts of assault on a boy aged under 16. While serving as vicar of St Peter’s Grange Park, Enfield between 1970 and 1980, Skinner befriended a boy whom he abused between 1972 and 1975.
The abuse was reported to the Metropolitan Police in 2015 and Skinner was interviewed under caution on 24 November 2015 and subsequently charged on 28 January 2016. In a statement released by the Metropolitan Police, Detective Constable John Ritsema of
Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: “Skinner used his role in
a position of trust, as well as his friendly demeanour, to gain access to his victim. I would
like to pay tribute to the courage of the victim in speaking out against Skinner. It was his testimonial that secured the charges and enabled this case to be brought to court.”
Skinner, who retired in 2001 and moved to the Northeast had most recently served in a
non-stipendiary capacity in the Diocese of Newcastle. The Archdeacon of Northumberland, the Venerable Geoff Miller said: “We offer an unreserved apology to the survivors of the appalling abuse by the Reverend Leonard Skinner and acknowledge their courage in coming forward. The Diocese of Newcastle treats all allegations of sexual abuse with the
utmost seriousness and expects the highest standards from its clergy, including in retirement. As soon as the diocese was told that Leonard Skinner was under investigation
by the Metropolitan Police, he was immediately prevented from carrying out any further duties in church.”
Cardinal Pell admits he
did not act on abuse claim
Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell has admitted he did not act after
a boy told him about a paedophile priest.
The cardinal told an Australian Royal Commission into child abuse that a student at
St Patrick's College in Ballarat said Brother Edward Dowlan was "misbehaving with
boys" in 1974. He said it was "casually mentioned" and the boy did not ask him to act.
Dowlan, who has since changed his name to Ted Bales, was jailed last year for abusing
boys in the 1970s and '80s.
Cardinal Pell is giving evidence from Rome to the Royal Commission into Institutional
Responses to Child Sex Abuse. He was excused from flying back to Australia due to a
heart condition. A group of abuse survivors and supporters have flown to Rome to face
Australia's most senior Catholic as he testifies.
Peter Blenkiron was abused by Brother Dowlan and spoke shortly after the cardinal
admitted he "should have done more" about the paedophile priest.
"That's me in 1973 six months before I went to St Patrick's," Mr Blenkiron said, pointing
to a photograph on his T-shirt.
"If action would've been taken that little boy wouldn't have gone through what he went
Pell said it was a "disastrous coincidence" that five paedophiles came to be at the
same school and parish in Ballarat in the 1970s. His words struck a nerve with abuse
survivor Stephen Wood, who has previously said he was bashed and molested starting
from age 11. "Coincidence my foot, it was clearly systemic," he said.
Cardinal Pell also denied claims that he tried to bribe the nephew of notorious paedophile
priest Gerald Ridsdale. David Ridsdale, who was abused by his uncle, has alleged that
the cardinal offered him a bribe to "keep quiet". The inquiry heard David Ridsdale did
not initially want to get the police involved because his grandmother would find out about
his uncle's actions.
On the eve of Cardinal Pell's final day of testimony, David Ridsale said he was hopeful the
group's request to meet with the Pope would be approved.
"Most likely we will meet with Cardinal Pell and we have a good chance of a Papal
meeting on Friday," he said.
"We want an understanding and an acknowledgment this is a global systemic problem."
Survivors told reporters that Cardinal Pell's office had removed some of the conditions he
had set for holding the meetings.
Cardinal Pell released a statement on Wednesday where he offered to meet victims in
small groups, without lawyers or media present.
He also said he would be "happy to assist with requests to meet Pope Francis", but
warned he had to "rely on the officials responsible for considering these requests".
Proof the church -
‘Covered up bishop’s abuse’
A Church of England priest, who was a former Sussex Police Officer, held secret talks
with police in an attempt to cover up the scale of sex offending by a senior bishop who was
a friend of the royal family, according to documents seen by the BBC and The Times.
The priest, who had his own Private Detective Agency, was commissioned by the Church
to disprove the police case against Peter Ball but concluded in a confidential report in
1993 that the cleric had abused “very many young men who passed through
After realising Ball was guilty, the priest sought to “negotiate” with police “to prevent a scandal in the press, especially as Peter was a frequent visitor to Sandringham and is friendly with Prince Charles”.
The talks had the desired result and, in March 1993 Ball accepted a caution on one
offence of gross indecency and resigned as Bishop of Gloucester. Ball, 84, was finally convicted last October after a new police inquiry and jailed for offences against 18 youths who had gone to him for spiritual guidance.
The failure to bring him to trial in the 1990s is to be investigated by the Goddard inquiry
into sexual abuse and an an independent review set up by the church, which will be led
by Dame Moira Gibb.
The 1993 report stated that its contents were “in utter confidence” for the attention of
Lord Carey of Clifton, Archbishop of Canterbury at the time, and Eric Kemp, who was
Bishop of Chichester. Despite being aware of the report’s contents, Kemp later referred
to Ball’s victims as “mischief-makers”.
The priest revealed that he was asked in December 1992 to investigate the case against Ball, who had been arrested on suspicion of sexual offences, most of which took place
when he was Bishop of Lewes from 1977-92.
The investigator’s fees were to be paid by Bishop Ball and his brother Michael, then
Bishop of Truro. He states that his role was to “absolve Peter from any criminal
allegation and prove his innocence” but he began to uncover “a lot of disturbing facts about Peter Ball”. The priest suggested that he be allowed to speak to police to try to “persuade them to proceed by way of a caution for this offence, thus preventing the scandal of a trial”.
It was suggested to the bishop that he resign the see of Gloucester and leave Britain to
live in a convent in France. The report says Ball replied: “Oh please do that, I will do anything to save the church a scandal.”
At his meeting with detectives the investigator discovered “many wonderful letters of
support that had been received from many members of the royal family, the government
and many clergy”.
The Crown Prosecution Service has previously released some of those letters, including correspondence from Lord Carey, but mysteriosly has been unable to find any letters from the royal family.
The report says police were sympathetic to the suggestion of a caution. Dame Barbara
Mills, director of public prosecutions at the time, personally decided that Ball should be cautioned instead of charged and tried.
The priest complained, however, that Ball “welshed on his promise to me and the police
to leave the country”. Instead the former bishop was given a 'grace and favour' house in
Somerset which was purchased by the Duchy of Cornwall.
The Rev Graham Sawyer, one of the men abused by Ball, told the BBC: “It looks like
there was a deeply sinister, co-ordinated, but probably in the end rather inept attempt at
a cover-up.” A spokesman for Lord Carey said he had no knowledge of the involvement
of a private investigator in the case. A spokesman for the Diocese of Chichester said it
was aware of the priest’s report but could not comment until the two inquiries Ball were complete.
David Greenwood, a solicitor for some of Ball’s victims, said the contents of the report were shocking but it was even more alarming that the CPS in 1992 “ignored obvious credible evidence of serious offending and media interest and allowed Ball to take the soft option
of a police caution”.
Catholic bishops not obliged to
report clerical child abuse,
The Catholic church is telling newly appointed bishops that it is “not necessarily” their
duty to report accusations of clerical child abuse and that only victims or their families
should make the decision to report abuse to police.
A document that spells out how senior clergy members ought to deal with allegations of abuse, which was recently released by the Vatican, emphasised that, though they must be aware of local laws, bishops’ only duty was to address such allegations internally. “According to the state of civil laws of each country where reporting is obligatory, it is not necessarily the duty of the bishop to report suspects to authorities, the police or state prosecutors in the moment when they are made aware of crimes or sinful deeds,”
the training document states.
The training guidelines were written by a controversial French monsignor and psychotherapist, Tony Anatrella, who serves as a consultant to the Pontifical Council for
the Family. The Vatican released the guidelines – which are part of a broader training programme for newly named bishops – at a press conference earlier this month and is
now seeking feedback.
Details of the Catholic church’s policy were first reported in a column by a veteran Vatican journalist, John Allen, associate editor of the Catholic news site, Cruxnow.com. Allen
noted that a special commission created by Pope Francis, the Pontifical Commission for
the Protection of Minors, had appeared to play no role in the training programme, even though it is supposed to be developing “best practices” to prevent and deal with clerical abuse. Indeed, a church official familiar with the commission on abuse said it was the committee’s position that reporting abuse to civil authorities was a “moral obligation,
whether the civil law requires it or not”. The official said the committee would be involved
in future training efforts.
The current guidelines written by Anatrella make only passing references to prevention
policies. The French monsignor is best known for championing views on “gender theory”,
the controversial belief that increasing acceptance of homosexuality in western countries
is creating “serious problems” for children who are being exposed to “radical notions of
sexual orientation”. He did not return a request for comment. The guidelines reflect
Anatrella’s views on homosexuality. They also downplay the seriousness of the
Catholic church’s legacy of systemic child abuse, which some victims’ right groups
say continues to be a problem today.
While acknowledging that “the church has been particularly affected by sexual crimes
committed against children”, the training guide emphasises statistics that show the vast
majority of sexual assaults against children are committed within the family and by friends
and neighbours, not other authority figures. The training course began in 2001 and has
been taken by about 30% of Catholic prelates. The guidelines on child abuse was
presented to new bishops last September in the annual training course organised by
the Congregation for Bishops, Allen noted.
Pope Francis has called for the church to exhibit “zero tolerance” of sexual abuse of
minors or vulnerable adults by clergy and that “everything possible must be done to
rid the church of the scourge of the sexual abuse”.
He said in a 2012 interview – when he was still a cardinal – that he was once called by
a bishop asking him for advice on how to deal with an allegation of sex abuse. Cardinal
Bergoglio – as he was then known – allegedly told the bishop to take away the priests’
licences and begin a canonical trial that would deal with the matter internally.
Pupils at Catholic school to sue
Salford Diocese over Sexual Abuse
Former pupils of a leading Catholic secondary school in south Manchester, who are suing
church bosses over sex abuse claims, have spoken of their horror experiences.
Ex-students of St Bede’s College in Whalley Range say they suffered appalling treatment
at the hands of priests at the school.
Harrowing claims from three former pupils, who have bravely waived their right to
anonymity, describe in detail how they suffered at the hands of senior staff.
Click on image for background from Manchester Evening News
They are among a group of former pupils who are suing the Catholic diocese of Salford,
which previously operated the former boys school, which is now an independent mixed-
The allegations dating back to the 1950s focus mainly on former senior staff members,
Father Vincent Hamilton, Monsignor Thomas Duggan and Father Charles Mulholland, all
of who are now dead. Former student Rick Merrin says he was groomed by being invited
to meet members of the Manchester United squad with one of his abusers. He said he was later forced to sleep naked in bed with his alleged attacker on school trips, before later
being forced into performing a sex act. Describing his experience, Mr Merrin said:
“It was the most horrifying episode of my life and I certainly experienced no sexual pleasure from it. All that had been hammered in to me at school about the all-important need to be 'pure' was shattered. I was in a complete state of shock and could not believe what had taken place with a priest.”
He said he woke up in the middle of the night in 'excruciating pain', being raped by his
priest. “I was traumatised by what he had done to me and had no idea how to handle
events totally beyond my comprehension,” he said.
Michael Sweeney, another survivor, described the 'sickening feeling' of being 'groped and
nuzzled' as a young boy at the hands of Duggan. And he said his abusers seemed 'untouchable', such was the esteem with which they were held in the church.
He said: “It is still hard to capture just how appalling these experiences with Duggan were each time they occurred. “As young Catholic boys in the 1950s, we thought of priests in general as completely beyond reproach. They were untouchable. “The shame from what Duggan did alone was enough to keep me quiet.” The men were aged between 11 and 15
at the time of the abuse.
Their alleged abusers died before being brought to justice, but the survivors are now taking out a civil case against the Diocese of Salford for what they say is a failure to protect them. The case is expected to reach the High Court in the summer.
Thomas Beale, representing victims with London-based child abuse lawyers AO
“In our clients’ case, knowing there are other people suffering in the same way gave t
hem strength to come forward. The church is not dealing with this in the way it says it will.”
“I think it’s important to remember that these boys came from very devout, working-class
families in Manchester.
“They had scholarships to attend this hugely prestigious school. They were deprived of the opportunity to flourish and meet their full potential because of the horrific abuse they suffered.
“These individuals left school with little or no qualifications, their relationships broke down
and a number have suffered from alcohol problems, post-traumatic stress disorder, and
anxiety as a result of the abuse they suffered.
“It wasn’t just the sins of the individual, it was the failure of the church to address these
A spokesperson from the Diocese of Salford said: "The Diocese of Salford isaware that a
case is due to be heard before the High Court later this year. We are deeply saddened by
the allegations of abuse from the 1950’s, which are against everything we stand for.
Establishment Campaign Supporting
Sex Offender Bishop Peter Ball -
A former Archbishop of Canterbury wrote to police in 1993 with letters of support for the then Bishop of Gloucester who was being investigated for sex offences, it can be revealed. Ex-archbishop George Carey said Peter Ball was in "torment" as a result of a police investigation, letters released by the Crown Prosecution Service show. Ball, 83, was jailed in October for a string of offences against young men. The Church of England apologised "unreservedly" to Ball's victims. He was sentenced to 32 months for misconduct in a public office and 15 months for indecent assaults, to run concurrently.
In one of Lord Carey's letters he told police it was "improbable" he was guilty.
He also wrote in a letter to Barbara Mills - then the director of public prosecutions - that Ball's health was fragile and the decision to prosecute should be made "as speedily as possible". The letters have been released by the CPS in response to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request by the BBC and others, after it emerged that personal letters had been written which were supportive of Ball. Ball was eventually told he would not be prosecuted but received a caution instead. He resigned as Bishop of Gloucester in 1993, a position that followed a previous period as Bishop of Lewes. However in October 2015, following repeated claims of a church cover-up, Mr Ball pleaded guilty to abusing 18 young men in the 70s, 80s and 90s. He was jailed for two years and ten months.
One of his victims was Neil Todd, whose attempts to take his own life triggered the police investigationin 1993 which prompted hundreds of letters of support for the Bishop. In his two letters Lord Carey said he had no wish to influence the legal process. He makes no reference to the allegations of sexual abuse or Mr Todd, who finally took his own life at the end of 2012.
The letters also include one to the police from a senior judge at the time, Lord Justice Lloyd, who said that Ball was "the most gentle, upright and saintly man" he had ever met. "He has obviously suffered far more already than any of us can imagine... He tells me if it goes on much longer, he feels he may well go off his head," he said. While making it clear he did not want to influence the criminal process Lord Justice Lloyd wrote: "I find it difficult to accept that such an awful fate could have befallen so good a man."
The Old Bailey heard in October that while he was a bishop, Ball had used his position to groom and exploit his vulnerable victims. Another of the 12 letters released by the CPS was from the former Conservative minister and Sussex MP, Tim Renton, who wrote to the director of public prosecutions in 1993 that "Peter has suffered terribly over the past six weeks," and urged that he should not be prosecuted.
The Conservative MP for Lewes, Tim Rathbone, wrote: "I find it literally inconceivable that he would ever become involved with anyone in the way the newspapers have described or insinuated." James Woodhouse, the former headmaster of Lancing College in Sussex wrote that Ball was "acutely distressed" by some aspects of 20th-century culture, including "sexual permissiveness". In his letter the warden of Radley College, Richard Morgan, said he had dismissed the allegations against Ball as "impossible" since the bishop had lived a life of "discipline".However, the CPS said it not seen or received any correspondence from the royal family, despite Ball's claims to have been a friend of Prince Charles.
The CPS said it had taken the decision to release letters from "significant people" of influence at the time but not other "non-senior" individuals. A spokesman for the Church of England 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."