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Southern Religion

Church of England launches investigation of paedophile priest allegations

They aren’t moving with superluminal speed, but there is no “church reputation first” here:

LONDON — Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has set up an inquiry in Chichester diocese in southern England, reportedly after allegations that paedophile priests were allowed to continue working despite being accused of sexual abuse.

The archbishop’s decision to investigate the diocese will throw the spotlight on abuse by clergy in the Church of England, raising an issue which has already rocked the Catholic Church in a number of countries.

A spokeswoman for Lambeth Palace refused to say whether the concerns related to current or historic child protection issues.

In May, a review found serious failings in the senior clergy after two priests were allowed to continue working despite being accused of serious child abuse offences.

An earlier investigation found a history of problems, BBC reported:

Lambeth Palace said it would ensure recommendations of the report by Baroness Butler-Sloss were implemented.

She was appointed by the Church of England to examine how senior clergy dealt with historical claims of abuse.

Her report last May found there had been “a lack of understanding of the seriousness of historic child abuse”.

The report looked into the cases of Roy Cotton and Colin Pritchard, who abused children in the 1970s and 1980s.

Pritchard served as the vicar of St Barnabas, Bexhill, until 2007, when he was arrested over sex abuse claims. In 2008 he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two boys and was jailed for five years.

Cotton was ordained in 1966, despite having a conviction for indecently assaulting a choirboy in the 1950s, and went on to abuse at least 10 boys from Eastbourne.

Baroness Butler-Sloss’s report found senior clergy, including bishops, were slow to act on information available to them and to assess the potential risk to children in the diocese.

There were some mumbling excuses in response to a BBC invesgitation.

Bears watching.

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December 24, 2011 - Posted by | Anglican, children, Crime | ,

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