Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Church Abuse Survivors Betrayed by Church of England

A group of survivors of men and women, many of whom were sexually abused by priests in childhood, have been told that their call for an inquiry into the extent of abuse in the church 
of England and the Roman Catholic church will not be supported by the Church of England despite its earlier promise of support.

The Stop Church Child Abuse alliance which represents church abuse survivor groups was told at a meeting this week by the Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler, that the Church of England will not support the call for an inquiry as it is concentrating on working on banking reform and “other issues”

This news comes after Justin Welby had personally pledged that the church would support a call for an inquiry. The Church of England decision represents a complete U turn from the position it adopted at the general synod in July 2013 when the synod voted unanimously to apologise to victims of clergy abuse and to do everything necessary to help victims of abuse.

The chairman of the group, David Greenwood commented “We have heard hundreds of stories of abuse of power within the churches and the public need to understand the
extent of cover the cover ups. This information can only come out in a meaningful way through an independent public inquiry. The government, churches and other bodies responsible for caring for children will learn valuable lessons this type of inquiry.”

“We have set out the case for an inquiry clearly for the churches. There are deep problems with these church organisations. We were told in July by the Bishop of Durham,
Paul Butler, that Justin Welby was fully behind supporting our call for an inquiry.
The Church of England made great efforts in the press in July to say it was doing everything it could to change and to help abuse survivors. This decision not to support the inquiry feels like a betrayal. We feel now that the unanimous vote at the General synod in July to help
survivors was utterly meaningless. 

We continue to pursue the call for an inquiry and urge the public to visit our campaign site”

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