Thinking Anglicans

IICSA hearings – Monday 12 March

The transcript of today’s hearing, which was entirely devoted to the evidence of Bishop Wallace Benn, is now available.

Media reports:

Church Times
Don’t blame me for safeguarding blunders, former Bishop of Lewes, Wallace Benn, tells IICSA hearing

Christian Today
Bishop claims he was ‘scapegoated’ over child sex abuse allegations
Bishop admits ‘hunch’ about paedophile priest but says he was powerless to stop him

The following item was written before today’s hearing and reflects the evidence given last week by others:
Chichester Observer
Revealed: How former bishop failed to report paedophile priests

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Dave
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Dave

I watched much of the proceedings. To me Bishop Wallace Benn came across as a rather na├»ve and yes, dangerous, (for children’s sake), man who clearly did not regard safeguarding as a serious issue. How on earth did he become a bishop? He admitted he had insufficent training in safeguarding, yet he could easily have asked for more. As the Inquiry probed it was very clear that his actions spoke much more than his words. There is a limit to how much one can ‘with hindsight I’d have behaved differently’ and he greatly exceeded that limit. * He kept saying… Read more »

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

‘Sadly I feel the clergy and laity of the C of E, in a time when mutually flourishing are seen as watchwords, are not standing up to challenge this. ‘ Dave, a number of us have been challenging this for some years past. Until recently we were isolated, didn’t know each other, and none of us has got very far. Most of us have suffered by it – the Church is very good at punishing those who rock the boat. My hope and prayer is that these hearings will make a real difference as that toxic culture is exposed. My… Read more »