Thinking Anglicans

IICSA hearings – Wednesday 21 March

Updated Thursday morning

The transcript of the final day of taking evidence from live witnesses can be found here.
There will be no hearing tomorrow, Thursday. On Friday the final portions of some written statements will be read into the record, and that will be followed by statements from the lawyers representing various “core participants”.

Media reports:

Church Times
‘I am ashamed of the Church’, Archbishop Welby admits to IICSA

Christian Today
Archbishop of Canterbury goes before child sex abuse hearings
Justin Welby: Child sex abuse by priests will ‘destroy the Church’ if it continues

The Tablet
Archbishop Welby to give evidence at national inquiry into child sexual abuse
Archbishop Welby ‘appalled and ashamed’ of Church of England

Press Association via Daily Mail Abusers may be forgiven but can never be trusted again, Archbishop tells inquiry

The Times Abuse makes me ashamed of church, says Welby (£)

Guardian Justin Welby: sexual abusers can never be trusted again

Belfast Telegraph Archbishop tells child abuse inquiry he is ‘ashamed’ of Church
Abusers may be forgiven but can never be trusted again, Archbishop tells inquiry

Anglican Communion News Service
Archbishop of Canterbury gives evidence to Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Telegraph Justin Welby: I have learned to be ashamed of the Church of England

Daily Mail
Archbishop of Canterbury fights back tears to tell child abuse inquiry he is ‘ashamed of the Church’ as he says abusers must be forgiven but can ‘never be trusted again’

Religion News Service via Colorado Springs Gazette Archbishop of Canterbury: Church has failed to protect children from abuse

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church IICSA -reflections on Welby’s conclusions

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Kate
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Kate

“Nobody can say it is not my fault. It is so absurd,” Archbishop Welby said. “To say, ‘I have heard about a problem but it was someone else’s job to report it’, that is not an acceptable human response, let alone a leadership response.” So how can he not call for the resignation of the Archbishop of York? Or, as the survivors have alleged, do senior figures mouth what they think should be said but are really only mouthing empty words? This is a defining moment now for Welby. If the Archbishop of York hasn’t gone by Easter, Welby has… Read more »

Dave
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Dave

Kate makes a very good point. The Enquiry has heard that a culture of putting the church’s reputation above caring for victims has developed in the church, and to this day continues. Several bishops have failed the church and have failed to allow themselves to be answerable to scrutiny. One of the victims, and indeed the enquiry as a whole, has questioned the usefulness of issuing bland apologies years after the event and no follow up action. Actions that speaks louder than the words issued to the Enquiry is now needed from the Archbishop. An act of clear unequivocal leadership… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Archbishop Welby says sexual abuse must be first and foremost about the victims. He is correct and ought to be commended for saying so. He is correct that ‘clericalism’ is as an embedded feature of the the church which shares with other institutions a perverse exceptionalism that empowers the culprits and puts the institution ahead of victims. This impacts variously. Note what the ABC says in his testimony regarding the issue of homophobia and same sex marriage,pages 94 and 95. He talks about the church’s historic ‘teaching’ and what he estimates to be 90% of some 2 billion Christians who… Read more »

John Swanson
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John Swanson

The Archbishop believes that abusers can be genuinely repentant, and genuinely forgiven, but still never given a second chance. I wonder in his mind how wide he spreads the net for the “abuse” to which this absolutist position applies. Is it just child sexual abuse – or any child abuse – or any sexual abuse – or any abuse? It seems it doesn’t apply to spiritual abuse. He also believes that it is incomprehensible to be aware of abuse and not speak out. Again, one wonders how wide this net is cast. Are we including the Smyth case? Or the… Read more »

John Swanson
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John Swanson

Not to do with safeguarding, but the Archbishop said in the course of his evidence:

“In terms of private schooling, I think you would find that that is now a small minority of the bishops and actually has been for many years”

Is that correct? It wasn’t my impression but I could be letting my prejudices bias me.

Marc S
Guest
Marc S

Kate absolutely nails it in her comment here. When I listened to Welby’s line on the ‘someone else’s job to report it’ excuse, for a fleeting moment I wondered if it was a veiled rebuke to his archiepiscopal colleague over the Matthew Ineson case. How very naive of me.

T Pott
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T Pott

Mr Swanson, Your impression about privately educated bishops is right and the archbishop’s wrong. On 5th September 2014 the Church Times, and Thinking Anglicans, reported that out of 96 bishops surveyed half of them were privately educated. http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/006718.html 50%, three and a half years ago, is not a small minority for many years. Perhaps Mr Welby doesn’t take the CT, and is too busy to take an interest in his colleagues’ backgrounds, but then he could simply have said he had no idea where or whether they were educated so long as they were up to date with their paperwork.… Read more »