Sunday, 21 October 2007

child protection and the CofE

In the Sunday Telegraph Jonathan Wynne-Jones has a report that:

Child abuse has gone unchecked in the Church of England for decades amid a cover up by bishops, secret papers have revealed.

Read C of E child abuse was ignored for decades.

And also, Giles Fraser has an accompanying analysis: The truth must out.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 21 October 2007 at 1:02pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

I totally agree with Giles.

Face the real world. Pedophiles exist (as do misogynists and xenophobics). They prefer easy pickings and will go to churches and parishes that make it easy to satisfy their "jollies".

A congregation (such as Giles') that accepts and manages this has a much reduced likelihood of it happening, and less extensive damage in the few unfortunate incidents that do occur. You won't stop all abuse, because some souls are incredibly cunning.

But at least you won't have some souls having a smorgasboard of options.

Rowan's comments about there being too much attention focussed on church pedophilia only a few months ago are going to come back and haunt him personally, he made himself part of the problem.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Monday, 22 October 2007 at 9:19am BST

The Diocese of Virginia requires those who work with children - and all clergy - to participate in a child sexual abuse prevention workshop. Clery applying for positions undergo a thorough background check. This is not a foolproof system - no system is - but it is a step in the right direction. The workshop I recently attended as a refresher course had video of both real victims and real perpetrators talking about thier experiences. The perps were shockingly 'nice' and 'normal' looking young men. That unnerved some of the workshop attendees.

Posted by: Cynthia on Monday, 22 October 2007 at 1:39pm BST

When we in Newfoundland went through this with the RCs over a decade ago, my mother said "We needn't rest on our laurels, just because our guys picked the boys they thought were less likely to complain." It seems the British clergy didn't do that. This isn't to justify anything, but to acknowledge this goes on everywhere, and no Church is immune. The Canadian AC also went through the ssme thing in the residential schools scandal. Why then did the English Church learn nothing? Is it merely that Newfoundland was below everybody's radar, so no-one even thought about child abuse by clergy till the recent American experience made it real, or was it the kind of resting on our laurels my mother made reference to? Either way, the issue of child sexual abuse by clergy is not new, it was dealt with, twice, in Canada before the American RCs made an issue of it, so it is maddening that now we hear of it in the CofE as though it were some sort of new thing. I have to ask, given what happened in Canada, why did the CofE ignore the issue in their own house for so long? It's not like someone in Lambeth palace didn't know Canada existed. And remember, what happened in Canada was before +Rowan, so, if(a big if) there is any blame to be laid at the doorstep of the AbofC, then it isn't this particular AbofC who is to take all the blame.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 22 October 2007 at 1:54pm BST

In the meantime, Australia is also trying to grapple with it,23599,22630924-421,00.html

My main concern is "natural justice", where souls might have been falsely accussed to satisfy political machinations. It's a great idea, but we also have to be careful of not being too harsh the other way as well. This could be used as a weapon by feral bishops to discredit "unholy" parishioners.

But it is a tightrope that needs to be walked, and it will take leaders of the calibre of Giles Fraser to ensure such initiatives are fairly and compassionately implemented.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Monday, 22 October 2007 at 9:43pm BST
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