Comments: IICSA hearings - Friday 23 March

Thanks to Michael Sadgrove for his excellent piece. It's a relief to see that one or two of our leaders, at least, have really 'got it'.

Now, as he says, we need to see some real action, and fast.

Posted by Janet Fife at Friday, 23 March 2018 at 5:31pm GMT

The "some legal issues" discussion raises the issue of whether, if child sexual abuse is to be exempted from the seal of the confessional, that should not apply to all child abuse. And if all child abuse, presumably abuse of vulnerable adults as well. We also had Welby saying the child abusers should never be given a second chance (even if repentant and forgiven), and I wondered on the relevant thread whether that too was confined to child sexual abuse or applied to all abuse.

It seems to my limited understanding that we may be setting some quite fundamental principles in response to the sheer horror of child sexual abuse, without necessarily being clear how much more widely those principles might apply.

Posted by John Swanson at Friday, 23 March 2018 at 7:35pm GMT

Completely on message Dean Emeritus of Durham. But I am not sure Michael Sadgrove is right to say that ++Cantuar should have actually offered an independent safeguarding commission. We all know it is coming, but I think IICSA needs to do its work and for the Church then to respond accordingly.

Posted by Anthony Archer at Friday, 23 March 2018 at 9:17pm GMT

Stephen Lynas, who blogs as bathwellschap has written two articles on the hearings:

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Saturday, 24 March 2018 at 7:35pm GMT

I have just been writing something about redress, because some of the things here bug me, and I once knew a lot about damages for personal injury. I don't have a blog of my own, but would like to share just one thought here, which might unlock and articulate a tangible sign of the "culture change" everyone is mentioning. It is based on the idea of system failure as known to generations of engineers. Our doctrine of sin tells us that people and systems will fail. Engineers know that they can substantially control the likely modes of failure in the systems and structures they design so that they fail in predictable, and therefore containable and "safe" ways. So my suggestion is simply this:

If the Church of England is serious about putting the needs of victims and survivors first, it will engage in a deliberate attempt to ensure that the principal modes of system failure are in favour of victims and survivors.

So when the system fails (which we hope will not be often, but evidence shows that failures have been significantly more frequent than we would like) then it fails in favour of victims and survivors (the principal modes of failure seem to be pretty much diametrically opposite to this at the moment).

At the moment it seems to me that the CofE has too much confidence in the quality of its systems (all sorts of letters etc from bishops which assume things will be all right because they have got into the system), and has therefore not begun to understand how they fail, and how they might be designed to fail in more acceptable ways.

Posted by Mark Bennet at Sunday, 25 March 2018 at 3:12pm GMT

It seems to me that the Church of England hierarchy cannot be a trusted part of the establishment - and that the whole of the establishment itself can now be seen only as self-serving and corrupt.

Voluntary Disestablishment would be a worthy act of penance, alongside treating abuse survivors with respect, listening to them, seeing that justice is done.An independent safeguarding body would ensure the latter.

Posted by Anne at Wednesday, 28 March 2018 at 3:37pm BST
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