Thinking Anglicans

Bishop Victor Whitsey: safeguarding review published

From the Chester diocesan website:

A Betrayal of Trust, the independent report into the Church’s handling of the allegations concerning the late Hubert Victor Whitsey, former Bishop of Chester, has been published today. The learning lessons review was carried out by His Hon David Pearl and independent safeguarding consultant Kate Wood.

The Church supported the police in an investigation into allegations of sexual offences against children and adults by Whitsey dating from 1974 onwards when he was Bishop of Chester and from 1981 while he was retired and living in Blackburn diocese. A public apology was issued in October 2017 following this investigation which included a commitment to a learning lessons review…

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Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
1 month ago

A statement from the Archbishop of Canterbury ?

Stanley Monkhouse
1 month ago

Doubtless I’ll be told that I don’t understand or that I don’t appreciate the complexity of the situation, or that I’m ignorant and foolish … but here are my thoughts. So sad. A blow upon a bruise, or rather several blows upon several bruises. Poor victims. I wish I could help. Poor Mark Tanner. He needs iron determination and righteous anger to power action. I hope he has plenty help from people whose help is worth having. Poor Whitsey family. They must be shell shocked. Peter Forster has some explaining to do. If there are bishops in office with similar… Read more »

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
1 month ago

“Learning lessons” is a cliche always trotted out by organisations where there has been abject failure. Whitsey is deceased, but those who are still alive who heard about his horrors, and did nothing, should face a lifetime ban. That’s a good lesson to be learned. For a serving bishop to tell an abuse victim to “move on” shows he is unfit for office.

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
1 month ago
Reply to  FrDavid H

“Whitsey is deceased, but those who are still alive who heard about his horrors…did nothing” Yes, the silence is deafening and the victims of sexual abuse suffer all the more because of that silence. And it’s not just the ‘purple circle’ and clergy who remain silent – it also can be the congregations of those churches and cathedrals where the abuse took place. Bishop Bell is deceased, but there are those still alive who know the allegations against him have proved baseless, but still remain silent. In the Chichester area, the silence is deafening – many knowing there were serial… Read more »

Michael
Michael
1 month ago
Reply to  FrDavid H

And what consequences will there be for that serving bishop and all the other bishops, retired or otherwise? Will they be suspended like the bishop of Lincoln or have their PTO removed, like Archbishop Carey?

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
1 month ago

These reports are like buses, nothing for years then lots come along at once.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/23/maids-moreton-c-of-e-views-on-homosexuality-put-victim-at-risk

https://www.oxford.anglican.org/safeguarding/learning-reviews/events-in-stowe-maids-moreton/

(Thinking Anglicans moderators – please feel free to delete this post if you will be putting up your own post about it on a separate thread – thanks)

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon Dawson

And another, now due next year, about John Smyth. Will someone collate and rationalise all the various recommendations
for change into a cohesive whole?

Richard Ashby
Richard Ashby
1 month ago

And Fletcher too?

Helen King
Helen King
1 month ago

As usual, words about how we don’t need words, we need action. For the Church of England, so far, action is just another a word. Just read the timeline of this man’s abusive actions and of church inaction. I’d like to see some envisaged completion dates for the actions the church is currently saying it will carry out.

Last edited 1 month ago by Helen King
Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
1 month ago
Reply to  Helen King

When I worked in Forensic Accounting, I realised that the only language some organisations actually care about is money. They will do anything to avoid paying survivors/victims. It is not just CofE culture, but endemic. Some organisations will use their political influence to reduce the amount they have to pay, or will describe damages awards (for example) in terms designed ti suggest that they are unwarranted. So I spent part of my life trying my best to get organisations to pay for the damage they caused. Now I am a parish priest, but I am ashamed to be a part… Read more »

Malcolm Dixon
Malcolm Dixon
1 month ago

There’s an item in The Guardian stating that the Bishop of Beverley is now under investigation, and may be deprived of his office, after the report said that he had ‘probably’ received a verbal report of abuse by Whitney at a dinner party in 2012 but told the victim to get over it and move on.
If true as alleged, it is indeed shameful, but why proceed against +Beverley alone when similar allegations of inaction have been made against other bishops and archbishops, without any consequences?

Canon Dr Graham Blyth
Canon Dr Graham Blyth
1 month ago

Has anybody yet designed a full liturgy for penitential hand-wringing? It’s going to needed way beyond next Lent. And it’s going to be as profoundly unconvincing as the church’s ‘commitment to learning lessons’.

Father David
1 month ago

May I suggest a few additions to the Book of Common Prayer’s service of Commination or Denouncing of Gid’s Anger and Judgements Against Sinners?
Cursed is he who perpetrates such abominable acts against children and vulnerable adults and cursed is the Church which faileth to “learn lessons” and duly act upon them. Amen.

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