Updated again Thursday morning
Channel 4 News reported on Monday evening: Church launches investigation into how Welby dealt with complaints about an alleged serial abuse
This programme can reveal that the Church of England has launched an investigation into how the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, dealt with complaints about a serial abuser of young men.
John Smyth was alleged to have beaten dozens of young men in the 1970s and 1980s.
One of those abused has now written to the Church of England, launching a formal complaint against Mr Welby, saying he failed to act properly when he learnt of the abuse.
More details are in the video (3 minutes).
The Church of England has responded with this statement:
It is in the public domain that when Lambeth was contacted in 2013 about an allegation against Smyth it liaised with the relevant diocese. This was to ensure that the survivor was being supported, police had been informed and that the bishop had contacted the Bishop of Cape Town, where Smyth was then living. However, since a formal complaint has now been received by the National Safeguarding Team, it is reviewing information and will obviously respond on this to the person who brought the complaint and take any further action if needed.
These issues will all be considered by the Makin Review which the Church commissioned last year into the Smyth case and is expected to publish into 2021.
The Telegraph has also reported on this: Church of England investigating complaint over how Archbishop of Canterbury dealt with abuse claims at Christian camps.
The Church Times reports: NST considers safeguarding complaint against Welby. This contains a lot of background detail and also mentions that
…The NST has avoided using the term “investigation” in its statement about the allegation against Archbishop Welby. The Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, the Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy, complained recently to the NST that it had caused confusion by using the same word for the both initial consideration of whether there is a case to be answered and the subsequent formal investigation instigated by a core group.
The NST talks instead of “reviewing information”…
It concludes thus:
…On Tuesday, Graham took issue with the C of E statement, saying that he had not been supported, beyond the offer of £100 for counselling; nor had the police ever been in touch with him.
On the matter of correspondence with Cape Town, he writes: “I have in front of me a copy of the letter the Church is referring to. On the simple matter of facts, it was not addressed to the Archbishop of Cape Town but to Bishop Garth Counsell, the Bishop of Table Bay. There is no evidence that this letter was in fact sent or received.
“What is undisputed is that John Smyth continued in his role as Director of the Justice Alliance of South Africa for a further three years, and that during that time he continued to meet and groom young men in Cape Town.”
A further detailed statement from the complainant can be found in two of the comments below.
On 2 February 2017, LBC’s Nick Ferrari interviewed Justin Welby about physical abuse at holiday camps: Archbishop Of Canterbury Responds To Child Abuse Reports
The Archbishop of Canterbury has told LBC he was “completely unaware” of physical abuse at a Christian holiday camp he worked at in the 1970s.
The Church of England has apologised after it emerged police hadn’t been informed of allegations about John Smyth until 2013.
Archbishop Justin Welby says he wasn’t aware of any claims of wrongdoing at the time they were colleagues…