Updated Saturday afternoon
Harriet Sherwood reports in the Guardian that the Bishop of Oxford, Steven Croft has permitted former archbishop George Carey to resume public ministry. Her report is headlined George Carey allowed church role despite part in abuse cover-up.
George Carey, the former archbishop of Canterbury who was heavily criticised in an independent report for his part in the cover-up of sexual abuse carried out by a bishop, has been allowed to resume an official role in the Church of England.
Lord Carey stepped down last year as an honorary assistant bishop at the unprecedented request of Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, after a damning report which found the church had colluded over the abuse.
But it emerged this week that Carey has been granted “permission to officiate” (PTO) by Steven Croft, the bishop of Oxford, allowing him to preach and preside at churches in the diocese. Croft is reportedly under police investigation for allegedly failing to respond properly to a separate report of clerical sexual abuse.
The decision to grant the PTO was made in February despite expectations of further revelations this month about Carey’s role in the case of Peter Ball, a former bishop of Gloucester, at the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA)…
Statement from the Diocese of Oxford on the granting of “permission to officiate” (PTO) of the Most Rev. George Carey by the Rt. Rev. Steven Croft:
In the wake of Dame Moira Gibb’s review, Lord Carey stood down from the role of Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Oxford in June 2017, and withdrew from public ministry for a season. Lord Carey accepted the criticisms made of him at the time and has apologised to the victims of Peter Ball.
In February 2018 Lord Carey contacted the Diocese of Oxford to request PTO (permission to officiate). This was granted by the Bishop of Oxford later the same month.
The granting of PTO enabled Lord Carey to preach and preside in the church where he worships, a church where his ministry is much valued. The granting of a PTO does not indicate a planned return to the role of Assistant Bishop.
Concerning the police investigation mentioned above, the Guardian report continues:
…Croft is one of several senior church figures, including John Sentamu, the archbishop of York, who are reportedly being investigated by South Yorkshire police over alleged failures to act on disclosures of an alleged rape of a teenage boy by a clergyman in the 1980s. The force declined to confirm or deny an investigation was under way.
Matthew Ineson claims he was raped by the Rev Trevor Devamanikkam, and in 2012 and 2013 reported the crime to senior figures in the church, including Croft. He alleges they failed to follow proper procedures and did not advise him to tell police.
Devamanikkam was later charged with indecent assault and buggery without consent, but killed himself in 2017 before coming to trial.
A spokesperson for the diocese of Oxford said: “Written records and notes taken at the time give a different picture to the one Mr Ineson is presenting about how his case has been handled.”
An independent review had been commissioned by the C of E’s national safeguarding team, the spokesperson said…
There is now also a report in the Telegraph: Former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey given permission to preach by the Church of England.
The BBC has reported (5.5 minutes in…) that Lambeth Palace was consulted by the diocese before this action was taken.
Premier Radio has this: Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey allowed to preach his church again.