Thinking Anglicans

Lord Carey’s PTO is reinstated

Updated Tuesday

The Diocese of Oxford has issued this announcement:

The Bishop of Oxford has reinstated Permission to Officiate (PTO) for Lord Carey, who has issued the following statement.

“Following helpful and friendly discussions with the Bishop of Oxford, I am pleased to say that my Permission to Officiate has been reinstated.

My PTO was withdrawn last year on June 17th, when the independent Learning Lessons Case Review into the late John Smyth QC referred information comprising two letters to the National Safeguarding Team of the Church of England. The letters gave rise to concerns that, when I was Principal of Trinity College Bristol in 1983/4, I had received a report concerning John Smyth’s evil conduct in the early 1980s without disclosing these concerns to the appropriate authorities. At that time Smyth attended the college for a short period of part-time study.

An NST core group was set up and the conclusion to their investigation was that I had seen the report. They also concluded that as a result of this investigation and further training that I have recently undertaken, they believe I do not pose a safeguarding risk.

I welcome this latter conclusion. However, I respectfully disagree with their judgement. I have no memory at all of John Smyth at Trinity College Bristol.

Let me say firmly that I condemn utterly the crimes of Smyth, and the damage he did to the lives of young people. I am fully committed to placing those who have survived abuse at the centre of our safe practices, thoughts and prayers, and to acknowledge how dreadful such abuse is and how lifelong the impact of such abuse.

Over the past few years, I have spent an immense amount of time focusing intensively on safeguarding through working closely with two Inquiries into Peter Ball, including the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, and through undertaking specialised safeguarding training.

This year I have made a report to the NST of a disclosure I received about non recent clerical sexual abuse. I am strongly of the view that training in safeguarding is a vital tool to overcoming failures to protect children and vulnerable adults.

I am very willing to meet with survivors of John Smyth if they wish to meet with me.”

The Rt Rev. and the Rt Hon. the Lord Carey of Clifton

If you are affected
If you or anyone you are in contact with are affected by the themes raised on this page and want to talk to someone independently please call the Safe Spaces helpline on 0300 303 1056 or email safespaces@victimsupport.org.uk

Other support services are also available.

Notes for editors:

A planned independent review into the Church of England’s handling of allegations against the late John Smyth QC is currently underway. In the course of that review, new information came to light in June 2020 regarding Lord Carey, which was passed by the reviewers to the National Safeguarding Team for their attention, as per the agreed Terms of Reference for the review.

A Core Group was formed, according to House of Bishops Guidance. The Core Group concluded that the concern, as outlined in Lord Carey’s statement above, is substantiated. This conclusion was also communicated to the Review team, which is expected to report in full during 2021.

However, the Core Group also concluded that if Lord Carey were made aware of a safeguarding concern, an allegation of abuse or a disclosure today, that he would report it to the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor and the police or statutory authorities.

Updates

Telegraph  Lord Carey free to minister again as he condemns child sex abuse

Church Times Lord Carey’s PTO reinstated

Janet Fife on Surviving Church A Fag End in the Gutter: The Case against George Carey
This contain a good deal of additional detail about the evidence submitted to the NST, and is well worth reading in full.

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Laurence Cunnington
Laurence Cunnington
7 months ago

The response to this in the Pemberton/Cunnington household is unprintable.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Laurence Cunnington
7 months ago

This doesn’t really tell the rest of us why you feel outrage: that the PTO has been restored, or that it was withdrawn in the first place and Archbishop Carey subjected to this process?

Laurence Cunnington
Laurence Cunnington
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
7 months ago

My apologies for being so vague. I assumed that many regular readers of TA might be aware of the background to the Pemberton case. Re your post below, I agree wholeheartedly that all are entitled to a presumption of innocence until proven otherwise. However, in this case, the NST Core Group found that Carey *did* see the report i.e. he was found ‘guilty’. The fact that he “respectfully disagree[s] with their judgement” is irrelevant unless his disagreement was upheld in an appeal process which, apparently, it wasn’t. The outrage relates to the fact that my husband, Jeremy Pemberton, still has… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Laurence Cunnington
Laurence Cunnington
Laurence Cunnington
Reply to  Laurence Cunnington
7 months ago

Rowland Wateridge – I mistakenly thought the post by Richard Symonds (below) was also written by you.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Laurence Cunnington
7 months ago

Now I understand! Thank you. I read TA every day, but it’s inevitable that we pick up more readily on certain subjects. I get very frustrated by some of the things said by others on ‘my’ topics. Purely in the interests of accuracy, the post below to which you refer was from Richard Symonds, not from me.

Laurence Cunnington
Laurence Cunnington
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
7 months ago

Thank you, Rowland.

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
7 months ago

There seems to be a presumption of guilt by those who are enforcing an unjust and brutalizing system on the innocent who are forced to prove they are not guilty.

Where is the Presumption of Innocence – that “golden thread” which runs through British justice and international law?

Last edited 7 months ago by Richard W. Symonds
Kate
Kate
Reply to  Richard W. Symonds
7 months ago

Why should the presumption of innocence or guilt enter into it? Surely, as a Christian institution, we should not be judging the person at all. It should be a two step process: 1. A Core Group (or rather some more just successor to Core Groups) should make a non-judgemental determination of facts on the balance of probabilities.   2. Then, using the published determination of facts the bishop / archbishop (as the case requires) should assess a) whether there is a safeguarding risk to a particular person holding office b) whether there is a safeguarding risk in granting a PTO,… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Kate
FrDavid H
FrDavid H
7 months ago

It’s always the case that, after a thorough and expensive report into sexual abuse, there are “lessons to be learned”. If someone has their PTO removed following a damning verdict regarding their negligence, the same PTO can be restored if the accused says the report is wrong. Simple.

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
7 months ago

An NST core group was set up and the conclusion to their investigation was that I had seen the report. They also concluded that as a result of this investigation and further training that I have recently undertaken, they believe I do not pose a safeguarding risk. I welcome this latter conclusion. However, I respectfully disagree with their judgement. I have no memory at all of John Smyth at Trinity College Bristol. How very self-serving and self-centred this looks, and a little self-righteous, it may be thought. (I imagine the noble lord is not saying he respectfully disagrees with the… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  God 'elp us all
7 months ago

Indeed. Poor old Dr Carey. “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.” See Proverbs 17:28.

John Wallace
John Wallace
7 months ago

I wonder about the cognitive dissonance which seems to exist in +Oxon’s mind between his response to the aged +Carey and the currently hounded Martyn Percy. Whatever pastoral regard he has for Carey, it does not extend to Martyn. What pastoral support has he put in place for Martyn, Emma and their family? Whatever skills + Stephen has in respect of mission, they do not seem to extend to the field of shepherding his clergy. In my view he was the wrong appointment to follow + Richard Harries but it just shows the way in which the bench is becoming… Read more »

Dan BD
Reply to  John Wallace
7 months ago

I would venture that, whatever other considerations he may have, the Bishop of Oxford lacks the hard power to do much of anything in the Percy case. So arcane is the nature of Ch Ch’s establishment. Very probably the Bishop has the power (or part of it) to designate a new cathedral, but I suspect that would be rather a nuclear option.

David Exham
David Exham
Reply to  John Wallace
7 months ago

+Stephen did not follow +Richard, that was +John Pritchard. Stephen followed John.

Dominic Barrington
Dominic Barrington
Reply to  John Wallace
7 months ago

+Stephen did not follow Richard Harries, at least not directly. John Pritchard was in between them.

Charles Read
Reply to  John Wallace
7 months ago

In reply to John: “vaguely evangelical and focussed on a managerial and one-sided view of mission. Perhaps Martyn is too much of an irritant – especially consideing his well-known strictures about Fresh Expressions – or am I being too Machiavellian?” Stephen Croft is on record in print as being deeply critical of a managerial approach to ministry. He is also on record in several of his publications as strongly supporting varied approaches to mission. He has welcomed Martyn Percy’s critique of Fresh Expressions and my impression is they get on well with each other – they were college principals at… Read more »

Michael Mulhern
Michael Mulhern
Reply to  Charles Read
7 months ago

Charles Read is absolutely right to draw attention to Steve Croft’s previously published critique of the C of E’s managerial culture (as it then was). I am just one who is grateful for some of his refreshing reflections a couple of decades ago. But that was when he was ‘Steve’ Croft. Since then he has become ‘Steven’ Croft & ‘+Steven Oxon’ no less. He is now one of those ‘setting the narrative’ to quote a vocal bishop who doesn’t like interference from outside the College and House of Bishops. His actions in a previous Diocese (when he was ‘+Steven Sheffield’)… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
7 months ago

There seems to be an element of supposition in some of these comments. I won’t add to that.

I was in Jerusalem 20 odd years ago at the same time as Lord Carey was on one of his Middle East peace missions. We never hear these mentioned or credit given for his bravery. There were men with machine guns in the streets of Jerusalem then. I walked past them; not a pleasant experience for someone from a comfortable UK environment.

Dominic Barrington
Dominic Barrington
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
7 months ago

There are always people with machine guns on the streets of Jerusalem. Members of the IDF are constantly on patrol in Israel, Jerusalem and around the West Bank (and often inside it). There’s nothing inherently brave about visiting Jerusalem either now or twenty years ago – it just feels different to the UK.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Dominic Barrington
7 months ago

I was referring to the Archbishop’s courage in undertaking peace missions to the Middle East, and suggesting, unlike the majority of comments on this thread, that he is entitled to some respect. The guns in the Jerusalem streets were my personal experience and certainly not expected. Apologies for muddying the waters with that, but, in any event, I think your comment would have been better left unsaid.

Dominic Barrington
Dominic Barrington
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
7 months ago

I’m sorry if I have hurt or offended Rowland. But I read his post as a statement claiming bravery for George Carey on the basis of what is usually called the Alexandria Declaration (or Process), and linking this (not hugely significant) set of discussions to visiting a Jerusalem with machine guns on the street. And I’m afraid that, as I stated, I don’t think the presence of the IDF on the streets of Jerusalem is a valid criterion for claiming bravery for those who visit – and, whatever its merits, I do not see the term as applying to the… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Dominic Barrington
7 months ago

Bravery was the wrong word. I meant courage, action, not sitting in Lambeth Palace. I’m familiar with the things said about GC’s ‘failed’ missions, but, of course, we have the benefit of hindsight. His good intentions merit recognition.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
7 months ago

I don’t want to monopolise this thread, but Janet Fife has just published an article on ‘Surviving Church’ which is essential reading.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
7 months ago

I find it very odd that the same people who believe that Martyn Percy has been unjustly accused and that neither the NST nor the Bishop of Oxford can be trusted with regard to the Dean, should assume that the Bishop of Oxford has extended pastoral care and support to Archbishop Carey, and that the NST’s ‘guilty’ verdict is implicitly to be trusted in his case. Lord Carey has had no support from the Church, and the NST’s handling of evidence (both for and against him) is an example of bad practice.Their verdict is not to be trusted, either in… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Janet Fife
7 months ago

is anyone else struggling to read this pale grey font?” Yes. I’m blind on the left and (disimprovingly) partially sighted on the right. Lack of contrast is a common problem. I’ve given up many sites/blogs. TA will be no good to me soon. What about improving access for the disabled?

peter kettle
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
7 months ago

No need to look far – just use airport sign or supermarket reduced price tickets – black lettering on yellow background!

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Janet Fife
7 months ago

Grey colour now reset to black.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
7 months ago

Thank you, that is so much better!

Kate
Kate
7 months ago

I am probably at odds with most people here because I think restoration of a PTO is appropriate. I very much agree, however, that the difference between this case and others is highly problematic. There is a great need for more consistency and, where the outcome appears inconsistent, increased transparency.

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
7 months ago

Am I missing something here: isn’t this the same Lord Carey who withheld evidence from the Police in the Peter Ball case? That should be sufficient for his PtO to be permanently removed.

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
7 months ago

I add this, the first words in Lord Carey’s statement: Following helpful and friendly discussions with the Bishop of Oxford,…How cosy that sounds … another brandy George, my friend? Unfortunately Janet, and I say this with some temerity recognising what you have shared at other times and to which you declare an interest in your Surviving Church item, you have met George and Eileen and regard them as friends. Others have not had that kind of relationship; indeed even Price Charles and others were I think criticised for finding this or that impossible to believe- ‘surely not; I can’t believe… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
7 months ago

If “the balance of probabilities” legal test is applied to such cases as George Bell, George Carey and Martyn Percy, what would a ‘thinking anglican’ conclude?

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
7 months ago

And if “the presumption of innocence” legal test is also applied?

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
7 months ago

It is disturbing to witness the lack of awareness of the glaring failures of the law of due process and presumption of innocence within the power structures of the Church of England – leading to monstrous brutalities of injustice suffered by the innocent.

Last edited 7 months ago by Richard W. Symonds
Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
Reply to  Richard W. Symonds
7 months ago

‘Monstrous brutalities of injustice’ – surely you’re referring to the plight of the Uighur Muslims in China on this Holocaust Memorial Day rather than the PtO of Lord Carey of Clifton. Your hyperbole is unhelpful Mr Symonds.

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
Reply to  Fr. Dean Henley
7 months ago

“The sex abuse that was perpetrated upon me by Peter Ball pales into insignificance when compared to the entirely cruel and sadistic treatment that has been meted out to me by officials, both lay and ordained. I know from the testimony of other people who have got in touch with me over the last five or 10 years that what I have experienced is not dissimilar to the experience of so many others and I use these words cruel and sadistic because I think that is how they behave. It is an ecclesiastical protection racket and [the attitude is that]… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
7 months ago

George Conger is pretty good on Carey (and Fletcher en passant) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQLoLbLGa7Y&t=232s
He’s always good, usually provocative, and often amusing.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
7 months ago

Can you give us a hint as to where in the 41-minute video the passing comments are?

Gilo
Gilo
7 months ago

I do not know enough about George Carey’s involvement in the Smyth case to comment on this. But I hope a robust Makin review will bring accountability to multiple failures to address what was known across decades. Like many others, my hope was that following Gibb, IICSA, Rachel Treweek’s clear public rebuke about ‘bishops and archbishop’ that Carey might take a giant public hint that what was now required of him was to retire fully from public life and cease all further pronouncement as ‘former archbishop’. His role in the response to Peter Ball victims, and his wrapping up of… Read more »

Martin Sewell
Martin Sewell
Reply to  Gilo
7 months ago

Gilo, you will be well aware of how John Profumo behaved when he let down his family, party, and colleagues. He acted as an English gentleman was supposed to behave. In the modern world regrettably nobody behaves like a gentleman. That is to be regretted.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Martin Sewell
7 months ago

‘He acted as an English gentleman was supposed to behave.’ Yes, Profumo was one of the gentry. George Carey is a son of the working class. I doubt if you meant to make a point about class here, but it was perhaps not the best language to use.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Martin Sewell
7 months ago

Perhaps, but even in his Toynbee Hall days and when Valerie Hobson had him on a shorter leash, ‘St’ Jack continued to be ‘memorably direct’ in his dealings with the opposite sex (though I appreciate that the proximate cause of his downfall was *getting caught* lying to the house of commons and, worse still, the chief whip Martin Redmayne). However, he was also the 4th baron Profumo in the Sardinian nobility (the great-grandfather being private secretary to Cavour), from a line of prominent Genovese merchants. His grandfather had founded the Provident Life Association in 1877, resulting in a substantial family… Read more »

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
Reply to  Froghole
7 months ago

I don’t think Lord Carey would face destitution if he withdrew from public life. He will have a hugely enhanced church pension as a retired archbishop and presumably his state pension too. I don’t see how those of working age are precluded from a principled resignation either, it is possible to find alternative employment.

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
Reply to  Fr. Dean Henley
7 months ago

“I don’t think Lord Carey would face destitution if he withdrew from public life” – Fr. Dean Henley

That really isn’t the point, is it?

Almost like saying ‘Why all the fuss about Bishop Bell? He’s dead’

Last edited 7 months ago by Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
Reply to  Fr. Dean Henley
7 months ago

“Imagine if a doctor could practice medicine solely on the whim of the Chair of the Local Health Authority. The licence could be taken away at any time, without appeal, and there was no grievance procedure. If the doctor complained, s/he would be told that a licence to practice medicine is a privilege, and is the personal endorsement of the LHA Chair. That’s the system that clergy like George Carey and Martyn Percy are facing. You, as a Reader, might face it too. It only needs a letter written by some third party 40 years ago saying you’d seen a… Read more »

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