Thinking Anglicans

More about the IICSA report

Updated

See also Wednesday’s Opinion roundup.

Church Times Julie Conalty Comment: the IICSA report sheds light on darkness in the Church.

Religion Media Centre: Church of England concerned for its reputation rather than dealing with child sex abusers and the video recording of the media briefing (chaired by Andrew Brown) is here: Damning report says Church of England more concerned for reputation than dealing with sex abusers. (40 minutes, but well worth the time to watch).

Giles Fraser UnHerd Can the Church solve its paedophile problem?

Open letter regarding IICSA to the parish of St Margaret’s Rainham: Also in a PDF here.

Updates Friday

The Church Times today has a great deal more material related to the IICSA report:

Religion Media Centre also has Fact Sheet Abuse and the Church of England – timeline.

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Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
13 days ago

Giles Fraser asks “Can the Church solve its paedophile problems?” I believe it can if, and only if, there is sufficient expertise and experience in safeguarding matters within its ranks [IICSA’s message to the Church hierarchs seems to be: ‘Get on with the job of sorting out the mess you’ve created for yourselves”]. But has the Church sufficient expertise and experience? Richard Scorer of Slater & Gordon [who represents complainants, victims and survivors of abuse] was not optimistic at the IICSA over two years ago – March 5 2018] “…this is not simply an issue of attitude but of competence… Read more »

Last edited 13 days ago by Richard W. Symonds
Froghole
Froghole
13 days ago

I am most grateful to Mr Sarmiento for having provided a link to the excellent discussion provided by the Religion Media Centre. It was useful to listen to some of the responses provided by the bishop of Huddersfield to rather searching questions posed by the other participants. It seemed to me that the bishop’s responses to the questions put by Mr Brown and others were altogether more credible and impressive that those of some other senior hierarchs on the media this week. I have noted that certain BTL comments on TA and elsewhere have deprecated the notion that safeguarding be… Read more »

Gilo
Gilo
11 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

I agree, the Religion Media Centre discussion is 40 minutes worth watching. Andrew Graystone’s comment “Power is dispersed, but contrition is centralised.” was a classic piece of Graystonian observation. To my mind one of the wisest and dearest people in the Church of England. Jonathan Gibbs is a lot more switched on than much of the senior culture he now has to try and change. He speaks as someone who knows the steepness of mountain to climb. The RMC timeline provides a useful overview but has some gaps. It doesn’t include the cases that led to the Past Case Review… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
11 days ago
Reply to  Gilo

“this must involve its safeguarding at top level (NST) being removed from the control of Archbishops’ Council secretariat and their comms”

This must happen – but will it?

Froghole
Froghole
11 days ago
Reply to  Gilo

Many thanks for that, Gilo! What I have in mind is a body which is independent of the Church, and which has the ability to process complaints, to conduct investigations, and to issue directions to the Church authorities pursuant to those directions, with which the Church would be bound to comply. It is possible, for example, that the independent body would direct a diocese to provide counselling to a victim. However, it is possible that the applicable victim might not wish the Church to provide or to procure counselling (or to have anything whatsoever to do with the Church), in… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
10 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

Subject to correction, my recollection is that six months is the period within which the Church is required to respond to the IICSA recommendations, and to say what action it has taken on them.

Kate
Kate
12 days ago

I think Rev Nathan Ward (St Margaret’s Rainham) has done a good job with his parish letter. It’s also nice to see some local communications here on TA.

Interested Observer
Interested Observer
12 days ago

I like Nathan Ward’s letter a lot, and he is to be commended on his direct and honest approach. Perhaps he should be invited here? That said, I’d like to draw out one thread. His argument is, rightly, that child abuse is not just the fault of a small number perpetrators, but of the whole infrastructure — both personal and corporate — which allowed them to flourish. Clerical abusers deceive everyone but, but, as Rev. Ward says, the ground is prepared by clericism. It’s not exactly that people want to be be deceived, but they certainly want to believe in… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
11 days ago

Powerful words from IO, further illustrating the critical and urgent need for an independent body in such matters, and the imperative of Courts of Law to adjudicate – not well-meaning, but incompetent, in-house kangaroo courts [eg Church core groups] and courts of public opinion or personal prejudice.

Last edited 11 days ago by Richard W. Symonds
Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
11 days ago

There is a complex balance between attributing the prevalence of abusive behaviour to individual fault, or to systemic faults in the church’s formal policies or informal behaviours and culture. People like Peter Ball chose to abuse, but factors such as clericalism, power imbalance, and the easy access to young men and women to be found in structures such as the church, sports coaching, music education and many others made it much easier for such abuse to propagate. It is rightly important that we don’t just say it is down to individual fault, but we analyse our policies and cultures to… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by Simon Dawson
Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
11 days ago
Reply to  Simon Dawson

“I would argue that the Church has a dysfunctional attitude to sex and sexuality”

I would agree with that – and this dysfunctionality permeates down to the parish church, family and individual level.

This is one primary reason why, I fear, the vast majority of the young, healthy and spiritual ‘keep their distance’ from the institutional church – especially at the local level.

Last edited 11 days ago by Richard W. Symonds
Interested Observer
Interested Observer
10 days ago

I suspect that the typical 25 year old is not worried that by going to a CafE church they risk being abused. But I suspect they are worried about meeting weirdos. Justin Welby’s inability to string a coherent sentence together which explains his views on same-sex relationships is almost pathological. But if he says something positive his evangelical friends will hate him (because they think it’s a salvation issue), if he says something negative then he will be eviscerated by liberals (because homophobia is, like racism, completely unacceptable). So he goes into GQ magazine and says “You know very well… Read more »

Interested Observer
Interested Observer
10 days ago

“Comment: Don’t blame the safeguarding process. Blame the people who run it” Alternatively, blame the people who know the details of a failure of the process precisely enough to write an article for the Church Times, but did not at any point blow the whistle. If there are 28 days for a step in the process, then on the 29th day anyone who knows what is happening should be escalated. And if it takes over 100 days, then why did it not end up in front of Justin Welby, the editor of the BBC News at Ten and an MP?… Read more »

Last edited 10 days ago by Interested Observer
Anne Hone
Anne Hone
7 days ago

You appear to be confusing the Church of England with the Roman Catholic Church. The Archbishop of Canterbury is not a pope, and he has no authority to direct a diocesan bishop to do anything. As that article states, the C of E structures are powerless to get involved unless a complaint is made under the Clergy Discipline Measure.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
7 days ago
Reply to  Anne Hone

Similar views have been expressed by others on earlier TA threads. It’s probably fair to say that not as much notice is taken of the Canons of the C of E as in former times, but this is what Canon C.17 2 actually says, and it has full legal effect: “2. The archbishop has throughout his province at all times metropolitical jurisdiction, as superintendent of all ecclesiastical matters therein, to correct and supply the defects of other bishops, and, during the time of his metropolitical visitation, jurisdiction as Ordinary, except in places and over persons exempt by law or custom.”… Read more »

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