Thinking Anglicans

Safeguarding News

Today’s Church Times has two safeguarding stories.

Oxford admits failings in spiritual-abuse case

“THE Bishop of Oxford, Dr Steven Croft, has apologised for “shortcomings” identified by an independent review of his diocese’s handling of a case of spiritual abuse. These failings “contributed to the distress of the survivors”, he said…”

You can read the full report and information about how the diocese is responding here.

Elliott condemns PR response to his safeguarding review

“THE author of a strongly critical safeguarding review of the Church of England has condemned the revelation that the National Safeguarding Team (NST) responded to his recommendations by initiating closer ties between insurers, communications officers, and legal staff…”

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Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
9 days ago

Oh no, not another apology – commonly from an Archbishop but this time from a Bishop. Apologies – without repentant action – are as empty as drums.

Last edited 9 days ago by Richard W. Symonds
Michael
Michael
9 days ago

Why is it enough for the bishop of Oxford to issue an apology and move on while the bishop of Lincoln and George Carey cannot do the same?

Christine Allsopp
Christine Allsopp
9 days ago
Reply to  Michael

Because the current Bishop of Oxford was not in post at the time but has apologised on behalf of the diocese

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
8 days ago

The Bishop of Oxford has also been the subject of at least one safeguarding complaint which has not been resolved – Matt Inesons’s case. The inconsistency is worrying.

Christine Allsopp
Christine Allsopp
7 days ago
Reply to  Janet Fife

I was merely responding to Michael’s question. Aside from the issue you raise, I think it unfair to criticize the Bishop of Oxford for something that happened when he was not even in post. Clearly the Diocese failed and that needed to be acknowledged and apologised for.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
6 days ago

Fair enough. I read Michael’s question as having a wider context, but I can see it can be read the way you did.

Matthew Ineson
Matthew Ineson
8 days ago

Christine, it is easy to apologise for others failings with the added ‘I wasnt there, nothing to do with me’…what about Croft admitting and apologising for his own safeguarding failures (lies about disclosures of childhood sexual abuse where the priest abuser committed suicide in oxford to name but one). And if Croft is so innocent why did he (and several other bishops including Sentamu) when complaints were filed against him take advantage of legal loopholes such as the 1 yr rule in the appalling clergy discipline measure? (which it is no surprise is run by bishops like Croft). And remember,… Read more »

Christine Allsopp
Christine Allsopp
7 days ago
Reply to  Matthew Ineson

Matt, I was merely responding to a question from Michael. I was not commenting on wider issues

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
7 days ago
Reply to  Matthew Ineson

Matt, there is no suggestion that George Carey is a danger to anyone.

Matthew Ineson
Matthew Ineson
7 days ago
Reply to  Janet Fife

None the less he did hide disclosures/information from the police etc
Thereby allowing abuse to potentially happen again. That is dangerous

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
6 days ago
Reply to  Matthew Ineson

It is dangerous, and he has admitted his fault, apologised, and been penalised.

But what concerned me was that your comment: ‘Croft said he was giving Carey a ‘safe space’. What about the victims?’ implies that George Carey could still be dangerous. He has no safeguarding role now and doesn’t pose a risk to anybody.

As you know, I’m very concerned for victims and survivors, including yourself, and long to see the C of E pursuing justice and mercy. But I think that if we keep pursuing those who have owned up, fewer people will be prepared to be honest.

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
6 days ago
Reply to  Matthew Ineson

Regarding George Carey, the IICSA proceedings show a naivete on the former Archbishop’s part – not a deliberate hiding of disclosures [eg letters] from the police. He simply couldn’t believe a Bishop [Peter Ball] was capable of such deceit and wrong-doing.

Interested Observer
Interested Observer
6 days ago

“not a deliberate hiding of disclosures [eg letters] from the police” IICSA Case Study into Peter Ball, C.7. The letters Carey received about Ball are reproduced in paragraphs 172 et seq. Paragraphs 177 et seq and in particular 182 says they were, precisely, withheld from the police. 182 is stark: “These explanations are unimpressive. DI Murdock did not know what information Lambeth Palace held so he could not possibly have been expected to ask specifically for any of the letters. It was reasonable for him to expect that anything relevant would be provided. Furthermore, this provides no explanation as to… Read more »

Interested Observer
Interested Observer
6 days ago
Reply to  Matthew Ineson

I think Carey’s evidence to the IICSA was disingenuous at best, dishonest at worst. I think it reveals him as both a moral coward and, like a lot of the Church of England’s hierarchy of his generation, petty snobs who are irrational in the face of people who claim to have once met the Prince of Wales. He should be criticised, and lessons should be learnt both from his appalling decision making and his subsequent inability to confront reality. All of that said, it is ludicrous to suggest he presents a current danger. There is no suggestion that at any… Read more »

Richard Ashby
Richard Ashby
9 days ago

There are so many ‘lessons’ being ‘learned’ by the Church it’s a wonder it has time to do anything else. Unfortunately the constant repetition of this hackneyed phrase indicates more a pernicious complacency than any real desire for change

Kate
Kate
8 days ago
Reply to  Richard Ashby

More to the point if there are so many points still requiring action one wonders what all the highly paid safeguarding professionals have been doing since they were hired. They obviously haven’t yet brought things in line with best practice – at least in Oxford Diocese.

Matthew Ineson
Matthew Ineson
8 days ago
Reply to  Richard Ashby

They learn nothing. If they did many bishops, the nst and hierarchy would have been sacked. In any other profession they would. Can you imagine a teacher ignoring disclosures of abuse, being found out and being still in a job?

Judith Maltby
Judith Maltby
7 days ago

In the Determination of this complaint, citing the Guidelines for the Professional Conduct of the Clergy, it notes that ‘In para 3.7 and 3.8 pastoral care by the clergy should never seek to remove autonomy from a person’. Gosh, that is a horse and coaches through some models of ministry!

https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2018-01/TD%20Judgement%20final%2020181228.pdf

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
6 days ago
Reply to  Judith Maltby

Or, perhaps, a herd of cattle driven through some of those abusing the House of God?

Anne Lee
Anne Lee
6 days ago

Does anybody know how to find a copy of the Elliott report?

David Lamming
David Lamming
6 days ago
Reply to  Anne Lee

As I understand the position, the full report has never been officially published. However, this post on the Law & Religion UK blog in 2016 is quite informative:
https://www.lawandreligionuk.com/2016/03/16/cofe-abuse-inquiry-findings-elliott-review/

A pdf of the summary paper, Elliot [sic] Review Findings is here:
https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2017-11/Elliot%20Review%20Findings.pdf

Anne Lee
Anne Lee
6 days ago
Reply to  David Lamming

Thanks David. That is exactly what I thought. I have been trying to find it since it was published as I understand he mentioned bullying – which is my research area.

Gilo
Gilo
6 days ago
Reply to  David Lamming

IICSA published most of the Elliott Review in their supplementary material on their website.

https://www.iicsa.org.uk/key-documents/12327/view/INQ000457_006_008_009_011_012_014_015.pdf

CofE only published the recommendations which really didn’t make much sense on their own. So when I released the story at the same time to the media, we sent the full report – with a few tiny redactions.

Anne Lee
Anne Lee
5 days ago
Reply to  Gilo

Gilo, very, very many thanks.

Anne Farthing
Anne Farthing
6 days ago
Reply to  David Lamming

“…the full report has never been officially published” confirms David Lamming. Whilst nothing about the internal machinations of the C of E will surprise me any more (especially when it comes to safeguarding) is there a case for asking why it has not been published at a meeting of the General Synod? Surely, after his self-declared commitment to transparency – especially when it comes to publicly naming others over safeguarding concerns – the Archbishop of Canterbury and the entire Lambeth politburo must be itching to tell us what was said and what they have done to respond positively to the… Read more »

Will Richards
Will Richards
6 days ago

When the Elliott Review was completed, Dame Sarah Mullally declared “The Archbishop of Canterbury has seen these recommendations and will ensure they are implemented as quickly as possible.”

Can we assume that the recommendations included procuring the services of Luther Pendragon and a more prominent role for the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group in the National Safeguarding Team?

Until the full report is published, we will never know.

In the meantime, when the Church feels it is necessary to employ a reputational management consultant, isn’t that an outright admission that they’ve lost the battle?

David Exham
David Exham
5 days ago
Reply to  Will Richards

Will, we have seen the recommendations—see above—and so we know that neither of your two putative recommendations was included.

Gilo
Gilo
5 days ago
Reply to  David Exham

Ecclesiastical Insurance was not mentioned by name in the review. Ian Elliott referred to the ‘Role of Advisors’. He met briefly with Paula Jefferson after the first of the two core group meetings held on the case. She was the BLM lawyer who had led the settlement only weeks beforehand. I was not notified by the NST of the core group and had no legal representation. This was highlighted by Mr Elliott in his evidence to the Inquiry. He was surprised by the presence of lawyers representing the interests of the Church and the insurer – but no-one representing the… Read more »

Will Richards
Will Richards
5 days ago
Reply to  Gilo

This makes both fascinating and depressing reading, Gilo, and I can only imagine how needlessly exhausting it has all been. Sir Stephen Lamport, of course, was the Receiver General of Westminster Abbey until very recently with digits in most establishment pies going back several decades.

Gilo
Gilo
5 days ago

Further thoughts on the Elliott Review ‘translation’ by Archbishops Council

http://survivingchurch.org/2020/09/15/thoughts-on-the-elliott-review-translation-by-archbishops-council/

Brenda
Brenda
5 days ago

This is so depressing to read, and taken alongside the article in the latest issue of Private Eye about the CofE’s can kicking on several key safeguarding reports makes the grandiloquent statements on diocesan websites about the seriousness with which the Church takes the protection of vulnerable people look no more than tripe. According to Private Eye there is no national investigation into Jonathan Fletcher presumably because Bishop Chessun and other senior clerics would not come out of such scrutiny at all well. That EIG are so involved is illuminating in that it not only shows where the bishops priorities… Read more »

Gilo
Gilo
4 days ago
Reply to  Brenda

Further news today on Ecclesiastical EIG in Insurance Post. A medical expert regularly employed on behalf of the Chuch of England is facing two separate investigations by the General Medical Council for his role as an expert witness in Ecclesiastical insurance church abuse claims. https://www.postonline.co.uk/claims/7681106/former-broadmoor-psychiatrist-faces-investigation-for-role-in-ecclesiastical-abuse-claims Insurance Post also cites the case of Phil Johnson. In his 2010 settlement Phil Johnson (Chair of MACSAS) sent a letter pointing towards 34 examples of alleged “inaccuracies, supposition, speculation and in places fabrication” in the expert’s medical assessment. The Church’s insurers quietly dropped the report and did not refer to it again. The psychiatric… Read more »

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