Archbishop of York orders review of dead clergy files

The archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has ordered a review of all the files on dead clergy who served in the diocese from 1950 to the present so that an independent investigator can determine whether they may have sexually abused children.

The move comes five weeks after the Church of England’s General Synod apologised for its failure to listen to abuse victims, and a month after Sentamu launched an independent inquiry into the church’s handling of reports of alleged child abuse by the late Robert Waddington, a former dean of Manchester.

Announcing the review, Sentamu acknowledged the “immense damage” done to children who are sexually abused and said the passage of time did not automatically bring healing.

He said: “Where young people are shown to have been betrayed by individuals in a position of trust and by the institution’s failure to protect them, it is for the church to acknowledge the hurt which has been done, to offer a full apology, and to prove, so far as is possible, that policies and practices are improved such that the same systemic failure could never be repeated.”

Although the church conducted a national review of past cases of child abuse four years ago, it did not extend to the files of deceased clergy. The C of E says it has now recognised the importance of such files to the church and the agencies that may receive reports of abuse by clergy who have since died.


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Image: Rex/The Guardian

News category: World.

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