Church of England facing new child abuse allegations

0

The Church of England is facing a new child protection scandal after accusations that the former archbishop of York failed to report allegations of child abuse by a senior clergyman.


Lord Hope of Thornes, the former archbishop, said he stripped the Very Rev Robert Waddington, a former dean of Manchester cathedral who was once in charge of church schools, of his right to conduct church services after allegations of child abuse against him. But Hope said he did not report the matter to the police or other child protection agencies because he deemed Waddington did not pose a further risk to children.

The extent of the allegations against Waddington have emerged in a joint investigation by the Times and the Australian newspaper that uncovered internal church files showing Hope was made aware of abuse allegations in 1999 and again in 2003. The Office of the Archbishop of York confirmed it was aware of legal action by an alleged victim. Dean died in 2007. The controversy comes after a report published earlier this month, ordered by former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, warned the church risked a ticking "time bomb" if it failed to take urgent action to prevent further incidents of child abuse.

The allegations will also add to the pressure on Williams's successor, Justin Welby, who now faces the prospect of dealing with historic childhood sexual abuse in addition to rows about same-sex marriage and women bishops.

Written By: David Batty
continue to source article at guardian.co.uk

NO COMMENTS

  1. Ho hum, another day another church scandal.But of course we wouldn’t want to divorce our constitution from these wonderful people would we,for where would we look to form our moral code?

  2. Truth will out. Even the most rigidly devout will soon have to admit …
    a) that there is no religious organisation that does not harbour child rapists
    b) that there is NO god
    c) that religion is THE MAJOR FORCE FOR EVIL ON THE PLANET
    d) that religions are merely exclusive clubs for the pious to lord it over the common man

  3. I cannot escape the impression that pederasts and paedophiles have deliberately taken up positions in the churches knowing that it will bring them very close to potential and vulnerable children and also provide them with a veil of ‘respectability’ from which they can conduct their sordid, evil and dismal forays and into which they retreat when they are accused knowing the church is not only full of like minded filthy old men but will close ranks to protect them. Perhaps this is really why they opposed the ordination of women because it would weaken their ranks! The pious and church school enthusiasts should look over their shoulder’s, a priest may be watching.

    • In reply to #4 by Vorlund:

      I cannot escape the impression that pederasts and paedophiles have deliberately taken up positions in the churches knowing that it will bring them very close to potential and vulnerable children and also provide them with a veil of ‘respectability’ from which they can conduct their sordid, evil and…

      There is something very strange about religion and paedophiles. In prisons the clergy say that those in for sexual offences against children always get God.

      I used to work in a prison and once heard one of the clergy remark that child abusers were a “bloody nuisance”. It’s not that they were insincere, or consciously game playing, but their piety was over the top, and the call to Jesus would evaporate immediately on release, when they were faced with another occasion of sin. Their recidivism generally lasts for their whole lifetime, whereas most other classes criminals tend to settle somewhat by their mid thirties.

      Perhaps it has something to do with emotional immaturity linked to, or perhaps causative of their sexual deviance. Good subject for a PhD I should think

    • Indeed. I’m sure there are things male priests would not do or say if there were female priests around. Accountability sucks, doesn’t it!

      In reply to #4 by Vorlund:

      I cannot escape the impression that pederasts and paedophiles have deliberately taken up positions in the churches knowing that it will bring them very close to potential and vulnerable children and also provide them with a veil of ‘respectability’ from which they can conduct their sordid, evil and…

  4. “he did not report the matter to the police or other child protection agencies because he deemed Waddington did not pose a further risk to children”.

    If Rev. Waddington had murdered someone, would it have been a good action not to report the murder to the police because Waddington did not pose a further risk to people?

  5. We who live in democracies are all complicit because we have as yet collectively failed to demand that religions, their leaders and their organization be subject to the same law whether it pertains to crime, taxation or anything else.

    • In reply to #9 by Reckless Monkey:

      Is there any evidence of a difference between the amount of child abuse in Anglican vs’ Catholic Churches? Just interested how much celibacy vows factor into these issues.

      I’m not clear about the statistics. In this country (Ireland), it is often said that the problem lies in the way priests used to be educated, locked up in seminaries for years, with a fear of sex and women instilled into them. This is said to have stunted their development of mature sexuality. Anglican and other clergy do not have this type of education.

      Having said which, it is reasonable to assume that at least some of the clerical child abusers were drawn to the priesting trade, as it gave them no-questions-asked access to passive children.

  6. If a priest molests a child, they are almost never prosecuted. The incident is covered up, and if necessary to prevent scandal, the priest is transfered to new pastures. Those aiding and abetting these crimes are pedophiles too, or those who believe the church should be protected from scandal, even if it means sacrificing children. (Pedophile is the wrong word. It means literally people who like children. Rapists clearly don’t give a damn about children.)

    But what on earth is preventing parents from reporting rapes and forced sexual assaults and sex extorted with threats? Do they believe they are powerless against the church? Do they fear Jehovah’s retribution? The old goat is quite arbitrary and irrational. Do they fear the church? Do they fear social ostracism? Whatever it is, it must be quite powerful. Protecting kids is normally the top priority.

  7. “But Hope said he did not report the matter to the police or other child protection agencies because he deemed Waddington did not pose a further risk to children.”

    Perhaps Lord Hope believes the blood of Christ has washed away, not only the offender’s sins, but his alleged crimes as well. One has to admire (not) the kind of self-serving reasoning that allows the religious to ignore the laws of the society they live in.

  8. In reply to #11 by Kevin Murrell:

    Churches and religious organisations do not have a greater proportion of child-abusers in their ranks than any other profession, it sometimes just seems that way from the level and type of press coverage they get, and from the assumptions of many commentors on sites like this one, who have a vested interest in an advancing an anti-church agenda. The sad truth is that child sexual abuse was (and possibly still is) endemic in society, and until fairly recently when much tighter guidelines were imposed, many of the perpetrators thought they could get away with it – and they did for a time as we see from the number of historic offences now being investigated and coming to light. These revelations show how widespread the problem was among a wide range of people, and no doubt some of them did exploit their professional position and status in order to reach victims. In addition to clergy, that includes, among many others, staff of children’s homes, boarding school teachers, and a growing number of celebrity entertainers who were such household names that they possibly thought themselves above reproach and immune from any repercussions.

    In the specific issue of clergy, Kevin Murrell says: In this country (Ireland), it is often said that the problem lies in the way priests used to be educated, locked up in seminaries for years, with a fear of sex and women instilled into them.

    Well that may be true, but we are not going to have an honest discussion about this issue until people are prepared to admit that most of the perpetrators were homosexual. A gay man in 1960′s Ireland (which is around the time many abusive priests were either active or being trained) would have had two choices – emigrate or enter the priesthood and so give yourself cover for not being married. That is why most of the offences were not against pre-pubescent children, but against adolescent youths. Of course legally and emotionally such youths are still children, but biologically they are sexually mature, and that is precisely what made them desirable targets for these abusers. But we daren’t say that for fear of being labelled homophobic, and we use more emotionally charged terms like paedophile or pervert to deflect attention from what actually lies behind these offences. And of course its not limited to homosexuals, most of the offending celebrities seem to be heterosexuals who targetted girls and young women. Whether your preference is for males or females, we have to be honest enough to admit that many people who would never dream of violating an under age child, neverthless find the younger members of the species more attractive. If you doubt that, then look at page 3 of the tabloids or any other so called “soft-porn” and count how many half naked 40 or 50 year old women are pictured there. I am pleased to see that at last there are commentors on this site who have moved beyond the mud-slinging stage and are prepared to discuss this issue rationally. But in order to do that we have to acknowledge the true nature and extent of this problem within our society, and possibly within the human race as a whole.

    • In reply to #13 by Trent:

      In reply to #11 by Kevin Murrell:

      Churches and religious organisations do not have a greater proportion of child-abusers in their ranks than any other profession, it sometimes just seems that way from the level and type of press coverage they get, and from the assumptions of many commentors on site…

      I do not believe in God, but I have no vested interest in an anti-church agenda. Using the pejorative term “vested interest”, with its implication of bias, tendentiousness and self interest, does nothing to advance your argument or your credibility. I had no intention of slinging mud at the church, and you would have a great deal of difficulty in construing anything which I wrote as doing so.

      I fully accept that the greater part of sexual abuse of children takes place in the secular community, probably mostly within the extended family, but that was not the focus of this discussion. It is gratifying that you appear to grudgingly accept my statement that the education of priests in former times tended against the development of mature sexual attitudes, but this contention is nothing new and is commonly accepted in Ireland as being a part of the problem.

      You would be well aware that the fact that some priests and other religious had sexual relationships with children, though vile in its own right, is only part of the problem. What makes people angry and disgusted far beyond the initial individual crimes, is the fact that the whole of the clergy and parts of the laity and the state covered up the situation and moreover on a long term basis. That is why people are so vociferous in their attacks on the church.

      I agree that “paedophile” has become an emotionally charged term, although I try not to use it as such. I did not use it at all in #11. I used it in #5, where it specifically referred to paedophiles; that is those who have sexual relations with pre-pubescent children. I never used it in connection with the clergy.

      On your final point, relating to homosexuals, I don’t really understand what you are trying to say. I think that there are many other people on the website with more brains, experience and training than I, who will be able to work out your meaning. I shall leave it up to them.

      • In reply to #14 by Kevin Murrell:

        I do not believe in God, but I have no vested interest in an anti-church agenda. Using the pejorative term “vested interest”, with its implication of bias, tendentiousness and self interest, does nothing to advance your argument or your credibility. I had no intention of slinging mud at the church, and you would have a great deal of difficulty in construing anything which I wrote as doing so

        Those remarks related not to your comments but to others on this and similar threads in which this issue features. In fact I later made the distinction between postings of that sort, and those which like yours, have moved beyond mud slinging and address the issue in more rational terms, which I think is much more helpful.

        I also agree with you that the cover up greatly compounds the orignal offence, sadly there is evidence of that emerging within non-Church environments as well (possibly including the BBC). I think it was part of the wider culture of the time where a lot of people knew or suspected what was going on but kept it within the family or the organisation – not that that excuses it.

        When I said that your description of priests’ training in Ireland “may be true” that was not intended to be grudging acceptance, as I have no information about it, but if it is true then logic would suggest that it did indeed contribute to the problem. The point I was making, however, was a different one.

        My point about homosexuality was simply this; that most cases of clergy abuse that I have seen reported seem to have targetted young adolescent males rather than females, indicating that the orientation of the perpetrators in these particular instances was homosexual. However, as I went on to say, it is equally the case in other instances that the perpetrators are heterosexual. There are people of both orientations who are attracted to younger people, but that does not make them paedophiles in the technical sense because as you acknowledge that term relates specifically to those attracted to pre-pubescent children. Incidentally I agree with another poster on this site that it is an absurdly inappropriate term which literally means those who love (from the Greek philia) children.

Leave a Reply