Church of England makes child abuse apology

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The Church of England has formally apologised for past child abuse by Anglican priests and its own "serious failure" to prevent it.


The ruling General Synod, meeting in York, debated a report about abuse in the Chichester Diocese.

Members unanimously backed an earlier apology issued by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.

Meanwhile, a man was arrested after two stewards were allegedly attacked at a Synod service in York Minster.

A Church of England spokesman said a man entered the minster as the service was starting and attacked the stewards when they asked him to stop.

He was restrained as members of the congregation and senior members of the church, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, looked on.

A member of the Archbishop of York's staff and a steward suffered minor injuries.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, told the Synod child abuse debate there had to be "a complete change of culture and behaviour" in the Church.

"And, in addition, there is a profound theological point," he added.

"We are not doing all this, we are not seeking to say how devastatingly, appallingly, atrociously sorry we are for the great failure there has been for our own sakes – for our own flourishings, for the protection of the Church – but we are doing it because we are called to live in the justice of God and we will each answer to him for our failings in these areas."

Written By: BBC News
continue to source article at bbc.co.uk

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  1. Genuine repentance for actual wrongdoing. How very un-Christian.

    If they had a fraction of the competence and professionalism the Catholics bring to this area, they would hush it up for decades and deny it was a problem. After all everyone know the victims were leading the priests on.

  2. …but we are doing it because we are called to live in the justice of God and we will each answer to him for our failings in these areas.

    The justice of god???!!! Some good THAT’s done.How about answering to the justice of men? But of course, the “men of the cloth” are above the law of men right?…

    • In reply to #4 by ArloNo:

      “We are doing it because we are called to live in the justice of God and we will each answer to him for our failings in these areas.”

      Yeah, right!

      God is the ultimate Get Out of Jail Free Card.

  3. Interesting that they should concede that they probably won’t be around in 20 years.

    And isn’t a conclusion to be drawn from this issue that answering to the justice of god hasn’t been much of a concern of clergy until recently. Either many involved in the church simply don’t believe in god, or don’t believe in the justice of god, or just don’t believe that they will ever be answering to it – i.e. all of the above.

  4. An apology requires also:

    1. taking action to prevent recurrence.
    2. restitution to help undo some of the damage.

    It might not be quite as difficult as you think. There is a new therapy called RRT that can get people over sex abuse trauma in 1 to 3 hours. I have a friend who went through it.

    • In reply to #6 by Roedy:

      An apology requires also:

      taking action to prevent recurrence.
      restitution to help undo some of the damage.

      It might not be quite as difficult as you think. There is a new therapy called RRT that can get people over sex abuse trauma in 1 to 3 hours. I have a friend who went through it.

      RRT = Rapid resolution therapy

      Looks like a duck sounds like a duck

    • In reply to #8 by gloves71:

      So they are apologising because they are afraid of going to hell

      I didn’t think anglicans believed in hell any more. i thought their moral compas was directed by fear of causing a scene in heaven

  5. Credit where due: the CofE seems to be genuinely apologetic, whereas with the Catholics the insincerity, all the way to the Vatican, is palpable.

    Look at the way they harboured Cardinal Bernard Law for years so he could avoid a Boston Grand Jury grilling about cover-ups. Look at how they pretty much gave a medal to a French bishop who went to jail rather than assist in the prosecution of a paedophile priest. How they frustrated Irish Parliamentary enquiries by spiriting files out of Ireland (which have still never been returned). How they have, all over the world, reneged on promises to compensate victims, and have ducked and dived with technical bankruptcy filings to keep their vast assets out of reach of the victims. How they went ballistic when Belgian police seized records from the church in dawn raids (because the police knew damn well what would happen if they wrote a polite letter). How Ratzinger personally orchestrated the cover-ups for decades.

    I am simply unable even to imagine a Pope – any Pope – using the contrite language Archbishop Welby has used. This is language which tells his brother priests ‘don’t even think about covering anything like this up in future’.

    Just for today, well done the CofE.

  6. devastatingly sorry, appallingly sorry, atrociously sorry. Is Welby deliberately trying for a new record on inappropriate use of language, or is he just incompetent where the English language is concerned?

  7. From the article:

    Sir Tony told the meeting: “There is, I believe, an inescapable truth that the Church of England probably has no more than 20 years to reassert its position as the national Church of England.”

    Huh, Sir Tony is optimistic ! This institution is dying on its feet. I think the Douglas Adams description “mostly harmless” would apply.

  8. “A Church of England spokesman said a man entered the minister as the service was starting and attacked the stewards when they asked him to stop.”

    Is this a ‘dog bites man’ story? “Man entered the minister”…

  9. And the truly un-apologetic Church said…….”We are doing it because we are called to live in the justice of God and we will each answer to him for our failings in these areas.”…….

    This is the Church trying to dis-associate themselves from the individual paedophiles now as if they weren’t religiously employed by the church institution……Criminal priests are religious and Should still be expected to answer to the Secular Laws of our country and be rightly punished in prison – Not hidden by religion, nor excused in any way….The church knew the abuse was going on and lots of people did nothing for decades to stop it…..Aiding and abetting is also a crime punishable by the law for everyday citizens…..
    The church clearly states why they apologised and it was NOT out of justice or respect to victims……Therefore it was not a real apology and was infact another arrogant slap in the face to victims – and anyway feigning a Sorry wont get you out of a prison sentence hopefully…..If UK criminal justice is to really work without religious corruption…..

  10. Prettygoodformonkeys:

    “A Church of England spokesman said a man entered the minister as the service was starting and attacked the stewards when they asked him to stop.”

    Is this a ‘dog bites man’ story? “Man entered the minister”…

    There is a difference between a Minster and a minister, one being a building, the other a person. Hope that clarifies !

    • In reply to #17 by Mr DArcy:

      Prettygoodformonkeys:

      “A Church of England spokesman said a man entered the minister as the service was starting and attacked the stewards when they asked him to stop.”

      Is this a ‘dog bites man’ story? “Man entered the minister”…

      There is a difference between a Minster and a minister, one being…

      Ha! Thought it was a typo, and I ‘corrected’ it. Thanks!

  11. “…but we are doing it because we are called to live in the justice of God and we will each answer to him for our failings in these areas.”

    A better reason for them to say sorry is that they’re actually sorry. But no, they answer to god, because apparently he told them that, and admittedly out of fear of later repercussions, not to the victims, to whom they are egregiously indebted.

    It’s not crazy, it’s quite criminal. The lack of prosecution is nothing less than complicity by the state against the interests of children.

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