Justin Welby: An apology on sexual abuse is not enough

Justin Welby: Apology not enough Pic credit: The Guardian

Justin Welby: Apology not enough Pic credit: The Guardian

The decision by the Church of England Synod spurred on by  Justin Welby and John Sentamu,  archbishops of Canterbury and York, to apologise for past sins of child sexual abuse is welcome. But it is not nearly enough.

The words are fine. They offer to apologise unreservedly” for the failure of the Church of England’s systems to protect children, young people and adults from physical and sexual abuse inflicted by its clergy and others and for the failure to listen properly to those so abused.

They add: “The sexual and physical abuse that has been inflicted by these people on children, young people and adults is and will remain a deep source of grief and shame for years to come.”

But as I reported on Exaro News  for an independent inquiry. Graham Wilmer, of the Lantern Project, calls for a Commission for  Truth and Reconciliation ( see http://www.ctruk.org.uk/)

They are big fears as the Stop Church Child Abuse put it : “is this a game, another in the decades of games played out in the public,to present a church responsive to its past failings and moving forward in harmony with survivors; until the next time, the next case that reveals further abuse, cover up and denial, and the inadequacy of effective procedures?” 

Unless there is a real rethink by all the churches and public institutions we are going to get nowhere. In my view from  limited investigations into historic child sexual abuse  the temptation to cover up abuse is enormous. Perpetrators  are often subtle, cunning and very plausible. They know how to get around systems – and are often helped by institutions that don’t want to face up to the shame of public disclosure.

We need to go much further and involve all churches including the  deeply reluctant Roman Catholic church to tackle what amounts to a tidal wave of historic abuse in this country with no fewer than four police investigations involving hundreds if not thousands of cases that have been uncovered.

That is why I am delighted  that Tom Watson, Labour MP who made the original allegations about a historic sexual abuse ring in Parliament is now  going to concentrate on pursuing this investigation – and will no longer be drawn into the time-consuming  battles that  are at present engulfing Labour’s campaign machine.


5 thoughts on “Justin Welby: An apology on sexual abuse is not enough

  1. Pingback: Justin Welby: An apology on sexual abuse is not enough » Alternative News Network

  2. The Catholic church in England cares more about the reputational damage caused by the exposure of historic abuse than it does about the impact on its victims, hence the reluctance to confront this issue, let alone adopt an attitude of remorse.

    In Ireland the church is, or was, deeply embedded in the social and cultural life of the people, and as a matter of survival is forced to accept and begin to atone for the terrible damage done by so many unacknowledged acts of abuse: back here it is more a question of how the issue can be contained, and, in some cases, still denied.


  3. It’s good to hear that Tom Watson is still investigating the paedophile ring in Parliament. I hope the police and the MI5 keep him well protected from any harm from the gangsters that run these paedophile rings and their Assasins. Good luck, Tom, and get stuck into the evil lot of bastards what ever part of society they come from.


  4. Jersey ‘s controversial interference with a C of E abuse case can be seen in fascinating detail on blog of former elected Deputy Bob Hill, who has been advocating for fair treatment on behalf of a vulnerable woman, one sexually abused by a church warden already known to be sexually predatory.

    After the Jersey Dean mishandled her complaints about being abused and ignored her pleas to make sure other vulnerable young women would be protected from the offending warden, she found herself jailed, placed on a plane to the UK then left stranded there without money or a place to stay. She has never received an apology, although one has been claimed by the C of E, which suspended the Jersey Dean before re-instating him.

    An upcoming “independent” investigation is anything but, and it appears headed for a certain whitewash, being conducted by close personal friend and colleague of the Dean’s powerful supporter, a senator who is widely said to wield all real political power in Jersey. One can watch the entire charade unfold as it happens. Latest Blog http://bobhilljersey.blogspot.com/2013/07/jerseys-dean-doubting-thomases.html


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