Dozens of Church of England Officials Ignored Sex Abuse Victim "for Decades" Despite Being Told of Horrific Abuse at Hands of Paedophile Clergyman
March 16, 2016
|The newspaper said the victim was subjected to a 'sadistic' assault in 1976 - and named the perpetrator as Garth Moore, chancellor of three dioceses and vicar of St Mary's Abchurch in the City of London|
Dozens of Church of England officials failed to take action after being told of 'sadistic' abuse on a boy by a paedophile clergyman, a damning report has revealed.
Over 40 years, the victim repeatedly spoke about the treatment he suffered as a 15-year-old, in what was described as 'a tragic catalogue of exploitation and harm'.
But an independent report by safeguarding expert Ian Elliott found officials failed to act - leading the church to issue an official apology last night and promise it would introduce a raft of changes on how it handles sex abuse allegations.
The Church of England published only the conclusions and recommendations of the review, without names, but last night The Guardian revealed further details from within the report.
The newspaper said the victim was subjected to a 'sadistic' assault in 1976 - and named the perpetrator as Garth Moore, chancellor of three dioceses and vicar of St Mary's Abchurch in the City of London. The clergyman died in 1990.
It was reported that over almost 40 years, the victim had made disclosures about the abuse to dozens of people within the church, including senior clergy - but when questioned for the report, none of the senior figures could recall the conversations.
'What is surprising about this is that [the victim] would be speaking about a serious and sadistic sexual assault allegedly perpetrated by a senior member of the hierarchy. The fact that these conversations could be forgotten about is hard to accept,' the report said.
Among those told of the abuse were three bishops and a senior clergyman who was later ordained as a bishop, The Guardian reported.
Bishop of Crediton Sarah Mullally, speaking on the church's behalf, said the abuse suffered by the victim, known in the report as Survivor B, had 'clearly devastated his life'.
She said: 'I apologise profusely for the failings of the church towards him and for the horrific abuse he suffered.
'It has taken him years of heartache and distress to get his story heard and believed by those in authority, and it is clear he has been failed in many ways over a long period of time.
|Justin Welby pledged to ensure the review's 11 recommendations are acted on as quickly as possible|
'We should have been swifter to listen, to believe and to act. This report is deeply uncomfortable for the Church of England.'
It emerged the victim, had disclosed 'a tragic catalogue of exploitation and harm' to figures both inside and outside of the church over the years but no firm action was taken.
He felt ignored, had lost his faith and harboured feelings of frustration and failure following the many bids he made to gain help from the church, the review noted.
Survivor B has since been offered an unreserved apology and a settlement - which The Guardian said was ?35,000 - amid further efforts by the church to repair the damage caused to him.
The church said the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, had pledged to ensure the review's 11 recommendations are acted on as quickly as possible.
They include the need for training to be provided to those who may receive abuse allegations. They should record what information has been shared with them and explain what action they will take.
In addition, financial considerations should not be given a priority that conflicts with the church's pastoral aims when engaging with abuse victims, it was recommended.