Archbishop of Canterbury apologises after Church report accuses clergy of failing to protect children from 20 years of abuse at ancient diocese
By Steve Doughty
A savage Church of England report today accused the clergy in an ancient diocese of a ‘disastrous’ failure to protect children from abuse by paedophile priests.
The investigation carried out for the Archbishop of Canterbury said that many lives had been blighted, and a string of court cases was just the tip of the iceberg of corruption in the Diocese of Chichester.
It followed deepening concerns after one vicar was jailed for five years for sexually abusing two boys and another parish priest died without being charged with any offence after abusing at least 10 boys.
Three retired priests in the diocese are currently facing charges of sexual offences against children.
The‘interim’ report of the inquiry – known in ecclesiastical terms as a visitation – comes more than a year after an initial inquiry by retired judge Baroness Butler-Sloss and has itself taken eight months to produce.
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