Church rocked by damning report into child protection failures

Eastbourne Herald

[Interim report]

Published on Thursday 30 August 2012

THE DIOCESE of Chichester has come in for yet more heavy criticism in a damning new report.

A “profoundly negative culture” within the diocese, responsible for Church of England churches and priests in Eastbourne and the surrounding area, led to two decades of child protection failures and the inquiry by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s office said “fresh and disturbing” aspects of the way abuse claims were handled keep surfacing.

The diocese has also been labelled “dysfunctional” with no drive or direction from the top, arrogantly in denial, somewhere priests were allowed to officiate without up-to-date CRB checks and there were weaknesses within safeguarding policies, which were unclear.

Its authors said, “It is clear to us that many lives have been blighted. Some have sought justice through the courts of law. Clergy have gone to prison for their abuse of children. We are clear that those who have sought justice through the courts are but the tip of the iceberg.

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