Archbishop of Canterbury: Church has failed to protect children from abuse

National Catholic Reporter

March 21, 2018

By Catherine Pepinster

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told a national commission investigating child sex abuse that his church has not done enough to root out the problem.

Welby, the leader of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion — who himself has come under some criticism for his handling of abuse cases — told the commission Wednesday (March 21) that the church needs new powers to safeguard children.

He said reading about abuse and listening to survivors was particularly painful because the church had failed victims of abuse by Anglican priests.

“You see this extraordinary and atrocious willingness to turn a blind eye to things going very, very seriously wrong and entirely damaging human beings for their whole lifetimes,” Welby said.

Welby is the most high-profile witness so far to give evidence to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, a commission charged by the British government to head a wide-ranging investigation into the failures of 13 institutions in England and Wales to protect children.

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