Secrecy over sexual crimes scars the Church of England

By Kaya Burgess
July 13, 2019

The Archbishop of York was said to be “arrogant” by a priest who survived rape

The Church of England should restore its powers to “defrock” rogue priests, a senior bishop has said, calling for the ability to strip criminal clerics of their holy orders.

The Bishop of Bath and Wells, the church’s lead bishop for safeguarding, was among a host of church leaders grilled by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) during its final week of hearings into the handling of abuse allegations by the church.

The inquiry published an initial report in May that found the church’s response to claims of sexual abuse had been “marked by secrecy, prevarication and avoidance of reporting alleged crimes”.

It heard from the Archbishop of Canterbury this week that he was “utterly horrified” by the church’s failures. He said that there…



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