‘Basket case’ diocese had ‘main subject’ with youngster abuse

Chichester Cathedral

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The diocese of Chichester is being investigated by the impartial inquiry into youngster sexual abuse

The diocese of Chichester had a “main subject” with monks finishing up abuse, an inquiry has heard.

Bishop of Chichester, the Rt Rev Martin Warner, made the declare when giving proof to the impartial inquiry into youngster sexual abuse.

Dr Warner mentioned there had been a “breakdown of belief” between the Church of England and the native council.

He additionally mentioned he was warned by a senior Church of England official that the world was thought of “a basket case”.

The bishop claimed Caroline Boddington, who was the Archbishop of Canterbury’s appointments secretary, made the comment when he was appointed in 2012.

Dr Warner mentioned there was a “broken relationship” between two bishops in workplace on the time – his predecessor John Hind and a junior bishop within the diocese Wallace Benn.

Each have been accused of not responding correctly to stories of abuse.

Dr Warner claimed officers at East Sussex County Council had urged the Archbishop of Canterbury to sack Bishop Benn – the Bishop of Lewes – and that he had held talks with colleagues a few “dignified exit” for the bishop quickly after he moved to the diocese.

There have been additionally points with parishioners, with Dr Warner describing a “hostile” response over the church’s therapy of Bishop Peter Ball – who was convicted of abusing kids.

“I used to be sort of persona non grata with them as a result of they believed the church had mistreated him and was persevering with to mistreat him badly, and that was a shock to me,” he mentioned.

‘Pleasure and vanity’

The bishop mentioned there was an environment of “defensiveness and pleasure” on the diocese’s headquarters in Hove, together with a concern of the media.

“It wasn’t clear who was going to say what to them after they had been asking respectable and urgent questions and no person knew fairly the place the reply was because of come from,” mentioned Dr Warner.

“There was a concern of creating a solution which might be taken, significantly by Bishop Wallace Benn, to be a slur on his character.”

He added: “Pleasure and vanity generally stems from a real dedication to the church, and there are features of that that are optimistic. However it might additionally bind us to its actual failings.”

However he rejected calls by some survivors that it needs to be an offence to not report a disclosure of sexual abuse.

Dr Warner mentioned: “I am unsure that obligatory reporting is essentially the best way that we’re going to obtain finest safety for youngsters.”

Ending his proof, he repeated his apology to survivors, saying he “grieved for the lack of entry to religion that this has typically resulted in”.

The inquiry continues.

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