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How ‘damning’ is the report into the Church of England’s handling of sex abuse?

17 March 2016

12:36 PM

17 March 2016

12:36 PM

A ‘damning’ report has been published into the Church of England’s handling of a particular abuse case. Except it’s not very damning.

In 1976 a 16-year old was abused by a priest called Garth Moore – an attempted rape took place. He kept quiet about it for a couple of years, then told various priests about it over the next few decades, including some bishops. Moore died in 1990. The Church did nothing about his claims until 2014, when it began an inquiry that led to him receiving some compensation last year.


The report says that the Church was at fault for failing to advise him to report it to the police, and for failing to launch its own investigation earlier. But there is no allegation that the Church dissuaded the victim from pressing charges. It was his decision, whether or not to go to the police while his abuser lived. If he chose not to, there was little that the Church could do. It couldn’t really have been expected to launch its own detailed investigations into such an allegation. It was a matter for the police.

So I’m not sure I understand what the Church did wrong. It seems its main fault was taking so long to pay him compensation. But of course there is no ‘right’ to such compensation, which is a matter of public relations crossed with charity. 

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Show comments
  • Unbelievable!

    Anyone noticed the BBC apologising for its child abusers, or paying compensation for the damage done by its stars?!

  • MrGrowser

    Is it only me that finds that the most disturbing aspects of this ‘case’, article and comments is that, on the claims of one individual, a dead priest has once again been found guilty [cf Bp Bell] together with the automatic assumption that the Bishops who could not recall being told anything of this are complete liars.
    In addition does not the fact that the complainant is now 35 grand richer make it virtually open season on any dead cleric?

  • JabbaPapa

    Except it’s not very damning

    Funny how the tar and feathers are kept locked up out of sight when it’s the Establishment “church”.

  • Dean Jackson

    “So I’m not sure I understand what the Church did wrong.”

    Why would a Marxist understand right form wrong when a Marxist doesn’t accept God’s Truth.

    • Zalacain

      So, you don’t eat seafood, and you stone adulteresses, do you?

      • JabbaPapa

        If he were to avoid human society for a few days each time he committed some uncleanliness, who would we be to complain ?

  • Hugh

    “So I’m not sure I understand what the Church did wrong.”


    – Failed to advise him to tell the police
    – Did nothing after being told of a sadistic
    sexual assault, and seemingly was so uninterested that many didn’t even recall the conversation
    – Allowed “financial
    interests to impact [pastoral care]” ie preferenced minimizing any potential compensation claim over doing the right thing.

    Does that help at all?

    Also I’m not sure that “It couldn’t really have been expected to launch its own detailed investigations into such an allegation”. That would seem to me to be balls.

  • Frank

    Did the Church sack the priest? Did the Church ensure that the priest was never left alone with children? Did the Church get legal advice that it had no obligation to tell the Police (so that the priest could potentially go on the sexual offenders register)? One could go on!

  • john

    The CofE has been moribund or years. It’s only hanging to put on a fancy dress show when Mrs W pushes off and her son moves up.

  • trobrianders

    A true socialist is ecstatic to find white girls are being raped by Pakistanis. It’s the highest state of being for a white socialist self-hater.

  • Martin Adamson

    And when will the Labour Party be publishing its report into sexual abuse within its Northern feifdoms, do we think?

    • SunnyD

      on a day when they can bury the bad news methinks

    • Patrick

      What sexual abuse ? most of these alleged crimes happened 5-20 years ago, and only a handful of men have been imprisoned. Surely you see that just as the police/social services/politicians/everyone else involved, these girls voluntarily allowed themselves to be abused/prostituted/raped. Who are we to stop a child living the life they have chosen. Although I wonder if the girls had been muslim and the men white if more people would of spoken out and tried to stop it? We will never know, but the good thing is I am sure this has stopped and will never happen again…………

    • trobrianders

      Brown on white violence is encouraged in the Labour Party for its white guilt strengthening properties.

  • Spasticus Outisticus

    Only the certifiably insane would remain members of an outdated and irrelevant State church club.
    I am Spasticus and I have long voted OUT.

    • john

      Bravo! My thoughts exactly.

    • Dean Jackson

      “Only the certifiably insane would remain members of an outdated and irrelevant State church club.”


      The existence of a Roman occupation throughout the Levant circa 30 AD precluded Jewish authorities in Judea and Galilee-Perea openly accepting Jesus as the Messiah. If Jesus was realized to be the Messiah, the Jewish authorities in Judea and Galilee would have played a game of feigned hostility towards Jesus, thereby placating an always watchful Rome that dealt swiftly with even perceived threats to Roman rule. We see then that the Gospels’ narrative of Jewish officialdom hostility towards Jesus’ ministry is behavior one would expect from those officials. Is there, then, within the Gospels themselves evidence of Jewish officialdom’s acceptance and knowledge of Jesus’ claim to the Messiah? In fact, there’s direct evidence.

      When Jesus was in Jerusalem on His first mission there early in His ministry period, the Pharisee named Nicodemus paid Jesus a discreet visit at night informing Jesus that the Temple leaders knew Jesus was sent from God. Nicodemus admits, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with Him.”

      Nearly three yeas later while Jesus is in Judea, approaching Jerusalem to complete His mission on Earth, chief priest Caiaphas implicitly admits that Jesus is the Messiah, and that His death must come at the right time, otherwise Judea will be destroyed:

      “Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

      “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”

      Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

      He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. So from that day on they plotted to take his life.”1

      Notice, high priest Caiaphas says Jesus’ death would be, “for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one”. While the rest of the Sanhedrin want Jesus to die now, out of fear of Roman retribution, Caiaphas reminds the Sanhedrin that the time is not yet for Jesus’ death, otherwise, “the whole nation [would] perish.” The Jewish leadership in Jerusalem was waiting for Jesus to give the sign that He was ready to die, that sign being the provocative entry into Jerusalem with the mob,2 an act that Pilate was in Jerusalem to stop if it should occur; Roman governors were required to be in Jerusalem the week before Passover to ensure no false claimant to being the Messiah took place, yet Pilate once again turns a blind eye to Jesus, and the mob, entering Jerusalem. In fact for approximately three years now Pilate is turning a blind eye to Jesus & disciples, who commit what Rome calls sedition by attracting large crowds. Candida Moss, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame, informs us on Rome’s watchful eyes3…

      “If we give any credence to the apocryphal acts and believe that the apostles attracted large crowds, then we have to concede that the apostles might have been viewed as revolutionaries. If they were arrested, then the charges levied against them may have been insurgency or inciting unrest among the people. As the death of Jesus shows, Romans had no problems executing people who caused trouble or could potentially start a rebellion. They were taking elementary precautions.”4

      Concurring assessments by other New Testament academicians…

      • JabbaPapa

        Wot, nothing about the ancient Marxists of 1st Century Judea ?

        I’m disappointed …