“The Church of England is “incapable of self-governance in the care of children”, the independent inquiry into child abuse was told yesterday.
David Greenwood, a lawyer representing survivors, said that if it was a school “it would have been closed down a long time ago” as it was an “inappropriate” organisation to have charge of children or vulnerable adults. He urged independent oversight of safeguarding and for the reporting of allegations of abuse to be made mandatory.
Mr Greenwood was speaking at the close of the public hearing into allegations that the Anglican church failed to protect children from sex abuse, focusing on the diocese of Chichester. Evidence had been given of “collusion among clergy”, he said, adding that the inquiry had heard that abusers were a “tribe” who protected one another.
Nigel Giffin, QC, for the church, reiterated the “unqualified apology” for its failures issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, when giving evidence earlier this week.
The inquiry will sit again in July to examine the church’s handling of abuse by Peter Ball, the former bishop of Lewes, who was jailed in 2015.”