Canterbury Cathedral Church of England
The Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent, is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, leader of the Church of England.

Report: Church of England Failed to Protect Children from Sexual Predators

By Associated Press

An independent report said Tuesday that the Church of England failed to protect children and young people from sexual predators for decades, preferring instead to safeguard its own reputation, and created a culture where abusers were able to hide.

The report, published by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, also found examples of clergymen being ordained despite a history of child sexual offenses.

The inquiry heard that, from the 1940s to 2018, 390 people who were either members of the clergy or in positions of trust associated with the church had been convicted of sexual offences against children.

The report found that, in many cases, the Church of England failed to take the abuse allegations seriously, and that perpetrators were “given more support than victims.”

“Over many decades, the Church of England failed to protect children and young people from sexual abusers, instead facilitating a culture where perpetrators could hide and victims faced barriers to disclosure that many could not overcome,” the inquiry’s chairwoman, Alexis Jay, wrote.

“(T)he Church of England failed to protect children and young people from sexual abusers, instead facilitating a culture where perpetrators could hide and victims faced barriers to disclosure that many could not overcome.”

The report found that the church sometimes minimized sexual offenses. Citing the case of Reverend Ian Hughes, who was convicted in 2014 of downloading 8,000 indecent images of children, the report said that a fellow clergyman, Bishop Peter Foster, told the inquiry that Hughes had been “misled into viewing child pornography.” This, despite the fact that more than 800 of the images Hughes had downloaded were graded at the most serious level of abuse.

The report also cited the case of Timothy Storey, who is serving 15 years in prison for several crimes against children, including rape. Storey reportedly was permitted to continue working among children after expressing “remorse for everything he had done wrong.”

The Church of England did not immediately comment on the report Tuesday. It announced last month that it had set up a large compensation fund for survivors of past abuse by members of the clergy.

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5 thoughts on “Report: Church of England Failed to Protect Children from Sexual Predators”

  1. Just gut wrenching. Recently listened to a podcast from Feb 2020 by NT Wright who is a leader in the Church of England. He mentioned serious issues with Roman Catholic and other protestant churches but I kept thinking there must be issues within the Church of England also. Sadly, this confirms it. Time for all churches to get serious about weeding out this ugly sin and start protecting victims rather than organizations and leaders.

  2. Sadly, mission organizations have gotten so serious about looking for “abusers”, that they are throwing out longtime innocent mission members with NO evidence. We have been taught we “must believe the “victim””. It is an especially dangerous time for any talented teacher or youth pastor.
    I know, because I am one who has gone through it. We followed all the “rules” for keeping ourselves safe in case of false allegations, but it made no difference. Our false accuser, the mother of a supposed victim (the 4 year old my teenage daughter was babysitting so her mother could come with me to Bible study), is actually an abuser herself. Our mission dumped us and supported her; the fact the FBI let us go and gave back all our electronics, etc, made no difference. Our accuser has taken advantage of the current politically correct environment and child safety “best practice” to divide and destroy a church, put an innocent woman in jail, wreak havoc on a Christian school, and destroy longtime friendships and fellowship.
    She continues to wield power and fear in our former country of service. Our innocent friend has been sentenced to 4 years in prison, despite clear evidence that the accuser has been lying. It is true that organizations want to protect themselves; sadly, their quick rush to judgment as to who is really a victim is likely to cause implosions of massive proportions, but for God’s grace.

    1. Eli-
      I’m so sorry for your friend.
      You are so very correct. Political correctness seems to be founded on the belief that women are always the victims and men are the perpetrator/perverts.
      I know of a blog which always presents women being the victims of evil men even if there is nothing but allegations, rumors, and other women who, calling themselves ‘victims’, displace their own personal misery onto the innocent men in the blogger’s stories.

      May God protect he innocent, even if they are men.

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