Church of England bishops should be stripped of responsibility to keep children safe from sexual abuse, according to an independent inquiry that said the church had protected its own reputation above its “explicit moral purpose”.
The Guardian refers about a “damning report from the independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), published on Tuesday, said the C of E’s culture of deference and “clericalism” meant it was a place where abusers could hide.”
he report said: “Deference to the authority of the church and to individual priests, taboos surrounding discussion of sexuality and an environment where alleged perpetrators were treated more supportively than victims presented barriers to disclosure that many victims could not overcome.
“Another aspect of the church’s culture was clericalism, which meant that the moral authority of clergy was widely perceived as beyond reproach.”
Allegations of abuse against priests were ignored, minimised or dismissed by church leaders, it said.
“Faith organisations such as the Anglican church are marked out by their explicit moral purpose, in teaching right from wrong. In the context of child sexual abuse, the church’s neglect of the physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of children and young people in favour of protecting its reputation was in conflict with its mission of love and care for the innocent and the vulnerable.
Senior church leaders were now “saying the right things, but lasting change will require more than platitudes”.