Archbishop says Church of England 'colluded with' sex abuse

The Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner has responded to a report about the church's failings when claims of sexual abuse were made against the former Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball.

Archbishop Justin Welby has said that this was "inexcusable and shocking behaviour" and despite the report stating it's unlikely the church would undertake similar work now, "we must learn lessons".

That report, also released Thursday, found that Ball "abused many boys and men over a period of twenty years or more".

Lord Williams said: "Having read the report and reflected on its details it is clear that I did not give adequate priority to sorting out the concerns and allegations surrounding Peter Ball at the earliest opportunity".

The report details how Ball persuaded other church leaders to overlook his abusive behavior. "It has taken longer than it should have done, but we are absolutely committed to implementing Dame Moira's recommendations, and my role as lead bishop is to ensure this happens".

A report into the sexual abuse carried out against boys and men by a disgraced bishop has been called "harrowing reading" by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The report also criticised former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, who claimed previous year that he didn't preside over a cover-up in the 1990s, although he regretted not dealing with the issue properly.

"The church appears to have been most interested in protecting itself", the report concluded.

Neil Todd, one of Ball's victims and the first to come forward, attempted suicide three times before succeeding to kill himself in 2012.

The review added that Lambeth Palace's actions, especially in failing to pass on six letters of allegations to the police, while giving them one which was of "least concern" - "must give rise to a perception of deliberate concealment".

Lord George Carey was the archbishop of Canterbury in 1993.

"I recognise such a delay is likely to have increased the pressure and distress experienced by the survivors of his abuse and I am sincerely sorry for this".

Another of Mr. Ball's victims, Cliff James, who was 19 at the time he was abused, told the court in 2015 that Mr. Ball had groomed him over many months, insisting that he shower naked in front of him and beating him with a wooden clothes brush.

A year later, the then 16-year-old trainee monk Mr Todd prompted a police investigation which led to Ball's resignation from the clergy.

Carey had believed that Ball was innocent, which he expressed in a letter to Ball's twin brother, Bishop Michael Ball "I believe him to be basically innocent".

Authorities initially arrested Bell in 1992 for suspected indecent assault and gave him a police caution.

  • Leroy Wright