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IICSA Roman Catholic final hearing Closing comments of David Greenwood

 

IICSA Roman Catholic Investigation

Oral Closing for Core Participants represented by Switalskis Solicitors

The Catholic Church has proved itself incapable of self-governance in the protection of children in its care. We emphasize the impediments to self-governance presented by:

      1. Catholic teaching; Divine Law; Canon Law;
      2. Its hierarchical structure and reliance on one man at the head of each diocese as decision maker;
      3. Its culture of brotherhood, deference and forgiveness;
      4. Its unincorporated status.

We recommend, in summary:

The adoption into law of Mandatory Reporting as advocated by the organisation Mandate Now.

The creation of a new statutory body with powers to police and enforce basic standards of child protection. We envisage a body similar to the Health and Safety Executive.

A review of the powers of the Charity Commission and a body to take control of the gaps in legislation which are not filled by Ofsted, ISI, the DfE and the Charities Commission in relation to suspicions of abuse in schools. The lack of a safeguarding regulator or powers for these bodies on safeguarding was demonstrated by failures at Ealing Abbey and Downside.

The extension of ‘position of trust’ offences which we will expand upon in our written submission.

 

———-

 

We agree with Adrian Child when he said to you on 13/12/17 [Transcript page 137]:

“..I don’t see any value in tinkering around the edges and saying, “Here you are. Here is a third opportunity [post-Nolan, post-Cumberlege]. Go away and sort this out yourself….there needs to be accountability and some kind of mandatory enforcement.”

That was almost two years ago.

During the currency of this Inquiry we saw Peter Houghton, Chair of the Safeguarding Commission in Westminster, comment about A711 in May 2017: “we need to keep playing the good practice card if we are to contain this person’s manipulative behaviour” [INQ004695_001]. That is at best, hypocritical. At worst, it reveals a deep cynicism towards complainants and safeguarding in general.

Take the troubling evidence of Vincent Nichols as an example. Mr Altman identified that in one breath he is announcing publicly, positive measures, whilst at the same time completely ignoring an intelligent woman with a legitimate request for help. If that is the attitude and practice of the leader of the Catholic Church, a man at the heart of Nolan, Cumberlege and well trained in safeguarding, what hope can we place in anyone else in the Church?

This Inquiry has only had the time and capability to expose a small fraction of the duplicitous behaviour of the Catholic Church. What would be unearthed if the men in black were genuinely penitent and handed over their scandals to the Inquiry?

Catholic Organisations have run out of excuses. The time has long gone when those I represent were prepared to give them a chance to get it right. We have seen a painful catalogue of abuse and cover up facilitated by their internal rules, self protection and bonds of brotherhood.

We hear again that more time is needed for the safe spaces support project , more time for Cumberlege, to wait for the General Decree, and more time for the Ian Elliott review. Even Mr Spears told us “There is normal time then there’s church time”. With the lack of audits between 2015 to 2018 it seems that time was standing still for Catholic safeguarding.

Had the Bishops and heads of religious come together at any time in the last 10 years and demonstrated a commitment to safeguarding by handing over accused clergy to the police, kicking them out of their church, casting aside canon law secrecy and showing they had achieved the recommendations of Nolan and Cumberlege in every diocese and Religious community we may have given them a chance.

The church’s processes, training and attitudes needed radical change. But the church is not radical. It is deeply conservative. It is not fit to be in charge of developing and enforcing its own safeguarding policies.

We heard from a number of witnesses that the Seal of the confessional cannot be broken and out-ranks canon law. Rome will never order the breaking of the seal of the confession where reports of child sex abuse are admitted. It has been recorded in evidence to the Australian Royal Commission that some Catholic priests would rather be imprisoned than break the sanctity of the confessional.  The Catholic Church’s absolutist position on the confessional highlights the particular danger of this institution to children in its care. They accept this violates the paramountcy principle. At the same time, they are prepared, according to Vincent Nicholls, to die for it. Even the Anglican Church is prepared to accept mandatory reporting with no exception for the confessional.

Both Eileen Shearer of COPCA and Jane Dziadulewicz [Ja-Dully-Vitch], the Clifton safeguarding adviser, made it clear they were frustrated that guidance by the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service was simply that: advisory only. Common themes emerged from the evidence of the senior social worker, Mr Molesworth, the director of COPCA, Mrs Shearer, and the Clifton Safeguarding Adviser. Each cited barriers to achieving good Safeguarding within the EBC Abbeys and schools as being:

    • CSAS lack of power to enforce the guidance;
    • Abbots exploiting this lack of sanctions by obfuscating on disclosure and access;
    • Clergy were reluctant to allow outsiders in. Mr Molesworth described Ampleforth monks as “secretive and resentful” of his presence;
    • They found too much emphasis on forgiveness.
    • Each asked the panel to implement Mandatory Reporting and for a body to be established to hold churches to account.

It is frankly insulting to those harmed by clergy for Gordon Read, the canon lawyer, to suggest that breaches of the CSAS guidance (even if it is elevated to canon law status with the General Decree) will result in a meaningful sanction for a Bishop. The only sanction he could point to was:

For the Papal Nuncio to speak to a Bishop or possibly that the Bishop would be contacted by the CDF.

This is hardly a sanction at all. Diocesan safeguarding co-ordinators will remain powerless. Their Bishop will still overrule them. We know from Jane Bertelsen that some Bishops are still hostile to CSAS and its rules from outside.

This is an organisation that trusts only to its own. It prefers those who have demonstrated blind loyalty and views inimical to child safety like Jane Jones in Birmingham and Peter Houghton in Westminster. It will try to sideline internal critics such as Messrs Haywood, Child and Sullivan. Dissent is not encouraged. Whistle-blowers are not tolerated.

I hesitate to spend time picking apart the many rules and contradictions which even the Chair of the NCSC was obviously struggling to interpret and instead refer you to the evidence of Edina Carmi who expertly established that there are mostly bad and a few good examples among the cases she audited. It was however worrying to note the trends she identified include a) a lack of support to victims b) poor record keeping c) a reluctance to carry out investigations, and d) conflicts created by clergy being appointed Diocesan Safeguarding co-ordinators.

In contrast, Ms Carmi showed us that perpetrators receive plenty of support with accommodation, legal costs, treatment, testimonials and an open-ended commitment.

Indeed the wide variation in standards from the appalling to the good demonstrates there is no ‘One Church’ policy, no minimum standard. Service levels are reliant on the vagaries of powerful individuals

As we said in opening. We need ‘one nation’ policies applicable to all institutions that care for children.

It is worth reminding ourselves of the relevant recommendations made in 2014 by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. This is a body interested in establishing minimum standards of child safeguarding :-

 

  1. The Holy See should ensure that clergy against whom allegations have been proven should be immediately suspended from duty or dismissed
  2. To take effective measures to ensure that where a credible allegation is made the police should be immediately informed.
  3. Rather than obstructing the police and civil authorities the Holy See should co-operate with the police in their investigations and should not continue to hide evidence from the police.
  4. The Holy See should ensure that a fair and adequate system of compensation is implemented to compensate victims of clergy abuse.

 

On every one of these measures the Church still firmly opposes progress. To date the only positive step taken in the UK on these stipulations is to agree the general decree which in theory obliges church officials to co-operate with the police. The lack of substantial sanction means that the Bishops whom Sister Jane Bertelsen believes are opposed to the outside imposition of rules will be able to ignore it. The Church has taken no steps to introduce a compensation scheme. Suspensions are rare and dismissals even rarer. Laicisation takes years.

Whilst the Catholic Church in the UK espouses good practice and has set up detailed guidance for its Bishops, in truth these can be ignored without real sanction. Without state level enforcement of mandatory reporting Bishops will continue to have the final say on whether allegations should be reported to the police.

The implication of all this is that so long as the Catholic Church is engaged in the care and education of children, it poses an unacceptable risk to children. We reserved our position at the outset of this Inquiry but since hearing of the dangers of the confessional, the powerlessness of the Diocesan Safeguarding Co-ordinators, the lack of sanctions for priests, the reluctance to report to police and LADOs, the failure of the church in the international sphere to take steps to sanction errant priests, we are firmly of the view that faith-based education is not conducive to the safety of children and that schools should be removed from Church control and governance.

By any measure the Catholic Church is not fit to be entrusted with our children. But the Catholic church is not alone. There are many other organisations in the same category whose disinterest in the safety of children in their care has been ignored for too long by legislators. Self-regulation in safeguarding is a failed experiment and we need strong legislation to enforce basic standards and to impose meaningful sanctions for breach. A minister at Cabinet level to develop and enforce children’s rights would be a step in the right direction.

We invite the panel to consider the creation of a new statutory body to police and enforce minimum national standards of child-safeguarding. We envisage such a body having similar powers to the Health & Safety Executive. The Health & Safety Executive operates for the safety of workers. Children are an even more vulnerable group. The absence of a powerful statutory body dedicated to their protection is a serious defect.

The introduction of compulsory incorporation will establish a system of accountability and will deal with unincorporated organisations such as churches.

Such a body will:

  1.           Establish a register of relevant Institutions that look after children.
  2.           It will be an offence to look after children without being on the register.
  3.           To be on the register institutions have to introduce a corporate structure.
  4.           “regulated” institutions will be forced to adhere to minimum safeguarding.
  5.             The body will have the power to prosecute regulated organisations for breach of this guidance (similar to HSE prosecutions). Fines will be imposed.
  6.             All corporate complaints will be captured by Mandatory Reporting legislation.
  7.           The body will gather information from complainants, regulated institutions and third parties. It will have the power to compel disclosure of material.
  8.           It will liaise with and assist civil authorities such as the police and social services. It would ensure the police and other statutory organisations are taking appropriate action within reasonable timescales. It will have the power to compel the police to investigate and refer cases to the CPS.
  9.             It will have the power to make an award of compensation via new redress scheme. It will decide the support to be offered to the complainant. It will investigate the complaint using the balance of probabilities as the standard of proof. There will be no statute of limitations. A scheme will be established to provide adequate compensation for victims of child sex abuse which takes into account the effect on quality of life and a series of other relevant factors (as opposed to the rigid CICA system).
  10.             Complainants will be allowed to take advice from lawyers and a contribution towards legal costs will be awarded.
  11.           The cost of the body’s work will be assisted by a levy on the institutions. The cost of awards of support, reparations and legal costs in each individual case will be recouped by the state direct from the organisation which was vicariously liable for the perpetrator.
  12.             It will provide to Government regular reports on its progress and, inter alia, the extent to which its activity is promoting the UK’s obligations under the UN convention on the Rights of the Child.

We have exhausted all attempts at self-regulation. It has failed. Attitude and practice has not improved, even during the currency of this Inquiry.

Our recommendations are ones of necessity, to redress the power-imbalance between children and large institutions that would seek, for their own purposes, to care for them. It is the role of the state to protect the weak and the vulnerable. Nobody else can or will.

The burden is now upon the Catholic Church to demonstrate to you why we are mistaken. This, now, is their last opportunity, through their leading counsel Ms Gallafent QC, to address you in public on this matter. We anticipate that, on past form, they will say little or nothing of substance.

David Greenwood

William Chapman

Joshua Yetman

8th November 2019

Roman Catholic Final Hearing Notes of David Greenwood

IICSA Roman Catholic investigation final hearing

 

Notes of David Greenwood

 

 

28th of October 2019

 

Brian Altman, counsel to the inquiry mentions the Bullivant report which analysed 726 complaints from survivors of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church. There were more boys than girls and reports peaked in 2010. It is common for survivors to delay reporting and that the abuse by the Catholic Church represents the grossest breach of trust and has a very human impact. A 20 feels nauseous when she recalls her abuse. She has attempted suicide. A 62 feels the impact is lifelong. He has persistent anxiety has lost sleep and has nightmares. Graham Wilmer found the abuse was compounded by poor responses and has had alcohol problems. Mr Altman recollects the abuse and cover-ups of the Birmingham investigation and the Benedictine investigations where complaints were not referred to the police or local authority and cover-ups were facilitated.

 

Representatives include Brian Altman, Jackie Carey and Mr Saad, all counsel to the Inquiry. Slater and Gordon, David Greenwood of Switalskis, Mrs Gallagher, Alan Collins, Howe and co, the catholic council and secretary of state for education.

 

The first week of the enquiry will deal with contemporaneous safeguarding regimes whether responses have improved. The role of insurers will be examined, reviews of recent safeguarding files and whether they are compliant with CSAS policies. The issue of Mandatory reporting and the seal of the confessional together with relationships between Rome and dioceses will be examined.

 

The structure of the church has been criticised insofar as safeguarding is concerned as each diocese cannot be controlled by the Cardinal and only has to follow rules set by Rome. Each bishop is responsible for safeguarding in his diocese.

 

Religious orders are groups of consecrated men and women who abide by canon law but outsiders have no power over their leaders (named provincials). Some orders have only one member, some have over 100. Most orders deploy diocesan safeguarding coordinators to work with them on safeguarding and six do not.

 

In 2001 the Nolan review was intended to bring about significant changes including one single set of policies based on the paramountcy principle, and a new organisation of structures at parish and diocesan level (parish child protection representatives and Diocesan safeguarding coordinators), and including national child protection unit, COPCA, CSAS, CRB checks, and reports to police and social services immediately.

 

The Cumberlege review five years later in 2007 recommended that COPCA then renamed as CSAS reports to the bishops conference and coordinates training, advice and providing updates on safeguarding.

 

Has the Catholic Church adopted a ‘one church’ approach? How far has it pursued the Paramountcy principal?

 

Cumberlege recognised in 2007 that CSAS cannot give orders to bishops. For that a decree from the Pope is required. A general decree was passed in June 2019 but is still to come into force 12 years after it was recommended by Cumberlege.

 

We will hear that Danny Sullivan, the former chair of national Catholic safeguarding committee felt he was not respected and not funded. A lay member of NCSC, Stephen Spear will tell us safeguarding responses were poor and that the church did not monitor them. The current chair of CSAS, Collette Limbrick will say that CSAS tries to ensure the one church approach.

 

One problem is that by in house safeguarding coordinators are accountable and employed by the bishops. They are taxed with reporting to the police and the LADO.

 

We will hear from Edina Carmi who has looked at the two most recent files from each diocese and order.

 

We will hear that limitation has been used as a defence, that Scotland has removed limitation as a defence in child protection shown cases.

 

We will hear that the Charity commission is mainly interested in protecting the reputation and assets of charities.

 

Will hear that trainee priests have to be sifted and the unsuitable trainees prevented from advancing.

 

Will hear criticism that Rome and the papal Nuncio has refused to provide answers to questions regarding what it knew about Lawrence Soper’s disappearance in 2011, despite IICSA having followed all appropriate channels to the foreign office.

 

We’ll hear about how long it takes to lsicise individuals suspected and convicted of child sex abuse offences.

 

The congregation of the doctrine of the Faith deals with discipline and canonical crimes and IlCSA will have questions for various witnesses but the CDF itself has refused to answer questions.

 

We’ll hear from complainants about errors, mishandling of complaints and malevolent attitudes in the last two years.

 

Opening statements of core participants

 

Richard scorer suggest that the panel should have deep scepticism about the churches protestations that it is doing better. He says there is cultural resistance to positive approaches on safeguarding. He says there are systemic flaws in that church is run by small groups of individuals with bonds of mutual loyalty and those take precedence over safeguarding. He says that Jonathan West, an Ealing campaigne,r has analysed Catholic Church safeguarding policies and found them to be full of holes. He says that only external oversight can protects children in the future.

 

William Chapman (for Switalskis Core Participants)

 

His central recommendation is that there needs to be an independent statutory body to enforce national minimum standards of safeguarding for organisations which look after children. He says that the evidence has come from the enquiries into Ampleforth and Downside, Birmingham and Ealing Abbey. Those investigations demonstrate the scale and extent of abuse and comes from the panels earlier findings.

 

The Roman Catholic Church poses a high risk of harm to children in its care. It is too reliant on individual powerful men in the church making decisions. Some weak like Abbott Shipperley, some unwilling like Abbott Wright at Ampleforth and some are paedophiles such as Soper in Ealing.

 

In the Birmingham enquiry the panel found that rather than assisting the police, the Vicar General attempted to help Samuel Penny out of the jurisdiction and ensure that Robinson was financially supported for years whilst he was in the United States. Abuse could have been stopped much earlier in various settings of the Catholic Church but the plight of victims was ignored and abusers were allowed to continue their crimes.

 

If IICSA had not looked into Birmingham, it is doubtful that the diocese would have recognised there was a problem. The Downside the Abbotts and headmaster tried to pave the way for the return of abusive monks.

 

Victims have been vindicated but they doubt whether IICSA will be anything more than a gravy train for lawyers unless an independent statutory body is set up to enforce minimum standards safeguarding. The current patchwork has failed. Neither the police, CPS, Charity commission, ISI, Department for education have had safeguarding as their chief role. The structure of the Catholic Church means it is unable to change itself. There have been many failures of leadership. It would be a mistake for the state to try to amend the churches by tinkering with structures and only setting standards from outside will do.

 

Mrs Gallagher QC criticises failures of the Catholic Church. She says it has demonised and marginalise survivors and continues to do so.

 

David Enright says it is hard to see how the Roman Catholic church can change due to its structural inability. Some of his clients met with Archbishop Longley from Birmingham positively by contrast some clients have been treated appallingly by the Combini order.

 

Alan Collins criticises the structure of the Catholic Church.

 

Mr Brody’s client wants mandatory reporting, fines for organisations and convictions for individuals who fail to report allegations of abuse.

 

Miss Gallafent for the Catholic Council gives a roundup of what the different parts of the church are working on and details various minor improvements.

 

29th of October 2019.

 

Evidence of A711.

 

She describes how a priest, F500 at a primary school groomed and then sexually abused her in the 1980s then followed her to university and raped her. She went into a religious vocation had psychotherapy. She complained to her local diocese but was transferred to the Westminster archdiocese as her original safeguarding coordinator was off work ill. She thought Westminster Archdiocese would be hot on safeguarding but soon realised that nothing could be further from the truth.

 

She realised that the one church principle was not in play as there was so much variance between different dioceses that she had worked with. She felt it has been a battle throughout her complaints and disclosures. By June 2017 she was exhausted. She did get written apology from the abuser, F500 but felt it was a sham and written by a lawyer.

 

The abuser had a risk assessment done by Joe Sullivan. A 711 was denied access to the risk assessment. There was no feedback to her on the risk assessment because of advice from the lawyer, Kathy Perrin who advised Westminster not to share the details.

 

Eventually there was then independent assessment done by Karen Abrahams (INQ004720) which upheld all of her complaints and in particular criticised decision making was being done by the insurer rather than diocese.

 

She criticised letters of apology as being insincere and drafed by a lawyer. Another apology from a Friar at the original Priory was more acceptable.

 

She felt that the safeguarding officers at Westminster Archdiocese were unsympathetic, tied up in their own processes and weren’t even clear about what their own process was. There were repeated changes of staff at Westminster. She eventually made a subject access request and found that she had been referred to internally as being ‘needy, this woman is deeply manipulative, and we need to keep playing the good practice card if we are to keep a lid on her manipulative behaviour’. She concludes that Westminster are not fit to be engaged in safeguarding.

 

She was so frustrated with the process that she asked for a meeting with Vincent Nichols who refused to meet her. Eventually she reported his refusal to a newspaper and he eventually met her on 12 April 2019. She suspects his motivation was that he was responding to the derogatory remarks that have been made against and the press article. She had met with the head of the order to check that the abuser would not have future ministry. He could not give that assurance .she asked ‘so rapist could be saying Mass? She was told that this was the case. She eventually spoke to the police and they told her that the abuser had admitted everything she had described.

 

On reflection she believes the one church approach can work but safeguarding in the Catholic Church needs to be administered by the independent body. CSAS does not even understand its own guidelines.

 

Mr McGuinness (evidence read).

 

Mr McGuiness reported sexual abuse at St Peter claver college, Mirfield to 3 senior members of the Comboni fathers order but was ignored each time. He was eventually expelled the age of 15. Since then he has written 20 letters to the order they declined to respond and in 2012 he joined a group action was eventually offered £40,000 under threat of having limitation raised at court. No admissions were made on liability and there was no apology. He does not believed the Comboni/ Verona order should be allowed to have anything to do with children.

 

Mark Murray (sworn). Man in his 50s – born in 1955.

 

He was inspired by a priest who visited his school to become a priest and missionary and moved from Liverpool to Mirfield in 1969 at age 14 stayed there until 1974. He complained that he was sexually abused by father Romano who also abused others at the college. He did not report it at the time. At age 18 he became a missionary brother in the order.

 

The abuse re-visited him when he did it counselling course in 1995 and he decided he had to do something about it and instructed a solicitor in 1997. The solicitor was unsuccessful in a case against the order. The case was withdrawn. He wrote to the Superior general in the Verona to explain the father Romano was in poor mental health. This superior general offered only priors.

 

Mr Murray was so determined to see and confront father Romano that he went to Verona himself, carrying a secret camera and videoing and recording the meeting he had in a chapel at the role of fathers headquarters in Verona. Father Romano apologised to him but when other staff heard about the conversation the Verona fathers tried to sue Mr Murray for trespass.

 

Mr Murray does not trust the Verona fathers and feels that the impact of their response has been worse than the abuse itself. He wants safeguarding taken out of the hands of Catholics together. The reason for this is that he feels that their primary aim is to protect their institutions, image, money, missionary appeals. It is far removed from any Christian meaning. He also believes that Catholics have so many factions that there are many different ways that they respond to safeguarding concerns. He believes it needs some uniform external agency to police safeguarding in the Catholic Church.

 

30th of October 2019.

 

RC-A49.

 

A49 was a pupil seminarian at Mirfield St Peter Claver college from September 1963. He was sexually abused by F339 who masturbated him two or three times a week in total for 200 times. He was touched in the showers by another priest F338. A49 complained to the spiritual director and was told to go to see the rector, father Fraser. F338 was then sent abroad to work for the Comboni fathers where he worked in a secondary school and had access to children. He died in his nineties in the 1980s and was given a glowing reference/send off.

 

One of A49’s classmates was David Glenday, the current provincial of the order, who refuses to acknowledge that abuse happened despite being part of it at the time. Glendale was at least a pupil contemporaneous with A49 and must know something about it. A49 thinks safeguarding should be taken out of the church’s control.

 

Thomas James Kirby (man in 60s. Smartly dressed).

 

Became a pupil at Mirfield in September 1960. His family paid for his education there. He was abused by F339. Masturbation about 100 times. He eventually sued them via the group but didn’t get satisfaction. He feels that dioeses and orders don’t have the power to change or willingness to change. The Catholics hope that IICSAt will go away that this will all die down.

 

Angela McGrory (woman in 40s wearing a smart address)

 

Former safeguarding coordinator of Portsmouth. She moved to Brighton Roman Catholic diocese recently. The female survivor, A710 complained about abuse by a senior cleric. The complaint was sent personally to the congregation of the doctrine of the Faith of February 2011. There followed a negative media report. A710 was not the leak. Miss McGrory’s Bishop asked her to draft a letter to be published and was not published. Eventually they decided to ask Cardinal Vincent Nichols take up the case. She feels the church did not look after the complainant as well as it should have done. Vincent Nichols was asked to make a statement in writing a letter but internal politics stopped the process.

 

Philip Egan (Roman Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth). He was a distant, red-faced man in his 60s wearing a black suit, black shirt and dog collar.

 

He professed to have been frustrated with the process and on 9th of May 2019 contacted Vincent Nichols. Vincent Nichols eventually agreed to meet A710. Mr Egan was sensitive to criticism from Miss McGrory at his handling of the case. Mr Egan’s behaviour was more concerned with the church’s reputation and management moved at a glacial pace. He does not recall that the incident was reported to the charities commission. Overall he was a fairly reluctant witness and possibly out of his depth on safeguarding issues.

 

Alexis Jay asked whether anyone in the diocese asked about the reason for the leak and he confirmed that nobody had investigated that aspect. Alexis pushes him and he replies that he was more concerned with the care A710.

 

Druscilla Sharpling suggested that it appears the leak was aimed at discrediting A710. Mr Egan feels it was more likely to be an attempt to discredit the abuser. He admits he did not read all the press coverage. (His answer here shows how sensitive the Roman Catholic church is to criticism – thinking of itself first).

 

Mrs Sharpling asks why it took so long to issue a statement. Mr Egan repeated that he was more concerned to care for A710 by negotiating a letter from Vincent Nichols. Druscilla Sharpling ask whether the leak was investigated and his response that it was not. Alexis J asks how would a leak from the Vatican be investigated. It would have to be initiated by the chairman of the bishops conference (Vincent Nichols).

 

31st of October 2019.

 

Danny Sullivan (man in 60s wearing blazer and open necked shirt and glasses).

 

Something in the church the bishops and religious leaders. It comes from history and traditions of the Catholic Church. Children particularly feel unable to challenge priests.

 

He felt the Cumberlege report was too detailed that there was no need for 76 recommendations. I should have been a core of recommendations fewer in number.

 

The aim of the NCSC was to promote the one church approach. He wanted to have this CSAS audits independently assessed and wanted the NSPCC to do a thematic audit.

 

Bishops are responsible only to the Pope. Some bishops felt that imposing rules from the outside meant that they were losing autonomy. He experienced the tension between trustees of the diocese or religious order’S moral duty and advice from lawyers. There were some arguments about funding of CSAS. Mr Sullivan felt that the church’s biggest priority was its reputation. He has lots of grumbles about individual bishops closing down funding, closing down criticism and restricting apologies. He is critical of all responses in the Combini father’s case and confirms that the number of cases of false allegations is insignificant so all cases should be dealt with well.

 

Numerous press articles criticising the Combini and the head of their order. He recalled a time when Adrian Child made redundant for working too closely with Mr Sullivan. Danny then resigned. There was an inquiry which vindicated Adrian Child and Danny Sullivan.

 

Penicillin arrange for some way members to be on the NCSC they resigned because the Bishop of Portsmouth pursued the JGE case on vicarious liability.

 

Denisov commissioned the Bullivant report which confirmed the size of the problem in the last 10 years (50 priests were convicted of child sex abuse). O’Sullivan wrote articles in the Catholic Herald and daily Telegraph in 2013 agreeing with mandatory reporting.

 

He believes that there should be external monitoring of safeguarding. The church is to show humility and recognise that it is not really to be trusted with safeguarding.

 

Stephen Spear – man in 60s. Studious. White hair and red tie.

 

Mr Spear says the NCSC is not strategic and is reactive. The Safe spaces project only has two years funding confirmed.

 

After the IICSAr report on Ampleforth and Downside the NCSC recommended that CSAS guidance is given the status of canon law but this has not yet happened.

 

NCSC gets £64,000 per year. The pace of change is very slow. Safe spaces has taken five years so far. There is no overall (running total) data on numbers of abusive priests.

 

He feels that the church hides behind its organisational structures and all this has to be solved in Rome.

 

Chris Pearson (Man in 60s wearing a suit. An un-inspiring monosyllabic gentleman. Gives closded answers no detailed response or opinion).

 

He has been the independent chair of the NCSC has been from 2000. He wants to set up the safe so survivors advisory panel (SAP).

 

There is a debate on going on last review of safeguarding and he will put proposals to the bishops conference. It is felt that the NCSC is independent despite there being members of the house of Bishops, and conference of religious on the committee. He doesn’t detect deference and he likes members to use Christian names.

 

 

 

He admitted that the church will not put forward drafts of proposals for redress and wil act if it is imposed on them. He agrees that the church should drive policy forward as opposed to the insurers driving it forward.

 

There have been no CSAS audits between 2015 and 2018. His excuse is that this is the time of review of the guidance. He agrees there is a lack of clarity in CSAS procedures and guidelines. He is unable to interpret his own guidance for example deciding whether threshold has been met to report or should report.

 

David Marshall (Manin his 50s wearing a suit – friendly manner with spectacles)

 

Mr Marshall is the chair of the survivors advisory panel (SAP). He is a former police officer in the paedophile unit. The remit of is the provision of advice, offering knowledge, positive contributions and informing the NCSC’s work and advice on communication strategy. There are professionals and survivors on the panel. The SAP is a critical friend to the NCSC and is now doing some on the ground training. The SAP advised Vincent Nichols before he went to Rome for the child protection conference in January 2019 he feels that the church has apologise a lot but a lot of members of the panel are still very critical of the church. He is grateful to Vincent Nichols for visiting on two occasions.

 

1st of November 2019.

 

Sheila Hollins (woman in 60s dressed in black and wearing glasses)

 

Sheila Hollins is an independent peer and psychiatrist. She was on the pontifical Council for the protection of minors (PCPM) this was set up by Rome after a number of scandals had eight founding members and now has 17 members. Most members are European not all English-speaking. It meets twice a year. It has working groups on healing and care, training and education, guidelines, spiritual and legal it decided to submit guidance that all countries should adhere to on safeguarding to the congregation of the doctrine of faith. It has not heard back from them. Any guidelines are not mandatory. There is no sanction if bishops don’t follow them. The Pope is limited in what he can do to force bishops to follow the guidance as he can only laicise a Bishop if he is convicted of an offence. But he has only moral authority. Emotional empathy of leaders is important. She is reviewing the site and considering its relationship with PCPM. She was involved in training bishops in the Spain conference in May 2019 34 Bishops 4 members of SAP and 2 survivors attended. She is concerned for Bishops to have therapy too. In response to questions from Driscilla sharpling on the value of listening and empathy Mrs Hollins confirmed that both were valuable.

 

Collette Limbrick (woman in 50s with classes and brown hair).

 

Collett Limbrick is the director of CSAS. CSAS is at the forefront of driving improvement in safeguarding in the Catholic Church. It is an advisory service. It revises policy and procedures and offers advice to diocesan and safeguarding coordinators. She feels that CSAS is not independent from the Bishops conference as it is paid for by the bishops conference and controlled by it. Although she does make the point that the bishops conference does not influence its day-to-day work.

 

If she spots that if a diocesan safeguarding coordinator is not following procedures there’s nothing that she can do to enforce the procedures. She can only report that person to their Bishop.

 

She agrees that audits of dioceses could be more substantial as they are limited to 2 issues each audit.

 

Collett Limerick (woman in 50s, glasses and brown hair).

 

She is the director of CSS. Since house is at the forefront of driving improvement in safeguarding in the Catholic Church. It is an advisory service to anyone in the Catholic Church and devises policy and procedures. It explained updates and changes to guidelines. She believes that insurers inform policy would not do not drive it. She does not believe CSS is independent from the Bishops conference as it is funded by them. If there is an allegation made against Bishop, C Sass may complain to another dieses but otherwise has no power. If CSS is not happy with a diocesan safeguarding coordinator’s handling of the case it cannot compel them to relinquish the case.

 

Since us performs thousands of DPS checks each year. Schools do their own. She has helped the Archdiocese of Birmingham put its house in order. Since last looks at only some aspects when doing audits and is considering whether or not to widen these parameters out in future. She agrees that some biasing commissions are not fully compliant with her procedures.

 

4 November 2019.

 

Susan Hayward.

 

She is a member of the NCSC. She is an independent member. She is not connected with the church. Whilst on the NCSC she saw deference at work. She felt that the NCSC does not communicate well internally. The diocesan commissions view the NCSC with suspicion. She recalls a recommendation from the NCSC chair being ignored by the Bishop. She sees decisions being made within dioceses due to fear of litigation.

 

When liaising with the diocese of Westminster in 2010 she discovered that individuals within that commission were not speaking to each other and she recalls saying at meetings that the Westminster Archdiocese is unsafe due to the lack of communication. Westminster appointed a chair of the commission without following the CSAS rules. An audit planned by Sue in 2011 was put on hold because Westminster diocese was not ready and subsequently failed the audit. She and Adrian Child delivered the findings of the audit to Westminster and suggested that a further independent audit be carried out by the NSPCC. This further audit never happened. She felt that Westminster was not making progress. There was dysfunction in the safeguarding office and needed re-ordering. A number of cases were not satisfactorily resolved. Vincent Nichols was fully aware of the position. She believes that the Archdiocese of Westminster is unsafe for children. She believes there is no point in the NCSC or commission protocols if they are not adhered to which they were not in some cases in Westminster.

 

She contrasts this with Southwark diocese which she liaised with for the NCSC. Some have good communication and most of the Cumberlege recommendations have been introduced in Southwark.

 

Sister Jane Burtelsen (sworn – woman in 60s. Glasses, short hair, pale blazer).

 

She is a sister in the divine motherhood order. She is on the conference of religious in the safeguarding group, was on COPCA, was vice-chair of the NCSC 2011 two 2014. She is now on the PCPM set up by the Pope in 2013. And has limited capacity to influence the church. It’s only authority comes from its moral authority. She believes its status needs to be enhanced in Rome. Recognises that the church had a long way to go. She fears the church has been reluctant to follow the Nolan recommendations because they felt they were an imposition from outside. She has found that many countries around the world have developed their own guidelines so it is very difficult to bring them into line. In 2014 the NCSC put together a book of conduct for priests. The conference of religious adopted it but the Bishops conference withdrew from the project. This had been a Cumberlege recommendation. She was opposed to the move of CSAS from Birmingham to a building owned by the church in London. She thought that it compromised its independence.

 

Kathy Perrin (woman in 40s, dark hair).

 

She works for the catholic insurance service. She worked for solicitors opposing claims against the Catholic Church prior to moving to CIS. CIS covers 20 of the 22 dioceses. At Birmingham and Hexham and Newcastle do not CIS. 20 religious orders are also covered.

 

She has produced a spreadsheet dealing with all claims she has dealt with. 435 entries most against dioceses. Only 48 against orders.

 

She finds that sometimes difficulties in working out whether there is a record of insurance. 19 dioceses have retrospective cover. Now CIS now works with the Zurich insurance. Zurich tells organisations not to pay out claims and to leave it to their insurers otherwise the indemnity will be withdrawn. She has never experienced a diocese walk away from the insurance indemnity and take its own decision on payment of compensation to claimant. Dioceses also have to protect their charitable funds so can’t just decide on ethical grounds to make payments. She deals with 6 to12 cases per year where apologies are requested. Insurers do not contribute to the cost of counselling but allow dioceses to pay for them so long as it is without prejudice. Insurers do delegate instructions to solicitors but dioceses are becoming more and more interested in taking control and taking decisions

 

She’s looking into new guidelines on claims handling such as the EIG guidance. On apology she thinks any apology should be done in consultation with the insurers.

 

On the limitation defence, dioceses wishes are taken into account but the insurer is in control. She believes there is an obligation to raise the limitation defence and analysis of evidence “can there be a fair trial?” If the Catholic Church decided that it would not plead limitation, insurers would then have to decide whether or not to indemnify dioceses.

 

Gordon Reid (catholic priest, black outfit, dog collar).

 

Ordained 43 years. Canon lawyer. Sits as a canon law judge. Never judged a child abuse case.

 

Divine law comes from the Bible, canon law binds Catholics everywhere and personal law binds only orders members.

 

He describes labyrinthine set of acronyms which exist to run the Catholic Church CISCYSISL, CSAS, NCSC, SAP, SST etc.

 

He describes the grave crimes against children and the motto proprio of 2001 from Pope John Paul II. The reorganisation of these laws is needed and is in the pending tray. A recent motto proprio from Francis confirms that minors are now anyone under 18. The recent motto pproprio requires reports to Bishop only and only for the Bishop to cooperate with local statutory authorities and follow local reporting requirements (this does not mean mandatory reporting).

 

There is a time limit of 20 years from the date of the offence to the church being able to deal with it. Provided that a case has a ‘semblance of truth’ it can be considered by the Bishop or the CDF. The Bishop will write to the CDF and await a decision on how to deal with the case. Secrecy is enforced there are approximately 12 people in the CDF dealing with these cases. The CDF can decide either a judicial process or an administrative process for the Bishop to decide. The standard of proof is is ‘ moral certitude’. The worst is disciplinary action is laicisation.

 

If a bishop did not abide by the rules papal Nuncio would speak to the Bishop.

 

The general decree to make CSAS procedures canon law has five stages. One is that it is suggested at the Bishop’s conference. Two it gets approval from the Holy See. Three the text is then made and voted on and if passed by a two thirds majority moves onto the next stage. For assent from the Holy See. Five the Holy See publishes and the Bishops conference will then send it out. Once this procedure is in place if a Bishop failed to follow it, the nuncio can report to Rome. Initially the Holy See will speak to the Bishop and can either leave him in office or remove from office. (This law will have little practical effect).

 

On the seal of the confessional, even the Pope can’t change this rule. This witness came up with a convoluted procedure to try to get round the sacramental seal which is actually impractical.

 

5 November 2019

 

Edina Carmi (woman in 50s, blonde curly hair).

 

Mrs Carmi prepared a report on dioceses and religious handling of cases and procedures. She is an experienced social worker and consultant. She had reviewed CSAS policies and 36 files from dioceses (two the most recent from each). This is a desktop audit only.

 

On the structure and accessibility of CSAS policy, she found it extremely difficult to identify the correct part of the policy she was searching for. There were no paragraph numbers or hyperlinking. It is hard to work out who does what and when. Policy and guidance are mixed up there is inconsistency on when the LADO has to be notified. It is not obvious who should make reports. It is not obvious what should be done when the abuser it is dead. The “quick guide” is good. It should explain that where the crime has taken place that police may ask for the diocesan safeguarding coordinator’s notes.

 

On file audits it was not generally clear where police have been notified or the rationale for decisions.

 

The form CM1 is a very good form to use but was not used often in either religious orders or the dioceses. Religious orders record-keeping was very poor. Jesuit records were very good however.

 

She found it was hard to work out risk assessment framework and was critical. In 6 of 14 cases where risk assessment should have been considered, there was no evidence of risk assessment taking place or even being considered. One example was abuse by female nun of female pupil. A risk assessment was done by an independent independent consultant. The safeguarding panel rejected the need for a psychological assessment on the nun. Eventually a decision was taken not to do a risk assessment but it was hard work out why the decision had been taken. The initial report was held back from the survivor, data protection being cited.

 

She is unable to reconcile the paramouncy principle with the seal of the confessional.

 

She contrasted the amount of support provided for perpetrators such as emotional welfare, accommodation for practical needs, legal representation, testimonials and an ongoing commitment, with the lack of support provided to survivors.

 

Overall she does not feel the there is any compassion or support provided to survivors generally. In 20 of the 34 cases from dioceses no support was offered when it should have been. The church should think more about what it can offer.

 

One example was the diocese of Liverpool and father Simpson and his abuse of altar boys. The diocesan safeguarding coordinator was a male member of clergy. He didn’t want Simpson suspended after arrest despite advice from the police. Police threatened to make it a bail condition that he not act as a priest. Records were of good quality but there was no risk assessment at all. The diocesan safeguarding adviser, being a member of clergy and basically a colleague of Simpson was supportive throughout. A safeguarding agreement was eventually put in place.

 

She is critical of diocesan safeguarding coordinators being members of clergy as they have potential and sometimes actual conflicts of interest.

 

On the CSAS policy, overall she believes that there is the embryo of a good policy that needs for review, extra parts adding and re-integrating.

 

Paul Andrew Smith (Man in his 50s, black suit.dog collar, glasses).

 

Parish priest a member of the carthusian missionaries based in Middlesex. He’s been there since 1980 and ordained in 1990. He has been the leader of the conference of religious between 2006 and 2009 is now the head of the conference of religious currently. He and his staff worked out of spreadsheet or congregations. There are 240 congregations members of the congregation and 90 other organisations which are not aligned to them.

 

The congregation of religious has no powers over the religious orders and no authority over them. It does not involve itself in safeguarding issues. It confirms that the apostolic Nuncio usually comes to the conference of religious its AGM. He has little contact with Cardinal Nichols. He is content that the conference of religious have done as much as they can on the one church approach. It has adopted a common set of policies (the CSAS policies). Only 40 orders are insured through the catholic insurance society. Others find their own insurance or are self insured. Orders want to make payments but insurers prevent this. There is no sanction for non-compliance.

 

He recalls a young girl aged 14 speaking to him in a confessional in Guatemala complaining of sexual abuse. He encouraged her to tell her parents. There was no support mechanism existing in the country there and then.

 

6th of November 2019.

 

Vincent Nichols (sworn – man in 70s, black suit and dog collar).

 

Archbishop of Birmingham and 1999 to 2014 and Cardinal from 2014 and also Archbishop of Westminster. He has made six statements.

 

He stresses that he is not the head of the conference bishops but only has oversight of its work. Each bishop is accountable to Rome and if there is a serious breach by Bishop he can be reported to Rome.

 

The Pope called a meeting in February 2019 in Rome to discuss the child sex abuse issue in the Catholic Church because there was a crisis in the church and worldwide. There were 200 representatives from countries and areas worldwide he thought different areas were looking at the problem from different perspectives – the US from a legal perspective, Europe from a social worker perspective and Africa from a family culture perspective. In the Far East it was rooted in poverty. He says there is a problem with exploitation generally in society. It was decided that the church should have high standards. It was decided that the church should motivate individuals in parishes to raise standards. Vincent Nichols was questioned about a document provided to him by the chair of the survivors advisory panel and he did not seem to have a full grasp of the document despite saying that he took its messages and the document itself to the meeting February 2019 in Rome.

 

Vincent Nichols thinks the UK does reasonably well in safeguarding. A video of Vincent Nichols was played as part of the proceedings with him commenting on his ‘awakening’ at the meeting in Rome. He listened between 2000 to 2009 to 17 survivors and learned of the corrosive impact of child sexual abuse but felt that the survivors he listened to in February 2019 caused him to have an awakening. Mr Altman’s line of questioning to suggest that he was the best insincere with his 2019 video speech and at worst not telling the truth.

 

Vincent Nichols agreed that his handling of the press situation in Birmingham in 2001 to 2003 was not good.

 

He confirmed that he is willing to consider more resources for safeguarding. He agrees that he has to split his time between his role as the Archbishop of Westminster and the presence of Bishops conference and that of Cardinal.

 

The review of the shape of safeguarding the Catholic Church to be undertaken by Ian Elliott was discussed he is asked to come up with alternative models or to reaffirm the current model. Vincent Nichols confirms that he is open to suggestions for improvement. He is adamant that he would have done this even if IICSAl was not taking place.

 

It was pointed out that the Pope’s motto proprio of seventh of May 2019 only requires bishops to report suspicions within the church and not to external civil authorities.

 

The general decree which could take some time to be confirmed by Rome makes this CSAS guidelines have the status of canon law. Cumberlege had made this a recommendation to put in place by 2008. Vincent Nichols responded by saying that we wanted our policies and procedures to have matured enough to be converted into hard legislation which is difficult to change. Vincent Nichols does not accept that children could have been harmed in the 12 years delay that it is taken from 2007 to introduce the general decree (which is still not place).

 

There was criticism of the apostolic Nuncio failing to pass documentation to IICSA also attend its to give evidence.

 

There was criticism that the laicisation of Robinson, convicted in Birmingham in 2010 did not take place until 2018.

 

There was criticism that the booklet for guidance for priests on expected moral behaviour was not agreed by the bishops conference despite it having been implemented by the conference of religious.

 

On apologies, Vincent Nichols says he understands it is good to make apologies to make them easier when claimants come forward. He says for some people it’s helpful for some it isn’t.

 

He believes dioceses should only use limitation where the perpetrator is deceased, not convicted and no further allegations made and a fair trial is no longer possible. He believe it’s it is fact specific in every case. Vincent Nichols says he would be prepared to lose an insurance indemnity if he wants to make an apology. There are still some question as to who drives policy – is it the insurers or as the church?.

 

Vincent Nichols was questioned about A711, the woman abused as a child by a priest in the servite order who was treated badly by the Archdiocese of Westminster. Vincent Nichols agreed that he regretted not having responded to her and offered the explanation that he felt that she had high needs. He eventually did apologise to her in person and the letter this was after six emails to him without a response and actively telling his secretary not to respond. Vincent Nichols says he was not aware that the chair of the Westminster safeguarding commission, Peter Houghton, had written that A711 was deeply manipulative and making passive aggressive threats and that “if it comes we need to keep playing the good practice card if we are to contain this person is manipulative behaviour”. This is all taking place in 2017. Matters were made worse when A711 was not shown a copy of the Karen Abraham’s report which was a review of her complaints and action to be taken against the priest. He tried to excuse his behaviour by saying that the dioceses treats people wo were complaining about the process differently to people who are complaining about the abuse itself. Vincent Nichols agrees that communication had broken down and he accepts his part and responsibility in that.

 

During the same month that A711 was being treated so badly, he told the public that the church was to review all its aspects of complaints and that it is it was making progress.

 

7th of November 2019.

 

Vincent Nichols (continued). Vincent Nichols accepts that A711 was not responded to well. He accepted that the Karen Abrahams reports had pointed out serious deficiencies in the Westminster safeguarding team’s communications with the survivor.

 

On A710 (survivor who was sexually abused by Cardinal Murphy O’Connor). Vincent Nichols opened by stating that no police action was taken against Cardinal Murphy O’Connor arising from his defence of Father Michael Hill (the police priest at Gatwick airport). Vincent Nichols immediately lept to the Cardinal’s defence.

 

This lady had made complaints which was passed from the diocese of Portsmouth where it had taken place to the diocese of Westminster. Soon after this there was a leak of the information to European newspapers, attacking her suggesting that the allegations were false. Vincent Nichols agreed that the leak was probably connected with the the Vigano affair. A news article suggested that the leak was high up in the church in England.

 

The case was discussed in May 2009 at Valadolid and it was agreed that Vincent Nichols would meet A710. It was eventually decided by Bishop Daley that he would make a statement himself. Vincent Nichols denied he wanted to avoid making a statement as he did not want to bring attention to the Pope’s decision to stop the allegations against Cardinal Murphy O’Connor being investigated. Vincent Nichols professes concern only with A710s welfare. He did not accept that he let A710 down.

 

On the confessional Vincent Nicholls believes the church will not accept any breach of the seal of the confessional even if it means dying for it. He denies having received any reports of abuse in the confessional. He thanks IICSA for its work and offers unreserved apology to those abused not treated well.

 

Statements are then read by Mr Saad. The statements of Paul Farrar and Brian Coyle are read dealing with candidates for the ordination and how they are assessed and character defects weeded out.

 

Eighth of November 2019.

 

Closing statements were made by Ian O’Connell, David Greenwood, Angela Patrick, Chris Jacobs, Alan Collins, Mr Brodie and Ms Gallafent. Alexis Jay concluded the hearing at 1245. The report will be published in late summer 2020.

 

Roman Catholic Investigation final hearing Opening Commentsfor Switalskis

ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH INVESTIGATION

OPENING SUBMISSIONS ON BEHALF OF

RC-A31, RC-A32, Sue Cox, RC-A33, C18, RC-A37

WHO INSTRUCT SWITALSKIS SOLICITORS LLP

  • Chair, Panel. You have now reported on:

 

  1. Ampleforth & Downside;
  2. Diocese of Birmingham;
  3. Ealing Abbey.
  • You made findings. Those findings are no longer merely submissions. Those findings will, naturally, inform your final recommendations.

 

    1. Extent: The abuse you considered spanned nearly a century right up until the near present.
      1. In relation to Birmingham you said ‘Since the mid 1930s, there have been over 130 allegations of child sexual abuse made against no fewer than 78 individuals associated with the Archdiocese……16 criminal cases involved no fewer than 53 victims ’.
      2. In relation to Ampleforth and Downside you said ‘It is difficult to describe the appalling sexual abuse inflicted over decades on children aged as young as seven at Ampleforth School and 11 at Downside School’.
      3. In relation to Ealing you said, ‘Child sexual abuse at St Benedict’s School was extensive. Since 2003 two monks (Laurence Soper and David Pearce) and two lay teachers (John Maestri and Stephen Skelton) have been convicted of multiple offences involving the sexual abuse of over 20 children between at least the 1970s and 2008. In 2016 another teacher, the deputy head Peter Allot, was convicted of offences relating to the possession of indecent images of children.”
      4. In relation to all these institutions you said that the true scale of the abuse was likely to be considerably higher.
      5. This Inquiry is concerned with events in England & Wales. But we know from the Scottish Inquiry and the Australian Royal Commission alone that the pattern of abuse in Catholic institutions has been repeated internationally.
      6. The perpetrators have included some of the most senior figures in the Catholic Church: In England, an Abbot, Laurance Soper and a Headmaster, David Pearce. In Australia, a Cardinal, George Pell.

 

  1. Cover-up: You found that this abuse has been facilitated, encouraged and covered-up by the Catholic Church.

Ealing

 

      1. You said about Ealing Abbey, “The abuse was facilitated for decades because of a culture of cover-up and denial”.
      2. You described how the atmosphere at Ealing was ‘like the mafia’, where staff chose not to risk their jobs by reporting abuse they knew or suspected was taking place.

Birmingham

 

      1. By their own admission, the Archdiocese accepted: “This Inquiry has heard more than sufficient evidence to be satisfied that during the second half of the last century, the Archdiocese was responsible for a number of institutional failings which on occasions permitted the sexual abuse of children to continue when it might otherwise have been stopped.”
      2. You said, “Rather than make progress by facilitating an investigation and assisting any potential victims, Monsignor Daniel Leonard, the Vicar General in charge of investigating such allegations attempted to make arrangements for [Samuel] Penney to leave the UK and evade arrest.”
      3. You said, that James Robinson was financially supported by the Catholic Church for years as a fugitive from justice in the United States.
      4. You said, “The sexual abuse by Penney and Robinson could have been stopped much earlier if the Archdiocese had not been driven by a determination to protect the reputation of the Church. In doing so, it sealed the fate of many victims whose trust was placed in these abusers. The plight of the victim was ignored or swept under the carpet, allowing the perpetrators to carry on abusing for many years.”
      5. You said, “Had this inquiry not focussed upon the Archdiocese of Birmingham, it is doubtful whether the Archdiocese would have itself recognised that these problems needed to be resolved.”

Ampleforth & Downside

 

      1. In relation to Ampleforth and Downside you said that “many perpetrators did not hide their sexual interests from boys…Both Ampleforth and Downside prioritised the monks and their own reputation over the protection of children.”
      2. Yet ‘Downside, in particular, tried to pave the way for the return of abusive monks such as Nicholas White’,
      3. We heard the extraordinary lengths to which some monks went to conceal potential abuse. The headmaster of Downside, Dom  Leo Davis – personally – took barrow loads of historic files to the edge of the estate and made a bonfire of them.
      4. The former Abbot, Dom Aidan Bellenger, described in a letter written a recently as 2016 (and which Downside tried to hide), ‘a heart of darkness in the community’ in relation to child abuse. He said child abuse was something which was tolerated by all his predecessors as Abbot.
      5. The Abbot President himself, Dom Yeo – post-Nolan, post-Cumberledge -  turned a blind eye to Father Anselm Hurt’s history of abuse and welcomed him back to the priesthood in a new Abbey in Ireland.

Papal Nuncio

 

      1. It is extraordinary that, in the face of those findings, the Papal Nuncio refuses to give an account to this Inquiry of what he and the Vatican knew about Laurence Soper’s own flight from justice to Kosovo. Here was an opportunity to show the Inquiry that in recent years the Catholic Church had extended itself to do the right thing to bring this evil man to justice. That the Papal Nuncio has refused that opportunity invites the heaviest, contrary, inference.
  1. In making those findings, you have confirmed what the bravest victims of catholic clerical abuse have been saying for years. Not only were they abused, but they were re-abused by a culture of denial and cover-up. No apology. No repentance. Compensation, if ever, heavily discounted after every technical legal objection had been exhausted.
  2. I have summarised the findings you have made to give some encouragement to the victims of clerical abuse I represent. They have been vindicated. Many doubted, and continue to doubt, that this Inquiry will achieve anything beyond what one has described as a ‘gravy train’ for lawyers and professionals. Will their courage in confronting past abuse prevent further abuse?

Recommendations

 

  1. We have one central recommendation: the creation of an independent national statutory body to protect children from child abuse, akin to the Health & Safety Executive. It is a recommendation we have made from the start of this Investigation. It is a recommendation we made at the conclusion of the Anglican Investigation. It is a recommendation supported by Howe & Co and the victims of abuse that they represent.  If such a recommendation was justified in the Anglican Investigation, it is even more justified in this Investigation.
  2. Our first submission is that the current patchwork of statutory oversight has failed, and is always likely to fail. Ealing was the clearest example. You identified:
    1. Failures by the Metropolitan Police into complaints against Pearce and Soper in 2002.
    2. Failures by Crown Prosecution Service for failing to prosecute either Pearce or Soper in 2004.
    3. Failures by the Charity Commission for simply accepting Ealing Abbey assurances that appropriate steps were being taken during a statutory inquiry at the very time Pearce was committing further acts of abuse.
    4. Failure of Independent Schools Inspectorate for wrongly concluding that child protection policy was compliant with statutory guidance and that an independent review into Pearce’s offending had been conducted and its advice fully implemented. The ISI was wrong on both counts. It took a member of the public to correct its report which had to be withdrawn and reissued.
  3. None of these institutions’ chief role is promoting child safety. The police and prosecution services are, by their nature, reactive. They respond to, investigate and prosecute crimes. They do not police child safety standards. The Charity Commission’s primary purpose is to police and protect charitable trusts. The Independent Schools Inspectorate is chiefly concerned with maintaining minimum standards of education in independent schools. Even the most egregious and open abuse at Ealing Abbey was not dealt with properly, let alone prevented by the rigorous enforcement of minimum child safety standards.
  4. Our second submission is that the Catholic Church itself will struggle by the nature of its structure to impose a ‘One Church’ policy on child abuse. It is an international organisation where Bishops and heads of the Religious enjoy a high degree of autonomy. We have seen how even post-Nolan and post-Cumberlege, the Abbot President Yeo simply ignored even the basic precepts of those reports to welcome a known abuser back into the Church. When you wrote ‘Much now will depend on the leadership of the Abbot President’ that is correct, but it requires an act of faith in one man that is simply not justified by past experience. Abbot Shipperlee resigned in the face of his failures. Abbot Soper, of course, was an abuser himself. Failures of leadership abound in the Catholic Church and in the Anglican Church. You rightly criticised Archbishop Carey’s leadership in the Anglican Investigation.
  5. It would be a mistake for the state to try to reform the byzantine structures of the Catholic Church with a long-list of piecemeal changes they could and should make. That is not the state’s role. The role of the state is to set and enforce minimum standards for any institution that wishes to care for and educate children. It is for the Catholic church to meet those standards  – if it can – without special pleading or some implied bargain that child abuse is a price worth paying for the benefits of the Catholic church’s care of children. If the Church cannot meet those standards, its involvement with children must end. If that poses an existential threat to the Catholic Church in England & Wales, so be it.
  6. It is with that chief recommendation in mind that we invite you to hear the final two weeks’ of evidence in this strand of the Investigation.

WILLIAM CHAPMAN

DAVID GREENWOOD

23 OCTOBER 2019

 

Abuse Inquiry Report on compensation and support 19th September 2019

Abuse Inquiry Report on compensation

 

The Independent Inquiry in to Child Sexual Abuse has published its report on how victims of child sex abuse are treated by the compensation system. It is sharply critical of the present system but (so far) has stopped short of a complete overhaul which I have advocated.

 

Confusion

I represent clients who gave evidence at the IICSA Accountability and Reparations Inquiry in November 2018. The clients brought a sense of confusion to the proceedings and from their impassioned words it quickly emerged that they had each been kept in the dark about what was available to them. Some had failed to get recompense, apologies or support. Some had been compensated after many years of tough court proceedings and some had simply given up trying.

 

Inadequacies

The Inquiry report out today shines a light on the cloudy world of accountability and reparations for child sex abuse crimes and compensation. The report acknowledges that :

“The evidence which has been heard in this investigation leaves us in no doubt that none of the avenues for redress which we examined – civil justice, criminal compensation (CCOs and CICA awards) or support services – is always able to adequately provide the remedies which are sought as accountability and reparations for the survivors of abuse”

 

A lottery

The evidence showed that the passage through the compensation system is down to chance – some are fortunate enough to have an insurer or organisation realise that it owes a moral responsibility to claimants to compensate them and provide support. Most encounter insurers or defendant bodies who defend themselves in a legalistic way, using expensive lawyers to resist these claims.

 

Law of limitation

The evidence was that most insurers and organisations hide behind the rules on time limits where possible. A case must be brought before the age of 21 and this time will only be extended in exceptional circumstances. This has led to highly controversial and unfair decisions from the courts in cases where the fact of the abuse can be proved. The Association of British Insurers have pledged to avoid using this law in future but we will see…

 

A national Redress scheme ?

The Inquiry heard competing arguments about an all-encompassing scheme to cover all child sex abuse. Drawbacks could be the lack of control from organisations, limited funds from central government and a “one size fits all” approach. The positives certainly outweighed the negatives according to the views of those giving evidence at the Inquiry. All claimants would be eligible. A specialist independent body would decide cases. It would be quick, less painful, less adversarial and deliver consistent justice.

 

Further hearing.

The issues of Limitation laws and a redress scheme are to be debated in a separate inquiry on November 2019 and the Inquiry has given strong hints that it will recommend the removal of the time limits and will introduce a national redress scheme.

 

For now it is good that this murky scene is out in the open and that the Inquiry are making recommendations which give more information to claimants and which attempt to push insurers to ease off from their hard legal tactics. Importantly recommendations on therapy support in my view should go much further than the signposting and encouraging insurers to establish a rehab code – a national network of good quality therapists should be put together. I welcome further consideration of the issues of limitation and the redress scheme in November.

 

David Greenwood

19th September 2019  

 

 

IICSA Anglican 2nd – 12th July 2019 Closing statement Switalskis

IICSA Anglican Inquiry

Wider Church Investigation

Closing on behalf of MACSAS and AN-A1 to A6, Phil Johnson, Julie MacFarlane, Graham Sawyer and Rev Matthew Ineson

 

CLOSING ANGLICAN

Chair, panel: we act for ten victims of Anglican clerical sexual abuse and the survivors’ support group MACSAS.

Welby’s apology

  1. May I deal with one matter immediately. Yesterday, the Archbishop of Canterbury flourished a letter he says he wrote to Mr Inneson in 2017. That letter was disclosed to the Inquiry yesterday and then, to us, shortly before you came in at 2 pm. Mr Inneson has not had a chance to respond to it. The Archbishop relied on the final paragraph of that letter to suggest he had given Mr Inneson an apology. Mr Inneson does not accept that. His objection is to the words ‘deeply sorry….from your description of how this has been dealt with by the Church’. I am not sure it is even grammatical. It is certainly mealy mouthed. It does not frankly accept the Church treated him badly.
  2. Yesterday was an opportunity for the Archbishop to give a full apology – in public and in Mr Inneson’s presence – for what the Archbishop accepted was the ‘shabby and shambolic’ way Mr Inneson was treated by the Church. He sat there, the most powerful man in the Church, and Mr Inneson, sat behind, waited and waited and waited – as he has been for years. That was more than just a discourtesy to Mr Inneson. The Archbishop still ‘doesn’t get it’.A national, independent regulator
  3. I turn to the main body of my submissions.
  4. The Anglican Church is the first of the major institutions to face a final reckoning in this Inquiry. The Anglican Investigation, with all its component parts, is a case study par excellence for why there must be:
  5. a national, state-sponsored, independent, regulator of the child-care sector;
  6. a corporate structure for those who want to care for children.
  7. It is why I wish in this address to:
  8. suggest, tentatively, the beginnings of a more general theory of institutional abuse, to help answer the question: Which institutions pose the greatest risk to children?
  9. Explain why, if the theory is correct, there is a need for a national, state-sponsored, independent regulator of the child-care sector.
  10. This is not to replace the Church’s own steps to regulate itself. It is on top of that. Our essential point is: we do not care about the peculiarities of your byzantine institution comprised of 42 medieval fiefdoms, governed by centuries old Canon Law. You fix that if you can. It is your responsibility in every parish and every diocese. But you will comply with minimum standards set by a national regulator that apply to every registered institution that cares for children. No special pleading.
  11. What must not happen – and what we say would be a fools’ errand for you – is to attempt to make specific recommendations for each of the immensely complicated organisations you have to consider. Extensive though this inquiry is, you are still only considering a few institutions. What about all those institutions you will not be able to scrutinize?
  12. The regulator must be completely independent and, just as importantly, be seen to be independent.
  13. We first suggested a national, independent, regulator of the child-care sector at the conclusion of the Downside/Ampleforth case study in December 2017. At the time, it seemed a bold submission. It no longer seems a recommendation of the best, but one of absolute necessity.
  14. Others were content to limit their recommendation to mandatory reporting. The evidence has moved on. Even the Archbishops of Canterbury and York now accept mandatory reporting is a ‘no-brainer’.
  15. No change
  16. I will not, with great respect to the Survivors of clerical abuse – particularly those who have given evidence before you, some without anonymity – be dwelling on the litany of abuse, failed safeguarding and cover-up that you identified in your report into Chichester and Peter Ball and have heard yet more in this strand. All I will say, is that the evidence confirms that, despite the Church being anxious to be on best-behaviour in front of this Inquiry, the problems persist:
  17. An Archbishop of York who tells you that the ‘Voices of the abused must be heard” but takes advantage of a 1 year limitation period under the CDM against Mr Ineson.
  18. The same Archbishop who, only a few weeks ago, ordained his wife without, exceptionally, the very training he says is so badly needed. At the very least, he did not stop to think how this might be perceived as an abuse of power.
  19. A priest, AN-X7, who refused to accept it was wrong in principle for a convicted child-abuser to be on the parochial church council.
  20. And how the Church and its principal insurer EIG act together to deny pastoral support to victims and, before this Inquiry, refuse to disclose the privileged material that would reveal if they are telling the truth about it. And this is the insurer who is widely regarded as the most benevolent of the insurers claimants face in litigation.
  21. You have heard the same defensive narrative we have heard elsewhere:
    1. We did not know;
    2. We forgot we were told;
    3. I was only cc’d to the correspondence;
    4. If we were told, we could not believe it;
    5. We need more training and policies;
    6. The past is a foreign country. You are judging the past by the standards of today.
    7. Give us time.

22. They did know. They were told. They did believe it. They had training and policies galore. Child abuse is and always has been regarded as a grave crime. They have had so much time.

23. You will recall in the Downside inquiry how in 1972 the headmaster of Downside did what he was supposed to do with great alacrity when he discovered abuse: sacked the priest, informed the statutory authority and recommended defrocking to the Holy See.

24. And we heard from the older cleric Rev Christopher Watkins and how he dealt with a safeguarding problem in his Welsh parish perfectly correctly with limited training and resources.

25. The past is not a foreign country. Progress is not always linear. Institutions, like Empires, decline and fall.

26. The real risk is that once the heat of this Inquiry dies, the institution – whether it be the Anglican Church or the Catholic Church – revert to type or progress so slowly we have to wait a generation. It will not be sufficient to pass one or two laws that require mandatory reporting or extend position of trust offences. Laws ossify. Only look at Canon Law. You need a regulator that is continually applying the heat with guidance that changes dynamically as we better understand through experience what works and what doesn’t.

Which institutions pose the greatest risk to children?

27. I said I would to try to identify more general factors that identify high risk institutions.

These are:

28. Large institutions;

  • Large institutions cannot change their culture and practice quickly.
  • The Church has a presence in virtually every locality in the country from small hamlets to the major cities.
  • But it is also international. Archbishop Welby was at pains to explain in his statement that the Anglican Communion extends from the hill tribes in Papua New Guinea to New York City. And that the average congregant is ‘a woman in her 30s who lives on less than $4 a day…in an area of conflict’. The Church has to please everyone. And in doing so it pleases no one.
  • We heard how it took 5 years for the Church to consider the Seal of the Confessional only to decide to do nothing – despite some of its most senior members like the Archbishop of York agreeing that an absolute Seal was unjustifiable.
  • Bishop Sowerby was keen to emphasise that the new generation of ordinands were ‘open to safeguarding and all that it contains’. As if we should accept that cultural change may take a generation.

29. Powerful institutions

  • Powerful institutions can shelter and protect themselves by friends in high places. We heard how that worked in the Peter Ball investigation.

30. Institutions that organise themselves in a diffuse, Loose way, with a high degree of autonomy at the local level;

  • The life of a priest in the parish and the Bishop in the Diocese is largely his own to organise: unsupervised, unshackled, unregulated.

31. Where there is a powerful Ethos that binds members to each other and inhibits external scrutiny.

32. How does such a large, loosely supervised organisation maintain its organisation? By a powerful ethos supported by doctrine that binds members together. You expressed surprise that an organisation with an explicit moral purpose could do such wrong. In fact, it is no surprise. The express moral purpose becomes a cover [ACE0267757]. People defer to ‘good’ people.

33. The institution is dependent on a “clean” reputation and in which members know each other and live in the same communities the imperative to hide dirty linen is strong. This is true for most organisations looking after children. Reputations are strongly defended. A tarnished reputation is an existential threat. Only outside regulators can bring objectivity.

34. Where that Ethos is not consonant with accepted standards of child safeguarding. For example:

  • the absolute Seal of the Confessional is not consonant with accepted standards of child safeguardings.
  • Concept of forgiveness and its misguided consequences when perpetrators are forgiven and allowed to continue to pose a risk to children, e.g. Bishop Forster and the child pornography case.

35. Led by those who are ultimately only accountable to themselves.

  • Still, the Bishop is the ultimate decision-maker on child safety discipline. I think I am right in saying that all external commentators on the Church called for an end to the ‘Church marking its own homework’.

36. Who have ample access to children.

  • We know the Church is the largest provider of voluntary services to children after the State.

37. We suggest this analysis assists you in understanding why:

38. The Anglican Church is a high-risk institution. The Anglican Church, is unlikely to be effective in regulating itself to protect children.

39. If you consider the response by the Church in Wales, it has performed better and moved more swiftly. It is smaller. Safeguarding and discipline is more centrally organised. It is less powerful: it is not established, it is disestablished.

40. You have published your report about Chichester and Peter Ball in May. You identified key features of the Anglican Church that led to those terrible cases:

  • The prioritisation of reputation over the protection of children;
  • Deep-seated arrogance;
  • Clericalism and tribalism.
  • In the course of this hearing, you have looked in more detail at specific issues such as:
  • Church structures;
  • Disciplinary processes;
  • Cultural change.
  •  We would add:
  • The size of the Anglican Church.
  • Its established position at the heart of our constitution.

41. All of those things have played their part and, so long as there is a Church of England, will always play their part. It is the nature of the beast: what makes it good in many ways, also creates the very high risk it poses to children.

Going beyond the reasons why

42. We need to go beyond the reasons why. No doubt, for devotees of the CofE and history buffs, the causes of this institutional sclerosis are fascinating.

43. For the victims of abuse, it is stomach churning.

  • It is of no interest to them why the Anglican Church has failed.
  • It is of no interest to them to hear the Archbishop quote the Bible, recite platitudes or even weep in sorrow.
  • It is of no interest to them to debate the theological arguments surrounding the Seal of the Confessional.

44. We drown in a sea of platitudes and an alphabet-soup (DSAs, ISVAs, NST, DSA, ADSA.) of child-safety acronyms that even the witnesses and Ms Scolding struggled to articulate with confidence.

45. It is, I suggest, of limited relevance to you. The purpose of analysing why the Church failed is not for you to make recommendations about how it might improve matters by doing this, or that. It is to confirm in your own mind that the Church really has failed for reasons that are inherent to its very nature will not change without external, truly independent, state regulation.

46. Because all decent people – victims or not, Anglicans or not –  simply want all reasonably practicable measures to be taken to make it stop. That is the acid-test we require in our Health & Safety legislation. It is the acid-test that only state-regulation can provide for child-protection. How the Church meets these minimum standards is up to them. Do not, we beg you, get sucked into making specific recommendations about how this byzantine institution goes about meeting those standards: it is up to them and whatever guidance the regulator gives. If they fail, they face the regulatory consequences, like everybody else.

47. There is nothing special about the CofE. It is no answer to a factory in breach of health & safety regulations that it is special because it a) makes specialist aircraft parts, b) believes this, that and the other, c) and arranges its management structure in a peculiar way. It is irrelevant.

48. So much of this is institutional special pleading. When the Archbishop of Canterbury objects to our proposal because it would mean radical change, the sub-text is this: We are special, We are too big too fail. The answer is: you are not special and you may be too big to succeed. But if you are saying, we may not be able to meet minimum standards, therefore they pose an existential threat: you are right and so it should be.

49. You must bend to the needs of the community like everyone else. The Seal of the Sacrament is a good example: we are not interested in a theological debate about the pros and cons of the Seal and its limited exception dating back to 1603. The rule is, you report abuse to the statutory authorities however you learn of it.We are in favour of Mandatory Reporting in the form as advocated by the pressure group Mandate Now.

The Regulator

Mandatory Reporting

50. We have always said we envisaged a child-safety regulator as a statutory body akin to the the Health & Safety Executive (‘HSE’). The history of the HSE is a long one: the first of the so-called Factory Acts was in 1803. They were enacted to protect children from exploitation in the cotton mills. Having heard the evidence in this Inquiry we say it is remarkable that in 2019, no such similar body exists for the protection of children from sexual and physical abuse.

51. Features of this regulator are designed to catch all children looked after by organisations.

  1. The regulator will cover all organisations which look after children. Very small groups such as childminders are regulated by ofsted. Consideration will be given to exempting such small organisations.
  2. The independent statutory body would enforce basic standards of safeguarding. To do this the statutory body would establish:
    1. A Register of Institutions fit to look after children. To be considered fit and join the register the institution would have to satisfy basic safety criteria.
    2. It would be an offence to look after children without being on the Register.
    3. To be on the Register the institution will have to introduce a corporate structure. This will enable accountability.
    4. The registered institution should be forced to adhere to the minimum standards of safeguarding of those in its care.
    5. The independent body would have the power to prosecute organisations for breaches of regulations. Fines would be imposed for breaches. Organisations could be prevented from working with children. Sanction could include safeguarding agreements or their equivalent not just for individuals but for corporations.
    6. All complaints would be passed from the regulated institution to this independent body by any receiving institution with a criminal sanction for failing to do so.
    7. The body would require a detailed report on the complaint to satisfy the body that its investigation adheres to minimum standards. The body would have the power to gather information from complainants, regulated institutions and third parties and would take over the handling of cases where there was significant concern. It would have the power to compel disclosure of material.
    8. The body would liaise with and assist civil authorities such as the Police and Social Services. The body would ensure that police and other statutory organisations are taking appropriate action within reasonable timescale.
    9. Where an allegation has been made the body would investigate complaints using a “balance of probabilities” standard of proof.  There would be no statute of limitations under this scheme. The independent body would have the power to make awards of compensation similar to the CICA. It would have the power to decide on the support to be offered to a complainant and a scheme would be established to provide adequate compensation taking into account the effects on quality of life and a series of factors.
    10. Complainants will be allowed to take advice from lawyers and a contribution to legal costs would be awarded.
    11. The cost of the body’s work would be paid from a levy on institutions and those culpable would pay for the costs of dealing with individual cases in which they are involved.

 

WILLIAM CHAPMAN

DAVID GREENWOOD

JULY 2019

 

IICSA Anglican 2nd-12th July evidence notes

Anglican wider church investigation hearing1st to 12 July 2019

 

Introduction from Prof Alexis J.

 

Fiona scolding QC, Counsel to the enquiry introduced the parties: –

 

David Greenwood and William Chapman on behalf of core participants.

 

Richard scorer and Ian O’Donnell on behalf of core participants

 

Nigel Giffin QC on behalf of the archbishops Council.

 

Mark Powell on behalf of the Church in Wales.

 

Rory Phillips on behalf of E I G.

 

James Berry on behalf of the National police chiefs counsel.

 

Emily Wilson on behalf of the Department for education.

 

Fiona scolding poses to questions to be addressed in this hearing as being the appropriateness of changes made by the church since the IICSA process started, the appropriateness of action taken by insurers, whether the Church in Wales has handled cases well, whether non-recent disclosures have been handled appropriately, whether the system of central scrutiny is adequate and whether the church culture is capable of dealing with these issues.

 

We will look at casework and hear of all responses, failures in record-keeping, clergy with a sense of entitlement, we will hear of deference and an unwillingness to criticise.

 

In recent years 390 clerics or those in positions of trust have been accused of child sexual abuse. Some has been for downloading pornography and some has been for contact offences. There have been 231 letters of claim received from claimants about abuse by 122 clerics, 30 of those being deceased, 86 volunteers, 215 of the 390 were male. 199 were made 20 years plus after the abuse occurred only one case went to a civil trial.

 

In 2017, 207 complaints were made. Only a third were passed to statutory bodies stop 43% of the complaints were made against clerics approximately 50% of those were passed on to the police.

 

Clericalism has been a factor. Abusers have found they can hide in the church. When disclosures have been made, abusers have been moved or protected. What is the church during about abuse of power? Is there a worldwide protocol?. The Church of England has a position of influence throughout the world. In the analysis of accounts given to the truth project, or Anglican accounts almost half survivors disclosed to a member of clergy at the time of the offences so it is vital that staff know what to do when disclosures are made.

 

The church accepts there are problems not only in Chichester but throughout the country.

 

We will hear about the case of Timothy Storey, a youth leader in Southwark who used texts and grooming to rape at least three 16 to 77-year-old girls. The case has been reviewed. He was convicted. There has been a failure to implement policies and practice. Storey should have been referred to the police but instead was confronted in house and his excuses were accepted

 

We will hear about Rev Derek Buckley. It was an allegation that sexual assault sexually assaulted a boy in a dark room in the 1980s. He is now deceased. How can a good investigation place?

 

We will hear about Canon John Roberts. In 1999 he was then rural Dean. He’s been found guilty of two indecent assault offences on males under the age of 18. His bishop considered it was a miscarriage of justice and went on to promote John Roberts to the position of Canon. He retired in 2002 and was given permission to officiate. A 2003 criminal records check showed no conviction. A subsequent Bishop, Bishop James Jones wrote to the Home Office and was told that this was a problem with the Home Office system. He was then given a permission to officiate in 2003 conditional upon him having no contact with children. It was found later that he had had contact with children whilst ministering. His permission was withdrawn in 2015 because he had persistently breached conditions.

 

Robert Waddington. He was the Dean of Manchester Cathedral between 1984 and 1993. There were allegations made between 1999 and 2005. The then Archbishop of York, David Hope, was criticised for failing to consider his risk to children failing to take advice from his diocesan safeguarding adviser. The report of Judge Sally K Hill QC published in 2014 was critical of him and made recommendations.

 

AN-F15 raped or attempted to rape AN-A4. AN-A4 reported the abuse to many members of the clergy over a period of 30 years. He found a lack of awareness and no one willing to escalate the report or to provide help to him.

 

Bishop Victor Whitsey, Bishop of Chester. 13 people complained to Cheshire police. It is suggested that Bishop Peter Forster mishandled complaints and we will hear about these from Bishop Forster later.

 

Trevor Devamanikkan (“TD”) – retired in 2006. Was charged in 2017 of buggery times three and indecent assault times three against Rev Matthew Ineson. Matthew Ineson had been sent to TD as a youth due to a falling out at home. He was to live with TD at his vicarage in Bradford. Matthew Ineson made disclosures between 2012 and 2016 and alleges that there was a failure by bishops he spoke to to either provide him with support or refer the case to the police.

 

The truth project findings have been that religion, especially the Anglican Church permeates into family life and makes it difficult for those affected to come forward. Perpetrators are generally held in high esteem. They have respect and privilege they were able to spend time alone with children. Often when abuses disclosed the reputation of the church is seen as paramount and taking action to help the complainant is minimised. Components may suffer with a lifetime of mental health problems and poor emotional health.

 

We will hear that the past cases review of 2010 had significant deficiencies with its results and Roger Singleton will explain the deficiencies and the rationale behind past cases review Mk II.

 

Operation Redstone run by Lincolnshire police has achieved three convictions so far – Stephen Crabtree admitted offences in 2001 but the these were not passed on to the police. Stephen Bayley was convicted of 15 indecent assault offences in 2017 and was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment.). He was housemaster of Lincoln Cathedral School and was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment.

 

Alana Lawrence of MACSAS (Ministry and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors) complains that the church continues to treat those coming forward with allegations with ‘polite obstinacy’ is. A report by SC I E and managed by Sheila Fish will say that the church needs to own its problems, provide long-term support, person centred support, to listen and feedback. The Church of England say that they will co-design a victim’s Charter. There is doubt from MACSAS about the safe spaces project. MACSAS are also concerned that the church cannot continue to monitor itself internally. There has to be external independent supervision on safeguarding issues.

 

There is criticism from within church ranks. Bishop Alan Wilson will give evidence on this. Peter Hancock, Graham Tilby, John Sentamu and Justin Welby will also give evidence.

 

On reparations Julie McFarlane criticised the legal process. Phil Johnson and Alana Lawrence have also criticised this. Julie McFarlane engaged with the insurance company to bring together the ‘guiding principles’ in 2016 and then revised in 2018.

 

Bishop Philip North of Burnley says that compensation needs to be given generously and freely. We will hear from the insurance company’s representative, David Bonehill. How has the insurance company approached cases? Did the insurance company tell the church not to talk to complainants? We will hear about the relationship between the insurer and the Church Commissioners the insurer is a wholly owned subsidiary of the all churches trust. Three trustees of the trust are clergy members. The insurer gave £100 million to the all churches trust last year. The all churches trust says it operates separately to the insurer. The insurer says that it is regulated.

 

We’ll hear about recruitment, training and professional development. The church has introduced compulsory training and 69,000 basic training courses have been completed. Some continue to refuse to attend.

 

On vetting and barring, some say the current system is not fit for its purpose. Full conviction checks are only necessary for those working with children.

 

On discipline, the Clergy discipline measure (“CDM”) was changed in 2016. It enabled the suspension of clergy and took away the one year rule in abuse cases. It also permitted compulsory risk assessments.

 

On permission to officiate, criticisms of the inadequate records are kept, there is poor enforcement and inconsistent enforcement. What has the church done on this?.

 

We will be discussing the seal of the confessional with two opposing sides of the argument.

 

On Mandatory reporting the Charity commission say that it would generate too much work but agree that a new offence of ‘is deliberately concealing an offence’ should be created.

 

On cultural attitudes, some still refuse to believe that Vicars can be capable of some types of sexual abuse. Some refuse to have conviction checks. Experts say will be years or decades to turn a cultural around some confused homosexuality with child abuse.

 

On cathedrals, these are separate organisations and are not required to be part of the diocesan safeguarding structure although many are. Children spend a lot of time there. SC I E audits are underway. There is no uniform approach. There is no independent oversight. They are often run by volunteers who may be unregulated.

 

On the deceased allegations, we have the report on Bishop George Bell by Alex Carlisle and the second internal report. Bishop Whitsey is the subject of a core group at present.

 

Funding centrally was £895,000 in 2014. This rose to £5.9 million in 2019.

 

We are looking at various dioceses and the Edina Carmi report will be helpful.

 

The SCIE report concluded that detailed guidance on various matters was helpful but it was too detailed for most in the church to digest and had to be simplified. There were also very concerned that all decisions still depend on Bishops.

 

The Church in Wales is not established. 27,500 people regularly attend in Wales. It educates 6% of the population. There are six independent cathedrals new policies have been drawn up 2014 and 2016. Compulsory training was brought in 2015 for all clerics. Guidance in Wales requires clerics to report to police and social services any concerns.

 

Richard scorer

 

Survivors want the church to report allegations to the police. Survivors want independent investigation and oversight. He criticises the thicket of documentation and criticised the proper proposed ombudsman. He says this CDM process needs to be independent.

 

David Greenwood (on behalf of MACSAS and other complainant Core Participants)

 

IICSA Anglican Inquiry

Wider Church Investigation

Opening on behalf of MACSAS and AN-A1 to A6, Phil Johnson, Julie MacFarlane, Graham Sawyer and Rev Matthew Ineson

 

  1. The Anglican Church can be a force for good. It creates communities. It can help those in need. There are very many worthy people doing much good, but from a safeguarding perspective the Anglican Church presents us with a huge unregulated area of activity. It is a magnet for the vulnerable. It draws in children to youth groups, choirs and for spiritual guidance.
  2. We have seen through previous investigations in Chichester and Peter Ball that it is a place where paedophiles have good reason to feel safe.
  3. I will not dwell on the obvious problem of the church’s web-like structure. I have advocated a more corporate structure will bring accountability, fines and the enforced raising of standards. At present we have Bishops as the final arbiters on safeguarding responses. This brings inconsistency and the temptation to protect individual and the organisation’s reputation. We must find a way to break this dangerous safeguarding structure.
  4. The Church has tried to plug the holes exposed by the Chichester Inquiry. It has introduced many detailed responses some of which are an improvement but as we will see from the evidence of Jo Kind of MACSAS they are inadequate and a smoke screen to get through the current scrutiny.
  5. The Gen Synod document GS2092[1] is a report by the National safeguarding steering group of 2018. Its reference is ACE026363. It recommends that clergy, lay readers, churchwardens, and PCCs have “due regard” for guidance issued by the House of Bishops. This phraseology is inadequate. Only the mandatory referral externally would be acceptable to MACSAS.
  6. On changes to the clergy discipline measure, the church is “considering external scrutiny”. This obfuscatory language demonstrates an unwillingness to change unless forced to do so by legislation. Again here independence is needed to enforce dismissals, fines and awards of compensation. Cultural change will only come about through the enforcement of tough penalties.
  7. The GS2092 document argues that independent oversight would mean the church contracting out of its responsibilities. In fact what happen if independence is not introduced is that once the heat of IICSA scrutiny and potential legislation dies down the church will revert to type. It will continue to deal with issues quietly and internally. This is what organisations with reputations to protect do.
  8. All the measures announced fail to deliver true independence or mandatory reporting. If a bishop wishes to avoid reporting to the police or social services he or she can still legally do so even after the introduction of the new proposed initiative. Bishops are hopelessly conflicted in their duties. On one hand, they have the good name of their dioceses and staff to protect. On the other, they are tasked with responding well to allegations of abuse. The proposed ombudsman service is a figleaf. It would only covered those persistent and strong enough to complain about the poor handling they have already endured. It is clear that the church is unwilling to commit to independence.
  9. The National safeguarding steering group ACE026363 proposal uses vague wording such as agreeing to “develop and analyse options: develop proposals: consider findings: commission a working group: and undertake an analysis”. There is no commitment by the church to relinquish control of responses to safeguarding concerns. This is deliberate behaviour. The church is trying to buy time until IICSA goes away. MACSAS is not going away and I hope the IICSA recommendations will be very forceful.
  10. Until true independence is established there remains a concern that the National safeguarding team has insufficient power to intervene where poor safeguarding compliance exists. It is not clear whether bishops, Deans and Archbishops can prevent the National safeguarding team having access to documents and staff within their organisations and only the establishment of a truly independent body to manage church safeguarding operations, established through legislation can ensure proper oversight. Church officeholders and employees are a fairly small and close-knit community. As your hearings have so far demonstrated, bonds of loyalty to each other and the organisation are strong and can easily override official policy. Only external independent decision-makers can avoid this real risk.
  11. I should share with you the comment from a core participant who commented that the tears shed by Justin Welby in his first appearance here were not tears of shame but were tears arising from the realisation that his organisation and his office has been found to have failed. It has placed too much emphasis on protecting clergy and bishops and has allowed children to go unprotected. They were tears at being caught out. The core participant told me it is actually the church that should be ashamed of the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. We have seen how George Carey felt a compulsion to protect one of his bishops. We know that David Hope protected Robert Waddington. There is evidence that Bishops continue to be protected by Mr Welby.
  12. On internal discipline the Clergy Disciplinary Measure procedure must surely be another embarrassment for the church. Its ludicrous rules have led to complaints being timed out after a year and many claims being dismissed or decisions to take no action taken all without independent scrutiny. What kind of discipline measure has impenetrable rules, allows an alleged perpetrator to comment on whether a case can be considered out of time, and (as per the CDM 2018 report attests only 90 complaints covering over 20,000 members). The CDM summary report tells us that most of the 90 were either dismissed by the Bishop, had no action taken or a penalty by consent imposed. Only 7 reached consideration by the President of Tribunals. Only four were dismissed from office (these came after criminal conviction). It bears no relation to most employer/ employee disciplinary codes.
  13. Interestingly, 24 complaints were made against Bishops. All apart from the 6 still outstanding were dismissed or no action taken by Messrs Welby and Sentamu.
  14. We will hear from Matthew Ineson[2] in week two about his appalling treatment by Bishops which prompted Mr Welby to take no action despite a catalogue of inaction and lies. It seems Mr Welby is continuing in Mr Carey’s footsteps by protecting his Bishops.
  15. We now know that the church has regular business meetings to manage its reputational risk. Discreditting Matthew Ineson has been discussed. We also know the church is convinced it can resist any recommendations IICSA may have to introduce independence into the safeguarding process. When it comes to safeguarding this is a thoroughly disreputable organisation which cannot be trusted.
  16. We will hear today from AN-A4[3] about how he tried to tell literally dozens of senior church people over 3 decades and was not taken seriously. Some have forgotten his disclosure. Some have not. He complains of the withdrawal of counselling as soon as a civil claim was intimated. A core group was established without his knowledge and without him being invited to attend. It discussed damage limitation rather than his welfare. He is concerned at a conflict of interest between the church insurer and the church which has staffed its board.
  17. On the subject of the past cases review we will hear from Roger Singleton who is rightly critical of the woefully inadequate terms of reference and treatment of the data. The review resulted in the church declaring it had a clean bill of health when nothing could have been further from the truth. The church treated us all like children. It lied to us and it lied to the children and their parents who put their trust in the church. It put them at unacceptable risk and until the Past Cases Review is re-run with an in depth analysis children are still at risk in this church.
  18. For all these reasons I ask the panel to find that a) the Anglican Church is unable to effectively respond to child sexual abuse risks; b) Legislation is required to
  19. i) enact mandatory reporting.
  20. ii) create an independent statutory body to enforce basic standards of safeguarding. This statutory body would establish:
    1. A Register of Institutions fit to look after children
    2. It would be an offence to look after children without being on the Register.
    3. To be on the Register the institution will have to introduce a corporate structure
    4. The registered institution should be forced to adhere to the minimum standards of safeguarding regulation.
    5. The independent body would have the power to prosecute organisations for breaches of regulations. Fines would be imposed for breaches. Organisations could be prevented from working with children.
    6. All complaints would be passed to this independent body by any receiving institution with a criminal sanction for failing to do so.
    7. The body would gather information from complainants, regulated institutions and third parties. It would have the power to compel disclosure of material.
    8. The body would liaise with and assist civil authorities such as the Police and Social Services. The body would ensure that police and other statutory organisations are taking appropriate action within reasonable timescale.
    9. The body would investigate complaints using a “balance of probabilities” standard of proof.  There would be no statute of limitations under this scheme. The independent body would have the power to make awards of compensation similar to the CICA. It would have the power to decide on the support to be offered to a complainant and a scheme would be established to provide adequate compensation taking into account the effects on quality of life and a series of factors.
    10. Complainants will be allowed to take advice from lawyers and a contribution to legal costs would be awarded
    11. The cost of the body’s work would be paid from a levy on institutions and those culpable would pay for the costs of dealing with individual cases in which they are involved.

David Greenwood

28th June 2019

 

Nigel Giffin QC on behalf of the archbishops Council.

 

Mr Giffin acknowledges that the failures in Chichester and repeatable are not unique. The church will listen and not undertake a cosmetic exercise. The enquiry has created the impetus for reform he thinks that for bishops and clergy to have ‘is due regard’ is for guidance from the house of Bishops is good enough. The clergy discipline measure is still being reviewed. The church is in favour of extending the positions of trust offences to clergy. He acknowledges it is a large task and there is no room for complacency. The archbishops Council agrees that they need to own and embed safeguarding. He opposes independence on safeguarding on the basis that it would cause delay and disruption. He emphasises the churches shame.

 

Mr Powell (Church in Wales)

 

He confirmed that the Church in Wales has been disestablished for 100 years and that they are able to be slightly more progressive than the Church of England.

 

Rory Phillips QC (ecclesiastical insurance group).

 

The insurer has no control over the church. He goes on to explain how insurance operates and that his insurance company is actually very progressive.

 

AN-A4.

 

F-15 was a senior church lawyer working in Cambridge but had a flat in London. He was A4’s  fathers mentor. Age 13 to 15 he would be courteous A4. He took him five or six times to London to serve the Eucharist and stayed at his flat overnight each time. They talked and on the last occasion F15 attempted to rape him violently.

 

A4 told over 30 clerics. He told Tim Thornton, Paul Butler and Andrew Nunn. In 2014 you made a civil claim for damages. He found that Sheryl Kent of the diocese of London was very good. He felt profoundly re-abused through the insurance and compensation process with what he describes as horse trading.

 

He discovered that 3 to 4 weeks after the compensation meeting a core group had been established that neither he nor his lawyer, David Greenwood were allowed to attend. His confidentiality was broken 14 times over a period of three days on the insurance company website.

 

An independent review was commissioned from Ian Elliott (independent safeguarding expert) which criticised the church handling of his case and similar cases.

 

The lead safeguarding Bishop at the time, Paul Butler, was genuinely apologetic in his hand written letter

 

A4 was unhappy with response he got from senior bishops. At one point he is counselling was withdrawn because he had written a letter of claim through a lawyer. He believes it is not possible for any senior figure to lead change as they are too busy protecting their structure, institution and assets. He believes that deep surgery is required on the organisation.

 

He managed to get a mediation meeting after threatening to advertise his plight with 5000 flyers in Durham and Exeter.

 

He believes only the next generation of church leaders will promote change. He believes that mandatory reporting has to be the bedrock of change and a serious measure of independent oversight.

 

A4 is 60 with little income, no job and no pension despite being in the church all his life. He is currently supporting and advocating on behalf of survivors

 

Ian Elliott

 

He explains that he was asked to write report on how A4 was treated. He found that the procedures within the church were inadequate and that little training or awareness was apparent. He says he made recommendations at the time but now thinks that he did not go far enough in that he now advocates independent oversight of safeguarding responsibilities in the church. His background is of a social worker.

 

David Bonehill (director of ecclesiastical insurance group)

 

He was asked many questions about how the insurance procedure operates in these cases and he fairly explained the procedures and outlined that ecclesiastical is the most progressive insurer in this field.

 

The problematic part of his evidence was the issue of the withdrawal of counselling for A4. It is alleged that the order to withdraw payment of counselling for A4 came from the insurer. Paul Butler, the lead safeguarding Bishop and Sheryl Kent suggested the order came from the insurer. David Bonehill denies this although he has not waived privilege on relevant documentation so we cannot see his documentation. We are asked to take his word. There is substantial dispute over who made the decision to withdraw a force counselling and why. It is not disputed that it caused A4 much anguish.

 

Bishop Alan Wilson

 

He was critical of the church and advocates independent oversight of safeguarding.

 

Roger Singleton.

 

He advocates keeping safeguarding within the church does not support independent oversight.

 

A88.

 

She is the daughter of a vicar. Father had left. The family were vulnerable and they were asked to meet the Bishop, Bishop Victor Whitsey. The Bishop indecently assaulted her and her brother at the Bishop’s Palace in Chester. In 2015 she disclosed this to her brother at the internment of her mother’s ashes. A vicar, Elaine Chegwin overheard the conversation but only reported it to the diocesan safeguarding adviser in June 2017. Cheshire police started operation Coverage in 2016 and A88 described them as having been superb throughout. Her brother has since died and she complains that he would have been in a happier state if he had known that something had been done about it before he died. She feels the church is still marking its own homework. She is in teaching herself and is suspicious of people marking their own homework. She advocates an independent body to oversee safeguarding. Only that will change the culture. She has co-authored a book. She criticises white male hegemonic values she says the church is perceived as powerful and is actually powerful.

 

Bishop Peter Forster. Bishop of Chester.

 

Man in his 60s. Cooperative but slightly condescending in manner. Wine coloured shirt with dog collar and grey jacket.

 

He thinks things are getting better but they still a lot to. He was asked to comment on three cases arising in Chester, his own diocese.

 

Ian Hughes was convicted in 2014 possession of indecent images. He was immediately suspended. The guidance is that he should be suspended for life but Bishop Peter Foster advocated that he should be suspended for 20 years. The president of tribunal’s, Andrew McFarlane agreed this was the decision made by Bishop Forster. He was questioned closely on how and why he believed a man found with 8000 child sex abuse images on his computer could be allowed back into ministry. He explained his decision by the fact that he knew Ian Hughes personally and there was a hint that Bishop Forster did not consider the possession of child sex abuse images as being very serious.

 

Bishop Victor Whitsey. A reader had told Bishop Forster in 2002 that he had been touched by Victor Whitsey. The reader says he made a disclosure of sexual abuse to Bishop Forster. Bishop Forster only has a vague memory of Whitsey engaging in odd behaviour and putting his arm around him. He has a limited memory of it. Bishop Forster took no action in 2002. The allegation was made again by this reader in 2016. He apologised. Before telling the police in 2016 Forster asked around to find out if there were any other similar allegations before telling the police. This was an error.

 

In 2009 Gordon Dickenson disclosed to Bishop Forster that he had indecently assaulted a child in 1974 and that Bishop Whitsey and then moved him to another parish and taken no further action. Knowing this Bishop Forster renewed his permission to officiate as he believed his risk of reoffending was low. Bishop Forster accepted that this was a misjudgement. He should have sought further advice and he didn’t refer it to the Diocesan safeguarding adviser. He didn’t report it to the police. Roger Singleton is taking out a clergy discipline measure complaint against Bishop Forster because of this failure.

 

 

 

Sheila Fish (social care Institute for excellence).

 

Woman in 40s. Brown hair. Glasses. Blue/grey dress.

 

Her organisation is mainly funded by the Department of health. It aims to provide a global picture of an organisation which is audited and to look at its strengths and weaknesses. During audits they interview key staff and the case files of three days. When looking at their audits of the palaces at Bishopthorpe and Lambeth, they decided to add on the perspective of victims who have been through the process.

 

Mrs Fish pointed out that staffing in dioceses has essentially has increased in recent years. Diocesan safeguarding advisers are sharing good practice and are meeting up. She also sees much more detailed guidance but is unhappy with the lack of mandatory reporting and the term ‘due regard’ being weak. Training is also improved.

 

The underlying vulnerabilities are that the bishop in the diocese has complete responsibility of the safeguarding decisions. She considers that diocesan safeguarding advisers should be recruited and organised nationally and independently. She believes that current guidance encourages inconsistency.

 

She found some positives in some cathedrals. The adequacy of safeguarding teams was good. Choir management is good and codes of conduct are used in a couple of places.

 

She believes Cathedral rules and guidance could be better but it is not clear how much influence Diocesan safeguarding advisers have over cathedral safeguarding.

 

The outcome of the victim consultation was that the church fails to publicise where it gets things wrong, it should recognise named individuals who have pushed the safeguarding agenda, it fails to provide long term support, the core group arrangements are loose and inadequate, there is little advocacy or support for people who report abuse and no ability for survivors to report on how they were treated.

 

On the church plans (document GS 2092) she feels the document is well intended but believes the church are pushing ahead without taking account of the views of victims and how it will work in practice she has found all survivors she has worked with to be reasonable, astute and knowledgeable.

 

Bishop Mark Tanner.

 

He is a man in his 40s, wine coloured shirt, dog collar, black jacket, a large cross on a chain around his neck, dark hair and glasses.

 

He is the head Bishop of training at the Cranmer Hall, Durham. He explains the process of a person seeking sponsorship from the Bishop, a three day assessment and then starting at his college. Once the college is completed they are passed on to a degree level education and training at a “TEI”. Bishops have the final say in this process also.

 

Justin Humphreys.

 

Man in his 40s, short dark hair, blue suit, white shirt, blue tie.

 

He is the director of 30-1:8. His organisation educates churches to provide safer places. He worked a lot with the Anglican Church on training and risk assessments. He takes feedback from survivors that most churches don’t offer enough support. Responses are slow, there are no apologies, they are often not believed and their experience is not valued in the way it should be. He believes training of clergy and church workers needs to be flexible. There should be useful minimum standards which everyone can understand rather than detailed guidance. He is critical of the ombudsman suggestion as complainants would have to have exhausted all complaints mechanisms before going to an ombudsman. He advocates independence in the clergy discipline measure system, standard quality for safeguarding and an Inspectorate arrangement with the inspectorate to ‘have teeth’. He believes final decisions on safeguarding needs to be done by independent people.

 

Rupert Bursell.

 

Man in his 60s, navy suit, red tie, white hair and glasses.

 

Former circuit judge. Ordained for 51 years. He talks about the origins and legalities of the confessional. He believes there is nothing standing in the way of the church amending its laws to make an exception to the seal of the confessional requiring clergy to report confessions of child abuse to the police. He believes there should be a mandatory reporting duty which will cover this type of crime in or out of the confessional. He believes it is urgently needed.

 

Mark Sowerby.

 

He is the Bishop of Horsham. Man in his 50s, wine coloured shirt, dog collar, glasses, grey hair, pale jacket. He is deputy head of safeguarding.

 

He was on the working party under seal of the confessional which arose after the Robert Waddington case in which Waddington had influenced of his victims to remain silent because it happened in the confessional.

 

The working party decided that was not possible to make an exception to the seal of the confessional for admissions of abuse and so decided to remain with the status quo which is the seal of the confessional should continue. The solution he has advocated is that the clergy man should withhold absolution until the confessee reports their crime personally to the police.

 

He believes that each diocese should continue to look after day to day work but historic cases should be dealt with by an independent person safeguarding adviser. He believes that the clergy discipline measure should continue to be decided by the diocesan bishop.

 

Alistair Oatey.

 

Man in his 40s, dark hair, glasses, open necked white shirt, brown jacket.

 

Chief Executive of Cambridge theological Federation. His organisation gives degrees and carries out final training for ordinands at Ridley Hall, Westcott college and East region ministry. Half the teaching is academic and half is formation training. Ordinands have to do three levels of training he admits that there is criticism that current training only requires ordinands to understand policies and procedures and not necessarily know how to use them.

 

Rosemary Lane priestly.

 

Woman with short grey hair, blue shirt, dog collar, pale brown jacket.

 

She is an archdeacon and adviser to the dioceses of London. She was involved in reviewing the Timothy Storey case. He was convicted in 2016 and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. The judge was very critical of the diocese in the case.

 

The judgement of Jeremy Crossley, Vicar in the diocese was naive and very poor. Despite Storey admitting having slept with 16 and 17-year-old girls when he was a youth leader, his excuses were accepted.

 

It was found that the Rev Valentine also made poor decisions.

 

It was decided that neither of the failing clergy should have to undergo complaints to the clergy discipline measure variously because there was collective failure and that it could impact on the survivors. The only admonishment was a stern meeting with the Bishop.

 

It emerged that naivety, stupidity and incompetence cannot be prosecuted through the clergy discipline measure.

 

The statements of Michael and Angel, Alex Carlisle, Richard Fenton, Colin Perkins, Jo kind, Susan Young, Mike Heaton, Prof Sally Holland, Samantha Waters and Albert Heaney will be published on the website.

 

Archbishop John Davies and Simon Lloyd.

 

Archbishop Davies was a man in his 60s with grey hair, a wine coloured shirt and dog collar. Simon Lloyd is the provincial secretary for Wales. He wore a grey suit, lilac shirt and purple tie. He is a man in his 60s with grey hair.

 

The Church in Wales is clearly a organisation with more dynamic governance. It is disestablished from the church of England. There are many older members of the Church in Wales. Some of the members leave if they are required to undergo CRB checks. The church has terms of service for all its clerics which includes stringent conditions. It has a disciplinary tribunal mechanism. If a complaint is raised it goes to a triage process to decide who should deal with it and that person takes ownership of the complaint

 

 

Edina Carmi

 

She is a safeguarding expert. She wrote a report on six cases studied in the Church of Wales.

 

The first was a choirboy invited back to choir Master’s house who engaged him in oral sex. Police did not prosecute as it was “word on word”. It was recommended that the choirmaster be suspended. The vicar opposed the suspension and the Bishop did not take any action. This was criticised also as there was no investigation. Archbishop Davies says there should have been advice taken from a diocesan safeguarding adviser and should have been followed.

 

In the second case husband was accused of offending against children. The husband did not work in a church although his wife was ordained. She supported him unreasonably and she stood aside due to criticism but then wanted to come back into the church. Mrs Carmi pointed out a lack of good record-keeping and why no disciplinary proceedings had been taken as the wife’s behaviour was “conduct unbecoming”. The wife stepped down but was then given permission to officiate. Edina calm is strongly of the opinion that diocesan safeguarding advisers should make the final decisions rather than the Bishop.

 

Archbishop Davies thinks that Diocesan safeguarding advisers should be able to direct a bishop to take particular action.

 

The Archbishop also says that there should not be conditions on permissions to officiate as they are unenforceable.

 

Fay Howe.

 

She is a provincial safeguarding officer for the Church in Wales. The background is as a social worker. She complains that there are not enough resources in her service and there should be at least double the amount of staff that they currently have. She drafted then redrafted the Church in Wales policies. A lot of her work is the assessment of sex offenders who are parishioners and elder financial abuse. She believes that they need a better recording system which should be computerised.

 

They currently discuss cases in panels and a final decision is arrived at usually by her but agrees it would be useful for her to be able to direct bishops. If the case requires input from support and counselling they refer to MACSAS and only very rarely pay for counselling.

 

She would like to have unfettered access to clergy personnel files (blue files). At present she has to ask each bishop for permission to see them.

 

The case was mentioned of a bell ringer who had offended in England. Police took no action. He wanted to work bell ringing in Wales. Her office recommended that it should not be allowed until a risk assessment was carried out. The Bishop actually found an unsatisfactory compromise.

 

Monday, 8 July 2019.

 

X2 – Vicar in a parish in the diocese of London (Amonymous).

 

There was an allegation against an employee in in the parish. The accused was F23. The child was A121. This vicar used ACAS guidelines rather than the clergy discipline measure. It was alleged that there was indecent touching. He had to decide on the balance of probabilities AND decided that there was no sexual activity. He assumed that the diocesan and safeguarding adviser would carry out an assessment but this didn’t happen. It was reported to the wrong police station. The diocesan safeguarding adviser was overwhelmed and busy. It is recommended that F23 has more training.

 

Miss Carmi criticised the report for not recommending a further assessment of F23. X2 has dealt with only four cases in the eight years of him being a vicar. ‘Has my training as a clergy member equipped me well ? I should have a tick list to direct me to things I need to do”.

 

Edina Carmi.

 

Woman in her 50s, blonde hair, yellow dress.

 

She gave evidence to IICSA in 2018 regarding Terence Banks at Chichester Cathedral. She has also been involved in the SCIE the reports. She has been the lead on quality assurance for the SCIE reports on Sheffield, Worcester, London, York and the six Church in Wales cases.

 

Worcester.

 

Case one

 

Text messages from a 70-year-old to an 18-year-old girl. No action was taken by the police. A safeguarding agreement was put in place but this took nine months to be signed and 13 months before it was implemented. The vicar worked well with the diocesan safeguarding adviser. The DSA did not see the victim alone (this may have given the full story). The DSA did see 70 year old. Delays in the case were criticised. The safeguarding agreement took a long time to implement and no review was undertaken.

 

Miss Carmi would like to see a system by which safeguarding agreements are monitored fully.

 

Case two.

 

A man who was not a church officer had been convicted of sex offending. A risk assessment was carried out. He appealed his sentence through the criminal courts. There was no investigation of exactly what had taken place. Miss Carmi felt that there was insufficient investigation and that the risk could not therefore be adequately assessed. There was criticism that an information sharing agreement between the church, police and probation service is not in place.

 

Case three.

 

A man who was the brother of the parish safeguarding officer had been convicted 30 years earlier. He was already doing roles in the parish and the question was raised whether he had to have a DBS check. This raised the issue of conflicts of interests where families are involved with churches parishes. It was resolved by the individual relinquishing his role.

 

Case four.

 

This was a convicted child offender wishing to worship in an Anglican Church. He moved between Anglican and Roman Catholic churches. Here Mr Carney thought that the two denominations had worked well together.

 

Sheffield.

 

Case one.

 

The man who had been placed on the sex offenders register at age 14 went to prison for inciting a girl and the age of 16 to have sex. His family attended a church. He wanted to attend also. A safeguarding agreement was put in place. He was criticised as being inadequate as he was high risk. His stepfather was also on the agreement monitoring group. This was a case where family ties were so close that they created a conflict. It was resolved by the man being recalled to prison.

 

Case two.

 

13 and 17-year-old children were having sex. This was known to the youth club for three months before the issue was raised to the diocesean safeguarding adviser. There was criticism of the poor action here.

 

London.

 

Case one.

 

A volunteer hugged an eight-year-old girl and pinched her bottom. The diocesan safeguarding adviser and local authority were involved. A safeguarding agreement was putting in place. All recording of London cases were very difficult to follow. There was no chronological log. This could possibly have been because not all information is capable of being printed by the London dioceses.

 

There was criticism that no investigation was done. Witnesses were not questioned. Only a cursory investigation was undertaken of the volunteer.

 

Case two.

 

This involves a parishioner who had been convicted of an offence in the 1970s. The Bishop found out in 2008 did not tell the diocesan safeguarding adviser. Once it became known the diocesan safeguarding adviser started a risk assessment. At time (2008) it had not been a requirement to do a risk assessment of parishioners. This is a case in which it demonstrates that it is good to apply new practices to older cases to bring all individuals in the church up to date.

 

This case raised the issue of the interpretation of who was a church officer or not. Creating a core group applies to all church officers and does not apply to non-church officers. Miss Carmi feels that clearer guidance is required.

 

Case four.

 

This was a case of allegations made to the diocese of Chichester of abuse in the 1970s. The survivor wanted no police action wanted a CDM in to be initiated. This is a good case to demonstrate how diocese can work with another. There was some criticism however of not updating the survivor.

 

York.

 

Case one.

 

Person was charged with an offence and found not guilty. The person was a server at a church. The diocesan safeguarding adviser designated him as a church officer and wanted to initiate a risk assessment and core group and potentially safeguarding agreement. The vicar X7was blocking action, became angry and refused. The vicar had become aware of the offences dating back to 1999 and 2011 involving indecent assault (x4) but these were not passed on to the DSA. The accused was a member of a PCC. The person eventually stood down from the PCC. The vicar here, X7 was behaving irresponsibly. There was criticism of the Bishop for not initiating a CDM against him. The core group decisions were found to be good eventually.

 

Case two.

 

A high-risk offender was convicted in 2015. Since the 1980s he has had roles in the church with children he tried to join the Church of England, United reformed Church and Methodists. Each denomination works together to risk assess him.

 

Church in Wales.

 

WA1.

 

The case of a man living rent free in a house (choirmaster) having mutual oral sex with a 17-year-old boy. The vicar ignored the diocese and safeguarding advisers advice and there was criticism that the vicar was not disciplined. He should have followed rules. There was no risk assessment. The vicar’s response was inappropriate and poor practice. The Bishop failed to discipline him. This case shows how difficult it can be when clergy or bishop refused for accept the advice of safeguarding professionals.

 

WA2

 

A non-practising cleric propositioned someone. He was then convicted of an offence. This was a case of good practice but there was concern that he had not been picked up earlier and dismissed from office.

 

WA3.

 

Head teacher who was also a minister inappropriately defended her sex abuser husband. Very poor record-keeping. The core group decide that there will not allow this person to have permission to officiate under any circumstances but are directed to go on to do a risk assessment. The case takes five years to resolve.

 

WA4.

 

This is a case of a child attending an ecumenical service. The incident took place. The local authority and church failed to work out whose responsibility it was for safeguarding children at these services.

 

WA5.

 

This was a case of good working practices between the dioceses in Wales.

 

WA6.

 

The young man with learning difficulties abuse of a small child. This found to have been handled well.

 

In conclusion Ms Carmi considers that safeguarding professionals have a lack of power when they come up against the vicar or Bishop who is obstinate.

 

Miss Carmi thinks that this safeguarding service should be a national service. At present there seems to be only gentle prodding from Bishops to clergy when stronger sanction is required.

 

Miss Carmi believes that there needs to be clear responsibility about who makes safeguarding decisions. Diocesan safeguarding advisers need to be independent there is concern about blurring of lines between the DSAs and clergy and bishops.

 

She advises that unless diocese and safeguarding advisers can be appointed independently and direct bishops to take action we will need truly independent inspectorate managing cases and making decisions.

 

Tuesday 9th July 2019.

 

X3.

 

Vicar in diocese of Worcester.

 

In 2017 70-year-old man sent texts to a 18-year-old girl. The 70-year-old man was linked to a national sports organisation. This was grooming. The vicar worked on it on Friday and over the weekend with the diocese and safeguarding adviser.

 

The complaint was handled well at parish level. It took nine months for a safeguarding agreement to be signed. The agreement was not reviewed. This was the only safeguarding mattered this vicar had dealt with.

 

Julia O’Hara.

 

Diocese York. Woman in her 30s. Classes. Black top with white spots.

 

She is a diocesan safeguarding officer. She explains a myriad of ways to get decisions from the Bishop.

 

In one case a server, a 36 who was also a reader was accused of non-recent allegations. He had been arrested and went to trial. A risk assessment was put in place. She did not have enough information from the police. A core group was called and it was decided that someone should attend the trial each day. The suspect was acquitted. Evidence from the trial was that the complainant’s evidence was consistent and good and used in the risk assessment.

 

Another case was 2009 complaint which was a non-recent complaint by the daughter of a retired cleric with permission to officiate. She withdrew her complaint and decided not follow it up. A clear DBS check came through in 2012 and after assessment Julia O’Hara allowed his permission to officiate to continue.

 

She does not have unfettered access to blue files. The diocesan secretary has to get them out for her and she has to ring ahead in advance.

 

Another case involved F71 who had an old conviction. In 1999 a boy, A143 was camping with him and found that F71 had unzipped sleeping bag was staring at his penis. The diocesan safeguarding adviser asked to meet with F71. The vicar refused to allow this. The vicar was X7.

 

X7.

 

Vicar in the diocese of York. Edina Carney had described his handling of the case as unsafe. X7  says that he followed advice. He admits that he wasn’t aware of the existence of the diocesan safeguarding adviser. He saw his duty as a vicar to be protective of his parishioner more than protective of the boy, A143.

 

Meg Munn.

 

She was a social worker between 1981 and 2001. Between 2000 and 2015 she was an MP. She is now on the National safeguarding panel as the independent chair.

 

She wishes to look at burdens of proof, continuing with sanctions whilst the criminal process is active, thresholds so that minor cases can be dealt with more quickly. She was to look at issues of risk (ie safeguarding is more serious than stealing). She is concerned about bishops and clergy conflict of interest on safeguarding and she wishes to look at the clergy discipline measure. She wishes the church to go back to first principles.

 

She is a believer in having safeguarding firmly within the church has been the way to embed principles.

 

She agrees there is a need to deal with conflicts between diocesan safeguarding devices and bishops.

 

She would like to see national minimum standards for all dioceses to follow. She sees oversight externally as being an OFSTED model.

 

She thinks that information sharing between councils, the police and Church is patchy.

 

She agrees with mandatory reporting but does not agree with criminal sanction although she agrees with sanction through the clergy discipline measure. She agrees that many don’t understand safeguarding in the church. She agrees that most people with non-recent allegations complain that their treatment has been poor.

 

The evidence of Stephen Slack (former head of the legal office) is adduced. These statements will be on the IICSA website. He gave advice to the house of Bishops on apologies to victims of abuse in 2007. Stephen Lake or Gloucester Cathedral is the lead Dean on safeguarding. Christine Hardman is the Bishop of Newcastle and speaks on same-sex relationships.

 

10th of July 2019.

 

Matthew Ineson.

 

As a teenager Mr Ineson had a family breakdown. He had been brought up by his grandmother who found that she could not cope. She was old-fashioned and religious. Mr Ieson was brought up in the Anglican religious tradition. He was told by a local vicar that he had to stay in Bradford with Rev Trevor Devamanikkam. He stated his vicarage in Bradford and were sexually abused and raped over a period of three months by Rev Trevor Devamanikkam. There came a time when the bishop told him to leave and he had to leave the vicarage.

 

Mr Ineson could not tell anyone because of the shame. He also did not want to upset his grandmother. He became a vicar in 2003.

 

In July 2012 he disclosed to Bishop Peter Burrows at meeting of the parochial church council. He was unhappy with Bishop Burrows safeguarding response and confided in him that the reason he was unhappy was that child sexual abuse had happened to him. Mr Ineson expected Bishop Burrows to do something about it and investigate it.

 

Mr Ineson subsequently told Steven Croft, the Bishop of Sheffield, about the abuse and that he had told Bishop Burrows about it. This was during a telephone call following a burglary at Mr Ineson’s vicarage in his parish in Rotherham.

 

Mr Ineson told Bishop Steven Croft again in February 2013 of the telephone.

 

Mr Ineson also told his then Archdeacon, Martyn Snow. Mr Ineson told him during a heated argument.

 

In March 2013 Mr Ineson wrote to Bishop Stephen Croft and mentioned the abuse in the letter.

 

1 June 2013 he wrote again to Steven Croft about the reason for his resignation and copied in the Pres of tribunal’s, the Bishop of Beverley and the Archbishop of York John Sentamu. Mr Ineson received no reply.

 

Mr Hunter recounted the failed attempts to reports to Rotherham police of which he has documentary evidence.

 

He eventually spoke to West Yorkshire police in 2015 and Rev Trevor Devamanikkam was charged.

 

Mr Ineson was offered support for the church but felt it would not be independent so he found an independent counselling service in Bradford called Mosaic II.

 

The Rev Trevor Devamanikkam committed suicide on the day that he was due to attend the magistrates court. Mr Ineson was informed of this by the police on the same day.

 

Mr Ineson was by this time appalled by the poor response of the bishops and church safeguarding organisation has decided with the help of his solicitor, David Greenwood, to complain about the abuse and the lack of response from the church.

 

Each of the complaints against Roy Williamson, Steven Croft, Martyn Snow, Peter Burrows, John Sentimu and Glyn Webster were rejected as being out of time. Each bishop exercised their right to ask for the complaints to be dismissed as being out of time.

 

Further complaints were subsequently made regarding Peter Burrows who had been overheard by friend of Mr Ineson, a undertaker in Rotherham, discussing his case in a cafe Doncaster. The undertaker gave a statement and Mr Ineson complained to the information Commissioner’s office. His complaint was upheld. Despite this and Bishop Burrow’s admission that he had been gossiping about his case, Justin Welby took no action.

 

Mr Ineson was concerned that Steven Croft was enthroned as the Bishop of Oxford during the safeguarding complaints which Mr Ineson had made against him.

 

Mr Ineson complained that Martyn Snow had lied to the BBC that the judge had dismissed his the complaint against him. In fact he had taken no action. Again Justin Welby took no action on this complaint.

 

Mr Ineson complained about Steven Croft also lying on TV when he said that Mr Ineson “dropped it into a conversation”. This was not true as Mr Ineson had told him twice on the telephone and written to him twice.

 

Mr Ineson is concerned that on education, despite the cases being verified and proven, Justin Welby has taken no action. He has no faith in the outcomes of discipline measures and Mr Ineson repeated the words of the Lead safeguarding Bishop, Peter Hancock, who said the whole process has been shabby and shambolic.

 

Mr Ineson asked for a £2000 contribution to his counselling but only £500 was offered from Bishop Nick Baines.

 

Rev Ineson had a further complaint which was that the registrar to Justin Welby was also the registrar to Steven Croft. Mr Ineson and Mr Greenwood asked for Mr Rees to hand over the investigation and report writing to another registrar and it was agreed that Owen Carew-Jones would do this. Despite this, through subject access requests, Mr Ineson has discovered that John Rees has been consulted 26 times over the investigation of his complaints. Mr Ineson points out the clear conflict of interest for Mr Rees.

 

In respect of the core group, this was convened without Mr Ineson being aware, he was not allowed to be represented and nor was Trevor Devamanikkam. Members of the core group are representative of the bishops complained about and all therefore have conflicts of interest.

 

An independent review was commissioned in September 2017 by the National safeguarding team were told by John Rees that it should not happen until after the clergy discipline measure complains are completed. Mr Ineson believes the whole thing is manipulated.

 

Mr Ineson complained also that in July 2018 teen at the SCIE meeting at the General Synod in York, John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, a Bishop against whom Mr Ineson had complained, came up to Mr Ineson, held him by the shoulder and spoke in his face “What is it that you want?” Mr Ineson said he wanted apologies. Mr Sentamu said apologies mean different things to different people and that Matthew had put a boulder between them. Mr Ineson felt that his attitude was arrogant, rude and that he was a bully.

 

Mr Ineson said that he did not wish to damage the church but that there are people making decisions who should not be. He believes safeguarding should be done independently. He believes there is too much bias and conflict of interest. He believes in mandatory reporting

 

He would like a proper apology as it would be recognition of what happened to him and how he had been treated. He had been promised an apology from Justin Welby four times but it had not materialised.

 

Mr Ineson thanks David Greenwood, Tracey Brabin his MP, and the team at IICSA.

 

Mr Ineson believes that the church will revert to its old ways after IICSA unless something strong is done. He believes the church should be ashamed of the National safeguarding team and its bishops. He does not think Jesus would do what they are doing. He does not think the higher tier of bishops are fit for office.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adrian Iles.

 

Man in his 50s, grey suit. Paragraph he explains the CDM procedures as per the flow chart below.

 

The president of tribunal’s decides or advises on penalties. Bishops can disqualify a clergyman if there has been a conviction.

 

Mr Iles does investigations after Bishop has decided that it should be investigated (if the clergyman refuses to accept the penalty by consent).

 

He makes the point that the church discipline is a matter of doctrine and has its origins in the 16th century. Removing it could be considered a breach of article 9 of the human rights act, the right to express one’s religious beliefs. This is of course a qualified right and can be overridden.

 

Complaints flowchart here http://www.childabuselaw.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/COMPLAINTS.docx

 

 

John Sentamu.

 

He is the Archbishop of York. He wore a wine coloured shirt with a dog collar and a black jacket. He is also the Bishop of the diocese of York.

 

His job is to oversee the National safeguarding team. He is a member of the house of Bishops. Is the co-chair of the archbishop’s Council. In York he has safeguarding experts and a diocesan safeguarding advisory panel. He takes the advice of his lead on safeguarding, Julia O’Hara.

 

He failed to answer the question of what would happen if he disagreed with the diocesan safeguarding advisory panel advice. He simply answered that they have power because of their professionalism.

 

He failed to answer the question of how safeguarding in his dioceses and Province has improved over the years. He avoided answering by stating that the IICSA process has caused them to work more closely in partnership.

 

He stated that his procedures in the province have improved since the Judge Sally Cahill QC report in 2014. He avoided the question about how his province handled safeguarding between him taking up post in 2005 and 2014. He simply mentioned that he asked his team to look into dead clergy abuse.

 

He agreed that the past cases review was not adequate. He believes he has gone out of his way to put survivors of the heart of all of his work. Despite this he has seen only 15 survivors in the last 14 years.

 

He agrees that the needs of Matthew Ineson had not been made paramount.

 

On the complaint against him by Matthew Ineson he responded by saying that it was the responsibility of the diocese of Sheffield and he assumed that they were dealing with it.

 

The complaint that Mr Sentamu grabbed Mr Ineson by the shoulder and spoke in his face he said “If that is how I behave it was totally inappropriate. It was a confined room, I put my hand on his shoulder and left.” He did not remember saying “you’ve put a boulder between us”. He agrees support should be given to Matthew Ineson and he agrees that it has taken too long to set up an enquiry into the handling of Mr Ineson’s case.

 

When asked why he objected to the clergy discipline measure complaint against him when it was only 54 days outside the one year timescale, Mr Sentamu replied that it was a decision of the President of tribunals. He failed to answer the question of why he personally asked for the time limit to be imposed.

 

On the issue of the complaint about Bishop Whitsey, criticism of it by A88 that the public apology was “fluffy nonsense”, he agrees that there is not enough recognition of survivors and that clergy should drop what they are doing to help survivors.

 

When challenged that he had not dropped he was doing to help Matthew Ineson he responded by restating that it was the responsibility of the diocese of Sheffield.

 

When asked about apologies he went off on a tangent about not being aware of the Waddington case until he saw it on the TV.

 

When challenged about a passage in his statement that we should not judge things that happen in the past by today’s standards he agreed that the church has a higher moral responsibility than the wider public.

 

He went on to say that there are clergymen in his diocese where parishioners don’t believe that they could possibly have committed the offences. He believes that since the Jimmy Savile publicity society is waking up but the church has been slow to wake up. He believes the church should make it difficult for abusers.

 

He agrees that there is no distinction between contact abuse and downloading images of abuse.

 

He defends his decision not to suspend Bishop Forster as there had already been agreement between Forster and the Bishop of Birkenhead that Birkenhead would take on all safeguarding responsibilities.

 

On discussing the seal of the confessional he says he will not give absolution unless an abuser Hands himself in to the police and that the church needs to sweep away anything that stands in the way of disclosures. He develops the issue by supporting mandatory reporting although he is unclear on whether there should be criminal or disciplinary sanction only.

 

He agrees that clericalism and deference exists.

 

On the ordination of his under-trained wife he says that his wife applied to a panel which said that she would be able to begin training post ordination. She is to start training at Cranmer College later. When asked the question of whether he knew of this happening in any other case he avoided the question. He denied that she was given special dispensation because she is married to him.

 

When asked by panel member Mrs Sharp claims whether there was any impediment about an apology for Mr Ineson he said that because the evidence is contested and that the review has not yet happened and that Mr Ineson needs to agree the terms of reference, an apology could not be given.

 

11th of July 2019.

 

Graham Tilby.

 

Man in his fifties. Blue suit. Tie. Glasses.

 

The safe spaces project has taken a lot of time but we are just about to tender for an independent helpline and advocacy services. Authorise listeners have not been found useful by survivors. He would like “menu” of support. He is thinking about ”charter” of what survivors can expect.

 

Youth groups.

 

They’re not yet properly equipped on safeguarding. The C of E is the largest provider of youth services apart from the state and is behind the curve on training and integrating workers into the NST oversight.

 

Posthumous claims.

 

We are still learning the way to deal with posthumous claims. George Bell No.2 learned from the Carlisle report. We had a core group and then and independent decision maker after an independent investigation by Ray Galloway. Bell was very high profile and it would not be proportionate or affordable to do the same thing for every case.

 

Independent reviews.

 

At the end of every core group we do our own lessons learned and we do not necessarily ask an independent reviewer to look at each case. We look at the seriousness, whether there are multiple victims, multiple perpetrators, whether significant lessons can be learned and conflicts of interest.

 

There are currently three reviews. Whitsey, Devamanikkam and Smyth.

 

Matthew Ineson complains that he has not have input into the name of the reviewer or the terms of reference.

 

The SCIE report.

 

What is clear is that different dioceses respond to safeguarding concerns differently.

 

On the supremacy of bishops he says that most bishops don’t take operational decisions and leave it to the DSA. He avoids the question which was whether decision-making should be removed from bishops who are not qualified.

 

He would like to bring in national minimum safeguarding standards for every dioceses and parish.

 

There is criticism of the clergy discipline measure that the bishop can smooth things over at an early stage, preventing them going to the Pres of tribunal’s. Mr Tilby would like a completely new specialist process dealing only with child abuse. He was like working party on this.

 

He agrees that recruitment can be better. He believes the church has improved and that there is lot of sharing of information between DSAs. He would like DSAs is to work regionally. He believes taking responsibility for safeguarding outside the church would mean churches let it go. He does not have a solution to the problem of bishops being all-powerful but not accountable in dioceses.

 

He explains that core groups are to get key people together to look at risk and responding to victims and it is an internal management process. He is working on internal audits between the five yearly SCIE reports.

 

The ombudsman scheme proposal is dead.

 

He asks for statistics from dioceses every year. Only 28% of allegations reported were passed on to the statutory services. He cannot explain this.

 

Only 50% of the training has taken place. There is some resistance to doing it.

 

There has been criticism of the parish safeguarding handbook being too bulky. He will put together a one-page laminated sheet for all parishes.

 

He agrees there should be more resources and better targeted.

 

In response to a question from Prof Jay, about removing bishops from the safeguarding process altogether he says there needs to be accountability leadership but there is scope for taken out of operational decisions.

 

Justin Welby.

 

Man in his 60s. Glasses. Blackshirt. Dog collar. Short grey hair.

 

The distance we have come on the safeguarding journey depends on who you talk to. Younger ones ‘get it’.

 

He criticises Bishop Peter Forster when he considered viewing pornography to be less damaging than contact abuse. Justin Welby says the use of pornography encourages abuse.

 

Justin Welby was questioned about his response to the complainant in 2011 when he was Dean of Liverpool Cathedral. A complainant was unhappy about his contact with an employee of the cathedral, F18. The complainant wrote to Mr Welby and said that F18 should not have touched his shoulder, and talked about sex during a pastoral visit to his home. The complainant visited the cathedral and was threatening to staff.

 

Mr Welby treated the complaint as an employee complaint rather than safeguarding complaint and wrote to the complainant to say that it was his word versus the word of F18 and so he could not side with him and would take no action. Following the threats, Justin Welby barred him from entering the cathedral.

 

Justin Welby acknowledged that he had made a number of mistakes. He should have suspended F18. He treated it as a discipline matter not safeguarding. He should have seen that it was safeguarding but did not as the complainant was an adult. The complainant complained that Justin Welby exercised “casual indifference and neglect”. Justin Welby acknowledged that he did not give him enough respect.

 

Justin Welby recalls the July 2018 meeting at Synod in York. There were wide range of survivors. Some avoided contact with the church but were brave enough to come along. Some have gone back into the church. All were very dignified and very precise about what was going wrong and it had a great impact on him.

 

What has he done about safeguarding in the last 18 months?.

 

There is a safe spaces project. He will encourage the lead which on safeguarding to talk to survivors more. He will encourage the church to work in partnership with survivors more.

 

Asked about the SCIE. report he said that there needs to be a change in accountability and deference. He says he is teaching the senior leadership team on the use of power. He has encouraged regional teams of bishops to peer review each other.

 

Fiona scolding explained to him that all those working formal measures but bishops are still unaccountable. Justin Welby points to having suspended the Bishop of Lincoln in 2019. He agrees that there needs to be a safe mechanism to ensure that a DSA can hold bishops accountable. The DSA needs to be employed outside the diocese so that if they disagree with the Bishop they do not fear being sacked. He agrees that the DSA is to have the final word.

 

External audits.

 

He agrees that SCIE or another external auditor should continue indefinitely.

 

Internal audits of parishes. He agrees that safeguarding needs to be given a higher profile during these audits. Improving bias on sex, social mobility, race and disability will help safeguarding in his opinion.

 

On deference he does not have a good answer. He agrees that those such as Bishop Alan Wilson need to be critical and that the church will be poorer without him.

 

Clergy discipline measure.

 

He’s not happy with the current system. There is a need for specialised system to deal with abuse which is survivor centred and quick with clear communication and panels to investigate. There is a need to even out disparity between dioceses on safeguarding funding.

 

On Bishop selection, he states that there are questions during interviews which have in the past stopped at least one applicant progressing.

 

Mandatory reporting. Justin Welby is now in support mandate of mandatory reporting. He spoke to Phil Johnson of MACSAS last Sunday at the Gen Synod and agrees it should be in place for regulated activities. For the church he agrees it should be a disciplinary sanction and the government will decide whether there should be a criminal sanction. John Sentamu also believes in mandatory reporting.

 

Questions from David Greenwood on behalf of core participants he represents.

 

Do bishops get an easy ride on discipline given that all but six of the complaints have been dismissed by Justin Welby ? Mr Welby explained that he had suspended a bishop. Mr Welby denies that he gives bishops and easy ride and says that he looks at the evidence with care.

 

He is not sure if he has the ability to overrule complaints being ruled out of time. He agrees that he will apologise to Mr Ineson. An apology of 5 July 2017 was read out. It was intended as an apology.

 

On external regulation as suggested by David Greenwood believes that it would require the dismantling of church bodies. If that would make the church work then it would have to be done but it would have to be the last resort in his opinion.

 

He was questioned on behalf of A4 and asked whether he knew about Tim Thornton’s management of a disclosure by A4 before he was appointed as the Bishop at Lambeth. Mr Welby did know about it and believed that it did not indicate that it would be unsafe on safeguarding.

 

He was questioned as to why he prevented a debate about the Blackburn letter at the recent Synod. Mr Welby said he did not wish to upset by IICSA.

 

In his closing remarks he maintains that he is concerned about difference and accountability. He believes that those things will have the biggest impact on safeguarding. He remained utterly horrified with the church failures but he believes there has been some small progress. He is looking forward to the Devamanikkam investigation and Smyth investigation. Abuse destroys lives and leaves deep wounds. He is sorry for every occasion that it happens.

 

He thought that he had apologised to Mr Ineson at the Nov 2016 meeting but he may not have done and he obviously did not communicate clearly enough. He is still ashamed of the church on safeguarding as it leaved a profound stain on everything else that the church does very well.

 

12th of July 2019.

 

David Bonehill and John Titchener of EIG Insurance.

 

These witnesses were questioned about the withdrawal of Pastoral support for A4. The inquiry had asked for legal professional privilege redactions to be removed. Mr Bonehill when first giving evidence on 2 July 2019 explained that the use of legal professional privilege in this case was to remain consistent with all other cases.

 

Counsel to the enquiry, Nikita McNeill mentioned recordings of conversations between a journalist and to public relations/communications people from EIG taken from 22nd, 28th and 30th of June 2016. Part of the recording of 30 June 2016 was played and showed that whilst EI G told the church support worker for A4 that contact with him should stop as legal letter of claim had been written, they explained that there had been the confusion in that they believed the advice from EIG had been asked regarding the claim only and not about his pastoral care or support.

 

As Mr Titchener acknowledged, the public relations people on the call were trying to manage the information to put EIG in a better light. Mr Titchener acknowledged that EIG had received the emails with the recordings in June in September 2017.

 

Nikita McNeill went on to explain that EIG disagreed with Ian Elliott’s report on the handling of A4’s case. EIG had disputed they had advised the withdrawal of support. The emails now disclosed to the enquiry show that this had taken place. EIG were accused of tampering the Inquiry’s factual investigation. Mr Titchener replied “is it is a source of deep regret that these documents were not disclosed sooner. Disclosing them sooner would probably have saved everyone’s time and effort”.

 

Nikita McNeill takes David Bonehill through emails between Sheryl Kent, the A4 support worker and Bishop Paul Butler along with Stephen Slack. Stephen Slack advised that contact should be withdrawn subject to the safeguarding professionals’ guidance. Paul Butler wanted to avoid withdrawing support and suggested that he speak to David Greenwood, A4’s solicitor. He thought it good practice to let A4’s lawyer know the basis of withdrawal of contact.

 

Further advice was taken from the EIG’s solicitor who confirmed that it is still possible to offer pastoral support during a claim. Sheryl Kent then asked for clarification from EIG themselves. EIG confirmed that there should be no contact. Nikita McNeill pressed David Bonehill to admit that his advice was not clear enough and that the advice could have been wider. On reflection he accepts that Ian Elliott’s report was accurate.

 

Closing submissions.

 

Ian O’Donnell on behalf of Slater and Gordon core participants.

 

He criticises individual decisions and mistakes highlighted by this investigation. He describes the clergy discipline measure as ineffective. He believes that practice is different from the written guidance in the church. He accuses the church of running down the clock. He supports mandatory reporting.

 

William Chapman (on behalf of MACSAS and other core participants).

 

His speech was as set out here.

 

IICSA Anglican Inquiry

Wider Church Investigation

Closing on behalf of MACSAS and AN-A1 to A6, Phil Johnson, Julie MacFarlane, Graham Sawyer and Rev Matthew Ineson

 

CLOSING ANGLICAN

  1. Chair, panel: we act for ten victims of Anglican clerical sexual abuse and the survivors’ support group MACSAS.

Welby’s apology

  1. May I deal with one matter immediately. Yesterday, the Archbishop of Canterbury flourished a letter he says he wrote to Mr Ineson in 2017. That letter was disclosed to the Inquiry yesterday and then, to us, shortly before you came in at 2 pm. Mr Ineson has not had a chance to respond to it. The Archbishop relied on the final paragraph of that letter to suggest he had given Mr Ineson an apology. Mr Ineson does not accept that. His objection is to the words ‘deeply sorry….from your description of how this has been dealt with by the Church’. I am not sure it is even grammatical. It is certainly mealy mouthed. It does not frankly accept the Church treated him badly.
  2. Yesterday was an opportunity for the Archbishop to give a full apology – in public and in Mr Ineson’s presence – for what the Archbishop accepted was the ‘shabby and shambolic’ way Mr Ineson was treated by the Church. He sat there, the most powerful man in the Church, and Mr Ineson, sat behind, waited and waited and waited – as he has been for years. That was more than just a discourtesy to Mr Ineson. The Archbishop still ‘doesn’t get it’.A national, independent regulator
  1. I turn to the main body of my submissions.
  2. The Anglican Church is the first of the major institutions to face a final reckoning in this Inquiry. The Anglican Investigation, with all its component parts, is a case study par excellence for why there must be:
  1. a national, state-sponsored, independent, regulator of the child-care sector;
  2. a corporate structure for those who want to care for children.
  1. It is why I wish in this address to:
  • suggest, tentatively, the beginnings of a more general theory of institutional abuse, to help answer the question: Which institutions pose the greatest risk to children?
  1. Explain why, if the theory is correct, there is a need for a national, state-sponsored, independent regulator of the child-care sector.
  1. This is not to replace the Church’s own steps to regulate itself. It is on top of that. Our essential point is: we do not care about the peculiarities of your byzantine institution comprised of 42 medieval fiefdoms, governed by centuries old Canon Law. You fix that if you can. It is your responsibility in every parish and every diocese. But you will comply with minimum standards set by a national regulator that apply to every registered institution that cares for children. No special pleading.
  2. What must not happen – and what we say would be a fools’ errand for you – is to attempt to make specific recommendations for each of the immensely complicated organisations you have to consider. Extensive though this inquiry is, you are still only considering a few institutions. What about all those institutions you will not be able to scrutinize?
  3. The regulator must be completely independent and, just as importantly, be seen to be independent.
  4. We first suggested a national, independent, regulator of the child-care sector at the conclusion of the Downside/Ampleforth case study in December 2017. At the time, it seemed a bold submission. It no longer seems a recommendation of the best, but one of absolute necessity.
  5. Others were content to limit their recommendation to mandatory reporting. The evidence has moved on. Even the Archbishops of Canterbury and York now accept mandatory reporting is a ‘no-brainer’.
  6. No change
  1. I will not, with great respect to the Survivors of clerical abuse – particularly those who have given evidence before you, some without anonymity – be dwelling on the litany of abuse, failed safeguarding and cover-up that you identified in your report into Chichester and Peter Ball and have heard yet more in this strand. All I will say, is that the evidence confirms that, despite the Church being anxious to be on best-behaviour in front of this Inquiry, the problems persist:
  1. An Archbishop of York who tells you that the ‘Voices of the abused must be heard” but takes advantage of a 1 year limitation period under the CDM against Mr Ineson.
  2. The same Archbishop who, only a few weeks ago, ordained his wife without, exceptionally, the very training he says is so badly needed. At the very least, he did not stop to think how this might be perceived as an abuse of power.
  3. A priest, AN-X7, who refused to accept it was wrong in principle for a convicted child-abuser to be on the parochial church council.
  4. And how the Church and its principal insurer EIG act together to deny pastoral support to victims and, before this Inquiry, refuse to disclose the privileged material that would reveal if they are telling the truth about it. And this is the insurer who is widely regarded as the most benevolent of the insurers claimants face in litigation.
  5. You have heard the same defensive narrative we have heard elsewhere:
    1. We did not know;
    2. We forgot we were told;
  • I was only cc’d to the correspondence;
  1. If we were told, we could not believe it;
  2. We need more training and policies;
  3. The past is a foreign country. You are judging the past by the standards of today.
  • Give us time.
  1. They did know. They were told. They did believe it. They had training and policies galore. Child abuse is and always has been regarded as a grave crime. They have had so much time.
  • You will recall in the Downside inquiry how in 1972 the headmaster of Downside did what he was supposed to do with great alacrity when he discovered abuse: sacked the priest, informed the statutory authority and recommended defrocking to the Holy See.
  1. And we heard from the older cleric Rev Christopher Watkins and how he dealt with a safeguarding problem in his Welsh parish perfectly correctly with limited training and resources.
  2. The past is not a foreign country. Progress is not always linear. Institutions, like Empires, decline and fall.
  1. The real risk is that once the heat of this Inquiry dies, the institution – whether it be the Anglican Church or the Catholic Church – revert to type or progress so slowly we have to wait a generation. It will not be sufficient to pass one or two laws that require mandatory reporting or extend position of trust offences. Laws ossify. Only look at Canon Law. You need a regulator that is continually applying the heat with guidance that changes dynamically as we better understand through experience what works and what doesn’t.
  2. Which institutions pose the greatest risk to children?
  1. I said I would to try to identify more general factors that identify high risk institutions.
  2. These are:
  1. Large institutions;
    1. Large institutions cannot change their culture and practice quickly.
        1. The Church has a presence in virtually every locality in the country from small hamlets to the major cities.
        2. But it is also international. Archbishop Welby was at pains to explain in his statement that the Anglican Communion extends from the hill tribes in Papua New Guinea to New York City. And that the average congregant is ‘a woman in her 30s who lives on less than $4 a day…in an area of conflict’. The Church has to please everyone. And in doing so it pleases no one.
        3. We heard how it took 5 years for the Church to consider the Seal of the Confessional only to decide to do nothing – despite some of its most senior members like the Archbishop of York agreeing that an absolute Seal was unjustifiable.
        4. Bishop Sowerby was keen to emphasise that the new generation of ordinands were ‘open to safeguarding and all that it contains’. As if we should accept that cultural change may take a generation.
  1. Powerful institutions
    • Powerful institutions can shelter and protect themselves by friends in high places. We heard how that worked in the Peter Ball investigation.
  2. Institutions that organise themselves in a diffuse, Loose way, with a high degree of autonomy at the local level;
    • The life of a priest in the parish and the Bishop in the Diocese is largely his own to organise: unsupervised, unshackled, unregulated.
  3. Where there is a powerful Ethos that binds members to each other and inhibits external scrutiny.
    • How does such a large, loosely supervised organisation maintain its organisation? By a powerful ethos supported by doctrine that binds members together. You expressed surprise that an organisation with an explicit moral purpose could do such wrong. In fact, it is no surprise. The express moral purpose becomes a cover [ACE0267757]. People defer to ‘good’ people.
  1. The institution is dependent on a “clean” reputation and in which members know each other and live in the same communities the imperative to hide dirty linen is strong. This is true for most organisations looking after children. Reputations are strongly defended. A tarnished reputation is an existential threat. Only outside regulators can bring objectivity.
  1. Where that Ethos is not consonant with accepted standards of child safeguarding. For example:
    • the absolute Seal of the Confessional is not consonant with accepted standards of child safeguardings.
  1. Concept of forgiveness and its misguided consequences when perpetrators are forgiven and allowed to continue to pose a risk to children, e.g. Bishop Forster and the child pornography case.
  1. Led by those who are ultimately only accountable to themselves.
    • Still, the Bishop is the ultimate decision-maker on child safety discipline. I think I am right in saying that all external commentators on the Church called for an end to the ‘Church marking its own homework’.
  2. Who have ample access to children.
    • We know the Church is the largest provider of voluntary services to children after the State.
  1. We suggest this analysis assists you in understanding why:
  • The Anglican Church is a high-risk institution.
  1. The Anglican Church, is unlikely to be effective in regulating itself to protect children.
  2. If you consider the response by the Church in Wales, it has performed better and moved more swiftly. It is smaller. Safeguarding and discipline is more centrally organised. It is less powerful: it is not established, it is disestablished.
  1. You have published your report about Chichester and Peter Ball in May. You identified key features of the Anglican Church that led to those terrible cases:
  • The prioritisation of reputation over the protection of children;
  1. Deep-seated arrogance;
  2. Clericalism and tribalism.
  1. In the course of this hearing, you have looked in more detail at specific issues such as:
  • Church structures;
  1. Disciplinary processes;
  2. Cultural change.
  1.  We would add:
  • The size of the Anglican Church.
  1. Its established position at the heart of our constitution.
  1. All of those things have played their part and, so long as there is a Church of England, will always play their part. It is the nature of the beast: what makes it good in many ways, also creates the very high risk it poses to children.
  2. Going beyond the reasons why
  1. We need to go beyond the reasons why. No doubt, for devotees of the CofE and history buffs, the causes of this institutional sclerosis are fascinating.
  2. For the victims of abuse, it is stomach churning.
  1. It is of no interest to them why the Anglican Church has failed.
  2. It is of no interest to them to hear the Archbishop quote the Bible, recite platitudes or even weep in sorrow.
  3. It is of no interest to them to debate the theological arguments surrounding the Seal of the Confessional.
  4. We drown in a sea of platitudes and an alphabet-soup (DSAs, ISVAs, NST, DSA, ADSA.) of child-safety acronyms that even the witnesses and Ms Scolding struggled to articulate with confidence.
  1. It is, I suggest, of limited relevance to you. The purpose of analysing why the Church failed is not for you to make recommendations about how it might improve matters by doing this, or that. It is to confirm in your own mind that the Church really has failed for reasons that are inherent to its very nature will not change without external, truly independent, state regulation.
  2. Because all decent people – victims or not, Anglicans or not –  simply want all reasonably practicable measures to be taken to make it stop. That is the acid-test we require in our Health & Safety legislation. It is the acid-test that only state-regulation can provide for child-protection. How the Church meets these minimum standards is up to them. Do not, we beg you, get sucked into making specific recommendations about how this byzantine institution goes about meeting those standards: it is up to them and whatever guidance the regulator gives. If they fail, they face the regulatory consequences, like everybody else.
  3. There is nothing special about the CofE. It is no answer to a factory in breach of health & safety regulations that it is special because it a) makes specialist aircraft parts, b) believes this, that and the other, c) and arranges its management structure in a peculiar way. It is irrelevant.
  4. So much of this is institutional special pleading. When the Archbishop of Canterbury objects to our proposal because it would mean radical change, the sub-text is this: We are special, We are too big too fail. The answer is: you are not special and you may be too big to succeed. But if you are saying, we may not be able to meet minimum standards, therefore they pose an existential threat: you are right and so it should be.
  5. You must bend to the needs of the community like everyone else. The Seal of the Sacrament is a good example: we are not interested in a theological debate about the pros and cons of the Seal and its limited exception dating back to 1603. The rule is, you report abuse to the statutory authorities however you learn of it.We are in favour of Mandatory Reporting in the form as advocated by the pressure group Mandate Now.
  6. The Regulator
  7. Mandatory Reporting
  1. We have always said we envisaged a child-safety regulator as a statutory body akin to the the Health & Safety Executive (‘HSE’). The history of the HSE is a long one: the first of the so-called Factory Acts was in 1803. They were enacted to protect children from exploitation in the cotton mills. Having heard the evidence in this Inquiry we say it is remarkable that in 2019, no such similar body exists for the protection of children from sexual and physical abuse.
  2. Features of this regulator are designed to catch all children looked after by organisations.
  1. The regulator will cover all organisations which look after children. Very small groups such as childminders are regulated by ofsted. Consideration will be given to exempting such small organisations.
  2. The independent statutory body would enforce basic standards of safeguarding. To do this the statutory body would establish:
    1. A Register of Institutions fit to look after children. To be considered fit and join the register the institution would have to satisfy basic safety criteria.
    2. It would be an offence to look after children without being on the Register.
  • To be on the Register the institution will have to introduce a corporate structure. This will enable accountability.

 

      1. The registered institution should be forced to adhere to the minimum standards of safeguarding of those in its care.

 

    1. The independent body would have the power to prosecute organisations for breaches of regulations. Fines would be imposed for breaches. Organisations could be prevented from working with children. Sanction could include safeguarding agreements or their equivalent not just for individuals but for corporations.

 

    1. All complaints would be passed from the regulated institution to this independent body by any receiving institution with a criminal sanction for failing to do so.

 

    1. The body would require a detailed report on the complaint to satisfy the body that its investigation adheres to minimum standards. The body would have the power to gather information from complainants, regulated institutions and third parties and would take over the handling of cases where there was significant concern. It would have the power to compel disclosure of material.

 

    1. The body would liaise with and assist civil authorities such as the Police and Social Services. The body would ensure that police and other statutory organisations are taking appropriate action within reasonable timescale.

 

    1. Where an allegation has been made the body would investigate complaints using a “balance of probabilities” standard of proof.  There would be no statute of limitations under this scheme. The independent body would have the power to make awards of compensation similar to the CICA. It would have the power to decide on the support to be offered to a complainant and a scheme would be established to provide adequate compensation taking into account the effects on quality of life and a series of factors.

 

    1. Complainants will be allowed to take advice from lawyers and a contribution to legal costs would be awarded.

 

    1. The cost of the body’s work would be paid from a levy on institutions and those culpable would pay for the costs of dealing with individual cases in which they are involved.

 

WILLIAM CHAPMAN

DAVID GREENWOOD

JULY 2019

 

 

 

Nigel Giffin QC (archbishops Council).

 

In a brief speech he believes that progress of the church will continue. He will make written submissions later.

 

Mr Powell (Church in Wales).

 

He believes that 18 people are on the register in Wales 10 of those have committed sexual offences. He will send in written submissions later.

 

Rory Phillips (EIG) 

 

He explains that the AIG is widely accepted as being a cooperative insurer and that the four individuals who have criticised it at this enquiry make the criticisms because of the adversarial nature of civil justice and that there expectation is higher than what EIG as an insurer can deliver. They expect a benevolent church response to get a legalistic insurer response.

 

He regrets the misunderstanding in relation to talk the advice on withdrawal of support for A4.

 

Mr Berry (national police chief’s Counsel).

 

He believes the church should follow five mantras. One. Strong recruitment. Two. Adequate risk assessments where known offenders attend church. Three. Ensure concerns are escalated without delay. Four – concerns about criminality are passed promptly to the police. Five. Embedding of safeguarding it in the DNA of the church.

 

Fiona scolding QC (lead counsel to the enquiry).

 

Thanks all witnesses and core participants.

 

Professor Alexis Jay.

 

She thanks all core participant witnesses. The report into the Anglican Church will be published in summer 2020.

 

End.

 

[1] ACE026363

[2] ANG000584

[3] ANG000364

IICSA Anglican Inquiry 2nd -12th July 2019 – David Greenwood opening statement

IICSA Anglican Inquiry

Wider Church Investigation

Opening on behalf of MACSAS and AN-A1 to A6, Phil Johnson, Julie MacFarlane, Graham Sawyer and Rev Matthew Ineson

 

  1. The Anglican Church can be a force for good. It creates communities. It can help those in need. There are very many worthy people doing much good, but from a safeguarding perspective the Anglican Church presents us with a huge unregulated area of activity. It is a magnet for the vulnerable. It draws in children to youth groups, choirs and for spiritual guidance.
  2. We have seen through previous investigations in Chichester and Peter Ball that it is a place where paedophiles have good reason to feel safe.
  3. I will not dwell on the obvious problem of the church’s web-like structure. I have advocated a more corporate structure will bring accountability, fines and the enforced raising of standards. At present we have Bishops as the final arbiters on safeguarding responses. This brings inconsistency and the temptation to protect individual and the organisation’s reputation. We must find a way to break this dangerous safeguarding structure.
  4. The Church has tried to plug the holes exposed by the Chichester Inquiry. It has introduced many detailed responses some of which are an improvement but as we will see from the evidence of Jo Kind of MACSAS they are inadequate and a smoke screen to get through the current scrutiny.
  5. The Gen Synod document GS2092[1] is a report by the National safeguarding steering group of 2018. Its reference is ACE026363. It recommends that clergy, lay readers, churchwardens, and PCCs have “due regard” for guidance issued by the House of Bishops. This phraseology is inadequate. Only the mandatory referral externally would be acceptable to MACSAS.
  6. On changes to the clergy discipline measure, the church is “considering external scrutiny”. This obfuscatory language demonstrates an unwillingness to change unless forced to do so by legislation. Again here independence is needed to enforce dismissals, fines and awards of compensation. Cultural change will only come about through the enforcement of tough penalties.
  7. The GS2092 document argues that independent oversight would mean the church contracting out of its responsibilities. In fact what happen if independence is not introduced is that once the heat of IICSA scrutiny and potential legislation dies down the church will revert to type. It will continue to deal with issues quietly and internally. This is what organisations with reputations to protect do.
  8. All the measures announced fail to deliver true independence or mandatory reporting. If a bishop wishes to avoid reporting to the police or social services he or she can still legally do so even after the introduction of the new proposed initiative. Bishops are hopelessly conflicted in their duties. On one hand, they have the good name of their dioceses and staff to protect. On the other, they are tasked with responding well to allegations of abuse. The proposed ombudsman service is a figleaf. It would only covered those persistent and strong enough to complain about the poor handling they have already endured. It is clear that the church is unwilling to commit to independence.
  9. The National safeguarding steering group ACE026363 proposal uses vague wording such as agreeing to “develop and analyse options: develop proposals: consider findings: commission a working group: and undertake an analysis”. There is no commitment by the church to relinquish control of responses to safeguarding concerns. This is deliberate behaviour. The church is trying to buy time until IICSA goes away. MACSAS is not going away and I hope the IICSA recommendations will be very forceful.
  10. Until true independence is established there remains a concern that the National safeguarding team has insufficient power to intervene where poor safeguarding compliance exists. It is not clear whether bishops, Deans and Archbishops can prevent the National safeguarding team having access to documents and staff within their organisations and only the establishment of a truly independent body to manage church safeguarding operations, established through legislation can ensure proper oversight. Church officeholders and employees are a fairly small and close-knit community. As your hearings have so far demonstrated, bonds of loyalty to each other and the organisation are strong and can easily override official policy. Only external independent decision-makers can avoid this real risk.
  11. I should share with you the comment from a core participant who commented that the tears shed by Justin Welby in his first appearance here were not tears of shame but were tears arising from the realisation that his organisation and his office has been found to have failed. It has placed too much emphasis on protecting clergy and bishops and has allowed children to go unprotected. They were tears at being caught out. The core participant told me it is actually the church that should be ashamed of the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. We have seen how George Carey felt a compulsion to protect one of his bishops. We know that David Hope protected Robert Waddington. There is evidence that Bishops continue to be protected by Mr Welby.
  12. On internal discipline the Clergy Disciplinary Measure procedure must surely be another embarrassment for the church. Its ludicrous rules have led to complaints being timed out after a year and many claims being dismissed or decisions to take no action taken all without independent scrutiny. What kind of discipline measure has impenetrable rules, allows an alleged perpetrator to comment on whether a case can be considered out of time, and (as per the CDM 2018 report attests only 90 complaints covering over 20,000 members). The CDM summary report tells us that most of the 90 were either dismissed by the Bishop, had no action taken or a penalty by consent imposed. Only 7 reached consideration by the President of Tribunals. Only four were dismissed from office (these came after criminal conviction). It bears no relation to most employer/ employee disciplinary codes.
  13. Interestingly, 24 complaints were made against Bishops. All apart from the 6 still outstanding were dismissed or no action taken by Messrs Welby and Sentamu.
  14. We will hear from Matthew Ineson[2] in week two about his appalling treatment by Bishops which prompted Mr Welby to take no action despite a catalogue of inaction and lies. It seems Mr Welby is continuing in Mr Carey’s footsteps by protecting his Bishops.
  15. We now know that the church has regular business meetings to manage its reputational risk. Discreditting Matthew Ineson has been discussed. We also know the church is convinced it can resist any recommendations IICSA may have to introduce independence into the safeguarding process. When it comes to safeguarding this is a thoroughly disreputable organisation which cannot be trusted.
  16. We will hear today from AN-A4[3] about how he tried to tell literally dozens of senior church people over 3 decades and was not taken seriously. Some have forgotten his disclosure. Some have not. He complains of the withdrawal of counselling as soon as a civil claim was intimated. A core group was established without his knowledge and without him being invited to attend. It discussed damage limitation rather than his welfare. He is concerned at a conflict of interest between the church insurer and the church which has staffed its board.
  17. On the subject of the past cases review we will hear from Roger Singleton who is rightly critical of the woefully inadequate terms of reference and treatment of the data. The review resulted in the church declaring it had a clean bill of health when nothing could have been further from the truth. The church treated us all like children. It lied to us and it lied to the children and their parents who put their trust in the church. It put them at unacceptable risk and until the Past Cases Review is re-run with an in depth analysis children are still at risk in this church.
  18. For all these reasons I ask the panel to find that a) the Anglican Church is unable to effectively respond to child sexual abuse risks,b) Legislation is required to
  19. i) enact mandatory reporting.  .
  20. ii) create an independent statutory body to enforce basic standards of safeguarding. This statutory body would establish:
    1. A Register of Institutions fit to look after children.
    2. It would be an offence to look after children without being on the Register.
    3. To be on the Register the institution will have to introduce a corporate structure.
    4. The registered institution should be forced to adhere to the minimum standards of safeguarding regulation.
    5. The independent body would have the power to prosecute organisations for breaches of regulations. Fines would be imposed for breaches. Organisations could be prevented from working with children.
    6. All complaints would be passed to this independent body by any receiving institution with a criminal sanction for failing to do so.
    7. The body would gather information from complainants, regulated institutions and third parties. It would have the power to compel disclosure of material.
    8. The body would liaise with and assist civil authorities such as the Police and Social Services. The body would ensure that police and other statutory organisations are taking appropriate action within reasonable timescale.
    9. The body would investigate complaints using a “balance of probabilities” standard of proof.  There would be no statute of limitations under this scheme. The independent body would have the power to make awards of compensation similar to the CICA. It would have the power to decide on the support to be offered to a complainant and a scheme would be established to provide adequate compensation taking into account the effects on quality of life and a series of factors.
    10. Complainants will be allowed to take advice from lawyers and a contribution to legal costs would be awarded.
    11. The cost of the body’s work would be paid from a levy on institutions and those culpable would pay for the costs of dealing with individual cases in which they are involved.

David Greenwood

28th June 2019

[1] ACE026363

[2] ANG000584

[3] ANG000364

2019 General Synod safeguarding protest

Rev Matthew Ineson and David Greenwood staged a protest outside York Minster to highlight Church of England Safeguarding failures.

250 leaflets with the call for independence in safeguarding decisions were handed to the congregation of the Sunday morning General Synod service. Many positive conversations were had with Synod members and other clergy.

A surprise guest, Taliulah (Matthew’s pet dog), provided moral support.

The impetus for change is growing from within the church and it is hoped that the church will respect IICSA Inquiry recommendations which are likely to require independent oversight in one form or another.

David Greenwood

7th July 2019

LONG AWAITED DECISION ON SOCIAL SERVICES NEGLIGENCE

LONG AWAITED DECISION ON SOCIAL SERVICES NEGLIGENCE

(This applies to Exploitation and “failure to remove” cases).

Since December 2017 we have been waiting for the most senior judges in England to decide whether councils can be held liable for negligent social workers. Hundreds of claimants across the country were fearful that judges could have given councils immunity from having to compensate children for failures.

The case is called Poole Borough Council v GN [2019] UKSC 25

In a decision announced yesterday (6th June 2019) common sense prevailed.

The judges decided that where experts offer their skills to the public but provide a negligent service their employers can be held responsible. This will apply to social workers working for the council who investigate and make decisions on how best to keep children safe.

This will apply especially to children (a vulnerable group) who are affected by social work decisions. Failed care cases Where social workers become involved with a family they are expected to exercise reasonable skill and care to protect them from harm. That is the job and specialism of a social worker. The case says at paragraph 80: “..a public body which offers a service to the public often assumes a responsibility to those using the service. The assumption of responsibility is an undertaking that reasonable care will be taken, either express or more commonly implied, usually from the reasonable foreseeability of reliance on the exercise of such care”.

Children impliedly entrust their welfare to professionals looking after them.

My view is that there has been an assumption of responsibility in all cases where social workers have had more than a minimal involvement with a child. The Rotherham and Oxford exploitation cases provide stark examples of the failure of professionals at all levels. This case allows those affected to claim redress.

David Greenwood and the child abuse team at Switalskis Solicitors represent survivors of child abuse due to social work mistakes, including failures to protect from sexual exploitation and grooming. They have extensive experience in helping those who have been affected by child abuse to achieve justice.

If you were a victim of child abuse and would like confidential advice, please contact David Greenwood, Bev Mercer, Sally Smith or Amy Clowrey on 0800 138 4700 or by e mail at david.greenwood@switalskis.com

Catholic Ealing Abbey Investigation closing submissions

IICSA Roman Catholic Investigation Ealing Abbey Investigation Closing statement by David Greenwood on behalf of RC-A31, RC-A32, RC-A33, C17, C18 and C19

The question

1. Chair, you posed a question to Mr Turner, the Diocesan safeguarding officer: a. “Why had all this occurred within the monastery and the diocese?”

2. How could so few people – a dozen or so monks – cause so much trouble?

That is the fundamental question. The answer determines what must be done.

The wrong answer

3. Let me first reject the answer Mr Turner and others gave. He suggested all this had occurred because opportunities to commit child abuse arose because of inadequate procedures.

4. He is wrong. There was no lack of procedure or want of knowledge of child safeguarding. Or, if there was, it was not the cause of the problem.

a. Ealing Abbey had received clear, unequivocal advice, from its solicitors from as early as 1993.

b. Abbot Shipperlee was involved with implementing Nolan from its inception. He was part of its working committee.

c. This was a man who said, in effect, he became so familiar with safeguarding that he was bored with the training.

d. You will remember in the Downside case how the headmaster, Father Aelred Watkin, acted quickly to involve the statutory authorities as long ago as 1970.

e. It is not difficult to keep records. It is not difficult to promulgate a covenant of care in the monastery. It is not difficult to pass complaints to the statutory authorities. It is not difficult to assist the police with their inquiries. It is not difficult to give full and frank disclosure to the school inspector and Charity Commission.

f. It is not difficult if the will is there. But the will was not there.

The right answer

5. Why were these holy men so unwilling? The answer to your question is hiding in plain sight. It is what the Benedictines have themselves told you. It is what they believe. Their beliefs are simply incompatible with the welfare of the child being paramount: incompatible in principle; incompatible in practice.

6. It not that the Benedictines wish harm upon children. It is that when there is a conflict between their beliefs and harm to children, their beliefs are paramount.

a. The first duty of the Abbot is to his monks, according to the Rule of St Benedict.

b. That is why Abbot Shipperlee accepted he might well have said about David Pearce, “What can I do? He’s my friend.”

c. That is why Abbot Shipperlee said about Soper, ‘I couldn’t believe the complaint. I had a very high regard for my predecessor’ rather than trust to an investigation.

d. It is why Abbot Yeo told you, “My concern was, above all, how is the community going to get out of this mess?” rather than investigate the rumours of abuse that were running rife in Ealing Abbey.

e. It is why a pupil at the school was allowed to work in the monastery and become a further victim of David Pearce.

f. It is why David Pearce, since his release from prison, lives in a flat paid for out of the Abbey’s charitable funds.

g. It is demonstrated by the baleful influence the monks had over Mr Cleugh. What else could explain Mr Cleugh’s lack of candour with the school inspector and charity commission? What else could explain his talk at prize-giving of an anti-Catholic conspiracy? What else could explain a safeguarding policy as late as 2009 that set such a high bar to reporting complaints to the police?

h. The EBC themselves acknowledge the possibility that what they believe may be incompatible with the paramountcy principle. They themselves are sponsoring a conference which will explore how elements of Catholic culture (including theology) might enable abusive behaviour.

7. That is why I say the answer is in plain sight. This is all what the Benedictines themselves have admitted to you that reflect their beliefs today. Their beliefs have not changed. They will not change. It has nothing to do with the knowledge and experience of safeguarding policies. It is to do with the very nature of the institution itself. Unless the nature of the institution itself changes, the risk to any children in their care will continue because children’s welfare will not be paramount.

8. If that is right, it is no answer to point to improvements in safeguarding or to the division between school and monastery that followed Carlile. The baleful influence of the monks and the school will persist so long as there is any connection at all. Mr Cleugh’s loyalties were only too plain. He remained in post until August 2016. Abbot Shipperlee is still the Abbot. The implication

9. The failure to recognise why this institution was, and remains, a particular risk to children is an important part of the explanation for the failure of the statutory authorities to remedy the problem at Ealing swiftly.

10. The regulatory approach is one that focuses on individuals and policies. The regulators do not ask themselves, is the belief-system of this institution compatible with child safeguarding? Nor are their statutory powers and duties aligned to dealing with that question.

a. The police’s chief task is to investigate criminal offences of individuals.

b. The CPS’s chief task is to prosecute criminal offences of individuals.

i. Both might be criticised for superficial investigations and charging decisions. But we accept that it is not their job to ensure safeguarding.

ii. Good example of how CPS not set up to deal with institutions: can’t even search the database for Ealing Abbey.

c. The Charity Commission’s chief task is to ensure Trustees are acting ‘exclusively in the charity’s best interests and managing its assets and resources prudently, which includes to avoid exposing the charity’s assets, beneficiaries or reputation to undue risk’. There is obviously the potential for conflict there between there competing objectives. It may not be in the charity’s interests to expose child abuse in its midst.

d. Penny Jones makes it clear in her statement that the DfE lacked the power to require Ealing to remove abusive monks from the Abbey. There was an appeal by the Minister of State for Schools for the Charity Commission to use its powers instead. “We had no means of requiring proprietors to make changes that would tackle the deep-rooted attitudes which underpinned poor safeguarding practice,” paragraph 61. . Penny Jones’ statement is very important. She has not been called and her statement has not been read into the record. We ask that she is called to give evidence at the Residential Schools investigation.

11. None of these statutory bodies has both the paramountcy principle as its key objective or the power to enforce it. It is on the face of it extraordinary that DfE should have to beg the Charity Commission to use its powers to achieve what it wanted.

12. The lack of cooperation and information sharing between the various statutory bodies was also appalling. Penny Jones writes how, INQ003857 para 58: LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) was unaware of the Charity Commission Investigation. The Charity Commission did not inform DfE or ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate) of its inquiries. DfE had to request ISI to gather relevant information using its powers. In the end it was only the sheer tenacity of a civic minded Jonathan West that brought the relevant information to the attention of all the statutory bodies. It is hardly surprising in those circumstances that Ealing Abbey was able to mislead and cover-up for so long.

13. The confused mosaic of powers and objectives of the various statutory bodies involved with Ealing is powerful support for the creation of an HSE type-body dedicated to the enforcement of minimum child-safeguarding standards for registered institutions of a given size. Consistent with children’s welfare being paramount its directives must take precedence over all others. Its power would include: . To prosecute and fine for breaches of safeguarding legislation including a failure to report suspected abuse by the institution and by individuals; a. To order disclosure of records; b. Referral to the Charity Commission to consider charitable status and/or the suitability of trustees; c. Enforcement notices; d. A statutory requirement to take into account the espoused beliefs of the institution and the historical record of institutions with those espoused beliefs.

14. RC-8 was surely not wrong when he estimated hundreds of victims over the years, just at Ealing. A new regulator will be expensive. But it would be a false economy and unjust not to have it.

15. It is time someone said: ‘This is not rotten apples, it’s a rotten institution. This is not simply a conflict of interest between the Abbot and his monks, but a conflict of interest between the Order of St Benedict and the welfare of children. These people are not willing to do what is necessary to safeguard children because that is not their paramount belief. They believe in something different.” Time to tell the Emperor, he has no clothes. Let us not leave it to Jonathan West to put the world to rights.