What happened in the diocese of Monmouth over the long absence and subsequent retirement of its former Bishop, the Rt Revd Richard Pain, is described in a newly published review as a “tragedy”. Long ministries of service to the Church were curtailed, careers were damaged, and reputations were left in ruins, it says.
The review panel — the Rt Revd Graham James, a former Bishop of Norwich; Lucinda Herklots, a former diocesan secretary in Salisbury; and Patricia Russell, a former deputy registrar for Winchester and Salisbury — concluded: “We recognise that we are looking at events with the benefit of hindsight, but we do not believe there is a single malign figure on whom all that happened can be blamed.
“Rather, this is a story of people attempting to do the right thing but tying themselves in knots when they fail to revisit poor decisions and avoid risk to the extent that they create more of it. That is why this is genuinely a tragedy.”
The panel’s object was not to determine whether allegations related to the former Bishop were true. These are nowhere specified, though there are clues, and all identifying references to “Alex”, who made a disclosure about the Bishop’s behaviour, are redacted for his or her anonymity.
— Simon Sarmiento (@simonsarmiento) December 14, 2021