The former Archbishop of York, Lord Hope of Thornes, has resigned from formal ministry in the Church of England after almost 50 years after an independent inquiry found “systemic failures” in bringing a paedophile priest to justice.
It follows the publication last week of a critical report into his handling of allegations against Robert Waddington, the former Dean of Manchester, who abused choirboys and school pupils in York, Manchester, London, Carlisle and Australia, over five decades.
The inquiry, overseen by Judge Sally Cahill QC, found that Lord Hope, who dealt with two of the cases, did not refer the accusations to police or to child protection agencies.
Instead, he revoked Waddington’s right to conduct services but no further action was taken amid concerns over Waddington’s health.
Judge Sally Cahill said Lord Hope’s actions meant “opportunities were missed” to start an investigation which may have led to a prosecution before Waddington’s death in 2007.
Lord Hope said last week that he deeply regretted not having been more proactive in helping victims come forward.