Lord Carlile’s report was eventually handed to the Church authorities and they kicked it into the long grass.
So much for Bishop Martin Warner’s vaunted “…safeguards of truth and justice for all, victim and accused alike.” All along, the only interests being safeguarded here were those of the Bishop of Chichester and the Archbishop of Canterbury. We know very well why these authorities leapt so precipitately to condemn Bishop Bell out of hand: it was because they had previously had to admit to the existence of so many perpetrators of sexual abuse among the senior clergy – especially in the Diocese of Chichester.
Warner and Welby, to salvage what remained of their reputations, wanted desperately to appear to be doing something.
Thus the name of the safely-dead Bishop George Bell was tarnished because the Church’s highest authorities sought to cover their own backs.
Let us be in no doubt as to the seriousness of the Church’s misconduct so eloquently criticised in Lord Carlile’s report. He said that Bell had been “hung out to dry,” he added that the Church’s procedures were “deficient, inappropriate and impermissible”; “obvious lines of enquiry were not followed” and there was “a rush to judgement.”
Read it all (subscription).