Archbishop's child abuse probe

The Archbishop of York has launched an independent investigation into child abuse allegations. A former Archbishop of York has been accused of covering up allegations that a senior Church of England clergyman had abused choirboys and school pupils.

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Sentamu: Church treats abuse claims with 'seriousness'

The Archbishop of York said the Church of England treats child abuse allegations "with the utmost seriousness" as he confirmed he is setting up an independent inquiry into claims against a former cathedral dean.

The Archbishop of York is in the process of setting up an Independent Inquiry specifically into the issues surrounding the reports relating to alleged child abuse by the late Robert Waddington.

When any church related abuse comes to light the Church's first concern must be for the victim offering support and apologising for the abuse, acknowledging that the effects can be lifelong.

When the Inquiry makes its report the Archbishop will make its findings public.

The Church of England continues to review its Child Protection and Safeguarding policies regularly to ensure that the Church is a safe place for all.

"Child abuse is a heinous and personally damaging crime, it is therefore incumbent on the Church to treat such matters with the utmost seriousness.

– Dr John Sentamu's office


Former Archbishop of York denies neglect over 'abuse'

The former Archbishop of York, Lord Hope of Thornes, has denied covering up allegations that a senior clergyman sexually abused choirboys:

I strenuously deny (and am obviously disappointed at) the suggestion that myself or my team at the time would have acted negligently in this or any other safeguarding matter.

Under the Church of England's 1999 Policy on Child Protection which was in effect at the time (but which has subsequently been reviewed) Paragraph 31 states:

'There is no automatic legal obligation on the Church to refer allegations by adults to the police or social services. However it is essential to consider whether children may still be at risk from the abuser or alleged abuser and, if so, to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to safeguard them, and these will involve reporting the matter to the social services or the police.'

In considering whether children would be at risk from Robert Waddington I decided under these guidelines that this would not be the case given his serious ill health following cancer surgery. The following year I revoked Robert Waddington’s permission to officiate. He died two years later.

I am deeply aware of the pain caused to any victim of child abuse, especially at the hands of a trustworthy person within the church.

– Lord Hope

Church 'abuse victim' wants apology

An alleged abuse victim of the former Dean of Manchester Cathedral says he wants an apology from the Church of England over an alleged 'cover-up'.

Eli Ward told ITV News he was "groomed" by the Very Rev Robert Waddington, who died in 2007.

The former Archbishop of York, Lord Hope of Thornes, has denied covering up allegations that Waddington sexually abused choirboys.

Dean abuse claims 'correctly reported'

The former Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, said he responded to and reported abuse claims against a former Dean "correctly" when he learnt about them in 2003.

He said he was "shocked and saddened" to learn of the claims, dating back to the 1980s, and reported the matter to the Archbishop of York and a child protection officer immediately.

In responding to and reporting this tragic alleged abuse, I believe that I and the child protection officer followed correctly the then current 1999 guidelines laid down by the Church of England.

This is a particularly sad story of abuse that has brought deep and lasting distress to a young boy who had put his trust in the Church.

Since 2004 new guidelines for responding to allegations of abuse have replaced those of 1999.

All such allegations are now reported automatically to the police by the Church.


Cathedral 'shocked' about former Dean abuse claims

Manchester Cathedral said it was "shocked and saddened" to learn that a former Dean, the Very Rev Robert Waddington, allegedly abused a chorister.

We are shocked and saddened by the nature of these allegations relating to events in the early 1980’s.

We want to reassure parents and congregation members that for a number of years Manchester Cathedral has had in place a robust child protection policy with CRB checks made on all clergy and those who work with specifically with children.

– Manchester Cathedral spokesperson

No abuse 'cover-up', says former Archbishop of York

Lord Hope of Thornes, the former Archbishop of York, has denied he was involved in "covering up" allegations that a senior Church of England clergyman abused children.

The Times newspaper today reported that the Very Rev Robert Waddington stands accused of abusing choirboys and school pupils.

I didn’t report to the police. With hindsight, probably there ought to have been [a report]. He [Robert Waddington] was in such a fragile and frail state.

I would strongly resist any suggestion that I was in the business of covering up anything. I would absolutely deny that. There’s no way I was interested in any cover up.

– Lord Hope of Thornes

Former Archbishop of York accused of 'abuse cover-up'

The former Archbishop of York has been accused of covering up allegations that a senior Church of England clergyman abused choirboys and school pupils, the Times (£) has reported.

The Very Rev Robert Waddington is a former Dean of Manchester Cathedral Credit: Christopher Furlong/PA Wire

The paper says Lord Hope of Thornes was made aware of allegations against the Very Rev Robert Waddington in 1993 and 2003, but did not report the concerns to police or child protection agencies.

The alleged abuse by Waddington, who died in 2007, and the Church’s inaction has been reported after a joint investigation by The Times and The Australian newspaper.

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