Archbishop resigns after report damns inaction against abusers

Archbishop resigns after report damns inaction against abusers

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The former Archbishop of York, Lord Hope, has resigned as the Honorary Assistant Bishop of Bradford after an inquiry found he had protected a cathedral dean from scandal

The former Archbishop of York, Lord Hope, has resigned as the Honorary Assistant Bishop of Bradford after an inquiry found he had protected a cathedral dean from scandal after the priest was accused of child abuse.

In a statement released on 30 Oct 2014, Lord Hope said:

AFTER MUCH PRAYERFUL AND CONSIDERED THOUGHT I WROTE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WEEK TO THE BISHOP OF LEEDS AND IN THE LIGHT OF THE CAHILL INQUIRY REPORT I HAVE SUBMITTED MY RESIGNATION AS HONORARY ASSISTANT BISHOP OF BRADFORD, NOW WEST YORKSHIRE AND THE DALES, WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT. THIS ENDS MY NEARLY 50 YEARS OF FORMAL MINISTRY IN THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, WHICH I HAVE ALWAYS SOUGHT TO SERVE WITH DEDICATION. I WILL CERTAINLY CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THE IMPORTANT ONGOING WORK WITH SURVIVORS.

Last week a reported prepared by Judge Sally Cahill QC into the church’s handling of sexual abuse allegations against the late Robert Waddington concluded Lord Hope’s “evidence is that his concern for the welfare of Robert Waddington seems to have been paramount in his response to these allegations.”

A one-time schoolmaster in Australia, Waddington returned to England in 1971 to take up an academic position at Oxford before heading up the Church of England’s education arm, before being appointed Dean of Manchester. He was also Superior of the Oratory of the Good Shepherd from 1987 until 1990. In 1993 and 2001 allegations of abuse committed by Waddington in Australia were brought to Lord Hope. The archbishop removed Waddington’s authority to officiate but took no further action. Waddington died in 2007.

The current Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu said he respected the “prayerful decision” made by Lord Hope and was “deeply saddened by his decision. He has served the Church of England with joyfulness, commitment, honesty and holiness”. He added:

THE INQUIRY INTO THE ALLEGED ABUSES BY ROBERT WADDINGTON LED BY HH JUDGE SALLY CAHILL QC HAS MADE ITS RECOMMENDATIONS AND THESE NOW NEED TO BE CONSIDERED AND ACTION TAKEN IN A THOUGHTFUL AND MEASURED MANNER TO ENSURE THE CHURCH CAN BE A SAFER PLACE FOR ALL. I CONTINUE TO HOLD ALL THE SURVIVORS IN MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS AND I AM GRATEFUL TOO THAT SOME HAVE OFFERED TO HELP THE LEADERSHIP OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND TO CREATE A NEW CULTURE OF PROTECTING AND SAFEGUARDING ALL GOD’S CHILDREN. MAY I REPEAT MY REQUEST TO ALL THOSE WHO WISH TO COMMENT ON THIS REPORT THAT THEY READ IT FULLY BEFORE DOING SO.

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