More child abuse cases will emerge in Church, warns Archbishop of Canterbury

The Most Rev Justin Welby says he expects there are more allegations to surface within the Church and calls for “absolute transparency”

Victims of childhood abuse must be shown justice and the Church must be

Victims of childhood abuse must be shown justice and the Church must be “absolutely transparent” about what has gone on in the past, said the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby Photo: Rex
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, has admitted he expects more cases to emerge of child abuse within the Church and that he deals with the issue on a daily basis.
He said it was becoming “clearer and clearer” the problem had not been dealt with properly.
Victims of childhood abuse must now be shown justice and the Church must be “absolutely transparent” about what has gone on in the past, he told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show.
Asked if he was braced for the inquiry to uncover “bad stories”, the Archbishop replied: “I would love to say there weren’t, but I expect there are. There are in almost every institution in this land.
“This is, it’s something I deal with every day and it is becoming clearer and clearer that for many, many years things were not dealt with as they should have been dealt with.
“And we must show justice to survivors of abuse. That is the first and absolute principle. And we must be absolutely transparent in every possible way and we have to keep saying how utterly devastated we are with the terrible things that were done in the past and how sorry we are.”
The Archbishop’s comments came after the Home Office was again forced to defend the appointment of Baroness Butler-Sloss to run the inquiry amid claims she refused to go public about a bishop implicated in a scandal.
Lady Butler-Sloss told a victim of alleged abuse she did not want to include the allegations in a review of how the Church of England dealt with two paedophile priests because she “cared about the Church” and “the press would love a bishop”, it was claimed.
The former High Court judge has faced calls to step down after reports that her late brother, Sir Michael Havers, tried to prevent MP Geoffrey Dickens airing claims about a paedophile diplomat in Parliament in the 1980s.
Lady Butler-Sloss insisted that she has “never” put the reputation of an institution ahead of justice for victims.
The Sunday Times (£) claimed that police have set up a national group investigating claims of child abuse by VIPs.
Simon Bailey, the chief constable of Norfolk, who is running the national group, said 13 forces are currently investigating 21 cases involving “elected officials, celebrities, people of public prominence and people directly connected to them”.
Recent convictions of Rolf Harris, the entertainer, and Max Clifford, the publicist, had given victims increased confidence to come forward in the knowledge their allegations would be dealt with seriously, he added.
Tessa Munt, the Liberal Democrat MP who last week told in a broadcast interview how she had been abused as a child, told the paper she had been contacted by more than 400 victims, and added: 2I have come to teh conclusion this is just huge … really terrifyingly large.”
James Brokenshire, a Home Office minister, said there would be a panel of experts to sit alongside Lady Butler-Sloss.
Asked if there could be co-chairs with equal powers, he told Murnaghan on Sky News: “I think it’s this precise detail that we are working on at this stage because it is important that we do draw on the right experts.”
He added: “I think that Baroness Butler-Sloss’s integrity shines through.”
Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, repeatedly dodged questions over whether Labour backed Lady Butler-Sloss as the right person to chair the inquiry.
She told the programme: “I think she is an extremely experienced person who will be very good to do this job but she also needs the right people around her, she needs the Home Office to take action to make sure they address all of these concerns.
“If they can’t they will need to make changes and rethink the whole thing but I think the ball should be in the Home Office’s court now to set this up in the right way and to make sure they can do that because I do think she has immense expertise that should be drawn upon.”

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