Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Paedophile priests continued to lead services amid poor monitoring, hearing told

From Premier-

"Toothless" monitoring of convicted paedophile priests meant they were able to continue leading Anglican Church services even after being banned from doing so, an inquiry heard.

Bishop Wallace Parke Benn told the Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse the Rev Roy Cotton was restricted from public ministry to avoid contact with children but it was "difficult" to enforce.

Fiona Scolding QC, the lead lawyer for the Anglican strand of the inquiry, is examining how the Church of England handled allegations of sexual misconduct stretching back to the 1950s, first focusing on the Diocese of Chichester.

She questioned the former Bishop of Lewes at the public hearing in London on Monday over paedophile priests Roy Cotton, his friend Colin Pritchard, Gordon Rideout, Jonathan Graves and Robert Coles - who all operated in the Diocese.

Ms Golding described the sanctions imposed on them as a "stern telling off" rather than anything more substantial.

Bishop Benn, who served from 1997 to 2012, said he had "inherited" a paedophile ring when he took his role in East Sussex and that "hindsight was a blessed thing" when questioned before chairman Alexis Jay and her panel.

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