Bishop claims he was ‘scapegoated’ over child sex abuse allegations

Mar 13, 2018 by

by Harry Farley, Christian Today:

The former bishop of Lewes has said he was ‘scapegoated’ and ‘traduced’ by fellow senior clergy as the damning extent of dysfunctionality and chaos in the diocese of Chichester was laid bare at the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse today.

In one case ‘priestly ministry was considered, in effect, to be more important than the safeguarding and welfare of children’, the inquiry heard.

Wallace Benn, the former bishop of Lewes, described his colleagues as ‘paralysed’ by allegations of child sexual abuse against priests and said he was ‘abandoned’ and left as ‘collateral damage’ amid a ‘perfect storm’ of abuse complaints and press attention.

‘I was hugely offended,’ he said of allegations that he knew a paedophile priest had been convicted of child abuse and failed to report it.

‘I am horrified by the innuendo, by the ill-founded accusation and scapegoating of me personally,’ he said in a letter at the time to his senior, the bishop of Chichester, John Hinds.

‘I feel I have been seriously misrepresented, falsely accused, and at best misunderstood.’

Benn said he inherited a ‘paedophile ring’ of priests in his area of East Sussex but denies any ‘mismanagement’ on his part that allowed the abuse to go on.

Read here

Transcript of Bishop Wallace Benn’s evidence


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