Double standards — the National Safeguarding Team’s treatment of George Carey v Stephen Cottrell

Jun 30, 2020 by

by Julian Mann, Anglican Ink:

If the next Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, were not so woke, would he have received mercy from the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team?

Cottrell, who on July 9th replaces John Sentamu as the CofE’s second most senior cleric, this week admitted to a safeguarding failure when he was the suffragan Bishop of Reading in 2010.

After the various abuse scandals that have rocked the established Church in the past five years, bishops are no longer masters in their own houses (dioceses).  The NST, which was set up in 2015, now wields enormous power. It can make or break a bishop. In Cottrell’s case, it has chosen to pronounce absolution:

‘He has shown insight and humility in accepting that he failed to act as he should have done in relation to a serious matter and acknowledged his own ability to fully recognise and respond to safeguarding concerns in 2010 was compromised by a lack of training and understanding, which he has subsequently sought to address.’

Such mercy is in stark contrast to the NST treatment two weeks ago of former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey when, arguably, it earned itself a new Orwellian acronym, the NSS – the National Safeguarding Stasi. It told the Bishop of Oxford, Steven Croft, to remove Carey’s permission to officiate at his local parish church. This was due to ‘concerns’ raised during the CofE’s current review of its handling of the John Smyth abuse scandal. Lord Carey, 84, who retired as Archbishop of Canterbury in 2002, lives in the market town of Newbury which, though in the county of Berkshire, is included within Oxford Diocese.

During his enthronement at Oxford’s Christ Church Cathedral in 2016, Croft had himself been subject to a public protest by victims  of church abuse. One survivor highlighted Croft’s alleged failure as Bishop of Sheffield to investigate properly his abuse disclosure.

Read here

See also:

Cottrell and Carey: why is some safeguarding secret, while others are thrown to the media? by Archbishop Cranmer

Stephen Cottrell’s latest interview: startling, puzzling – offensive? by David Baker, Christian Today


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