Justin Welby calls on George Carey to resign as Assistant Bishop of Oxford over Ball Affair

Jun 21, 2017 by

By David W. Virtue, DD
June 21, 2017

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has called on the former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey to resign as Assistant Bishop in Oxford over allegations that he knew about Bishop Peter Ball’s sexual activities with young boys and failed to act on the information.

Ball, the former Bishop of Lewes, in the Diocese of Chichester, was jailed for abusing 19 young men after being identified by an individual, Neil Todd, who first complained in 1993, about the horrific sexual and sadistic abuse he had suffered at the hands of Ball.

The Church of England went into cover-up overdrive. Leading establishment figures in the nation, including senior clergy, colluded to protect Bishop Ball. A BBC report said that “another person in the church who helped one of Ball’s victims tried to raise concerns with 13 different bishops who appeared to take no action.” It was only through the heroic persistence of priests like the Rev. Graham Sawyer, one of Ball’s victims, that Ball was sentenced in October 2015 to 32 months in prison for the grooming, sexual exploitation and abuse of 18 vulnerable young men between 1977 and 1992.

At the time of Ball’s arrest Lord Carey admitted he deserved “explicit criticism” over his handling of the ex-bishop’s sex abuse “cover up”.

Lord Carey, was a friend of Ball’s. “Clearly the Church didn’t handle it well and Lord Carey was naive in trusting Peter Ball. The acknowledgment now is he wasn’t doing the Christian thing by the victims of Ball. He would accept he didn’t discharge the pastoral duties to the victims very well,” according to one newspaper report.

However, the Church of England has been fraught with other “false accusation” cases recently brought against bishops for failing in their duties in which proper support was found to be lacking for the bishop in the firing line. These have not been handled well by church authorities. Carey could hardly be accused of being the first accused of not doing due diligence and also seems like others to be being hung out to dry. “It seems the church is running scared of any possible guilt by association rather than offering pastoral support for those who have been duped by others”, according to one source.

The deeper question is, of what or whom is Justin Welby afraid in seeking the removal of Carey from what is essentially an honorary position?

“There was a knee jerk reaction from Lambeth in standing the Very Rev Robert Key down as Dean of Jersey when questions were raised about his handling of a matter. That was actually beyond his pay grade because the Dean of Jersey is a crown appointment. Robert Key was eventually completely exonerated and reinstated but not after a lot of grief,” a source told VOL.

The deeper question is, “Whose back is being covered?” Is Lord Carey being made a scapegoat for someone else?

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