C of E ‘failed big time’ on sex abuse

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A BISHOP has said the Church of England “failed big time” over child protection as the General Synod formally apologised for clerical sex abuse.

The Rt Rev Paul Butler, Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, said for “far too long” the Church of England had disbelieved the stories of victims, believed them but tried to hide the truth, or hoped the problem would go away.

“We can make all the excuses that we like about society being different in previous decades - or our understanding of abuse being so much better. We failed big time,” he said.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, pictured, said: “We cannot in 20 years be finding ourselves having this same debate and saying ‘well we didn’t quite understand then’. There has to be complete change of culture and ­behaviour.”