The stop church child abuse campaigners have forced the Church of England to agree to apologise to victims of child abuse by priests. The working party were invited to attend the General Synod debate in York on 7th July 2013. The work of the campaign was reported on major news channels and in national newspapers.
The campaign against secrecy in church organisations is becoming effective. The campaign has uncovered cases in which Bishops have protected abusive priests, sheltering them from the police and allowing them to abuse again.
Both the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches have failed to respond positively to the campaign’s call for a public inquiry into institutional church abuse. The recent debate on an apology by the Church of England could mark the start of a path through to a full public inquiry , the aim of campaign. The support of the C of E will be important in persuading the Government to order an inquiry into this serious and pressing issue.
On the Synod’s debate David Greenwood, Chairman of stop church child abuse commented : “I hope that the Church of England are serious when they say they want to engage with our campaign to improve safeguarding for children who come into contact with clergy. In the past church leaders have been willing to put their organisation’s good name before the protection of children.
“From what I heard in the debate there is no commitment to an open and full public inquiry that we want. Unless this commitment comes quickly the apology will seem like just another PR stunt designed to improve the image of the church.”