Friday, 23 June 2017

Shades of things about to come Updated.

In the run up to the important date of July 3rd, I was interested to hear a piece on radio 4's PM today concerning the odious Peter Ball. He is the bishop who was convicted in 2015 for misconduct in a public office and for abusing 18 teenagers and vulnerable young men.  It was a follow up to the report yesterday.  The key points of Dame Moira Gibb's report are : 
     "Ball's priority was to protect and promote himself and he maligned the abused."

     "The Church colluded with that rather than seeking to help those he had harmed, or assuring itself of the safety of others"

     "Ball's conduct has caused serious and enduring damage to the lives of many men... Peter Ball betrayed his Church and abused individual followers of that Church." 

The radio piece interviewed Rev Graham Sawyer who was one of Ball's victims in the 1990's.  I've done my best here to transcribe what he said.  It will be on Iplayer for a while at

Many victims of abuse like myself are still being ignored, isolated and vilified today.  I find it (the report) underwhelming. There wasn't much in it that was new to me. A few extra details perhaps but a lot of it has been known to many people who have been seeking to change the culture in the Church in the way that it deals with these matters.  And particularly with the way that it deal with the victims of abuse.  I was appalled Dame Moira Gibb in her forward says we have no doubt the Church has a genuine commitment to meeting its responsibilities towards victims of abuse.

It is simply totally untrue.  The way the highest levels of the Church - bishops archbishops and the National Safeguarding Office  - the way they treat people like me and the other people I speak with can only be described as enduringly cruel and enduringly sadistic.

For balance I assume they also had Bishop Sarah Mullally on.  She was not involved with production of the report. Again I'll try to transcribe her words.

I was disturbed by the contents of the report. Also saddened by the way in which survivors of abuse had been treated.  There was no excuse for that. Frustrated because as a Church (we are) seeking to  improve but (it) demonstrates not doing it fast enough.

The presenter then put a point that one fellow had written 17 times before receiving a reply from the current Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Bishop answered We are are trying to get a better response and training The Church of England is quite a complex organisation. Whilst that is not an excuse in Devon we have 6,000 volunteers to train.  The report was commissioned by the Church  of England so we are saying we want to learn. We recognise we have failed and we are seeking to try and mover forward.  It has to be an indication the the Church is willing to learn and to change, but not fast enough. 

To my mind the comments of the Bishop are pretty weak as more contrite version of  'lessons have be learned'.  It is also a bit rich trying to play up some merit for commissioning the report when that only happened after Peter Ball had been convicted.  What else could the Church have done?

Why is this of relevance to July 3rd and the publication of our CoI report.  Well it demonstrates clearly that establishment institutions are not above reproach and that collusion in high office is certainly possible. I rather suspect the comments  by Rev Sawyer will be applicable here - no new information and nothing much to commend to victims and survivors.


I've just come across this which is a very interesting piece that rather confims the point about treatment of victims, refers to Peter Ball, and involves Dame Butler Sloss who had been  picked to chair the CSA inquiry.  Butler Sloss tape

1 comment:

  1. Ex Archbisphop Carey has resigned over this case.