Bishop says Church failed on abuse


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Bishop says Church failed on abuse

5 September 2012

The Catholic Church in England and Wales “failed to deal with” priests who sexually abused minors and to adequately care for their victims but it has made good progress in the way it responds to allegations, a senior bishop has said.

Bishop John Arnold, an auxiliary bishop in Westminster, told delegates at a conference on abuse yesterday: “In all humility, I think that we are learning.”

He said that an auditing process under way in dioceses in England and Wales had been designed to ensure that safeguards were “embedded” in parishes.

He added that the Church had responded appropriately by referring abuse cases for legal prosecution. But he said over-legislating could damage the Church. “Excessive regimes of control can undermine trust. We must not ditch on the law and expect it to provide. Trust and honour has to have a role,” he said.

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