A damning report by a government-led Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has criticized the Church of England over its handling of sexual abuse allegations.
The publication said that ‘church culture’ has allowed a blind eye to be turned to rapists and abusers within the Church, and called for apologies from senior clerics.
“The church’s neglect of the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of children and young people in favour of protecting its reputation was in conflict with its mission of love and care for the innocent and the vulnerable,” the report says.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and his de facto deputy, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, apologized before the report’s release.
“We are truly sorry for the shameful way the church has acted and we state our commitment to listen, to learn and to act in response to the report’s findings,” they said.
“We cannot and will not make excuses and can again offer our sincere and heartfelt apologies to those who have been abused, and to their families, friends and colleagues.”
The IICSA made a total of eight recommendations and called on the church to make “lasting change.”
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