News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

UK News

Abusers may be forgiven but can never be trusted again, Archbishop tells inquiry

by Press Association

The Most Rev Justin Welby said that while people may be forgiven, this would not stop them from facing the consequences of their actions.

Giving evidence at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, he explained that forgiveness is a very complex issue.


But he added: "The Bible is utterly, brutally blunt about the difference between forgiveness and the consequences of sin."

"Where there is something done wrong, there will be consequences," he said.

"If someone has been an abuser, they can never be trusted again - that is the consequence."

Fiona Scolding QC, the lead lawyer for the Anglican strand of the inquiry, asked the Archbishop how the church is addressing the issue of safeguarding.

David Mirzoeff/PA Wire

He replied that he had implemented training, but that there was also a great need for a culture change.

Mr Welby said: "The training of clergy is essential, also the training of PCCs and church wardens. People also need to follow their instincts. It is at parish level that we will change everything."

On the blame culture in the Church, he added: "'I've heard about a problem, but it was someone else's job to report it'.

"That is not an acceptable human response, let alone a leadership response. If you know a child is being abused, not to report it is simply wrong."

The Archbishop also told the inquiry, being held at the Pocock Street Tribunal Hearing Centre in London, that it was taking too long for abuse victims to get justice.

He said: "We end up hurting people more because it doesn't seem to follow.

"People are not informed, they are not told what is going on.

"It can take three or four years and you end up damaging the survivors and victims more. You abuse them in the way you keep them waiting, and for that matter you don't do justice to the perpetrator.

"And at the heart of this has to be justice, and justice is very, very difficult to find.

"But you have to have a system that delivers justice. That is so important and, if it doesn't, it is not good enough and, therefore, if you can't do it through the present system, then you have to find another that will be more reliable."

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email