C of E to apologise for sex abuse

Thurrock Gazette: The General Synod is expected to back an apology issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby The General Synod is expected to back an apology issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby

The General Synod is expected to formally endorse an apology today for Church of England failures over clerical child abuse.

Members of the Church's national assembly will be asked to back an apology issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby and the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu over failings in procedures to protect children, young people and adults from physical and sexual abuse by clergy and others.

The apology also covers the "failure to listen properly to those so abused."

The debate at the University of York comes after a final report was published in May into the operation of child protection policies following a series of scandals involving clergy within the Diocese of Chichester.

The report comes after the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, now Lord Williams, ordered an inspection of the diocese in December 2011.

At the time the report was published, the Most Rev Welby renewed his apology to the victims of clerical abuse for their "pain and hurt".

The Government's welfare reform programme - and whether to back a call rejecting the "misleading characterisation" of all welfare recipients as "scroungers" will also be debated by General Synod members.

A briefing document drawn up for the General Synod by Philip Fletcher, chairman of the Church's Mission and Public Affairs Council, has accused Government spokesmen of making "political capital" out of presenting unemployment as a "strivers" versus "scroungers" debate.

The Most Rev Welby and Dr Sentamu, backed a letter to the Daily Telegraph earlier this year criticising the Government over benefit cuts.

The letter, signed by 43 bishops, opposed to a 1% cap on benefit rises saying this could push 200,000 children into poverty.

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