The former Archbishop of York has been told to resign from active office after a review found he had failed to respond to a victim’s disclosure of historic child abuse cases by a priest.
Lord Sentamu has retired from his role as Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Newcastle “until both the findings and his response can be further studied”.
He rejected the results of a review which found he had not acted when Rev. Matthew Ineson told him he had been abused by the late Rev. Trevor Devamanikkam in Bradford in the 1980s.
Mr Ineson, who was 16 at the time of the abuse and later became a pastor, told the church about it ten years ago. He has waived his statutory right to anonymity.
Bishop Joanne Grenfell, who ensures leadership of the House of Bishops, said it “should be ashamed” to have abandoned in its care a vulnerable child who was abused by someone in a position of trust.
In a statement released on Saturday, the Diocese of Newcastle said the findings “led Lord Sentamu, Honorary Deputy Bishop of the Diocese of Newcastle, to resign from active office pending further study of both the findings and his response.”
It added: “The Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell fully supports this decision.
“The Diocese of Newcastle remains committed to the highest standards of protection and seeks to always put the victims and survivors at the center of this vital work.”
Devamanikkam was charged with six serious sex offenses in May 2017, all involving the survivor.
He was found dead at his home, having killed himself before he was due to appear in court.
Although he was not convicted, reviewer Jane Humphreys, a senior social counselor, said she “can confirm that the survivor was sexually abused by Trevor Devamanikkam.”
The review, commissioned by the Church of England national security team, said the clergy “did not respond” and that the victim “was not assisted in referring the disclosures to the police and was not given any information at this time.” pastoral care and support was given”. “.
It emerged that Rev. Ineson had sent a letter to the then Bishop of Sheffield in June 2013 disclosing the historic abuse he had suffered and had sent a copy of it to the then Archbishop of York.
In it, the victim said he had twice reported the abuse to the Bishop of Sheffield, but the Bishop had not responded.
The review said the then Archbishop of York responded to confirm the communication, adding: “Please have my prayers and best wishes assured at this difficult time.”
It was found that the then Archbishop of York should have asked his then diocesan protection adviser for advice on how to proceed with the letter he had received.
The then Archbishop of York said he believed he had “no authority” to act on the matter and that the letter was not a disclosure to him as it had merely been copied.
But the expert said, “No church law excuses the individual’s responsibility not to act in matters of a protective nature.”
Lord Sentamu dismissed the findings, insisting that there had been a “fundamental misunderstanding (by the reviewer) about some of the judicial, pastoral and legal responsibilities of diocesan bishops and archbishops in the Church of England”.
He added that the protection issue was with the Diocese of Sheffield “and therefore not with the Diocesan Protection Advisor for the Diocese of York”.
Lord Sentamu said he had told the Review what he had told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) when it was examining the matter – “namely that action following disclosure to the Bishop of Sheffield was his responsibility and im He was solely responsible for compliance with the applicable protection regulations.’ Procedures and guidelines.’
He added: “I have acted within agreed procedures, rules and guidelines of practice for protection established by the House of Bishops and the Disciplinary Action for Clergy.
“Protection is very important, but it does not take precedence over canon law (which is part of the common law of England).
“The law must not be used as a pretext for exercising the role conferred on an archbishop.
“Canon law sets the boundaries for diocesan bishops and archbishops.”
Lord Sentamu has been contacted for comment since his resignation.