Thursday, April 26, 2007

Church in child abuse cover-up

A former Church of England choirmaster has been jailed for two-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to a string of sexual abuse in the late 80s.

It has emerged that Peter Halliday, now 61, admitted to the abuse 17 years ago but was allowed to leave the church on the condition that he would never again have contact with children. Speaking after Mr Halliday's sentencing Reverend Mark Rudall, of the diocese of Guildford, said:

"I can imagine there is anger on behalf of some of those victims and our heart goes out to them. "But I think also that in accordance with the way things were done in those days the Church can be seen to have done the best it could."
"I can imagine there is anger on behalf of some of those victims..." I'd say, Rev. Probably all of them. And their families. What a pusillanimous fool. What a berk. He thinks the church did its best. The church was made aware of a crime and chose not inform the proper authorities. Not only that, it saw fit to arbitrate itself by demanding that Halliday never again worked with children. How did it believe this would be ensured? By what authority did it make this decision? Divine, no doubt.
Not only did it fail to report a crime but it allowed a man who admitted to having a serious psychological problem to be left to deal with it alone, offering no advice and no support. Halliday went on to reoffend. The church must be held as accountable as the offender himself.

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