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Church considers nationwide audit of clerical abuse cases

The Times

Ruth Gledhill Religion Correspondent

Last updated at 4:05PM, May 12 2013

The Church of England is considering its first ever national audit of its entire child protection system, after allegations that the former Archbishop of York had failed to report abuse by a senior clergyman.

Paul Butler, the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, who chairs the Church’s national safeguarding committee, admitted that the Church should have changed its approach earlier and put victims first.

He said: “What we have to do now is ask, first, what is the situation for the victim. What is the best for the survivor. That is a cultural shift we are making which we probably should have made previously. The survivor should come first.”

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has made it clear since assuming office earlier this year, and in comments on the child abuse scandal in the Chichester diocese in his own province, that his approach to the issue is one of zero tolerance.

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