This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Church of England ordained known paedophile Roy Cotton

Thanks to Nails for the link

Letters from 1966 between the then Archbishop of Canterbury and a bishop show the Church agreed that a convicted paedophile should be ordained.

The correspondence emerged in a report into the Church of England's failure to support victims of Roy Cotton that was published online and then removed.

In one letter, Lambeth Palace suggested Cotton should be placed in a "carefully selected parish".

Lambeth Palace said robust safeguarding policies had been in place since 1995.

The Meekings Report was published online on Wednesday and then taken down. At the same time, another report was released by Baroness Butler-Sloss.

A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Chichester told the BBC the Meekings Report was removed because the document had accidentally included some confidential information.

Both studies looked into the behaviour of Cotton and another paedophile priest, Colin Pritchard.

In a letter to the then Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey dated 13 May 1966, the Bishop of Portsmouth outlined Cotton's history, including a criminal offence in 1954, and his repeated requests to be considered for ordination.

It said: "At the time he protested his innocence, and he has done ever since, and in fact from that time has been teaching."

The letter continued: "I am not sure whether having been convicted there would need to be a dispensation from you and I would be most grateful for your guidance in this matter.

"Cotton is a man of considerable ability... and I cannot think that having been so free of any trouble for 12 years that there is a likelihood of there being any problem in the future."

A response from the archbishop's secretary dated 17 May 1966, said the archbishop was "reassured by what you have said and thinks you would do right to consider ordaining him to a title in the carefully selected parish which you mention".

On Wednesday, the Church-commissioned report by Baroness Butler-Sloss criticised both senior clergy and Sussex Police over how they dealt with historical claims of abuse by Cotton and Pritchard.

Read on



Viewpoints: Why is faith falling in the...

- - BBC News Comments

A new poll suggests that atheism is on the rise in the US, while those who consider themselves religious has dropped. What's the cause? Two writers debate.

Blasphemy Laws Exposed: The...

- - human rights first Comments

Blasphemy Laws Exposed: The Consequences of Criminalizing “Defamation of Religions”

Update - Too crazy even for the...

Ed Kilgore - Political Animal Comments

update - too crazy even for the evangelical right
Barton’s Fall From Grace

David Barton says his documents prove that the Founding Fathers were deeply religious men who built America on Christian ideas - but do his sources check out?

Pussy Riot's closing statement

Cory Doctorow - BoingBoing Comments

Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich has given a tremendous closing statement, which is a masterful summary of Russian oligarchy

Refuting Richard: Dawkins Doesn’t “Get”...

Graham Veale - Saints & Sceptics? Comments

Refuting Richard: Dawkins Doesn’t “Get” God

Witchcraft-based child abuse: Action...

- - BBC News Comments

The government has launched an action plan to tackle child abuse linked to witchcraft or religion in England.



Pakistan minorities minister shot dead...

BBC News - BBC news website 89 Comments

Mr Bhatti, the cabinet's only Christian minister, had received death threats for urging reform to blasphemy laws.

Catholic church gives blessing to...

BBC News - BBC News website 98 Comments

In his World Communications Address on 24 January, [the pope] said it was not a sin to use social networking sites

MPs query £1.85m overseas aid spent on...

BBC News - BBC News website 43 Comments

Vatican sets up watchdog to combat...

BBC News - BBC News website 28 Comments

The Vatican's centuries-old secrecy over the way it handles its money will no longer be an excuse to avoid its obligations under international and Italian criminal law to combat money-laundering operations by third parties, says the BBC's David Willey in Rome.

Pope Benedict condones condom use in...

BBC News - BBC News website 95 Comments

The Pope gives the example of the use of condoms by prostitutes as "a first step towards moralisation", even though condoms are "not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection".

Educational apartheid: Ulster First...

BBC News - BBC News website 52 Comments



Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment