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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

TAGGED: ABUSE, RELIGION


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