Former Archbishop, Lord Sentamu Forced to Resign from Diocese of Newcastle Due to Mishandling Child Sex Abuse Allegation

Sexual Abuse

When Lord Sentamu was serving as the Archbishop of the Diocese of York, he was informed of a child sexual abuse allegation; however, he did not take any action in response to this complaint. It took the victim several years to obtain justice for the sexual assault committed on him, yet the abuser priest took his own life before the first court hearing.

Child Sexual Abuse Allegation

Matthew Ineson, who was only 16 years old when the abuse occurred, voluntarily gave up his constitutional right to remain anonymous, BNN Network reported. In 2013, Mr. Ineson disclosed the misconduct to senior members of the clergy, one of whom being Lord Sentamu, who served as Archbishop of York at the time. The investigation findings, which stated that Lord Sentamu did not act on the accusation of abuse, have been denied by Lord Sentamu. But Mr. Ineson has received an apology from the Church of England, reaffirming its dedication to maintaining the best safeguarding standards.

Moreover, his abuser, the Rev. Trevor Devamanikkam, had been charged with six major sexual offenses in May of 2017. He was discovered lifeless the day before he was scheduled to appear in court in Bradford. On the other hand, Joanne Grenfell, the senior bishop for safeguarding, asserted that those who are a part of the Church need to make sure that they are answerable to one another and behave differently when it comes to protecting issues. She emphasized the ethical necessity of reporting and investigating any concerns regarding the protection of others and holding one another accountable.

Furthermore, in June 2021, one year after he stepped down as Archbishop, Lord Sentamu of Lindisfarne was appointed to serve as the auxiliary assisting bishop for Newcastle. BBC News reported that an independent assessment ordered by the National Safeguarding Team of the Church of England ruled on Thursday, May 11, that when the victim initiated his openness, Lord Sentamu should have requested assistance from a professional. Additionally, the Diocese of Newcastle announced on Saturday, May 13, that regarding the findings, Bishop of Newcastle Helen-Ann Hartley asked Lord Sentamu to step down from active ministry until the outcomes and his reaction can be studied further. "The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, fully supports this decision," the statement added. The Diocese of Newcastle continues to uphold its commitment to the highest possible protection standards, which makes it their goal to always put victims and survivors at the center of their vital work.

Also Read:Judge Dismisses Abuse Lawsuit Against Former SBC Leader, Seminary

Church Handling of Sexual Allegations

Based on an article from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, before 1993, the Archdiocese actively encouraged individuals who claimed they had been molested as children to disclose their claims to the appropriate government agencies. Today, a victim who comes forward with an allegation of abuse will receive aid and healing from the Archdiocese, as they have done for a significant amount of time. The Church does not delay in informing the proper authorities about the situation. Assuming that the accused is still alive, the Archdiocese launches an inquiry after receiving authorization from the relevant authorities. It maintains open lines for interaction with the appropriate officials throughout the process. Suppose the claim is found to be accurate. In that case, if this allegation is true, the accused person is permanently expelled from ministry and prevented from working in any position for the Archdiocese or any other Catholic organization.

Related Article:28 Catholic Priests Face Child Sex Abuse Allegations in Georgia Since 1940s; No Criminal Charges Pursued