The Portal February 2018 - Page 11

THE P RTAL February 2018 Statements about Bishop Bell  Page 11 Anglican News The Revd Paul Benfield continues his account of this sad affair  L ast month I wrote about the enquiry by Lord Carlile into the Church of England’s handling of accusations of child sexual abuse against Bishop George Bell, Bishop of Chichester from 1929 to 1958. The report was highly critical of the handling of the matter. When the report was published, the Archbishop of Canterbury issued a statement which said:  “The complaint about Bishop Bell does not diminish the importance of his great achievement. We realise that a significant cloud is left over his name … No human being is entirely good or bad. Bishop Bell was in many ways a hero. He is also accused of great wickedness. Good acts do not diminish evil ones, nor do evil ones make it right to forget the good. Whatever is thought about the accusations, the whole person and whole life should be kept in mind.” office to which you have been called has been held”. Shortly afterwards a letter was published in The Times from many ecumenical leaders from across the world arguing that in the light of Lord Carlile’s review, Bell’s reputation should now be fully and unreservedly acknowledged and restored by the church. They say: “There has been a miscarriage of justice for one who himself fought so earnestly for the victims of injustice. This statement has caused much concern. In an We, with many others of different churches all over the open letter to the Archbishop published in the Daily world, will now expect that the Church of England will Telegraph, seven academic historians of the Twentieth acknowledge its responsibility to that wider community Century (two of whom have writte