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Spiritual abuse is recognised by Church of England

25 October 2013


From the Revd Mark Nash-Williams
Sir, - Susanna Gridley (27 September) states that "The Church of England does not appear to acknowledge this spiritual abuse," and, the following week, the letter from Simon Bass and Dr Lisa Oakley reaffirms that "the C of E does not acknowledge that spiritual abuse exists."

But Responding Well to those who have been sexually abused (2011) addresses spiritual abuse in section B12. The paragraph "Those people who are abused by clergy suffer profound spiritual abuse. The abuse shatters the victim's relationship and trust in the Church, severely impacts on the ability to maintain any connection with the sacred, and creates profound confusion and doubt about God's love for the victim" seems to address Ms Gridley's concern precisely.

Whether spiritual abuse is adequately addressed is another matter; but it is at least acknowledged as a serious issue.

St Mary's Vicarage, Stamfordham
Newcastle Upon Tyne NE18 0QQ

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