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05 August 2016

WE apologise for running an unchecked story last week without consulting the diocese in question, and taking on trust a national-newspaper report. The story, “Sentamu will contest CDM” (News, 29 July), incorrectly stated that none of the four bishops mentioned had made any comment when approached. In fact, all those approached commented via a spokeswoman for the diocese of Sheffield, who said: “The Diocese of Sheffield takes the safeguarding and protection of children and vulnerable adults very seriously indeed. We are, of course, unable to comment on the detail of live investigations and complaints. However if this complaint goes forward, our bishops will make a full response to the various allegations made in due course. In the mean time we continue to hold all victims of sexual abuse and exploitation in our prayers.”

A spokeswoman for the diocese of Southwell & Nottingham, speaking on behalf of the former Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Revd Roy Williamson, said: “The diocese places great emphasis on the protection of children, young people, and vulnerable adults and is committed to making church a safe place for everyone. We cannot comment during a live investigation except to say that if approached by the authorities we will offer them every co-operation. We continue to pray for all victims of sexual abuse.”

The report also stated that the retired priest who had been accused of abuse still had permission to officiate, which was in fact not the case. Furthermore, the alleged victim “Michael” has not begun proceedings under the Clergy Discipline Measure, but has applied for permission to do so, as his complaint falls outside the one-year deadline.

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