Archbishop Ntahoturi to leave Rome after sexual misconduct allegation

21 December 2018

Marcus Walker

(Left to right): Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Vatican foreign minister, the Most Revd Paul Gallagher, at an ecumenical evensong for the installation of Archbishop Ntahoturi, held in the Oratory of San Francesco Saverio del Caravita, in October 2017

(Left to right): Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Vatican foreign minister, the Most Revd Paul Gallagher, at an ecu...

THE director of the Anglican Centre in Rome and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See, Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi, has resigned. It has emerged that he was suspended last week over an allegation of sexual misconduct.

A statement from the Centre’s governors, published on its website on Friday, said:

“The Governors of the Anglican Centre in Rome have accepted the resignation of its Director Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi following his suspension last week over an allegation of sexual misconduct. The Governors are now taking urgent steps to appoint an interim director, who will also act as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See.

“Anyone with a safeguarding concern or requiring support may contact safeguarding@churchofengland.org.”

No details of the allegation have been made public.

Archbishop Ntahoturi, formerly Primate of Burundi, was installed as the Centre’s director in October of last year, the first African to take up the post (News, 3 November 2017).

The director is responsible for liaison between the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury, and working with the Anglican Communion and Vatican bodies, on joint projects.

His appointment was announced in March of last year (News, 24 March 2017).

In a Christmas speech to the Vatican Bureaucracy on Friday, Pope Francis said that the Roman Catholic Church would “never again” cover up sexual abuse by clerics. 

“Let it be clear that before these abominations, the church will spare no effort to do all that is necessary to bring to justice whosoever has committed such crimes,” he said.

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