AN ANGLICAN priest in Norway has been convicted of possessing images of child sexual abuse and sentenced to six months in prison.
The Revd Peter Hogarth, a member of the chaplaincy team covering Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, and Stavanger, was suspended from his duties by the Bishop in Europe, Dr Robert Innes, when he was arrested in March this year.
Dr Innes said that Mr Hogarth had “betrayed the trust” of the Church and his congregation.
Mr Hogarth, who was ordained in 2001, joined the diocese in Europe in 2004, having previously served as a curate in the diocese of Bath & Wells.
He was charged with three indictments under the Norwegian penal code covering possession of depictions of sexual abuse of children, or depictions that sexualise children, and sexually abusive behaviour against children under the age of 16.
In a joint statement, Dr Innes, and the Suffragan Bishop in Europe, the Rt Revd David Hamid, said: “By his actions, Peter Hogarth has betrayed the trust placed in him by the Church and those among his local community. His conduct is entirely at odds with the standards required and expected of a priest in the Church of England.
“We in the Diocese in Europe express our deep regret at the distress and harm caused in this case to all who have been affected. We reaffirm our wholehearted commitment to ensuring that all churches in the Diocese are safe places for everyone, for worship and all church-related activities, in love, mutual respect and fellowship, in the Spirit of Christ.
“The Diocese in Europe has provided pastoral support to those we know have been affected by this situation over recent months.”