The Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler, lead bishop on safeguarding has issued a statement today following various media comments on his recent contribution in the House of Lords regarding Bishop George Bell.
Bishop Paul has welcomed the opportunity to provide further clarity on his comments about the settlement of the civil claim regarding sexual abuse against George Bell, and the handling of the case. The particular focus on the language of legal tests, he says, "masks the genuine suffering and damage done to an individual in this case."
He adds: "The decisions were not taken lightly or without consideration of the impact on the reputation of George Bell. But in this case, as in others, the overriding goal was to search out the truth and issues of reputation cannot take priority over that."
Original statement on Bishop George Bell, October 2015
Points on a complex case - Diocese of Chichester blog on Bishop George Bell, January 2016