Newcastle Bishop Rt Rev Dr. Helen-Ann Hartley says She is “extremely disappointed” after Lord Sentamu refused to apologize over safeguarding “Learning Lessons Review.”
In a July 27 Statement on the Diocese of Newcastle website, Hartley expressed her dissatisfaction over the failure of Lord John Sentamu, the former Archbishop of York to tender an apology after an independent review criticized his response to a clergy abuse case.
In May, Hartley required that Sentamu stepped down from active ministry in the diocese following an independent review into the case of a vicar, the late Trevor Devamanikkam, who raped a 16-year-old boy in the 1980s. The review concludes that several bishops, including the then Archbishop of York John Sentamu, “failed to act” after the survivor disclosed the abuse on several occasions.
However, Lord Sentamu disputed the review. He contends they were “due to a fundamental misunderstanding” about “the jurisdictional, pastoral and legal responsibilities of Diocesan Bishops and Archbishops in the church of England.”
Hartley considered Sentamu’s public response as “inconsistent” with Newcastle safeguarding “tone and culture.” His response also contributed to his dismissal from performing clerical duties in the diocese.
“My concern remains that his public statement, following the Learning Lessons Review, is inconsistent with the tone and culture I expect around safeguarding in Newcastle Diocese, and has had a significant impact on survivors and undermined public confidence,” Hartley stated.
“It is for these reasons that I have asked Lord Sentamu to reflect on his words, and in particular the impact of them, and to offer an apology,” she added.
After last week’s meeting with Sentamu to discuss the review and his response, Hartley said she was “extremely disappointed that Lord Sentamu feels unable to make an apology at this time.”
Harvey says while his response remains unsatisfactory, he remains barred from performing clerical duties.
“It is with sadness that I do not feel able to grant him my Permission to Officiate within the Diocese of Newcastle or delegate authority to him. My door remains open, and the matter is in his hands.”
Lord Sentamus served as an Honorary Assitant Bishop to the Newcastle diocese Prior to the publication of the review.