ecclesiastical insurance group eig
Church of England

Bishops damn church insurers Ecclesiastical Insurance Group (EIG) over ‘horse trading’ with child abuse survivors

Ecclesiastical Insurance Group (EIG) is the Church of England’s insurance company. It was founded in 1887 to insure the Anglican church (…against acts of God?). Mark Hews, CEO, says: “We protect the irreplaceable – not just the bricks and mortar, objects or organisations but what they represent to the people that love and depend on them.” It must be quite a lucrative account – certainly one that they wouldn’t want to lose, for then, of course, the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group would simply become the Insurance Group: you can’t be very ecclesiastical if you don’t have a church.

Three bishops (Durham, Lambeth and Buckingham) have excoriated EIG over the way they have handled issues of historic child abuse. The Archbishop of Canterbury has done the personal apologising to Gilo, a survivor of child sexual abuse at the hands of a Church of England priest. Gilo wrote 17 letters (seventeen) in the hope of seeing a little justice, or some acknowledgement of the suffering he endured. He received a response to just one – from a terse correspondence clerk – offering prayer.

That’s not really adequate when you’ve been systematically groomed, plied with alcohol, striped naked and thrown face down on a bed by a minister of Christ, and then ignored by every priest and bishop you ever reported the matter to (except one, who kissed and cuddled rather a lot).

Gilo was eventually bunged £35,000 and told to go away.

He didn’t.

He carried on knocking, until the door was finally opened.

And today he takes a giant step toward greater justice, for not only has Archbishop Justin Welby apologised profusely to Gilo for the church’s systematic failings (he must read this blog) , but three Bishops have condemned the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group for its failings, deception, and its heartless ‘horse trading’ with survivors. The letter is published here in its entirety:


This is prosaic, but important. It signals a change, but it may be more than that. This is a very public acknowledgment of the immense emotional and physical cost of child sexual abuse, which is then grievously aggravated by the church’s chronic failure. It is one thing to insure the Church of England against damage and loss, but quite another to ensure the Church of England offers justice, healing and reconciliation. The Bishops further state: “We are acutely embarrassed that it has been survivors who have over many years, decades in some situations, had to find the courage to drive forward change. We hope we can now match that with our own determination and bring our own necessary courage to the task. If healing and reconciliation is to happen we must for the sake of justice learn from the tenacity of survivors. And we as two bishops commit ourselves afresh personally to changing our culture and our structure.”

The thing is…

Bishops Butler, Thornton and Wilson are basically writing to fellow members of the clergy who are or have been officers of Ecclesiastical Insurance. The Very Rev’d Christine Wilson, Dean of Lincoln is presently on the Board of EIG. Former officers (with their former offices) include the Rt Rev’d Nick Baines (Bishop of Croydon), the Very Rev’d Nicholas Coulton (Sub-Dean of Christ Church, Oxford), the Very Rev’d Thomas Evans (Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral), the Ven. Reginald Harris (Archdeacon of Manchester), the Rt Rev’d Dr Nigel Peyton (Bishop of Brechin), the Very Rev’d John Simpson (Dean of Canterbury Cathedral), and the Rt Rev’d Donald Snelgrove (Bishop of Hull).

With Anglican clergy supervising and controlling EIG (which also insures a lot of church schools where there have been incidences of child abuse), there’s clearly a conflict of interest. Indeed, ‘horse trading’ is inevitable if one group of clergy seeks to ensure minimal settlements to protect the interests of Ecclesiastical Insurance, and another group of clergy seeks generous settlements and maximum justice for the victims of abuse in order to protect the reputation of the Church of England.

Aren’t low compensation settlements simply a logical economic consequence of seeking to maximise profit so you can swell the coffers of the Church Commissioners?

UPDATE, 12.30pm:

Ecclesiastical Insurance have released their response to the three Bishops. It is an artful and comprehensive rebuttal, but it basically tells the Bishops they’re completely wrong:


  • Protect the Church at all cost, very unholy.

    • Martin

      Isn’t that what Justin Welby has been doing all the time, trying to avoid an out and out row over the heresy rampant among the clergy?

      • Dominic Stockford

        Frankly, yes.
        But then he’s been learning from his buddies over in Italy…..

        • Care to elaborate …….. no, don’t bother. Not the thread.

          Justin Welby could learn from the mismanagement of the abuse crisis by the Catholic Church though and the lessons they have slowly, slowly, slowly learned. Ultimately, it seems, it was outside organised, pressure groups and campaigns, mass press coverage and the cost of compensation payments. Those hostile to faith had a field day. He would do well to avoid the scandal and damage it caused to the believe of many and the reputation of the Church.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Your summation of the appalling way in which Rome has handled abuse is excellent.Several occasions where I knew people who were later uncovered as abusers (not that I knew they were at the time) were clearly hushed up. The UK media is only just beginning to uncover the tip of a nasty iceberg now.

            The CofE are still making their way along that path. Sadly it seems that the self-defence mechanisms are far more entrenched still than they should be.

            Yes, better to be open, honest and forthcoming from the word go – even better would be for the ‘church’ not to trust the ‘church’ to police itself, but hand every suspicion to the proper authorities. That would, to a large extent, lance the boil. “As soon as we found out we handed the information to the police/social services” – and those hostile to the faith then find they can only attack individuals, not churches as a group. This is what I was always taught in Social Work, by the FA, and by CCPAS.

        • Martin


          Are you saying he’s paddling in the Tiber? 😉

          • Dominic Stockford

            I don’t think he’s drowned in it yet, but he’s mighty close to doing so.

  • Matthew Ineson

    It isn’t just EIG. The CofE covers up what it wants to still too and sends victims and survivors round in circles or blanks them . Many victims/survivors are still treat with contempt.

  • Ray Sunshine

    “Horse trading”, Your Grace? How does that differ, in practice, from negotiation? When the two sides’ lawyers face each other across a table to see if they can agree on a figure for compensation, what are they supposed to do? Not mention money?

    There’s a hoary old quip about the choice of words that goes something like this:
    I am persistent
    You are obstinate
    He is pig-headed

    In the present case, it looks like a case of:
    I am negotiating
    You are haggling
    He is horse-trading

    • Matthew Ineson

      And victims of abuse should be humiliated by the horsetrading to see how much they are told they are worth?

      • Ray Sunshine

        No, of course not. They’ve been humiliated more than enough already.

      • Gilo

        Well said Matt. Might help readers if I fill in some blanks. In my case at the ‘horse trade’ one of the legal games employed was “he wasn’t acting in his capacity as a priest”. This settlement took place less than 5 mins walk from the church associated with the abuse where I served mass the morning after! They were one street apart. Ask yourself the question – how would you feel if you heard this argument used to squeeze you down as they measure out settlements in coffee spoons.

        Also here’s a curious thing I only discovered this week … the EIG lawyer who led this horse trade – attended 2 case conferences on my case during the Elliott Review. She met Elliott during both these meetings. EIG have consistently and very publicly said it had no input whatsoever into the Elliott Review! Needless to say, my own solicitor and I were not informed or invited to these two meetings. Yet EIG was fully present — discusssing the church’s response!!! There was almost no disinguishable seperation. The boundaries are very grey where insurers can switch hats to suit their own purposes. The whole thing has to be seriously addressed.

        As result of abuse I am long term bi-polar. That has some impact on my life. Spent some periods in near catatonic states. Very low income. No pension.

        • Marcus Stewart

          Gilo: I’m very sorry about the shameful behaviour you were subjected to and hope you recover and life picks-up for you. Easy words, I know…

          • Gilo

            Thank you Marcus. Church needs to change its broken structure so justice is transparent and calm and dignifiied and above all — based on theology of healing – not a rotten circus of blanking and legal games and corporate handwash. But the issues are now here to stay. The bishops know that letter cannot go back into the envelope. Bishops have been relying on EIG to do their dirty work for far too long – and have been turning a blind eye.

          • Marcus Stewart

            Hello Gilo,

            Bullying in the Church is another, not unrelated, problem which can have very pernicious effects on the victim. I’ve seen those effects in others and experienced them myself. Like safeguarding, there’s always a policy about this, that and the other – but it makes no discernible difference. The power differential in ordained ministry enables this (though of course it can happen between clergy and laity, and your good self, was, appallingly, subjected to a form of it – the misuse of clerical status and “authority” – together with other dysfunctional dynamics by your abuser).

            It’s interesting that “deference” to bishops has been cited as an enabler of abuse in official reports (not authored by them!) such as that of the Ball saga. It needs to change.

            With my warmest wishes,


          • Gilo

            Deference to hierarchy is riddled throughout the entire structure. Along with cognitive dissonance.

            This is what I found in one diocese while trying to tackle the difficulties with its bishop. Everyone just drew up the curtains, including their safeguarding. It was bonkers and really very disturbing. The church can be v effective at isolating people and turning us and our legitimate complaints into the ‘problem’ to be ignored. I have learnt so much about the deep dysfunctionality and malevolence of the church in the past 3 years.

            There were things in that diocese that were very wrong. But I think that bishop has learnt a painful lesson. He had to apologise for his response which was absolutely lamentable. In reality hes not on his own… about a third of current diocesan bishops have been responding dishonorably. Blanking major questions, silencing, discrediting, closing down cases, gaslighting, etc. There is a crisis of culture across the top which needs real ownership. And it goes right to the top as it includes archbishops – one of whom faced a CDM process earlier this year. I think the survivor in that case (Matt) is still calling for his resignation along with other senior figures.

  • Sarky

    Like Jericho….the walls are tumbling down.
    (Nicked from Paul Weller)

    • Chefofsinners

      And yet there was a house in the walls of Jericho where those within were safe.
      (and it’s wrong to steal)

  • Educynic

    My personal view, having been abused as a child (not within the church), is that this article is pointing in the wrong direction.

    The harm of abuse is a psychological and spiritual one. There is usually only one solution to that, that the one who is abused forgives the perpetrator.

    The obsession with financial compensation makes that process harder and therefore largely damages the one who has been abused.

    It also provides incentives for exaggerating, even inventing things in the past.

    Interestingly our obsession with dealing with ‘abuse’ of ‘children’ (ie those below 18) by ‘adults’ (ie those above 18) is maintained in a culture in which there is total acceptance of sexual activity between those we label as ‘children’. If sex below the age of 16 is damaging and therefore illegal, why is it any better if it is carried out by one of a similar age? Are not the power relationships just as clear amongst under 18s: the emotionally weaker by the stronger, the older by the younger, etc? Yet we encourage such relationships, effectively grooming our children by teaching them from infant classes about oral and anal sex in a ‘non-judgemental’ atmosphere and censuring schools that refuse to provide such grooming.

    Should we not also be throwing up our hands in horror at sexual relationships amongst the young which, since they represent the majority of illegal sexual relationships, will be the ones that are actually causing most damage?

    Of course financial penalties have a role in detering any organisation from incompetence in dealing with all sorts of transgression. These are best set by a disinterested party rather than the undignified haggling between the parties involved.

    And then simply burn the money. (The bank of England is always printing more.) That will prove more salutary for the church because it will not have the conscience-salving effect of ‘we made amends’, nor even ‘we did some good with that money.’ Rather it will show just how damaging and destructive such issues are.

    As for those who have been abused, please let’s drop the words ‘victim’ or (more vomit-worthy) ‘survivor’. Bad things happen in life. Financial compensation rarely is the answer and it distracts attention from the real solutions that God’s mercy provides.

    • IanCad

      “— teaching them from infant classes about oral and anal sex in a ‘non-judgemental’ atmosphere and censuring schools that refuse to provide such grooming.”
      Not in infant classes??!! No! Surely not?

      • Educynic

        Top end infants, early juniors. Far too young.

        • IanCad

          I feel sick. That such vile perverting of the innocent has become commonplace can only mean any claim, we as a society make, that our civilization is decent, just and good, is a downright self-delusion.
          The homo lobby – which is obviously pushing this – and the useful idiots who give them credence has to be cut down to size.
          Section 28 must be revived.
          I am no longer feeling sick – mightily steaming instead.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Use your steam to power action. Christian Concern and Christian institute both fight against this perversion of our children.

          • IanCad

            Thanks for your suggestion Dominic. I was owing some tithe and sent a few mites off to the Christian Institute.
            Feeling much better now. Thanks again.

          • Educynic

            This is what is going on and few think about it. Now I’m sure that Justine Greening is a very nice woman but she has her own agenda as a declared lesbian. And, when you think about it, how on earth do you break down the instinctive barriers that children have about homosexuality without teaching them about them about how nice and normal these acts are?

    • Busy Mum

      We complained to our (cash-strapped) local authority about its new sexual advice services for 13-25 year olds; these are being advertised throughout schools. The council leader replied that ‘consensual’ under-age sexual activity is considered to be harmless as long as both participants are under age. I doubt the council has joined the dots between the money they are spending on advising promiscuous young girls on how to avoid pregnancy and the money they are spending on counselling the same girls for depression.

  • Marcus Stewart

    While it doesn’t invalidate the argument of the letter, EIG might be forgiven for thinking it’s a bit rich that they’re being criticised by bishops when other bishops themselves “swerved” accountability for abuse as reported well here on a very questionable legal technicality:

    To compound this, I believe that Archbishop George Carey, a good man, was thrown under the bus, as was Bishop George Bell’s reputation (the latter a matter so startlingly mishandled, the imminent report about it’s expected to be pretty critical of the actions of, yes, bishops and Church bureaucrats) merely in order to demonstrate robustness on the part of this lot by sacrificing others’ reputations to save their own. Pretty unedifying.

    I’m inclined to think that bishops should have no input whatsoever on alleged/proved child abuse policy on the grounds that they have little or no credibility and secular agencies couldn’t do it any worse than bishops have so far done.

    • Jon Sorensen

      George Pell lived with Gerald Ridsdale and during trials supported him and not the victims. Victims said “There is no way Cardinal Pell couldn’t have known what was going on” and “it is unfathomable that Cardinal George Pell didn’t know he was being sexually abused.”

    • Chefofsinners

      Good points, to which I would add that the guilt for acts of abuse lies primarily with the evil perpetrators themselves. For sure, many churchmen have acted ignorantly or shamefully in the aftermath of the abuse, seeking to preserve the Church’s reputation. Yet we are all victims of the abusers. When bishops and insurers fall to squabbling between themselves, they risk losing sight of the real problem.

      • Jon Sorensen

        Non-Christian see this more as an institutional problem. You can’t get rid of all perpetrators but you could sure get rid of the protection/financial support/moving to different dioceses/countries church has given to child rapists.

        • Chefofsinners

          It is a problem which has infected all major institutions. Like a body infected with a virus, we need better treatment but it is erroneous to blame the body.

          • And eliminating the virus may well seriously weaken the body before it recovers and regains its health and strength.

          • Chefofsinners

            It seems to have been very successful in all bodies.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Often the body is the problem. People know who is being naughty and not reporting this to the authority, or they are brainwashed to believe that there can not be a rapist in their organisation…

          • Chefofsinners

            Yes, and the problem have affected every major public body equally. Our understanding and procedures are only now catching up with the devious and exploitative schemes of paedophiles. But the paedophile himself must be the first to be forced to make financial restitution. Then, when he is bankrupt, yes – schools, hospitals, the BBC, the Scouts, and parliament itself should be paying compensation alongside the Church of England. However, determining the extent of each institution’s duty of care in each case is a monumental task; not one which should be left to the court of retrospective public opinion.

          • Jon Sorensen

            This has NOT affected every major public body equally. According to studies Clergy members are 2-4 more like to rape a child. Public bodies are required to report all incidents to the police. Public bodies don’t use diplomatic mail and protection or send rapist to chill to Vatican or other countries. Public bodies don’t shift assets and in paper go bankrupt not to pay victim. The list goes on…

      • There’s is culpability of the part of Church’s for failing in their duty of care to children. Jack is scandalised by this in his own Church. The cover-ups and moving perpetrators to new parishes cannot be wholly explained by ignorance of the addictive and compulsive nature of sex offenders and their ability to manipulate and deceive. It’s a feature of their spiritual and mental sickness. One has to ask what it is in the culture of organisations that facilitates years of abuse by these men.

        • Chefofsinners

          Yes, people have historically acted in the interests of the organisation rather than the victims. The reason is as simple as Adam and Eve sewing together fig leaves: They are ashamed, afraid and stupid.

          • And didn’t Satan rejoice then, just as he is now.

  • Inspector General

    When you find yourselves at odds with your insurer, don’t get the hump…

    It is difficult to cast blame at the response to this and other cases similar. Due of course to the situation at the time. This being that each case was handled on an individual see basis in the immediate. We can only assume its all changed for the better.

    Business Administration holds this. If a problem occurs, it is not going to be unique, its nature is sensitive and repercussions will last years, then a central approach is unavoidable. A specialist department, staffed with an experienced team.

    Is that how it is in the church today? It should be…and perhaps future correspondence from your insurer will be a bit more palatable.

  • magnolia

    What is not happening is that no guidelines exist for weeding out those most likely to abuse children, very often boys. We live in a culture in which much of the opinion-forming media has disproportionate numbers of such people. No wonder there is a bias towards them, rather than away, in popular perception. Many belong to other groups which enjoy protected status- often in some quarters very seriously protected. In parts of the church whole families will be chased off and uprooted to protect such people, a kind of reverse utilitarianism; this I have seen. If these groups were even to be under the same disciplines and expectation as married clergy the problems would be far lesser., but where is the will to do that?

    Ordained ministry is no one’s right.

    • Inspector General

      Mags. You say that ordained ministry is no ones right. It seems to be. One has yet to detect any desire ( yes, not action at this stage, but the first step, desire) to exclude anyone who shows even the slightest hint of allegiance to a now all-powerful lifestyle that enjoys patronage from the very top of our society. An allegiance that compromises the very core of Christianity.

      One is in no doubt who is culpable for this lamentable truth. The Archbishop of Canterbury. Before, current and future.

      • magnolia

        Yes, (though I think the last sentence is rather wide of the mark.)

        • Inspector General

          Interesting Mags. Do place your hand on the shoulder of who is responsible for the selection of would be priests…

          • magnolia

            Diocesan Bishops (who vary in their sympathies) in consultation with their Diocesan Advisory Panels (who also vary in their sympathies). Overarchingly, in theory, and sometimes (even mostly?), in practice, the Holy Spirit. Sometimes this process errs, and I would suggest that that is due to errant sympathies or lack of proper discernment in some quarters sometimes.

            No doubt some dioceses are superb, others not so much!

    • Jon Sorensen

      The CoE church I have been going to has fairly strict guidelines how/who to handle kids; not alone, toilet visits process, reporting process etc. which they seem to be following well. I’m not sure if they have the weed out process sorted out. One problem I see is that they will not report first to police any incidents, all issues go up the chain first and the top guys have been dropping the ball occasionally.

      • carl jacobs

        The CoE church I have been going to…

        Wait. What? You are going to a church?

        • Dominic Stockford

          Glad you asked….

        • Chefofsinners

          Why not? He’s more doctrinally sound than the average bishop.

        • Sarky

          I reckon he’s doing an alpha.

        • Maybe he’s just asking questions one dare not ask in his congregation or expressing doubts and misgivings. Let’s face it, biblical understanding isn’t great in your average C of E parish – or Catholic parish come to that. We could ignore the angst and just answer his questions without attitude. Just a thought.

      • magnolia

        All very good, though there must be some greater form of psychological profiling as well, with reference to how sexuality is channeled in that individual. I know that is invasive, intrusive, and only partly effective,and would produce a minor amount of injustice, but, nevertheless, it is nothing compared to the invasion and intrusion of the abused at the core of their very beings, and would help to increase perceived trustworthiness. Nor can the church afford, monetarily, to do otherwise.

        • Jon Sorensen

          profiling “how sexuality is channeled in that individual” in clergy is just not possible. Imagine that in Catholic Church…
          Mandatory immediate reporting to police would get rid of more that 90% of cases

          • The reason so many homosexual men infiltrated the Catholic Church in the 1960’s and 1970’s is because homosexual priests controlling entry to seminaries ignored Vatican instructions not to do so. Some of these men engaged in open homosexual relationships within their seminaries.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Don’t be fooled that this is a new phenomen. This goes far longer back. Probably 1700 years…

            Remember Alfred Hitchcock:
            One day when Alfred Hitchcock was still a churchgoing Catholic, he was driving through a Swiss city when he suddenly pointed out of the car window and said, “That is the most frightening sight I have ever seen.”
            His companion was surprised to see nothing more alarming than a priest in conversation with a little boy, his hand on the child’s shoulder.
            “Run, little boy,” cried Hitchcock, leaning out of the car. “Run for your life!”

      • Dominic Stockford

        You’re right about reporting. Should be straight to the authorities, that is, the police/social services.

      • In the name of Christ, if a child isn’t safe in Church without a metaphorical armed guard where are they safe?!

        You’re underestimating the capacity of men driven by misdirected lust and desire to secure access to children and the opportunities will they seize. A small minority of corrupt men have undermined the credibility of all male priests and, in doing so, corrupted the very notion of God as Father.

        As Peter Damian demanded back in the 11th century, root out those who’s desires are against nature and God’s revealed truth about sexual relationships. How can a homosexual man understand and counsel couples about God’s decrees for men and women and the Divine purpose and sanctity of sex?! How can he teach his flock about Christ’s spousal relationship with His Church as one being between Bride and Groom?!

        • Jon Sorensen

          Church has been and is the most dangerous place for a your child. Nowhere else do they get rapes so frequently or there is other type or organisation that has upto 5%-8% of members “child abusers”.

          “A small minority of corrupt men have undermined the credibility of all male priests and, in doing so, corrupted the very notion of God as Father.”
          I’m not sure if that is a small minority. Many Churches have systematically protected child rapists. Many “good men” have turned a blind eye while knowing what is going on, or suspected something but ignored. Victims have been bribed or bullied …. No morals and rotten to the core secular people think.

          “How can a homosexual man understand and counsel couples about God’s decrees for men and women and the Divine purpose and sanctity of sex?
          How can you be a member of an organistation that has protected child rapists, bullied and bribed victims? Even if CoE/Catholics/Mormons/JWs/etc had the truth and would be the one and only true denomination/religion, I could never be part of an organisations that protects child rapists.

    • The answer: preclude anyone from ministry who has deep-rooted same sex attraction and those who identify with “gay” culture.

      Motion at Synod – anybody?

  • carl jacobs

    It seems to me that agents of the Insurance Company are being criticized for fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities. It’s not unlike saying to a defense attorney “In the name of justice, refrain from cross-examining the victim so severely.” That’s not his job.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Except that there are those running the company who have a massive conflict of interest, as they are also clergy of the CofE…….

  • Jon Sorensen

    Christian sites still talk about “child abuse” when the case is a child rape. These child rape cases and mishandling of cases keep on coming and coming. And it not just CoE denomination. Very sad.

    • carl jacobs

      Your criticism is exactly backwards. This is typically called a “Child Abuse” problem in the secular world to imply that it is all about adult men molesting pre-pubescent children. In fact its mostly about homosexual men identifying, seducing, and abusing post-pubescent teenaged boys. It is this fact that must be carefully hidden.

      • Jon Sorensen

        I agree also non-Christians incorrectly call this a “Child Abuse” problem.

        I don’t think clergy rapists identify themselves as homosexuals. Don’t blame homosexuals for same sex child rape as you don’t blame heterosexuals for opposite sex child rape.

        • carl jacobs

          I’m not blaming anyone. I’m stating a fact. What do you call sex between two post-pubescent males? What do you call the desire that motivates it? The “child abuse” crisis is largely a crisis of homosexual behavior. That doesn’t say anything about the victims. But it speaks volumes about the perpetrators.

          It’s just a fact. If men with homosexual desire had been screened from the Priesthood there wouldn’t have been a crisis.

          • Jon Sorensen

            You are wrong.

            “homosexual behavior” and “Pedophilia” are different behaviours. Screening for one thing doesn’t stop the other thing.

            The real crisis the protection of rapist. Screen would not help that either

          • carl jacobs

            I’m not wrong. Pedophilia involves molestation of a pre-pubescent child. The “child abuse crisis” was about adult men grooming, seducing, and using teenaged boys. What about that isn’t homosexual?

          • Jon Sorensen

            You [and your upvoters] are part of the problem churches have, like head is a sand. Studies show that some of the rapists are and identify as heterosexual and about 15% victims are female. Screening for homosexual is not the way to do this, screening for Pedophilia would be better, but changing how these cases are reported and handling would be better.

            You do want to screen for the problem you have, not for some other criteria.

            In any case as long as you [, churches and your upvoters] are part of the problem this is the best advertisement for atheism and leaving churches. And with your ideas unfortunately these kid rape cases will be on headlines for a looong time. Truly sad.

          • magnolia

            Exactly what about 85% of reported cases being male do you not understand as preponderantly homosexual acts?

            How can a homosexual act be carried out by someone reacting heterosexually?

            That is a patent absurdity.

            I care little for how people self-identify,(given human propensities for self-delusion), compared to how they self-reveal through their acts, and that applies especially to the low-lives who molest kids. I have come across too many of them and they are notoriously steeped in (sometimes very articulate) self-delusion in all manner of ways. Their self-descriptions have next to no value nor validity. Their acts show them as they are.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Exactly what about 85% of reported cases being male do you not understand as preponderantly homosexual acts?”
            Exactly what do you not understand that homosexuality does not equal pedophilia? How hard is this? Just like heterosexuality does not equal pedophilia! Don’t you get it that these are different urges?

            “I care little for how people self-identify”
            So why do you think screening is a good idea? Do you really think people don’t get they are being screened?

          • magnolia

            Yes, people do get that they are being screened, but they don’t know accurately how people without their problems behave. Same with those who have a child missing, later found murdered by close family. If they had strong imagination and empathy for others they would not be guilty in the first place. The missing imagination and empathy often causes the act to go badly awry, and some people, not least the police, tend to notice.

          • Are you same sex attracted, Jon?

          • carl jacobs

            Where did that come from?

          • His defence of homosexual priests.

          • carl jacobs

            Can’t people defend the concept from a theoretical or doctrinal or philosophical point of view?

          • They can but his defence strikes Jack as rather more personal. Not saying Jack is correct, just interested.

          • Jon Sorensen

            It’s irrelevant.

            We should all support minorities 🙂

          • Irrelevant that you are?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Irrelevant to you I suppose

          • Irrelevant to Jack that you are same sex attracted? Just like to be aware of the positions and assumptions people hold when one engages in dialogue with them.

          • Jon Sorensen

            It is irrelevant if I am same sex attracted or not. I try to defend human rights. Hasn’t LGBT community suffered enough?

          • You’ve answered the question.

          • Jon Sorensen

            No I didn’t. You just made it up. I’m not gay, but happily married with kids. Christians seem to help people when there is something into it for them. They don’t seem to get that helping people to make a world a better place, maybe because their holy books tells them to kill minorities like gays.

          • “They”? Didn’t you claim on this blog that you attend a C of E church?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Hmmm.. no self-reflection after your mistake…

            Yes.. they and yes… I occasionally attend CoE events at church

          • Jack s pleased you are married to a woman and have children. Whilst not same sex attracted, you have clearly embraced “gay” culture, all its works and empty age. One fears the CofE will not free you from this bondage and antipathy towards to the Gospel.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I don’t “embraced “gay” culture” what ever you mean by that. I embraced equal right culture. I want equal right to LGBT, women, non-Christian, other minorities. But as a privileged white christian man embracing the book to instruct to kill gays and not to give women equal rights, you probably don’t get that. You never had to fight for your rights as you were born in a privilege life, and now you just fight to keep your privilege and care less about equal right…

          • Maxine Schell

            I presume the “Holy Book” for all Christians is the Bible, especially the New Testament, which definitely, absolutely, and for damned-sure, does NOT instruct us to kill gays, LGBT, women and non-Christian. Are you daft !??

          • Jon Sorensen

            Hi Maxine, your God spoke these words:
            20:1 The Lord said to Moses… Leviticus 20:13: If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death. (NIV)

            Your God clearly wanted to kill gays. You clearly have not read the God’s words in the Bible claiming your revisionist view.

            So Maxine, can we agree that God was wrong asking his followers like you to kill gays?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Funny how Christians run away from discussion when you point out them what their God actually says in the Bible. Looks like Maxine never bothered to actually read her “Holy Book”.

          • carl jacobs

            You are correct. Homosexuality and pedophilia are very different things. But the desire of a homosexual man for a teenaged boy doesn’t qualify as pedophilia. What exactly are your age of consent laws again? How low have people suggested pushing it?

            You are doing exactly what I said. You are attempting to draw a box around what happened and say “Whatever this was, it was different from homosexuality.” No, it was largely homosexual men using a position of trust to prey upon teenaged boys. Homosexual desire doesn’t cease to be homosexual desire simply because you would prefer it.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “What exactly are your age of consent laws again”
            What ever the law in the country defines. Homosexuals are no more likely to be pedophiles so don’t single them out.

            “No, it was largely homosexual men using a position of trust to prey upon teenaged boys.”
            Do you understand that just like heterosexuals and bisexuals, almost all homosexuals despise pedophilia. Singling out homosexuals will not solve the issue. Church has plenty of heterosexual pedophiles.

            “Homosexual desire doesn’t cease to be homosexual desire simply because you would prefer it.”
            This is irrelevant. Nothing wrong being homosexual. The pedophilia is the problem.

            With your mindset Churches problem will not go away any time soon.

          • magnolia

            Exactly so. If one lists those found guilty, one by one, time and time again it is preponderantly homosexual abuse, especially with those who repeatedly abuse. The Chichester cases, for one, make this abundantly clear. But as you say, it is not PC and cannot be said. When things cannot be said it means that victims are made to suffer more to honour that which cannot be said, hence what cannot be said is an idol that needs demolishing.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Read the studies to get the facts. Not all victims are boys.

          • In America 80% of male priests who abused children did so to teenage boys. The cop-out by the John Jay research was denying they were homosexual because the men didn’t “self identify” as such.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Sexuality is complex. Often pedophiles don’t of identify themselves as homosexual even when victims are same sex. Christianity has a tendency to suppress homosexuality and mess up gay priests self identity and sexuality.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Just a practical point. How do you set about screening men with homosexual desire from the priesthood?

          • carl jacobs

            1. You ask an applicant “Are you a homosexual?” There isn’t any other way since homosexuality is self-designated.

            2. If you are the RCC, you get rid of the celibacy requirement.

            3. You remove him if he proves himself false.

            I once knew a pastor high up in the local hierarchy of the church I then attended. He was discovered in his late 50s to be involved in a homosexual relationship. His secretary found an email. There followed a defrocking and an ugly divorce and a shattered family. Broken relationships all around.

            I briefly interacted with his youngest daughter. The anger she felt towards her father was intense. Trying to find answers, she once asked me “What does sex mean to a man? What does sex mean to you?” She was 20 years my junior and just past 20 years in age. How do you answer that question? It’s a moment I will never forget.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            1. I would certainly agree with abolishing the celibacy requirement for RC priests, but it is not clear what the connection is between compulsory celibacy and the sexual abuse of children and minors, or how far the abolition of the former would affect the latter. After all, such abuse occurs in other denominations which don’t impose celibacy on their clergy, and it is not uncommon for either pre- or post-pubescent boys to be sexually abused by men who are married (in the traditional, heterosexual sense) or who are otherwise living a heterosexual “lifestyle”. I suspect that any causation is an indirect one, in that a celibate priesthood is likely to attract a number of sexually disturbed men.

            2. You ask an applicant “Are you a homosexual?” What a brilliant suggestion! How on earth did you think of that one? You’d get a truthful answer every time, would you? Like hell you would. Men who are unable to accept that they are homosexual, and are seeking to join the priesthood as a way of copping out, will be trying to hide the truth from themselves, so they’re unlikely to tell it to anyone else. Men who want to abuse young people – whether or not they are homosexual in the ordinary sense – certainly wouldn’t answer “yes”. Homosexual men who would answer truthfully are probably the least likely to be potential sexual predators.

            3. Certainly any clergy who are guilty of sexual abuse should be removed. That has been the problem in the RC church, and to some extent in the Anglican and other churches: they haven’t been. Instead, the matter has been hushed up and the offenders have been left free to do it again. If ALL clergy who are homosexual could be and were removed, solely because they are homosexual, both the RC Church and the Church of England would collapse. So also, I think, would some of the Protestant churches in Europe.

            As for the (presumably) married pastor who was discovered to be in a homosexual relationship, I obviously can’t comment on a case of which I know nothing. In any case, how exactly is it relevant to the present topic? Was the relationship with a post-pubescent boy?

          • carl jacobs

            What a brilliant suggestion! How on earth did you think of that one?

            When I applied to join the military, I had to answer a long series of questions to certify my fitness to join. I had to answer “No” to every question. “Are you a pacifist?” “Have you ever been a member of an organization that advocated the violent overthrow of the US Government?” That sort of thing. One of those questions was “Are you a homosexual?” Verbatim. Did it work perfectly? No. People lie. But it sets the context of the organization for all to see and people will react to that reality. And some people would actually say “Yes”.

            If ALL clergy who are homosexual could be and were removed, solely because they are homosexual, both the RC Church and the Church of England would collapse.

            That’s not actually an argument. That’s an indictment. If true, it would be better for those churches to collapse.

            how exactly is it relevant

            It’s about the destructive power of secret sin once introduced into the church. This is not just about the over-representation of homosexual clergy in the abuse of children. The thought has been expressed on this thread that homosexual clergy themselves are benign but all predators must be excluded. Surely the latter is true but the former is definitively false.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            My point about the question “Are you a homosexual?” is not that it wouldn’t work perfectly, but that as a measure aimed at screening out sexual predators it wouldn’t work at all. As I have said, those who would truthfully answer “yes” would in the main be those least likely to be a danger to children or minors, whereas most actual or potential sexual abusers would slip through that net with ease.

            There have always been a large number of homosexual clergy in both the RC Church and the Church of England. As one (heterosexual) American bishop said in a radio interview some years ago, “You’ve had them for ever.” Since there is nothing wrong with being homosexual, that fact in itself is no more of an indictment than is the even larger number of heterosexual clergy.

            “The thought has been expressed on this thread that homosexual clergy themselves are benign but all predators must be excluded,” you say. It is clear to me that both the former and the latter are true.

          • “If you are the RCC you get rid of the celibacy requirement.”
            There’s no demonstrable link between celibacy and the sexual abuse of children. The real question is: what attracts homosexual men to Church ministry and how did they get through seminary training? Married man can also have homosexual desires.

            “You ask an applicant “Are you a homosexual?” There isn’t any other way since homosexuality is self-designated.”
            Such naivety from cynic! There are a range of psycho-sexual tests and assessments that can be used to gauge the sexual maturity and predilections of men who apply to enter seminary.

            “You remove him if he proves himself false.”
            Agreed and what a tragic story you recounted.

          • carl jacobs

            There are a range of psycho-sexual tests and assessments that can be used to gauge the sexual maturity and predilections of men who apply to enter seminary.
            Yeah, I’ll take your word for it. I’d love to see how such tests are validated. I’d hate to be judged by such a test.

          • What have you got to hide?

          • carl jacobs

            Nothing that you need to know about … Umm … Nothing.

            I just don’t trust the very idea of these kinds of tests.

          • Ever consulted with a psychologist? That would be funny to witness.
            Q: Now, what’s your name?
            A: Please explain the purpose of that question and the evidence supporting its necessity.
            Q: Are you feeling defensive?
            A: That’s a rather aggressive question.

          • Anna055

            No. I don’t agree. For example, some of the ( same sex attracted, but celibate or traditionally married) people running the Living Out website are ordained. They shouldn’t suffer for being honest should they, when they haven’t done anything wrong? Also, there will always be potential abusers who slip through the selection net, both heterosexual ones and homosexual ones. We need to make sure that systems and awareness in churches make it as difficult as possible for people to offend, and when the worst does happen (because, dreadfully, it always has from time to time), we need to deal with it promptly, and then treat the victims with proper justice ….. which we don’t seem to be doing yet.

          • carl jacobs

            It is certainly true that defense against child predation must be multi-layered. Screening homosexuals is not a sufficient answer. It is also true that not every homosexual man will seek out teenagers as fit objects of sexual desire. Even so, I would screen them because the desire is fundamentally perverse. Ministry is not a right.

          • Anna055

            I agree that ministry is not a right, but I don’t agree that SSA should automatically bar someone from ministry as long as they are living obedience to Biblical teaching. Have you looked at.

  • carl jacobs

    Would it be cynical of me to suspect that these bishops might be saying “Look at that evil insurance company over there!” because:

    1. People don’t like insurance companies.
    2. Attention focused on the insurance company is attention not focused on the CoE.

    Because the CoE is certainly free to make settlements beyond the insurance settlement if it is that concerned about establishing justice.

    “Oh wait. You mean pay them out of my budget?”

    • Inspector General

      “M’lud. In matters Church of England, Mr Carl Jacobs has proved himself to be a hostile witness”

      “I tend to agree. Very well. Ladies and Gentleman of the jury. You are to disregard testimony provided by one Carl Jacobs. He will not be called to the stand again”

      • carl jacobs

        “Hostile” is such a harsh word. I much prefer “objective”.

        • Inspector General

          “Mr Jacobs. You must not audibly question any decision I make in this court. Take Mr Jacobs down to a holding cell where he might reflect on his contempt in solitude for a couple of hours.”

          • Objection, My Lord! Nay, thrice objection.
            At least one month – on bread and water rations.

          • carl jacobs

            Talk about conflict of interest. And when have been anything but hostile to the CoE? You still think it owes property to the RCC.

          • Jack agreed with your argument. He just wants you locked-up for a while.

          • carl jacobs

            Not very just and fair of you. I assume this has something to do with my prerogatives?

          • Whilst preferring to keep your prerogatives out of it, perhaps you could expose these to public scrutiny. What distinguishing faculties or properties do you claim?

          • carl jacobs

            Oh my claims are trivial compared to the claims of the RCC. Hardly even noticeable.

          • True. Good to see you acknowledge this. Nevertheless, let’s hear your claims. No false modesty now; don’t be shy.

          • carl jacobs

            My natural American humbleness prevents any response.

          • Use an advocate – if you can find one willing to this take on.

          • carl jacobs

            Ask Martin. He will probably answer.

          • Jack was thinking more along the lines of Sarky or your new found friend Jon. It’s up to you to secure representation.

          • carl jacobs

            I do not consent! I have not contracted with you! I am covered by Common Law and am a Sovereign Free man on the Land! You have no jurisdiction over me!

          • Inspector General

            “4 hours!”

            “Get him out of here quickly before I send him to Wormwood Scrubs”

          • Dominic Stockford

            Really? Wormwood, the scrubs, free food and board at the taxpayers- expense? Have we not paid out enough to our transatlantic cousins already?

    • Dominic Stockford

      Abosltuley, ‘let’s get everyone to look at the insurance company and make them the focus’ – instead of the focus being on the sufferers and what they suffered, and who was responsible for it.

    • Cynical?! You?!

      • carl jacobs

        Cynics have the advantage of usually being right. We are also known as “realists”, “advocates of common sense”, and “not the guy who just fell off the turnip truck”. That’s we look askance at letters written by politicians and lawyers. We know better.

        • Carl, one can be realistic without a disposition of disbelief in the sincerity or goodness of human motives and actions.

          • carl jacobs

            Can one also be realistic without a disposition of disbelief that Crystal Palace will win the (English) Premiere League Championship?

          • That’s not cynicism, Carl. It is realistic but says nothing about the motives or sincerity of the club or its players.

          • carl jacobs

            The example wasn’t intended to convey motives or sincerity. It was intended to illustrate the necessity of dealing with life as it is and not as we wish it to be.

          • Yes, Machiavelli deemed that a mark of maturity and he was correct. One can do so without cynicism.

          • carl jacobs

            But then you read some boilerplate written by a lawyer saying how his Insurance Company is right there in its desire to establish justice for victims … and you take it seriously. Cynicism gives you proper perspective. It lets you be surprised on those rare occasions when people exceed your expectations.

          • Jack encouraged his staff to be sceptical and cautioned them against adopting what is now termed “the rule of optimism” when dealing with complex situations. He always watched for people heading towards cynicism as he considered it soul destroying. He used to recommend that newly qualified staff read Agatha Christie novels.

          • Btw, your objective criticism was correctly directed at these bishops who are wringing their hands so publically. One can suspect this letter, whilst written to the insurers, had a different audience in mind. One notes, without further comment, that Alan Wilson, he who is greatly admired by Pink News, is one of the authors.(How dare he call Jack a “semi-pelagian!) Jack actually saw nothing wrong with the insurers letter.

            A final and full settlement was agreed by the parties, the complainant and his solicitor included, and if the Church now thinks this lacked justice then let them do what their Christian consciences demand.

            Talking of semi-Palaganism, (we were weren’t we?) Jack found this very amusing. It’s full of gems:


          • carl jacobs

            One can suspect this letter, whilst written to the insurers, had a different audience in mind.

            Good! Good! Come with me and I will complete your training

          • Scepticism is an awareness than men can have hidden and dishonourable motives and is not cynicism. The former is neutral and objective; the latter presupposes it and interprets it as such.

          • carl jacobs

            OK … umm … that was funny. I’m going to send that to some people.

            Chef would have a field day.

            Q: How then can we make such a Decision, seeing that the Scripture saith, we are dead in our trespasses and sins?
            A: By this the Scripture meaneth, not that we are dead, but only that we are sick or injured in them.

            Q: What is the assurance of thy salvation?
            A: The assurance of thy salvation is, that I know the date on which I prayed the Sinner’s Prayer, and have duly written this date on an official Decision card.

            Q: What are the seven deadly sins?
            A: The seven deadly sins are smoking, drinking, dancing, card-playing, movie-going, baptizing babies, and having any creed but Christ.

            Q: What is the office of the keys?
            A: The office of the keys is that office held by the custodian.

          • These would appeal to those who shall remain nameless – they know who they are:
            Q: Who is on the Lord’s side?
            A: He who doth support whatsoever is done by the nation of Israel, and who doth renounce the world, the flesh, and the Catholic Church.

            Q: What is a sacrament?
            A: A sacrament is an insidious invention devised by the Catholic Church whereby men are drawn into idolatry.

            Q: What is the Lord’s Supper?
            A: The Lord’s Supper is a dispensing of saltines and grape juice, in the which we remember Christ’s command to pretend that they are His body and blood.

            32. Q: What is baptism?
            A: Baptism is the act whereby, by the performance of something that seems quite silly in front of everyone, I prove that I really, really mean it.

            33. Q: What is the Church?
            A: The Church is the tiny minority of individuals living at this time who have Jesus in their hearts, and who come together once a week for a sermon, fellowship and donuts.

  • In Jack’s experience, many, if not all, psychological and psychiatric problems have a spiritual dimension. One cannot separate the soul and mind – they interact with each other. Imagine the damage to the soul and the mind of a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of one of God’s representatives on earth! How can the pain, suffering, broken lives and spiritual and mental turmoil resulting from this be adequately “compensated” for? What can be “calculated” is some “measure” of the suffering, harm and cost of abuse in terms of ongoing difficulties and lost opportunities. An adversarial setting intended to trade and bargain will not facilitate this. It will leave a nasty taste in the mouths of the survivors and those culpable for their abuse.

    • carl jacobs

      An adversarial setting intended to trade and bargain will not facilitate this.

      What do you suggest as an alternative? An insurance company will not accept a settlement over which it had no control.

      • A panel seeking truth, justice and reconciliation where victims and their needs are placed centre stage. Insurers can participate but not manage the process. If the Church is bankrupted by the settlements, so be it.

        • carl jacobs

          Why would insurance companies participate in such a scheme? They would have to agree to it when the policy is issued. Never gonna happen. You are essentially recommending that the church fund these settlements from its own assets. Fine by me. But you better be one of the first victims in line. There won’t be much left for victims 25-100.

          • Settlements in England are not $million ones as in America, Carl. With a will, such an approach can be adopted and if the insurers believe the settlements are too “generous” then they can pay what they consider “reasonable” and the Church the rest. The alternative is a civil hearing with a Judge and Jury determining the amount. Then the insurers would be obliged to pay.

          • carl jacobs

            Am I wrong here? Aren’t these negotiations in lieu of a trial? Neither side wants a court trial so they negotiate a settlement both sides can live with. Is that not what is going on?

          • As Jack understands it, yes, with each side reserving the right, in the event of a lack of settlement, to use the courts.

          • carl jacobs

            How then would the insurance company protect itself? You are recommending binding arbitration instead of a trial.

          • It would be a participant in a process aimed at securing justice for victims by compensating them fairly for past, present and future harm and suffering. It wouldn’t be there simply to “protect” itself. As Jack said, if it felt the settlement inappropriate it could pay what it judged “fair”, leaving the other parties to settle from their own funds or use the civil courts.

          • carl jacobs

            That limit of liability would have to established in the policy when it was issued. And a “fair” result is one both sides agree on – not an imposition from some Truth & Justice Commission. You said there would have to be the will. There won’t be any will to do this. Not unless you can find some magic unicorn dust to sprinkle on the appropriate parties.

            Say I’m the insurance company. I’m not there to secure justice by compensating victims fairly for past abuses. I’m there to limit my exposure. The agents of the insurance company have a fiduciary responsibility to do just that. They would be acting immorally if they did otherwise.

            You are trying to turn an insurance company into an agent of social vindication. That isn’t what it exists for.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Correct. And makes things even more dingy (given that CofE clergy effectively run the insurance company)

          • carl jacobs

            Why exactly does the CoE have its own insurance company?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Good question. My church buildings were insured with them when I came here, we moved – why should we support the CofE (and all its problems) with our money? Went to Congregational & General!

          • Ray Sunshine

            Dominic.—Would there be any material difference if Gilo’s case were being handled by Congregational & General instead of by EIG? In particular,

            (1) Are the owners and controllers of Congregational & General the same people (whether physical persons, corporations, institutions or churches) who are also its policyholders?

            (2) Does it offer third party cover for indemnity payouts to the victims of sexual abuse by clergy against minors? And if so, what response might a victim expect from Congregational & General that Gilo failed to obtain in the present instance?

          • Dominic Stockford

            I was not suggesting Cong and Gen would have answered this particular issue any better – but they are not run by clergy in the way that Ecc is. There is therefore not the same conflict of interest which would naturally lead to a cover-up.

            They are run by lay people, one of whom (senior) I know, and a past chairman who I also know. Whether they are allowed to hold policies with their own company is a question I cannot answer – they no longer do home insurance, even contents insurance for clergy has been dropped. Only now contents and buildings of churches themselves. I believe they are now owned by an American conglomerate.

            As to the abuse by clergy – it has public cover insurance (whatever its properly called – insuring users of church buildings against injury. it is limited to, I think, £1,000,000.

          • Hi

            Niche market , meaning they’re in effect a captive pool and therefore the insurance should be cheaper.

            EIG primarily insuring very old buildings (another niche of ecclesiastical) , everything from the 11th century to 21st century. The very old properties , often made by stone are often protected by law and doubtless cost a fortune to upkeep, but if they are” listed “the outside has to be restored to as it was, so no ordinary insurer would touch it, when for example the roofs are made of lead or have copper on them and that’s stolen or a storm damages the stonework .

            In respect of payments for victims of abuse , I’d also suspect that other insurers will simply not insurer this and therefore exclude this on the public liability policy.

          • Martin Sewell

            Self insurance is not per se immoral.

            In UK police cars and ambulances are not commercially insured but via a bond valued to cover actuarily computed potential liabilities.

          • carl jacobs

            Sure. But see how this looks. The Bishops are blaming their own insurance company for doing exactly what the CoE established it to do. They get their money and they get to blame the insurance company for being unjust. “It’s not me! It’s that Insurance Company you gave me.” Built-in deniability, financial isolation and righteous posturing all in one convenient package.

          • Martin Sewell

            I quite agree, it does not look good but it is not an easy issue. Self insurance could be made to work with more transparent governance.

          • Sarky

            Crown indemnity.

          • Have you read the letter from the insurance company? They see no conflict between their financial interests and securing fair and just settlements for insured liability. Are they lying?

          • Martin Sewell

            Spot on.

        • magnolia

          Why should innocent people up and down the country have their village churches turned into blocks of flats “with special character” because some schmuck somewhere else has lied and leered and lusted? You may be sanguine about that scenario, It would seem the IG is, too. Thing is, you’re RC anyway, so the bankrupting of the C of E looks like a good outcome, as the Vatican can always sell a few of its amassed treasures to pay out victims and buy some more churches. Do the innocent hardworking not matter?

          • Magnolia, Jack is not making a denomination point or taking pleasure in the financial implications for the C of E. Whether they be Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, or Jedi Knight, churches must pay just compensation to make amends for the sexual abuse of the vulnerable to assist those souls subjected to it to live fuller lives. Any institution that fails to meet its duty of care to the vulnerable has to be held accountable, as well as the perpetrators, both here and before God. Unfortunately, we as members of the Church, ultimately foot the bill on earth. Let Jack assure you, he is far from sanguine about it. Indeed, he is very angry with his own Church for their behaviour.

  • DespiteBrexit

    Truly astonishing. Pot, kettle. Glasshouse, stones. Physician, thyself. Etc.

    EIG has responsibility towards other policyholders and shareholders. Why should it be over-generous if the CoE itself is claiming “nothing to see here, move along please”, unless it has clear evidence to the contrary?

  • David

    One cannot serve two masters, one must choose between serving God or money.
    There is a glaring conflict of interest here. One cannot defend on the one hand the financial interests of what is at bottom an insurance company and on the other hand the need for the Church to serve the Christian principles of justice and compassion.

    • ecclesiaman

      Exactly so. Trustees of Churches which legally must register as charities (except for those with extremely small incomes) are personally liable if abuse occurs on their watch. If proper procedures and policies are not observed and enforced the Insurance company could decline liability for the church failing to adhere to policy requirements. This would extend to employers liability claims for injury to staff, volunteers and third parties as well as legally proven sexual abuse. Similar charitable organisations face the same problem. The incursion of legalism into hitherto unregulated bodies has made it a minefield for small organisations to cope with the necessary bureaucracy and expertise required.
      Insurance companies have to conduct their business on a commercial basis and cannot be expected to do otherwise.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Reading the letter from the Insurance company is like reading a letter from a lawyer giving their legal advice. Surely this is not the task of an insurance company in any way. Yes, they have to engage lawyers on occasion ( to advise on validity of claims) but their task should be to meet valid claims, not give mitigation as to why or why not their decisions are correct – that is the job for an independent legal voice to make.

    It’s also pretty unpleasant all round.
    Should bishops and clergy be running an insurance company?
    Is there not a insurmountable conflict of interest in this case here for those doing so?
    Giving chunks of dosh to people isn’t an answer to the issue of the abuse suffered/perpetrated in the first place (this tiff seems a bit of a cop out by the CofE – smacks of trying to shift focus from the REAL issue).

    • Ray Sunshine

      In his letter to the three bishops, Mark Hews writes:

      “ … We have always been clear that the handling of claims for financial compensation is and should be seen as part of the healing process for survivors. … Liability, and the monetary value of the damage caused, are determined by reference to the civil justice system. Ultimately, the claim is judged by a Court.
      “ … The practice of insurance, outlined above, is fundamentally and profoundly different from the pastoral care of a survivor.”

      I have no inside knowledge of the insurance business but, as far as I can see, EIG doesn’t seem to have been dodging its responsibilties. The company isn’t claiming that the cash payout settles the Church’s moral (ethical, pastoral) debt to the victim. A different question altogether, though, is the point you make about the ethics of EIG being owned and controlled either by the C of E as a corporate entity, or by the Church Commissioners, or by a nomenklatura of senior clergy.

  • Argumentum ad hominem, as we scholarly types say.

  • Another logical fallacy – Dicto simpliciter, this time.

  • Take your pick:

    Petitio principia.
    Cum hoc ergo propter hoc.
    Argumentum ad ignorantiam.

    Not to mention a repeat of argumentum ad hominem.

  • David

    It strikes me that this an Insurance Company which was probably set up to deal with insuring church buildings is ill equipped to deal with such complex, ultimately spiritual matters, as this.
    And then there is the obvious and powerful conflict of interest …

    • Gilo

      Read my blog and you’ll get a grasp of the extraordinary conflicts of interest.

      The charity that owns Ecclesiastical doles out the insurer profit to various charities. CofE gets the lion’s share – between 80 and 90% of the annual grants made by All Churches Trust. Most of this is block grants to dioceses. It runs into £millions each year. Between 2014 and 2020 (these current 5 or 6 years) CofE will receive in excees of £100million. The insurer has had bishops, deans, and archdeacons – on its board – currently only one – but for most of past four decades or more it’s had a third or even morte of its board senior clerics. That’s a lot of influence and embedded interest and patronage. Read the blog for the full picture. There are some surprising dicoveries – and things Ecclesiastical doesn’t want to face at all. …. its links to many abuse prep schools being one.

      • David

        Conflicts of interest ? I could well believe you.
        Money is one thing here but words fail me as I am sure that it is impossible for me a Christian who has suffered no childhood abuses to even begin to understand what you have suffered. May you find God’s peace.

  • Gilo

    For background on Ecclesiastical – history and the deeply embedded relationship with the CofE please read my blog article:
    It’s important to realise that the insurers have all the cards stacked massively in their favour at these settlements. They know it’s impossible for these case to reach court – none have as far as we are aware – so they can effectively hold a gun against the heads of survivors. If you walk out, the curtain comes down and you can be lost in legal limbo. The task of our solicitors is to try and prise one or two cards back from this rigged deck – but it’s difficult. Especially when the church and its bishops have played a part in blanking and silencing parts of a case or major issues as happened in my story.

    The whole structure is indefensible – as it’s quietly corrupt and built upon ethical coverup. In one sense I actually agree with EIG – alhtough I think their methods and appreoach are dishonest and dishonorable – it’s the church that needs to be taking responsibility for redress, not a bunch of corporate lawyers and their various components in linked companies.

    • carl jacobs

      Why is it difficult for these cases to reach Court?

      • Gilo

        Various reasons. No judge wants these cases in their court – for fear of travesty of justice. What would it look like where there is overwhelming evidence – yet the case is lost on legal games. The insurer would be more than happy to use top QC’s to kick these cases into real difficulty on technical bits of arcane legal wizardy. If that happens – survivor would be bankrupt, ruined, facing ALL costs for both sides. So any judge would advise that the client seeks to settle outside court. Hey presto – the insurer has us all up against the wall.

        Master McCloud was exploring ways of improving the whole system – but sadly has been withdrawn from her project on this. A few of us were going to visit her at the Strand Court of Justice to explain the real difficulties facing survivors – but she had to step down from her role. Very disappointed as it needed someone of her stature and judicial independence to usher in real changes.

    • Ray Sunshine

      In one sense I actually agree with EIG – alhtough I think their methods and appreoach are dishonest and dishonorable – it’s the church that needs to be taking responsibility for redress, not a bunch of corporate lawyers and their various components in linked companies.

      Yes, Gilo, I think you’re right. Carl Jacobs hit the nail on the head with this comment earlier today:

      Would it be cynical of me to suspect that these bishops might be saying “Look at that evil insurance company over there!” because:
      1. People don’t like insurance companies.
      2. Attention focused on the insurance company is attention not focused on the CoE.

      In other words, the bishops are hoping to deflect attention from their own shortcomings by shining the spotlight on the insurance company. But EIG doesn’t seem to have behaved any differently from what you would expect from any insurance company faced with a third party indemnity payout. So it’s back to the bishops. They’re the ones with a case to answer.

  • Gilo

    The charity that owns Ecclesiastical doles out the insurer profit to various charities. CofE gets the lion’s share – between 80 and 90% of the annual grants made by All Churches Trust. Most of this is block grants to dioceses. It runs into £millions each year. Between 2014 and 2020 (these current 5 or 6 years) CofE will receive in excees of £100million.

    The insurer has had bishops, deans, and archdeacons – on its board – currently only one – but for most of past four decades or more it’s had a third or even more of its board senior clerics. That’s a
    lot of influence and embedded interest and patronage. Read the blog for the full picture. There are some surprising dicoveries – and things Ecclesiastical doesn’t want to face at all. …. its links to many abuse
    prep schools being one.

    At time that Neil Todd reported – a third of this board comprised bishops, deans, and archdeacons. Is it likely that this insurer has played a hand in quiet cover-up, or that its clerical figures acting as directors in the past have been aware of cases but not acted? Bishops are a fairly tight knit club.

    • carl jacobs

      So most of the money from this insurance company goes back into the CoE? As they say in Oz, that’s a Horse of a Different Color.

      • Gilo

        That’s right. In 2014 the total shared by AllChurches Trust (owner of Ecclesiastical) between CofE dioceses, cathedrals, churches and other Anglican churches was 92% of that year’s grants. They call this corporate setup a ‘virtuous circle’ but it’s not hugely different from the good old days when Ecclesiastical was outright owned by the Church. At the mediation, even the Bishop at Lambeth had to concede that the ‘virtuous circle’ needed to be made authentic. I have no problem with the CofE making £millions from this insurer if that’s what it wants to do — but take survivors out of this contaminated loop.

        Incidentally, one thing no-one has yet looked at, and prep school survivors are slowly beginning to pick up on – this same insurer has had direct links to many abuse prep schools. It had three headmasters on its board of directors over the years (longest and most recent was director for 16 years). All three were also governors of many other prep schools. All 3 were connected to Caldicott. In total they ranged across about 26 schools. That’s some powerful connection between church, school, and insurer.

        • Dominic Stockford

          This is a reason why our (non-CofE) congregation ceased insuring with Ecclesiastical – we didn’t want to fund the CofE.

    • Inspector General

      Gilo. Few posts on Cranmer’s site have moved this one before you as your plight has. You are a better man than me for if having suffered your life ruining circumstances, I would be looking to wreak bloody revenge and would inform as much to anyone who’d listen. It seems inconceivable that you could carry this burden alone. Is there a support group you are part of?

      • Gilo

        Thank you Inspector General. There are quite a few of us who support one another. Phil Johnson is a tower of strength to many. Matt and I are in regular touch. It’s not just the abuse, and the impact of it as you look back and realise that’s why there were so many diffculties in life … it’s the skewered response of the church which causes so many problems. Church House is so dysfunctional and full of cognitive dissonance that it would be best if the Nat Safeguarding Team were given over to new management and fully retrained. They are led by deference to hierarchy and protection of structure.

        There was a definite ray of hope when the Elliott Review was ending. They had a very good caseworker at that time who was switched on to the issues. Sadly the clock has turned back over the last 2 years – the NST has caused difficulties in various quarters.

        • Could you form yourself into a properly registered support group, obtain chartable status and obtain pro-bono legal expertise from those moved by the injustice and bureaucratic obstacles you’re facing? This may give you more leverage. Seems like you’re up against the “Establishment” – courts, politicians, lawyers, insurers and bishops. They’ll share common backgrounds. Not being conspiratorial here, but they may even have high level Masonic connections.
          David did defeat Goliath with God’s help and faith. Jack has watched this tear the Australian, American and Irish Catholic Churches apart and this injustice damaged the faith of survivors and Church members as views became polarised and politicised. He hopes this will not be repeated here and that you and others keep your faith in Christ and focus on the issues rather than turn your righteous anger into positive action.

        • Inspector General

          It’s reassuring, Gilo, that you have such support, but not so reassuring that despite what has happened to you, you have little or no confidence in what the church is doing to prevent re-occurrence…

          To cut to the chase – there needs to be an independent agency, a Trust if you will, to brought into existence that does not answer in the first to the AoC. There is no other way to gain parishioners (ie the public) faith. No doubt such an agency will uncover let us call ‘unpleasantries’ but let this be part of the atonement owed to victims as yourself.

  • As much as it grieves him, Jack must admit that Manchester City are playing phenomenal football at the moment.

    • carl jacobs

      Jack, Jack, Jack. Soccer season doesn’t start for four more months. You know this.

      • “Soccer season.”

        What is this strange phenomenon?

        Do the American’s hold a World Series in Soccer, proclaiming the winners “World Champions” as in Baseball (copied from Softball) and American Football (copied from Rugby Football?

        If they are members of FIFA then you must be referring to Football.

        • carl jacobs

          OK, Jack, so I need you to explain something to me. I just finished watching a British movie called The Way Ahead starring David Niven. Made in 1944. Not a bad movie. In fact I enjoyed it. But the ending made no sense to me. You are watching and all of the sudden the credits role, and I was like “Wait. What? Explain, movie, explain!” But it didn’t. So I was hoping you could cut through the British fog for me. As it were.

          • It’s a while since Jack watched it. How would you have wanted it to end? As he recalls the film was about team building and comradeship and pulling a group of men together to fight a common cause.

          • carl jacobs

            At the end of the movie, they are besieged by the Germans and short of ammunition. So they fix bayonets and walk off into the smoke to (evidently) be machine-gunned by the first German who sees them. But you don’t know what happens because that’s the end of the movie. “A story is supposed to have an ending, movie!” shouted I in futility. But it didn’t listen.

          • That was the ending. You wanted to witness their deaths? The whole point of the movie was bringing them to that ending. Jack watched it as part of his leadership training, along with Twelve O’Clock High.

          • carl jacobs

            But that’s a TERRIBLE ending. You don’t just march your men off to die gloriously so you don’t have to surrender. There has to be a purpose to it. “We’re going to try to break through to our lines.” Something besides earning the approval of the old soldiers who obviously represent Eternal Britain. Otherwise you stay put until you can’t fight anymore.

            Young British Soldier*

            If your officer’s dead and the sergeants look white,
            Remember it’s ruin to run from a fight:
            So take open order, lie down, and sit tight,
            And wait for supports like a soldier.
            Wait, wait, wait like a soldier . . .

            This is exactly why I started yelling at the movie.

            *One of the Greatest Poems Ever

          • Jack can’t remember the context of the movie or what meaning it was intended to convey. If death is certain, why not do it on your feet?
            Jack’s father was a young soldier in the Essex Regiment, part of the 8th Army fighting Rommel in North Africa. There was one incident when the troops were ordered by a General using WW1 methods to attack when the odds of death were certain and no tactical or strategic advantage would be gained. The Division refused. Right or wrong?

          • carl jacobs


          • Funnily enough Jack’s father held the same view. And yet Churchill hushed it up, no one was court marshalled, and the General was replaced with Monty. Jack would not be here today but for that refusal.

          • carl jacobs

            If death is certain, why not die on your feet?

            Because you don’t know that death is certain. Because surrender is an honorable option when resistence becomes futile in that it preserves the lives of your men. Because it seems like a British version of a Banzai charge.

          • Bearing in mind it was a propaganda film, the imagination allows for the men going on to great and noble victories.

          • carl jacobs

            Btw. It’s interesting. When I attended Squadron Officer’s School in residence, part of the curriculum was … Twelve O’Clock High.

          • It wasn’t released until 1949 – surely well past your Squadron Officer training days?

            Good study of leadership styles and the contexts in which different ones are effective and ineffective.

          • carl jacobs

            Ho. Ho. Ho. Fun-nee. I bet you were a star on Vaudeville.

          • They died, Carl.

  • Maxine Schell

    How else can Jack stay happy?!