Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson

Dear Archbishop Justin,

I am appalled to read that, despite the findings of the Carlile report that there is no evidence to corroborate ‘Carol’s’ claim of sexual abuse by the late Bishop George Bell and that on the contrary there is overwhelming evidence of his innocence, you continue to refuse to rescind your statement that there is still a ‘significant cloud’ over his name.

I believe that the ‘significant cloud’ hangs over your own name, not his. You are in contravention of the law of this land, that states there is a presumption of innocence in all cases until guilt is proven – which Lord Carlile has demonstrated has not happened and cannot happen here. And as the senior member of the House of Bishops, your continued attempt to smear the name of the late Bishop Bell is doubly hypocritical, since the adoption of the policy of that House in May 2017 with reference to abuse cases specifically states that those accused shall be regarded as innocent until proven guilty.

You are also breaking God’s commandment against bearing false witness. This means more than spreading malicious gossip or telling falsehoods. It means doing nothing to counter false rumours or to protect those who may be damaged by them.

The fact that you have not responded personally to any of the many letters so far sent by individuals, groups, professional organisations or those in positions of authority within the Church itself indicates that you are fully aware that your accusations are groundless. You have no case to present to the world against George Bell.

I pray that you will immediately see fit to rescind your statement, made on 15 December 2017 on the publication of the Carlile report, that you will apologise in person to the family of George Bell, and that you will take steps toward the restoration of Bishop Bell’s good name at the earliest opportunity. Failure to do so can only result in further damage to the Church and to your own reputation.

Yours faithfully,

Dr Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson

Sheffield

Author(s) 
Anne A DawsonClick to open this page
Alan GaddClick to open this page
Vasantha GnanadossClick to open this page
Yvonne GrahamClick to open this page
Ruth Hildebrandt GraysonClick to open this page
Christopher HoareClick to open this page
David JasperClick to open this page
David Jasper & Ann LoadesClick to open this page