Bishop of Chichester apologises for abuse

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THE Bishop of Chichester has said there has been ‘deception and cover-up’ which has been at the centre of historic clerical sex scandals.

In a personal letter of apology to a child abuse victim, Dr Martin Warner conceded there has been ‘ineptitude and irresponsible lack of professionalism’ at the Diocese of Chichester in West Sussex.

The diocese has faced historic child abuse claims, and its child protection policies are the subject of an official inquiry set up in 2011 by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.

Dr Warner wrote the letter earlier this month to a victim who suffered abuse as a boy in the 1970s and 1980s at the hands of paedophile Anglican clergyman Roy Cotton, who died in 2006.

His letter includes: ‘I’m deeply ashamed of the way you have been treated by us. ‘The violation of your dignity in a gross act of betrayal is in itself a terrible crime.’