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Church of England shares ‘regrets’ over priest’s suicide after false accusations | United Kingdom | New UK News

Father Alan Griffin, 78, died in November 2020 after spending a year examining allegations he abused children. The Church of England statement followed the coroner’s scathing report on the priest’s death.

Coroner Mary Hassell, in a July report on the death of Father Griffin, said the priest committed suicide “because he could not face an inquest into his conduct, the details and the source he had taken. had never been informed ”.

The report adds: “Father Griffin did not abuse children.

“He did not have sex with young people under the age of 18. He did not visit prostitutes.

“He didn’t put other people’s lives at risk by having sex with people when he was at risk for HIV. And there was no evidence that he did any of those things.

“He was a gay priest with HIV (undetectable viral load).”

In response to the coroner’s report, the Church of England has taken responsibility for its poor investigation.

The Diocese of London and Lambeth Palace said in a submission to the coroner: “We take responsibility for what went wrong.

“We recognize that there were either poor processes or systems, or errors, which led to unreasonable pressure on Father Alan…

“We accept that the concerns raised about Father Griffin were unfounded… that good practices in collecting evidence, verifying and evaluating information before action were lacking.”

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The Diocese of London added that a new safeguard officer “with 30 years of police experience” was installed earlier this month.

He also said he was “committed to undertake a review of lessons learned and implement all necessary actions”.

Father Griffin had served as a Church of England priest before converting to Roman Catholicism in 2012.

An investigation into allegations of child abuse was opened by the Anglican Diocese of London in 2019, with the allegations being passed on to Catholic protective authorities.

The late priest is said to have “used hire boys”, an outdated phrase suggesting the use of male sex workers, but often interpreted to imply child abuse.

The coroner found no evidence of either, but found the Diocese of London’s chief operations officer included the claim, as part of a ‘brain dump’ of information as ‘he was retiring, and declared that it was for the Archdeacon to look after him.


The Church has come under heavy criticism for Father Griffin’s suicide and for the mismanagement of the investigation.

The Bishop of London, Dame Sarah Mullally, said in a statement: “The death of Alan Griffin was a tragedy and my thoughts are with his family for all they have endured. I am deeply sorry for their loss.

“As a result of the inquest, we commissioned a ‘lessons learned’ review so that we can fully reflect on the actions of the diocese and the coroner’s comments in the lead-up to Alan Griffin’s death. “

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This notice was published: 2021-08-25 20:51:00

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