Mounting a criminal investigation into how Lord Carey (pictured above) handled allegations of abuse within the Church of England would equate to an “attack” on “biblically faithful Christianity,” it has been claimed.
A number of conservative Church of England figures have signed a letter which defends the former Archbishop of Canterbury against any criminal probe, calling the idea “bizarre”.
The note, which appeared in Wednesday’s Daily Telegraph, says: “The notion that a criminal case could be brought against Lord Carey is so bizarre that we can only surmise that the object of the persistent pressure that brings these public attacks is not only Lord Carey but what he represents of biblically faithful Christianity.”
“An attack on him is an attack on us all.”
The signatories – which include former Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali and the founder of Christian Concern, Andrea Williams – said similar high-profile cases have all been dropped without prosecutions.
They also wrote: “No one has been charged with any offence in relation to the misdemeanors of Jimmy Savile.
“The cases against Lord Bramall, Leon Brittan, Edward Heath and Cliff Richard were all dropped.
“Why is Lord Carey being targeted at this time? Certain public leaders appear to be being attacked by insinuation without due process.”
The Daily Telegraph reported on Monday that police and prosecutors were considering whether to bring a criminal investigation against the 82-year-old, following the publication of a report last June which heavily criticized him.
The document, produced by Dame Moira Gibb, concluded Lord Carey was among several senior Anglican figures who “colluded” with former Bishop of Chichester Peter Ball (pictured above) – a convicted sex offender.
The Gibb report found that the former Archbishop did not forward to police six letters containing allegations of abuse by Peter Ball.
It also concluded the Lord Carey did not add Peter Ball’s name to a list of clergy deemed unsuitable to be conducting church ministry.
In the wake of the Gibb report, Lord Carey said he accepted the criticisms made of him and he apologized to the victims of Peter Ball.
In a statement, he said: “I believed Peter Ball’s protestations and gave too little credence to the vulnerable young men and boys behind those allegations.”
He also resigned from his position of honorary bishop in the Diocese of Oxford at the request of current Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.