Fallout from the BBC Panorama documentary detailing child abuse in the Diocese of Lincoln continues with the suspension of the Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt. Rev. Christopher Lowson, by the Archbishop of Canterbury for his failings in handling of safeguarding issues.

It is alleged he did not adequately safeguard children and vulnerable people. Church statements make it clear he is not accused of committing abuse.

“Following information provided by the police, I have suspended the Bishop of Lincoln, Christopher Lowson, from office, having obtained the consent of the Bishops of Birmingham and Worcester (the two longest serving bishops in the Province of Canterbury),” Abp. Justin Welby said in a statement.

“If these matters are found to be proven, I consider that the bishop would present a significant risk of harm by not adequately safeguarding children and vulnerable people,” Welby said.

Episcopal leadership in the diocese has been delegated to the Bishop of Grimsby, the Rt. Rev. David Court. For his part, Lowson said he was “bewildered by the suspension” and expressed the hope that investigations would be swift.

“We are aware of the decision … of the Archbishop of Canterbury to suspend the Bishop of Lincoln from office,” a police statement, adding that police would not comment on that decision.

A police investigation, Operation Redstone, uncovered shocking abuse by Diocese of Lincoln clergy and staff and led to the conviction and jailing of three men: Roy Griffiths, John Bailey, and Stephen Crabtree.

John Martin

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