The archbishop of York and four other bishops are facing a police investigation for failing to report allegations of child sexual abuse, according to the Times.
Matthew Ineson, a former priest, says he was raped by Rev Trevor Devamanikkan at the age of 16 in Bradford in the the 1980s.
A memo from June 2013, seen by Christian Today, reveals that John Sentamu received Ineson's allegation but recommended 'no action' be taken. Instead he replied to Ineson offering his prayers 'at this difficult time'. Devamanikkan went on to live in Witney, Oxfordshire, before eventually being charged with three counts of buggery and three counts of indecent assault last year. However he committed suicide the day before he was due in court in June last year.
The diocese of York insists that Sentamu did not fail to act on any disclosures because that responsibility lay with Ineson's local bishop, Steven Croft, who was at the time bishop of Sheffield.
However South Yorkshire Police are now working with the Crown Prosecution Service on the early stages of an investigation into Sentamu, Croft and three others bishops he told who also failed to pass the allegation on to the police, according to the Times.
The Church's national safeguarding team have already announced they will conduct an independent investigation into Ineson's treatment.
A spokeswoman told the newspaper: 'The diocese of York insists that Sentamu did not fail to act on any disclosures because that responsibility lay with Ineson's local bishop, Steven Croft, who was at the time bishop of Sheffield.'
Last month a longer statement from the NST said his treatment 'has been taken very seriously since it came to our attention,' describing his abuse as 'harrowing'.