Former Archbishop of Canterbury says treatment over Smyth allegations has been 'unjust'

Lord Carey pictured giving evidence to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).IICSA

Lord Carey says he has been treated "brutally" by the Church of England over allegations that he knew about abuse committed by late evangelical John Smyth and failed to act appropriately.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury accused the Church of "unjust" treatment after his Permission to Officiate (PTO) was reinstated last week

His PTO was revoked last June after the National Safeguarding Team's core group concluded that while Principal of Trinity College Bristol in the 80s, he had ignored a report into Smyth's behaviour.

Writing in The Telegraph, Lord Carey denied ever seeing the report and said he "had no knowledge of" Smyth being a student at the college at the time.

His PTO was reinstated by the Bishop of Oxford after the core group concluded that, following recent training, the former Archbishop did not pose a safeguarding risk.

In his piece in The Telegraph, Lord Carey said the core group, which investigates safeguarding complaints, was "secretive" and "stutteringly slow, brutal and impersonal". 

"This matters because I am not the only one experiencing these unjust measures. Last year, it was reported that many clergy were left feeling suicidal by the way they were treated during the Church of England's disciplinary processes," he wrote.

He continued: "This is not the Church of England that I have known – generous, open and kind. Tragically, I know that victims of clerical abuse found the Church of England in the past to be defensive and uncaring, and I greatly regret my part in that culture and those terrible attitudes.

"But it does not do to replace one failure with another. The current culture of fear in which survivors and clerics alike receive no kind of justice must be confronted."