Lord Carey can minister again as Permission to Officiate is reinstated

Lord Carey of Clifton, former Archbishop of CanterburyChris Dobson

The Bishop of Oxford has reinstated Lord Carey's Permission to Officiate (PTO) after an investigation into whether he failed to take the appropriate action on John Smyth. 

The PTO was withdrawn last June after it was alleged that the former Archbishop of Canterbury, while Principal of Trinity College Bristol between 1983 and 1984, had failed to act on a report detailing Smyth's conduct.

Smyth was a part-time student at the college for a short period of time when the report was compiled. 

Letters submitted to the National Safeguarding Team raised concerns that Lord Carey had seen the report and failed to disclose the concerns to the relevant authorities. 

The core group has concluded that the former Archbishop saw the report but, in light of training he has recently undertaken, does not pose any safeguarding risk. 

In a statement released through the Diocese of Oxford, Lord Carey said: "I welcome this latter conclusion. However, I respectfully disagree with their judgement. I have no memory at all of John Smyth at Trinity College Bristol.

"Let me say firmly that I condemn utterly the crimes of Smyth, and the damage he did to the lives of young people. I am fully committed to placing those who have survived abuse at the centre of our safe practices, thoughts and prayers, and to acknowledge how dreadful such abuse is and how lifelong the impact of such abuse.

"Over the past few years, I have spent an immense amount of time focusing intensively on safeguarding through working closely with two Inquiries into Peter Ball, including the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, and through undertaking specialised safeguarding training.

"This year I have made a report to the NST of a disclosure I received about non recent clerical sexual abuse. I am strongly of the view that training in safeguarding is a vital tool to overcoming failures to protect children and vulnerable adults.

"I am very willing to meet with survivors of John Smyth if they wish to meet with me."