Dorset

George Carey: Former archbishop suspended over abuse inquiry

George Carey Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey has had his permission to officiate revoked

Former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, has had his permission to officiate as a priest revoked.

The Church of England said new evidence linking Lord Carey, 84, to a review into allegations of abuse against the late John Smyth, had emerged.

There are no claims of abuse against him, and in a statement he said he was "dismayed" by the revocation.

Mr Smyth was accused of attacking boys whom he had met at a Dorset Christian camp in the 1970s and 1980s.

The independent inquiry was launched into the Church's handling of allegations against Mr Smyth, a barrister who died aged 77 last year.

Permission to Officiate (PTO) is required for any Church of England priest to preach or minister.

In a statement Lord Carey said: "I am bewildered and dismayed to receive the news a short time ago that due to 'concerns' being raised during the review of John Smyth QC I have had my PTO revoked.

"I have been given no information on the nature of these 'concerns' and have no memory of meeting Mr Smyth."

Lord Carey previously had his PTO revoked after a damning independent report found he had "colluded [with the convicted abuser Peter Ball] rather than seeking to help those harmed".

He resigned from his post as an assistant bishop in the Diocese of Oxford in 2017.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Ball was jailed for sex offences against teenagers and young men between the 1970s and 1990s

He was later granted a PTO by the diocese in 2018, allowing him to preach at the church where he worships, conditional on no further concerns coming to light.

A spokesman for the diocese said: "A planned independent review into the Church of England's handling of allegations against the late John Smyth QC is currently under way.

"In the course of that review, new information has come to light regarding Lord Carey, which has been passed to the National Safeguarding Team for immediate attention as per the agreed terms of reference set for the review."

Lord Carey's PTO has been withdrawn while the matter is being investigated and he is unauthorised to "undertake any form of ministry in the Diocese until further notice."

The spokesman added: "However, for the avoidance of doubt, we wish to make clear that the new information received relates only to the review currently underway, and that there has not been an allegation of abuse made against Lord Carey."

More on this story