Church of England head says it ‘colluded with’ sex abuse

LONDON (AP) — The head of the Church of England has said that the institution “colluded” with and helped to hide the long-term sexual abuse of young men by one of its former bishops.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, made the statement Thursday as the church published a review of how it handled the case of former bishop Peter Ball, who was convicted and imprisoned in 2015 after pleading guilty to offenses including two counts of indecent assault.

Welby said the report was “harrowing reading” and that the church didn’t help those who were brave enough to come forward.

The report said Ball’s conduct “caused serious and enduring damage to the lives of many men,” and that “the church at its most senior levels and over many years supported him unwisely.”

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.