Ok, misleading title but I simply couldn’t resist. Ronald Johns
is actually already the ex-canon of Carlisle Cathedral in Cumbria and he’s just been jailed – for four years! – for child molestation offences going back some thirty years.
Naturally, once the Church officials found out about this turbulent priest, they lost no time in alerting the police.
No, of course not. His bishop moved him to another parish and fresh victims. How far away? About half an hour down the road:
The court was told Johns was demoted by his bishop instead of police being informed of the allegations made by his first victim.
The victim had made an official complaint to the church in 1993. By that time Johns was a canon at Carlisle Cathedral.
Johns made admissions to the then bishop, the late Right Rev Ian Harland, who felt the appropriate sanction was to move him to a church in Caldbeck.
The matter only came to the attention of police this year when another victim complained he had been abused by Johns.
So how has the Diocese of Carlisle responded to this? They’ve issued this notice in which they
apologise unreservedly to his victims that we failed to take the action that we should have taken to prevent children and young people being harmed. We also apologise to the parishioners at Caldbeck and recognise the profound and damaging impact on all those affected
and state that
even though at that time the complainants did not wish to pursue the matter with the Police, it was absolutely wrong that Mr Johns should have been offered another post.
Quite how they square this with
We will not tolerate abuse and work closely with the Police and Social Care if such issues come to our attention
they don’t say, but to their credit, they have set up a special NSPCC freephone number to offer such advice as can be trusted from a corrupt organisation that has demonstrated repeatedly just how trustworthy it is.