Saturday, January 31, 2009

Church in Wales deposes vicar over child pornography charges

The Disciplinary Tribunal of the Church in Wales has ordered that Richard Hart, the former vicar of Beguildy, be deposed from Holy Orders and expelled as a cleric of the Church in Wales.

The ruling came after Mr Hart was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison last September after admitting making, taking and possessing more than 56,000 indecent photographs of children.

The President of the Tribunal, Gerard Elias QC, said, “In the light of the immense seriousness and depravity of the offences, involving as often they did, images of very young children, the length of time over which they had been committed, the absence of any clear statement of regret or apology – still less understanding of the gravity of his conduct and thus the danger he still poses to children – we were unhesitatingly of the view that by reason of his conduct it was wholly inappropriate for Richard Hart to remain a cleric and accordingly we order that Richard Hart be deposed from Holy Orders and expelled from the Office of Cleric of the Church in Wales.”

The Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, the Rt Rev John Davies, said the tribunal’s order reflected the seriousness of Mr Hart’s offence.

He said, “I am satisfied that this extremely serious matter has been dealt with accordingly by the Tribunal. It sends out the very clear message that there is no room for any form of child abuse in the Church in Wales.”

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(Source: CT)