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Church of England apologizes for child abuse cases

LONDON (AP) – The Church of England has offered an apology for failures to act to prevent child sexual abuse within the church.

Bishop Paul Butler, who heads the church’s safeguarding effort, issued the apology Wednesday following the release of a report on failures of the church in the cases of two priests, Colin Pritchard and the late Roy Cotton, who were both convicted of abusing children.

Cotton was expelled from a theological college following a conviction for child abuse in the 1950s, but was ordained a decade later. Pritchard was sentenced to jail in 2008 after pleading guilty to abusing two children from 1979 to 1983.

Butler said, “It is a matter of great sorrow and deep regret for the church and we recognize the profound and damaging impact on all those affected.”

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