Questions 7 – The Presidential Decision
- Does the Bishop unequivocally accept the decision of the President of Tribunals, Dame Sarah Asplin, that the subject of the CDM complaint against Dean Percy relating to the 20 October 2020, did not constitute “serious misconduct” and was “not overtly sexual”, as Judge Asplin states?
- Does the Bishop suggest explicitly or implicitly that any sexual behaviour by a clergyperson of a sexual nature could or would be characterized by the President as “not serious”?
- Did the Bishop seek legal advice before placing his own heavily and unfairly redacted Presidential decision into the public domain in his media statement? When the CDM determination (with proper redactions) was placed in the public domain by the Dean’s supporters, which essentially questioned the Diocesan “spin”, why did the Bishop object to the full judgment being available? Does he acknowledge that it was neither unlawful nor improper to place the full decision in the public domain to prevent mischievous “spinning”?
- Why, when announcing the decision to the Cathedral congregation, did the Bishop describe the CDM proceedings as “concluded” rather than employing the correct legal term used by the President, which is “dismissed”?
- Does the Bishop understand that the Bishop’s distaste for the correct term is perceived by many and those who wish Dr Percy well, as at best unhelpful and at worst mealy mouthed?
- Many people allege the severe restrictions placed upon the Dean were imposed when the Bishop was (rightly or wrongly) reading the allegation as “serious misconduct”. When that characterization was rejected by the President, did the Bishop take any steps to ensure that the restrictions were recalibrated to reflect the proportionality appropriate to the much reduced risk (if an) consequent to the President’s Decision?
- If the Bishop was concerned at the risk of repetition of the (denied behaviour), was he ever advised that he was then entering into the speculative field of “propensity”, and that the correct discipline to address such an issue in the Civil Courts is routinely recognized to be that of Forensic Consultant Psychiatry? Did he ever consider seeking the such advice? If not in retrospect, does he accept he should have, and will future complainants benefit from the experiences gained in the Percy case so that proper professionalism is brought to bear in such matters?
- If he was not advised of the proper professional discipline to address such matters, will he consider engaging specialist lawyers on future occasions?
- When the settlement agreement was announced in the Cathedral why did the Bishop allow to pass, unchallenged or corrected, the Sub Dean repeatedly referencing “the alleged sexual allegations” when both the Bishop and Sub Dean knew perfectly well that this description was pejorative and an extremely unfair characterization of the outcome and judgment? The correct term would have been either the short “allegations”, or the fuller “dismissed allegations”. Does the Bishop understand that members of the congregation who knew something of the allegations were angered by the partiality on display perpetrated by him, which has done nothing to foster healing?