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Director of Anglican Centre in Rome steps down after “sexual misconduct” allegation

Posted on: December 21, 2018 2:46 PM
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, introduces Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi to Pope Francis ahead of his installation as Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome in October 2017.
Photo Credit: Anglican Centre in Rome

The governors of the Anglican Centre in Rome have announced the resignation of the Centre’s director, Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi, following an allegation of sexual misconduct. The Anglican Centre in Rome is the permanent Anglican Communion presence in Rome. Its director is also the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Personal Representative to the Holy See.

The resignation was announced today in a statement by the Centre’s Governors – its independent board of trustees. They said: “the Governors of the Anglican Centre in Rome have accepted the resignation of its Director Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi following his suspension last week over an allegation of sexual misconduct.

“The Governors are now taking urgent steps to appoint an interim director, who will also act as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See.”

Archbishop Bernard was installed as Director in October 2017. He was previously the Primate of the Anglican Church of Burundi. Before ordination, he was a civil servant who served as chief of staff to Burundi’s President, Jean-Baptiste Bagaza, He served four years in prison following the 1987 military coup. Later, he was appointed Bishop of Matana and then Archbishop of Burundi. He also worked as vice-chair of the country’s commission on truth and reconciliation.

The resignation comes at a time of significant change in the leadership of the Anglican Centre in Rome. The current Chair of Governors, Bishop Stephen Platten, steps down at the end of this year after 15 years in the Chair and 30 years of service to the Centre. In the New Year he will be succeeded by the Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory in the Church of Ireland, Bishop Michael Burrows.

Details of the allegation have not been made public. The governors have invited “anyone with a safeguarding concern or requiring support” to contact the Church of England’s national safeguarding team.