The Bishop of Lincoln, Christopher Lowson, above, today expressed his bewilderment over a decision by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, to suspend him.
Welby said the decision to suspend the bishop was in relation to a safeguarding children inquiry.
He added that “if proven” he would consider the bishop:
Would present a significant risk of harm by not adequately safeguarding children and vulnerable people.
In a statement, the Archbishop continued:
I would like to make it absolutely clear that there has been no allegation that Bishop Christopher has committed abuse of a child or vulnerable adult. It should be noted that suspension is a neutral act and nothing further can be said at this stage while matters are investigated.
I am bewildered by the suspension and will fully cooperate in this matter. For the sake of the diocese and the wider Church I would like this to be investigated as quickly as possible to bring the matter to a swift conclusion.
The Bishop of Grimsby, David Court, will now take on the leadership of the diocese.
As part of Operation Redstone, Lincolnshire Police have been investigating historic sex abuse cases.
A spokesperson for the force said:
The investigation is continuing into wider safeguarding issues and management decisions within the diocese.
The Diocese of Lincoln covers Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and North-East Lincolnshire, making it the largest diocese in England by area.