Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Taking comfort from one's friends...

There is a story in the Australian, highlighted naturally by Cath News, about Australia's Anglican Primate coming out in support of Archbishop Wilson and Msgr Cappo's handling of the Hepworth affair.

Quite why his opinion is relevant is not immediately obvious - AB Hepworth and his group are not members of the official Anglicans, but of a breakaway group that has long since left it.  So it would certainly have been an actual news story if the Anglicans came out in support of the Traditional Anglican Communion!

But in any case it is not hard to understand why the Anglican leader might want to join forces in solidarity with his liberal Catholic colleagues given that Archbishop Aspinall and his ecclesial community have likewise has come under for for the mishandling of sex abuse cases. 

Remember the sorry saga of Dr Aspinall's predecessor, Australia's Governor-General Peter Hollingworth, who resigned in disgrace in the face of allegations that he covered up abuse and failed to investigate claims?  And then in Adelaide there was a court case late last year in which the judge severely criticised the Anglicans for reemploying a convicted paedophile priest in the 1970s!  And it is just one of a number of problematic cases in an ecclesial community rent by divisions over women priests, homosexuality and much more.

Interestingly, according to the Australian, the Anglicans are also apparently rethinking their policy of automatically reporting all claims to the police:

"In an exclusive interview, the Anglican Primate said he had been swayed by concerns that the automatic referral to police of historic complaints - made by adults alleging abuse when they were children at the hands of priests or other church workers - could "disempower" the victim or even cause the person involved to suffer "re-abuse"."

2 comments:

R. J. Stove said...

The old anti-Yasser-Arafat joke applies in spades to official Australian episcopates nowadays, whether these episcopates be Catholic, Catholic-in-name-only (by far the most crowded division), or honestly Anglican: they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

A Canberra Observer said...

Of course, perhaps, just perhaps, Aspinall has some insight we don't have ...