Victorian Enquiry: Anglican Church’s Philip Freier’s Evidence

(Or: Will You Be Wanting Absolution With That?)

The Anglican Church told the Victorian Parliamentary enquiry into religious abuse that it will not give absolution to paedophiles until they inform police of their crimes. It will not necessarily inform police directly. Director of professional standards, Ms. Claire Sargent, said that, of the 46 historic complaints in the church’s files, 12 were reported to police, 20 were not and it was not clear what had happened in the remaining 14 cases. The vast majority of those cases involved clergy. The church had paid compensation of only $268,000 in the past 10 years, which averages about $6,000 per case.

When quizzed by the enquiry as to why record-keeping on allegations of child abuse were less than adequate before the 1990s, Ms. Sargent only replied that “I can’t comment on why that might have been.” An earlier report to the Anglican Church, by Sydney University academics Patrick Parkinson and Kim Oates, had indicated that complaints had been received at a rate of about one per month over many years, which does not match with the 46 cases admitted to at the enquiry.

Oddly, Ms Sargent said the church’s policy was to always report current allegations of child sex abuse but not historic allegations. Of course, most cases are indeed “historic”.

Unlike other organisations, the Anglican Church was represented by its head in Victoria, Bishop Freier, who is a highly-educated man. Dr. Freier is also very politically correct. He criticizes the Northern Territory intervention, supports asylum seekers, ordains female bishops and takes the miners and banks to task for record profits. Now, he advocates mandatory reporting of child abuse, so one may assume this has reached the level of being the politically correct position to adopt.

Read more here:

TOMORROW: Victorian Enquiry: Uniting Church evidence

That’s all I can say

Lewis Blayse (né Lewin Blazevich)


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