Martin Drevikovsky, the General Secretary of the Anglican Church (known elsewhere as the Episcopalian Church or the Church of England) told the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse third “case study” hearings that right now there are hundreds of abuse investigations taking place nationwide. The Anglican Church set up a national register in 2004 designed to provide a database for information if a member of clergy had a complaint, or finding of abuse, established against them. Mr. Drevikovsky is responsible for the register.
He said that, when the Royal Commission was announced, every diocese was given directions to “search for (complaint) files and review them to ensure all necessary steps had been taken and if not, to take immediate action”. As a result, Mr Drevikovsky said, “a large number of files have come to light. In the case of Sydney it was 600. In the case of Melbourne I know it was hundreds.”
Mr. Drevikovsky’s register includes 129 clergy members who are currently listed as “persons of concern”, and up to 209 more are under investigation across the country. He told the enquiry the register was still incomplete, and expected that between 40 and 45, and “possibly more”, names would be added to the “persons of concern” register.
The revelation came during inquiries into the workings of the Church’s national register – an internal “red flag” system, which gives professional standards directors and bishops the ability to background check clergy members transferring from diocese to diocese.
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