GABRIEL WINGATE-PEARSE: Compassion, and so on

Newcastle Herald


WITH few true leaders among us, it was refreshing to hear from Newcastle’s Anglican Bishop last week, who delivered an apology with grace and compassion.

Too often those who become leaders seem to arrive at the top of the pile by virtue of arbitrary succession, internal political machinations or by other means entirely separate to their worth as a leader.

After so long, and after what I regard as such a glaring lack of accountability from others addressing failures in their communities, organisations, and congregations, Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson’s remarks in relation to evidence gathered for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse seemed heartfelt and true.

At times struggling to contain his emotions, Bishop Thompson reportedly told those gathered in a church hall how sorry he was for the terrible harm done by perpetrators of child sexual abuse, by those that protected them, and by a culture that would not listen.

Marking his 500th day in the position, he spoke frankly not only about the distant past, but about recent threats which he said had been made against him by bullies within the church.

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