Anglican Church Strips Priest over Sexual Abuse

ABC Brisbane
August 27, 2008

The Brisbane Diocese of the Anglican Church has stripped Robert Francis Sharwood of his Holy Orders.

Sharwood was convicted in November 2006 of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy in the 1970s.

Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall removed Sharwood's licence to operate as a priest in the diocese in 2002, but he remained an ordained Minister.

In March, the Church's professional standards board recommended Sharwood's Holy Orders be removed.

He appealed but an independent review dismissed it.

The victim's wife - who cannot be named for legal reasons - says it is an emotional day for the family.

She says stripping the priest of his Holy Orders is long overdue.

"It's something that has been needed for 32 years," she said.

"It's a very long time coming - 32 years is a very long wait.

"The journey for both of us has been very difficult. It's taken us to the end of our emotional strength and stamina."


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