The Sins of the Fathers

By Jamie Kronborg
Wangaratta Chronicle
July 10, 2015

THE appalling storm of child sexual abuse that gathered for decades – and has since publicly engulfed religious and other institutions in a $500 million Commonwealth royal commission – has not passed by the Anglican diocese of Wangaratta.

Bishop John Parkes – in a long interview with the Chronicle about the church, its standing and the challenges confronting it in contemporary society – has confirmed that sexual abuse took place.

He has apologised – saying “there can be no more hiding”.

He has also detailed the ways in which the church has moved strongly to abate risk – using codes of conduct and sophisticated mechanisms to screen clergy and other church workers.

These include psycho-sexual assessments of people seeking to become priests.

The bishop confirmed that decades ago a former rector had “viciously” abused a young person in one of the diocese’s smaller country parishes.

The person secured a settlement from the church following legal recourse.

The rector had died but the diocese acknowledged the claim that sexual abuse had occurred when the survivor was a child and in the late priest’s care.








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