Church Synod Says Sorry

The Age [Australia]
May 31, 2003

The Synod of the Anglican church in the diocese of Adelaide today apologised to victims of child sexual abuse by church members.

Nearly 300 clergy spent the afternoon at the 38th Triennial Synod discussing draft terms of reference for any inquiry the church may have into sexual abuse.

Four out of seven motions put before the synod were passed, with the remaining three to be discussed tomorrow after overnight deliberation.

The Anglican church has been rocked by sex abuse scandals, with SA police commissioner Mal Hyde announcing that a network of paedophiles appeared to have operated from within the church.

A task force has been established by police to investigate child sex allegations within the Anglican Church in SA after Commissioner Hyde was contacted by Adelaide archbishop Ian George about 65 child sex abuse complaints naming 17 different offenders.

Issues requiring further discussion include a motion from the Reverend Dr Don Owers, who brought the initial claims of abuse within the church to light, that an inquiry be launched as soon as practicable into complaints of past sexual abuse in the diocese.

"I thought the synod handled the range of motions effectively and I think we all feel we've taken significant steps forward," Archbishop George said.

"There was a total commitment in the synod to respond to those situations in any way necessary to people who have been abused."


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