As reported in the Advertiser the Anglican Church of Australia at their 16th General Synod (being held this year in Adelaide) have determined that Anglican priests will be free to report serious crimes, including Child Abuse.
This is a landmark decision and puts the Anglican Church at the forefront of reform in this area.
The Advertiser article can be accessed here.
Adelaide Diocese’s Arch Bishop Jeffrey Driver is quoted as saying he will encourage his dioceses’ to adopt the move. With their Annual Synod due in September watch for it to be on the agenda.
As I always understood confession it was a means of cleansing the sole and seeking forgiveness from the ultimate authority for having sinned. An act between you and God.
Confessionals of course in human terms has been something where you could seek this forgiveness via a priest and then know that the priest cannot implicate you when dealing, not with God’s justice but man’s justice. Such practice has unfortunately covered up sinful practices from within the church.
This in turn has left a scar on the church that will take a long time to heal, where priests are seen from outside of covering up sinful practices and in particular child abuse and, in so doing, appearing to condone such practice.
The Arch Bishop of the Adelaide Diocese is quoted in the article that he will be promoting adoption of this policy by our Diocese, which I presume will be at our next Annual Synod to be held in September. Certainly I am in support Arch Bishop.