Picture Credit Richard Tommy Campion ( Copyright RTC).
Friday, May 19, 2017
The situation in Australia and I imagine New Zealand is that the Institutional Response is so terrible in all aspects it reflects a deep cultural malaise that goes to the heart of the Church. Without all members of the houses of Laity Clergy and Bishops uniting together to make the needed changes and face radical transformation, extreme scrutiny and State intervention is inevitable. The complete structure of the Churches has to be destroyed and bulldozed , the new structure built with transparency and State outside audit with laser like scrutiny built in.
Currently, the Churches are like the Titanic sinking before the tsunami of Public scrutiny.
A Royal Commission must happen in New Zealand.
You in New Zealand will have the same deep soul searching that has happened in Australia when your Royal Commission is established. When that day comes the statistics and revelations will be as earth shattering as they are now in Australia.
The suicides and traumatised lives of thousands upon thousands of Survivors and families created a deep volcanic fury within the secular world that has near totally obliterated the last vestiges of goodwill the Churches held in the scant regard of a post-modern populace.
While power corruption and lies are used to defend reputational or financial assets transformation and reformation is impossible.
The power structure in Australia is in denial. It may take years to change the built in cultural mindsets and twisted theological defence mechanisms possibly decades. while the temptation of Clergy or Laity is to minimise, blame shift, obscure and outright deny the truth of 4500 hours of evidence.
Complete cultural change in the structure and theology of the institutions is vital otherwise the small seeds of hope and compassion planted in the dark heart of Institutional protectionism will wither, die away leaving nothing, except the void of empty pews and a blighted leadership defending the indefensible.
All investigations are now being recommended to be done Independently and mandatory state reporting is in place.
The Anglican Church lost six Bishops to adverse findings and the leadership structure has been exposed as fatally flawed. By 2018 the ACA faces deposition trials in four states and likely criminal charges of those complicit in cover up and misprision of a felony in NSW and Victoria.
The Australian Royal Commission has been a world first in its breadth and vigor.
A few good people stand up for Survivors but the reactionary forces are still in place and the intimidation continues , slashing tyres, stealing household pets, phone calls in the cold hours of the morning.
Investigators have been forced into hiding, moving addresses, the silencing continues.
Whistleblowers and sympathetic Clergy in certain States are still being intimidated and silenced.
One partner of an Anglican church worker wrote this:
“And the light does shine. Always has. Always will. I love a line from Leonard cohen “there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”. If only the church hierarchy could understand this, and allow the light to get in rather than being in denial.”
The average age of victims was 11 years old, 75 per cent were men and the average time taken to report the abuse was 29 years.
The Anglican Church says it is ashamed that between 1980 and 2015 there were 1,082 complaints of child sexual abuse, with 22 of the 23 dioceses reporting at least one complaint.
The Diocese of Brisbane (371) received the most complaints followed by the Diocese of Adelaide (155).
Counsel Assisting the inquiry Gail Furness said the number did not include all complaints of abuse associated with the church’s institutions.
“Many survivors face barriers which deter them from reporting abuse externally or to the institution in which the abuse occurred,” she said.
“Not every Anglican diocese has robust child protection measures, with Sydney Archbishop Glenn Davies telling a royal commission the lack of national consistency is ‘extremely disappointing’.”