Apology for survivors of abuse

On Monday 22 October in the House of Representatives, our Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, delivered an emotional, heart-felt apology on behalf of the Parliament and the Australian people, to the survivors of child sexual abuse, including those in Anglican churches.

That our Church was complicit in any way in these events, by ignoring them, disbelieving the testimony of survivors, or allowing sex offenders to continue their horrendous conduct in what should have been the safety of a church environment, is itself a matter of deep shame.

Let me reiterate my apology to the survivors of child sexual abuse, for our failure to protect them as children, and also to the families of those who have died prematurely due to their abuse.

While we have adopted rigorous processes to ensure the safety of children in the present, I recognise that this will not overcome the trauma that accompanies the sins of the past.

Today is an opportunity for congregations across the diocese to acknowledge the failures of the past and listen with acceptance to those who have been harmed.

My fervent prayer is that this will in some measure provide healing for these wounds, raiseĀ our consciousness of the seriousness of child sexual abuse, and enable us as a Church community to play our part in protecting and giving voice to the most vulnerable among us.

I offer this apology confident of the comfort, transforming power and tender love of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.