Former Australian Archbishop Defrocked

Former Australian Archbishop Defrocked

Roger Herft, former Archbishop of Perth and Bishop of the Diocese of Newcastle has been disciplined by being defrocked (removed from holy orders) after an investigation into his handling of child abuse cases in Newcastle. The allegations were reviewed by the Commission of the Episcopal Standards Board of the Anglican Church in Australia after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse had finished its enquiry into the matter.

In a statement to Australian media, the Primate of the Anglican Church in Australia and Adelaide Archbishop Geoffrey Smith, said, “The Commission found that Mr Herft had failed to deal appropriately with some allegations of child sexual abuse while he was Bishop of Newcastle.  There is no suggestion, and there has been no allegation, that Mr Herft himself participated in such behaviour.”

The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported the text from the enquiry.

“There were relevant protocols to guide, indeed impel, the respondent [Mr Herft] to act in material respects, and additionally he had the capacity to call on the organs of the Church for resources, advice and support,” the determination said.

“Moreover, there was always the straightforward medium of reporting allegations of serious criminal conduct to the police.

“The respondent did not do so when the position of authority he held demanded that of him. We have looked for any acceptable explanation for why he did not do so and have not found any.”