Roger Herft, Anglican Archbishop of Perth, has stepped aside from his role after coming under fire at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse for how he dealt with complaints during his time as the Anglican Bishop of Newcastle.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I have returned from long service leave. In God’s providence it was good to have this time away.
I was grateful to have the opportunity to meet with members of the Diocese in recent weeks. I am grateful to each of you for your presence, participation and contributions to these conversations. I am particularly grateful to Bishop Kate, Bishop Jeremy and Archdeacon Braden for co-ordinating these consultations.
I have decided to voluntarily stand aside from my role, function and duties as Archbishop of Perth and Metropolitan of Western Australia with immediate effect. This will include all duties including ordinations, pastoral visits, public functions, Synod, Diocesan Council, correspondence and other related engagements.
I have taken this decision after much prayer, thought and consultation with my advisors to allow for the mission and ministry of the Diocese of Perth to flourish. I believe this is the appropriate decision while I focus my attention on the Royal Commission’s ongoing inquiry into the Diocese of Newcastle.
I am humbled by the courage and fortitude of survivors and victims of child sexual abuse as they continue to bear witness to their stories of suffering.
Bishop Kate has been appointed Administrator of the Diocese with full authority, with Bishop Jeremy and Archdeacons Braden Short, Lionel Snell, Kathy Barrett-Lennard, Onesimo Yugusuk and Mandy Herriman assisting in the task. I know that you will support Bishop Kate and the leadership team.
Cheryl and I remain grateful to you for your prayers for us and the family in this challenging time for us all.
You remain in our constant prayers and thoughts as we seek to be faithful to the Christ who is our strength and hope.
Sincerely in Christ
This letter originally appeared on the website of the Anglican Church in Perth.
The Royal Commission continues with public hearings into the response to children with problematic or harmful sexual behaviours in schools. The hearing will commence on 20 October 2016 at the Royal Commission hearing rooms in Sydney.
If you or someone you know wants to report abuse, please call the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse on 1800 099 340.
Some prayer points to help
Pray for deep healing for abuse survivors.