Former governor-general Peter Hollingworth faces judgment day over sex abuse crisis

The treatment of Peter Hollingworth has been monstrous. A genuinely holy man has been given great anguish only because he was not politically correct. I did not know him well but I have spoken with him, shaken his hand and observed his joyous leadership of a eucharistic procession. And I have no doubt that he is a genuine Christian, a rarity in the Anglican episcopate.

His offence was to adopt a proper judicial attitude towards a serious accusation against one of of his priests. That was a great secular sin. Accusations of sexual abuse are expected by the Leftist press to be believed without question. In such matters the presumption of innocence is thrown out the window

He was a proper servant of his God in acting as he did. As it says in Deuteronomy 1:17: "Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s"

Time is running out for Peter Hollingworth over the child sex abuse crisis and Beth Heinrich wants him to be judged by his church with a biblical sense of urgency.

The former governor-general’s theological licence to officiate in basic tasks such as delivering sermons and overseeing family church events in the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne has not been renewed but this is only a small part of a much bigger problem he faces.

The Anglican investigative body Kooyoora is inching closer to deciding whether Dr Hollingworth, 87, should be stripped of holy orders – defrocked – after several complaints about his conduct while archbishop of Brisbane in the late 1980s and 90s and his comments as governor-general.

Multiple victims of church abuse – like Ms Heinrich, who was abused at a hostel as a teenager in the 1950s by an Anglican minister – are relentlessly pursuing Dr Hollingworth, her victim impact statement to the inquiry a shattering account of how she was groomed and then abused from the age of 14 in NSW.

Dr Hollingworth’s reputation was battered in 2002 when he suggested Ms Heinrich, at the time of the offending a child at a boarding school, had instigated sex with disgraced Anglican minister Donald Shearman.

Ms Heinrich is preparing to write a book on the intimate details of how she says Dr Hollingworth and others intensified her pain, testing her will to live and destroying her relationship with the church she loved.

“You are looking at me and perhaps I look OK on the outside, but that’s not how I feel,” Ms Heinrich’s statement prepared for the Kooyoora tribunal reads.

“If I allowed myself to be me I would have to start cutting my arms to show people how much I was hurting. I am afraid to be me because it hurts too much. I feel like I am someone else.”

While Dr Hollingworth mulls what logic and fairness suggests must be the looming end of the years-long Kooyoora inquiry, Ms Heinrich wants the elderly bishop held to account for his failures, blasting the prolonged nature of the investigation.

“Of course none of this dragged out drama is necessary,” she writes. “It can easily be solved. He should find the integrity, finally do the right thing and quietly resign.”

Dr Hollingworth was never an abuser, but was exposed falling short of basic community standards in his handling of the crisis.


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