Push to have disgraced former governor-general Peter Hollingworth defrocked to be heard by Anglican Church panel

I have followed this matter from its inception. And 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"

It would have been easy for Hollingworth to hunt with the hounds and condemn a potentially innocent man but he did not. He refused to act on an unsubstantiated accusation. That was his sin. His integrity became his undoing. His only fault was insisting on proper evidence rather than immediately believing a sex abuse complaint

It sealed his downfall when John Howard made him governor general. That was intolerable to the Left and all sorts of exaggerated stories about him have been dredged up in additional to the original complaint

Five years ago, an Anglican church investigator said there was enough evidence on the public record to defrock the disgraced former Archbishop for his failure to act on evidence of sexual abuse in the church.

Yet, Dr Hollingworth remains a bishop and the 87-year-old draws a vice-regal pension worth hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Victim-survivors of Anglican abuse hope that will change after this week — when the church's special independent investigator, Kooyoora, finally hears the case against Dr Hollingworth.

In 2018, the ABC revealed that Dr Hollingworth was the subject of multiple complaints from survivors of abuse at the hands of Anglican clergy and teaching staff in the Brisbane diocese, where Dr Hollingworth served as archbishop in the 1990s.

Those complaints were investigated by Kooyoora but are still yet to be finalised, with the long-overdue hearing slated to begin on Monday.

"I'm not joking, this is probably the longest-running case of child abuse in the world,'' says Chris Goddard, an abuse expert and veteran advocate for survivors.

Victim blaming, the obfuscation of the church and constant delays reinforce the trauma for survivors, experts say.

Five years ago, the ABC revealed that a former Kooyoora director of professional standards told a sexual abuse survivor there was "…more than enough justification to prove [Dr Hollingworth's] unfitness to hold Holy Orders".

This fuelled the anger of survivors who have been waiting years for justice.

Despite survivors and their legal teams preparing for the upcoming hearings, the executive director of Kooyoora, Fiona Boyle, would not confirm if any hearing was taking place this week, nor if it involved Dr Hollingworth.

She says it is "terrible" if any matter takes five years to be dealt with, but has declined to comment on why this case has been delayed for so long.

Archbishop Philip Freier is on leave, but an Anglican spokesman says: "Dr Hollingworth has a limited permission to officiate in the diocese. If a finding is made against him, that will be revisited accordingly."

"The complaint process regarding Bishop Hollingworth is, properly, entirely independent of the Diocese of Melbourne. The diocese has had no influence on the investigation, and the Archbishop cannot comment on the process."


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