THE spiritual leader of Australia's three million Anglicans, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, is having "second thoughts" about mandating the reporting to police of child sex abuse complaints against church staff, and has ordered a review of the policy.
In an exclusive interview, the Anglican Primate said he had been swayed by concerns that the automatic referral to police of historic complaints - made by adults alleging abuse when they were children at the hands of priests or other church workers - could "disempower" the victim or even cause the person involved to suffer "re-abuse".
"I'm having second thoughts about it," Dr Aspinall said of the reporting process he developed as Archbishop of Brisbane 10 years ago. This was at the height of the scandal that engulfed his predecessor in the post, Peter Hollingworth, and forced him to quit as governor-general over allegations he had not done enough to investigate complaints of sex abuse while he was in charge of the diocese.
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