Australian bishop quits after working hard to deal with abuse issues

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From Anglican Communion News Service:

The Anglican Bishop of the diocese of Newcastle, in Australia, Greg Thompson has announced his resignation. Bishop Thompson served the Diocese for three years and has been a strong advocate for survivors of child abuse during his tenure.

“Since the end of the Royal Commission’s Case Study 42 on the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle I’ve been reflecting on the important work of the Royal Commission and the change underway in the Diocese of Newcastle and its impact on my health,” Bishop Thompson said.

“It has been widely documented in both the media and the Royal Commission how the culture and conduct from some sections of the church has had an impact on survivors, families, and communities across the Diocese of Newcastle. “I have witnessed this culture first hand, both as victim of abuse and in my work as Bishop to address the Diocese’s abuse legacy. “When I started this journey to right the wrongs of child abuse in the Diocese I didn’t expect to be in this position, nor did I expect to uncover systemic practices that have enabled the horrendous crimes against children.

“The decision to resign was not an easy one, it weighed heavily on my heart. However, I must place the wellbeing of my family and my health above my job.” Bishop Thompson said.

From ABC Newcastle:

An emotional Bishop Thompson last year told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse his efforts to expose a decades-old culture of abuse and cover-ups had led to a concerted push to get rid of him.

The bishop is himself an abuse survivor and said he was resigning to put his health and family first.

“The impact of leading the diocese at various levels and addressing that culture has had a personal impact on my health, and I think has been something that got me thinking about how long I could have done it for,” Bishop Thompson said.

Video background and interview here.

 

Image: From ACNS

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