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Sydney stays out of court

THE DIOCESE OF Sydney has reached a confidential out-of-court settlemenwith a woman who sued her rector and an assistant bishop for defamation.The woman, Dr Belinda Goodenough, a psychologist who specialises ipaediatric pain-management, was stripped of her lay-ministry roles in heparish last year, after what she said was a light-hearted email exchange witits Rector, the Revd Steve Bainbridge, of St Pauls, South Coogee, a beachsidsuburb (News, 31 March). Although she immediately apologised, Mr Bainbridgsaid her comments demonstrated unsuitability for a leadership role in thchurch.Press reports stated that Dr Goodenough was removed from her position, whicinvolved working with children, during a Sunday service in February 2005, awhich she was not present. She claims she was not given prior notice, and thashe became the subject of ugly gossip, after the Rector said she had been stoodown for inappropriate action. A select meeting convened by the Bishop oSouth Sydney, the Rt Revd Robert Forsyth, supported the Rector. Dr Goodenougthen sued for defamation in the NSW Supreme Court.Bishop Forsyth issued a statement indicating that a small payment had beemade for a sum less than Dr Goodenoughs legal expenses. He also expressed hisupport for the Rector, and for the right and responsibility of the ministeto stand down from voluntary public ministry in the church those whom he cometo believe may not be suited for it.Dr Goodenough  was quoted as saying, What intelligent woman is gointo want to join a denomination like this

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Keeping the faith under fire

Keeping the faith under fire

Large numbers of clergy volunteered to be military chaplains during the Great War. Peter Street tells some of their stories  Subscribe to read more

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Is there enough reason now to impose tougher sanctions on Russia?

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Top comment

Can Catholics back women bishops?

Christopher Hill asks whether Catholics can back women bishops  Subscribe to read more

Mon 28 Jul 14 @ 16:42
"A sense that in some way the disappearance of the sacred is a huge wound" Rowan Williams @BBCRadio4's The Waste Land http://t.co/90PxbPopjr

Mon 28 Jul 14 @ 15:16
Outing: is it ever right? @lucy25 is responding to comments made by @PeterTatchell here: http://t.co/NRkJS73PAX