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Primate tells Anglicans to speak truth

28 June 2013

ANGLICAN CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA

THE Australian Primate, Dr Phillip Aspinall (right), Archbishop of Brisbane, has called on Anglicans to dispel the wider community's ignorance about the Anglican Church. Few people knew what the Anglican Church was any more, he told his annual Synod, except through stereotypes, and through "the horror stories of abuse that fill the media".

As the national Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse got under way, Anglicans needed to be "truth-tellers", he said. "That truth includes all of what we as a Church are and do." The Church should never "defend the indefensible", but nor should it "hide the good we do".

Much of what parishes and church groups did was life-giving, humble, and good, he said. "It honours both God and human beings made in God's image. And people are entitled to know that.

"In the years ahead, all of us will need to speak up for the truth. Even though at times we might fear backlash, we need to find our voice in the face of falsehood, including when the Church is portrayed falsely.

"We will be our own worst enemies if we fail to tell the whole truth about the reality of who the Church is, and what the Church does. The full picture - that's the truth. That's what we must all be accountable for, the good as well as the bad."

Brisbane diocese, and the Anglican Church nationally, had pledged full co-operation with the Commission, because it promised a just way to "close the wound in our society", Dr Aspinall said.

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