THE Archbishop of Perth, the Most Revd Roger Herft, has told his diocese in a pastoral letter that in the coming weeks he will “seek the counsel” of colleagues and members of his diocese. His comment is being interpreted in some quarters as an intimation that he might be considering resignation.
His letter comes in the wake of a recent hearing into the diocese of Newcastle, New South Wales, at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Archbishop Herft, who was bishop of the diocese from 1993 to 2005, told the hearing that he had let people down badly in the light of the “sacred trust that the people of this region [Newcastle] placed upon me”.
He admitted to failing to deal with some allegations of abuse against both clergy and lay church workers.
In the letter, Archbishop Herft said that he supported the work of the Royal Commission, and was conscious of the impact that the hearings were having on abuse survivors.
“I wish to acknowledge the suffering and trauma of survivors of child sexual-abuse in the diocese of Newcastle, as well as the distress and sadness being experienced in the Anglican and wider community, in respect of the matters being addressed by the Royal Commission”, he said.