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Former Archbishop of Brisbane faces inquiry

06 February 2023

Peter Hollingworth

Dr Peter Hollingworth

Dr Peter Hollingworth

AN INQUIRY into the fitness for ministry of a former Archbishop of Brisbane, Dr Peter Hollingworth, aged 87, has begun in Melbourne after a five-year delay.

Dr Hollingworth resigned as archbishop when he was appointed Governor-General in 2001; he resigned from that post in 2003 after an independent report found that he had mishandled sexual-abuse claims while at Brisbane (News, 26 October 2018). He is not accused of any abuse himself.

Melbourne diocese’s board for professional standards is conducting the closed hearing, at which survivors of child sexual abuse are expected to give evidence. A number of survivors have called for Dr Hollingworth to be deposed from Holy Orders. He currently holds permission to officiate in the diocese of Melbourne, where he now lives.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which concluded its work in 2017, found that, in 1993, Dr Hollingworth had allowed a priest to continue serving as a parish rector despite evidence of paedophile behaviour. The commission described it as a “serious error of judgement”. Dr Hollingworth apologised for his handling of the matter.

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