Thursday, 30 Nov 2023

Anglican church rechecking ruling on Hollingworth after mistakenly giving survivor her abusers surname

Anglican church rechecking ruling on Hollingworth after mistakenly giving survivor her abusers surname


Anglican church rechecking ruling on Hollingworth after mistakenly giving survivor her abusers surname

The Anglican church's professional standards body is rechecking its decision on Peter Hollingworth for errors almost two weeks after circulating a version that mistakenly gave a survivor her abuser's surname.

Last month the church's professional standards board found that Hollingworth should be kept in the church despite six findings of misconduct against him, including that he failed to act to remove pedophiles while archbishop of Brisbane in the 1990s.

The 78-page decision and an accompanying summary, which was first circulated to parties on 24 April, contained basic errors.

It erroneously named Beth Heinrich, one of two survivors who complained in the matter, as "Beth Shearman", giving her the surname of her abuser, Donald Shearman.

The decision also attracted criticism for its use of the pseudonym "BYB" to describe the second complainant, which created confusion between two abuse survivors, one of whom was not directly involved in the professional standards complaint process.

The confusion prompted the complainant to raise the issue with Kooyoora, the organisation that handles complaints about church members, though it is not clear whether or how it will be addressed.

But Guardian Australia can reveal the board responsible for last month's judgment is considering whether it needs to amend parts of its decision.

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