The Archbishop of Perth, Roger Herft, is to take early retirement, he said last Thursday.
The announcement comes two months after he voluntarily stood aside
from his duties after admitting that he failed to act on repeated
reports that some priests in his former diocese of Newcastle, in the
Anglican Church of Australia, were sexually abusing children.
Roger told his diocesan Council that he would continue to take accrued
leave until he retires on 7 July 2017, a year ahead of schedule.
The Diocesan Council thanked the Archbishop for “his significant
contribution to the Anglican Church of Australia and the wider Anglican
Communion over 43 years of faithful ministry, and particularly as
Archbishop of Perth since 2005.”
A Royal Commission in Australis is currently investigating how child
abuse claims were handled by a number of institutions.
The Church of
England and the Church in Wales are the subjects of a similar
investigation in the UK.
In August, Archbishop Roger admitted that he
had given “incorrect” evidence under oath to the Commission when he
denied knowledge of accusations against a priest.
In a letter to the diocese in October, announcing his decision to
stand aside, the archbishop said: “I have taken this decision after much
prayer, thought and consultation with my advisers to allow for the
mission and ministry of the diocese of Perth to flourish. I am humbled
by the courage and fortitude of survivors and victims of child sexual
abuse as they continue to bear witness to their stories of suffering.”
A committee of clergy and laity elected by the diocesan synod will
meet to appoint a successor Archbishop of Perth early next year.