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Bp. Herft Under Scrutiny

The Rt. Rev. Roger Herft, former Archbishop of Perth, could be stripped of any right to function as a priest. Herft is under investigation amid complaints about his conduct after he gave testimony in 2016 to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Herft resigned as Archbishop of Perth after admitting he failed survivors of child sexual abuse when he was Bishop of Newcastle between 1993 and 2005. Herft was made Bishop of Waikato, New Zealand, in 1986 and then elected Bishop of Newcastle in 1992.

On election to Waikato he became the Anglican Communion’s youngest bishop. He was a chaplain to the 1998 Lambeth Conference.

The royal commission heard that Herft had mishandled a series of horrific abuse cases and was “willfully blind” to the criminal conduct of Newcastle clergy under his authority.

Allegations against Herft will be examined by panel of bishops, who will then report to an episcopal standards board with the power to defrock. The board could deny rights for Herft to officiate as a priest, celebrate public Eucharists, or preside over marriages or funerals.

John Martin


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