- The Anglican Church of South Africa has announced radical new measures to combat child abuse
- Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said all prospective priests will have to provide the church with police clearance certificates in future
- The church has also resolved to make it easier to report alleged cases of abuse and will provide greater support to victims
The Anglican Church of South Africa has announced a raft of new measures to combat the heinous crime of child abuse. One of the most radical changes will be implemented in January 2019 when all prospective priests will have to provide the church with a police clearance certificate.
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said the church would require all those wishing to be ordained to provide such documents. The new rule will initially be focused on those wishing to teach Sunday school and youth projects but will be phased into all new recruits over a period of time.
The church also aims to make it easier to report alleged cases of abuse by establishing a new email address and will provide greater support to victims and their families. Makgoba said although reports of child abuse cases were limited the church took the matter incredibly serious.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Anglican Church leaders gathered last week for a series of meeting to address the thorny issue which had been thrust into the public eye by revelations of widespread abuse in the Catholic Church.
IOL.co.za reported that Makgoba said it had become painfully clear to Anglican Church leaders that the issue was not limited to the Catholic Church and thus the decision was made to implement measures to deal with the issue.
Makgoba said the church needed to do more to help the victims of such crimes.
He said church leaders had met with lawyers and senior clergy members serving on the Canon Law Council to discuss how best to move forward.
The church was advised that church law and pastoral standards were of high enough standard to deal with complaints in an effective and independent manner. Makgoba said another issue which had been highlighted was the lack of progress in historical cases.
Makgoba said all Bishops would be receiving training in the near future which would guarantee that each diocese in the country is equipped to handle and respond to complaints.
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