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Op-ed: Proposed Database Would ID Some Who Are Innocent

By KJ Mullins     Oct 23, 2007 in World
Cheating Anglican ministers in Australia may find themselves on a proposed church database of child abusers and sex offenders. Those who have been accused of straying from the marital bed may have more than just their spouse after them.
The proposed register would give Anglican officials access to any complaint against a minister or lay worker that has been accused of child abuse. Officials would have access to complaints of sexual misconduct against adults. While that may seem like a good thing, consider that the database will include even claims that are unproven.
Can anyone else hear the pitter patter of a lynch mob?
It is beneficial to have a database of those who abuse their power within the church. To take it to the extreme -- of being tagged if one is accused but not proven to be guilty -- could be used to sabotage an unloved priest.
Philip Gerber, the professional standards director of the Sydney diocese, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp radio:
The church has always had a high expectation, a scriptural expectation, that members of the clergy and church workers lead moral lives. Often people that come in touch with clergy are vulnerable because they're in a pastoral situation and the minister is, in a sense, in a position of power. We just want to make sure that whenever people come in touch with the church they are safe.Do you think someone who cheats on his wife should be included on a database that houses child sexual abusers?
More about Child abuse, Anglican, Database