Avril at Romsey

… and Lancefield and Riddells Creek and Mount Macedon

“Don’t leave clergy alone with children”

Over breakfast I was reading yesterday’s Melbourne Age (because I am always a little behind in my newspaper reading) and I came across the following headline on page three: Don’t leave clergy alone with children.

It’s about a report made to the Anglican Church about how they can prevent child abuse by clergy. I know how important that is. But I’m finding the article difficult.

Yesterday at a funeral I approached two teenage girls who had spoken and told them they could call me or arrange to see me anytime if they wanted someone to talk to about their loss. If by any chance they choose to do that, I don’t want to have to make sure there’s a third person around because I’m not trusted to be alone with them. Every couple of weeks I attend a music group for pre-schoolers. After the formal program the mothers gather for coffee and the children and I usually play outside, without another adult present. This isn’t a danger for the children.

I don’t like this world in which adults are not to be trusted around children. I really don’t like a world in which my profession makes me seem less trustworthy rather than more trustworthy. I know that it’s the fault of the clergy who have abused children and the churches that in the past have covered that up. But I can’t help feeling that “don’t leave clergy alone with children” is going way too far.

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June 18, 2009 Posted by | Life, etc., Ministry | 4 Comments