March 11, 2005

No ending the affair

The Australian

Greg Roberts
March 12, 2005
SHE was responsible for the resignation of a governor-general and the first defrocking of an Australian bishop, but Beth Heinrich still has to face her demons.

"What happened to Peter Hollingworth and Donald Shearman hasn't helped me," Heinrich says. "I'm still hurting. The hurt is not going to go away until Donald Shearman does the right thing and issues the public apology that he owes me."

Speaking to Inquirer this week from the home of a Sydney friend, Heinrich, 65, leaves no doubt of the bitterness she feels towards Shearman, 78, the disgraced former bishop who was stripped of his holy orders by the Anglican Church last August over his treatment of her.

"I can't forgive him for what he did and I can't forgive Peter Hollingworth for protecting him," she says.

Shearman has admitted to a sexual relationship with Heinrich when she was a boarder in the mid-1950s at a church school in the central-western NSW town of Forbes, where he was the curate. It began when she was 14 and ended when she was 17. A few years later, aged 32, Shearman was consecrated as Australia's youngest bishop.

Posted by kshaw at March 11, 2005 05:57 PM