October 11, 2005

Anglicans overhaul sex laws

Sydney Morning Herald

By Linda Morris
October 12, 2005

Sunday school teachers, youth leaders and church wardens guilty of moral lapses including habitual drunkenness, adultery and financial impropriety could face the sack under proposals by Sydney Anglicans to widen church laws dealing with cases of sexual misconduct.

A single standard of wrongful conduct would apply for the first time to senior church workers of the conservative Sydney diocese as well as its clergy and bishops.

Wrongful conduct is defined as sexual abuse and child abuse, as well as "unchastity", drunkenness, scandalous conduct, the wilful neglect of duties, the failure to pay debts and any crime that carries a jail term of more than 12 months.

But teachers at Anglican schools are unlikely to be covered by the new disciplinary measures unless their school boards decide otherwise.

As in politics or in business, high standards of behaviour were expected by the church of its senior officers, said the law's architect, Dr Philip Gerber.

Posted by kshaw at October 11, 2005 12:20 PM