Canadian General Synod grapples with complaints over handling of sexual abuse allegations

Posted Mar 29, 2022

[Anglican Journal (Anglican Church of Canada)] The Council of General Synod (CoGS) has committed itself to improving the church’s practices in a range of areas including sexual abuse and journalistic governance in the wake of public allegations that senior church management failed to protect the identities of victims of alleged sexual assault by sharing last year an early draft of an article for an Anglican Journal sister publication. 

A number of Anglicans, however—including the two responsible for these public allegations, the Journal’s former editor and one member of CoGS—say they have serious concerns about the council’s response, and are calling for, among other things, the resignation of the church’s general secretary. 

Over the course of three days during its March meeting, the national church council spent more than 4 hours in camera, discussing a response to an open letter published online in February. The letter, written by a group calling itself #ACCtoo, called for action from the church to address harm it said was caused last spring when a member of General Synod leadership passed on a draft of an unfinished article to four Anglican institutions. The article, intended for the Anglican Journal’s online magazine, Epiphanies, reported on allegations of sexual misconduct related to these institutions, and, according to #ACCtoo, in its draft state it also included personal information about the complainants which tied them to the institutions and could have revealed their identities. 

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