Anglican Church of Canada alleged to have mishandled sex abuse allegations

Survivors and others are alleging the Anglican Church of Canada mishandled sex abuse allegations. Compounding the mishandling, it is alleged that a senior ACC official leaked a draft of an article by a reporter for the ACC’s house journal to the dioceses involved. The editor of the Anglican Journal and the reporter have resigned over the church’s mishandling of the draft.

Religious News Service and the Living Church have reports.

The extracts we provide below do not cover vital details covered by the reports. Please read them in full.

RNS, March 2nd – ACCtoo calls Anglican Church of Canada to repent for mishandling abuse allegations:

In January 2021, Proctor [, a survivor,] began talks with the Anglican Journal — the ACC’s national newspaper — about an article that would share how the church had mishandled her allegations, as well as the allegations of two other survivors.

Not long after, a draft of the story was leaked to the institutions and dioceses implicated in the survivors’ stories.

The breach of trust sparked the creation of ACCtoo, a group of anti-abuse advocates who were stirred by Proctor’s story to take up her cause. On Feb. 17, 2022, ACCtoo published an open letter to ACC leaders asking the church to repent for harming Proctor and the other survivors and asked for signatures. As of Wednesday (March 2), 228 individuals, including a bishop, three archdeacons and a significant number of other ACC clergy, had signed the letter.

According to several sources, members of the Anglican Journal staff felt pressured to share the list of dioceses and institutions with the General Synod, but only did so with the understanding that the story draft would not be shared outside of General Synod.

Despite the ACC’s betrayal, Proctor’s appeal to the Anglican Journal may have had its intended effect. “We’ve already had other people reach out to us with their stories,” said ACCtoo co-founder Mackie, “so it is a much broader issue in the Anglican Church of Canada.”

The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls, Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, responded with a letter (and subsequent clarification) to ACCtoo available here. Her letter apologizes to the survivors while disputing unspecified statements on the ACCtoo website.

The Living Church, February 18 – Church of Canada Faces Sex Abuse Allegations:

A senior official of the Anglican Church of Canada allegedly failed to safeguard the confidentiality of “three survivors of sexual violence perpetrated by men ordained as clergy” in the ACC, according to an open letter posted on a new website, ACCtoo, on February 17.

In an interview with TLC, the co-authors of the website said they had chosen to air the allegations publicly after nearly a year of seeking accountability from church leadership.

The open letter says the survivors “hoped their stories would show how their allegations of sexual assault were mishandled by four Anglican Church of Canada institutions: three dioceses and one school.”

“We’ve heard from multiple sources at General Synod that it is a toxic work environment,” Buttrey [co-author of the ACCtoo website] said. “The leadership is responsible for this.” In 2019, Nicholls became the second woman elected to lead a province of the Anglican Communion, after former Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori of the Episcopal Church.

The ACCtoo website is conceptually similar to ACNAtoo, a website calling attention to mishandling of sexual abuse in the Anglican Church in North America….

 

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