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Anglican Church announces new measures to deal with sex abuse, harassment

Anyone wanting to be ordained as a clergyperson in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa will now have to provide a police clearance certificate.

Leaders of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. Picture: @AnglicanMediaSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Anyone wanting to be ordained as a clergyperson in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa will now have to provide a police clearance certificate.

It's among new measures adopted by the church to deal with sexual abuse and harassment.

The church's leaders met last week to discuss the issue which has become a blight, especially on the Catholic Church.

Earlier this year, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba announced that the church will be taking steps to address claims of sexual abuse by clergy. Victims came forward with claims of abuse in Anglican parishes in the country when they were young boys in the 1970s and 80s.

New measures will now be implemented. Victims can report abuse to church leaders via email.

During last week's meeting, it was found that the church needs to make it easier for people to lay complaints and for better support to be provided.

The Canon Law Council - a legal body in the church - will be proposing changes to church legislation at the next Provincial Synod meeting in 2019.

In the meantime, all clergy up for ordinations, elections or consecrations will need to provide a police clearance certificate, which includes lay ministers.

This rule will be enforced from January 2019.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)