CAPE TOWN, SA: Deposed Whistle-Blower Anglo-Catholic Priest Loses Appeal to Archbishop
By David W. Virtue
April 13, 2011
An Anglo-Catholic priest who blew the whistle on decades of homosexual abuse in a number of Anglican dioceses in Southern Africa and was defrocked by a tribunal for his revelations, has lost in an appeal to Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.
The Rev. Clifford Felix, 55, married with two children, said decades of sexual abuse in Anglican dioceses in Southern Africa had been covered up by succession of bishops and archbishops. He himself was abused by a man in 1975 that he later learned was a priest, he told VOL.
In an ecclesiastical church trial brought by his bishop Merwyn Castle of False Bay earlier this year he was found guilty for bringing the church into scandal and disrepute by questioning the sexual standards of his church and for bringing to light multiple cases of homosexual abuse by priests with young men going back to the 70s.
In this ecclesiastical tribunal Felix was not permitted to testify as to the substance of the allegations he had made about sexual abuse and homosexuality in the diocese.
The entire tribunal was restricted to the charges brought against him, ignoring any previous charges brought against the diocese and bishop which have never received any serious attention. Under these circumstances the traditionalist priest was found guilty and deposed. The tribunal was chaired by Peter Lee bishop of the Diocese of Christ the King, near Johannesburg in Gauteng province. Felix appealed the verdict directly to the Archbishop of Southern Africa, the Rt. Rev. Thabo Makgoba.
The archbishop wrote back saying, "I have reviewed the Diocesan Tribunal, and took counsel concerning your Appeal. After careful consideration and prayer I have decided to uphold the recommendations of the Diocesan Tribunal and the subsequent decision of the Rt Revd Merwyn Castle and his Diocesan Chapter. "I continue to pray for you and your family and am aware of your strong convictions on this matter. However, my ruling is NO to your request for an Appeal and I thus uphold the outcomes and recommendations of the Tribunal."
Defrocked, Felix told VOL, "I am not guilty of the charges which formed the basis of my current humiliating defrocking/inhibition of August 12, 2010. I am left without a parish and my family and now I must leave the church vicarage."
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