WORLD / AMERICAS
S.Baptists to create abuser database of former staff
Published: Jun 15, 2022 05:34 PM
Pope Francis prays during the opening of a global child protection summit on the sex abuse crisis within the Catholic Church on Thursday at the Vatican. The pontiff has set aside three and a half days to convince Catholic bishops to tackle pedophilia in a bid to contain a scandal which hit an already beleaguered Church again in 2018, from Chile to Germany and the US (See story on Page 9). Photo: AFP

Pope Francis prays during the opening of a global child protection summit on the sex abuse crisis within the Catholic Church on Thursday at the Vatican. The pontiff has set aside three and a half days to convince Catholic bishops to tackle pedophilia in a bid to contain a scandal which hit an already beleaguered Church again in 2018, from Chile to Germany and the US (See story on Page 9). Photo: AFP

Members of the Southern Baptist Convention voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to maintain a list of pastors and other church staff credibly accused of sexual abuse, US media reported, addressing a scandal that has rocked the country's largest Protestant denomination.

Thousands of Southern Baptists gathered for their annual meeting in Anaheim, California where they passed a recommendation that creates a database to track sex abusers and sets up a group to formally handle abuse accusations, The Washington Post reported.

In May in a shocking move, SBC leaders released a 205-page list of hundreds of ministers and other church workers who have been accused of sexual abuse, days after an independent investigation said the church had for years suppressed reports of abuse against priests and other staff.

The scandal is the latest shudder in a church churning with debate over issues including the role of women pastors, racial justice and abortion.

"Make no mistake, we're in... a seminal moment right now," pastor Bruce Frank, who has chaired the abuse task force, said as he opened the session, according to the Post. 

On Tuesday, the church's website prominently displayed a message encouraging members to "report an instance of abuse in a Southern Baptist Church or entity," along with a telephone number and email where people can report the wrongdoing.

One pastor who identified himself as a sex abuse survivor, Brad Eubank of Petal First Baptist Church in Mississippi, addressed the meeting on Tuesday and urged the gathered faithful to adopt the recommendations. 

AFP