Former Governor-General Peter Hollingworth to be defrocked?

peter hollingworth governor-general By Governor-General of Australia - (, CC BY 3.0,

Victim-survivors of Anglican clerical abuse hope to see the former Governor-General and retired Archbishop of Brisbane Peter Hollingworth defrocked after two decades of delay.

Hollingworth, otherwise, the Right Reverend and Honourable Peter Hollingworth AC OBE, was Archbishop of Brisbane from 1989 until 2000. He was also 1991 Australian of the Year.

In 2001, Liberal Prime Minister John Howard appointed him the 23rd governor-general of Australia.

Later that same year, calls began for Hollingworth’s resignation. Critics said he failed to deal appropriately with sex abuse allegations against a Toowoomba teacher in 1991. The Supreme Court of Queensland ordered the church to pay $834,800 damages to a woman the teacher sexually abused.

A subsequent 2002 inquiry found Hollingworth allowed a priest he knew was a paedophile to continue working. John Elliot had admitted to Hollingworth that he sexually abused two boys.

Blaming the victim

Also in 2022, Peter Hollingworth blamed victim Beth Heinrich for the abuse she suffered at the hands of a curate as a 14-year-old. The Governor-General told the national audience of the ABC’s Australian Story that the incident was “not sex abuse” by Bishop Donald Shearman, but “rather the other way round.”

Peter Hollingworth finally resigned as Governor-General of Australia in 2003.

In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found Hollingworth made a “serious error of judgement” in allowing John Elliott to continue working as a priest. Despite that, a few months later, Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier renewed Hollingworth’s permission to officiate.

In 2023, 87-year-old Hollingworth remains a bishop. He is also paid a vice-regal pension of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

However, this week, the Anglican church’s special independent investigator will hear the case against Peter Hollingworth.

Victim-survivors hope to finally see him defrocked.

Also: That time David Marr nailed Cardinal George Pell.

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Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at

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1 Comment

  1. Julian
    6 February 2023

    ,, Blaming the victim is the normal procedure in Religious countries like Australia, Saudi Arabia IRAN and Indonesia. ,,
    RAPE TURTURE victims can usually wait up to 20 years to get Justice if they don’t Commit Suicide in the mean time ,,

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