South African church promises to investigate charges of rape leveled by female priest


ACSA has pledged to launch an internal disciplinary process to address the allegation by the Revd June Major that she was raped by a fellow priest in 2002. It will also ask State prosecutors, who declined to press charges some years ago, to re-open the case.

The church has in recent years updated its laws and procedures to handle cases of abuse in the church more effectively. Ms Major has been asked to submit details of her allegation in writing so that the process can begin.

Responding to her protest action outside the gates of the Archbishop’s official residence in Cape Town, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has addressed her twice, once on the day she began her protest, and again on Saturday. He told her the Church is committed to follow a fair, just and transparent process in which she will have the opportunity to state her case, and the priest she has accused will have a chance to state his.

The processes for handling such allegations can be found here:

The Church is unambiguous about its responsibility to be a healing presence in society. It is committed to this as a response to its faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who consistently requires His followers to tend the broken-hearted.

The church is also committed to justice in society, which is a faith response and a direct reflection of its divine calling. It is justice that must be sought, and nobody must be allowed to suffer the consequences of injustice. Viciousness of one person towards another within society and least of all in the body of Christ, will not and cannot be tolerated. The church is compelled to respond, and it is committed to do so in this matter.