Archbishop Barry Hickey has issued an invitation to current and former members of the Bethel Covenant Community to contact him at his office if they feel that there are matters relating to Bethel that still need to be resolved.
In a letter to current and former members, Archbishop Hickey pointed out that, according to the statutes of Bethel, two senior former members are responsible for the winding up of Bethel and the proper disposal of assets.
However, since the closure of Bethel, many people had approached him to see what could be done to bring some sort of healing and resolution of the issues they had with the leadership of Bethel. “I therefore invite any former member of Bethel to see me personally if they wish at my office at 21 Victoria Square, Perth,” he said.
“Alternatively, Bishop Donald Sproxton and I with two Religious Sisters will be available for personal or small group meetings on September 16 at the Vietnamese Catholic Centre, corner of Wanneroo Rd and Victoria Rd, Balcatta, from 9.30am to 7pm.
“Following the meetings on September 16, it may be necessary to initiate a ‘truth and reconciliation’ process among Bethel members and their friends at which the truth can be told to the assembly and apologies given.
“I would hope that some healing could result from such a meeting.
“If there are any allegations of sexual abuse of minors, I urge that they be given to the Police.
“I sincerely hope that this opportunity will allow people to say what they need to say, so that ‘the truth will make you free’ (Jn 8;32),” the Archbishop concluded.