The Anglican Church stands accused of again fumbling its handling of s-x abuse issues – despite volumes of reports and protocols that it claims represent a caring and effective response to the issues that have given it bad publicity for years, and helped bring down a Governor General.

The Bishop of the South Australian Diocese of The Murray, Ross Davies, is being pursued by the media over his handling of s-x abuse allegations involving one, and perhaps more, of his clergy.

The issue is being driven by the media, not by the Church itself which is supposed to have protocols and processes designed to avoid the events which led to the early demise of the Rt Rev Peter Hollingworth as John Howard’s Governor General.

The Bishop of The Murray is accused of failing to act on a church investigation in 2005 into his most senior clergy, Archdeacon Peter Coote.

Under pressure from the media, and belatedly, the Archbishop of Adelaide, Jeff Driver and the Primate, Phillip Aspinall, intervened and now there are two reviews into the handling of the complaints. But the reviews will be considered by the Diocesan Council – chaired by Bishop Davies.

Phillip Aspinall has called for “transparency” from the Bishop in dealing with the reviews – but he is a toothless tiger- or Primate. Bishops have virtual total authority in their own dioceses, and even removing Davies would be a tortuous process.

But the church’s bumbling handling of the issue might get a reprieve. Davies has moved out of the Bishop’s residence in Murray Bridge, and he appears to have ceased functioning as Bishop, at least for the time being.

That leaves the Diocese leaderless – but in a better state than it was under his leadership.

Aspinall in particular will be hoping, and praying, that Davies resigns. And so will a lot of Anglicans fed up with the Church’s continued failure to handle a critical issue with even a modicum of competence.