Protection from spiritual abuse needed in safeguarding
In the formation of leaders in the Church, the issue of “spiritual abuse” should be addressed as part of safeguarding policies, while humility and love should be taught as pillars of ministry, theologian and abuse survivor Dr Rocio Figueroa has proposed.
Dr Figueroa spoke at the Australian and New Zealand Association for Theological Field Education (ANZATFE) conference on November 20 at the Anglican Retreat Centre in Vaughan Park, Auckland.
She explained that spiritual abuse is a relatively new term, entering literature and discourse only in the past 20 years.
“It is not easy to talk about spiritual abuse. Many consider that it is very dangerous to talk about it because it would be paralysing for leaders and leadership,” she said.
Unfortunately, she said, it had been proven that “spiritual abuse can happen in any church”.