Thursday, 26 January 2017

Keith Slater - Former Bishop of Grafton

Bishop Keith Slater was defrocked in 2015 for his mishandling of child abuse allegations. He had failed to follow church protocol in handling  historical abuse claims at a children's home in Lismore. He was accused of keeping Newcastle priest Allan Kitchingman in the clergy despite his being convicted of child sexual assault.  Mr Slater was also found guilty of having reported abuse allegations to the police in 2011.  Even though he admitted the majority of the allegations against him, he appealed against his defrocking to the Appellate Tribunal of the Anglican Church of Australia.The Tribunal found that as Mr Slater had already resigned as Bishop the body that investigated his behaviour did not have the authority to recommend his defrocking.
All that makes sense in terms of recommendations and the authority to act.  However, the underlying issue is the sense of entitlement of men who have not looked after child victims of sexual assault and their lack of care for the distress this decision could cause these victims.

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