Who is Allan Kitchingman? (Or: Where’s Phil?)

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Allan “Kitch” Kitchingman will be the object of the third “case study” in the present set by the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The first one was on Steven Larkins (see previous posting) and the second was on Jonathan Lord (see previous posting).

The first two covered associations with Scouts Australia and the YMCA (New South Wales state branch). This one will relate to the Anglican Church of Australia, known elsewhere as the Church of England or the Episcopalian Church. However, it will be restricted to the Grafton and Newcastle dioceses in New South Wales, so people like Anglican Primate, Phillip Aspinall (see previous postings), are off the hook.

But Back to Allan Kitchingman. He was an Anglican pastor who, as the “chaplain” to the North Coast Children’s Home, abused an inmate in 1975. For this he pleaded guilty, and was imprisoned for 21/2 years, in 2002, with parole in February 2004. His victim described the sentence as a “joke”. This victim claims the priest assaulted him “several times a week for a year” and that church officials put him on a bus to Kings Cross, in Sydney, after complaints were made. Hence, the enquiry must investigate the church’s response to the Kitchingman allegations.

Kitchingman went on to become parish pastor at the St. Cuthbert’s church at Tweed Heads, on the New South Wales – Queensland state border. His name was entered on the church’s national professional standards register according to the terms of a church canon in 2007.

Nevertheless, his name still appears on the Honour Roll of the church for his time as pastor from 1981-1988. The church’s website refers to his time there as having “seen growth in the work with children and youth.” Apparently, to the church officials, paedophilia means “working” with children.

Local Anglican official, and former Queensland state Cabinet Minister, Pat Comben, can expect to be called by the Commission to explain his role in the affair. In May this year, the Bishop of Grafton, Keith Slater (see previous posting), resigned and apologized for his failings in handling complaints about the North Coast Children’s Home. He, too, can be expected to be called to appear before the enquiry.

Someone who is not likely to be called is Phillip Aspinall. In the past, with regards to this case, Aspinall has claimed that, although he is head of the church in Australia, he had no direct authority over the Grafton and Newcastle dioceses. This is similar to the Cardinal Pell defence with regards to abuses within the Catholic Church (see previous posting).

This may well be true in the strictly legal sense, and his lawyers could argue accordingly against suggestions he appear, but it is not true in the moral and ethical sense. If Aspinall chooses to hide behind this claim, he will show himself to be morally and ethically bankrupt. He should appear before the Commission by choice, if he is to retain any credibility as a “Man of God.”

As a former computer programmer, Aspinall would be well familiar with the programming statement – “if…then…else.” If he appears voluntarily, then he is moral, else he is not.

Q.E.D.

{Postscript: The background detail to the North Coast Children’s Home case is available in a previous posting – https://lewisblayse.net/2013/05/21/the-anglican-north-coast-childrens-home-or-better-late-than-never/]

Read more here:

That’s all I can say

Lewis Blayse (né Lewin Blazevich)

 

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