What Ex-Bishop Slater Said (Or: The Plot Thickens)

Keith Slater (see previous postings), 65, the former bishop at the centre of the North Coast Children’s Home scandal, appeared before the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney today. Slater was the bishop of the Grafton diocese of the Anglican Church (known elsewhere as the Episcopalian Church or the Church of England) from 3002 until May of this year.

[This extra posting is made in the hope that the Royal Commissioners, today, will quiz ex-bishop Slater on the details of when he decided to “resign” his position.]

Slater claims he “resigned” over failings to do with his handling of the abuse allegations. The head of the Anglican Church in Australia, Phillip Aspinall, has previously said he had no power to dismiss Slater, but has implied in the media that his “counseling” had resulted in Slater’s decision. Aspinall said that he urged Slater to resign on 10th May, and that Slater did so on the 17th May of this year.

However, the churchtimes website in the U.K. reported that Slater had previously announced that he intended to retire in November of this year. Co-incidentally, this was the previously-announced month when the Royal Commission would be investigating him. Could there have been a view that Slater should go before this hearing of the enquiry?

To add to the mystery, the bathurstanglican.org website (see below, on page 4) reported, on 13th February of this year, that Slater “had foreshadowed his intention to retire in August 2013, although he will not be formally notifying the Metropolitan Archbishop until May 2013.” The site notes that a “Discernment Board” would meet in August to select a new Bishop.

In the meantime, the Administrator would be Greg Ezzy. Mr. Ezzy was, for ten years, in charge of the North Coast Children’s Home. His wife is the subject of allegations by former residents of the Home, for psychological abuse. The new Bishop, a woman, was announced on the eve of the present hearings, grabbing headlines world-wide and overshadowing reporting of the first day of the hearings, which had focused on the scandalous treatment of victim, “Tommy” Campion, by ex-Bishop Slater.

Both Slater and Aspinall have some explaining to do.

Read more here:

Tomorrow: More from Slater

That’s all I can say

Lewis Blayse (né Lewin Blazevich)


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