Ex-Bishop of Grafton removed from holy orders
A FORMER bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton has been removed from holy orders on the recommendation of an independent Professional Standards Board.
Keith Slater had been Bishop of Grafton for 10 years until his resignation in May, 2013.
The deposition means Mr Slater no longer holds any ordained position, role or status within the Anglican Church of Australia and returns to being a lay member of the church.
The recommendation follows a hearing by the Board, headed by former Supreme Court judge, the Hon. Mr Moreton Rolfe QC.
The hearing related to the diocesan response to allegations of abuse at the North Coast Children's Home in Lismore during the period 1940-1980 and claims for compensation.
The hearing followed findings by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and evidence given at the hearing by Mr Slater.
The Board's recommendation was directed to the Diocesan Bishop, the Right Reverend Dr Sarah Macneil.
Dr Macneil adopted the recommendation and informed Mr Slater of his removal, or deposition, from holy orders.
Under church law there is no avenue of appeal.
The choice of recommendations available to the Board varied from counselling to loss of all standing as an ordained person within the Anglican Church of Australia.
Earlier this year a former Registrar of the Diocese, Patrick Comben, also was removed from holy orders following his appearance at the Royal Commission investigating issues relating to the children's home.