Church

Slipper Quits as Chancellor of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (TAC)

The Australian:

Stood-aside Speaker Peter Slipper has resigned from his role as chancellor of the Traditional Anglican Communion in the wake of allegations he sexually harassed a male adviser and misused taxpayer funds.

In a letter to parliament’s Registry of Members’ Interests, dated August 8, Mr Slipper, who is an ordained priest, writes that he has stepped down from the role.

“I advise that I have resigned as chancellor of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (Traditional Anglican Communion),” Mr Slipper wrote. “Would you please acknowledge receipt in due course.”

Mr Slipper’s move follows a request in April by the Australian leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion, John Hepworth, for him to stand aside while the allegations made by staffer James Ashby were investigated.

As chancellor of the breakaway TAC, Mr Slipper, who has denied all the claims made against him, is the chief legal adviser to Archbishop Hepworth.

“It is right for anyone accused of serious misconduct in public life, whether in church life or political life, to stand aside until the processes of justice reach a conclusion,” Archbishop Hepworth said on April 22.

“Ministers of the crown and cardinals of the church have followed this sound principle in recent years in Australia; otherwise, the integrity of our core institutions is eroded, and our expectations of public morality further decay.”

Last year, Mr Slipper backed the move by the TAC to join the Catholic Church.

Deputy Speaker Anna Burke yesterday presided over the first day of parliament in the spring session, with Mr Slipper still stood-aside pending the outcome of an Australian Federal Police investigation and the sexual harassment claims in the Federal Court.

The AFP last month completed its formal criminal investigation into allegations the Sunshine Coast MP and Liberal National Party defector misused Cabcharge dockets and handed it over to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions for assessment.

The CDPP is yet to make a decision on whether to proceed with the case.

Gillard government ministers have been criticised by the Coalition for prejudging Mr Ashby’s claims that Mr Slipper sexually harassed him, by publicly outlining key planks of the commonwealth’s defence before they have been heard in the Federal Court.

The commonwealth’s defence was dealt a blow last month when Federal Court judge Steven Rares ruled that its allegations of a political conspiracy prevented Mr Ashby from having to make a submission on the allegations in the civil case, on the grounds he could incriminate himself.

For info: A new Chancellor of the Diocese was already appointed as of last month, Dr Sandra McColl.

 

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5 thoughts on “Slipper Quits as Chancellor of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (TAC)

  1. An Ad Clerum distributed amongst Australian TAC clergy advised that Mr Slipper together with his former Bishop Ordinary, Bishop Hepworth, have not held any office in the hierarchy of the TAC or ACCA as of 14 May 2012. The licence to officiate as a priest issued to Bishop Hepworth by ACCA had also been suspended by the ACCA Diocesan authorities pending the outcome of the Tribunal called by Archbishop Prakash. Neither Hepworth nor Slipper may dispense sacraments or preach in an ACCA parish at this time.

  2. The Ad Clerum to which you refer is that distrubted by a person who claims to be the Acting Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion and claims also to be Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of India.

    But, according to the web site of the Anglican Church of India the Primate of that Church is a Dr. Stephen Vattappara. It seems from what documents are available that the Supreme Court of India has not yet finally decided who is entitled to the office claimed by two different clerical gentlemen.

    Ignoring Mr Hepworth for the moment, is the only remaining Bishop of the ACCA David Robarts and has he indicated his intentions?

  3. No Sir, you might read the comment again. Reference is made to ACCA Diocesan authorities.
    The Acting Primate of the TAC has no locus standi to interfere in ACCA matters UNLESS he is specifically petitioned to investigate matters of concern in the ACCA, or for that matter, any member church. Furthermore, the Acting Primate of the TAC happens to be the Metropolitan of the TAC member church in India, which is not the same continuing church as the ACC, Second Province. The office held by Bishop Prakash in the TAC is not in dispute. As for Bishop Robarts: I shall not presume to speak on his behalf. He is quite capable of voicing his own intentions, and more eloquently than anyone else could think to do, at that.

    1. As I understand it final resolution of the issue as to which ecclesial body is entitled to call itself the Anglican Church of India might take many years to resolve – but no matter.

      One does, however, get the impression that litigation is quite a feature of life in many a continuing Anglican environment.

      For myself, I am usually (not always) prepared to give any clergyman of a non Catholic Christian body the title he thinks himself entitled to as a matter of common courtesy even if I am unable to accept that objectively the person may not have the clerical posiiton he thinks he has.

      But do I take it that Bishop Robarts is the only remaining ACCA bishop and that he has not pronounced on what his position is by reference to the Portsmouth Declaration and Anglicanorum Coetibus?

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