Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Rev. Pat Comben resigns from all duties to Anglican Church

According to The Australian on 25 November 2013, former Clarence Valley Shire councillor and former registrar of the Grafton Diocese, Rev. Pat Comben has resigned from the Anglican priesthood:

He said on Monday he was quitting because history is being re-written by some members of the church.
Mr Comben said he had signed the letter of holy orders relinquishment outside the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse on Friday. That was just before he took the stand to give evidence into the diocese's handling of allegations by former residents of the home.
"Fifty years in the Church and I do not know if I can even say I am a Christian," said Mr Comben outside the commission on Monday after he had completed two days of evidence.

By 7pm his resignation "minutes before" he was due to give evidence before the Royal Commission was confirmed in an ABC News broadcast.

Caught out in what appears to be a second instance of failure to report, one suspects the Anglican Church may have been grateful for this resignation.


Mr Comben testified that he did not know why he asserted that ‘we’ know something. He said only he knew things and he erred in asserting that Cabinet had knowledge of what he knew….
He said that he had no specific knowledge about any matters involving child abuse.  Over some period of time he had received complaints at his electoral office about things that had allegedly occurred at the Sir Leslie Wilson Youth Centre, he had received complaints from homeless youths who had were detained at the John Oxley Youth Centre and had received ‘low grade scuttlebutt’ from some staff about children being inappropriately treated or inappropriately punished. He said that it was information of this nature which he had in mind when he referred to ‘child abuse’ in the statement broadcast in 1999. [State of Queensland,3(e) Report: Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, June 2013]


The Royal Commission into child abuse has heard a former Anglican Church official responsible for responding to historic abuse claims did not pass on allegations to police.
The former registrar of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton, Pat Comben, today took the stand for a second day at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Mr Comben, who had previously served as Queensland education minister under premier Wayne Goss, was the first to receive claims about the North Coast Children's Home at Lismore.
He has faced intense scrutiny about the evidence given to the commission by former residents of the home about the physical and sexual abuse they suffered between the 1940s and 1980s.
Witnesses at the commission last week criticised Mr Comben's handling of the allegations and subsequent negotiations for compensation, with his actions described as cruel and inappropriate.
Today counsel assisting the commission Simeon Beckett questioned Mr Comben about his actions.
"You were in possession of serious allegations of child sexual abuse made against a number of people, some named, some unnamed," Mr Beckett said.
"You did not provide that information to police. Why was that?" 
"I have no idea," Mr Comben said....[ABC News,25 November 2013,Anglican Church official Pat Comben quizzed in Royal Commission over response to child sex abuse at North Coast Children's Home]

"I became aware that (a convicted pedophile) Reverend Kitchingman, as he was, was still in the stud book...
 Mr Comben also told the commission that he subsequently took no disciplinary action against Reverend Kitchingman or another alleged pedophile priest at the home, Campbell Brown.
"I did nothing at all (about Kitchingman)," he told the commission. "I think we were too busy to take him on."

[The Australian,25 November 2013,I'm not sure I'm still a Christian, Anglican priest Pat Comben says]

* Day One (22 November 2013) of Mr. Comben’s evidence to the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses To Child Sexual Abuse,pp 64-115
* Day Two (25 November 2013) of Mr. Comben’s evidence to the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses To Child Sexual Abuse will be found here when transcribed.

1 comment:

John Fraser said...

Looks like Comben would rather resign from the church than stay and face up to his mistakes.

No surprise there .... because its all they ever do.

Export the problem.
Pretend there is no problem.
Blame someone else.
Feign ignorance.