Posts Tagged The Australian
The most senior Catholic cleric in the world to be charged with concealing the child-sex-abuse offences of another priest will face a two-week hearing starting today (Nov. 28 in Australia).
“In what is seen as a test case for the potential prosecution of others accused of not disclosing such crimes, the Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Edward Wilson, faces up to two years in jail if convicted of ‘concealing a serious indictable offence.’
“It is alleged the 67-year-old had information he knew or believed about Hunter Valley priest James Fletcher that he failed to pass on to investigating police between April 22, 2004, when Fletcher was charged with child sex offences, and July 7, 2006, when Fletcher died in jail. Prosecutors say Archbishop Wilson, a former president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, knew Fletcher had abused a 10-year-old boy in 1971 but failed to notify police. He has denied the allegation.
“Since he was charged in March 2015, Archbishop Wilson has made three attempts to have the charge against him dismissed or permanently stayed …”
By Sam Buckingham-Jones, The Australian — Read more …
Catholic Church’s ‘pontifical secret’ stops disclosure of sex abuse allegations, expert says / The Guardian
The Catholic church’s ‘pontifical secret’ rule is still preventing bishops from disclosing child sexual abuse allegations in some states, an expert has said.
“he royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse on Thursday (Feb. 9) began to examine how canon law contributes to the secrecy surrounding child abuse within the Catholic church.”
By Christopher Knaus, The Guardian — Click here to read the rest of this story. Also of interest, “Vatican enforces Church ‘secrecy,’ royal commission hears,” By Rhian Deutrom, The Australian
Australian police complicit with Catholic Church in covering up clergy sexual abuse of minors / The Australian
The extent of Victoria Police complicity in covering-up child abuse by clergy in the scandal-plagued diocese of Ballarat has been detailed by former senior members of the force who shunned the influence of the so-called Catholic Mafia.
“An investigation by The Australian has confirmed extensive evidence of the force actively shielding wrongdoing and perverting the course of justice by forcing the transfer of a notorious clergyman rather than prosecuting him.
“The details of how the late Monsignor John Day abused hundreds of children in the 1960s and 70s but was protected by the force — and the church — are outlined in a new podcast examining the rarely-discussed fact that police worked with the church hierarchy to protect offenders like him.”
By Peter Hoysted and John Ferguson, The Australian — Click here to hear the podcast “Ballarat’s Children.”
A senior Catholic Church official is potentially facing a historic criminal prosecution for allegedly covering up child sex abuse committed by a priest, after a report detailing evidence against the official was referred to the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions.
“The confidential report, produced by a special commission of inquiry, was referred to the independent prosecutor’s office over the weekend by the NSW government, which received the document on Friday (May 30).”
By The Australian — Click here to read the rest of this story.
The Roman Catholic Church clergy sexual abuse scandal in Australia continues to prompt calls for reform, particularly since the beginning earlier this year of the Australian national royal commission inquiry. Now, two former Australian bishops have joined Emeritus Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Sydney Geoffrey Robinson to seek reforms and to promote a Vatican III to look at the structure of Church.
A group of rebel Catholic bishops have today (June 4) launched a petition to tell the people at the top – the Pope and the Vatican – to act to stop the abuse of children within the church. Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, emeritus auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Sydney, said the national royal commission into institutionalized child sex abuse could bring healing and change laws but it could not force the church hierarchy to make fundamental changes.” From story by Janet Fife-Yeoman, The Daily Telegraph, “Catholic Bishops Launch Appeal to Church for Action on Child Abuse,” as the story appeared in The Australian — Click here to read the entire article.
National Catholic Reporter columnist Jamie Manson interviewed Bishop Robinson several days before his announcement of his online petition for an ecumenical council and a new book.
Robinson, a retired auxiliary bishop from Sydney, created the petition in conjunction with the release of his latest book, For Christ’s Sake: End Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church…for Good. The book, like the petition, calls on the church hierarchy to confront the systemic causes, like moral immaturity and the celibate culture, that have contributed both to the abuse and to the bishops’ woefully inadequate response to the crisis.” Read Ms. Manson’s entire interview by clicking here.
The Australian media have covered the continent’s child sexual abuse scandal extensively. Here are links to a couple of additional news stories about Bishop Robinson’s petition and book: