Australian inquiry into decades of child sex abuse

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In late 2012, Australia was rocked by fresh allegations of Catholic clergy child sex abuse by whistleblower, New South Wales Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox.


Fox has pursued allegations of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy for more than a decade, and he claims that as his investigations continued, a frightening picture emerged of a widespread cover-up by the Catholic Church of the child sex crimes committed by its clergy.

At the same time as Fox’s investigation, The Newcastle Herald’s senior journalist Joanne McCarthy, had also picked up the scent of a wider conspiracy by senior church officials to conceal sex abuse by its clergy.Fox repeated those claims publicly, and also accused the Catholic Church of deliberately obstructing police investigations, destroying evidence, and protecting paedophile priests, sparking calls for a national inquiry.

Searching for clues – Joanne delved into the case of Father Vincent Ryan – a paedophile priest convicted in 1996.

Her first discovery was a police record of interview with Monsignor Patrick Cotter, who was Maitland’s acting Bishop in the 1970s.

She was stunned to learn Cotter had known for 20 years that Ryan was a paedophile, and that when it was first reported to him by parents of a victim – he had simply shunted the priest interstate – concealing the issue, rather than reporting it to the police.

She then discovered another bishop’s letter, outlining a plan to cover-up the crimes of one of the most dangerous paedophile priests in the Maitland-Newcastle area, Father Denis McAlinden.

Bishop Leo Clarke wrote to McAlinden with an offer – if he agreed to be laicised or, defrocked as a priest, the church would protect him: "Your good name will be protected by the confidential nature of this process."


continue to source article at aljazeera.com

19 COMMENTS

  1. Of course the catholic church will protect its paedophile priests it is all about the religion and the victims can suffer forever, say it everytime on here that this shit hole of a religion needs to be told that harbouring known sex offenders is a very serious criminal offence.

    • In reply to #1 by thebaldgit:

      Of course the catholic church will protect its paedophile priests it is all about the religion and the victims can suffer forever, say it everytime on here that this shit hole of a religion needs to be told that harbouring known sex offenders is a very serious criminal offence.

      true

      i guess it’s so filthy now that whatever hint of crime is discovered they’ll do anything to stop that thread being pulled for fear of what’ll come out. i don’t believe there’s anyone in that organisation at bishop level or above who isn’t guilty of something

  2. How on Earth does an officer of civil law – a D.C.I. or equivalent – in any police force, become to be known as a ‘whistleblower’? W’blowers, in both public and private institutions, are usually suspended or sacked forthwith. Perhaps this RC Head teacher is showing us how not to “blow the whistle”? . . . . .
    “The abuse occurred at St Pius X High School, a Catholic boys’ school in Newcastle. Pirona’s suicide followed about a dozen suicides and many more attempted suicides by former students at the school. Shockingly, many people reported the abuse to the school principal who kept silent, punishing children who dared to complain.”

    • In reply to #4 by memetical:

      How on Earth does an officer of civil law – a D.C.I. or equivalent – in any police force, become to be known as a ‘whistleblower’? W’blowers, in both public and private institutions, are usually suspended or sacked forthwith. Perhaps this RC Head teacher is showing us how not to “blow the whistle”? . . . . .
      “The abuse occurred at St Pius X High School, a Catholic boys’ school in Newcastle. Pirona’s suicide followed about a dozen suicides and many more attempted suicides by former students at the school. Shockingly, many people reported the abuse to the school principal who kept silent, punishing children who dared to complain.”

      In Australia, government employees sign upon entering the public service a document which forbids commenting publicly on the government and organization you belong to. It is up to our unions to speak on our behalf (which they often do poorly for various complicated reasons).

      Over the last 30 years the police forces in Queensland and then NSW and elsewhere (states in Australia) have been rocked by corruption themselves (not related to the churches and pedophiles) in relation to drugs, prostitution etc. The police force during that period and after the corruption and numerous inquiries was hugely damaged so a persistent culture of ‘not talking out of turn’ exists in the police, normal I suppose in many institutions. So while things have been improving in recent decades there is still from the governments point of view and within the police a problem with treating whistle blowers with the enormous respect they deserve.

      What makes this guys courage even more admirable was the fact that he knew his career was effectively over. He had for years been having to make a calculation that – could he do more good in the job or publicly revealing what he knew? The result of him doing this has resulted in this inquiry. He should be named the next Australian of the Year as far as I’m concerned.

      I for one am worried about what will become of the inquiry as it is looking like the government who instituted it will be resoundingly defeated in the next election in about 6 or 7 months time. The government replacing them will be lead by a conservative catholic Tony Abbott. I fear that while an enormous amount of good will be done in revealing the extent to which the church and other institutions have covered up the abuse and been allowed to get away with it, there may be little effective action from the governments side if Abbott is elected PM. Happy to be proven wrong.

  3. But, this kind of stuff doesn’t happen anymore. They’re closely monitoring all their personnel now, and have put strict measures in place to ensure that the law is properly informed.

    Says the church.

    Is there any reason to believe them, other than being a brainwashed adherent already?

    • In reply to #8 by Nodhimmi:

      Not absolutely convinced that religion does “poison everything” but it certainly tries very hard…

      “As Christopher Hitchens unequivocally pointed out “RELIGION POISONS EVERYTHING”.

      • In reply to #9 by Sensible:

        In reply to #8 by Nodhimmi:

        Not absolutely convinced that religion does “poison everything” but it certainly tries very hard…

        “As Christopher Hitchens unequivocally pointed out “RELIGION POISONS EVERYTHING”.

        If the atheism movement is to shed the image that to all intents and purposes it is identical to any religion, it needs to stop referring back to its own sacred documents and using them as the last word in any argument.

        Just because Hitchens apparently said he believed that religion poisons everything is no excuse for us to parrot it as gospel.

        We’re not religious; we’re allowed to question and even disagree with the written works of our finest minds. If The God Delusion or God is Not Great become inviolable, if every time we say “Ah yes, but Dawkins said this… and Hitchens agreed with him; end of story” then atheism will be on its way to becoming a religion.

        I think one of the first signs this is happening is when we start using block capitals in an online discussion to reinforce our argument. SHOUTING DOESN’T MAKE SOMETHING TRUE!

        • In reply to #10 by Katy Cordeth:

          In reply to #9 by Sensible:

          In reply to #8 by Nodhimmi:

          Not absolutely convinced that religion does “poison everything” but it certainly tries very hard…

          “As Christopher Hitchens unequivocally pointed out “RELIGION POISONS EVERYTHING”.

          If the atheism movement is to shed the image that to all intents and purposes it is identical to any religion, it needs to stop referring back to its own sacred documents and using them as the last word in any argument.

          Just because Hitchens apparently said he believed that religion poisons everything is no excuse for us to parrot it as gospel.

          We’re not religious; we’re allowed to question and even disagree with the written works of our finest minds. If The God Delusion or God is Not Great become inviolable, if every time we say “Ah yes, but Dawkins said this… and Hitchens agreed with him; end of story” then atheism will be on its way to becoming a religion.

          I think one of the first signs this is happening is when we start using block capitals in an online discussion to reinforce our argument. SHOUTING DOESN’T MAKE SOMETHING TRUE!

          As much as I’m loathe to agree because these people (Dawkins &Hitchens etc) etc are my heros, we are in danger of making them into secular saints, and every utterance assumes the status of the sacred. I think this is the last thing they would want.

        • Agreed, Katy.

          There is a very fine line between dogma and scripture.

          In reply to #10 by Katy Cordeth:

          In reply to #9 by Sensible:In reply to #8 by Nodhimmi:Not absolutely convinced that religion does “poison everything” but it certainly tries very hard…”As Christopher Hitchens unequivocally pointed out “RELIGION POISONS EVERYTHING”.If the atheism movement is to shed the image that to all intents and purposes it is identical to any religion, it needs to stop referring back to its own sacred documents and using them as the last word in any argument.Just because Hitchens apparently said he believed that religion poisons everything is no excuse for us to parrot it as gospel.We’re not religious; we’re allowed to question and even disagree with the written works of our finest minds. If The God Delusion or God is Not Great become inviolable, if every time we say “Ah yes, but Dawkins said this… and Hitchens agreed with him; end of story” then atheism will be on its way to becoming a religion.I think one of the first signs this is happening is when we start using block capitals in an online discussion to reinforce our argument. SHOUTING DOESN’T MAKE SOMETHING TRUE!

        • In reply to #10 by Katy Cordeth:

          I think one of the first signs this is happening is when we start using block capitals in an online discussion to reinforce our argument. SHOUTING DOESN’T MAKE SOMETHING TRUE!

          Completely agree. Statements in block capitals is my usual way of spotting religious types on discussion forums elsewhere.

          • In reply to #18 by bob_e_s:

            In reply to #10 by Katy Cordeth:

            I think one of the first signs this is happening is when we start using block capitals in an online discussion to reinforce our argument. SHOUTING DOESN’T MAKE SOMETHING TRUE!

            Completely agree. Statements in block capitals is my usual way of spotting religious types on discussion forums elsewhere.

            Yes; but there surely are times when using CAPITALS is OK just as Katy Cordeth demonstrates.

      • In reply to #9 by Sensible:

        In reply to #8 by Nodhimmi:

        Not absolutely convinced that religion does “poison everything” but it certainly tries very hard…

        “As Christopher Hitchens unequivocally pointed out “RELIGION POISONS EVERYTHING”.

        I think the gist is that in an ever evolving society, new avenues of depravity may present themselves. While the church may be slow to take advantage of the opportunity, it resolutely endeavors to make full use.

  4. Now if the church would open up the archives and let the world discover how pervasive this has been all around the world. So far it seems like the English speaking world has been the first to crack … jusr Canada and New Zealand left to go? And for really how long? I think the sexual revolution of the 60′s+ has been implicated. But the story about abuses in the Netherlands went back to WW2. For sure, must have been the war, right? Just how long has this been part of the tradition of the Catholic Church, just how many children have they raped and left to lead tortured, guilt-ridden lives in silence??? This is an institution that should be aborted.

    • In reply to #13 by whiteraven:

      So far it seems like the English speaking world has been the first to crack … jusr Canada and New Zealand left to go?

      And if it’s that bad in otherwise developed nations, how bad could it be elsewhere (Africa, South America…etc)?

  5. Coming apart at the seams. How I’d love to see lengthy jail terms handed out to each and every cover-upper along with any surviving pedos, and the faithful vote with their feet – or is it their knees – and turn their backs on this discredited institution, bankrupted by punitive damages, and effectively disbanded.

    And the Australian Approach then held up as a shining example in how to roll up the rest of this pernicious gang country by country. Go Australia!!!

    If only.

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