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Andrew49
02-07-2010, 09:51 AM
Painful Australian Happenings

A Catholic priest in Australia has been sentenced to nearly 20 years in jail for sex attacks on 25 children over nearly two decades. The sentence was handed down in Sydney's Downing Centre District Court today, with the judge saying many victims were left feeling terrified and Denham himself describing his behaviour as "evil." The 67-year-old was sentenced to a total of 19 years and 10 months. Sydney District Court Judge Helen Syme spent almost three hours detailing the charges Denham had pleaded guilty to, including buggery and multiple counts of indecent assault against boys aged between five and 16 years.

Link (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/asia_pacific/10485407.stm)

Outside court, one of the 39 men who made complaints against Denham, Matthew Oakley, said he was pleased with the sentence.
"My only hope from the result that we have achieved today is that other abused victims have the strength and courage to come forward and achieve justice. Victims of abuse no longer have to hide as there is no shame in this." The mother of another victim, who cannot be identified, said the Catholic Church should be held accountable for the abuse.

BACKGROUND

The church recruited Denham as a trainee priest in the late 1960s and, according to statements made in court, some of his child-sex crimes were committed during his period of training. Denham's superiors were told in the 1970s about what he was doing to children but the complaints were ignored. He was allowed to continue as a priest and was merely transferred to new districts, thereby putting more children at risk. Twenty years later, in the 1990s, a victim prompted the police to charge Denham but, with the help of church resources, Denham managed to beat the charges. In 2000, after police charged Denham again regarding a different set of incidents, a jury convicted him. Despite this conviction, the church continued to use him as a relieving priest in parishes at weekends. In 2006, police investigated more complaints about Denham. Finally, on 8 July 2009, Father John Denham pleaded guilty to sexually abusing dozens of boys during the 1970s and 80s. On 2 July 2010, Denham was sentenced to a total of 19 years and 10 months in jail (with parole possible after 13 years and 10 months). This will make him eligible for release from prison in June 2022, taking into account time already served in custody during his court proceedings.

The case against Denham is one of several engulfing the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese, which has been forced to publicly apologise for a string of child-sex cases.

Captain Con O'Sullivan
02-07-2010, 10:33 AM
Another one down and many to go. After that, their protectors. Well done Oz...

Andrew49
30-05-2011, 08:53 PM
A Christian Brother has been found guilty of sexually abusing 11 children at three schools across Victoria, after six trials over a reign of terror that lasted between 1969 and 1988. Robert Charles Best 70, yesterday pleaded guilty to two sex offences against two children at St Leo's College in Box Hill between 1975 and 1977 and two sex offences against one child at St Joseph's Christian Brothers College in Geelong between 1986 and 1988. Best was the principal of St Alipius Parish School in Ballarat in the 1960s and '70s where he worked alongside notorious pedophile priest Gerard Ridsdale.

He lived next door to the school with Father - now Cardinal - George Pell.

Best's pleas at his seventh trial brought an end to three years of legal drama that costs millions of dollars in taxpayer funds. Attorney-General Robert Clark said last night the law that allowed Best to have his charges heard separately could be changed so it doesn't happen again. Best has been convicted of 27 sex offences, against men who are now aged between 37 and 51. At four of his trials he was found guilty by a jury of 20 counts of indecent assault and one count of aggravated buggery. At another two trials for rape and indecent assault he was acquitted. Yesterday he pleaded guilty to offences against three children. Best was first charged in June 2008.

In a statement yesterday Christian Brothers Oceania said it had offered sincere and unreserved apologies to several former students sexually abused by Best.

Judges ordered Best's victims to endure six separate trials at which he fought the charges at every turn. The delays in bringing Best to justice led one complainant to commit suicide before his case came to trial.

Holly
30-05-2011, 10:02 PM
It is a sad chapter now high on the radar which gives hope that the likes will not happen again.

Captain Con O'Sullivan
30-05-2011, 10:43 PM
Interesting to note that passing description of 'Christian Brothers Oceania' ... looks like the brothers are tying all bad news to the old name for the order which is now creeping in (The Edmund Rice Network). Part of a rebranding exercise which also allows them to shift assets around into new trusts under that name as they have already done in Ireland and are process of doing in North America.

Andrew49
02-06-2011, 10:26 PM
Interesting to note that passing description of 'Christian Brothers Oceania' ... looks like the brothers are tying all bad news to the old name for the order which is now creeping in (The Edmund Rice Network). Part of a rebranding exercise which also allows them to shift assets around into new trusts under that name as they have already done in Ireland and are process of doing in North America.

They did it in Ireland without an eye-lid being batted - and at the time they were accused of the most diabolical crimes against children!

South-west Australia has previously been labelled the paedophilia capital of Australia due to the number of former priests and Christian brothers who have been found guilty of sex offences in the region. In 2006 Paul David Ryan, 64, was sentenced in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to a minimum 12 months' jail for abusing two boys at Penshurst in 1990. Gerald Ridsdale, Bryan Desmond Coffey and former Catholic brother Edward Dowlan, who each served in the Warrnambool area, have all been found guilty of sex charges. In 1994 Ridsdale was sentenced in Warrnambool to 18 years in jail, which was effectively extended by another four years after he was found guilty of another 35 offences in 2006.

Andrew49
04-08-2011, 12:05 PM
A Christian Brother has been found guilty of sexually abusing 11 children at three schools across Victoria, after six trials over a reign of terror that lasted between 1969 and 1988. Robert Charles Best 70, yesterday pleaded guilty to two sex offences against two children at St Leo's College in Box Hill between 1975 and 1977 and two sex offences against one child at St Joseph's Christian Brothers College in Geelong between 1986 and 1988. Best was the principal of St Alipius Parish School in Ballarat in the 1960s and '70s where he worked alongside notorious pedophile priest Gerard Ridsdale.

He lived next door to the school with Father - now Cardinal - George Pell.

Best's pleas at his seventh trial brought an end to three years of legal drama that costs millions of dollars in taxpayer funds. Attorney-General Robert Clark said last night the law that allowed Best to have his charges heard separately could be changed so it doesn't happen again. Best has been convicted of 27 sex offences, against men who are now aged between 37 and 51. At four of his trials he was found guilty by a jury of 20 counts of indecent assault and one count of aggravated buggery. At another two trials for rape and indecent assault he was acquitted. Yesterday he pleaded guilty to offences against three children. Best was first charged in June 2008.

In a statement yesterday Christian Brothers Oceania said it had offered sincere and unreserved apologies to several former students sexually abused by Best.

Judges ordered Best's victims to endure six separate trials at which he fought the charges at every turn. The delays in bringing Best to justice led one complainant to commit suicide before his case came to trial.

A boy aged nine was among numerous victims of paedophile Robert Best, an Australian Christian Brother teacher. Best – who taught at schools throughout Victoria – raped the child in his office. After the assault the boy thought he was going to die, and blacked out. Now it’s been revealed that at least 26 victims of sexual abuse at schools in which Best taught later committed suicide. And here’s the most chilling part of the sickening saga: reacting to a call for a parliamentary inquiry into the suicides, the Bishop of Ballarat, Peter Connors, said such an inquiry would achieve little!

Best will be sentenced on Monday 8 August (http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/catholic-brother-a-sadistic-predator-20110725-1hwm1.html)

Derelict
15-08-2011, 04:58 PM
A boy aged nine was among numerous victims of paedophile Robert Best, an Australian Christian Brother teacher.

It was even worse than that, Andrew.

The full story is only starting to come out now, after Best has been sentenced.

http://brokenrites.alphalink.com.au/nletter/page27.html

Consider the whole thing.

1. Best was not just a Christian Brother, he was a Superior, one of the Officer caste.

2. Others were in on it.

3. The extent of the cover-up - the effort and the money - even for fifteen years when the police and courts were involved.

I'm sure you'll set the thing out better and more fully than I can, but I don't see how anyone can say, as we know they will, that Best and those others were just the few rotten apples that you'll always find in any barrel.

Andrew49
19-09-2011, 09:05 PM
It was even worse than that, Andrew.

The full story is only starting to come out now, after Best has been sentenced.

http://brokenrites.alphalink.com.au/nletter/page27.html

Consider the whole thing.

1. Best was not just a Christian Brother, he was a Superior, one of the Officer caste.

2. Others were in on it.

3. The extent of the cover-up - the effort and the money - even for fifteen years when the police and courts were involved.

I'm sure you'll set the thing out better and more fully than I can, but I don't see how anyone can say, as we know they will, that Best and those others were just the few rotten apples that you'll always find in any barrel.

Slowly but surely the lid is being lifted on these 'Painful' happenings in Australia!

In July 2011, Pope Benedict XVI had publicly expressed his “shame” over the “evils” of clerical child abuse during a visit to Australia, saying he was “deeply sorry” for the abuse of children by predatory priests, and now in September 2011, just two months after the Pontiff’s eyebrow-raising statement, a former Aussie priest has been charged with 60 fresh offences relating to sex assaults on boys while he was working at a Sydney boarding school during the 1970s and 80s.

Interestingly, as an in-depth research conducted by The News International on this subject shows, this particular incident has surfaced hardly four months after the Vatican had issued guidelines for bishops worldwide on May 16, 2011, whereby they were directed to develop “clear and coordinated” procedures for dealing with the sexual abuse allegations by May 2012 and cooperate with the police in investigating allegations of sexual abuse by the clergy, though they were asked not make such reporting mandatory. (Reference: The New York Times edition of May 16, 2011).

This is what the Agence France-Presse (AFP) had reported on the latest Sydney incident:
“Police would not confirm the identity of the man, saying only that they had arrested a 65-year-old on Tuesday (September 13) in southwestern Sydney and that he has since been released on bail.” The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said the suspect was a former Catholic priest who taught at the prestigious St Stanislaus’ College in Bathurst, west of Sydney, in the 1970s and 80s. The college, according to the Paris-based AFP, had made headlines last month after former students came forward alleging they were molested during late-night prayer sessions. The AFP had further stated in its report:
“The former priest has already appeared in Bathurst Local Court in August on 33 other charges relating to sexual assault and gross acts of indecency on juveniles aged between 10 and 18. Reports said his court appearance prompted eight more alleged victims to make further allegations against the former cleric.

Broken Rites are maintaining this Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Stanislaus_College_%28Bathurst%29)

Andrew49
21-09-2011, 09:03 AM
It was even worse than that, Andrew.

The full story is only starting to come out now, after Best has been sentenced.

http://brokenrites.alphalink.com.au/nletter/page27.html

Consider the whole thing.

1. Best was not just a Christian Brother, he was a Superior, one of the Officer caste.

2. Others were in on it.

3. The extent of the cover-up - the effort and the money - even for fifteen years when the police and courts were involved.

I'm sure you'll set the thing out better and more fully than I can, but I don't see how anyone can say, as we know they will, that Best and those others were just the few rotten apples that you'll always find in any barrel.

Best has lodged an appeal against his convictions on the first 21 charges. The Christian Brothers have not expelled Best and they may yet fund his appeal, they are believed to have spent in excess of $1 million defending him in court.

Victims are campaigning for Attorney-General Robert Clark to order an inquiry into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Victoria.

Andrew49
19-05-2012, 09:46 PM
Aaustralia: Sex abuse probes delayed

Police have ruled out asking the State Coroner to reopen any investigations into deaths linked to sexual abuse until after the parliamentary inquiry into sexual abuse by Catholic clergy and other organisations has concluded. The details of suicides of at least 40 people sexually abused by the Catholic clergy in Victoria were revealed by secret police reports in April. Days later, the state government announced it would examine sexual abuse linked to the church and other organisations in an inquiry. The parliamentary inquiry is due to report by April 30 next year.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton had told media that police were expanding their initial report, which had recommended the Coroner examine ''the broader nature of those suicides and their relevance in relation to the Catholic Church''. Last night, a Victoria Police spokeswoman said they were continuing to ''collate information to support an application to the State Coroner. The recently announced parliamentary inquiry may uncover relevant information regarding these matters. Victoria Police will assess any information arising from the inquiry before finalising any applications to the Corner,'' the spokeswoman said.

Coroner's Court spokeswoman Sheree Argento said it was not unusual for such applications to be delayed. ''The police will give it to us when they feel like they've got the appropriate amount of material for the Coroner to consider.''

Unlike some criminal investigations of sexual abuse, there is no time limit on requests for inquests to be reopened.

Andrew49
31-07-2012, 11:15 PM
Senior Catholic priests in child-sex cover-up inquiry

Police investigators are preparing a brief of evidence into the involvement of three of the Catholic Church's most senior members in an alleged child sex abuse cover-up. The priests under investigation are the general secretary of the Australian Bishops Conference, Father Brian Lucas, Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide and retired bishop of Maitland-Newcastle, Michael Malone. A police strike force was formed in late 2010 to investigate whether past and present church leaders had failed to report serial child-sex offender Father Denis McAlinden to police.

The Irish-born priest, who died in 2005, moved to the Maitland-Newcastle diocese in 1949. In 2007 that diocese confirmed McAlinden was a child sex offender who had targeted perhaps hundreds of girls aged four to 12 over four decades, Fairfax Media reports. Several letters have come to light detailing the case. McAlinden was assured in a 1995 letter by then Maitland-Newcastle bishop Leo Clarke that
"your good name will be protected by the confidential nature of this process... (depite) your admission to Father Brian Lucas and other evidence. A speedy resolution of this whole matter will be in your own good interests," the letter reportedly said, going on to urge a prompt defrocking "for the sake of souls and the good of the church."

A follow-up letter weeks later from then Maitland-Newcastle bishop Michael Malone reportedly told McAlinden an ecclesiastical censure would be undertaken
"because of the gravity of the allegations against you (and) the evidence supporting the allegations".

A spokeswoman for Archbishop Wilson - who was at the time responsible for recording statements of victims abused by McAlinden - said it was "not appropriate" to comment on the matter. He reportedly also declined to be interviewed by police. A NSW police spokesman said the strike force had now completed its investigation.

bernadette
01-08-2012, 01:07 AM
It seems to be a never ending horror story. Child sexual and physical abuse perpetrated by RCC clergy and covered up by the RCC. In almost every case I've heard about the coverup caused more children to be abused.

It wouldn't be surprising to find groups of such perverts in RCC diocese they would have gravitated to the parishes most likely to allow and then protect them. It does raise serious questions about the senior clergy who facilitaed the coverup.

Andrew49
23-01-2013, 06:01 PM
The man who is now Australia's most senior Catholic failed to remove an alleged pedophile priest who teachers said posed a danger to children at a Melbourne primary school, a parliamentary inquiry has heard. Cardinal George Pell, who was then a bishop, was told in the early 1990s about Father Peter Searson, who was suspected of sexual molestation and seen visiting the boys toilets several times a day, the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into abuse in religious organisations has heard.

A group of teachers from Holy Family school at Doveton visited Pell, who was then bishop for the southern area of Melbourne, to make the complaint, one former teacher Carmel Rafferty told the inquiry on Wednesday. "The principal authorised the three year five and six teachers to make a deputation to the area bishop for the south eastern area at the time, who was Bishop Pell, to advise him of danger to children and the need to remove the priest," she said. Asked if anything happened after the visit to Pell, Ms Rafferty said she did not hear about anything happening.

The inquiry has previously heard the church took 15 years to deal with Searson, who is now deceased. Ms Rafferty said there was a culture of "collusion, cover up and gross negligence" throughout the Catholic system. A former principal of Holy Family, Graeme Sleeman, also complained about Searson and says the Catholic Church destroyed his name and integrity because of it. Mr Sleeman resigned from the school because nothing was being done about Searson. He said he was unable to get another job as a teacher.

The inquiry also heard former Archbishop of Melbourne Frank Little became hostile and evasive when confronted with an allegation of abuse involving another priest, Father Wilfred Baker. Former priest Phil O'Donnell told the inquiry he became aware Baker was grooming a young boy and alerted his parents. The parents spoke to Archbishop Little about the matter as did a magistrate and a lawyer, Mr O'Donnell said. "It is fair to say that they received a very cold welcome," he said. Mr O'Donnell said the parents described the response from Archbishop Little as "evasive" while a lawyer and magistrate also went and saw the archbishop and he was "hostile" towards them.

Archbishop Little, who died in April 2008, said he did not believe the allegations, Mr O'Donnell told the inquiry. Baker was jailed for four years with a non-parole period of two years in 1999 after he admitted sexually abusing eight boys between the ages of 10 and 12 between 1960 and 1979. Mr O'Donnell said the Archdiocese of Melbourne had known about allegations of sexual abuse by clergy since at least the 1950s.

Former priest Phil O'Donnell said the Archdiocese of Melbourne had known about allegations of sexual abuse by clergy since the 1950s but failed to protect children in its care. He told the inquiry that the Catholic Church is incapable of the radical reforms necessary to resolve child abuse by clergy.

Link (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/catholic-church-incapable-of-child-abuse-reform-says-ex-priest-phil-odonnell/story-fndo2dsc-1226560267348)

Dr. FIVE
15-04-2013, 05:31 AM
Largest judicial inquiry in Australian history on the way. Same old story > http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/101east/2013/04/2013410101055913509.html

Andrew49
15-04-2013, 09:31 AM
Largest judicial inquiry in Australian history on the way. Same old story > http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/101east/2013/04/2013410101055913509.html


Joanne McCarthy 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." At the end of his letter, Bishop Clark urged McAlinden to agree to be defrocked because
“some people are threatening seriously to take this whole matter to the police”. The offer to conceal McAlinden’s crimes was proof of the church’s veil of secrecy and soon Joanne ascertained that the clergy members involved were amongst the most senior in the Australian Catholic church.

What the Australian hierarchy was doing -moving abusers around- was also being done in Canada; what was being done in Canada was also being done in the United States; what was being done in the United States was also being done in Ireland ... in the UK, in Italy, in Germany, in New Zealand, in Brazil, in Argentina, in Poland. Did all these hierarchies have some blinding revelation from on high as to how to deal with child abusers in their ranks - some flash of lightning?, or did instructions come from an even higher place - the Vatican - as to how to conceal and cover-up crimes against children?

In the Irish situation lots of 'shock' and 'horror' from members of the hierarchy was expressed following the release of the Ferns report and ALL the other reports yet to get a privileged seat in an hierarchy you needed to have experience in following orders ..... experience of covering-up crimes against children .... experience in silencing victims and their families.

C. Flower
15-04-2013, 09:46 AM
The 40 deaths by suicide mentioned in a post in this thread is a real reminder of how serious this is and how much damage has been done.

Andrew49
15-04-2013, 10:14 AM
The 40 deaths by suicide mentioned in a post in this thread is a real reminder of how serious this is and how much damage has been done.

Most of the deaths of abuse victims - by suicide or other - have gone unremarked by official Ireland.

bernadette
15-04-2013, 11:42 PM
Most of the deaths of abuse victims - by suicide or other - have gone unremarked by official Ireland.

If you think about it young people were cast upon the world with a poor education, a history of being abused, no family or friends and a fear of the church that should have been their refuge. It would be no wonder if some turned to drink or if some of them and others turned to suicide.

Andrew49
09-08-2013, 11:07 AM
One of the Australian Catholic Church's most prominent and senior figures has admitted he advised other clergy it was a good idea not to take notes of interviews with priests accused of sexual abuse so they couldn't be successfully used in legal action. Father Brian Lucas, a frequent media spokesman for the archdiocese of Sydney and general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference said he had dealt with about 35 accused priests around NSW from 1990 to 1995 when he was part of a team whose job was to confront them and persuade them out of the ministry.

Source (http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/senior-church-figure-advised-clergy-not-to-take-notes-of-interviews-with-accused-priests-20130724-2qiws.html)

A priest, known as Father F, was accused of sexually abusing altar boys in Moree and Parramatta in New South Wales. One of the priest's victims, Damien Jurd, later committed suicide. Three senior priests "investigated" the claims, but no evidence was forwarded to police despite the fact Father F made admissions of serious criminal behaviour in a 1992 meeting with the three officials. One of those officials was Father Brian Lucas who's now the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

When Lucas was asked directly (a couple of years ago) if Father F admitted to molesting five altar boys in Moree around the age of 10 or 11 he replied:

My recollection is not as specific as that. There was a very generalised discussion with him. He was certainly very, very cautious not to incriminate himself and very, very careful not to name any names.
When asked if he wished he'd handled the Father F case differently - that he should have contacted the police:

LUCAS: Look, in hindsight we always learn. There is no doubt about that.
Is that a yes?

Lucas: Well, it is not so much a yes.

Andrew49
09-09-2013, 05:34 PM
With Australia's child sex abuse Royal Commission to begin soon, Dateline's Evan Williams looks at Ireland's inquiry and asks what lessons can be learnt.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdaCvxemYZk

C. Flower
09-09-2013, 10:42 PM
One of the Australian Catholic Church's most prominent and senior figures has admitted he advised other clergy it was a good idea not to take notes of interviews with priests accused of sexual abuse so they couldn't be successfully used in legal action. Father Brian Lucas, a frequent media spokesman for the archdiocese of Sydney and general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference said he had dealt with about 35 accused priests around NSW from 1990 to 1995 when he was part of a team whose job was to confront them and persuade them out of the ministry.

Source (http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/senior-church-figure-advised-clergy-not-to-take-notes-of-interviews-with-accused-priests-20130724-2qiws.html)

A priest, known as Father F, was accused of sexually abusing altar boys in Moree and Parramatta in New South Wales. One of the priest's victims, Damien Jurd, later committed suicide. Three senior priests "investigated" the claims, but no evidence was forwarded to police despite the fact Father F made admissions of serious criminal behaviour in a 1992 meeting with the three officials. One of those officials was Father Brian Lucas who's now the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

When Lucas was asked directly (a couple of years ago) if Father F admitted to molesting five altar boys in Moree around the age of 10 or 11 he replied:

When asked if he wished he'd handled the Father F case differently - that he should have contacted the police:

Is that a yes?


There seem to have been very high levels of suicide amongst people who were assaulted by clergy when they were children. I have read that when children are believed, protected and see that there are consequences for the perpetrator, they can recover well. The deliberate cover ups, swearing children to silence, and intimidating them, or reacting in hysteria, must have done a lot of damage to these children.

bernadette
09-09-2013, 10:56 PM
There seem to have been very high levels of suicide amongst people who were assaulted by clergy when they were children. I have read that when children are believed, protected and see that there are consequences for the perpetrator, they can recover well. The deliberate cover ups, swearing children to silence, and intimidating them, or reacting in hysteria, must have done a lot of damage to these children.

+1