More Catholic Church Sex Abuse cover-up allegations
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Hot on the Lynn case in the US where there has been a successful prosecution against a senior church official for failing to report child abuse we now have more Australian cover-up allegations.
The mother whose son was sexually assaulted by a Catholic teacher in the 1970s has disputed a Christian Brothers version of its handling of the matter and backed calls for a Royal Commission into child sex abuse in the Catholic Church.
She denied contact with Brother Anthony Peter Whelan, the principal of St Patrick's College, Sutherland, in 1978 after her son, then aged 13, told Brother Whelan he was sexually assaulted by a teacher, Thomas Keady. She further disputed assertions by the Christian Brothers last week that Brother Whelan had talked with parents about the Keady allegations, saying ''we had no liaison with him whatsoever''.
Her account also contradicted Brother Whelan's signed statement to a church-commissioned investigator in November 2010 that he advised students to inform their parents because they ''had the right to take the matter up with the police''.
The son, now 46, of Sydney, told the Sydney Morning Herald he intended to lodge a formal complaint with the NSW Police concerning Brother Whelan's failure to report the matter. ''I expressly remember I was called into his office out of class and questioned,'' he said. ''The first question was 'Does anyone know about this?' and 'Have you told your parents?'
Read more here.
The case has similar echoes for those who have had similar unfortunate experiences. The abuse is reported but inadequately acted upon. Frequently the alleged abuser has been moved on, and as far as the authorities were concerned that was the end of the matter. It has been literally a case of sweeping the issue under the carpet with no thought for the victims or others who were being put at risk.
Those in authority who failed to report alleged abusers to the police in my opinion may suffer a similar fate to William Lynn in the US. He was aware and a court found that he was in a position to act, and that meant report to the police. I see no reason why an official who has the power to act but fails to do so cannot be prosecuted for perverting the course of justice (see my blog here)
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Specialist Abuse Solicitor