Denis Hart, Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne (see previous postings), has responded to questioning by the Victorian Parliamentary enquiry as to why it took him 18 years to move to laicize (defrock) a convicted paedophile priest. His reply? “Better late than never.”
The good Mr. Hart made a point of saying he had not been coached in media relations for his appearance before the enquiry. One then wonders why he has a “communications director” who is paid about $180,000 a year. His whole testimony was a PR disaster, especially since he is a member of the PR unit the Catholic Church set up early in the year to deal with the fall-out from the Royal Commission (see previous posting).
He must be a nightmare for the poor PR person he employs, and the PR firm, Royce Communications, the Catholic Church retains. Remember his response to a victim a while back (see previous posting)? It was “go to Hell, bitch”. PR101? Fail!
Of course, he did follow the usual script for such appearances fairly well (see previous posting) – i.e., apologise, express horror, say things are good now, etc. Hart even improved on the Bishops from Ballarat who preceded him at the enquiry. He not only laid the blame on his predecessor, Archbishop Little, that predecessor is conveniently dead.
Still waiting for some response about freeing victims from confidentiality clauses, perhaps with a letter similar to the above mock-up about his stuff-up.
TOMORROW: The North Coast Children’s Home
That’s all I can say
Lewis Blayse (né Lewin Blazevich)