The NSW Enquiry into child sexual abuse cover-ups in the Catholic Church’s Newcastle-Maitland diocese has been told by former Pell media man, Fr. Brian Lucas, that mistakes have been made in the past but things are much better now.
It is assumed that he was referring to the handling of victims’ complaints in a transparent manner, and not just that the cover-ups are better implemented now. Given Lucas’ past actions, one cannot be really sure about this.
Maria Gerace, who is the lawyer representing some of McAlinden’s victims at the inquiry, put to Father Lucas that church protocol in 1993 “was a secret process that dealt with the allegations discreetly” which allowed “scandal to be contained in the offices of the church”. Lucas replied: “To some extent, yes. It defies common sense to have the process public.”
Ms Gerace said giving the priests the opportunity to resign and avoid police prosecution “was a great inducement”. Lucas said “in hindsight that might have been erroneous. It might have been better to go to police.”
The enquiry has heard previously of alleged intimidation of victims and their supporters. One man is claimed to have lost his job with the church over his complaints about his son, who was a victim of one priest. Today, the mother of another victim complained of being ostracized, intimidated, verbally abused and having eggs thrown at her house. All of this from virtuous people of God.
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TOMORROW: Why Pell should return to Australia
That’s all I can say
Lewis Blayse (né Lewin Blazevich)