Paedophile net widens
Paedophile net widens
By JOANNE McCARTHY and MICHELLE HARRIS
Jan. 25, 2013, 10:16 p.m.
And then there were cheers.
‘‘That is bloody brilliant,’’ said John Feenan, whose son Daniel’s evidence about Fletcher’s crimes put the priest in jail, where he died in 2006.
‘‘Our family has always believed the church hierarchy knew Fletcher was a risk around children, which is why he was moved. Bishop Leo Clarke and others knew.
‘‘It’s my birthday today, and that’s the best present I’ve had in years.’’
Peter Gogarty called it ‘‘a wonderful, wonderful day’’, after years of guilt that he could have protected other boys, including Daniel Feenan, if he had reported Fletcher’s child sex offences against him.
‘‘If people in the church knew about Jim Fletcher – and I know they did – then they should have done something about him. But they didn’t, and now people are finally being called to account,’’ Mr Gogarty said.
The NSW Special Commission of Inquiry, headed by Deputy Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen, SC, was already investigating matters relating to another Hunter paedophile priest, Denis McAlinden, after allegations raised by Hunter Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox.
The inquiry has been extended by six months to the end of September. Public submissions have also been extended until March 1.
The first hearing is on February13. Further dates, including hearings in Newcastle, will be advised. Ms Cunneen will report to the government by September30. She encouraged people and organisations with information to come forward.
‘‘I am acutely aware of the sensitivities of the issues before the inquiry and the intense public interest in the final report,’’ Ms Cunneen said.
‘I would like to take the opportunity to assure those affected that we will do whatever we can to ensure that anybody who has information relevant to the inquiry will be heard.’’
The changes authorise the commission to share information with the national Royal Commission into Child Abuse, including referring evidence.
Posted on January 26, 2013, in Child Sex Abuse, Clergy Abuse, Clergy Sex Abuse, Pope Benedict, Pope Benedict XVI, Priest Child Sex Abuse, Religion, Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church Sex Abuse and tagged Bishop Leo Clarke, child abuse, child molestation, child rape, child sex abuse, clergy abuse, crimes against children, Deputy Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox, Father Denis McAlinden, Father Jim Fletcher, New South Wales, NSW Special Commission of Inquiry, pedophile, Priest Denis McAlinden, Priest Jim Fletcher, priest rape, priest sex abuse, religion, roman catholic church, roman catholic church sex scandal, roman catholic clergy, roman catholics, Royal Commission into Child Abuse. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.