Ex Qeensland priest on almost 60 sex charges
Ex Qld priest on almost 60 sex charges
By Ed Jackson and Tony Bartlett
From: AAP March 12, 2013 5:29PM
BRISBANE’S Catholic archdiocese has reaffirmed what it says is its intolerance of sexual abuse after a retired Catholic priest was charged on 60 counts of sexually abusing children in Queensland.
The archdiocese says while it could not comment on the specific case in any way, in view of the upcoming royal commission into child sexual abuse, it would repeat the church’s stance on the issue.
“Any person raising allegations of abuse against church personnel is strongly encouraged to contact the police,” the brief statement reads.
The 77-year-old priest, who cannot be named and whose address is given as Logan, south of Brisbane, is accused of indecently dealing with children in the Brisbane, Logan and Gold Coast areas between 1977 and 1988.
He’s been charged with 57 counts of indecent treatment of children and one of common assault.
He was not required to appear when his case was mentioned in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
The matter was adjourned until May 13.
Broken Rites, a group that supports victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, said the man had been a priest since 1960.
Outside the court, lawyer Jim Coburn told reporters his client was ill and was shocked and upset about the charges.
“We will wait for a full brief of evidence before deciding whether to challenge the charges,” he said.
“Obviously he’s concerned. He’s looking forward to his day in court.”
Mr Coburn said his client was in hospital but hoped to be able to attend the next court hearing.
One victim of the alleged abuse, “Sarah”, spoke to reporters outside the court.
She said she and five brothers and sisters were abused over a 15-year period when they were pupils at a Catholic school.
“I never thought it would ever get to court,” she told reporters.
“It’s just been a big cover-up and a big hush-hush through the whole Catholic education system.”
Sarah said her own mother told her to forgive her abuser because “that was the Catholic way” to do things.
“They just seem to have passed the situation on and don’t seem to care about the children that are hurt in the process,” she said.
“The children were the victims and I think that’s been the hardest thing for me and for lots of other people to have to deal with – the support went to him and not to us.”
She said she would return to court when the matter resumed in May.
Posted on March 13, 2013, in Child Sex Abuse, Clergy Abuse, Clergy Sex Abuse, Priest Child Sex Abuse, Religion, Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church Sex Abuse and tagged Archdiocese of Brisbane, Beenleigh Magistrates Court, Brisbane Australia, Broken Rites, Queensland priest. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.