maandag, maart 28, 2016

Judge refuses church black-out on names: diocese loses argument in legal case over paedophile priest

A NSW Supreme Court judge has criticised Maitland-Newcastle Catholic diocese for blacking out the names of church officials who knew about a Hunter paedophile priest. A woman is suing the diocese.

March 25, 2016,
Newcastle Herald

A NSW Supreme Court judge has rejected a Catholic Church application to suppress the names of senior church officials with knowledge of a notorious Hunter paedophile priest, in a woman’s case that the church should have stopped him from raping her from the age of five.
Justice Desmond Fagan criticised Maitland-Newcastle diocese for providing the woman with church documents about paedophile priest Denis McAlinden with the names of church officials blacked out, including a 1976 letter from the late Monsignor Patrick Cotter in which the monsignor acknowledged McAlinden’s “inclination… towards the little ones”.
In the letter Cotter told incoming Bishop Leo Clarke that McAlinden had “an inclination to interfere with young girls”. Cotter told the bishop he put the allegation to McAlinden who “agreed it is a condition that had been with him for many years”.
Cotter's letter included that McAlinden held a strong wish to depart for Geraldton "because it would afford a good cover-up for his resigning the parish”.
The woman suing the estate of the late Leo Clarke and the trustees of Maitland-Newcastle diocese alleges she was sexually abused by McAlinden between 1974 and 1984, from the age of five.
“This letter, given its date towards the beginning of the period in which the (woman) complains she was sexually abused, is very close to the heart of the (woman’s) case,” Justice Fagan said.
He rejected the diocese’s argument Cotter’s name and those of others in the 1976 letter should have been blacked out before they were produced to the woman.
Justice Fagan said he had not gained any understanding how the diocese “could have thought it would be a sufficient compliance with the subpoena to have produced this letter with the name of its author obscured”.
“It is important to the plaintiff's case to try to show that the late Bishop Leo Clarke and the diocese breached alleged duties of care to protect infant parishioners against a man whom the plaintiffs allege was a rampant paedophile.”
“I will not make any order to suppress or restrict the publication of the names of these signatories, all of them church officials,” he said.He ordered the diocese to supply more than 90 documents to the woman with all names shown, including complaints from victims and others, and communications between church officials about McAlinden over decades.
In a response to the woman’s statement of claim the diocese denied that McAlinden had “a high degree of power” over the child at the time she was allegedly raped.


Broken Rites exposes a cover-up: How the church  concealed a priest's crimes

Broken Rites has revealed how a Catholic Church leader, Monsignor Patrick Cotter, covered up the crimes of one of Australia's worst pedophile priests, Father Vincent Gerard Ryan.

BRA Broken Rites Australia - researching the Catholic cover-up

Ryan was a priest in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese in New South Wales. By 1997, he had been jailed for a total of 16 years (with a minimum of 11 years) for sexually assaulting boys in his parishes.
During their investigation of Ryan, police learned that Ryan's earliest crimes (in the 1970s) had been covered up by Monsignor Cotter (the vicar-general of the diocese), who was effectively the acting bishop of the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese up to June 1976.
Bishop Leo Clarke took over the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese from Monsignor Cotter in June 1976. Clarke, who continued the cover-up, remained bishop until 1995 and died in 2006.
In 1996, police prepared a brief of evidence to prosecute Monsignor Cotter on charges of having concealed Father Ryan's serious crimes.
In 1996, Broken Rites learned about Monsignor Cotter's possible charges while we were interviewing police officers about Ryan's charges.
Eventually, the case against Monsignor Cotter did not proceed to court, mainly because the Director of Public Prosecutions considered that Cotter (aged 82 in 1996) was too elderly to prosecute.
Broken Rites kept its notes about Cotter. On 10 September 2007, we posted some material about Father Ryan our website, and (for the first time) we published a mention of Monsignor Cotter's cover-up. Our website article was noticed by the Newcastle Herald, which phoned us to ask about the Cotter angle.
After being briefed by Broken Rites, the Herald obtained the 1996 police files on the Ryan case. These files confirmed the Broken Rites article about Cotter's cover-up.
On September 22, 2007, the Herald began publishing articles, by reporter Joanne McCarthy, greatly expanding the Broken Ritesinformation about Ryan and Cotter.
Following are the Newcastle Herald articles in September 2007.

"I decided to say nothing": Monsignor Cotter

Newcastle Herald

Saturday 22 September 2007

The former acting Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle Catholic diocese, Monsignor Patrick Cotter, orchestrated a cover-up of the activities of pedophile priest Vince Ryan for nearly two decades, admitting as early as 1975 that he had "decided to say nothing" despite repeated allegations against the priest.
So serious were allegations of a cover-up against Monsignor Cotter that he was interviewed by police in 1996, along with Bishop Leo Clarke.
Monsignor Patrick Cotter and Monsignor Alan Hart, among others, shared the knowledge. Some expressed their concern that victims who had contacted the Church would take their complaints to police. "

Geen opmerkingen: