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Written by a Broken Rites Australia researcher.


Police charge another religious Brother with offences against a child

New South Wales Police announced on 23 July 2014 that they have charged a 66-year-old religious Brother regarding indecent assaults of a child, committed 40 years ago. Broken Rites understands that the alleged victim was a pupil at a Marist Brothers boys' school which then existed at Maitland, north of Sydney in the Newcastle region. (Article posted on 23 July 2014.)

The church recruited this child-abuser for training to become a priest

A seminary student, Paul Lane, committed child-sex crimes in the 1970s while he was training to become a Catholic priest in New South Wales. He eventually dropped out of the seminary. Forty years later, on 7 July 2014, a victim obtained justice by getting Lane convicted in court. (Article posted 11 July 2014.)

An ex-priest faces a trial re St Stanislaus College, Bathurst, NSW

A former Catholic priest has been committed to stand trial in the Sydney District Court on 10 counts of indecently assaulting a male. The order, involving former priest Peter John Ryan, 71, now living in western Sydney, was made on 30 June 2014 by a magistrates court. The alleged victim was a student at St Stanislaus College boys' school in Bathurst, New South Wales. (Article updated 7 July  2014.)

The church concealed the crimes of Father Paul David Ryan

Broken Rites Australia is doing further research about how the Catholic Church authorities continually harboured a criminal priest, Father Paul David Ryan, thus enabling him to commit more crimes on more children in more parishes. The church authorities continually concealed Ryan's crimes from the police. Under Australian criminal law, this concealment can itself be a crime — and perhaps, some day, certain powerful people in the church could be prosecuted by the police for this cover-up. (Article updated 11 July 2014).

Child-porn priest retires but gets church accommodation

A senior priest at a prominent Australian Catholic school has admitted accessing and possessing child pornography. Now, in July 2014, a church spokesman has announced that this priest will retire from active ministry. However, the church will continue to give him regular financial support and accommodation. (Article updated 6 July 2014.)

It is never too late to contact the police

Police have charged a 77-year-old man with child-sex offences, allegedly committed while he was working as a Christian Brother in Western Australia more than 40 years ago. In a statement released on 3 July 2014, West Australian Police said that the alleged victim, who was aged seven to eight at the time, attended social events at the Christian Brothers Agricultural School near Tardun, Western Australia, between 1970 and 1971. (Article posted 4 July 2014.)

A priest, 88, is convicted for a 1970s buggery

On 1 July 2014 an Australian jury convicted a Melbourne priest (Father James Henry Scannell, 88) on a charge of buggery, committed against a 12-year-old boy more than 40 years ago. After the assault, the priest required the boy to take part in Confession and ordered him not to tell anybody about the assault, the court was told. The victim (now in his fifties) finally reported this crime to the police after learning that his aunt's funeral in 2010 was to be conducted by this priest. As well as working in this parish, Father Scannell was a "chaplain" for many years for vulnerable people at the Kew Mental Hospital and Children's Cottages in Melbourne. (Article posted 1 July 2014.)

A Catholic bishop is charged with a child-sex offence from 1989

The Catholic Bishop of the Australian Defence Force has been charged by police with a child-sex offence allegedly commited in 1969. Bishop Max Davis, 68, is believed to be the most senior Catholic clergyman (and the first bishop) to be charged by Australian police with a child-sex offence. (Article posted 29 June 2014.)

What did the church leaders know about this priest?

Beginning on Tuesday 24 June 2014, Australia's national child-abuse Royal Commission is holding a public hearing into how the Catholic Church authorities dealt with a priest, John Gerard Nestor, who was convicted by a magistrate in 1997 for the alleged indecent assault of an altar boy. In a higher court, Nestor successfully appealed against this conviction. But the church authorities possessed certain "additional information" about Nestor (not regarding this boy).  Perhaps the Royal Commission might be able to uncover this information. (Article updated 23 June 2014.)

The Marists sent Brother Greg Sutton overseas, avoiding the police

The Marist Brothers headquarters in Sydney put a child-sex criminal, Brother Gregory Joseph Sutton, on a plane to Canada after learning that he was being investigated by New South Wales police, Australia's national child-abuse Royal Commission has been told. The police extradited him back to Australia, where he was jailed for sexual crimes against girls and boys. Questioned at the Royal Commission, senior Marists down-played these crimes as merely "improper conduct" or "moral lapses", rather than as crimes. This strategy helps to protect the Marist organisation from being sued by victims for compensation, a victim's lawyer told the Commission. This strategy can also be an attempt by senior Marists to avoid being accused of concealing a crime. (Article updated 23 June 2014.)

Marist Brothers ignored this abuser. Now they face the Royal Commission

This Broken Rites article tells how the Marist Brothers harboured a child-sex offender (Brother Kostka Chute) for more than 40 years, giving him access to Australian Catholic schoolchildren. Therefore, in 2014, Australia's national child-abuse Royal Commission is holding public hearings to examine why the church authorities sheltered Brother Kostka from the police for so long. (Article updated 10 June 2014.)

Royal Commission learns about Marist Brother Crispin in Sydney schools

Australia's child-abuse Royal Commission has been given information about a senior Marist Brother (Brother "Crispin" Hopson) who worked in Marist schools in New South Wales and Canberra. In many of these Marist communities, he was the "Superior", that is, he was in charge of the other Brothers. If any student or parent complained about sexual abuse by any of  the Brothers at these locations, it was Brother Hopson would receive (and, apparently, down-play) the complaint. (Article posted 22 June 2014.)

Marist Brothers admit that Brother Stephen Farrell was an abuser

At last, the Marist Brothers leadership has been forced (reluctantly) to apologise to victims of Marist Brother Stephen Farrell, child abuser. The Marists allowed this paedophile to teach for many years in New South Wales and Queensland. (Article updated 20 June 2014.)

Ex-priest from Moree/Armidale NSW is mentioned in court again

A former Catholic priest (turning 61 in mid-2014), who is charged with sexual offences against children in towns (including Moree and Armidale) in northern New South Wales, was mentioned in Armidale Local Court again on 4 June 2014, when his case came up for the 14th time. This time, the magistrate again criticised the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions for being extraordinarily show in completing the preparations for a committal hearing. The magistrate demanded that the DPP's office should hurry up. (Article updated 5 June 2014.)

The church was finally forced to apologise to victims of Monsignor Penn Jones

In 1994 Broken Rites began researching the "Very Reverend" Monsignor Penn Jones. Ten years later the Melbourne Catholic Archdiocese was forced to apologise to the monsignor's victims, and more complaints have surfaced in 2009. (This Broken Rites article was first written in 1995; last updated 14 July 2014.)

This victim got his sex-abuse allegations raised in Parliament

In 1963-1970 Christian Brother William Stuart Houston worked at St Augustine's orphanage, Geelong, Victoria. In 1997 the Geelong Magistrates Court ordered Houston to stand trial at the Victorian County Court for sexual offences allegedly committed against a boy at the orphanage in the 1960s. In 1999, a member of the Victorian Parliament made a speech in the Legislative Assembly, telling this boy's story. (Article updated 9 July 2014).

Marist Brothers said they don't have a duty of care to their victims

The Marist Brothers' lawyers have claimed that Catholic religious orders do not owe a duty of care to protect pupils from sexually-abusive religious Brothers, because (unlike lay teachers who are employed on salaries) the Brothers are not, technically, "employees". 

The church protected Father Frank Klep during his life of crime

This Broken Rites article is the most comprehensive account available about how the large Catholic order of Salesian Fathers harboured an Australian paedophile priest, Father Frank Klep, for many years - allowing him to commit sexual crimes against defenceless boys. With help from Broken Rites, some of his victims finally managed to expose Klep and the Salesians during three court cases. Since then, more of his countless victims have contacted the police, and on 26 May 2014 Klep received another jail sentence. (Article updated 26 May 2014.)

A former Catholic Brother in court re a schoolboy in western Sydney

A former Catholic religious Brother, Michael Stanton, 59, has begun appearing in court proceedings in 2014, charged with alleged sex offences at a school in a western suburb of Sydney.

Priest listed for court in western Sydney re an altar boy

A retired senior Catholic priest, Father Richard Cattell, 73, is scheduled soon for proceedings in the Parramatta Local Court in western Sydney. He has been charged with offences allegedly committed against an altar boy in western Sydney between 1984 and 1987. In the early 1990s, Father Cattell became the vicar-general assisting a bishop in the administration of western Sydney's parishes. (Article updated on 17 July 2014.)

Fr Glenn Humphreys is facing a trial in Western Australia

Father Glenn Humphreys, aged 60, a member of the Australia-wide Catholic order of Vincentian Fathers, is scheduled to face a trial in Western Australia later in 2014, charged with child sexual abuse allegedly committed in that state. Father Humphreys has also ministered in other parts of Australia, including St Stanislaus College in Bathurst NSW. In the W.A. court documents, his current address is given as Marsfield in Sydney. The West Australian court charges are confined to alleged incidents in W.A. (Article updated 23 May 2014.)

Fr Glenn Humphreys is charged re St Stanislaus College in NSW

A Catholic priest, Father Glenn Humphreys, aged 60, was charged in Sydney's Burwood Local Court on 23 April 2014 with multiple sexual offences allegedly committed against boys from St Stanislaus College in Bathurst, New South Wales.

Sydney priest Robert Flaherty charged in court

A Catholic priest of the Sydney archdiocese, Father Robert Flaherty, 71, is scheduled for court proceedings in western Sydney in 2014, charged with five counts of indecent assault offences against children dating back to the 1970s. (Article updated 8 June 2014.)

These orphanage boys were abused by the "Christian Buggers"

Child-abuse at four Catholic orphanage-type institutions was so bad (and was so well covered-up) that the Christian Brothers earned a reputation many years ago as the "Christian Buggers", Australia's national child-abuse Royal Commission was told during public hearings in April-May 2014. (Article updated 14 May 2014.)

A victim got this Marist Brother convicted many years later

When Peter Richard Spratt (born 2 August 1937) joined the Marist Brothers, he adopted the religious name "Brother Bartholomew" (called after an ancient saint). But when Brother Bartholomew Spratt committed child-sex crimes in Australian Catholic schools, he showed that he was no saint. He was harboured in the Marist Brothers throughout his long career before finally being brought to justice by one of his earlier victims.

A Jesuit priest pleads guilty to offences against children

A Catholic priest in the Jesuit Order,  Father David Rankin (now aged 79), is pleading guilty to historical acts of indecency on young boys in Sydney. The offences occurred in the 1960s when Rankin was a lay teacher before he joined the priesthood. (Article posted 3 May 2014.)

Mebourne priest Terry Pidoto is charged in May 2014

Terrence Melville Pidoto, aged 69, who has had a long career as a Catholic priest in parishes around Melbourne, was charged in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 1 May 2014 with multiple child-sex offences.  (Article posted 2 May 2014.)

Four victims achieved justice after 40 years, but others missed out

A member of the Catholic order of Christian Brothers, Keith William Weston pleaded guilty in the Melbourne County Court on 29 November 2004 (when he was aged 81) to indecently assaulting male pupils, aged 11 to 14, forty years earlier. Broken Rites helped these victims to obtain justice. Ten years later, in 2014, police were about to charge Weston regarding more of his earlier victims but he died (aged 91), thus evading another conviction. (Article updated 27 May 2014.)

A Christian Brother changes his name after being in jail

A Melbourne court has been told that a former Christian Brother, who spent five years in jail for child-sex offences, has changed his name to avoid publicity. (Article posted 29 April 2014.)

After 50 years, this priest (from NSW) is jailed in Victoria

In 1959-1962, Father James Patrick Jennings began his priestly career, ministering at St Stanislaus College in Bathurst, New South Wales, followed by a church school in northern Victoria in 1963-68 and a parish in Queensland in the 1970s. Half a century later, on 30 April 2014, aged 81, he was jailed for child-sex crimes committed at the Victorian school in the 1960s. (Article updated on 30 April 2014.)

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