At last, in September 2014, a victim (John Parmeter) has spoken publicly about how he was sexually abused for years by a prominent Australian priest, Father Peter Brock, beginning at the age of nine in 1968. The Catholic Church culture of silence blocked John from complaining until 2007 when he was aged nearly 50 and, by then, the church's cover-up had damaged John's life. In 2008 John received a written apology from the priest and later a financial settlement from the church. But the church authorities still praised Father Brock and elevated him to a prominent national role, thereby making John Parmeter feel abused again by the continuing cover-up. John's public statement in September 2014 exposes the church's cover-up, thereby helping other victims. (Article updated 22 September 2014.)
A Christian Brother charged with the indecent assault of boys while he was a teacher in New South Wales, is likely to plead guilty, a court has been told. Brother David Standen, 65, a senior member of the Catholic order of Christian Brothers, has been charged regarding his time as a teacher at St Patrick's College, Goulburn, in southern NSW, three decades ago. (Article updated 17 September 2014.)
Catholic church leaders have recently defended the church's ban on married priests. But priests can have private relationships (either "gay" or "straight") if this is hidden from the public. For example, Father John O'Callaghan, of Melbourne, had a relationship with a woman, who gave birth to Father O'Callaghan's two children. The private life of Fr John O' Callaghan is no secret among the Melbourne clergy of his generation. (Article updated 6 September 2014.)
On half a dozen occasions during 2013 and 2014, a Queensland magistrate granted an adjournment to a retired Catholic priest, Father Dermot Casey, who had been charged with sexual offences against ten children, including girls and boys. The defence lawyers kept producing medical certificates saying that the priest (aged 78 in 2014) was not well enough to come to court. Now FatherCasey has died, thus defeating his victims. (Article updated 28 August 2014.)
In two court cases in 2014 a lay teacher, Alan James Pollock, 60, has pleaded guilty to committing sexual offences against children at two Catholic schools in western Sydney in the 1980s. One school was a Catholic boys' college, where Pollock was acting as a relief teacher, while the other was a parish primary school for girls and boys. (Article posted on 2 September 2014.)
A former Australian Catholic bishop has confirmed that he appointed a priest (Father Guy Hartcher) to administer a parish after the church had paid a $40,000 settlement involving the priest. The payout went to a former pupil, on condition that he did not tell the police about the alleged abuse.
In 1995, Broken Rites revealed the story of Catholic priest Father Jack Gubbels, who was transferred from Melbourne to Queensland, where he died while police were seeking to interview him about child-sex allegations in Melbourne. In 2014, Broken Rites has received a report of yet another Melbourne victim who has recently come forward with a complaint about Father Gubbels. (Article updated 27 August 2014.)
Father Glenn Humphreys, aged 61, a member of the Australia-wide Catholic order of Vincentian Fathers, has been convicted by a jury in Western Australia for sexual abuse 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 was given as Marsfield in Sydney. (Article posted 22 August 2014.)
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.
On 22 August 2014, the Sydney District Court began holding pre-sentence proceedings for notorious pedophile Catholic priest John Sidney Denham. Prosecutors are urging the court to add more jail time to Denham's previous 13-year sentence. This Broken Rites article gives the background, including about how Broken Rites helped the victims. (Article updated 22 August 2014).
This Broken Rites article is the most comprehensive account available about a Melbourne Catholic priest, Father James Scannell, who has been jailed in 2014 for raping a 12-year-old boy. After the rape (in the early 1970s), the priest subjected the boy to the Catholic ritual of "Confession" and ordered the boy never to tell anybody about what had happened. Intimidated by the church's authority, the boy obediently kept this "secret of the Confessional". The church's code of silence damaged the victim's life and it took him forty years to bring the priest to justice — in 2014. (Article updated 10 August 2014.)
Beginning on 18 August 2014, Australia's national Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is examining how the Catholic Church's victims have been treated (or mis-treated) in the Melbourne diocese. The church offers a relatively small settlement to victims, for which the victims must sign away their legal right to sue the church for a proper amount. One family who managed to defeat the church's tactic are Chrissie and Anthony Foster (two of their young daughters had been abused by Melbourne priest Father Kevin O'Donnell). This Broken Rites article tells how the church covered up for Father Kevin O'Donnell while he abused countless Melbourne children during his 50 years in the priesthood. (Article updated 17 August 2014.)
Research by Broken Rites has revealed how the Catholic Church harboured this abusive priest, Father Victor Gabriel Rubeo, for three decades while he committed child-sex crimes in the Melbourne archdiocese. Broken Rites first exposed Rubeo in the 1990s, prompting some more of Rubeo's victims to contact Broken Rites. In August 2014, Australia's national Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is receiving more evidence about the church's cover-up of this priest and his crimes. Rubeo (pronounced "roo-BAY-oh") wasborn in 1933 and was ordained as a priest in 1959; he died in 2011. (Article updated on 16 August 2014.)
In a public hearing of Australia's national child-abuse Royal Commission in August 2014, one of the cases being examined is that of the notorious Melbourne priest Michael Charles Glennon. The Commission is receiving evidence from one of Glennon's many victims. Thanks to Broken Rites and the Victoria Police, Glennon was facing more criminal charges when he died in jail on New Year's Day in 2014. (Article updated 17 August 2014.)
Broken Rites helped the Australian Broadcasting Corporation with research for a Four Corners television program, which was broadcast on Monday 11 August 2014. The program is about how the Catholic Church in Australia tries to cover up its child-sex abuse - and how the church avoids paying full compensation to victims. This article gives links to some of the relevant Broken Rites articles which helped Four Corners. We also give a link where you can watch this episode (entitled "In the Name of the Law") on the Four Corners website. (Article updated on 16 August 2014.)
A former Catholic priest, from Moree and Armidale in northern New South Wales, has pleaded Guilty to 47 sexual-assault charges. The offences were committed in the 1970s and 1980s against eight victims from Moree and Armidale, including five boys and three girls. The guilty pleas were submitted to a magistrate in Armidale Local Court on 7 August 2014. The sentencing process is scheduled to be held soon by a judge in a higher court, the New South Wales District Court. The ex-priest is pleading Not Guilty to certain other charges. (Article updated 9 August 2014.)
Here is the Broken Rites research about paedophile priest Father John Stockdale. In September 2011, Archbishop John Hepworth alleged that, at age 15 in 1960, he was abused by John Stockdale in Adelaide. In 1995 Fr Stockdale was found dead in a sex cubicle in a males-only club in Melbourne.
Police allege that a Christian Brother, William Edwin Marchant, sexually abused a seven-year-old child who was visiting a Catholic school in Western Australia in the 1970s. Marchant, who is no longer a member of the Christian Brothers, made a brief appearance in Broome Magistrates Court on 28 July 2014.(Article posted 28 July 2014.)
The Catholic Bishop of the Australian Defence Force appeared in court on 25 July 2014, charged by police with a child-sex offence dating back to 1969. Bishop Max Davis, now 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 updated 25 July 2014.)
A Marist Brother, Darcy John O'Sullivan (formerly known as "Brother Dominic"), is awaiting a criminal trial in New South Wales, charged with indecently assaulting four boys while he was teaching at a Marist school in Hamilton (Newcastle) in the early 1970s. Furthermore, he is being charged now with additional offences regarding another boy from a different school (at Casino on the NSW north coast) in the early 1980s. (Article updated 24 July 2014.)
On 24 July 2014 a 79-year-old Catholic priest, Father Patrick Holmes, was jailed for sexually abusing two young girls in Western Australia many years ago (one girl in 1969 and the other girl about 1981). The first victim eventually reported Father Holmes to the church authorities in 2000, but the church continued to list "Reverend Patrick Holmes" as a priest in the annual editions of the Australian Catholic Directory. In 2014 this victim finally spoke to police, who immediately charged Holmes. (Article posted 24 July 2014.)
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.)
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.)
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.)
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).
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.)
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 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.)
Cardinal George Pell (as head of the Sydney Catholic archdiocese) instigated the archdiocese's legal battle against the former altar boy John Ellis, according to evidence and documents presented to Australia's child-abuse Royal Commission in March 2014. Pell's legal victory in 2007 (known as the "Ellis defence") now forces church-victims to accept a discounted in-house "Towards Healing" settlement instead of suing for proper compensation, the Commission was told. And this Broken Rites article demonstrates that John Ellis was not the only victim of his abuser, Sydney priest Father Aidan Duggan.
Since 1993, Broken Rites Australia has been researching the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Too often, the church supported the offending clergy while ignoring the victims. For example, Broken Rites has shown how the church shielded the criminal priest Father Gerald Ridsdale for 32 years without reporting his crimes to the police. Finally, in 1993, some Father Ridsdale victims contacted the police. These victims also contacted the newly-formed Broken Rites.
This photo demonstrates why Broken Rites was needed. In the photo, Catholic priest Gerald Ridsdale (left, in sunglasses and hat) walks to court, accompanied by his support person (Bishop George Pell, then an auxiliary bishop in Melbourne), when Father Ridsdale was pleading guilty to his first batch of criminal charges in May 1993. But no bishop accompanied the victims, who felt deserted by the church leaders. Therefore, since 1993, Broken Rites research has supported many of the Catholic Church's victims, as shown on this website. Read More