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Written by a Broken Rites Australia researcher.


Criminal priest John Joseph Farrell was protected by church officials: Full story

This Broken Rites article is the most comprehensive account available about how Catholic Church officials kept quiet for THIRTY YEARS about the crimes of the paedophile priest John Joseph Farrell (also known as "Father F"). Eventually, Broken Rites (but not the church officials) advised some of Farrell's victims to speak to the Sex Crime Squad detectives of the New South Wales Police; and, as result, Farrell was finally sentenced in a Sydney court on 2 May 2016 to spend a minimum of 18 years in jail. Now the church officials need to explain why they concealed Farrell's crimes from the police. Concealing a crime can itself be a crime. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 4 May 2016).

Father John Joseph Farrell (and the church's cover-up) damaged us, victims told a court

Father John Joseph Farrell (also known as "Father F") was protected by the Catholic Church while he committed crimes against children, victims told a Sydney court in a pre-sentence hearing in 2016. Victims said their adult lives were damaged by the church's cover-up. Father Farrell targeted numerous children (mostly boys, plus some girls) in northern New South Wales in the 1980s (and later in western Sydney until 1992). On 2 May 2016 he was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years jail for 62 of his crimes, committed against 12 of his victims. A further 17 incidents were taken into account at sentencing, making a total of 79 incidents. And these were not Farrell's only victims — others have not yet spoken to the NSW Police detectives. This Broken Rites article summarises Farrell's court proceedings which continued from 2012 to 2016. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 2 May 2016).

Christian Brother David Standen damaged our lives, victims say in court

Eleven victms, now middle-aged, told a Sydney court on 15 April 2016 how their lives have been damaged by a sexually-abusive Christian Brother, William Peter ("David") Standen, in a Catholic boys' boarding school in south-western New South Wales in 1978-81. At the time of the abuse, these boys were aged 10, 11 or 12, feeling isolated and homesick in their first year away from their rural families. Several of the victims told how Standen's crimes have shaken their religious faith and have led to family break-ups and life-long struggles with drug and alcohol abuse and damaged careers. Meanwhile, Brother Standen's career boomed: he later spent six years as the deputy principal at St Dominic's College, Penrith, in western Sydney; and finally he was the principal of the prestigious St Mary's Cathedral College in inner-Sydney for a decade until 2010. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 15 April 2016)

Christian Brother Obbens is awaiting a court trial in New South Wales

Christian Brother William John Obbens (also known as Brother "Dominic" Obbens), now living in Sydney, is scheduled to face a court trial in 2016 on charges of indecent assault of "persons under 16 under authority". Police allege that the offences were committed in the late 1980s, while Brother Obbens was a teacher of boys (then aged 11 and 12) at St Patrick's Christian Brothers College in Goulburn, south-western New South Wales. (By a Broken Rites researcher)

VIDEO: Christian Brother Chris Rafferty, now in Sydney, is facing a court trial

Christian Brother Christopher Rafferty, now living in Sydney, is scheduled to face a trial in Sydney in late 2016, charged with child-sex offences allegedly committed in the 1980s while he was working at St Patrick's College in Goulburn, in south-western New South Wales. In recent years, until his arrest, Brother Rafferty has been working (and residing) at a Catholic boys' school (St Pius X College) in Chatswood, on Sydney's North Shore. Before joining St Pius X College, Br Rafferty had been deputy headmaster of St Mary’s Cathedral College in central Sydney. (Article by a Broken Rites researcher.)

This Broken Rites article tells you how to see to some video footage of the police taking a man into custody before he was charged.

The church kept quiet about Christian Brother Neil Richards' crimes but now he is in jail

Helped by Broken Rites, some of the victims of Christian Brother Desmond Eric ("Neil") Richards have achieved justice. In November 2014 in the Sydney District Court, Richards was jailed for committing sexual offences against Catholic schoolboys. On 15 April 2016, while still in jail, Richards was brought back to the same court, where he pleaded guilty to offences committed against two more of his former students; and now he is to be sentenced again regarding these two victims. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 15 April 2016.)

De La Salle Brothers harboured this paedophile, Brother George Taylor, for many years

Broken Rites is doing further research about Brother "George" Taylor, who was a child-molester in the Catholic order of De La Salle Brothers in Australia. Brother George was finally brought to justice at the age of 79 when a former pupil, aged nearly 40, managed to persuade the New South Wales police to investigate Brother George regarding incidents that had occurred three decades earlier when the boy was eleven. Since then, other victims of Brother George have contacted Broken Rites, the latest being in April 2016. (Article updated 22 April 2016)

This priest assaulted girls — and the church kept giving him more victims

Australia's national child-abuse Royal Commission has been told how the Catholic Church allowed a priest, Father Martin Newbold, to commit sex-crimes against young girls. The church concealed his crimes from the police and transferred him from one Australian state to another to protect him. Thus the church inflicted this criminal on more victims in new parishes. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 13 April 2016.)

A NSW priest is scheduled to stand trial, charged with assaulting a girl, aged 10

A judge has scheduled a date in late 2016 when a Catholic priest in south-western New South ales, Father Neru Leuea, 48, will face a court trial regarding the alleged sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl. Police allege that the assault occurred in 2002-2003, about the time this man began working as a priest. The trial is listed for the Wagga District Court. (By a Broken Rites researcher, updated 14 April 2016.)

The Church knew about Father Michael Aulsebrook's child-abuse, a court was told

Catholic Church authorities knowingly kept a child-molester (Father Michael Aulsebrook) in the priesthood and even promoted him to be in charge of a school, according to statements made in an Australian criminal court in 2011. Aulsebrook, who is no longer in the priesthood, is due to face another court trial in 2016 after another former schoolboy contacted police investigators. And, in 2016, these detectives are still interested in making further inquiries about Aulsebrook's past. (By a Broken Rites researcher, updated 2 April 2016.)

Catholic priest in court in Melbourne regarding five alleged victims

Victoria Police have charged Catholic priest Frank De Dood (a member of the Salesian religious order) with child-sex offences which he allegedly committed against young boys in Melbourne between 1978 and 1983. Police have obtained written statements from five former students.

The Jesuits acknowledge some complaints about abuse at Melbourne's Xavier College

One of Australia's most "prestigious" Catholic schools — Melbourne's Xavier College, conducted by the Jesuit priests — has publicly acknowledged that some former students have complained about having been indecently handled during their time at the school.

A Marist Brother is locked up on child-porn charges in Sydney

A Marist Brother (Terence Joseph Gilsenan, 60) is scheduled for court in Sydney in 2016, charged with producing child-abuse material. The material was produced by combining faces of children with images of adults engaged in sexual acts, court documents allege. Police arrested Gilsenan at the Marist Brothers' imposing Sydney harborside residence at 14 Drummoyne Avenue, Drummoyne. A court has refused him bail and he will remain in custody to await his court proceedings. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article posted 18 March 2016.)

A Marist Brother pleads guilty on indecent assault charges

A Marist Brother, Darcy John O'Sullivan (also known as "Brother Dominic"), has pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting boys while he was teaching in Catholic schools in northern New South Wales in the 1970s and '80s. He was a teacher at Marist Brothers in Hamilton (Newcastle) and was later a principal at St Mary's High School in Casino (on the NSW north coast). He entered his plea in Sydney's District Court on 14 March 2016. He will be sentenced later in 2016. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 17 March 2016.)

Jailed: A Catholic Brother committed buggery against a Sydney schoolboy, aged 11

Brother Michael Jeffrey Stanton (who was known in the Patrician Brothers religious order as "Brother Jeffrey") worked in Catholic schools in Sydney and regional New South Wales. On 12 February 2016, when he was aged over 60, he was jailed for sexual crimes committed against an 11-year-old boy at Patrician Brothers College, Blacktown, in Sydney's west. The crimes, including buggery, occurred in 1980 when Brother Jeffrey was in his mid-twenties. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 19 March 2016.)

A former Marist Brother, who was later appointed as a "director of child safety", is to face a trial in Sydney

When he was a Marist Brother in his mid-twenties, Brother Brett Anthony O'Connor worked at two prominent Sydney schools — St Joseph's College in Hunters Hill and St Gregory's College in Campbelltown. Then he left the Marist Order and began a new career, eventually (in 2012) becoming the Director of Child Safety in the Queensland Government's Department of Education and Training. In 2015, New South Wales police charged O'Connor with alleged child-sex offences, relating to when he was a Marist Brother at the two Sydney schools. On 11 March 2016, O'Connor (now aged 52) completed his preliminary court proceedings with a magistrate in Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court. The next step in the case is scheduled to be with a judge in the Sydney District Court on 21 November 2016. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated on 22 March 2016.)

Father F: The tragic death of one of his altar boys, Damian Jurd, in northern NSW

In the late 1990s, the Catholic Church paid a small amount to a former altar boy, Damian Jurd, to settle his complaint about having been sexually abused (at the age of 11) by a local priest, Father John Joseph Farrell (sometimes referred to as "Father F"). Damian said his life had been disrupted by this abuse and by the way the church protected Father Farrell. At the age of 28 (not long after this settlement), Damian took his own life, leaving two children of his own. This Broken Rites article gives some more information about Damian's tragic life. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 1 May 2016.)

Father F again: The tragedy of another of his altar boys, Daniel Powell, who died in Sydney

The Catholic Church authorities have accepted a complaint from a former altar boy, Daniel Powell, that he was sexually abused in a Sydney parish at the age of 12 by a Catholic priest, Father John Joseph Farrell (sometimes referred to as "Father F"). Daniel, who was aged 25 at the time of the settlement (in 2005), received a relatively small amount of compensation from the church. But he was still severely damaged by the abuse (and by the church's cover-up). Daniel Powell ended up dying by suicide in 2007, aged 28. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 1 May 2016.)

The church concealed the crimes of Father Vincent Ryan, thus inflicting him on more children

This Broken Rites article is the most comprehensive account available about how Catholic Church leaders knowingly protected one of Australia's worst child-molester priests, Father Vincent Gerard Ryan. Ryan's superiors (in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese in New South Wales) knew that he was sexually assaulting boys in his parishes. But the church concealed Ryan's crimes from the police and kept him in the ministry for twenty years, giving him access to new victims. On 27 April 2016, Ryan pleaded guilty to more of his offences, and he will be sentenced for these later in 2016. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 27 April 2016.)

Catholic Church has investigated a sex-abuse allegation against George Pell (and there is no mention of exoneration)

In October 2002, the Catholic Church in Australia paid a senior barrister, Mr Alex Southwell QC, to investigate an allegation that, about forty years earlier, a trainee priest named George had sexually abused a twelve-year-old altar boy at a holiday camp for young boys in tents on Phillip Island, south-east of Melbourne. According to Mr Southwell's report, the former altar boy (referred to in this article as "C ", for Complainant) has alleged that, on several occasions, the trainee priest George thrust his hand down the inside of C's pants and got "a good handful" of the boy's penis and testicles; and C also alleged that, on other occasions, George tried to guide C's hand into the front of George's pants. In the year 2000, when C was aged 50, he discovered (from television news footage) that the trainee priest George had risen to become the archbishop of Melbourne. C was shocked — "he did not think it right that someone who had behaved indecently towards children should lead the church," the Southwell report says. So, beginning in 2000, C wanted to alert the church authorities. C emphasised that he was not seeking compensation; he merely wanted the church authorities to note the alleged incidents.  Mr Southwell concluded that C "appeared to speak honestly from an actual recollection", while Archbishop George Pell (who was indeed present at the altar boys' camp) denied the alleged abuse.

The church gave this Sydney paedophile priest a new parish, plus more children

In the early 1970s, a boy (this article will refer to him as "Boy A") complained to the Catholic Church about being sexually abused by a Sydney priest, but the church merely transferred the priest to a new parish, thus giving him easy access to more victims, a Sydney court has been told. Many years later, one of the later victims (we will call him "Dwayne", not his real name) contacted Broken Rites, which advised him to speak to police detectives, not to the church. Police then charged the priest, Father Robert Flaherty, who pleaded guilty in court in 2015 regarding two of his victims (Boy A and Boy B). A jury found Flaherty guilty of assaulting the third boy (Dwayne). In February 2016, Father Flaherty (aged 72) was sentenced to jail regarding these three victims. Meanwhile, the news about Flaherty has prompted more alleged victims of Flaherty to contact the detectives. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 12 March 2016.)

Cardinal George Pell instructed his lawyers to crush this victim — and other victims

Cardinal George Pell is claiming now that he has "helped" the Catholic Church's sex-abuse victims. Therefore, let's look  at how Pell treated one of the church's victims — a former altar boy, John Ellis. Cardinal Pell (as head of the Sydney Catholic archdiocese) instigated the archdiocese's legal battle against John Ellis, according to evidence and documents presented to Australia's child-abuse Royal Commission. 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. (By a Broken Rites researcher.)

A priest from northern NSW is in court in 2016 on child-sex charges

A Catholic priest in northern New South Wales, John Patrick Casey, 67, is facing criminal court proceedings in 2016, charged with child-sex offences allegedly committed in the 1980s. In July 2015, Casey was placed in custody without bail. A magistrate said the charges are serious and could bring a custodial sentence if there is a conviction. On 8 October 2015, after three months behind bars, Casey was finally granted bail while awaiting his court hearings. In 2016, the matter has moved from the magistrates court to a judge in the Lismore District Court, where the case had a preliminary mention on 23 March 2016. The District Court process will continue soon. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 24 March 2016)

A Christian Brother in court in New South Wales on child-rape charges

Christian Brother John Vincent Roberts (sometimes known as Brother Chris Roberts) has taught at Catholic schools in Sydney and regional New South Wales. In the late 1980s he was teaching at Edmund Rice College, Wollongong, south of Sydney. On 9 March 2016, aged 73, he appeared in court charged with having raped a 12-year-old boy at the Wollongong school. (Article posted by a Broken Rites researcher, 10 March 2016.)

Two Catholic Brothers in court regarding a Sydney schoolboy

Two Catholic religious Brothers were charged in a Sydney court on 2 March 2016, regarding sexual offences which allegedly were committed forty years ago against an 11-year-old schoolboy in Liverpool, a suburb in south-western Sydney. The two men, now elderly and retired, have had a teaching career in the Patrician Brothers religious order. In court, the church's defence lawyer obtained an order preventing the media from publishing the defendants' names at this stage. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 10 March 2016.)

Cardinal George Pell's funny performance at the Royal Commission

Cardinal George Pell's performance at Australia's national Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (on 2 March 2016) was very funny (that is, funny in the sense of being very strange). This article begins with a cartoonist's view of the performance. (Article updated by a Broken Rites researcher, 10 March 2016.)

Paedophile priest Peter Searson worked under various bishops, including George Pell

For years, the Melbourne Catholic Archdiocese knew that Father Peter Searson was committing sexual offences against boys, girls and women but he was allowed to continue in parishes, including at the Doveton parish (in Melbourne's south-east), where he survived for years under the supervision of the regional bishop for the south-eastern suburbs, Auxiliary Bishop George Pell. The Victoria Police investigated Searson for sexual offences in parishes but found it difficult to extract evidence from "loyal" church people. Eventually, after 35 years as a priest, the police finally managed to charge Searson with physical assault. Thus, Searson's abuse thus became public. The church authorities were forced to dump Searson from parish work. Hoping to protect the church's public image, the church also removed his name from the published list of retired priests. (Background article, by a Broken Rites researcher.)

Catholic clergy (including George Pell) looked the other way while Father Ridsdale continued committing more crimes against more children in more parishes

This Broken Rites article is the most comprehensive account available about how the Catholic Church harboured this child-abuse criminal — Father Gerald Francis Ridsdale — for 30 years in western Victoria while his superiors and fellow-priests remained silent to protect the church's public image. In 1982, when Father Ridsdale had been abusing children for 20 years, a clergy committee (of which Father George Pell was a member) noted that Ridsdale was being transferred away from Victoria. Thus, he was inflicted on potential victims in New South Wales. Eventually, in 1993, Victoria Police detectives charged Ridsdale in court. He was accompanied to court by his support person, George Pell, who had become an assistant bishop in Melbourne. However, no bishop accompanied the victims. Encouraged by Broken Rites, more victims later spoke to the detectives. In his four court cases between 1993 and 2014, Ridsdale has been jailed for a minimum of 24 years for assaulting 54 of his victims. Broken Rites is proud of its role in exposing the church's cover-up of this criminal priest. (Background article, by a Broken Rites researcher.)

This criminal priest, Monsignor John Day, was defended by Bishop Mulkearns

Broken Rites has forced the Catholic Church to admit that it protected one of Australia's worst paedophile priests, Monsignor John Day, for many years while he was committing sexual crimes against children. One church leader — Bishop Ronald Mulkearns, of the Ballarat diocese — spoke in defence of Monsignor Day. At one stage, Monsignor Day had another criminal priest, Father Gerald Ridsdale, working under him — two criminal priests in the one parish. And later a eulogy of Monsignor Day was published in the diocese's magazine (about this time, Father George Pell became editor of this magazine). (Article by a Broken Rites researcher)

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. (By a Broken Rites researcher.)

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