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Written by a Broken Rites Australia researcher.


Broken Rites helped victims of Father John Denham to gain justice

Broken Rites has helped to obtain justice for victims of an Australian paedophile Catholic priest, Father John Sidney Denham. This priest got away with his crimes for four decades, while his superiors and colleagues looked the other way. Finally, Broken Rites helped to expose Denham, resulting in him being jailed in July 2010 and again in January 2015. (Article updated 23 January 2015.)

A 92-year-old Sydney priest is charged with buggery of a child from 40 years ago

A Catholic priest, Father Theodore Arrivoli (now aged 92), who has ministered in many parishes around the Sydney region during the past 60 years, was charged in court on 15 January 2015 regarding alleged sexual assaults of two children near Sydney in the 1970s. The alleged offences include buggery. (Article posted 22 January 2015.)

Marist Brother Luke Leslie Saker in court on sex-assault charges

Marist Brother Leslie Garfield Saker, 74, whose religious name in the Marist order is Brother Luke Saker, was charged by police in a Sydney court on 20 January 2015 with sexual offences allegedly committed against a 16-year-old schoolboy in 1974.  The boy was a student at a Catholic school in Auburn in Sydney's west. (Article posted 21 January 2015.)

Priest pleads guilty re offences in western Sydney parishes

A former Catholic priest of the Sydney archdiocese, Father Robert Flaherty, now aged 71, has pleaded guilty regarding sexual offences against two children dating back to the 1970s. (Article updated 20 January 2015.)

The church protected Father John Sidney Denham, a judge says

An Australian judge has made scathing comments about how Father John Sidney Denham had been protected by the Catholic Church. Denham was jailed in 2010 after some of his victims contacted the New South Wales police. On 23 January 2015, he received additional jail time after some more of his victims contacted the police. According to research by Broken Rites, these are not necessarily Denham's only victims. (Article updated 23 January 2015.)

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. (Article posted 18 January 2015.)

A Catholic Brother is charged in Victoria and is investigated in NSW

Many years ago, Broken Rites began researching "Brother Gabriel Mount", who had worked in Catholic children's homes conducted by the St John of God Brothers in New South Wales and Victoria. We discovered that he eventually became a priest ("Father Roger Mount"), working in Papua New Guinea. In October 2014 he was brought back to Australia, where Victorian police charged him with multiple child-sex offences, involving seven Victorian victims. He is in custody in Victoria, where he has made two brief appearances in court (by video link from prison), the most recent being on 16 January 2015. New South Wales police, also, are investigating Father Mount concerning incidents that are alleged to have occurred in NSW. (Article updated 16 January 2015.)

Marist Brothers head office receives a complaint about a Brother

A man has complained to the Marist Brothers headquarters in Sydney that while he was a student at Maitland Marist Brothers school in the late 1970s he was sexually abused by Marist Brother Donald Brodie Newton during a camping trip. (Article updated 16 January 2015.)

This "saintly" Marist Brother was finally brought to justice for some of his crimes

When John Aloysius Littler became a Marist Brother, he was given the religious name of "Brother Nestor", in remembrance of an ancient saint. But Brother Nestor was no saint. He soon committed sexual crimes against boys in a Catholic orphanage, and the Marist Brothers (as usual) protected him during his subsequent long career as a Brother, including at St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill, in Sydney — one of the most elite Catholic schools in Australia. (Article posted 18 January 2015.)

A Catholic Brother is locked up on 252 child-sex charges re 35 alleged victims

On 29 December 2014, a Sydney court refused bail for a former Catholic Brother who is charged with 252 child sexual assaults. Bernard Kevin McGrath (formerly a member of the St John of God Brothers) is charged with abusing 35 disabled boys while he worked as a Brother at a Catholic institution in the Hunter region, north of Sydney, in the 1970s and 1980s. (Article updated 29 December 2014.)

Disabled boys were abused in a St John of God institution

One of Australia’s Catholic religious orders – the St John of God Brothers (SJOG) – has specialised in accommodating boys who have an educational (or intellectual) disability. This Broken Rites article is about court cases in the 1990s (and also in 2006) involving Brother Bernard Kevin McGrath, who was jailed for committing sexual crimes against disabled victims. (Article updated 20 December 2014.)

Another Christian Brother (Bro. Obbens) is charged in New South Wales

Christian Brother William John Obbens (also known as Brother "Dominic" Obbens) has appeared in court, charged with two counts of sexual assault/indecent assault of "a person under 16 under authority". Police allege that the offences were committed on one boy, then aged 13, while Brother Obbens was a teacher at St  Patrick's Christian Brothers College in Goulburn, south-western New South Wales, in the late 1980s. (Article posted 22 December 2014.)

An ex-bishop is ordered to give evidence in court about an ex-priest

A retired Australian Catholic bishop, Most Reverend Ronald Mulkearns, has been ordered by a court to give evidence in a case against a former priest, Robert Claffey. This order was made by the Geelong Magistrates Court in Victoria on 12 December 2014 when ex-priest Claffey (now aged 70), was charged with multiple incidents of indecent assault against seven children. (Article updated 12 December 2014.)

Christian Brother Peter Lennox in court re allegations from 40 years ago

Former Christian Brother Peter Nicholas Joseph Lennox, now aged 75, who had a senior role in Catholic schools at Manly (in Sydney) and Goulburn (in southern New South Wales), has appeared in court charged with committing offences against schoolboys. The offences allegedly occurred in the 1970s when the boys were aged between 13 and 15. The case, which is being investigated by Sydney detectives, is scheduled to come up for another mention in court in Sydney on 5 February 2015. (Article updated 18 December 2014.)

Christian Brother David Standen is now facing additional assault charges

Christian Brother David Standen, who has taught at Catholic schools in Sydney and regional New South Wales, is facing additional child-sex charges when his case comes up for another mention in court in February 2015. More former students have contacted the police regarding Brother Standen, a court has been told. This article includes a video of Brother Standen being arrested at Sydney airport on 19 August 2014 when he arrived back in Australia from East Timor. (Article updated 11 December 2014.)

Melbourne priest Terry Pidoto is to face a criminal trial

Father Terry Pidoto, who has had a long career as a Catholic priest in parishes around Melbourne, has been ordered to face a judge in the Victorian County Court, charged with multiple child-sex offences. A court day is scheduled for late 2015 for a judge to hear submissions from lawyers about procedures for the subsequent trial. (Article updated 12 December 2014.)

A lay teacher is jailed for crimes at two Catholic schools in Sydney

Alan James Pollock originally was a trainee Brother in the Catholic religious order of Patrician Brothers but later he left the brotherhood and then worked as a lay teacher in Sydney Catholic schools, where he committed sexual crimes against children. Years later, eleven of his victims reported his crimes to the police. Finally, on 12 December 2014 he was jailed. (Article updated 10 December 2014.)

A Marist Brother pleads guilty to an offence from 40 years ago

Marist Brother Peter Pemble (aged 66) has admitted that he molested a schoolboy while working at a Catholic boys' school in New South Wales early in his career, more than 40 years ago. The incident occurred at Maitland (in the Hunter region, north of Sydney) in 1971-1972, when Brother Pemble was in his twenties. Later in his career, Brother Peter Pemble became the principal of several Catholic schools in Sydney. (Article updated 10 December 2014.)

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

A former Catholic priest, Peter John Ryan, is scheduled to stand trial in the Sydney District Court in early 2015, charged with indecently assaulting a male. The alleged victim was a student at St Stanislaus College boys' school in Bathurst, New South Wales, in the 1970s. (Article updated 2 December 2014.)

Marist Brother John Maguire is convicted, after nine jury trials

Marist Brother John Dennis Maguire is to be sentenced in the Sydney District Court in early 2015 on child-sex charges. In November 2014 a jury found Maguire guilty of multiple incidents of committing an act of indecency. The victim was a student at a Catholic boys' boarding school in Sydney (St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill) in the early 1980s. (Article updated 9 December 2014.)

The church kept quiet about 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. On 27 November 2014, the Sydney District Court gave him a jail sentence of 3 years and 3 months, with a minimum of two years behind bars before he becomes eligible to apply for parole. (Article updated 27 November 2014.)

A Jesuit priest is jailed after admitting offences against children

A Catholic priest in the Jesuit religious order, Father David Rankin, was jailed in 2014 after pleading guilty to acts of indecency committed against three young boys in Sydney. These offences occurred in the 1960s when Rankin was a school teacher before he was ordained as a priest. These three are not necessarily Rankin's only victims; they are merely three who took the opportunity to speak with a New South Wales Police detective. This shows that, even after 50 years, it is never too late to report a child-abuse crime to the child-protection police. Broken Rites has received information about Father David Rankin SJ, from elsewhere in Australia and also in Canada, while he has been in the priesthood. (Article updated 22 November 2014.)

Is this case a classic example of a church cover-up?

Broken Rites has done research about a Christian Brother (let's call him Brother X) who was convicted in court in 1989 for sexually abusing a boy (let's call him "Gus") at St Patrick’s College, Goulburn, New South Wales. The Christian Brothers covered-up the crime and the court case. They did not tell the school's students or parents about it and did not ask if any victims needed help. The victim "Gus" went on to have a damaged adult life. (Article updated 1 December 2014.)

How the church concealed Father Terry Pidoto's life of crime

This Broken Rites article is the most comprehensive account available about how the Catholic Church protected Father Terry Pidoto for 25 years while he committed crimes against boys in his parishes. 

The Marist Brothers covered up these crimes and helped the offender's career

The Marist Brothers covered up the crimes of Brother Brian Robert Gordon and enabled him to continue working, as a lay teacher, in the Catholic education system. According to evidence given in court, Brian Gordon eventually become one of the top officials in Australia's Catholic education system, while his former Marist colleagues continued their silence. But one of his former pupils eventually reported the crimes to the police, thus ending the cover-up. (Article updated 11 January 2015.)

A priest raped a boy, then ordered the boy to "confess" the rape & conceal it

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.)

An ex-priest from Moree/Armidale NSW admits some charges, and now he will face a trial on some additional charges

This Broken Rites article is an update about a former Catholic priest (from Armidale and Moree in northern New South Wales), who is facing 76 child-abuse charges. The priest, whose name (for legal reasons) cannot be published at this stage, has already pleaded "Guilty" to 45 of the 76 charges, and he will eventually be sentenced on those 45 charges. Meanwhile, he is contesting the additional charges and therefore on 18 November 2014 a magistrate ordered the ex-priest to face a trial in 2015 on some of these additional charges. (Article updated 19 November 2014.)

It is never too late to have a chat with the detectives, as this case proves

This court case is an example of how it is possible for victims of church child-abuse to get their perpetrator convicted many years after the abuse. In the 1970s, Marist Brother John Skehan had multiple victims in Catholic schools in New South Wales and Victoria. Forty years later, one victim got Brother Skehan convicted in a New South Wales court in 2010 and another victim scored a similar victory over Skehan (aged 75) in a Victorian court in 2014. (Article updated 1 November 2014)

The Christian Brothers pay a settlement to an ex-pupil in Sydney

In June 2012 the Christian Brothers organisation in Australia signed a civil settlement with a former pupil of Christian Brothers College at Manly (in Sydney), who attended this school as a 13-year-old boy about 1973.  According to the settlement deed, this ex-pupil alleged that he was “unlawfully assaulted by Brother Peter N. Lennox, the principal of the school".

Priest in court in western Sydney re an altar boy

A retired senior Catholic priest from western Sydney, Father Richard Cattell, has been undergoing preliminary court procedures (charged with child-sex offences) and now he is about to appear before Judge H. Syme in Sydney's Penrith District Court for the final steps in the justice process. On the District Court schedule, Father Cattell is listed as case number 201400062169. (Article updated on 22 October 2014.)

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