Broken Rites helped a "Four Corners" TV program re church-abuse

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. Here are the links to some of the relevant Broken Rites articles which helped Four Corners.

The Four Corners program includes case studies of some of the church's paedophile priests. For example (you can click on any of the following names):

  • Fr Aidan Duggan: The Sydney Catholic Archdiocese instructed its lawyers to crushormer altar boy (John Ellis) who had been one ofDuggan's victims and who was seeking compensation.. The church is still using this legal tactic (known in legal circles as "the Ellis defence") to avoid paying full compensation to other victims.
  • Fr Kevin O'Donnell: The Melbourne archdiocese offered a written apology to one family (Anthony and Chrissie Foster), for O'Donnell's abuse of two of the Fosters' daughters but later, when the Fosters decided to sue the Melbourne archdiocese for compensation, the church instructed its lawyers to fight this family's compensation claim.
  • Fr Peter Searson: The church inflicted this "chaplain" on disadvantaged victims.
  • Fr Dominic Phillips:This priest "befriended" young schoolgirls.

Four Corners also gives an example of one notorious Melbourne parish - Doveton. This low socio-economic area is on Melbourne's south-eastern outskirts, near Dandenong. The Melbourne Archdiocese leadership sent a succession of sexually-abusive priests to this parish. For example (you can click on any of the following names).

  • Fr Tom O'Keeffe. The church finally says 'Sorry' to O'Keefe's victims.
  • Fr Bill Baker. An archbishop covered up Baker's crimes.
  • Fr Vic Rubeo. The church harboured this offender for three decades.
  • Fr Peter Searson. He was one of several abusive priests who were dumped on this parish.

Broken Rites is proud to have helped  Four Corners with our research.

You can still watch this episode of Four Corners (entitled "In the Name of the Law") on the FOUR CORNERS website.