The church has made payments to settle these complaints about abuse of disadvantaged boys

By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 1 June 2019

The Catholic Church has paid settlements to men who allege that they were abused many years ago by Father Roger Mount while he was a Brother in the Catholic St John of God Order, running children's homes (for disadvantaged boys) in Australia. The church allowed Father Mount to continue ministering as priest for many years in Papua New Guinea until the Australian media published articles about him in 2014.

The St John of God Brothers was providing accommodation in New South Wales and Victoria for boys and young men who have an educational or intellectual disability. Many SJOG boys were wards of state and never saw a relative. If they were sexually abused at a SJOG boarding institution, they had nobody to whom they could complain. Many were not sufficiently articulate or assertive or did not know their rights.

In the 1990s, Broken Rites began researching St John of God priests and brothers, including Roger Melville Mount.

Broken Rites research has ascertained that, early in his church career (in the 1960s and 1970s), Roger Melville Mount was listed in the annual editions of the Australian Catholic Directory as Brother "Gabriel" Mount. (When men joined the St John of God religious order, they normally adopted an ancient "saintly" name — hence Brother "Gabriel".)

Roger Mount in Victoria

In Melbourne, the St John of God Brothers ran a home called "Churinga", for disadvantaged and vulnerable boys, situated in Greensborough in Melbourne's east. Broken Rites research found that, in the 1971 edition of the Australian Catholic Directory, Brother "Gabrie"l Mount was listed as the Prior (i.e., the superior) at "Churinga", where there were also five other Brothers.

Later (according to the Broken Rites research), Brother "Gabriel" Mount transferred to Papua New Guinea, where he left the St John of God order and became a priest in the Port Moresby diocese. He reverted to his birth name, becoming Father Roger Mount. He reached a senior rank in this diocese. His most recent parish, Sogeri, is on the southern end of PNG's famous Kokoda Track.

Eventually, two Australian men complained (separately) to the Catholic Church authorities in Australia that they had been sexually abused by Brother "Gabriel" Mount during their childhood while under the "care" of the St John of God Brothers in Australia. The St John of God leadership then made a payment to each of these men to settle their complaints.

New South Wales

As well as working in Victoria, Brother Roger "Gabriel" Mount also worked in New South Wales at another St John of God boys' home, called "Kendall Grange", situated at Morisset (between Sydney and Newcastle). The Lake Macquarie Detectives Office (in the NSW Police) has received information about certain matters relating to the Morriset institution.

  • To read another Broken Rites article about the St John of God Brothers, click HERE.