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Written by a Broken Rites Australia researcher.


Ex-priest facing additional charges in northern NSW

On 8 September 2016, it was revealed that NSW Police have laid additional charges against a former Catholic priest (now aged 63) over alleged historical child sex assaults in northern NSW. The charges relate to alleged assaults against two boys, one at Gunnedah in 1975, and the other at Narrabri in 1983. These two towns are located between Tamworth and Moree. (Article posted by a Broken Rites researcher, 8 September 2016.)

Sydney priest Father Ed Sedevic defeats child-porn charges

On 31 July 2014 a New South Wales magistrate dismissed child pornography charges against a retired Catholic priest, Father Edward Sedevic, aged 73. Police had charged Father Sedevic as part of a global operation targeting users of a Canadian pornography website. During a search of Father Sedevic’s home, the detectives seized eight invoices for purchases from the Canadian website. However, the magistrate accepted Father Sedevic's explanation for possessing this material.

A cover-up is revealed, after 50 years

In 2013 an Australian court heard how the Catholic order of Marist Brothers kept quiet about a child-molesting Brother (John Patrick Gleeson), in order to protect the Marist brand-name.  Gleeson's abuse occurred fifty years ago, in 1962, and it was successfully concealed for those fifty years until one of his victims contacted a specialist police unit in 2012. Detectives began an investigation and they soon found two more victims of Gleeson from the same year, 1962. Gleeson, who left the Marist order in 1962, is one of several Marists who have had the name "Dominic" and he is not to be confused with any other  "Brother Dominic". (Updated 11 October 2013.)

A religious order covered up a Reverend Brother’s crimes

The Catholic order of De La Salle Brothers knew that Brother Ibar (real name Frank Keating) was committing sexual crimes against his pupils but it allowed him to continue offending for many years more, according to statements made in court (article updated 7 May 2014).

About Us

Our Catholic background

Broken Rites Australia is not connected with any religious denomination. However, each member of the Broken Rites executive team had a Catholic background and each of us has been hurt by Catholic Church sex-abuse - and by the church's habit of cover-up. We are therefore motivated to support other victims.

The Marist Brothers recycled an offender to a new position of trust

The Catholic order of Marist Brothers has kept a Brother (Brother John Desmond Dyson) as a member after he was convicted of indecently assaulting vulnerable boys in a Catholic school. The Marist Brothers have continued to list "Brother" John Dyson as being concerned with "the education and welfare of school-aged children". (By a Broken Rites researcher.)

Broken Rites helped these victims of Marist Brothers to gain justice

Broken Rites has helped three former schoolchildren (two males and one female) to extract a settlement from the Marist Brothers regarding incidents that allegedly occurred in New South Wales in the 1960s while Brother Kevin "Calixtus" Hogan was the principal of St Francis de Sales College (in Leeton) and later Red Bend Catholic College (in Forbes).

The church protected Fr Len Monk while he committed sexual crimes against boys

Men have told Broken Rites that they are still feeling angry that the Catholic Church inflicted a paedophile priest, Father Leonard Monk, on them when they were young boys in western Victoria in the 1940s, 1950s  and 1960s. The church authorities covered up for Monk and protected him, thereby turning him loose on additional victims. The victims say that the church's "holy" image intimidated them into not reporting Monk's crimes. Thus, they had to suffer in silence - until now.

An abusive priest, Syd Morey, flourished in western Victoria

Broken Rites Australia is researching a sexually-abusive priest, Father Sydney Morey, who flourished in western Victoria in the 1960s and 1970s. Now, many years later, many of his victims (and their families) still feel hurt by the church's negligence in recuiting and protecting Morey.

Pedophile priest Bill Baker dies while facing more charges

Father Wilfred James Baker, a retired priest from the Melbourne Catholic archdiocese, who was jailed in 1999 for crimes against boys, was scheduled to face the Melbourne County Court in November 2014 on additional charges regarding more boys who were assaulted between 1966 and 1979. However, Baker died on 14 February 2014, meaning that this court case will be cancelled. (Article updated 27 February 2014.)

A BoysTown ex-pupil receives a settlement many years later

Male victims who were sexually abused at "Boys Town" (a Catholic "home" for disadvantaged youngsters at Beaudesert in Queensland) are currently going public with their story, thus exposing the church's cover-up that silenced them in the past. Broken Rites is helping these victims to obtain justice.

The Sydney Catholic hierarchy allowed a troublesome priest to roam free — and one victim later committed suicide

The Sydney Catholic hierarchy allowed a troublesome priest (Father Denis Daly) to roam free — and one victim later committed suicide.

Research about Chevalier College (New South Wales) in the late 1980s

Some ex-pupils of Chevalier College (a Catholic high school near Bowral in southern New South Wales) are still recalling allegations that a Catholic priest behaved indecently towards young boys at the school in the late 1980s. This school is owned by a religious order, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (known by its Latin initials "MSC"), although today this school has fewer priests and brothers on its campus than it had in the 1980s.

Lawyers criticise "Towards Healing"

Australia's national Royal Commission (into institutional responses to child sexual abuse) is investigating the establishment and operation of the Catholic Church's so-called "Towards Healing" process. The Commission is exploring how this process works in practice. (Article updated 5 November 2013.)

Church hid a priest's sex-crimes for 30 years — and it put him in charge of sex education for children

The Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane harboured a sex-abuse priest, Father Ronald McKeirnan, for 30 years after it first learned that he was committing criminal offences against children. And it put him in charge of sex eduction for all Brisbane Catholic schools (updated 29 June 2008).

Royal Commission hearings on the Towards Healing process

Broken Rites Australia has investigated the Catholic  Church's so-called "Towards Healing" process. Too often, when victims seek help from "Towards Healing", they find that the church authorities are evasive and abusive — that is, the victims are victimised again.

The church exposed young Aboriginals to abuse

The Brisbane Catholic authorities had known for 25 years that Father Leo Wright was committing sex crimes against children but they retained him in the ministry and he continued to offend, Brisbane District Court was told in September 1997.

Brother Gabriel Mount became Father Roger Mount. Now he faces court

Many years ago, Broken Rites began researching Brother "Gabriel" Mount, who had worked in Catholic children's homes in New South Wales and Victoria. We discovered that he eventually became a priest ("Father Roger Mount"), working in Papua New Guinea. Now, in 2014, he is under arrest and facing child-sex charges in Victoria. (Article posted 17 October 2014.)

How a decision by Melbourne church leaders was revealed, after 10 years

Three wise archbishops? A Victorian Parliamentary committee is completing an investigation into how church authorities have handled (or covered up) complaints about clergy sex-abuse in Victoria. This Broken Rites article demonstrates how three Catholic archbishops of Melbourne — Archbishop Frank Little, Archbishop George Pell and Archbishop Denis Hart — have allowed a priest (Father Barry Robinson) to continue ministering after he admitted having sex with a 16-year-old boy. The hierarchy managed to keep the matter as a secret for ten years. In 2013 the church is still allowing Father Robinson to act as a relieving priest (updated 24 May 2013).

A classic cover-up, putting more children in danger

Research by Broken Rites has found that a senior priest (Monsignor Bartholomew Frawley) covered up sexual abuse by a De La Salle Brother (Wilfred De Cruz) at a church school (now called Southern Cross Catholic College) in Scarborough, north of Brisbane. The cover-up enabled Brother Wilfred to attack more victims.

The "sacred" music was not so "heavenly" for this victim

This is a different kind of case-study in the Catholic culture of cover-up. The Sydney archdiocese has signed a settlement with a victim who was sexually abused by Father Leonard John Henry — one of Australia's most prominent promoters of "sacred music" (posted 22 March 2013).

Christian Brothers apologise for abuse at an orphanage

This Broken Rites article demonstrates how easy it was to cover up sexual abuse in orphanages, where the children were alone, without access to their families. As shown in this article, the Christian Brothers have accepted complaints about Brother A.F. Webster who was in charge of St Augustine's boys' orphanage in Geelong, Victoria (posted 28 August 2011).

Fr Emanuel Spiteri left Australia but continued to be a priest in Malta

The priest who left Australia to live in Malta: The Catholic Church in Australia has settled a sex-abuse complaint involving a Maltese-born priest, Father Emanuel Joseph Spiteri, who spent 35 years ministering in the Sale diocese in south-eastern Australia. In 1997, while this complaint was being made, Fr Spiteri returned to Malta, where he continued to be regarded as a priest (posted 14 June 2011).

Fr Neil Joseph Byrne helped to train Australian Catholic priests

Priest convicted on child-exploitation charges: Broken Rites has researched Catholic priest Neil Joseph Byrne, who pleaded guilty in court on 7 March 2012 on charges relating to child-exploitation. As a lecturer in a seminary, Fr Byrne has been involved in the training of Australia's Catholic priests (updated 19 May 2012).

Fr Gerard Fitzgerald survived a police investigation

A police officer alleges a church cover-up: A senior Victoria Police officer has told Broken Rites how police investigated a Melbourne priest about serious child abuse but (the police officer says) the church hierarchy managed to achieve a cover-up. The priest continued working in various parishes until he retired in 2006, after 51 years in the priesthood (posted 8 June 2011).

An ex-pupil tackles the Christian Brothers re Brother J.G. Gladwin

Civil action against the Christian Brothers: In April 2011 a legal firm filed a civil action in Queensland on behalf of a former student who alleges that he was sexually abused by Christian Brother J.G. Gladwin in a Brisbane Catholic school in the 1970s. Gladwin committed suicide while police were investigating him in 1998 (posted 7 May 2011).

This bishop supported the church’s victims, but he was sacked

A bishop helped victims but he is sacked: An Australian Catholic bishop (Bishop William Morris in south-western Queensland), who supported some of the church's sex-abuse victims in his region, has been sacked by the Vatican. But this, according to church sources, is not the reason for the sacking. Rather, it was because he was not conservative enough on other issues (posted 4 May 2011).

After negotiations, a bishop admits hurting 'young adults' in his past

Bishop Christopher Toohey: From the public record, Broken Rites has compiled this summary about Bishop Christopher Toohey (of New South Wales), who has admitted publicly that he hurt "some young adults" in his early years as a priest (posted 1 May 2011).

Priest was jailed but was allowed to remain "Reverend"

Father Peter L. Comensoli: In 1989 the Wollongong Catholic diocese was warned that Father Peter Lewis Comensoli was sexually abusing boys in his parish, but the church authorities allowed him to continue in parish work. In 1993, a newspaper exposed this church scandal. Police then charged Comsensoli and he was jailed in 1994. But the church failed to laicize or defrock him and he was listed as "Reverend" for the next 16 years, until his name finally vanished from church directories in 2010 — 16 years after his conviction. This Father Comensoli is not to be confused with another clergyman — Auxiliary Bishop Peter A. Comensoli (posted 23 April 2011).

A former Catholic schoolboy speaks out

Salesian College: The leaders of a Catholic religious order, the Salesians of Don Bosco, have made an out-of-court settlement with a former schoolboy who alleged that he was sexually abused by a priest (Father John Ayers) while he was a pupil at a prominent Australian Catholic school (posted 30 January 2011).

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