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Written by a Broken Rites Australia researcher.


The Vatican is soft on clergy offenders, as shown by this Australian case

Broken Rites can cite a recent Australian case to demonstrate how the Vatican takes a lenient attitude towards the church's sexual abuse of children. In 2006 the Vatican "punished" one Australian priest by ordering him "to live a life of prayer and penance and to offer Mass every Friday for his victims". (Article updated 22 January 2014.)

Victims bring ex-Brother Brian Cairns to justice, again

Brian Dennis Cairns was originally a Christian Brother. Later he worked as a lay teacher ("Mister" Cairns) in Catholic schools in Queensland. In 1985 he was jailed for sex-crimes against boys. Since then, more of his former male pupils have contacted Broken Rites, and therefore Broken Rites arranged for each of these victims to have a private chat with detectives in the Queensland Police. Brian Cairns pleaded guilty regarding all these additional victims and on 13 January 2014 he was jailed again. (Article updated 13 January 2014.)

Priest damaged a teenager's life, says judge

Broken Rites has helped a victim ("Don") to convict a senior Melbourne Catholic priest, Father Barry Gwillim, who had sexually abused him in his teens, 25 years earlier. In Melbourne County Court on 15 December 2003, Father Gwillim, 71, pleaded guilty to five counts of indecent assault and four counts of gross indecency against the boy at age 15 in 1979-81. Judge Fred Davey sentenced Gwillim to 32 months jail (suspended). The judge said Gwillim damaged Don's adolescent development.

Police criticize the Catholic Church for cover-ups

Police headquarters in the Australian state of Victoria have launched a scathing attack on the Catholic Church, accusing it of deliberately impeding its investigations into child-abuse crimes.

A Catholic priest, who was in charge of preparing future priests, sexually abused a child

A Tasmanian priest, Father Paul Anthony Connolly, who was in charge of preparing future priests, pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a child.  

Brother Damien John O'Dempsey was jailed for child-sex offences

The Australian Christian Brothers have been forced to acknowledge that one of their former leaders, Brother Damien John O'Dempsey, was a serial sex-offender, abusing children who were under his care and supervision in Catholic schools. (Article updated 4 January 2011).

A Christian Brother changed his name after being in jail

A convicted pedophile Christian Brother who changed his name from Ted Dowlan to Ted Bales to avoid publicity has pleaded guilty to additional offences after more of his victims contacted the police (instead of merely contacting the Catholic Church). Ted Bales, 64, is now behind bars again, awaiting sentence proceedings which will resume on 27 February 2015. (Article updated 6 February 2105.)

Christian Brother Francis Lambert Wise in a court case in South Australia

Wise: A South Australian court has ruled that an elderly former Christian Brother, Francis Lambert Wise, was medically unfit to stand trial on charges of child sexual abuse. However, a judge held hearings in early 2009 to receive the complaints, thereby giving the victims an opportunity to have their evidence aired in court (updated 4 August 2009).

How was this priest able to get away with committing so many crimes for so long?

A Catholic priest, Father Neville Joseph Creen, used his position and his standing in the community to hide his child-sex crimes from the police, an Australian court has been told. (Article by a Broken Rites researcher.)

The Royal Commission is exposing the Catholic Church's cover-ups

Australia's national Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is investigating how various organisations have handled (or mis-handled) allegations about these crimes. At first, the Commission issued a public invitation for victims to contact it. Many of these victims told the Commission (by telephone or in writing or in a private interview) how they were assaulted in Catholic Church situations — and how the abuse was covered up the church authorities. From these private submissions, the Commission has chosen some case studies which are examined in detail in a public hearing.

An altar boy's story

A former Catholic altar boy ("Cedric", born in 1950) has told Broken Rites about his experiences at the hands of Father Francis Xavier Brown (a Catholic priest in the Dominican religious order) in Adelaide around 1960. Cedric says he still feels hurt (half a century later) by his experience as an altar boy. (Posted 24 November 2013.)

Government report slams Catholic Church for cover-ups

Australia's first parliamentary inquiry into church child-sex abuse tabled its report on 13 November 2013. The report, commissioned by the Victorian State Parliament, criticises the Catholic Church's culture of cover-up and it recommends changing the laws behind which the Catholic Church has been sheltering. (Article updated 13 November 2013.)

Submission to the Royal Commission re "Towards Healing"

In 2013, Australia's national Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse issued an invitation for interested persons to make written submissions to the Commission about the Catholic Church's "Towards Healing" system. Dr Wayne Chamley, a member of the Broken Rites executive team, wrote this submission to the Commission. (Posted 8 November 2013.)

A Catholic Brother is charged re Sydney school children

Police have charged a retired Catholic religious Brother over the alleged historical indecent assaults of school children in Sydney, according to a police announcement on 6 November 2013.

Victims of this priest obtain justice after 36 years

Victims of this priest were intimidated into silence but now they obtain justice after 36 years. Father Gregory Laurence Ferguson, of the Marist Fathers, who was jailed on 15 May 2007 for offences against two boys aged 13 at a Tasmanian boarding school, was given an additional jail sentence on 13 December 2007 for offences against a third boy.

The story of a priestly rape

13 September 2016 at 10.08am

EXHIBIT #44.002 STATEMENT OF [CPA]

Statement by victim CPA ( born in 1969; lived in Moree in 1978-1982, aged 9 to 13, with his parents and his siblings.).

"My mum was very religious. I was always a happy kid and enjoyed life.All my life I was very close with my dad. He was my
best mate until he died in 2005.

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.)

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).

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.)

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.

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

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

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.

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