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Written by a Broken Rites Australia researcher.


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.  

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.)

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.)

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.)

Part-time "celibacy": How Jane was left holding a priest's baby

The Catholic Church in Australia has supported a priest who abandoned his own child. The priest (let us call him Father "Basil") had a long-time relationship with a woman ("Jane"), resulting in the birth of a son. But the priest eventually left the relationship and refused to see his son again. The child was grieving over the loss of his father but the church refused to reveal the priest's whereabouts. In December 1999, when the son was twelve, the church made a very small financial settlement with the abandoned mother, freeing the church of any further liability. (By a Broken Rites researcher.)

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.

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. The church has made payments to some former residents of those homes, in order to settle allegations about Roger Mount. (Article posted 17 October 2014.)

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).

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