Latest stories

Written by a Broken Rites Australia researcher.


The church hid the crimes of Christian Brother Edward Dowlan (now known as "Mister Ted Bales")

This Broken Rites article is the most comprehensive account available about how the Christian Brothers organisation concealed the crimes of Brother Edward Dowlan (now known as "Mister Ted Bales"). From the start, the Christian Brothers knew that Dowlan was committing criminal sexual assaults against Australian schoolchildren but, instead of dismissing him, the Christian Brothers kept transferring him to more schools, thus giving him access to more victims. His victims were usually aged about 11 or 12 but some were as young as 8 or 9. In the 1990s, when some victims finally reported him to the police, the Christian Brothers supported Dowlan and tried to defeat the victims. The victims eventually won by getting him jailed in 1996 and again in 2015. Many of Brother Dowlan's victims have had their lives damaged by the church's cover-up — and several of his victims ended up in suicide. Since 2015, some more of Dowlan's alleged victims have spoken to police detectives, and therefore in 2021 these detectives are preparing a new prosecution of Ted Bales. formerly Dowlan. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 4 June 2021.)

Father Peter Hansen possessed child pornography during his time in the priesthood, a court is told

For 15 years until 2011, Father Peter Andrew Hansen was a priest belonging to the Melbourne Catholic Archdiocese. He became a priest as a mature-age adult (he says) while coping with some personal sexual issues. While he was a priest (he says) he developed a dependency on pornography. He left the priesthood in 2011 and spent the subsequent years working with Vietnamese asylum seekers. Eventually, he was arrested by Australian Federal Police at Sydney airport while returning from Asia. In court in 2021 (aged 63), he pleaded guilty to 31 charges, including one of engaging in sexual intercourse with a child under 18 in the Philippines and 15 counts of producing child abuse material. The judge sentenced Hansen to jail. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 8 June 2021.)

A Catholic priest in court in Sydney regarding children at a NSW boarding school: Background article

A Catholic priest, Father Anthony Caruana, aged now in his late seventies, is in a jury trial in Sydney in mid-2021, charged with committing sexual offences against a number of boys, aged 12 to 15, in the 1980s when Father Caruana was on the staff of Chevalier College, a Catholic boarding school at Burradoo (near Bowral) in the NSW Southern Highlands. Chevalier College was established by a Catholic religious order of priests, known as the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. (Article updated 15 May 2021.)

A former Marist Brother, now 82, is jailed for crimes committed 50 years ago

In the Sydney District Court on 14 May 2021, a former Marist Brother, Kevin Joseph Jewell, now aged 82, was sentenced to jail for indecently assaulting boys when he was a teacher in Sydney Catholic schools in the 1960s. In those years, each new Marist Brother would adopt a "religious" first-name; and Jewell was known to his pupils as Brother "Dacian" (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 24 May 2021.)

The church covered up for Father Paul David Ryan for many years but eventually he was jailed in Australia and now he might face court in the USA

This Broken Rites Australia article reveals how Catholic Church authorities covered up the child-sex crimes of an Australian priest, Father Paul David Ryan, during his career in Australia (and also during seven visits by Ryan to the United States). This enabled Ryan to endanger more children in more parishes in TWO countries. Eventually, helped by Broken Rites, some victims began reporting Ryan to Australian police, resulting in Ryan being jailed in Australia. And now, in 2021, Ryan could be extradited to the US to face a fresh spate of sexual abuse charges. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 6 May 2021.)

The church concealed Father Terry Pidoto's life of crime: FULL STORY

This Broken Rites article is the most comprehensive account available about how the Catholic Church in Australia protected Father Terry Pidoto for 25 years while he committed crimes against boys in his parishes. (By a Broken Rites researcher.)

A Marist Brother is convicted regarding offences at a prominent Sydney school

New South Wales police have conducted criminal proceedings against Marist Brother John Patrick O'Brien (born in 1940) over child-sex offences committed about 50 years ago at St Joseph's College, a prominent boarding school in Hunters Hill, Sydney. In court on 15 April 2021, Brother O'Brien was found guilty of a number of offences committed between 1966 and 1970. Now he is waiting to be sentenced. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 16 April 2021.)

A priest, aged 85, is in court charged with abusing a boy many years ago

Broken Rites research has ascertained that Max Blumenthal (born in 1936) began his Catholic Church career in New South Wales as a member of the Marist Brothers (a religious order which provided reverend Brothers for Catholic schools). Later (at the age of 38) this Brother upgraded his career by becoming ordained as a priest ("Father" Max). Father Max eventually retired from parish appointments. In early 2021, aged 85, he appeared in court, charged by police with having committed sexual offences against a boy in the mid-1980s. Now he is awaiting the next steps in the court process. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 13 April 2021.)

A prominent churchman was convicted in regional NSW and then he lost an appeal

Richard John McPhillamy has been a prominent layman in Catholic Church affairs in the diocese of Bathurst, in central-west New South Wales. He was formerly listed as an "acolyte", assisting in various matters at Bathurst's Cathedral of St Michael and St John. Also, he worked as an assistant dormitory master at St Stanislaus College — a Bathurst boarding school for boys. As a dormitory master at this school in the 1980s, Mr Rick McPhillamy had his own room in the "priests corridor", located near the Year Seven dormitory. (This school was conducted by the Catholic religious order of Vincentian priests and Brothers.) In 2011 and 2015, McPhillamy was convicted of committing sexual crimes against three of the boys who were under his control. McPhillamy appealed against these convictions but in 2017 his appeal was dismissed. In a magistrates court in April 2021, police filed some new charges against McPhillamy. (Article updated 13 April 2021.)

A senior Catholic priest is facing charges in Australia from the 1970s

A senior priest in the Jesuit religious order - Father Theo Overberg - began facing court in New South Wales in 2020 regarding sex offences which were allegedly committed in the 1970s against boys at Sydney's St Ignatius College Riverview.

This priest (he was the deputy to a bishop) is jailed again - and police are making further investigations

In the 1970s and 1980s, Father Richard John Cattell was a Catholic priest in western Sydney, where he committed sexual crimes against numerous boys. In the early 1990s, the Catholic Church promoted Cattell to become the Vicar-General of the Parramatta diocese, supervising 48 parishes in western Sydney on behalf of the bishop. Eventually, many years later, some of Cattell's victims began to speak (as adults) to the police, and therefore Cattell was jailed in 1994 and again in 2015 and 2019 regarding these victims. On 2 November 2020, Cattell (aged 80) was jailed again after an additional victim contacted the detectives. This demonstrates that it is never too late for a former victim to obtain justice. In early 2021, New South Wales Police began investigating further complaints from other alleged victims of Richard Cattell. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 9 March 2021.)

An elderly ex-priest is in jail until the year 2026 for crimes against children

In the 1960s, Brian Spillane began training towards a career in the Catholic priesthood. In 2020, he is in jail in New South Wales for sexual crimes which he committed against boys (and also some girls) during his religious career. Spillane's eligible release date is November 2026. While he is in jail, police have investigated some additional allegations about Spillane. (Background article by a Broken Rites researcher.)

The church protected "Father F" for 30 years but eventually he was jailed

This Broken Rites article is the most comprehensive account available about how Catholic Church leaders remained silent for 30 years about the child-sex crimes of Father John Joseph Farrell (also known as "Father F"). In 1993, Broken Rites began researching the Farrell cover-up. In 2012, our research helped to create a "Four Corners" television program about the Farrell cover-up, thus bringing this cover-up to nationwide attention. And this helped to encourage the Federal Government to establish its national child-abuse Royal Commission. Gradually, some of Farrell's victims spoke (separately) to child-protection police, resulting in the jailing of Farrell. (By a Broken Rites researcher.)

Father John Denham's life of crime (while church leaders covered up for him): Background article

Broken Rites has researched the cover-up of one of Australia's most notorious Catholic priests, Father John Sidney Denham. Father Denham's superiors and colleagues knew about his child-sex crimes but this information was concealed from the police. Finally, some of his victims gradually began to contact the police. As a result, Denham has been convicted in court several times since 2000. He has been in jail since 2008, and his jail time has been increased as more of his victims gradually contacted the police. In 2019, Denham (aged 76) was sentenced to additional jail time for his 59th victim. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 7 February 2021)

Marist Brothers admit they harbored this criminal Brother

The Marist Brothers have been forced to acknowledge that yet another one of their members — Brother Thomas Joseph Butler (known as "Brother Patrick") — committed sexual offences against children. Broken Rites began researching Butler in 1999. Former students, from several Marist schools in New South Wales and Queensland, told Broken Rites that the Marists knew about Butler's offences but the Marists allowed him to continue teaching — and offending — throughout his long career. In September 2016, Australia's national child-abuse Royal Commission held a public hearing (in Newcastle) to examine how the Marist leadership handled Brother Patrick Butler (plus some other offenders). The Royal Commission's report on this matter was published on the website of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on 21 October 2020. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 22 October 2020.)

A priest suddently died after police charged him — and now one of his victims has died by suicide

Broken Rites is doing further research about how the Catholic Church harboured Father Daniel Dominic Hourigan, who committed sexual offences against children in the Sale diocese in eastern Victoria. Hourigan was recruited into the priesthood in his forties. He died three days after police charged him with sexual offences against a boy. Now, many years later, some of his victims are still feeling hurt by the church's cover-up. In 2019, one of Hourigan's victims died by suicide — a slow death lasting forty years. This victim's death is mentioned at the end of this article. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 1 October 2020.)

COVER-UP: A senior Australian Catholic is sentenced in court for concealing some church crimes

One of Australia's most senior Marist Brothers — William Henry Wade (known as "Brother Christopher") — has made history as the first senior Catholic in Australia to plead guilty to concealing the child-sex crimes of Catholic colleagues. In the Sydney District Court on 30 September 2020, Wade (now aged 84) was sentenced for failing to provide information to police during child sex investigations into two other Marist criminals — Francis Cable (known as "Brother Romuald") and Darcy O'Sullivan (known as "Brother Dominic"). (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 30 September 2020.)

How the paedophile Father Denis McAlinden was inflicted on Australian children

Research by Broken Rites has revealed that the Catholic Church knowingly harboured the paedophile priest Father Denis McAlinden for 40 years, thus inflicting him on young girls in parishes around Australia and also overseas. The church has been paying small out-of-court settlements to some of McAlinden's victims, thus avoiding a larger court-based settlement. In November 2016, two sisters began to sue the Catholic Church in the New South Wales Supreme Court for a proper amount to settle their abuse by McAlinden. At the last moment, the church agreed to pay these two women a confidential out-of-court financial settlement, thus preventing the church's other victims from knowing the size of a court-related settlement. This Broken Rites article explains the background about Fr Denis McAlinden and the church's cover-up. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated. 13 September 2020.)

Marist Brothers admit suicides by sex-abuse victims

Broken Rites Australia is doing research about adults who have suffered a premature death while still feeling damaged by church child-abuse (and by the church's cover-up). For example, Broken Rites has discovered that two former pupils, from a prestigious Marist Brothers school, have died by suicide. Before dying, both men revealed that they had been sexually abused during their childhood by a long-serving teacher, Brother Aubrey Tobin. (By a Broken Rites researcher, updated 3 September 2020.)

A Sydney priest is serving a five-year jail sentence for child-sex crimes

Broken Rites is doing further research about Father Robert James Hickman, who became a Catholic priest in Sydney in the 1970s. As well as working in parishes, he was also a "chaplain" for Sydney's deaf community (these disadvantaged people were especially in danger of being abused). In Sydney's Parramatta District Court on 9 December 2016, Hickman (then aged 71) was jailed for a minimum of five years for child-sex offences. Since then, Broken Rites has found additional victims of Father Hickman. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 8 August 2019,.)

Church paid huge sums to lawyers to defend a criminal priest, Father James Fletcher: Background article

The Catholic diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in New South Wales has admitted that it paid an expensive team of lawyers to defend a paedophile priest in a child-abuse court case. The priest, Father James Patrick Fletcher, pleaded not guilty in 2004 to multiple counts of anal and oral sexual penetration of an altar boy, Daniel Feenan. The offences began in 1990, when Daniel was 12. A jury found Fletcher guilty on all charges. Legal experts have told the media that Fletcher's legal costs for the 11-day trial exceeded $200,000. The church's defence team included a Queen's Counsel, plus a second barrister and a solicitor. Fletcher had various victims, most of whom were still remaining silent. This court case in 2004 was about one victim, Daniel. (Background article by a Broken Rites researcher.)

The Marist Brothers sheltered this pedophile, helping him to commit crimes against young boys

For many years, Marist Brother Francis William Cable (also known as "Brother Romuald") was committing sexual crimes against Catholic schoolboys in New South Wales. His Marist colleagues and superiors looked the other way, protecting him from the police and giving him access to more victims. Eventually, some of his victims (acting separately) began to contact Broken Rites and/or the New South Wales Police, instead of merely telling Romuald Cable's church colleagues. NSW Police detectives then found some more of his victims. As a result, "Rom" Cable was jailed in 2015 regarding 19 of his victims. The police investigation continued. In 2019, Romuald Cable was sentenced to more jail time after pleading guilty regarding five more of his victims. In court on 20 August 2020, prosecutors filed some additional charges against Cable. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 20 August 2020.)

This reverend Brother (already jailed in Victoria) is now facing new charges in Queensland

When Frank Keating became a De La Salle Brother in his late teens, he was given the religious name "Brother Ibar", in honour of an ancient Irish saint. But Brother "Ibar" Keating was no saint — he began committing sexual crimes against his pupils. His superiors knew this but they allowed him to continue offending in Catholic schools around Australia for many years more. Eventually, some of Keating's victims reported him to the police in two states — Victoria and Queensland. As a result, he has been jailed in Victoria. And in September 2019 (aged 77) he pleaded guilty in a Brisbane court to a number of Queensland offences. In September 2020, Queensland police filed some additional charges against Keating regarding some more boys. He will face court in Queensland on a later date. This Broken Rites article gives the full story of the church's cover-up of Brother "Ibar" Keating. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 9 September 2020..)

These adults gain justice for crimes committed by a priest many years ago when they were children

For many years, a Catholic priest in North Queensland (Father Neville Joseph Creen) used his priestly standing to hide his child-sex crimes from the police. But eventually, some of his victims began reporting Creen's past crimes to the police. As a result, Creen was convicted in two court cases in 2003 and 2004 regarding these victims. After this, several more victims contacted the police, and therefore in November 2020 he was convicted again in a third court case regarding these additional victims. These three court cases involved female victims. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 19 March. 2021)

Pedophile priest Finian Egan is fighting deportation — and he received support from a bishop

Irish-born Catholic priest Finian Egan was transferred to Australia in 1959, and he soon began committing sexual crimes against Australian children. The Catholic Church protected him in Australia for the next five decades until some of his victims (with help from Broken Rites) succeeded in getting him convicted. A Sydney court sentenced Egan to a minimum of four years in jail, and this sentence expired on 19 December 2017, when Egan was released, aged 82. According to church law at the Vatican, Father Egan still retained his priestly status during and after his time in jail (although, being elderly, he was retired from parish work). In 2018, the Australian immigration authorities tried to deport Father Egan back to Ireland but Egan contested this order with support from church sources, including support from his previous superior in Sydney, Bishop Peter Comensoli. In 2018, Bishop Comensoli became the new archbishop of Melbourne. (Article updated on 1 August 2020.)

A New South Wales priest was jailed for sexually assaulting boys in his parish house

In a Sydney court on 30 October 2018, a Catholic priest in northern New South Wales (Father John Patrick Casey, 70) was sentenced to four years and ten months jail on charges of sexually assaulting two teenage boys who stayed with him at the priest's parish-house in the 1980s. The allegations against Father Casey included performing oral sex on one of the boys, masturbating in the boy’s presence, and digitally penetrating the other boy’s anus. Casey later appealed against his conviction but on 29 July 2020 the NSW Supreme Court dismissed the appeal. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated on 29 July 2020.)

One of Australia's leading Christian Brothers was jailed after pleading guilty

Christian Brother Terence Patrick Aquinas Kingston had a 40-year career as a teacher and administrator in Australian Catholic boys' schools — and he became one of the leaders of the Christian Brothers in Australia. Meanwhile, he was committing sexual offences against schoolboys. As usual in Catholic Church crimes, his victims suffered in silence throughout their childhood but eventually (when aged in their fifties) several of them spoke to police investigators, and this resulted in Kingston being sentenced to jail in two states (in Queensland in 2017 and in New South Wales in 2019). The charges involved a total of eight victims, and Kingston pleaded guilty regarding all of these. In July 2020, Kingston (aged 83) is facing court again in Queensland, charged with offences allegedly committed against some additional boys. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 29 July 2020)

The church covered up Father Vincent Ryan's child-sex crimes, thus giving him access to more victims

This Broken Rites article is the most comprehensive account available about how Catholic Church leaders knowingly protected a pedophile priest, Father Vincent Gerard Ryan. Ryan's superiors (in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese in New South Wales) knew that he was sexually assaulting boys in his parishes. But the church concealed Ryan's crimes from the police and kept him in the ministry for twenty years, giving him access to new victims. Ryan has already been serving time in jail for some of his crimes but on 21 July 2020 (aged 82) he was released from jail, and the bishop's office confirmed that the Vatican is allowing Father Ryan to retain his priestly status. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 21 July 2020.)

This priest allegedly assaulted 40 children during 30 years (while church leaders looked the other way)

For three decades, Father David Joseph Perrett worked in Catholic parishes in north-western New South Wales until he retired at age 58. In 2020 (aged 82) he was awaiting a criminal court trial, charged with committing sexual crimes against 40 children throughout his priestly career. That is, his alleged 30-year crime spree occurred under the noses of the church authorities (but eventually some of his victims reported Perrett's crimes to the police). On 2 July 2020, Perrett died in hospital and therefore the court will have to cancel his trial. This was not Father Perrett's first criminal court case -- his first conviction for child-sex crimes was in 1996. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 3 July 2020.)

The church acknowledges child-abuse at this orphanage but, as usual, it is resisting a proper financial settlement for a victim

In recent years, the Catholic order of Christian Brothers in Australia have made small payments to several sex-abuse victims of Brother Donald Pascal Alford at St Augustine's boys' home, Geelong, in the state of Victoria. In 2021, one former inmate of this orphanage (let's refer to him as "Basil") has engaged a Melbourne legal firm to tackle the Christian Brothers organisation, demanding a proper amount of compensation for abuse which Basil says he suffered at the hands of Brother Alford at this orphanage. As usual, the church lawyers (and accountants) are resisting the amount of compensation that Basil is seeking but Basil is determined to obtain justice. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 8 February 2021.)

Pages

Subscribe to Broken Rites Australia RSS