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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Australian Sex Abuse Victims Blast Brisbane Bishops For Endangering Children

A recently released report detailing widespread clergy sex crimes and cover ups by Irish Catholic officials also contained information showing that as many as 7 bishops and auxiliary bishops in Brisbane also endangered kids and failed to reach out.

The Cloyne report is causing a firestorm in Catholic circles and among citizens and governmental leaders in Ireland. But little attention has been paid to sections of the document like this that relate to Australia:

"In his first direct contact with the Archdiocese of Brisbane, Monsignor O’Callaghan wrote suggesting that it take a similar course of action. In this letter he also stated that the Diocese of Cloyne had concerns that there might be other victims in Cloyne. He did not ask directly about [the accused priest's] history in Brisbane but did say that he “may have had a history before retirement but, in the absence of the principles of good practice currently in place, that would not necessarily have been communicated to Cloyne”." (section 20.10)

The Archdiocese of Brisbane had not mentioned two abuse complaints to Irish Church officials in Cloyne because they “never asked” if there were any other complaints about the accused priest. (section 20.19)

Commission’s assessment
"The Commission is astonished that the Archdiocese of Brisbane did not tell the Diocese of Cloyne or Andrew [This is a pseudonym] about the two earlier complaints. It is, however, true that Monsignor O’Callaghan never asked the direct question." (section 20.39)

Here is what two Australian clergy sex abuse victims have to say about the new disclosures:

Nicky Davis, SNAP Australia (www.SNAPAustralia.org), Sydney Area Chapter, [ +61 0422 538 440; nicky@nickydavis.com.au ]

“The Australian Bishops are just as bad as their colleagues in Ireland. The Cloyne Report, released last week in Ireland, includes evidence bishops in Brisbane hid details of an abusive priest’s criminal past so that he could retire with an unblemished record to an Irish parish where he continued to abuse."

"When one of this priest’s latest victims attempted to seek help recently, Brisbane bishops continued to deliberately withhold details that this known predator could have been prevented from continuing to abuse if Brisbane diocese had acted responsibly or in the interests of child protection."

"It’s not news to anyone familiar with this issue that Australian Catholic Bishops continue to put their own interests and those of the criminals they protect above child protection, but what is unique about this story is the fact there is independent evidence that completely undermines any Catholic excuses or other attempts to avoid responsibility for their own actions."

Sylvia Blayse, SNAP Australia (www.SNAPAustralia.org), Brisbane Area Chapter, [+61 0457151567; sblayse@hotmail.com ]

"The Cloyne report recognized that the church hierarchy focuses on protecting themselves and their reputations, rather than protecting their flock."

"Are Australians so bored by stories of continuing child endangerment by the Catholic Church that this new shocking information doesn't even raise eyebrows?"

For more information please contact:

Nicky Davis +61 0422 538 440 (nicky@nickydavis.com.au)
SNAP Australia (www.SNAPAustralia.org), Sydney Area Chapter

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 10,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is www.SNAPnetwork.org)


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org