Catholic Church saves $62 million on sexual abuse claims
The Catholic Church avoided paying up to $62 million in compensation to sexual abuse victims by creating the controversial Melbourne Response program, which capped payments at $50,000 for each victim.
Internal documents also show church leaders ordered written records about sex abuse be "kept to a minimum" to avoid losing lawsuits, and hired one of the country's best spin doctors in a bid to prepare for the scandal in the early 1990s....
In August 1996, Archbishop Pell discussed the idea of creating a special trust to "avoid an open-ended call on funding for counselling fees" for abuse victims, to only days later canvass suggestions of how the church could financially support three paedophile priests set to be released from prison.
Meetings also describe plans for multimillion-dollar property deals and commissioning a new painting of the archbishop, while senior leaders were also expressing concern about "being seen to apply the maximum penalty" against paedophile priests, the protection of church assets and their own exposure to liability in sexual abuse lawsuits....
Priest warned police officer to drop investigation or lose job, child abuse hearing told
Father Peter Taffe ‘told officer Denis Ryan he would be out of a job’ if he pursued an investigation into the Mildura parish priest Monsignor John Day
Australian Associated Press Sunday 6 December 2015
A Victorian priest warned a police officer to drop his investigation into a colleague over child abuse allegations, an inquiry has heard.
Father Peter Taffe told the police officer he would be out of a job if he pursued an investigation into the Mildura parish priest Monsignor John Day, the child abuse royal commission was told.
Senior counsel assisting the commission, Gail Furness SC, said 140 people had made child sex abuse claims against priests and others in religious orders in the diocese of Ballarat since 1980. Ninety per cent of the claims were against seven priests, including 78 against Gerald Francis Ridsdale and 15 against Day.
Furness said a man had told Mildura assistant priest Taffe in January 1972 his son had been abused by Day. She said Taffe’s first words had been: “I thought he was over all this.”
A former Mildura police officer, Denis Ryan, had already been investigating complaints against Day, she said, and would tell the commission Taffe had warned him in December 1971: “Drop the inquiry into Monsignor Day or you’ll be out of a job.”
Ryan wrote to then Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns setting out allegations from seven complainants. The inquiry was told Mulkearns had said he had been assured police were satisfied there was no substance to the charges, and it was impossible to move Day out of Mildura.
“Any such move would be tantamount to a public declaration that I consider him guilty,” he said....
Furness said Mulkearns had told another Mortlake victim’s mother: “How am I to take the word of a child over one of my priests?”
Lord Janner: Judge rules dementia sufferer is unfit to plead in child sex abuse trial
Court hearing on 87-year-old peer's mental health is told former Labour grandee is suffering from 'advanced and disabling' dementia
By David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent
07 Dec 2015
Lord Janner has been declared unfit to plead in a criminal trial over a range of sex abuse charges dating back 50 years, a senior judge has ruled.
In a hearing at the Old Bailey on the 87-year-old's mental health, Mr Justice Openshaw said the peer was suffering from "advanced and disabling" dementia.
He detailed reports from four leading psychiatrists and psychologists which had been commissioned by both prosecution and defence - all of which agreed the peer's mental health was very poor. Janner did not attend the latest court hearing....
Janner is accused of 15 counts of indecent assault and seven counts of a separate sexual offence against a total of nine alleged victims in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
Twenty-one of the offences relate to complainants who were aged 16 or under at the time....