Australia: Don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t write it down
The cover-up of child sex abuse by Catholic priests was systematic, thorough and organised from the very top. As if you didn’t know that already.
One of the Australian Catholic Church’s most prominent and senior figures has admitted he advised other clergy it was a good idea not to take notes of interviews with priests accused of sexual abuse so they couldn’t be successfully used in legal action.
Father Brian Lucas, a frequent media spokesman for the archdiocese of Sydney and general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference said he had dealt with about 35 accused priests around NSW from 1990 to 1995 when he was part of a team whose job was to confront them and persuade them out of the ministry…
He said if he had taken notes fairness would have required that he check them with the accused for accuracy. Asked whether he had ever done that he said no…
“Is the real position as to why you didn’t want to take any note that you didn’t want it to have to be exposed in any subsequent legal process?” asked counsel assisting the inquiry, Julia Lonergan, SC.
“I think that would be a reasonable comment,” he replied.