Brother suspended over sex claims
Br Rodger Moloney has been stood down from St John of God's provincial council in Sydney, the Australasian head of the Catholic order, Brother Peter Burke, confirmed yesterday, pending the outcome of a police investigation into the troubled order in New Zealand.
The allegations of sexual abuse date back to between 1972 and 1977, when Br Moloney was in charge of the Marylands Special School in Christchurch, then run by the order of St John of God. Another brother, Bernard McGrath, was convicted a decade ago of sex offences against five former students of the school.
Br Burke said Br Moloney, who worked in administration, had been removed from all ministry as soon as the order was informed of the inquiry by New Zealand police some weeks ago, although he has yet to be interviewed.
The St John of God order is still reeling from earlier abuse scandals. "It is a disaster, a tragedy for the order and for the church," Br Burke said yesterday. "But we are trying to deal with [these allegations] openly and with integrity."
Last month the order paid 24 victims more than $3.6 million in compensation for abuse at three of its Victorian homes between 1968 and 1994.
In New Zealand the order has paid $300,000 in compensation to victims in recent weeks.
St John of God Brothers to pay out $3.6 million (13/6/02)
Hospitaller Order of St John of God (Australia)
5 Jul 2002