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Another humiliating abuse lesson for the Church on national television.

The ABC's 7.30 Report last night broadcast the story of Lucien Leech-Larkin who was abused in the late 1960s by a lay teacher at St Aloysius College, Sydney.

The full transcript of the story can be found at the 7.30 Report website below. The principal charge of the program is that the responsible authorities, in this case the Jesuits, did not respond to the allegations until they became aware that it was going to be broadcast in the media. The Provincial of the Jesuits, Fr Mark Raper SJ, did offer to meet the family and has acknowledged that harm was done. At the last moment the proposed meeting appears to have been canned by lawyers. The man at the centre of the abuse claims, Colin Fearon, has a history of complaints and police inquiries against him but has escaped prosecution because of his age according to the program.

The program also interviewed Professor Patrick Parkinson who helped draw up the Towards Healing protocol for the handling of abuse allegations in the Church. The Jesuits have not signed this protocol and have their own procedures. Professor Parkinson said: "There's a vast difference between Towards Healing and the Jesuit protocol. A vast difference. The Jesuit protocol is really essentially saying if you make a complaint to us, we will investigate it and we will take it seriously. But it's not actually doing very much for the victims if it's not trying to promote healing towards the victims, nor to offer some outreach to them."

ABC TV: 7.30 Report

24 Jun 2003