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Politician urges Hobart archbishop to step aside for inquiry

A Tasmanian Liberal politician has called on Archbishop Adrian Doyle to stand aside while an independent inquiry is held.

The Mercury reported at the weekend that Bass MHA Peter Gutwein (pictured) called for an urgent inquiry into the way the church has handled allegations of sexual abuse laid against its clergy.

Mr Gutwein, the first politician to take a public stance on the issue, said it would be appropriate for Archbishop Doyle to stand aside while the matter was investigated.

The Archbishop, who has admitted mishandling sexual abuse complaints against Monsignor Philip Green, said he would not be resigning or standing down.

Some members of the Catholic community have been calling for the Archbishop to hand in his resignation over the issue.

"I have met Archbishop Doyle on a number of occasions and while I believe that he is a good and decent man, as the inquiry would need to primarily investigate his handling of these claims it would not be appropriate for him to have any active role whilst the inquiry was being conducted," Mr Gutwein said.

"This is not about joining the campaign to remove the Archbishop.

"This is about ensuring that the real problem, the sexual abuse of children and the extent of this abuse, is understood and that most importantly mechanisms are put in place to ensure that this sort of situation cannot occur again."

Mr Gutwein urged the church to adopt an inquiry and use it as a catalyst for rebuilding faith and trust, and setting new standards for the protection and care of children.

Doyle urged to step aside for inquiry (The Mercury)

Peter Gutwein MHA, Liberal Member for Bass
Woman feared priest's power (The Mercury)
Catholic Faithful (ABC TV Stateline)
Bishops and wellwishers back Hobart archbishop (6/11/03)
Beseiged Tasmanian archbishop speaks out (5/11/03)
Marist abuse allegations (The Examiner)
Doyle stands firm amid calls for resignation (3/11/03)
Fury as Doyle digs in (The Mercury)
Archbishop resists pressure to resign (ABC/Yahoo)
Heat on Doyle to step down (The Mercury)
Tasmanian archbishop's remorse for complaints handling (30/10/03)
Hobart Archbishop refuses to quit over abuse cases (ABC)

Catholic bishops reportedly cooperating on abuse claims (News Observer/Associated Press)
Abuse has deep roots in the past (The Irish Times/One in Four)
Bishops slowly facing up to sex abuse scandal (Washington Times)
Catholic group asks Vatican to remove N.H. bishop, aide (Associated Press/
Post-scandal, Catholics give more (Detroit News/Washington Post)
Church sex abuse audits advancing (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

10 Nov 2003