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Rockhampton Diocese compensates nine abuse victims

Nine boys who were victims of a Queensland paedophile priest have received compensation from the church.

The boys were sexually abused by Michael McArdle from 1972-1979 in various locations in Queensland where he served as a priest.

McArdle, 68, was in October jailed in Brisbane for six years, with a parole recommendation after two years.

Lawyer Roger Singh said the compensation was won through a mediation process with the diocese of Rockhampton.

"It's not a day for celebration for these victims, this is but a small part of the recovery process," he said.

"The most important thing for many of these victims is the acknowledgement by the church that this happened, it was wrong, and that steps are being taken to ensure this never happens again."

The children, aged from eight to 14, were abused at altar boy camping excursions, in the church change rooms and in the church presbytery.

Bishop Brian Heenan of Rockkhampton attended the mediation process and heard first hand the suffering of the victims.

Last year he made an unreserved apology to the victims from the Catholic Church.

McArdle had pleaded guilty to a total of 62 charges, involving 56 counts of indecent dealing against boys aged under 14 and six counts against girls aged under 14.

Catholics compensate nine abuse victims (ninemsn/AAP 18/12/03)

Men reach out-of-court settlement over church abuse (ABC 18/12/03)
Rockhampton bishop asked to quit (CathNews 22/10/03)
Diocese of Rockhampton | Bishop Brian Heenan
Rockhampton bishop renews apology to priest's victims (CathNews 10/10/03)
Rockhampton bishop calls meetings to discuss church sex abuse (CathNews 15/8/02)
Public apology for Rockhampton priest's sex abuse (CathNews 17/6/02)
Church apologises to abuse victims (The Age)
Church apologises for abuse (The Courier-Mail)
Pope laments 'scandalous behaviour' of some priests (Ananova)
Towards Healing

19 Dec 2003