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Tasmanian sex abuse crisis continues

The Mercury reports this morning that the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church in Tasmania is deepening, with nine separate complaints having been made against senior church officials.

The paper says a second woman has lodged a complaint with the church about the alleged sexual behaviour of a senior priest. And it has been revealed that complaints made by four women against a church employee are unresolved more than 18 months after they were first lodged.

The church has established a process through which alleged victims who refuse to take part in the Towards Healing process can take their complaints to a panel of lawyers and psychologists.

A sex abuse campaigner and victims rights lobbyist has lodged a complaint that she was allegedly indecently assaulted by a priest who she had gone to for marriage counselling. The priest has been suspended from active ministry as a result of an earlier complaint.

Archbishop Adrian Doyle has again expressed sorrow at the situation and urged anyone with complaints to speak out. He said the latest allegations had come "as a big shock".

"I tried to respond as best I could and said I would be investigating it," Archbishop Doyle said. He said he had spoken to the priest about the allegations, and the priest had categorically denied them.

Sex crisis deepens (The Mercury 22/12/03)

22 Dec 2003