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Adelaide school issues statement on child-sex claims

Blackfriars Priory School principal Dr Paul Hine issued a statement yesterday stressing that the college is cooperating with a police investigation into allegations of sexual abuse involving former students about 20 years ago.

The statement, prepared with the assistance of a public relations consultancy, pointed out that the school has taken the "unusual decision" to publicly name itself in a police investigation. It says it is committed to a process of informing current and former staff, students, parents and the broader school community.

The Advertiser reports today that Blackfriars is conducting an internal inquiry into the handling of allegations of child abuse against a former teacher.

Blackfriars is a Dominican school with over 800 boys in years 3 to 12.

Dr Hine said yesterday he ordered the review in January when he became aware of information concerning the former teacher.

"[But] I am also aware that I need to be mindful of not pre-judging the outcome of any inquiry that may be instigated.

"If there are other issues in the past that need to be dealt with, I am determined to see this happens."

Dr Hine confirmed he was also aware of allegations made against another staff member that were investigated by police and the Catholic education professional standards body and subsequently disproved.

Media Statement (Blackfriors Priory School 18/3/04)
School looks at prior child-sex claims (The Advertiser/ 19/3/04)

Former teacher on 19 sex charges (The Advertiser 18/3/04)

Blackfriars Priory School

Expert sees decline in rate of clergy sex abuse as part of U.S. trend (Catholic News Service 5/3/04)
Man says healing service for abuse victims a 'resurrection' for him (Catholic News Service 4/3/04)
US bishop could face criminal charges (Catholic World News 4/3/04)
Catholic Church official speaks about abuse (Lexington Herald-Leader 7/3/04)
Former Jesuit Comments Criticized (Associated Press/Guardian 8/3/04)
Priest leaves ministry after denying child sex abuse allegation (Belfast Telegraph 8/3/04)
Church Starts Web Site on Accused Priests (The Guardian/Associated Press 14/3/04)
Churches share knowledge on addressing sexual abuse (Insights 10/3/04)

19 Mar 2004