Former Sandhurst priest to face rape charges

A former Sandhurst priest, Fr Adelrick D'Cruz is reported to be facing 13 sexual offence charges including three counts of rape and ten counts of unlawful indecent assault on a girl.

The Bendigo Advertiser reports that Fr D'Cruz, 77, was ordained in 1957 and that it understands his previous parishes included Yarrawonga, Cohuna and Shepparton.

Father D'Cruz now lives in Melbourne, the paper says.

According to The Advertiser, the Sandhurst diocese did not return calls asking for comment before the time of going to press.

Pedophile fears for Catholic child abducted in Portugal

Meanwhile, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that the mother of Madeleine McCann, the British toddler abducted while on holiday in Portugal, led tearful prayers as hopes faded in the search for her daughter.

After attending a special Catholic Mass in Praia da Luz, Kate McCann said: "Please continue to pray for Madeleine."

Reports say that concerns are growing for the toddler, who was snatched from her bed in the resort last Thursday night.

A search, involving hundreds of officers, has extended more than eight kilometres from where she was taken.

Mrs McCann, 39, a Catholic, attended the service with her husband, Gerald, and broke down as she was given five pink and red roses at the church.

Priest faces rape charges (Bendigo Advertiser, 8/5/07)
Tears, prayers for abducted British toddler (Sydney Morning Herald, 8/5/07)

8 May 2007