According to the Newcastle Herald, a senior Priest in the Maitland Diocese (which includes Newcastle and the Lower Hunter region) has been charged with what amounts to a "cover-up" of complaints of sexual abuse made by school-boys against a Priest, John Sydney Denham. The senior Priest was the Principal of the School at the time. Fr Denham was one of the teachers.
- ‘‘It’s the first time such a senior Catholic Church leader has been charged with allegedly concealing child sex crimes by another alleged offender.’’
He apparently caned the students.
Yes, that's right.
What is worse, the senior Priest has been charged with "eight counts of sexually assaulting a boy, 8, at a Waratah church in 1984 and 1985, and two counts of assault." (Presumably the caning incidents).
Following up the crass and blindly stupid comments reported from America yesterday, where a senior Franciscan Friar (albeit of a break-away group) tried to blame children for seducing priests.
Can you believe that?
Well, that's a long way away, but Newcastle is just up the road.
Personal disclaimer: As many people know, I was once a Catholic Seminarian (student Priest). One of my classmates was John Denham, now know in Police reports as John Sydney Denham.
He has a pile of charges against him, but has not yet faced a trial.
- "Father Denham has not entered pleas to 47 charges including indecent assault and buggery involving 14 boys in the 1970s. He will return to court in September."
Surely it is time for a Royal Commission in NSW into these Child Abuse events, not just relating to Catholic priests, but all teachers and persons in positions of authority (and trust) relating to children.
But with the Far Right of the Liberal Party so completely under the control of the male Catholic (Jesuit trained) cabal in the NSW Parliament, I hold out little hope that this will happen.
But it should.