Church victims should report church crimes to the police detectives, as shown in the Father Gannon case

This article explains why Broken Rites Australia advises church-abuse victims to have a chat with child-protection detectives in the state police force. The Melbourne Catholic archdiocese ignored the child-sex crimes of Father Desmond Gannon throughout his long career. This cover-up ended in 1993 when the newly-formed Broken Rites began encouraging church-victims to consult the child-protection detectives. In 1995 this resulted in a jail sentence for Gannon. Altogether, Gannon has been sentenced five times (in 1995, 1997, 2000, 2003 and 2009) for sexual crimes against children. But the Catholic Church did not totally strip Gannon of his priestly status until 2012, when the church hierarchy became alarmed about the launching of Victoria's parliamentary investigation into church-related child sex-abuse. In 2022, several Gannon victims are taking civil action against the Melbourne Catholic Archdiocese in Victoria's Supreme Court, demanding proper compensation from the church to make up for the damage that was done to these victims' lives. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 8 March 2022.)

The church hid the crimes of Christian Brother Edward Dowlan (now known as "Mister Ted Bales"): Background article

This Broken Rites article is the most comprehensive account available about how the Christian Brothers organisation concealed the crimes of Brother Edward Dowlan (now known as "Mister Ted Bales"). From the start, the Christian Brothers knew that Dowlan was committing criminal sexual assaults against Australian schoolchildren but, instead of dismissing him, the Christian Brothers kept transferring him to more schools, thus giving him access to more victims. His victims were usually aged about 11 or 12 but some were as young as 8 or 9. In the 1990s, when some victims finally reported him to the police, the Christian Brothers supported Dowlan and tried to defeat the victims. The victims eventually won by getting him jailed in 1996 and again in 2015. Many of Brother Dowlan's victims have had their lives damaged by the church's cover-up — and several of his victims ended up in suicide. Since 2015, some more of Dowlan's alleged victims have spoken to police detectives, and therefore in 2021 these detectives are preparing a new prosecution of Ted Bales. formerly Dowlan. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 4 June 2021.)

This priest was committing indecent acts against children from Day One, a court is told

A Catholic priest, Father Bryan Desmond Coffey, was indecently touching young children immediately after being ordained, an Australian court has been told. During Coffey's 37 years in the priesthood, church leaders kept hearing about his criminal behaviour but they always concealed this information from the police, thus protecting the church's holy image of priestly "celibacy". Finally, one victim reported Father Coffey's crimes to the police, instead of merely to the church. Coffey was convicted in court in 1999, and the media publicity forced the church authorities to realise that they could no longer merely transfer Coffey to another parish. He continued to be a priest, but a priest without a parish. Broken Rites has researched the court transcripts to compile the following account of how the church covered up the crimes of Father Bryan Coffey. In legal actions in 2021, some of Coffey's victims have successfully sued the church to obtain financial compensation for the damage which was done to their lives. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 9 January 2022.)

A priest, aged 80, is jailed by a Sydney court for sexual crimes he committed against children at a Catholic boarding school many years ago

A Catholic priest, Father Anthony Caruana, aged 80, was sentenced to jail by a Sydney court on 10 December 2021 for committing sexual offences against a number of boys, aged 12 to 15, in the 1980s when Father Caruana was on the staff of Chevalier College, a Catholic boarding school at Burradoo (near Bowral) in southern New South Wales. Chevalier College was established by a Catholic religious order of priests, known as the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. His jail sentence is for 15 years with the right to release after ten years. (Article updated 10 December 2021.)

This is how a Catholic religious organisation, the St John of God Brothers, 'looked after' disadvantaged boys

The Catholic religious order of St John of God Brothers (SJOG) has operated in Australia for several generations, providing accommodation for boys and young men who have an educational or intellectual disability. In these SJOG institutions, sexual abuse was committed against many boys almost from Day One. Victims have told Broken Rites that the sex-offenders even included the founder of the order's Australian institutions, Brother Kilian Herbert. On 6 February 2017, the SJOG Order was exposed at a public hearing of Australia's national child-abuse Royal Commission. In a New South Wales court on 26 November 2021, a former Brother (Daniel Slattery, now aged 67) was sentenced to jail for crimes which he committed while working at a SJOG residential school forty years ago.(By a Broken Rites researcher.)

The church finally admits the child-sex crimes of Father Tony Bongiorno

According to Broken Rites research, the Melbourne Catholic archdiocese has been forced to admit that Father Anthony Bongiorno committed sexual crimes against children during his 30 years working in Melbourne parishes. Anthony (Tony) Bongiorno began training for the priesthood about 1960, aged 25. Anthony Bongiorno's child-sex crimes were covered up until some of his victims exposed him in the mid-1990s. The total number of Father Bongiorno's victims is unknown. For example, in 1980, a woman (named Maria James) learned that her son (aged 11) was a Bongiorno victim but this woman was murdered before she could expose Bongiorno about her son's abuse. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated on 11 November 2021)

Father John Denham's life of crime (while church leaders covered up for him): Background article

Broken Rites has researched the cover-up of one of Australia's most notorious Catholic priests, Father John Sidney Denham. Father Denham's superiors and colleagues knew about his child-sex crimes but this information was concealed from the police. Finally, some of his victims gradually began to contact the police. As a result, Denham has been convicted in court several times since 2000. He has been in jail since 2008, and his jail time has been increased as more of his victims gradually contacted the police. In 2019, Denham (aged 76) was sentenced to additional jail time for his 59th victim. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated in 2021)

The church enabled Father David Rapson to commit child-abuse, but now the church is forced to pay big compensation to one of his victims

This Broken Rites article tells how the Catholic Church harboured Father David Edwin Rapson for two decades, thus endangering boys in Catholic schools in Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales. His colleagues and superiors kept quiet about Rapson's behaviour because some of his colleagues, too, were a danger to boys. Beginning in 1992, some of his Victorian victims succeeded in getting Rapson jailed in that State. And furthermore, in a private legal action in 2021, one of Rapson's victims has successfully extracted substantial compensation from the church authorities for damage done to this victim. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 11 September 2021.)

The Marist Brothers sheltered this pedophile, helping him to commit crimes against young boys

For many years, Marist Brother Francis William Cable (also known as "Brother Romuald") was committing sexual crimes against Catholic schoolboys in New South Wales. His Marist colleagues and superiors looked the other way, protecting him from the police and giving him access to more victims. Eventually, some of his victims (acting separately) began to contact the New South Wales Police, instead of merely telling Romuald Cable's church colleagues. NSW Police detectives then found some more of his victims. As a result, "Rom" Cable was jailed in 2015 regarding 19 of his victims. The police investigation continued. In 2019, Romuald Cable was sentenced to more jail time after pleading guilty regarding five more of his victims. In 2021, Cable is scheduled to face further charges in court regarding additional boys. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 13 August 2021.)

The church helped Father Kevin O'Donnell to commit crimes against children. But now the victims win proper compensation

One of Australia's most notorious paedophile priests, Father Kevin O'Donnell, committed sexual crimes against children throughout his 50-year career in Melbourne Catholic parishes while his superiors and colleagues looked the other way. Eventually some of O'Donnell's victims contacted the police and got O'Donnell convicted and jailed. The abuse (and the church's cover-up) damaged the lives of victims. The Melbourne archdiocese paid SMALL compensation to victims. But eventually, in 2021, victims' lawyers forced the archdiocese to pay PROPER (larger) compensation to O'Donnell's victims. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 24 July 2021.)

The church concealed Father Terry Pidoto's life of crime: FULL STORY

This Broken Rites article is the most comprehensive account available about how the Catholic Church in Australia protected Father Terry Pidoto for 25 years while he committed crimes against boys in his parishes. (By a Broken Rites researcher.)

A prominent churchman was convicted in regional NSW and then he lost an appeal

Richard John McPhillamy has been a prominent layman in Catholic Church affairs in the diocese of Bathurst, in central-west New South Wales. He was formerly listed as an "acolyte", assisting in various matters at Bathurst's Cathedral of St Michael and St John. Also, he worked as an assistant dormitory master at St Stanislaus College — a Bathurst boarding school for boys. As a dormitory master at this school in the 1980s, Mr Rick McPhillamy had his own room in the "priests corridor", located near the Year Seven dormitory. (This school was conducted by the Catholic religious order of Vincentian priests and Brothers.) In 2011 and 2015, McPhillamy was convicted of committing sexual crimes against three of the boys who were under his control. McPhillamy appealed against these convictions but in 2017 his appeal was dismissed. In a magistrates court in April 2021, police filed some new charges against McPhillamy. (Article updated 13 April 2021.)

This priest (he was the deputy to a bishop) is jailed again - and police are making further investigations

In the 1970s and 1980s, Father Richard John Cattell was a Catholic priest in western Sydney, where he committed sexual crimes against numerous boys. In the early 1990s, the Catholic Church promoted Cattell to become the Vicar-General of the Parramatta diocese, supervising 48 parishes in western Sydney on behalf of the bishop. Eventually, many years later, some of Cattell's victims began to speak (as adults) to the police, and therefore Cattell was jailed in 1994 and again in 2015 and 2019 regarding these victims. On 2 November 2020, Cattell (aged 80) was jailed again after an additional victim contacted the detectives. This demonstrates that it is never too late for a former victim to obtain justice. In early 2021, New South Wales Police began investigating further complaints from other alleged victims of Richard Cattell. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 9 March 2021.)

An elderly ex-priest is in jail until the year 2026 for crimes against children

In the 1960s, Brian Spillane began training towards a career in the Catholic priesthood. In 2020, he is in jail in New South Wales for sexual crimes which he committed against boys (and also some girls) during his religious career. Spillane's eligible release date is November 2026. While he is in jail, police have investigated some additional allegations about Spillane. (Background article by a Broken Rites researcher.)

The church protected "Father F" for 30 years but eventually he was jailed

This Broken Rites article is the most comprehensive account available about how Catholic Church leaders remained silent for 30 years about the child-sex crimes of Father John Joseph Farrell (also known as "Father F"). In 1993, Broken Rites began researching the Farrell cover-up. In 2012, our research helped to create a "Four Corners" television program about the Farrell cover-up, thus bringing this cover-up to nationwide attention. And this helped to encourage the Federal Government to establish its national child-abuse Royal Commission. Gradually, some of Farrell's victims spoke (separately) to child-protection police, resulting in the jailing of Farrell. (By a Broken Rites researcher.)

A priest suddently died after police charged him — and now one of his victims has died by suicide

Broken Rites is doing further research about how the Catholic Church harboured Father Daniel Dominic Hourigan, who committed sexual offences against children in the Sale diocese in eastern Victoria. Hourigan was recruited into the priesthood in his forties. He died three days after police charged him with sexual offences against a boy. Now, many years later, some of his victims are still feeling hurt by the church's cover-up. In 2019, one of Hourigan's victims died by suicide — a slow death lasting forty years. This victim's death is mentioned at the end of this article. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 1 October 2020.)

How the paedophile Father Denis McAlinden was inflicted on Australian children

Research by Broken Rites has revealed that the Catholic Church knowingly harboured the paedophile priest Father Denis McAlinden for 40 years, thus inflicting him on young girls in parishes around Australia and also overseas. The church has been paying small out-of-court settlements to some of McAlinden's victims, thus avoiding a larger court-based settlement. In November 2016, two sisters began to sue the Catholic Church in the New South Wales Supreme Court for a proper amount to settle their abuse by McAlinden. At the last moment, the church agreed to pay these two women a confidential out-of-court financial settlement, thus preventing the church's other victims from knowing the size of a court-related settlement. This Broken Rites article explains the background about Fr Denis McAlinden and the church's cover-up. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated. 13 September 2020.)

Marist Brothers admit suicides by sex-abuse victims

Broken Rites Australia is doing research about adults who have suffered a premature death while still feeling damaged by church child-abuse (and by the church's cover-up). For example, Broken Rites has discovered that two former pupils, from a prestigious Marist Brothers school, have died by suicide. Before dying, both men revealed that they had been sexually abused during their childhood by a long-serving teacher, Brother Aubrey Tobin. (By a Broken Rites researcher, updated 3 September 2020.)

Church paid huge sums to lawyers to defend a criminal priest, Father James Fletcher: Background article

The Catholic diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in New South Wales has admitted that it paid an expensive team of lawyers to defend a paedophile priest in a child-abuse court case. The priest, Father James Patrick Fletcher, pleaded not guilty in 2004 to multiple counts of anal and oral sexual penetration of an altar boy, Daniel Feenan. The offences began in 1990, when Daniel was 12. A jury found Fletcher guilty on all charges. Legal experts have told the media that Fletcher's legal costs for the 11-day trial exceeded $200,000. The church's defence team included a Queen's Counsel, plus a second barrister and a solicitor. Fletcher had various victims, most of whom were still remaining silent. This court case in 2004 was about one victim, Daniel. (Background article by a Broken Rites researcher.)

This reverend Brother (already jailed in Victoria) is now facing new charges in Queensland

When Frank Keating became a De La Salle Brother in his late teens, he was given the religious name "Brother Ibar", in honour of an ancient Irish saint. But Brother "Ibar" Keating was no saint — he began committing sexual crimes against his pupils. His superiors knew this but they allowed him to continue offending in Catholic schools around Australia for many years more. Eventually, some of Keating's victims reported him to the police in two states — Victoria and Queensland. As a result, he has been jailed in Victoria. And in September 2019 (aged 77) he pleaded guilty in a Brisbane court to a number of Queensland offences. In September 2020, Queensland police filed some additional charges against Keating regarding some more boys. He will face court in Queensland on a later date. This Broken Rites article gives the full story of the church's cover-up of Brother "Ibar" Keating. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 9 September 2020..)

These adults gain justice for crimes committed by a priest many years ago when they were children

For many years, a Catholic priest in North Queensland (Father Neville Joseph Creen) used his priestly standing to hide his child-sex crimes from the police. But eventually, some of his victims began reporting Creen's past crimes to the police. As a result, Creen was convicted in two court cases in 2003 and 2004 regarding these victims. After this, several more victims contacted the police, and therefore in November 2020 he was convicted again in a third court case regarding these additional victims. These three court cases involved female victims. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 19 March. 2021)

Pedophile priest Finian Egan is fighting deportation — and he received support from a bishop

Irish-born Catholic priest Finian Egan was transferred to Australia in 1959, and he soon began committing sexual crimes against Australian children. The Catholic Church protected him in Australia for the next five decades until some of his victims (with help from Broken Rites) succeeded in getting him convicted. A Sydney court sentenced Egan to a minimum of four years in jail, and this sentence expired on 19 December 2017, when Egan was released, aged 82. According to church law at the Vatican, Father Egan still retained his priestly status during and after his time in jail (although, being elderly, he was retired from parish work). In 2018, the Australian immigration authorities tried to deport Father Egan back to Ireland but Egan contested this order with support from church sources, including support from his previous superior in Sydney, Bishop Peter Comensoli. In 2018, Bishop Comensoli became the new archbishop of Melbourne. (Article updated on 1 August 2020.)

One of Australia's leading Christian Brothers was jailed after pleading guilty

Christian Brother Terence Patrick Aquinas Kingston had a 40-year career as a teacher and administrator in Australian Catholic boys' schools — and he became one of the leaders of the Christian Brothers in Australia. Meanwhile, he was committing sexual offences against schoolboys. As usual in Catholic Church crimes, his victims suffered in silence throughout their childhood but eventually (when aged in their fifties) several of them spoke to police investigators, and this resulted in Kingston being sentenced to jail in two states (in Queensland in 2017 and in New South Wales in 2019). The charges involved a total of eight victims, and Kingston pleaded guilty regarding all of these. In July 2020, Kingston (aged 83) is facing court again in Queensland, charged with offences allegedly committed against some additional boys. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 29 July 2020)

The church covered up Father Vincent Ryan's child-sex crimes, thus giving him access to more victims

This Broken Rites article is the most comprehensive account available about how Catholic Church leaders knowingly protected a pedophile priest, Father Vincent Gerard Ryan. Ryan's superiors (in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese in New South Wales) knew that he was sexually assaulting boys in his parishes. But the church concealed Ryan's crimes from the police and kept him in the ministry for twenty years, giving him access to new victims. Ryan has already been serving time in jail for some of his crimes but on 21 July 2020 (aged 82) he was released from jail, and the bishop's office confirmed that the Vatican is allowing Father Ryan to retain his priestly status. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 21 July 2020.)

This priest allegedly assaulted 40 children during 30 years (while church leaders looked the other way)

For three decades, Father David Joseph Perrett worked in Catholic parishes in north-western New South Wales until he retired at age 58. In 2020 (aged 82) he was awaiting a criminal court trial, charged with committing sexual crimes against 40 children throughout his priestly career. That is, his alleged 30-year crime spree occurred under the noses of the church authorities (but eventually some of his victims reported Perrett's crimes to the police). On 2 July 2020, Perrett died in hospital and therefore the court will have to cancel his trial. This was not Father Perrett's first criminal court case -- his first conviction for child-sex crimes was in 1996. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 3 July 2020.)

FULL STORY: How the church continued covering up for this priest

A victim (John Parmeter) has spoken publicly in the media about how he was sexually abused for years by a prominent Australian priest, Father Peter Brock, beginning at the age of nine in 1968. The Catholic Church culture of silence blocked John from complaining until 2007 when he was aged nearly 50 and, by then, the church's cover-up had damaged John's life. In 2008 John received a written apology from the priest and later a financial settlement from the church. But the church authorities still praised Father Brock and elevated him to a prominent national role, thereby making John Parmeter feel abused again by the continuing cover-up. John Parmeter has authorized the media to publish his own name, because (he says) John's public statement exposes the church's cover-up, thereby helping other church victims. (By a Broken Rites researcher article updated 20 September 2020)

A Christian Brother is jailed for offences he committed 40 years ago

For several decades, Christian Brother Peter Nicholas Lennox worked in various Catholic schools in Sydney and in regional New South Wales. In a Sydney court on 29 March 2019, he was jailed for sexual crimes which he committed against boys at two of those schools in the 1970s — at Christian Brothers in Manly (now known as St Paul's Catholic College) and at St Patrick's College in Goulburn (now known as Trinity Catholic College). After Lennox finishes this jail term, the prosecutors intend to bring him to court again in 2020 regarding some additional charges. (By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 2 January 2020)

The church protected Father Paul Raymond Evans but victims have got him jailed, twice

A Catholic priest, Father Paul Raymond Evans, committed sexual crimes against vulnerable young teenagers while they were under his supervision at Boys Town (a residential institution for troubled youths) near Sydney between 1977 and 1988. At first, Evans' superiors ignored the abuse. After 1988, the church transferred Evans to suburban parishes, where he was permitted to associate with youth groups. Some Boys Town victims eventually reported Evans to the New South Wales Police, resulting in him being jailed in 2008. After twelve years in jail, Evans was due to be released in June 2020 but by then another victim from Boys Town contacted the police, and therefore in 2020 a court has ordered Evans to remain in jail to serve an additional sentence regarding this new victim. (By a Broken Rites researcher, updated 3 July 2020.)

Full story: The church harboured this pedophile Marist Brother but eventually he was jailed

This Broken Rites article reveals how the Catholic Church harboured a child-sex abuser, Marist Brother Gerard Joseph McNamara, teaching in Catholic schools, for four decades until eventually some of his victims began speaking (separately) to the Victoria Police child-protection detectives. When the police finally charged McNamara regarding the first batch of these victims, the Marists enthusiastically supported McNamara and ignored the victims. But Broken Rites supported the victims — and in 2004-2005 McNamara pleaded guilty to this first batch of victims and was convicted. This prompted more of McNamara's former students to contact the detectives. In 2016, McNamara pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting two more of his victims, resulting in another conviction. For each of these convictions (to 2016), he was given a suspended sentence. Those court cases prompted more of his victims to contact the police; therefore, on 3 September 2018, McNamara was jailed after he pleaded guilty five more victims, and on 15 March 2020 (aged 82) he was given more jail time regarding five more of his victims. Meanwhile, despite his criminal convictions, the Marist organization still regards McNamara as a Marist Brother.(By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 15 May 2020.)

Paedophile priest Peter Searson worked under various bishops in Melbourne

Broken Rites has researched the career of pedophile priest Father Peter Searson who committed sexual crimes against children in the Melbourne Catholic Archdiocese. For years, the church authorities knew about Searson's crimes but he was allowed to continue in parishes. The Victoria Police investigated Searson for sexual offences in parishes but found it difficult to extract evidence from "loyal" church people. Eventually, after his 35 years as a priest, the police managed to charge Searson with physical assault. Thus, Searson's abuse became public. The church authorities were forced to dump Searson from parish work. Hoping to protect the church's public image, the church also removed his name from the published list of retired priests. (By a Broken Rites researcher, background article updated 1 May 2020.)


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