Bishop not adequately trained to deal with abuse, inquiry told

Inquiry head Margaret Cuneen

The former Catholic bishop of Maitland-Newcastle was not adequately trained to deal with paedophile priests, the Commission of Inquiry into the Police investigation of child sexual abuse allegations has heard, reports the ABC.

The special commission is investigating senior policeman Peter Fox's claims police and the church covered up abuse by two priests, James Fletcher and Denis McAlinden.

In summing up yesterday, his barrister Mark Cohen told the inquiry paedophile priest Denis McAlinden was moved from diocese to diocese 'in the interest of avoiding scandal.'

Simon Harben, representing the former Maitland-Newcastle bishop Michael Malone, urged the commissioner on several occasions not to make any adverse findings against his client.

He said Bishop Malone 'hadn't received adequate training to respond' to abuse allegations, and he 'didn't comprehend tipping off (paedophile priest James Fletcher) could have hindered a police investigation.'

Mr Harben told the commission his client 'never resiled from his responsibility to continue with McAlinden's laicisation' from ministry. He said 'enormous endeavour' was shown by Bishop Malone to deal with McAlinden.


Bishop wasn't adequately trained to deal with abuse (ABC)

At least five priests aware of abuse, inquiry told (BigPond News)

Abuse victims thought Church would help (ABC)


Teacher cries uncontrollably after being found not guilty of sex with male student (SMH)

NSW MP warned archbishop about pedophile priest (Newcastle Herald)

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