The Church in the Hunter Valley has moved to reassure a NSW Commission of Inquiry that the mistakes of the past will not be repeated, reports the ABC.
The Special Commission of Inquiry is investigating matters relating to the Police investigation of certain child sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
Documents tendered to the inquiry show the church knew about McAlinden's abuse which spanned 50 years.
Representing the Maitland-Newcastle diocese Lachlan Giles has summed up his case, saying church officials should not be "unfairly criticised" for their handling of the allegations.
He said they were adhering to the victims' wishes not to involve police. But, he assured the Commissioner that in 2013, and irrespective of what victims want, allegations would be reported to police.
He also told the commission whistleblower policeman Peter Fox's claims the church "silenced victims and destroyed evidence" have "simply been debunked". Mr Giles there was not a "cultural disinclination to provide information" to police, but a "coming to terms" with the fact that the priests were capable of the abuse.
He said the Commissioner cannot underestimate both priests' "ability to ingratiate" themselves, and "hide what they were doing".
Inquiry told diocese acted on wishes of abuse victims (Newcastle Herald)
Church just as repulsed as others (Maitland Mercury)