The Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, said he showed the utmost concern and compassion for victims of sexual abuse at an Adelaide school, and denied causing any delay in a legal battle with their parents, reports SkyNews.
The former bus driver of St Ann's Special School for profoundly disabled students in Adelaide, Brian Perkins, was arrested in 2001 and sentenced to 10 years in jail where he died in 2009. He pleaded guilty to five offences involving three students.
Documents later revealed the Church was aware Perkins was a sex offender and fired him in 1991, but never mentioned the sex abuse to police or parents.
In a statement released yesterday, the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide said Archbishop Wilson had shown, from the outset, the utmost concern and compassion for Perkins' victims and their families.
'As soon as he learned about the shocking reality of this case, he apologised to the victims and their families and he put in place pastoral and counselling support for anyone who needed it,' the statement said.
'In 2003, the Archbishop also paid $2.25 million in unconditional, ex-gratia payments to families in an effort to help support them through this most difficult matter.'
He continued to offer counselling and pastoral support, and encouraged families to consult their lawyers to ensure their rights were fully protected, the statement said.
FULL STORY Archbishop denies delaying abuse case (SkyNews)