Priest says clergy should have gone to police

The priest who was second in charge of the Hunter Valley's Catholic Church concedes senior clergy should have gone to police, even if the victims were not keen to do so, reports the ABC.

Former Maitland-Newcastle vicar general Father William Burston will continue giving evidence this morning at a Newcastle inquiry investigating claims of a cover-up of abuse by two priests, including Denis McAlinden.

Maria Gerace is representing some victims at the inquiry, and under cross examination late yesterday Father Burston said it was possible he had 'formed the view that McAlinden was a risk to children'.

He also conceded there was some concern he would reoffend. Ms Gerace put to him he should have gone to police given his position, but Father Burston replied, 'I wasn't carrying the case'.

He agreed with Ms Gerace when she said considering the "intelligence" the Church had regarding victims, senior clergy should have gone to police even if the victims did not want authorities involved.

He told the Commission he cannot remember a conversation he is said to have had with the director of the Church's Professional Standards Office regarding a victim's deteriorating behaviour.


Priest admits he should have gone to the police (ABC)

Bishop's advisor rejects claims of 'selective recall' (ABC)

Priest's memory fails at NSW abuse inquiry (Herald Sun)

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