The Catholic Church has announced it is “taking immediate steps” to hand over a report that levels serious sexual misconduct allegations against a West Australian bishop. Source: The West Australian.
Late yesterday, the Church said it would hand over the 200-page report into the serious allegations surrounding Broome’s former Bishop Christopher Saunders following requests from the Western Australian Government and WA Police.
“Following [Tuesday’s] request from the Western Australia Police, the Church is taking immediate steps to provide them a copy of the Vatican-initiated report into Bishop Christopher Saunders,” Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President Timothy Costelloe SDB said in a statement.
“The Church and Western Australia Police remain in ongoing and collaborative contact in relation to this matter.”
WA Police Deputy Commissioner Allan Adams revealed he had personally contacted Archbishop Costelloe to request a copy of the report.
Commissioner Adams told ABC Radio Perth he was “very keen” to see the inquiry and that no new allegations against Bishop Saunders had been reported to police since mid-2021.
“I know [Archbishop] Costelloe is doing his best to get hold of a copy for us in the very short term,” he said.
“It’s commissioned by the Vatican so you can appreciate that, and I don’t want to talk about Church politics, but he has told me that he will do everything in his power to get me a copy of that report.”
On Wednesday, Premier Roger Cook made a direct plea to the Vatican for officials to hand the investigation into Bishop Saunders to police.
“We want the Vatican to give the information they have to WA police so they can take their inquiries forward,” Mr Cook said.
Catholic Church declared it would hand over report into serious allegations surrounding Bishop Saunders (By Chris Reason and Lauren Price, The West Australian)