Could a commission get an admission?
Opinion piece from Peter FitzSimons
Sydney Morning Herald
12th August 2012
Updated 13th August 2012
Since taking up the cause of the need for a Royal Commission to investigate church abuse of minors over generations, I have been stunned - and I mean stunned - by readers' letters detailing in a horrifying manner their own sexual abuse at the hands, and worse, of priests.
Within the public domain, the articles that have most amazed me have been penned by the crusading Newcastle Herald journalist Joanne McCarthy, who has documented the case of the now deceased priest, Denis McAlinden, one of those at the heart of the two police strike forces - Georgiana, which continues to gun for the paedophile priests, and Lantle, which has gone for the clergy who have covered up the crimes of the priests.
After arriving in Australia in 1949, at the age of 26, McAlinden targeted little girls aged four to 12, and his victims likely ran into the hundreds. This was known to his diocese.
Despite that, on October 19, 1995, McAlinden was assured by the then Maitland-Newcastle bishop, Leo Clarke, that if he agreed to a quick, secret defrocking: ''Your good name will be protected by the confidential nature of this process,'' despite, ''your admission to Father Brian Lucas and other evidence. A speedy resolution of this whole matter will be in your own good interests as I have it on very good authority that some people are threatening seriously to take this whole matter to the police.''
Can you imagine? Can you imagine?! All part of a consistent, horrifying pattern. The mighty Newcastle Herald has started an online petition calling for a Royal Commission and I urge you to sign it.