– The Catholic Salesians of Don Bosco order misled the Victorian inquiry into child sex abuse about its attempts to suppress an independent report that criticised it, according to the report’s author.
Patrick Parkinson, professor of law at Sydney University, told the inquiry in a right of reply published on Friday that Australians could not have any confidence in promises by the church “if we are unable to believe that the truth will be told even to a parliamentary inquiry”.
Meanwhile, the church has in turn attacked the inquiry for making “incorrect, unfair and misleading” claims, and savaged witnesses in a right of reply published this week.
Peter O’Callaghan, QC, has also submitted a string of rebuttals of witnesses’ testimony, posting eight replies since July 26th.
And a former consultant to Towards Healing, the church’s national abuse protocol, has claimed that the church’s insurance company dominated its policies at the expense of victims, and destroyed 40 boxes of personnel records.
Professor Parkinson, a child protection expert, told the inquiry last year that the Salesians of Don Bosco suppressed his independent report because he criticised them for removing three priests from Australia.
The Salesians, in their evidence on April 29th, said they supported publishing the report providing they could “set the record straight, clarify certain facts and correct certain anomalies”. But Professor Parkinson, in his reply, cites an email by the then Australian head of the Salesians, Father Frank Maloney, to Towards Healing that “there is to be no public exposure of the Salesians”.
The Melbourne archdiocese executive director, Francis Moore, accused the Victorian inquiry of exaggerating the number of victims it had heard from, saying it “must have regard for the facts”. Although chairwoman Georgie Crozier had said the committee had heard from more than 140 dissatisfied victims, in fact it had taken evidence from only 61, Mr Moore said. He accused the committee members of not reading files about complaints made available by the church, though these “must be favoured over vague, anonymous and unsubstantiated assertions”.
A spokeswoman for the inquiry said this claim was incorrect and that the committee had thoroughly investigated source material and used it in its deliberations.
Mr Moore attacked the credibility of witnesses Glenn Davies, a former head of the sexual offences squad, and victims advocate Helen Last, accusing Mr Davies of “blatant untruth” and Ms Last of being “fanciful and misleading”. He also singled out RMIT Professor Desmond Cahill and lawyer Paul Holdway, as well as Victoria Police.
He said Ms Last claimed one barrister, Tim Seccull, had settled 300 victims’ claims with the church outside the protocol, whereas in fact he had done one.
Psychologist Robert Grant told ABC news program Lateline on Thursday night he was an adviser to the committee that set up Towards Healing in 1996. He said Catholic Church insurance had representatives on the committee who dictated policy and objected to any language that might admit culpability.
Peter Rush, CEO of the insurance company, earlier told the Victorian inquiry that it had paid about $30 million to 600 victims of clergy sexual abuse in Victoria. He denied to Lateline that it dictated policy to the church.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released its third issues paper, inviting public submissions on the best ways to create child safe institutions – Barney Zwartz

About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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