Australian priest faces criminal charges for failing to act on abuse reports
Catholic World News - August 31, 2012
An Australian priest faces criminal charges for failing to take action on sex-abuse reports while he was serving as principal of a Catholic school.
Father Tom Brennan, a former vicar general of the Maitland-Newcastle diocese, was arrested and charged with misprision of a felony. He is accused of failing to inform police about sex-abuse charged leveled in the 1970s against a former priest who was a teacher at the St. Pius X school.
Father Brennan is believed to be the first Australian priest to face criminal charges because of an alleged failure to report abuse. In that respect his case bears some similarity to that of Msgr. William Lynn, the former Philadelphia archdiocesan official who was convicted in June on charges of endangering children by failing to act on sex-abuse reports. However, Father Brennan also faces separate charges that he himself abused a boy in the 1980s.
Father Brennan was vicar general of the Maitland-Newcastle diocese from 2005 to 2008. He stepped down after a magistrate ruled that he had made a false statement to police investigating sex-abuse claims.
An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:
Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!
Progress toward our August expenses ($33,517 to go):
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!
Posted by: meegan2136289 -
Sep. 02, 2012 8:27 PM ET USA
Great news. Especially if this person was working as the principal of a school, his negligence is even more inexcusable than would otherwise be the case. Not surprising that he's been accused himself.
Posted by: dfp3234574 -
Sep. 02, 2012 3:32 PM ET USA
If anyone has any doubt that the Catholic Church is under brutal attack, this case, in which law enforcement is prosecuting a case from nearly FOUR DECADES AGO, should erase any such doubt. This would never happen with any other institution.