The Hunter Valley in New South Wales, two hours north of Sydney, is best known for its vineyards, surf beaches, coal mines and polluting power stations. But in recent years, the region has also become known as the epicenter of Catholic sex abuse in Australia.
Since 1996, seven priests, four religious brothers and six lay teachers of the Maitland-Newcastle diocese have been convicted. The church has paid compensation to the victims of eight other priests, and four priests and two brothers are currently facing abuse or concealment charges. There are 400 known victims.
Now, a special commission of inquiry in Newcastle has heard that leaders of the diocese knew of the numerous pedophiliac activities of one priest, Fr. Denis McAlinden, for 50 years, but did not notify police until 2003.” By Stephen Crittenden, The Sydney Morning Mail, in National Catholic Reporer
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Clergy Sexual Abuse Kept Secret for 50-years, Australian Inquiry Hears