Church to look at abuse confession claims

The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney says it’s investigating a 1992 meeting between senior priests who removed a fellow priest from public ministry, following media reports that admissions of sexual abuse were made during that meeting but never referred to police.


A former Catholic priest, identified only as Father F, was sacked by the church in 2005 after serious sexual abuse allegations but has since become a prominent citizen in the NSW town of Armidale, the ABC reported on Monday.

The ABC said Father F raped young boys in Moree in the 1980s before being transferred to a parish in Parramatta where he continued to sodomise altar boys.

Some of the youths he raped went on to lead tortured lives before committing suicide, the ABC reported.

The ABC said Father F made clear admissions of abuse to three senior priests during a meeting at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney in September 1992.

As a result of the investigation Father F was banned from conducting mass, hearing confession or counselling but the matter was reportedly never referred to police.

In a statement released on Tuesday night, the Archdiocese of Sydney – the home diocese of Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Catholic clergy official in Australia – said it was “seeking further information” about the 1992 meeting.

A spokeswoman for the diocese told AAP it only had authority over two of the priests present at the meeting, and was not able to confirm whether it was looking into allegations that admissions of abuse were made in 1992 but kept from police.

“We need to speak to everyone that was involved,” the spokeswoman said.

“We are seeking (to discover) what happened prior to the meeting, during the meeting and after the meeting.”

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