Nun tipped off paedophile priest, commission told

A nun tipped off a paedophile priest the night before he was to be interviewed by police, a former police officer has told a commission of inquiry into child sex abuse in New South Wales.

Troy Grant, a former police officer who is now a member of the state Parliament, said the nun visited his home and ‘‘provided me with false evidence and tipped off a priest’’.

Grant told a special commission of inquiry in Newcastle that he was aware of collusion within the Church to hide serious sex offences as far back as 1974.

“There were individuals who acted completely inappropriately, commensurate with their pastoral care. I believe they acted illegally,” he said.

“Their level of culpability has never been tested in the court system, they’ve never been questioned or put before their peers to answer for what they did,” he said.

“What they did in 1974, 1975, 1981 and then 1995 meant that a lot of (church abuse) victims need not have been victims — that’s where the tragedy is.”

Grant was a strong lobbyist for the royal commission that is currently inquiring into the handling of child sex abuse claims, and has publicly called for the resignation of Cardinal George Pell of Sydney over his personal handling of cases.

Earlier, whistleblower cop Peter Fox — whose allegations of Church cover-ups sparked the NSW inquiry — gave evidence that Troy Grant had warned him about a “Catholic mafia” within the police force.

But speaking to media after giving evidence, Grant said he had never encountered a “Catholic mafia” within the police.

The commission will examine the extent to which Catholic Church officials co-operated with police, including whether any investigation was hindered by failure to report criminal offences.

Three senior clergy will testify — current Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson, who held senior positions in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese in the 1980s and early 90s, retired Bishop Michael Malone, and Australian Catholic Bishops Conference secretary Father Brian Lucas.


The Australian

Newcastle Star

Sydney Morning Herald

Image: Newcastle Star

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