Report into Bishop Kavanagh’s response to abuse complaints completed

Otago Daily Times

A draft report has been completed into Bishop John Kavanagh’s response to sexual abuse complaints.

It has been alleged that the late Dunedin bishop (pictured) failed to deal properly with complaints of abuse.

As an example, the Otago Daily Times (ODT) alleges the transgressions of former Catholic priest, Magnus Murray, who offended against boys in Dunedin from the 1950s to the 1970s, were brought to Kavanagh’s attention in 1972.

The ODT says Kavanagh’s response was to move Murray to Australia. He later allowed him to resume public ministry in the North Island, where more victims have since emerged.

In November last year, the Catholic Church appointed an independent investigator to investigate whether Kavanagh took proper action when he received complaints of sexual abuse during his tenure.

He was bishop from 1957 until 1985.

Metropolitan Archbishop of New Zealand Cardinal John Dew says the investigator has presented the draft report to the church’s National Office for Professional Standards.

“Once the report has been finalised, the Church’s Complaints Assessment Committee will review the investigator’s report and make a recommendation to me on Bishop Kavanagh’s actions,” Dew says.

“I will consider the recommendation of the Complaints Assessment Committee and make a decision whether the complaint regarding Bishop Kavanagh is to be upheld. I will advise the Bishop of Dunedin, Bishop Dooley, of my decision.”

It is possible the investigation could lead to Dunedin’s Kavanagh College changing its name.

The Catholic, state-integrated, co-educational, secondary school located in central Dunedin opened in 1989.


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News category: New Zealand.

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