WA Police already have Vatican report on Bishop Saunders

bishop saunders

A Vatican report about Bishop Saunders has already been handed to Western Australia Police.

The facts run counter to a scandalous allegation to the contrary, says a statement from the Catholic Church.

Recent news reports allege the Church has refused to hand the Vatican report to the Police.

The Conference has responded firmly, denying the allegations.

It confirmed in the statement that a copy of a report about the former Bishop of Broome’s alleged sexually abusive behaviour is in the possession Western Australia Police Deputy Commissioner Allan Adams.

Just why the Police don’t seem to have a record of the report is not known.

But the Catholic Church takes its reporting obligations seriously, the bishops’ statement continues.

“The Church and Western Australia Police remain in ongoing and collaborative contact in relation to this matter,” the statement said, adding that “the Church will continue to offer full transparency and cooperation with the WA Police.”

West Australia politicians mistaken

The Bishops Conference statement says that the politicians’ “unfounded allegations” that the Catholic Church failed to abide by the state’s mandatory reporting laws are wrong.

The politicians have somehow assumed – without justification – that the Church is keeping the report from the WA Police.

The WA politicians’ misinformation has led some MPs to wonder if prosecuting the Catholic Church is possible.

Some think it might be appropriate to charge the Church for “failing to adhere to mandatory reporting laws”.

The politicians’ assumptions are like a made-up story. They couldn’t be further from the truth.

The Conference points out the report was handed over to the Police before any ideas about their “failing to adhere to mandatory reporting laws” were raised.

“The Church understands and takes seriously its mandatory reporting obligations under West Australian law.

“Despite unfounded allegations to the contrary, there has been no breach of the Children and Community Services Act 2004, which applies only to children. None of the potential victims were under the age of 18.”

The statement also noted that the Catholic Church “continues to encourage anyone who has experienced abuse, or suspects abuse within the community, to come forward and report it to police.”

In addition, the Conference statement says: “It is important to note that there were no new potential victims identified in the Church’s internal investigations. Western Australia Police already held the list of all potential victims.”


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , , , ,