Doyle Backed on Sex Abuse Stance

By Anna Randell
Examiner [Australia]
October 27, 2003

The Archbishop of Hobart, the Most Rev. Adrian Doyle, says he has no plans to resign over his handling of sex abuse cases in Tasmania.

In Launceston yesterday the Dean of Northern Tasmania, Father Terry Southerwood, threw his support behind the leader, saying he had done nothing to warrant resignation.

Former Launceston businessman and Catholic Church adviser Patrick Murray has called for Archbishop Doyle to resign over the way he handled complaints lodged by two men, including his son, against Hobart clergyman Monsignor Philip Green.

This week Church officials confirmed that Monsignor Green had been stood down from his position over inappropriate behaviour - 18 months after the first complaint was lodged.

Mr Murray claims he was sacked from his position on church committees after he and another church adviser made two formal complaints over the issue.

Archbishop Doyle said he did not sack Mr Murray or ask him to resign but said they had reached an understanding.

"I proposed to him that he stand aside from connections within the Church ... until such times as these issues were resolved and behind us," he said.

Archbishop Doyle said Mr Murray was entitled to his views but that through his letters, he had "expressed a lack of faith in (his) leadership".

He conceded that he "could have and should have" reached the decision more quickly.

He said Monsignor Green, who is undergoing counselling in Sydney, would retire in Hobart and no longer perform ministerial duties.

Archbishop Doyle said he had no intention of resigning and had apologised to victims who had personally made complaints against the Church.

"I repeat what I have said on a number of occasions, I abhor this sexually abusive behaviour," he said.

He said the Church would consider major changes over the way it dealt with sex abuse complaints, including compensation to help victims pay for counselling and appointing lawyers as external investigators.

Archbishop Doyle said he would commit the Catholic Church to an inquiry into sex abuse in the Church in Tasmania if it were called.

The Church would continue to follow the guidelines set out in the Towards Healing document, a national process which began in Tasmania in 1998.

It is understood another senior clergyman is also being investigated for inappropriate sexual behaviour.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.