Bishop Ronald Mulkearns Helped Write Rules on Abuse

By Tessa Akerman
The Australian
April 29, 2016

Ronald Mulkearns helped draft a protocol for dealing with alleg­ations of criminal behaviour by clergy while running the nation’s worst diocese for pedophile priests and brothers.

The former bishop of Ballarat, who died this month, was ­appointed to the special issues committee run by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference ­despite failing to deal with some of the world’s worst abusers.

Mulkearns presented a draft protocol to the conference in November 1989. It was to be observed if accusations of criminal behaviour, ­including pedophilia, were made against priests. The protocol, which was tendered to the child sex abuse royal commission, states that bishops have a responsi­bility to protect the reputation of individuals and the image of the church as a whole.

It states that bishops and major superiors must have ­regard to the welfare of any complainant, victim and accused, and safeguard individuals’ reput­ations and their right to privacy.

“They must safeguard the good name of the church as a whole and act to prevent or remedy scandal,” it said. “They must have a pastoral solicitude for those involved in criminal behaviour­, mindful of the words of the Lord who came ‘to seek out and save what was lost’ (Lk 19:10).








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