Questions over police role in church abuse handling process

Radio Australia

[with video]

Updated 28 February 2013
By Suzanne Smith

New South Wales police are facing fresh questions over whether they forged an unhealthy relationship with the Catholic Church in dealing with sexual abuse allegations against priests.

Lateline can reveal that for eight years to 2004, a senior police officer was an integral part of Towards Healing, the church’s internal process for handling sexual abuse cases.

The state’s former director of public prosecutions says that was a serious conflict of interest for police and should never have been approved.

In the mid-1990s, the Wood royal commission into police corruption was highlighting the need for greater child protection measures in the church.

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