Catholic Church defends itself at Vic Parlt Inquiry

ABC – The World Today

[with audio]

ELEANOR HALL: The man in charge of Melbourne Catholic Church’s response to child abuse had denied that he discouraged those who came forward with complaints to contact police.

The independent commissioner of the church’s Melbourne Response also told the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry that the church did not interfere with a police investigation into child abuse by tipping off a member of the clergy who was under investigation.

Rachel Carbonell has been at the hearing this morning and filed this report.

RACHEL CARBONELL: The Melbourne Response is the Catholic Church’s complaints system in Melbourne, which deals with allegations of abuse.

Barrister Peter O’Callaghan has been the lawyer in charge of that system since it was set up in the mid-1990s.

In evidence to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into child abuse this morning Peter O’Callaghan began by defending himself against police criticism of his conduct which was given to the inquiry last year.

In the police submission it was suggested the church never referred complaints to the police.

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