An Old Copper Speaks Out (Or: The More Things Change)


Lewis Blayse

It is not normally the practice, here, to give a book review. However, there has been a book just released which deserves wider attention than that afforded by the usual book review section of the popular media.

That book is “Unholy Trinity: the Hunt for the Paedophile Priest Monsignor John Day” by Denis Ryan (pictured above) and Peter Hoysted (Allen and Unwin).

Day died in 1978, without having ever been made to face charges. Ryan was a detective in the Victorian police, based in Mildura. He tells a tale of a “Catholic Mafia” within the force, at the time, which actively protected paedophile priests like Day, with collusion from the highest levels of the Catholic Church in Victoria.

Before going into the details of Mr. Ryan’s allegations, a couple of observations need to be made, in the interests of fairness. Sometimes, people are blinded by the prevailing attitudes of their era, and often would act differently in another era. Some people once, sincerely, thought taking Aboriginal children of mixed race away from their families was a good deed. The thoughtful reader will think of many other examples of misguided motives.

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