By JOANNE McCARTHY and GABRIEL WINGATE-PEARSE March 30, 2014
THE Office of the Children’s Guardian is conducting a risk assessment of a Muswellbrook Catholic priest over historic child abuse allegations.
Father John Alexander stood aside from parish ministry in November last year after the allegations triggered the need for a risk assessment under new child protection legislation.
He will remain on leave until the office provides a risk assessment for his ‘‘working with children’’ check, Maitland-Newcastle Diocese vicar-general Brian Mascord said.
Muswellbrook parishioners were advised of the priest’s status in a statement by Bishop Bill Wright.
The priest was the subject of ‘‘third-party accusations relating to incidents that were alleged to have occurred almost 30 years ago, prior to his becoming a priest’’, Father Mascord said.
The allegations had been investigated before and finalised.
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