Army bishop faces charge of historic child abuse

New Zealand Herald

By Greg Ansley

Tuesday Jul 1, 2014

The widening web of allegations that followed the establishment of Australia’s royal commission into the handling of child sex abuse has entangled the Defence Force’s Catholic bishop.

Bishop Max Davis, who holds a military status equivalent to a major-general, has been charged with a child sex offence allegedly committed more than 40 years ago, when he was a teacher at a Benedictine school in Western Australia.

The most senior cleric yet to be charged with such an offence, Bishop Davis “emphatically denies” the allegation but has stepped down from his post until the case has been decided.

Although not emerging from the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuses, the claims against Bishop Davis join a huge number of allegations reported to authorities that has mushroomed since the commission was set up by the former Labor Government in December 2012.

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge told the commission that the Catholic Church had been hit by a “tsunami” of allegations.

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