Church’s ‘terrible failure’ on abuse

9 News


Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart insists he has not tried to blame dead church figures for the archdiocese’s “terrible failure” to act on abuse complaints.

Archbishop Hart says his predecessors failed to act, but excluded 1996-2001 Melbourne archbishop Cardinal George Pell from his criticism.

Archbishop Hart says former archbishop Frank Little put children in danger by not acting on complaints about Fr Peter Searson, one of a succession of pedophile priests in the Doveton parish.

“It’s just a horror story,” Archbishop Hart said of Doveton.

“These things were being presented again and again and again, and nothing was happening.”

During his evidence to the child abuse royal commission, senior counsel Gail Furness SC said some of the criticisms were levelled primarily at Archbishop Little and one of his vicar-generals, Monsignor Gerald Cudmore.

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