Royal commission to recommend Catholic Church change processes for removing parish priests


TIM PALMER: The child sex abuse royal commission has indicated it will recommend that the Catholic Church change its processes to ensure priests can be easily removed from their parishes if they commit any sort of offence.

This week the commission has heard senior Catholic clergy and church bureaucrats failed to remove a paedophile priest from a Melbourne parish in the 1980s.

Samantha Donovan reports.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: The royal commission has heard that in the mid 1980s the staff and principal of a Melbourne Catholic primary school were under pressure.

They were trying to protect their students from paedophile priest Peter Searson.

The Catholic Education Office and Frank Little, then Archbishop of Melbourne, refused to act without concrete evidence the priest was offending.

The education office’s regional consultant at the time was Allan Dooley.

He told the royal commission today that by 1984 he had formed the view the children of the Doveton’s Holy Family Primary School shouldn’t be left alone with Father Searson.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.