Calls for Bishop Brian Finnigan’s sacking after royal commission into child sexual abuse

The Sunday Mail

The Sunday Mail (Qld)

A BRISBANE bishop is facing calls to be sacked after being slammed at the child sex abuse royal commission.

Bishop Brian Finnigan was accused by counsel assisting the commission, Angus Stewart, SC, of lacking compassion and not being candid, in an attempt to protect himself and the church, when he gave evidence this month.

He admitted the evidence he gave at the public hearing differed from, and was “far more restrictive’’ than, his earlier account to a private hearing of the commission.

Bishop Finnigan held key roles as secretary to then bishop of Ballarat Ronald Mulkearns, and as a member of the College of Consultors, during the time when the Catholic Church’s worst pedophile priest, Father Gerald Ridsdale, was abusing children. Ridsdale was later convicted of 138 offences involving 53 youngsters.

One of the victims, Paul Levey, has now launched an online petition demanding Bishop Finnigan be sacked, claiming he did not do enough to protect children.

The petition, calling for Archbishop of Brisbane Mark Coleridge to remove the bishop, has so far attracted more than 4500 supporters.

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