3 Aug 2016
FORMER Newcastle Bishop Alfred Holland has repeatedly denied being told of allegations of child sexual abuse against any priest during his time in Newcastle.
Giving evidence by video link from Sydney, Bishop Holland said he had no idea that Father Peter Rushton or any other priest had been abusing boys.
He told Commissioner Peter McClellan that he now accepted that Rushton and others had been serial paedophiles but he insisted that was only because it had been published in the media.
He disputed earlier evidence from a lay church member, Suzan Aslin, that she had told him of Rushton’s abuse of another priest’s son, who had been discovered curled in a ball on his bed after Rushton had assaulted him at the age of four or five.
Asked by counsel assisting Naomi Sharp if there was a framework for reporting priest misconduct at that time, Bishop Holland said: “There was no structure to deal with that”.
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