Newcastle Anglican Church ‘harbouring’ active child abusers

The Australian

Crime reporterSydney

The Anglican Church in Newcastle, NSW, is “harbouring” a large number of active child abusers and has a history of violent abuse dating back decades and involving some of the city’s most influential people, a royal commission has heard.

The commission, whose public hearing opened this morning, has heard evidence that church officials provided boys to be raped and were allegedly protected by senior figures in the diocese.

Several abusive priests went to the same training college and subsequently occupied powerful positions in and around the city’s cathedral, including being appointed to church bodies established to respond to allegations of abuse.

“Records concerning professional standards matters in the diocese have been improperly altered or destroyed by members of the diocese,” counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Naomi Sharp said.

The diocese’s Professional Standards Director, Michael Elliott, is expected to tell the commission “of his belief that the Diocese is harbouring a large number of active offenders with little or no accountability in place,” Ms Sharp said.

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