Catholic Cardinal John Dew ‘strenuously’ denies abuse allegation

Radio New Zealand [Wellington, New Zealand]

March 7, 2024

The retired Archbishop of Wellington says evidence provided to a police investigation shows allegations against him could never have happened.

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal against Cardinal John Dew, who was seeking an injunction against Warner Brothers-discovery to prevent a Newshub story being broadcast.

The court judgement says the story alleges the abuse of two children at St Joseph’s Orphanage in Upper Hutt in 1977.

In a statement, Cardinal Dew said the police investigation had been closed and no charges had been laid.

Cardinal Dew said sworn affidavits to the police proved the allegations could never have happened and the police investigated and were not laying charges.

“From the moment, I was told of this alleged behaviour I have strenuously denied that the events described ever happened,” he said in a statement.

He said he did not know the person making the allegation against him and it was false.

“I do not know the person making the allegations and have never met him. The allegation against me is false, it may come from a well of anguish and grief arising from other reasons.”

He said the accusation dated back to when he was an Assistant Priest in Upper Hutt.

“I stated immediately, and state again now, that there have never been any instances of improper or abusive behaviour in my 48 years of priesthood.”

Cardinal Dew said when he learned of the complaint he followed church protocols and stepped aside from any ministry while the police investigated.

He said the matter had now been thoroughly investigated by police.

“The Police have informed me that this investigation has now been concluded, their file has been closed and no charges will be laid against me.”

“I am acutely aware of how distressing this is for many; survivors who have put their trust in me, our church community and my family and friends,” Cardinal Dew’s statement said.

“I state once again that all incidents of abuse are wrong. I hope and pray that all abuse victims will find peace and healing.

“I restate that these alleged events never happened.”

The church is also investigating but said all complaints were sent to Rome as a matter of course.