Church Sex Assault Complaint "Wasn't Isolated"

ABC News

July 8, 2008

[with video and audio]

Tonight ABC's Lateline can reveal Catholic Church documents, that show the church was aware of yet another child victim of sexual assault by a priest who was reported last night to have assaulted a Sydney man.

Last night, Lateline reported the case of Anthony Jones - a former religious education teacher - and his evidence that Cardinal George Pell misrepresented the truth when he responded to Mr Jones's complaint of sexual assault by Father Terrance Goodall.

Cardinal Pell earlier said the case was closed.

Today the Archbishop admitted his letter to Mr Jones, saying he was the sole complainant against Father Goodall, was a mistake that came about because he did not think another complainant's allegations of sex abuse were the same.

Lateline will reveal internal documents that show the church was aware of yet another child victim of Father Goodall.

Meanwhile, a group representing victims of assaults by clergy says an apology by Cardinal Pell to Mr Jones is not good enough.

Cardinal Pell said today he wrote a mistaken and badly-worded letter to Mr Jones in which he did not accept the finding of an internal church inquiry which upheld Mr Jones's allegation of sexual assault.

The president of Broken Rites, Chris McIsaac, says Cardinal Pell made a very poor judgement call.

"I think Dr Pell should read the definition of the sexual abuse of adults, in their own protocols for their own procedure," he said.

"I don't he's showing an understanding of what sexual abuse is.

"It sends out the message that this isn't a very serious issue."

Tune into ABC1's Lateline at 10:30pm AEST for more.


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