Church Has Retained "Predator" for Years

By Matthew Clayfield
Herald Sun

July 09, 2008,21985,23990908-662,00.html

THE Catholic Church has still not defrocked a priest five years after it concluded he was a serial sexual predator whose targets included an underage boy and a 16-year-old girl.

Documents sighted by The Australian reveal that apart from having unlawful sex with Anthony Jones, who has since attacked Cardinal George Pell for trying to ignore his case, a confidential church investigation informed Cardinal Pell in 2003 that Father Terence Goodall engaged in a range of improprieties over several years.

The church last night provided no evidence that it had passed on its knowledge of Father Goodall's alleged activities to police, or acted to correct what Cardinal Pell yesterday described as a "mistake" in how it dealt with Mr Jones, The Australian reports.

While Cardinal Pell yesterday denied he had engaged in a cover-up, his agents made legal entreaties to the ABC and Mr Jones warning they could be in contempt of court if they broadcast or aired certain information.

At a press conference yesterday, Cardinal Pell, who as Archbishop of Sydney is the church's most senior leader in Australia, rejected calls to resign or step aside over the Goodall affair.

The move followed revelations on the ABC's Lateline program on Monday night that showed Cardinal Pell had, in 2003, over-ruled an independent investigation into claims by Mr Jones concerning a sexual encounter with Father Goodall.

Mr Jones claims he was sexually abused by Father Goodall in 1982 at the age of 29 and pressed his case to the church 20 years later.

An investigation by a former policeman regularly employed by the church to look into allegations of sexual abuse, Howard Murray, found Mr Jones' allegations soundly based.

Mr Murray's report also found that Father Goodall had admitted to indecently assaulting a boy in the sacristy.

But weeks later, in February 2003, Cardinal Pell wrote to Mr Jones saying "as no other complaint of attempted sexual assault has been received against Father Goodall and he categorically denies the accusation, Mr Murray was of the opinion that the complaint of attempted aggravated sexual assault cannot be considered to have been substantiated".

Cardinal Pell told journalists, "I differed from Murray, because I did not believe there was sufficient evidence of rape."

In 2005, Father Goodall pleaded guilty to two acts of sex with Mr Jones under antiquated laws that banned sexual contact between men, even if it was consensual, but he served no prison time.

A spokesman for Cardinal Pell, Jim Hanna, last night said Father Goodall had been stood aside from religious duties in mid-2003, and that it "took a long time" to expel a priest from the ministry.

But a document obtained by The Australian shows that more than a year after he was supposedly stood aside from ministry, Father Goodall delivered the opening prayer at a meeting of Kogarah Municipal Council in August 2004.


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