Abuse Priest Allowed to Be "Spiritual Director', Paper Alleges

June 5, 2012

The Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne allowed a priest charged with child sex offences to be the ''spiritual director'' to another priest accused of child molestation, reports The Age.

The revelation is contained in confidential Catholic Church documents obtained by the paper.

The documents show how senior church leaders continued to shield Father Victor Rubeo from scrutiny after child sex abuse allegations about him were first reported to the archdiocese in 1994.

Rubeo, who did not deny the allegations when questioned by a senior church official, was allowed to continue preaching in Melbourne's Boronia parish without his parishioners or police being told of his child abuse.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese told the Age that a complaint was made to the late Monsignor Cudmore, the then Vicar General of the Melbourne Archdiocese, in 1994. At the time, the complainant was, according to Monsignor Cudmore, adamant that he did not want any steps taken in relation to Rubeo except that he receive counselling. This was arranged, the spokesman added.

"At a subsequent meeting between Monsignor Cudmore and Rubeo, Rubeo was informed of the allegation and did not deny it. The then Archbishop, Vicar General and Rubeo are now all deceased.

"Viewed however by today's standards, the response was inadequate.

"Since the introduction of the Melbourne Response in 1996, a priest in Rubeo's situation would have his faculties to operate as a priest suspended pending investigation. If the allegations were substantiated, he would be permanently removed from ministry," the spokesman said.

Rubeo died of natural causes in December last year on the day he was due to face a committal hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court after being charged with 30 fresh child sex offences. He was 78.








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