The Age reports that Victoria Police will apologise and pay compensation to a former detective more than 30 years after senior officers covered up his investigation into child abuse allegations against a Catholic priest.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Tuesday heard from Denis Ryan, who had doggedly investigated allegations of child sexual abuse against Monsignor John Day in Mildura under intense pressure to stop. His superiors later took over the investigation and cleared Day of any wrongdoing.
It seems incredible that the Victorian Police have now been drawn into the festering scandal involving the Catholic Church and paedophile priests. It is even more incredible that in the 1970s (and possibly long before) two of the most respected institutions in our society, the Police and the Catholic Church, conspired to use their combined authority and power to protect the most obnoxious and noisome of human beings.
The signs are good that the Victorian Police will make restitution to Dennis Ryan. It should be a restitution that makes people stand back and say, “Wow, that was generous but appropriate.”
He is a man who should have on amongst us.
Such a move would be in direct contrast to the Catholic Church which continues to uses financial power to attack and denigrate the witnesses that appear to give evidence against the paedophile priests.
One of the most striking and haunting things about the people who appear before this Royal Commission is that they are people whose faces show that their lives have been profoundly changed by the abuse they have suffered or the experiences they have had, in Ryan’s case, fighting these huge injustices.
In contrast, we have the self-satisfied and well-fed face of Cardinal Pell staring out at us from so many newspapers.
Cardinal George Pell: protected by the wealth and power of the Church
The latest attacks on the credibility of witnesses and victims of paedophile priests by Cardinal Pell’s lawyer Sam Duggan is a continuation of the bully boy tactics of the Catholic Church.
Lawyer Sam Duggan
Just imagine if someone in the Catholic Church had the guts to stand up and say:
“Look, some of the people who give evidence are going to be making it up and some will say nasty things about us but, in the greater scheme of things, we probably deserve it. So the Catholic Church will cop it sweet and take it on the chin. We will not attack witnesses credibility and subject people to cross-examination by a particularly well-paid and articulate lawyers. We will accept their testimony and acknowledge their pain and we will set and example of the healing that restorative justice can bring.”
Don’t hold your breath.