Former vicar-general Bishop Peter Connors says he has no excuse for why he failed to protect children from Fr Wilfred Baker, who abused 21 children between 1960 and 1985.
“There was a complete failure of the archbishop and his advisers to deal with these issues,” Bishop Connors told the child abuse royal commission.
Commission chair Justice Peter McClellan said the failings were often said to be motivated by a desire to protect the church.
Bishop Connors agreed it was a fundamentally damning allegation of the church.
Bishop Connors and Melbourne’s 1974-1996 archbishop Frank Little knew in 1978 about abuse complaint against Baker, who was moved to another parish, and had further complaints in the early 1990s.
“I can’t really excuse myself for failing to put the pressure on the archbishop to do something with this man,” Bishop Connors said.
We can see the evils of Islam every day. But this kind of endemic child abuse that has pervaded the Catholic church has been dealt with by placing the church before the lives of children. It may not quite be the same as throwing homosexuals off a building, chopping heads off or burning people alive, but the systemic failure of the Catholic church to act against sexual predators is the highest abuse of trust I can think of. Read more »