Report: Church failed to investigate

Jan. 17, 2013 at 5:07 PM

ARMIDALE, Australia, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- A Roman Catholic priest suspected of abusing children in Australia was simply allowed to move on, a report released Thursday said.

Antony Whitlam, a former federal judge, called the conduct of the then-bishop of Armidale, Henry Joseph Kennedy, "utterly inexplicable," the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported. In a 60-page report, Whitlam said reports about the priest, identified only as Father F., were made to church officials in New South Wales but no action was taken.

Father F. functioned as a priest in New South Wales in the 1980s and 1990s. He allegedly began his career by molesting altar boys in Moree.

Bishop Michael Kennedy, who currently heads the Armidale diocese, issued a statement saying he was "shocked, horrified and profoundly disappointed" by the church's failure to investigate Father F. Kennedy is not related to his predecessor.

"This is a cause of deep shame for the church. I offer victims and their families my deepest heartfelt and unequivocal apology," he said. "One of my predecessors failed, in this instance, in his duty of governance to the diocese and more importantly in his duty of the pastoral care of its people."

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
More than 80 percent of North Korean defectors are women, says report
Kenyan bishop warns Obama against pro-gay policy
Duma approves construction of $4 billion bridge to Crimea
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev seeking new trial for Boston Marathon bombing
Shark bites Camp Lejeune Marine on North Carolina coast