The Herald Sun (Australia)
July 6, 2016 10:00am
A PRIEST accused of peodophelia that had won the right to work with children has been banned again after new allegations of abuse.
It comes after The Saturday Telegraph revealed the northern NSW priest — who allegedly abused two teenage Aboriginal siblings — had recently won an appeal against a Working With Children Check (WWCC) lifetime ban.
It is understood the fresh allegations relate to the ongoing Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
They are not related to the Aboriginal siblings.
The Children’s Guardian has been forced to put a new interim bar on the 68-year-old priest.
Family and Community Services Minister Brad Hazzard last night called the development a “victory for children in NSW”.
He slammed the court decision on the weekend as “extremely concerning” and called on the Catholic Church to “reconsider the man’s involvement in pastoral activities”.
“I’m advised that additional information has come to the Children’s Guardian which has resulted in a fresh interim bar,” Mr Hazzard yesterday said.
The Minister reiterated the church, with its “unfortunately bad” history with child abuse, should always “err on the side of caution”.
“The reality is that WWCCs are only one part of an employer’s obligation to keep kids safe,” he said.
The 68-year-old former priest, known only as “BQC” in court, was banned from working with children by the Children’s Guardian in April 2014 after an investigation discovered “sustained” historical workplace allegations he had sexually abused two teenage Aboriginal siblings.
One was a ward of the state.
The alleged conduct involved genitalia fondling and masturbation.
There was no police record of the incident, which happened over 1983-1984.
Yet church inquiries came to “sustained” findings.
The priest also took part in the Encompass program, a psychosexual treatment clinic for clergy that has been revealed to have shielded paedophiles.
The Children’s Guardian first became aware of BQC in September 2013 when he applied for a WWCC clearance so he could continue to volunteer among children in his retirement.
In January, 2014, the priest was told a risk assessment was required because of the discoveries about his past.
In April he was given a “notice of interim bar”. He was banned forever in November, but launched an appeal in the Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
The court found in his favour last month.
It ruled it could not be sure the abuse occurred because there was no police record.
Yet it conceded this did not mean “the allegations did not factually amount to any inappropriate conduct”.