Church files ex­pose scale of claims fac­ing church­men

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - FRONT PAGE - By Mar­ion Scott and Stacey Mullen

Claims of abuse have been lev­elled against priests in Scot­land 126 times.

The scale of al­le­ga­tions against Catholic church­men can be re­vealed as ex­perts call for Scot­land to fol­low Amer­ica and name those accused.

They spoke out af­ter it emerged a priest, accused and sacked in Scot­land, found a new church in Amer­ica but was then accused of abus­ing an­other young girl. The Scots al­le­ga­tions were not re­ported to po­lice for 25 years.

Father Gerry Magee, who has cam­paigned for vic­tims, said: “Too much time and ef­fort has been spent pro­tect­ing the church and not pro­tect­ing the chil­dren.”

Al­le­ga­tions of abuse have been made 126 times against Catholic priests in Scot­land over the last 70 years, ac­cord­ing to church doc­u­ments.

How­ever, the vast ma­jor­ity were not re­ported to po­lice for years and only a frac­tion of those cases have ever been pros­e­cuted.

Now cam­paign­ers are call­ing on Catholic Church lead­ers to pub­licly name all those who have had al­le­ga­tions made against them fol­low­ing the lead of the church lead­ers in the United States.

They have spo­ken out as we re­veal how a Catholic priest accused of abuse in Scot­land, where he had been moved around five parishes, was sacked only to find a new post in

Los An­ge­les where he was later accused again.

The al­le­ga­tions made against

Joseph Dunne in Scot­land in 1983 were only re­ported to po­lice in 2013 – 25 years af­ter he was sacked.

Cam­paign­ers are de­mand­ing to know why po­lice were not in­formed af­ter the first al­le­ga­tions and why church au­thor­i­ties did not take mea­sures to stop Dunne work­ing any­where else as a priest.

Father Gerry Magee, who has cam­paigned for jus­tice for abuse vic­tims, said: “If they’d re­ported ev­ery al­le­ga­tion of abuse against priests when they were first made aware of them, the church would not be in the state it is in to­day.

“Too much time and ef­fort was spent pro­tect­ing the in­sti­tu­tion rather than pro­tect­ing vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren and adults. There is am­ple ev­i­dence that ‘prob­lem’ priests were moved about.”

Ear­lier this year a Univer­sity of Glas­gow study of abuse in the Catholic Church be­tween 1943 and 2005 found 59 com­plaints against priests.

The ma­jor­ity of com­plaints against priests were sex­ual, but they also in­cluded some phys­i­cal, ver­bal and emo­tional abuse.

It also iden­ti­fied more than 320 com­plaints in­volv­ing monks, nuns and re­li­gious or­ders – 257 con­cern­ing the Daugh­ters of Char­ity, who ran the Smyl­lum Park or­phan­age which is part of the Scot­tish Child Abuse In­quiry.

Since 2006, when the church be­gan com­pil­ing an­nual fig­ures, 67 priests have been accused of abuse. All of the post-2005 al­le­ga­tions have been re­ported to po­lice.

Last March, Father Paul Moore, aged 83, was jailed for nine years at Glas­gow High Court for sex­u­ally abus­ing three chil­dren and a stu­dent priest in var­i­ous lo­ca­tions in Ayr­shire be­tween 1977 and 1996.

Alan Draper, a for­mer so­cial work di­rec­tor and now of the In-Care Abuse Sur­vivors net­work (In­cas), said: “Un­til a light is prop­erly shone on what re­ally went on, and the church pub­licly names all those who have had cred­i­ble al­le­ga­tions made against them as they have done in the US, the dam­age that has been done can never be­gin to heal.”

But Mr Draper said lit­tle has changed for vic­tims since he was first asked to ad­vise church lead­ers al­most 25 years ago.

He said: “While the church in Scot­land is be­gin­ning to say the right words, it is their ac­tions that mat­ter and sadly very lit­tle has changed.

“The church is still lis­ten­ing to lawyers and in­sur­ance com­pa­nies who tell them never to ad­mit li­a­bil­ity in­stead of act­ing like a Chris­tian or­gan­i­sa­tion and reach­ing out to vic­tims.”

Mr Draper said that he had handed all of the 22 files he had been given by the church on abuse cases to Po­lice Scot­land in 2013, in­clud­ing al­le­ga­tions of hand­i­capped chil­dren be­ing abused.

De­spite re­peated in­struc­tions from the Pope, the church in Scot­land has never fol­lowed the ex­am­ple of the church in the US where hun­dreds have been named and shamed and hun­dreds of mil­lions of pounds com­pen­sa­tion has been paid to vic­tims.

The Catholic Church in Scot­land said: “Although we are un­able to com­ment on spe­cific cases in­volv­ing liv­ing in­di­vid­u­als, the Arch­dio­cese of Glas­gow takes all al­le­ga­tions of abuse ex­tremely se­ri­ously.

“The Arch­dio­cese re­it­er­ates its deep re­gret for suf­fer­ing or harm that has been caused by abuse, or if, in the past, al­le­ga­tions of abuse have not been han­dled ac­cord­ing to the high­est stan­dards.

“If any­one has knowl­edge of a priest, or any other church of­fi­cial, liv­ing or dead, who may have abused them or any­one else, they should come for­ward to speak with the safe­guard­ing ad­viser at the Arch­dio­cese or re­port the mat­ter to Po­lice Scot­land”.

A spokes­woman for Po­lice Scot­land added: “Po­lice Scot­land can con­firm it re­ceived cor­re­spon­dence in 2013 and a thor­ough investigation was launched.” His is just one name on a list of more than 200. Each one is a priest accused of abuse at Catholic churches in Los An­ge­les.

The list is one of dozens which the church pub­lishes across the US as part of its re­sponse to abuse scan­dals, a re­sponse in­tended to of­fer clar­ity where once there was cover-up.

The en­try runs to just 19 words: Dunne, Joseph; accused; dioce­san; Accused of abuse of one per­son in 1993. Ex­tern priest from Scot­land work­ing in Arch­dio­cese.

But be­hind the cur­sory en­try lies a tale of unan­swered ques­tions stretch­ing back more than 30 years.

We can re­veal to­day how Father Dunne was left free to work at churches in the US – less than two years af­ter the Catholic Church in Scot­land sacked him over child sex al­le­ga­tions.

The late Car­di­nal Thomas Win­ning – who dis­missed him – chose not to call in po­lice or alert Catholic churches else­where, mean­ing Dunne was able to work in LA, where he was sub­se­quently accused again.

US church lead­ers only found out about his past in Scot­land when they called his for­mer bosses in Glas­gow. Los An­ge­les po­lice were in­volved but no charges brought.

Dunne, now 77, re­turned to Glas­gow and was or­dered never to work as a priest again – but still church au­thor­i­ties did not in­form the po­lice.

It was only in 2013 that they fi­nally told po­lice about Dunne, when they handed over a list of names of priests who had al­le­ga­tions of abuse made against them.

The al­le­ga­tions against him emerged when the Los An­ge­les Arch­dio­cese pub­lished its list of priests accused of abuse. The Catholic Church in Scot­land has never pub­lished such a list.

Dunne was moved around five dif­fer­ent parishes in Glas­gow af­ter be­ing or­dained at Water­ford Cathe­dral in 1975.

He first served as priest at St James’s, Crook­ston, mov­ing to St Lawrence’s, Drum­chapel un­til 1978, and then St Bartholomew’s, Castlemilk, from 1980.

He was then sent to St Paul’s, Whiteinch in 1985, and then to St Mary The Im­mac­u­late in Pol­lok­shaws. In 1988 he was sacked. But he was given a “li­cence” to con­tinue act­ing as a priest by the Arch­dio­cese of Los An­ge­les in 1990 – where the sec­ond al­le­ga­tion, of mo­lest­ing a school­girl, was made in 1993.

The church’s own for­mer abuse ad­viser, Alan Draper, said: “This is a deeply wor­ry­ing case, and one which will have many ask­ing where he went af­ter Los An­ge­les, and did his pat­tern of al­leged be­hav­iour con­tinue?

“The cor­rect re­sponse now from the Church should be to

SACKED BUT NO PO­LICE IN­QUIRY FOR 25 YEARS How priest sacked in Scot­land found new church in Cal­i­for­nia­fore be­ing accused again

en­cour­age any al­leged vic­tims to come for­ward and re­port any al­le­ga­tions re­gard­ing Dunne.

“There needs to be a full investigation into why he was moved around so many parishes in Glas­gow, and what he did once he left Los An­ge­les.

“The church has a clear re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect chil­dren, something they failed to do in this case.”

Dunne, who is thought to be liv­ing in his na­tive Ire­land but could not be traced for com­ment, is now be­ing sought by lawyers act­ing for abuse vic­tims in the US.

The Los An­ge­les Arch­dio­cese ad­mits pro­vid­ing Dunne with “tem­po­rary fac­ul­ties” – a li­cence which al­lowed him to work as a priest, take con­fes­sion and work with chil­dren.

The Arch­dio­cese of Los An­ge­les say that they “were not aware” of the pre­vi­ous al­le­ga­tions against Father Dunne when he was granted this li­cence, and have now in­cluded his name in their of­fi­cial list of clergy who had “cred­i­ble al­le­ga­tions of abuse” against them.

Adrian Alar­con, spokes­woman for the Arch­dio­cese of Los An­ge­les, said: “Father Dunne was in­vited by the pas­tor to as­sist at Holy An­gels Par­ish in Ar­ca­dia in late 1990 and con­tin­ued in that ca­pac­ity un­til sum­mer 1991.

“The arch­dio­cese was no­ti­fied that he was min­is­ter­ing at that par­ish in March 1991 and he was granted tem­po­rary fac­ul­ties un­til Septem­ber 1991.

“With­out per­mis­sion from or no­ti­fi­ca­tion to the arch­dio­cese, Fr Dunne also spent time at Our Lady of Per­pet­ual Help Par­ish in Santa Clarita from the sum­mer of 1992 un­til Jan­uary 1993.”

Ms Alar­con added: “Father Dunne was accused of sex­ual mis­con­duct of a fe­male mi­nor in Jan­uary 1993 while he was still at Our Lady of Per­pet­ual Help.

“He was re­moved by the par­ish and the arch­dio­cese from any min­istry when the al­le­ga­tion was re­ceived in Jan­uary 1993.”

Dunne is the sec­ond priest from the UK to turn up at the Holy An­gels church af­ter fac­ing abuse al­le­ga­tions here. Father James Robin­son fled to the US in 1985, while un­der investigation for sex­u­ally abus­ing boys in the West Mid­lands. He was later ex­tra­dited, found guilty of abus­ing six boys and jailed for 21 years.

There is no known link be­tween the two men.

Dunne was or­dained by Most Rev Dr Michael Rus­sell along with Rev Ron­ald Gro­gan, left, and Rev Pa­trick Doody

Car­di­nal Thomas Win­ning dis­missed Dunne

Glas­gow St Mary The Im­mac­u­late in Pol­lok­shaws

Our Lady of Per­pet­ual Help Church

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