An accused Christian Brother paedophile, Stephen Farrell, said in an inquiry hearing on Monday that he was hugged by his senior after he received a child sexual harassment complaint against him.
Farrel told the inquiry hearing against him that Brother Paul Nange embraced him after a superior of the 1970s St. Patrick’s Christian Brothers received a complaint against him for harassing a five-year-old. “He just put his arms around me and gave me a long cuddle. No words were said,” Farrell told the child abuse royal commission at a private hearing, according to the inquiry proceedings held on Monday. “He then just walked out. And this was Brother Nangle’s way of coping with this, you know, of helping me.”
Recently, survivors of child abuse support groups have shown disagreement on the federal government’s announcement of not supporting the child abuse royal commission in setting up a national redress scheme for child abuse victims in institutions.
Care Leavers Australia Network’s executive officer Leonie Sheedy said that the commonwealth’s ruling that the states and territories will take the liability of the abuse incidents occurring in their jurisdictions will not be fair to those who suffer assaults in state-run institutions. “They are sending [responsibility] back to the state governments who abused them,” The Guardian quoted Sheedy as saying. “We now have to go back to the abusing governments that didn’t care about us as children.”
According to Sky News, the inquiry hearing in Ballarat concerning the latest child assault incident has focused on the Catholic’s way of handling child abuse instances where almost six Christian Brothers working at schools in the Diocese of Ballarat were involved. Four of them have been convicted of the charges, while another died in 1986. The Christian Brothers have paid almost $37 million to compensate for child abuse claims from around 850 Australians. Counsel Gail Furness has been assisting the royal commission on the case. She confirmed on Monday that 281 members of the Catholic order have been involved in child abuse complaints from 853 people.