Catholic leader says not ‘remotely enough’ supervision to prevent child sexual abuse

Source: The Guardian

Sydney archbishop Anthony Fisher says he can’t be assured priests are ‘not misbehaving again’ and struggles with financially supporting abusers

Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher
Anthony Fisher told the royal commission the church would be criticised whether it supported abusers financially or not. Photograph: Paul Miller/AAP

Sydney’s Catholic archbishop says he can’t pretend there is remotely enough supervision of abusive priests to be certain they won’t sexually assault children again.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher said on Friday the church financially supports known abusers and tries to find out where they live when they want nothing more to do with the institution.

“I can’t pretend we have remotely sufficient supervision for me to be assured that they are not misbehaving again,” he told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse in Sydney. “I have puzzled about it this now for several years.”

Fisher said he often struggled with the question of whether the church should support abusers. He said some people would think the church was trying to wash its hands of the problem if it didn’t assist them.

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