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Church had secret treatment center for pedophile priests

Shocking allegations from whistleblowers include "smokescreen" medical diagnoses and an abusive senior priest known as Hannibal the Cannibal.

Church had secret treatment center for pedophile priests
Richard Baker

November 23, 2012

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Whistleblowers closely involved with the now defunct Encompass Australasia program allege paedophile clergy were diagnosed with a ''mood disorder'' in order for them to be treated at Sydney's Wesley Private Hospital and meet private health insurance criteria.

A well-placed source aware of the status of some clergy treated by Encompass Australasia between 1997 and 2008 said he believed several did not have a mood disorder but were ''cold and calculating criminals'' who bragged about their exploits with children to others while at the hospital.

''Some of these people were not mentally ill, in my opinion. They were criminals who knew exactly what they had done and were proud of their achievements,'' the source, who asked not to be named for fear of being sacked, said. ''People who should have been in Long Bay Jail were still living in the community.''

Another source with intimate knowledge of the Encompass Australasia program said one senior priest who received treatment was nicknamed "Hannibal the cannibal" because of the exuberant way he described his treatment of young boys.

Fairfax Media can reveal new details about a paedophile Marist brother treated by Encompass Australasia in 2002-03 before being sent to Rome to work for the church instead of being reported to police.

Documents lodged in the ACT Supreme Court in 2010 allege senior Catholic leaders, including the former headmaster of a Queensland school, knew Marist brother Ross Murrin was sexually abusing his students in the late 1970s and early 1980s but failed to act.

A statement of claim lodged by an alleged victim of Murrin's states that the former headmaster of St Augustine's boarding school in Cairns, Brother Gerald Burns, gave circus tickets to two boys who complained about Murrin's abuse, allegedly telling them it was in recognition of ''all the bother''.

Full Story: Diagnosis was 'smokescreen' to hide known paedophiles 

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

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