Catholic Church Allegedly Using Death of Pedophile to Protect Him from Lawsuits


The Catholic church is trying to use the passing of a pedophile who had been imprisoned for the molestation of 17 children to protect itself from additional civil claims brought out by the survivors of the abuse he committed.

Concern has been expressed widely to the Atty. General of New South Wales, Mark Speakman, in response to how the church handles lawsuit matters.

Church vs. Victims

According to The Guardian, in the past few months, the church has adopted a more forceful approach to dealing with survivors in situations involving pedophile clergy members who have passed away. It has attempted to capitalize on a recent decision made by the highest court in New South Wales. The most recent allegation is a claim by a pseudonym named Mark Peters. He asserts that in 1969 and 1970, when he was a pupil at a primary school run by the Marist Brothers, a Catholic order, he was subjected to sexual assault.

In 2015, the alleged offender was found guilty of sexually assaulting 17 different women and received a hefty jail sentence for his crimes. The lawyers for the church attempted to question him about his behavior, but he denied their request and told them he did not want to be approached by them or the Marist Brothers ever again. Between the years 2015 and 2021, when Peters' claim was submitted, he passed away. Marist Brothers contend that because the alleged offender has passed away, it will be impossible for them to secure a witness statement from him, so they will not be able to get a fair trial. In the latter part of March, the hearing for the permanent stay will be held.

Peters, represented by Koffels Solicitors and Barristers, had tried to postpone the hearing so that a high court appeal in the GLJ case could be concluded. The supreme court of NSW denied the request to delay the hearing earlier in March. In that decision, the court determined that the death of a priest meant that the church could not receive a fair trial in a lawsuit brought by a lady named GLJ. The precedent-setting verdict, currently being challenged at the supreme court, has led to the Catholic Church filing for permanent stays in many wrongful death lawsuits involving clergy members.

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Catholic Church's Request to Stop Child Sexual Abuse Case

As per the O'Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors, the Catholic church's appeal to the Supreme Court of New South Wales for a perpetual stay of proceedings for an investigation into the sexual assault of a child was denied.

The church allegedly made efforts to prevent a survivor from filing a lawsuit in which she asserts that she was a victim of sexual assault as a kid at the hands of Father Clarence Anderson in the year 1968. According to the church's documents, the institution knew that the individual had a sexual relationship with children. Yet, this had little effect on him other than to transfer him from one parish to another.

However, Mondaq reported that the Court of Appeal overturned the decision that had been made to grant the permanent stay in June 2022. The judge decided that Fr. Anderson was an essential witness, although he was not the defendant in the case. The judge also agreed that Fr. Anderson passed away before the Lismore diocesan trust had notice of the charges made against him. In addition, the court ruled that the diocesan faith could not confront Anderson with the charges made by GLJ, nor was it able to obtain instructions to defend itself against her claims.

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