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The sexual abuse scandal in Canberra and Goulburn archdiocese is a significant chapter in the Catholic sexual abuse scandal in Australia.

Allegations against bishop Clancy

There were allegations that Clancy and other priests at his instruction had used the third rite of confession in circumstances other than "grave necessity", as required by Vatican guidelines, the Vatican issued a negative, public rebuke of Clancy and the Australian church. Clancy responded by saying that the lack of priests in Australia and the dominant opinion of sin as a communal matter in Australia should have been taken into account before the rebuke was issued.[citation needed]

11 charges against Marist teacher

In February 2008, a teacher at Marist College Canberra, Marist Brother John William Chute (also known as Brother Kostka), pleaded guilty in the ACT Magistrates Court to 11 charges of indecently assaulting students of the college during the 1980s. [1]

Seven further charges against Chute relating to alleged offences committed before 1985 were dropped, due to a legal limitation that charges relating to sexual indecency had to be made within a year. In June 2008, Chute was sentenced in the ACT Supreme Court to six years in jail, with two years to be served in prison, one year to be served in weekend detention, and three years suspended. [2]

Civil claim against Marist College Canberra

In February 2008, a statement of civil claim was lodged against Marist College Canberra in the ACT Supreme Court by a number of former students. The claim alleges that students were sexually abused by five teachers over a thirty-year period, and seeks damages from the school for negligence.[3][4]

Accusations prompt suicide

Canberra Daramalan College teacher Paul Lyons committed suicide shortly after he was charged with numerous sexual assaults in 2000.[5]

Additional claims in 2009

In July 2009, it was reported that 32 civil claims against the trustees of the Marist Brothers over the preceding 18 month period in the ACT Supreme Court. Former students alleged they were molested by 10 former brothers and lay teachers while at the school. In some of the claims, former students allege they were molested by as many as four brothers and teachers. [6]

In April 2009, the Marist Brothers denied a claim that a ring of pedophile abusers operated in the 1970s and 1980s.[7]

See also


  1. Marist Brother pleads guilty to assaulting boys, ABC News 21 Feb 08, [1]
  2. "Two years in jail for Brother Kostka", The Canberra Times, 23 June 08 [2]
  3. More teachers linked to Marist sex abuse case, ABC News 25 Feb 08 [3]
  4. Marists apologise for Canberra abuse
  5. ABC Canberra. Colleges settle sex abuse cases accessed 1 Jan 2009
  6. School's 'paedophile ring', Canberra Times 11 July 2009, [4]
  7. Marist denies college ring of abuse,Catholic Times April 2009,[5]
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