As victim rights advocacy group Broken Rites points out, the clerical sexual abuse defendants always seem to have a senior church figure accompanying them in court as a support person, while no bishop ever accompanies the complainants to court.
It is estimated more than $1 million was spent on lawyers defending Best in his six trials, despite him being found guilty four times by juries.
Millions more in taxpayer funds has been spent on a succession of prosecutions since Best first faced charges in 1995.
“The Christian Brothers have spent mega-dollars on defending Brother Best during many court proceedings since 1995,” Broken Rites spokesman and researcher Bernard Barrett told AAP.
“The costs include a Queen’s Counsel plus other barristers and solicitors, legal office staff, private investigators, and public relations consultants.
“No expense was spared.
“The church’s defence also caused the state of Victoria to spend enormous amounts of taxpayers’ money in trying to prosecute the case.”
Mr Barrett said the church’s commitment to the defence of Best and other convicted clergy contrasted to its treatment of victims.
“The church places a tight limit on what they’ll pay a victim to repair his life,” he said.
Despite all the rhetoric about care and concern, none of the hierarchy wants to take responsibility. As the
A spokesman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne said it was inappropriate for the archdiocese to comment because the matter concerned the Christian Brothers.
The Christian Brothers’ designated media liaison is not returning journalists’ calls.
Broken Rites was formed by victims of clerical sexual abuse to support others (male or female) victimised by clergy from the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church and the Uniting Church, as well as from smaller denominations. The researchers and advocates in the Broken Rites Australia executive team all have a Catholic background but are non-denominational in outlook.