His open letter to Premier Barry O’Farrell in the Newcastle Herald – OPINION: Don’t block your ears to abuse, Mr Premier
If you missed Fox’s extraordinary interview on Lateline last night, you can catch it on the ABC website (full transcript available).
TONY JONES: This is actually – this is – as horrific as the litany of sexual crimes against children are, to me one of the most disturbing lines in your letter was along these lines: “I can testify from my own experience the Church covers up, silences victims, hinders police investigations, alerts offenders, destroys evidence and moves priests to protect the good name of the Church.” You’re saying you have evidence of all of this?
PETER FOX: Oh, not only do I have evidence, it’s irrefutable. Most of that is fact that’s been admitted by many of them. We encounter it all the time. For people to sit back and say it’s not going on, they’ve got their head in the sand. The greatest frustration is that there is so much power and organisation behind the scenes that police don’t have the powers to be able to go in and seize documents and have them disclose things to us.
TONY JONES: If things were covered up, if there was serious cover-up, how high up the chain did it go to your sure knowledge?
PETER FOX: I have definite information that – of some covering up certainly to a number of diocese bishops. It potentially goes even higher than that.
TONY JONES: Higher than that? You mean into the top levels of the Church hierarchy, is that what you’re saying?
PETER FOX: That’s correct. I’ve got no doubt. You know, to sit back and sort of say, “Listen, each of these diocese are self-autonomous and there’s no-one above that knows what goes on at those lower levels,” we live in a real world and it would be as if, you know, I’m doing something in the police force at Raymond Terrace and I’m not accountable to somebody else at a higher level at Newcastle or in Sydney.
That’s how the chain-of-command in any organisation works. To turn around and say, “No, we work something different. We didn’t know about that,” I think most of the public are smart enough to be able to put two and two together there.
N.B. The blog has a filter operating somewhere that I can’t reset (maybe my webhost’s servers are part of Senator Conroy’s filter trials) that sends any comments containing the strings “child s*x abuse” or “child s*xual abuse” or “child p*rn” or child “p*rnography” (if typed without those asterisks) into limbo and sends the commentor to an error page. Please use asterisks accordingly if you wish to have an actual discussion about how to address this societal blight.