Senator Nick Xenophon
Independent senator Nick Xenophon has accused the head of the Archdiocese of Adelaide of double standards, reports The Australian.
He made the claim for the Archbishop Philip Wilson refusing to stand down a priest accused of sex offences because the matter related to an adult, not a child.
Senator Xenophon has defended his decision to name the priest against whom allegations have been made, and was shocked to hear Archbishop Wilson would not stand the priest down despite the fact he was facing abuse allegations and a possible police investigation.
"It just beggars belief there is a two-tier system of dealing with allegations of rape, whether the alleged complainant was a child or an adult," Senator Xenophon said.
"The concern that I have is whether these are protocols of the Catholic Church or Adelaide archdiocese."
He had called for an investigation into the church's handling of the matter and spoken to federal Labor powerbroker Mark Butler.
The Australian adds that the Archdiocese of Melbourne's Director of Communications, James O'Farrell, said all complaints of clergy abuse were referred to the independent commissioner, regardless of whether they related to an adult or a child.
The commissioner then makes recommendations to the archbishop, including on whether an accused priest should be stood down.
"The archbishop has accepted and followed every such recommendation made by the independent commissioner," Mr O'Farrell said.
The news report also outlined the protocols of the Adelaide Anglican diocese, which said it would stand down accused clergy; and those of the Baptist Church of SA, which said allegations would first be referred to police before the church began its investigation, and the church would negotiate to stand the person down.
FULL STORY AND RELATED COVERAGE
Senator accuses Catholic archbishop of having double standards on abuse (The Australian)
Rau urges crime victims to go to police (Sydney Morning Herald/AAP)
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