Victims' suicide inquiry won't reveal much more: bishop

Bishop Peter Connors

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An independent inquiry into dozens of suicides among victims of child sexual abuse by priests and brothers in Victoria would achieve little, said the Bishop of Ballarat, Peter Connors, according to an AAP report in the Age.

''If it helps the victims I'd be more than happy for it to go ahead,'' Bishop of Ballarat Peter Connors said.

''I don't think they'll learn very much more ... I'm convinced we've done the best we can in more recent years.''

Police investigating the case of convicted paedophile Robert Best believe at least 26 victims of sexual abuse at schools in which he taught have committed suicide. One of the investigating officers wants a parliamentary inquiry to investigate the deaths.

Best, who taught at schools throughout Victoria, including Ballarat, will be sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty to 27 charges of abusing 11 boys between 1969 and 1988.

Best was principal at St Alipius Primary School in Ballarat at the same time convicted serial paedophile Gerald Ridsdale was the school chaplain, the report adds.

''I think we've learnt a lot of things about what is appropriate ... [and] not appropriate behaviour,'' Bishop Connors said.

''I think people are very well informed nowadays as to what's inappropriate approaches from a male.''

''In the past a lot of ignorance was there on the part of lots of people. Parents didn't understand, sometimes bishops didn't understand. We have no excuse now.''

Bishop Connors said in the past 14 years he had spoken to more than 30 victims of Ridsdale and other priests in the Ballarat diocese. But he said none had told him they were also abused by Best.

FULL STORY

Suicide inquiry won't shed light: bishop (The Age/AAP)

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