The publication of the damning “Ryan Report” on sexual abuse among Irish priests last year led to calls to Australian authorities to investigate Irish priests and brothers working down under.
It is believed that a significant number of Irish clerical offenders also lived and worked in Australia.
The Australian Catholic Church plans to use Ireland’s child abuse investigators to see if clerical abusers in Ireland had any connections with ministries in Australia.
Ireland’s “Ryan Report” was compiled by the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse and chaired by Judge Sean Ryan. The report outlined the sexual and physical abuse of children, by priests, nuns and lay staff within the Catholic Church over a 60-year period.
Although the Archdiocese of Sydney would not respond to queries over the nature of their investigations the Australian Church has said that it will seek information from the Irish commission.
The Australian Senate released their findings on clerical abuse of children who had been sent from Britain to Australia in 2001. The results had many strong similarities.
Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, said that he believe it is unlikely that any “problem priests” in Australia had been sent from Ireland. In March Pell was tipped as to head an apostolic visitation to Ireland.
The Australian results from 2001 showed that almost two-thirds of all the sexual assault allegations were against Christian Brother institutions.