A SENIOR Catholic official who was found to be protecting the Church from legal action by not taking notes in interviews with alleged sex abusers has defended his actions.
Father Brian Lucas, the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that he could not remember a meeting in 1993 with child sex abuser John Chute and the Australian provincial of the Marist Brothers, Alexis Turton.
Father Lucas, a lawyer, said he accepted the meeting had taken place but, as was his practice, he had not taken notes.
The commission is looking at how the Marist Brothers handled accusations against two men later jailed for multiple child sex abuse offences - Chute and Gregory Sutton.
Father Lucas was at the meeting with the Marists because he was on the bishops' special issues committee set up in 1992 to provide resources for bishops and religious orders dealing with sex-abuse allegations.
He said he had not taken notes because Chute would not have been open with him. He said he did not make notes afterwards because of confidentiality, and he never intended to frustrate the process of the law. AAP