MAITLAND-Newcastle Catholic diocese has paid compensation to a New Zealand victim of notorious child sex offender priest Denis McAlinden.
The payment could be the first made to an overseas victim of a paedophile priest sent to another country by an Australian diocese, Broken Rites researcher Bernard Barrett said.
While he was aware of allegations made by overseas victims of two other notorious paedophile priests sent to America by a Victorian diocese, Mr Barrett said he was not aware of compensation paid to any other overseas victim by an Australian diocese.
The New Zealand woman, from the diocese of Hamilton, contacted Newcastle legal firm Braye Cragg in 2008 after a New Zealand newspaper published reports about McAlinden one year after the Newcastle Herald named him as a paedophile priest over four decades.
The woman alleged she was sexually abused by McAlinden in 1984 when he was transferred from Maitland-Newcastle diocese.
He spent a short period in New Zealand before being sent to Merriwa in 1985, which led to further complaints to the then Bishop Leo Clarke that he was a child sex offender.
The New Zealand victim of McAlinden travelled to Newcastle with the support of Hamilton Bishop Denis Browne after her 2008 complaint, and met with the then Bishop Michael Malone and other victims of the priest.
She received compensation and has undergone extensive counselling.
Denis McAlinden arrived in Australia from Ireland in 1949 at the age of 26, and was first reported to the church as a child sex offender in 1953. He was repeatedly moved within Maitland-Newcastle diocese, and was twice sent to remote parts of Western Australia.
McAlinden spent four years in the highlands of Papua New Guinea in the 1960s, New Zealand in 1984, and also travelled elsewhere.
The church removed his right to act as a priest in 1993 but did not report him to police until 2003. He died without being charged in 2005.