A NEWCASTLE woman, whose statement to future Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson about pedophile priest Denis McAlinden prompted an attempted secret defrocking of McAlinden in 1995, has lodged a formal complaint with police.
"On behalf of all of the victims of Denis McAlinden, I am seeking justice," the woman wrote to Lake Macquarie Detective Inspector Dave Waddell yesterday.
He is reviewing documents indicating Church knowledge that McAlinden's behaviour represented "grave problems for the community", with a forced attempted secret defrocking protecting his "good name" for the "good of the church".
"To date, the Catholic Church has been able to claim that pedophilia was a crime limited to the behaviour of a few priests and that there was no conspiracy of silence within the Church," she wrote in her complaint.
The Church's documents raised questions that needed answering, she said.
The woman has asked for a full investigation of the Church's handling of allegations about the priest.
The woman noted retired NSW Police assistant commissioner John Ure's statement to The Herald that if the McAlinden allegations were brought to police attention in 1995, as they were investigating and charging pedophile priest Vince Ryan, they would have been investigated.
She also noted Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Michael Malone's apology in 2007 to McAlinden's victims who suffered "distress and lifelong impact" from his offending.
Retired detective John Mooney, who arrested Vince Ryan in 1995, backed the woman's call for a full police investigation and said McAlinden's victims had been denied justice by the Church's silence.
Australian Lawyers Alliance spokesman Dr Andrew Morrison, SC, said the potential for criminal prosecution of senior Catholic Church members was "a possibility".