MAITLAND-Newcastle Catholic Bishop Bill Wright has offered to meet a couple who criticised the church’s handling of a priest convicted for his part in the John Denham paedophile priest scandal.
Bishop Wright said he would be pleased to meet Patricia and Michael Day, the parents of one of Denham’s victims, after their repeated requests for a meeting with former Bishop Michael Malone were refused.
Bishop Malone refused after the Days said the ‘‘main focus of a meeting’’ with him was to discuss the silence of Toronto priest Tom Brennan after his conviction for making a false statement to police over the Denham scandal.
Brennan told police he did not recall parents, teachers and students at St Pius X at Adamstown complain of Denham’s sexual abuse of boys. A District Court judge who rejected Brennan’s appeal against his conviction said he did not believe the priest.
Brennan has not responded to a letter from Mr and Mrs Day in November last year for a ‘‘meaningful statement’’ after telling him his failures in the Denham scandal were as devastating as the paedophile priest’s.
In a letter in January last year, while the diocese was negotiating a compensation case brought against it by 40 Denham victims, Bishop Malone advised the Days ‘‘any settlement (for their son) will need to acknowledge his fragile state and try to protect him from reckless spending’’.
The diocese has paid more than $7million to Denham victims.
Mr and Mrs Day wrote back to Bishop Malone saying the comments were ‘‘presumptuous, insensitive, deeply offensive and deserving of an apology’’.