Victims encouraged to tell police of abuse

The former director of the Catholic Church’s professional standards office, who was charged with passing on complaints of paedophilia by ­clergy to police, said he did not believe he was equipped with enough information to recommend priest James Fletcher be stood down when allegations were made against him in 2002. 

John Daveron, director of the office from 1997 until 2003, told the special commission of inquiry he could not act because no formal complaint had been made against Fletcher. 

Mr Daveron said he did speak with the victim’s mother about her son’s allegations and was aware Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox was involved. 

“I would feel it would be beyond my competency to recommend Fletcher be stood down,” Mr Daveron said. 

He explained the complaints process would first require a victim to make a complaint; a statement would be taken and referred to him and he would make notes which he would then pass on to the bishop, who would make a determination about whether or not to go to police. 

Mr Daveron said he would always encourage victims to report abuse matters to police. 

The inquiry into alleged cover-ups by the Catholic Church of paedophilia which was anticipated to go for three weeks has entered its fifth week. 

Commissioner Margaret Cunneen allowed the public hearing to continue until 6pm yesterday to finish the day’s evidence.

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