The Catholic Church in Perth, Australia has been ordered to make a record payout of $2.45 million to a child abuse survivor, after a District Court ruling last week.
The 52-year-old man and former altar boy first meet WA priest Bertram Adderley in 1977, when he was an altar boy at Holy Cross Catholic Church, in Hamilton Hill, Perth.
Before entering the Church Adderley was a lay teacher at Perth’s prestigious Aquinas College in the 1950s, before joining a Parish in Bunbury and Hamilton Hill.
He first assaulted the victim in the Sacristy of the Parish church. Another time, he took the boy to a nudist beach in a suburb of Perth before assaulting him in his apartment.
Speaking to ABC News, the victim who preferred to remain nameless, recounted the pain of having to re-live the experience in court. He accused the church of ignoring stories such as his, saying “you’re just brushing us under the carpet”.
“You’re not paying any respect to future victims and you’re not showing any desire to prevent future victims,” he said.
His legal team, led by Michael Magazanik, has said that Adderley had abused “dozens and dozens” of others, in Bunbury and at Aquinas College. He went on to say that the Church had been made aware of these allegations “yet allowed him to move up to Perth and serve at the Church where he abused my client”.
The Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costelloe (pictured above) said that he was “deeply sorry and ashamed”.
“The most recent media reports suggest that the Church has failed to honour its commitment to treat survivors with respect, compassion and sensitivity,” he said.
To the extent that this is the case, I sincerely apologise,” he said.
Adderley’s victim has urged others who went through the same experience to come forward.
“Do not feel guilty about it, don’t be ashamed of it,” he said.
“If you’re still with us, if you haven’t succumbed to that guilt and shame, go and see a lawyer.
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