“Tasmania’s Catholic Archbishop has ordered a full audit of all the state’s Catholic institutions to identify and remove plaques depicting convicted sex offenders.
It follows the removal last year of a plaque from exterior of Hobart’s St Mary’s Cathedral which depicted a former Catholic priest convicted of sex offences
Victims of church sexual abuse had demanded the controversial plaque be taken down.
The artwork from the 1980s depicted the late Monsignor Philip Green as part of a memorial to former Archbishop Guilford Young.
In 2004 Green pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a former altar boy and was given a three-month suspended prison sentence
After meeting with another of Green’s victims on Thursday Archbishop Julian Porteous issued a statement which said there would be a full audit of all Catholic institutions.
The audit would cover more than 100 sites and was expected to take about two months to complete.
The Archbishop said due to the large number of buildings, it was envisaged staff would audit their own premises.
Any plaque mentioning the name of a convicted sex offender or has images in their likeness would be removed.
“The audit will determine this once and for all,” Archbishop Porteous said.
“The Archdiocese of Hobart is not aware of any plaques depicting, or referencing any other priests convicted of sexual abuse.”
Audit not enough, former priest says
Former Catholic priest Julian Punch who was at the meeting to support the victim believes the audit does not go far enough.
“Most of those plaques have already gone, our request is much deeper than that,” Mr Punch said.
“They need to set up an inventory of every place, every school, every catholic institution that’s been a site of sexual abuse, and that’s substantial.
“We’re asking for a program of redress to be included at any site that has been used to sexually abuse children and young people.”
Mr Punch has previously claimed he was also sexually assaulted by Green.
In his autobiography, Gay with God, Mr Punch claimed the late Monsignor attacked him when he was a student at the Corpus Christi College at Mount Waverley in Melbourne in 1968.”