CNA Staff, Sep 19, 2023 / 16:50 pm
The Holy See is investigating a former Australian bishop after receiving a 200-page report alleging the bishop sexually assaulted four indigenous youths and may have used hundreds of thousands of dollars in Church and charity funds in attempts to groom 67 others.
Former bishop Christopher Saunders of the Diocese of Broome, who is the subject of the investigation, stepped down from his role in 2020 amid sexual abuse allegations. The Vatican, which commissioned the independent report, received the findings in April but did not release them to the public. The report was leaked to 7NEWS in Australia, which published excerpts of the findings.
According to the excerpts, the report found that “the bishop has been variously described by witnesses as … a sexual predator that seeks to prey upon vulnerable Aboriginal men and boys” and “during the investigation, four victims of sexual (delictual) acts were identified.”
The report added that 67 “additional Aboriginal boys and men were also identified as persons that may have been subjected to delictual acts or grooming behaviors by Bishop Saunders.”