The Catholic Church is still impeding police pursuit and conviction of clergy sex offenders, according to a former head of Victoria Police's sexual crimes squad.
Former detective inspector Glenn Davies, who now works with victims of clergy sex abuse, says his experience of working with the church is that it is ''protectionist, elitist and dismissive of suggestions for change''.
Mr Davies, who resigned from Victoria Police last year after he admitted briefing journalists about then current investigations, made a submission to the Victorian inquiry into how the churches handled clergy sexual abuse. This was posted on the inquiry website late on Tuesday.
Ten submissions were posted, including a defence of Towards Healing by one of its investigators, former police superintendent Paul Murnane, plus a second ''right of reply'' by Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart.
Similar to the Victoria Police evidence, Mr Davies says both the Melbourne Response and the Towards Healing process that covers the rest of Australia ''are operating in a manner that is detrimental to the administration of justice and impeding the detecting, apprehending, prosecuting or convicting'' of abusers.
He says many cases of suspected sexual abuse were reported to church authorities but not acted on, clergy were not removed and investigations were not carried out.
He lists 10 problems, suggesting the church processes ''actively and systematically dissuaded victims of sexual crime from reporting their victimisation to the police'', hindered police investigations, quickly provided suspects with details of the allegations which allowed the possible destruction of evidence, failed to protect the community, but provided protection and sanctuary to offenders.
Archbishop Hart's right of reply, written on June 5, follows an earlier one written last October defending the church from scathing police criticism.
Tabling 39 pieces of correspondence between church and police from 1996 to last year, he says the police have provided no evidence for their allegations. Far from an alleged lack of engagement with police, the church co-operated extensively, did not dissuade victims from reporting and did not hinder police investigations.
It did not alert suspects about allegations, and did not move offenders to evade investigation after 1996, he says.
Archbishop Hart says the church takes precisely the same attitude about reporting to police as victim support groups: that both accept it is up to the victim, if now an adult.
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