Cleric charged with assault on boy, 16

A former leading member of Tasmania's Catholic Church will face a committal hearing later this year on sex charges.

The Australian/June 10, 2004
By Carol Altmann

Philip Richard Green, 68, has been charged with one count of indecent assault against a 16-year-old boy that allegedly occurred at Burnie between January 1 and December 31, 1970 and a second count of indecent assault, against the same person, at Greens Beach in January 1976.

The Hobart Magistrates Court yesterday heard Mr Green would defend the charges and five witnesses would be called when the committal began on August 16.

Mr Green, who remains on bail, is the most senior member of the Tasmanian Catholic Church to be caught up in the ever-widening sexual abuse scandal that has rocked both the Catholic and Anglican churches in the state.

A monsignor of the church, Mr Green was made an Order of Australia in 1995 and awarded an MBE in 1998 for his services to the church community.

He was sacked in October last year, 18 months after the abuse allegations were first reported to church officials.

Burnie, in Tasmania's northwest, has found itself at the centre of numerous sexual abuse allegations between church figures and boys dating back to the early 1970s, prompting claims by some abuse victims of a "golden circle" of pedophiles that operated across denominations.

Earlier this year, two Marist priests, Roger Bellamore and Gregory Fergusson, were charged with maintaining a sexual relationship with a person under 17 after alleged incidents in the 1970s at Burnie's Marist College, then a Catholic all-boys school with which Mr Green also had a connection.

In April, a former physical education teacher at Marist College, Paul Richard Goldsmith, was extradited from Perth to face a series of child sex charges against 28 individuals at the school in the 1970s and 1980s.

Disgraced former Test umpire, Steve Randell, was jailed for sexual offences against young girls at the college in the early 1980s.

Two former Tasmanian Anglican priests, Louis Daniels and Garth Hawkins, who have since been jailed for sex crimes against boys, also committed their offences in the Burnie area in the 1970s and 1980s and knew Randell through the church.

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