CATHERINE MASTERS & GREG ANSLEY | New Zealand Herald [extracts]
It's hard to imagine that the pretty little wooden chapel with the blue roof has been caught up in a top-level inquiry into the sexual abuse of children, which was launched in Australia but is likely to extend to New Zealand.
Among the practices to be investigated is that instead of prosecuting paedophile priests, the Catholic church transferred them from diocese to diocese.
One of the worst offenders was Father Denis McAlinden - thought to have abused hundreds of little girls - who turned up in Tokomaru Bay in the 1980s.
The current Bishop of Hamilton, Denis Browne, has confirmed McAlinden was in the remote part of the diocese for six months in 1984, telling radio there was only one known victim who had come forward after 25 years "to unburden her soul".
McAlinden, who also had stints in Papua New Guinea and Western Australia, was eventually defrocked but never prosecuted.
He was hidden by the church in his later years and is now dead…
Long-term institutional abuse has already been confirmed across Australia - a decade ago a Queensland inquiry into institutions run by the Anglican, Methodist and Catholic churches prompted an official State apology for the physical and sexual abuse suffered by their victims.
The Salvation Army is also facing a series of lawsuits, and accusations of cover-ups have been levelled against a number of private schools and the Scouts. Redress and compensation schemes have been set up for victims of abuse in state-run institutions in Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia.
The federal Royal Commission also comes as inquiries into child abuse continue in Queensland and Victoria. New South Wales, under fierce pressure after one its most senior investigators alleged obstruction and the destruction of evidence by the Catholic Church, announced its own inquiry this week….
The Victorian inquiry has already heard graphic accounts of abuse, much of it assembled by Broken Rites and involving the Order of St John of God, which operated in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
The inquiry heard claims that more than 70% of the order's brothers were suspected child abusers and that in Victoria it harboured up to 15 paedophiles between 1952 and 1986….
McAlinden was 26 when he arrived in Australia in 1949. Within four years the church had received the first of many complaints of his sexual abuse of mainly young girls.
As complaints mounted he was sent to PNG for four years and later shuffled between Newcastle-Maitland, Hamilton and Geraldton and Bunbury in Western Australia.
His abuse was well known to the church hierarchy, which organised the transfers.