Watch as Parliament delivers national apology to victims of child sex abuse TweetFacebookNewcastle Herald spoke with Hodgson after the charges were withdrawn. He denied sexually abusing Mr McClung, but confirmed he received “a very nasty letter from the ex-bishop” who said he “believed StephenMcClung and he’d paid him money”.
“I thought the bishop must have taken leave of his senses. From my side, if such things had occurred I should have been faced with it at the time and not by a retiring bishop years later,” Hodgson said.
He saidMr McClung “was in no way damaged” and “he went on to lead a normal life”.
Hodgson said he was a member of the Society of St Pius X, named after the Catholic Pope who died in 1914, established canon law and directed that popes should not be questioned, and should be accorded “only obedience”.
Hodgsonsaid it had “always been noted, and my references say over and over, that I was wonderful with the young”.
Mr McClung confirmed he received a settlement from Maitland-Newcastle diocese after a church investigation of his allegations against Hodgson.
A national apology, delivered by the prime minister, tells ns that “this is serious”.
Joanne McCarthy:The national apology is an opportunity for politicians to think about who they really serve
“People who think the whole child sexual abuse scandal has been this big kerfuffle and fuss about nothing might think again when they see Scott Morrison apologising on behalf of the nation and acknowledging failures across the board, including by governments,” Mr McClung said.
He believes governments and the community must demand a new relationship with religions that acknowledges they harboured criminals who committed crimes against children.
“Governments should be looking at what freedoms churches deserve, from taxes and other obligations, because of what has happened. The public funding, the tax concessions, the churches’ place in society is just way beyond an acceptable level, in my view, and particularly when you look at what happened because of that special status,” Mr McClung said.
“The national apology is at least a step in the right direction, but I don’t think churches have had to experience the real consequences of what they’ve done yet.”
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