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The Director of Public Prosecutions had been reported to be considering a challenge in the Supreme Court of New South Wales but on 20 December, announced that there were no reasonable prospects of success of appeal on errors of law.On 15 February 2017 it was reported that The Catholic Church in Australia had secretly paid the equivalent of 6.1 million in compensation to thousands of people sexually abused as children by priests and religious brothers. Vincent Gerald Ryan, who had previously served 14 years in jail for sex abusing for abusing 34 boys from 1973 to 1991, was jailed for at least 14 months for sex abuse he committed against two altar boys during this timeframe which weren't prosecuted.and is clearly, one of, if not the highest density locations of Catholic Child Sexual Abuse in Australia on a per capita basis.The extraordinary and shocking story of 'Father F', later to be identified as former Armidale local, and former Catholic Priest John Joseph Farrell, was central to the ABC Television program Four Corners expose "Unholy Silence".In 1996 Father John Gerard Nestor was charged with the 1991 indecent assault of a 15-year-old altar boy.Nestor was initially convicted by a Local Court magistrate and sentenced to a 16 months gaol term which was overturned on an "all points" appeal to the District Court.Australia's Catholic leaders had been among the first in the world to publicly address management of child abuse: In 1996, the church issued a document, Towards Healing, which it described as seeking to "establish a compassionate and just system for dealing with complaints of abuse".Inquiries have since established that historically, Church officials had often failed to prevent future abuse by clergy who had come to their attention by transferring clergy and religious to new parishes or dioceses, and not stripping them of their religious status.
By means of a weighted index, the Commission found that at 75 archdioceses/dioceses and religious institutes with priest members examined, some 7 per cent of priests (who worked in Australia between 19 Senior Counsel Gail Furness told the Commission that "Children were ignored or worse, punished. Documents were not kept or they were destroyed." By August 2011, according to Broken Rites, a support and advocacy group for church-related sex abuse victims, there had been over 100 cases in Australia where Catholic priests had been charged for sex offences against minors, as well as others involving non-custodial sentences and inconclusive proceedings.The Gillard Government called a wide-ranging Royal Commission in 2013 to examine religious and non-religious institutions and their responses to child abuse allegations.Archbishop Hart, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said he welcomed the Royal Commission, as did the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell who said he hoped it would help victims and stop a "smear campaign" against the Church.In 2002, Vincent Kieran Kiss, 70, pleaded guilty in the Sydney District Court for sex crimes against four teenage boys, aged 13 to 17, between 19 at locations including Albury, Yass and Sydney.Kiss was the Diocesan Director of Youth in Wagga Wagga at the time of the offences and the four victims were members of the Young Christian Students Association.
Internally, the Church began updating its protocols in the 1990s, and papal apologies for abuse in Australia were made by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.