Father Brian Lucas was a capable priest with legal training. Because he was competent in both civil law and church law, he was given important roles within the Catholic Church. He was trusted to be discreet when the Church’s reputation was poised to suffer.
He was the ‘go-to man’ for handling delicate issues relating to problematic clergy and child sexual abuse complaints. He was part of the Church’s “special issues” resource group.
He told the Royal Commission his role was “to help the bishop or major superior manage the person who was making the complaint, to make sure … their needs were being heard and met and to get the [offending] man out of the business.”
Despite his claims about being committed to protecting children from abuse, it has been revealed Father Lucas was involved in the cover-up of the crimes of Father John Joseph Farrell, a serial paedophile who abused multiple children throughout New South Wales.
In 1988, Farrell was charged with the sexual assault of a child. The magistrate had connections with the Catholic Church and dismissed the case, allowing Farrell to continue his degenerate activities throughout Moree, Armidale, and Taree.
Two victims – Daniel Powell and Damian Jurd – committed suicide. Despite these tragedies, Farrell wasn’t charged until 2016.
He was charged with 79 offences against 12 victims.
He should have been stopped in 1988. Lucas, however, had another chance to put Farrell behind bars in 1992.
Farrell was called before Lucas after several complaints of sexual abuse. Alongside two investigating priests, Farrell admitted to “sexually interfering” with five children around the age of 10. One of the church investigators wrote a report about Farrell detailing the abuse.
After reading the report, Brian Lucas told the investigator to change the report and claim no criminal admissions were made. Because of this, Farrell was once again allowed to walk free.
In 2016, Lucas told the Royal Commission that Farrell never admitted to molesting children. He was then presented with the communication with the church investigator.
“It seems like you put your heads together to come up with a view that was in each if your own interests,” the Commissioner said.
“I think we were genuinely trying to be honest with our response,” Lucas said.
Brian Lucas has not been punished for concealing the abuse. Instead, he’s been advertising his opposition to removing the Seal of Confession on the radio.
In June 2018, Lucas spoke to George and Paul from 2GB about the Royal Commission’s recommendation to remove the Seal of Confession and allow priests to report child abuse revealed in Confession.
“This law is useless,” Lucas said.
“The one slight chance you might have of somebody who might want to come and get help – might want to get some direction or might want to put themselves in a position where they’re encouraged to do justice and give themselves up – is lost.”
The Catholic Church has since rejected the Royal Commission’s recommendation, enabling paedophiles who share their crimes in confession. These men will continue to offend and ruin the lives of innocent children.
Father Brian Lucas enabled Father Farrell. He supports the protection of paedophiles in confession.
We can’t let men like Farrell or Lucas go unpunished.
Get the justice you deserve with Kelso Lawyers. We want to hear your story. Call (02) 4907 4200 or complete the online form before you accept payment from the National Redress Scheme.
Image: Newcastle Herald