Bishop charged with concealing sex abuse

Former Catholic Bishop of Wollongong, Philip Wilson. FILE PICTUREThe former Catholic bishop of Wollongong, now Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, has been charged over the alleged cover-up of child sex abuse in the Hunter region.

The charge relates to the 64-year-old’s alleged concealment of child sex abuse carried out by priest James Fletcher during the 1970s, when both men were working in the Maitland diocese.

Fletcher died in 2006, a year after he was jailed for at least 7 years following his conviction on nine sexual abuse charges relating to a 13-year-old boy between 1989 and 1991.

A special commission of inquiry into the alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse by the church in the Hunter found Fletcher had an ‘‘extensive history of sexually abusing children in the diocese, exclusively abusing young males and particularly altar boys.

‘‘His offending history dates back at least to the 1970s,’’ the inquiry found.

Archbishop Wilson was charged with concealing a serious offence by NSW Police on Tuesday and is thought to be the most senior Catholic official in the world to face charges of this nature. If sentenced, he could reportedly face up to two years behind bars.

He said in a statement that he was disappointed by the charges and intended to ‘‘vigorously defend my innocence’’.

‘‘The suggestion appears to be that I failed to bring to the attention of police a conversation I am alleged to have had in 1976, when I was a junior priest, that a now deceased priest had abused a child,’’ he said.

‘‘From the time this was first brought to my attention last year, I have completely denied the allegation.’’

Archbishop Wilson served as Wollongong’s bishop from 1996 to 2000.

In June last year, he gave extensive testimony at a royal commission hearing into the Wollongong Catholic diocese’s response to child sexual abuse complaints made against Father John Nestor.

Nestor was convicted of aggravated indecent assault in 1997 but acquitted on appeal seven months later.

However the commission heard other complaints had emerged – including that Nestor had watched boys showering, made boys bathe naked, conducted bodily ‘‘soap inspections’’ and touched a boy ‘‘on the penis and the bum’’ – leading then Bishop Wilson to fight to have him removed from the ministry.

The Archbishop told the commission he felt so strongly the priest should not be allowed to practise that he was willing to ‘‘take the matter all the way to the Pope’’ and resign if necessary.

He also criticised the Congregation for the Clergy (CFC) – one of the Vatican’s most powerful bodies – for always taking the side of priests accused of abuse.

On Tuesday, Wollongong Bishop Peter Ingham issued a statement saying he was ‘‘deeply saddened’’ to learn Archbishop Wilson had been charged.

‘‘Acknowledging that due respect must be accorded to the criminal justice system and the matter properly dealt with before the court, it is inappropriate at this time to make any further comment in relation to the case,’’ he said.

Archbishop Wilson is due to appear in Newcastle Local Court on April 30.

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Rural roads undergo repair

Tony Donohue talks to Katrina Hodgkinson and John Seymour.

COOLAMON Shire Council will receive $15,000 in state funding to undertake a load assessment of Smokey Creek Bridge.

Candidate for Cootamundra Katrina Hodgkinsoncongratulated the shire on its successful Fixing Country Roads funding application for more than$1.3 million.

Coolamon Council will also receive $75,000 for the reconstruction of the access road to Emerald Grain, which will improve access into the Emerald Grain Site for high mass limit (HML) vehicles transporting 80,000 tonnes of grain per year.

The total project cost will be $150,000, with Coolamon Shire Council contributing $75,000 towards the project.

Croker Grain, Marrar (Easticks Lane, Lyne Street, Canola Way, Marrar South Road) will benefit from an injection of $617,000 which will result in improved access to Croker Grain Hub, which in turn is expected to reduce the number of freight movements into the site by up to 37 per cent by permitting the use of high productivity vehicles.

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Kevin Bacon becomes a spokesman… for eggs

Kevin Bacon is the new spokesperson for the American Egg Board. Photo: AEB Kevin Bacon is the new spokesperson for the American Egg Board. Photo: AEB

Kevin Bacon is the new spokesperson for the American Egg Board. Photo: AEB

Kevin Bacon is the new spokesperson for the American Egg Board. Photo: AEB

Kevin Bacon has finally found the role he was born to play: a national spokesman for eggs.

The Footloose actor is the face of the American Egg Board’s new campaign, “Wake Up to Eggs with Bacon”.

Bacon, 56, stars in the campaign’s web film, in which he appears in a woman’s kitchen as she is cooking eggs for breakfast.

The video begins with the woman saying, “There’s no better start to the day than eggs for breakfast, except for maybe eggs with a side of—”

“Bacon,” Bacon himself interjects.

Bacon, who has starred in television drama The Following since 2013, later explains that “nobody knows eggs better than Bacon”.

Never one to take himself too seriously, the commercial is filled with jibes at the actor.

“Did you know that each egg contains six—” he says, before the woman cuts him off to say, “Six degrees of separation! Right?”, referencing the “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” game which emerged after Bacon gave a 1994 interview boasting he had worked with everyone in Hollywood, or worked with someone who worked with them.

“No,” Bacon replies.

“I was going to say six grams of high quality protein.”

It isn’t the first time Bacon has poked fun at himself in the name of a brand.

The actor appeared in an advertising campaign for British telecommunications company EE Mobile in 2012, in which he found connections between himself and British celebrities using the “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” framework.


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5 characteristics of great dads

GREAT DADS: It’s great to see a generation of dads who are more actively involved with caring, nurturing and loving their kids. Photo: Louise KennerleyWe’ve long lived with the model of the ‘provider’ dad who went off to work to earn the bacon, while the mum cared for the kids at home.

Fortunately we’re not living in the 1950s anymore, and there’s much more flexibility and choice about how families structure themselves. More mums are working and more dads are actively involved in caring for their kids.

This is all beneficial for our kids, as dads are just as important as mums when it comes to a child’s healthy development. The interactions, connection and activities that dads share with their kids help them develop socially, emotionally and cognitively.

And when dads support their partners, they also have a big influence on their children’s and the entire family’s wellbeing.

Dads do matter. A lot. Which is why it’s great to see a generation of dads who are more actively involved with caring, nurturing and loving their kids.

It can often seem that long work hours can get in the way of dads having a more active involvement in their kids’ lives. But new research from the Journal of Family Issues, which assessed up to 1159 children living in two-parent families, shows that long work hours aren’t strongly related to dad’s involvement.

There’s a subgroup of dads who are still very involved with their kids even though they work long hours. They tend to carve out time with their kids by cutting back on their own leisure time, or involving their kids in their leisure activities.

It seems that a dad’s attitude makes all the difference. Dads who value their family life and their role as fathers prioritise and make the time to be involved. These more non-traditional attitudes ensure that they are more involved dads.

Here are five ways to think about the role of dads these days as described by Father-Inclusive Practice Guide.

Dads are responsible

A responsible dad can be relied upon to be actively involved in his kids’ everyday care including bath time, dinner time and bedtime. He’ll also be involved in their child care or preschool routines, and help make important decisions about his kids’ education and care.

Dads are thoughtful

A remembering dad regularly thinks about his kids and keeps them in his mind even when they’re not together. He also remembers special events and supports his kids’ interests and friendships.

Dads are nurturing

A nurturing dad enjoys spending time with his kids. He uses time together to guide and teach his kids, encourage and support them, guide their behaviour, and have fun together.

Dads are affectionate

An affectionate dad shows his kids that he loves and cares for them. He gives them kisses and hugs, comforts them if they get upset, and listens and responds to them so they feel valued and heard.

Dads are interactive

An interactive dad plays and communicates with his kids during everyday activities such as gardening, cooking and shopping. He plays and explores with his kids, reads and talks to them, and takes his kids out into the community for events or activities.

Jodie Benveniste is a psychologist, parenting author and a great believer in the power of intuitive parenting. You can find more parenting inspiration at jodiebenveniste苏州美甲美睫培训学校.

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May Day returns to May in 2016

Qld treasurer Curtis Pitt. Photo: Robert ShakespeareThe Queensland Government is moving May Day back to May.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the Labour Day public holiday would be returned to its traditional date of the first Monday in May next year, in time for the 125th anniversary of the 1891 Shearer’s Strike.

The LNP moved the holiday to October during its term in government, claiming it needed to spread out the state’s public holidays across the year.

Unions and Labor protested the move when then-attorney-general made it, arguing the Queen’s Birthday could be moved instead given Labour Day’s historic links to May. Queen Elizabeth was born in April, but her birth is commemorated in Queensland in June.

Mr Pitt said he was righting an “arrogant decision” by the former government.

“I have discussed this change with business and industry, unions, and others and the government has taken their views on board in coming to its decision,” he said in a statement.

“This decision honours our election commitment while also delivering certainty and stability for everyone.

“From 2016, Labour Day will be celebrated on the first Monday in May and the Queen’s Birthday public holiday on the first Monday in October.”

The government will also reverse the LNP’s workers’ compensation changes, which was also an election commitment.

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