A WHISTLEBLOWER priest said he received death threats after taking a stand against a priest who had admitted to sexually abusing young people.
Father Paul Walliker spoke at a hearing for the inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations at Bendigo Town Hall yesterday.
Father Walliker was an Anglican priest in western Victoria when another priest admitted he had acted inappropriately with a young person.
Father Walliker went on to discover the offender had been moved from another diocese previously because of similar conduct, but had still been allowed by the Anglican Church to continue practising.
The priest was made to stand down but was then moved to a Melbourne diocese and was still allowed to operate in some form as a priest.
Father Walliker, who is now a practising Orthodox priest, said he had helped five women press charges against the perpetrator, but said the backlash against himself and the victims was horrific.
He said the Anglican Church heirarchy turned a blind eye to the abuse.
“I received death threats. My family was harassed. People abused me in the street,” he said.
“I lost money, I had to sell my house and had to move. I had to pay for counselling for my daughters.
“The support we received from the diocese was nothing.
“Very little was done for the victims.
“These women were spat at by people in the community that didn’t want to believe the truth.”
The perpetrator faced 20 charges but died of a gangrene infection before he could face court.
Father Walliker said more support had to be provided for whistleblowers and victims of abuse.
He recommended compulsory working with children checks for people working in religious organisations.
“My concerns is that the church, despite proclaiming that it has changed, really hasn’t,” Father Walliker said.
“Over the years, people have abused their position.
“There may be some new policies in place, but essentially there is still no protection.”