A former bishop who sacked a principal and two education officers over a pedophile teacher and admitted church responsibility will give evidence on Monday.
The bishop who sacked three men after a pedophilia scandal at a Catholic primary school in Queensland is set to give evidence at an inquiry on Monday.
Former Toowoomba Bishop William Morris is due to give his version of the events leading up to the jailing of pedophile teacher Gerard Byrnes in 2010.
Byrnes raped, molested and savagely bullied 13 schoolgirls in his Queensland classroom between 2007 and 2008.
A principal and two senior Catholic education officers were first told of sex abuse allegations against Byrnes more than a year before his arrest.
But all three men remained silent, police were never told and Byrnes sexually abused more girls.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been looking into that dark chapter over the past week.
Principal Terry Hayes, who still works as a Catholic teacher, and another principal from the diocese claimed there was a culture of protecting the church and they were regularly told “not to compromise the bishop”.
Catholic education officials Chris Fry and Ian Hunter claimed they weren’t properly trained and under pressure, so they neglected the reports.
But lawyers for the Catholic Church have accused the trio of colluding on their evidence to shift the blame and diminish their own responsibility.
After Byrnes was arrested, Bishop Morris sacked Mr Hayes, Mr Fry and Mr Hunter.
He then apologised to the victims and their families, opening up the way for financial settlements.
“I am committed to ensuring that our apology is supported by action,” Bishop Morris said in 2010.
“The diocese sought to make the compensation process as uncomplicated as possible for the victims’ families.”
He was sacked by Pope Benedict XVI less than six months later.
The reason was believed to have been a 2006 letter Bishop Morris wrote to parish in which he discussed whether a fall in the numbers of Catholic priests could be offset by the ordination of women and ministers from other churches.