Press reports from Australia, indicate Father McAlinden’s grooming tactics, began with the archetypal ‘bag of lollies and chocolates’ and progressed from there.
McAlinden then found opportunities to be alone with his young victims for extended periods and molested them in his car or while getting them to sit on his knees in empty churches.
When opportunity arose, he was not adverse using the privacy of the confessional booth – a perfect vehicle for a deviate of his nature.
N.Z Truth Magazine (26th March 2009) describes McAlinden as “addicted to preying on girls under the age of 12”.
One victim said he stopped his abuse when she began menstruating, around 12.
The truth of the matter is Father Denis McAlinden is likely to have been Australasia’s worst known sex-offender.
Despite the scale of longevity of his criminal activities, McAlinden died in Western Australia in complete anonymity, whilst on the run from Police, unpunished for his crimes.
The true number of his Australian and New Zealand victims, and extent of his crimes, will never be known, but offences must surely number in the hundreds if not thousands.
Over his five plus decades of abuse, victims and their families repeatedly reported his offending to Catholic Church authorities in New South Wales and Western Australia.
The in-house ‘punishment’(if one can term it that) meted-out to their brother in Christ was to shuffle him ‘back & forward’ from his home diocese in Newcastle, NSW to Western Australia, Papua Guinea and then to the East Coast of New Zealand, via Hamilton.
No one in the Catholic Church on either side of the Tasman bothered to warn parishioners he was a predator and a threat to any child in his care, nor to take the obvious course of action.
That was to, report him to the civil authorities.
It took till 2007, two years after McAlindens death, for the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic diocese to publicly apologise for their 50 year policy of inactivity & remaining silent in the face of the overwhelming evidence. And, that was only after victims ‘went public’ and their lawyers came knocking.
Such is the magnitude & length of his offending, investigations have subsequently shown McAlinden had a ‘tainted record’ dating back prior even to his arrival in Australia from Ireland in 1949.
The now deceased Catholic Bishop of Waikato, Edward Gaines, surely must have known McAlinden was ‘a bad apple’ when he was shoved into his care for six months in 1984. By that stage McAlinden has been in no less than 10 different dioceses, all of which he was forced to leave 'under a cloud'.
For the current Catholic Bishop of Waikato, Dennis Brown (N.Z Truth Magazine, 26th March 2009) to belatedly express his indignatious “horror” at McAindens offending is to completely ignore the ‘public record’ and more to the point, the files that the his church (now facing civil action from victims) keeps from public view.
The very files Bishop Brown and his cohorts (plus their Corporate lawyers, well versed in defending cases of this nature, by now) well know exist, and would reveal the complicit role successive Bishops both here and in Australia had in this sordid affair.
The time for expressing “horror” was when the first of these complaints of ‘inappropriate touching’ was issued - less than a year after his arrival in Australia.
In case Bishop Dennis Brown, needs reminding that first known complaint was in 1950, thirty-four years before his name-sake in a dog-collar arrived in New Zealand.
Bishop Brown wants to take a reality check.
Father Denis’s dubious record, dating back three plus decades and more, must have ‘swept before him’ before his arrival to Hamilton, and it’s therefore hard to consider Bishop Gaines any less complicit in this cover-up than the three Bishops (1949-1995)in Australia overseeing him.
Unequivocally, half-a-centuries of allegations of abuse by Father McAlinden, were systematically ‘buried’ and stymied by The Catholic Church in both Australia and New Zealand.
By default victims were created by The Catholic Church, and then ignored.
The preservation of The Churches name was paramount - little else.
This fertile ‘hunting’ ground was exploited mercilessly by a heartless pedophile of McAlinden’s nature.
Given what we know, it is little wonder, Catholic Father Denis McAlinden gained the dubious distinction as Australasia’s Biggest Sex Offender, and the Catholic Church in Australia (including N.Z claimants) now faces paying millions-out in compensation.