DISGRACED pedophile priest Vincent Ryan has denied allegations that a second clergyman was present while he abused a boy, following a Herald report that the Catholic Church had “accepted” that this had happened.
Discussing his sex offences for the first time, in a letter to The Herald, he denied any involvement with convicted sex offender Father James Fletcher outside the church, saying he knew “nothing of his offending behaviour”.
The letter, which is published in full inside today’s Herald, is a response to a letter written by Herald columnist Jeff Corbett, in which Corbett asked Ryan to identify the clergyman whom it is alleged looked on during the sex offence.
In it, Ryan answers assertions by Maitland-Newcastle diocese child protection and professional conduct unit manager Helen Keevers that the church had asked Ryan in the past about whether any other clergymen were involved with him in sexual abuse incidents.
“The only people who have questioned me about my abusive behaviour are the police,” Ryan wrote.
Ms Keevers had told The Herald two weeks ago that when asked, Ryan had not given the church any information about other priests who might have been involved.
She said the church would not investigate the identity of the alleged second clergyman unless police reopened the case.
In his letter, Ryan said he looked forward to an “explanation/apology” from the diocese.
The sexual predator is serving a 20-year jail sentence at Junee Correctional Centre for 53 offences committed on Hunter boys aged six to 14 between 1972 and 1991.
Last night, a Maitland-Newcastle diocese spokeswoman said the church did not wish to comment.