A prominent supporter of Broome Bishop Christopher Saunders has demanded Western Australia Police “put up or shut up” in relation to its investigation into sexual misconduct allegations. Source: ABC News.
More than two years ago, police launched Operation Whiteplane to investigate allegations made by several young men of sexually inappropriate behaviour by the 70-year-old.
The file has since bounced between detectives in Broome, Kununurra and Perth, with no charges laid and Bishop Saunders denying any wrongdoing.
Long-time friend and former Broome Shire president Ron Johnston said it was a distressing and unfair situation.
“Police have been supposedly investigating for a long time, but my opinion is if there was anything to charge him with, they would have done it by now — and they haven’t.
“So is it scandal-mongering for the sake of scandal-mongering? His life is being ruined by this … so I say to the police, put up or shut up.”
The ABC has contacted WA Police for comment.
The vast Broome Diocese remains divided over the allegations.
Some are quietly furious the bishop was allowed to remain in the Kimberley region, holding Mass and conducting funeral services, while police were trying to locate and interview the young men allegedly involved.
Other parishioners remain staunchly loyal to Bishop Saunders, who has been a deacon, priest and bishop in the region for 45 years.
Broome Bishop Christopher Saunders supporters demand police decide on sexual misconduct allegations (By Erin Parke, ABC News)