Diocese of Lismore

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in its Final Report released in 2017 on Religious Institutions revealed that the Catholic Diocese of Lismore was one the worst diocese’s in Australia in regard to having one of the highest number of priests accused of sexually abusing children. The Catholic Diocese of Lismore consists of 28 parishes and it covers a huge part of north-eastern NSW from the Tweed River in the north to Camden Haven in the south. The report stated that between the period 1950 to 2010, 13.9 per cent of the diocese’s 129 priests were alleged perpetrators. Overall, 15 priests within the diocese were accused of child sexual abuse.

Within the diocese the Marist Brothers were among the highest offending religious institution. Two particular serial offenders were Brother John (Kostka) Chute who was the principal of St. Joseph’s School (later known as St Carthage) between 1967 and 1969, and Brother Sutton who was a teacher at St Carthage in 1985. Brother Kostka and Brother Sutton were two of the Marist Brothers worst offenders who were later convicted on numerous charges of child sexual abuse in NSW. However, throughout their association with the diocese and the continual allegations made against them, the Catholic Church and the Marist Brothers continued to protect them and place them in positions of responsibility.

Artemis Legal has in the past represented and is still representing clients who were parishioners of the Diocese of Lismore. We invite former and current members/parishioners to contact us to tell us confidentially what information they may have, and we will explain what options are available to help with these cases.

Call us or complete the confidential enquiry form.