Bishop’s Former Secretary Claims ‘Hush Money’ Payments Made to Alleged Victims

Cherrille Quilty told The Pillar that from 2016 to 2017 she worked for Bishop Saunders, who led the Western Australia Diocese of Broome until 2021.

Quilty said that she was among the first to raise a criminal complaint against the bishop, whom she also accused of abusive bullying as an employer, and to give evidence in the Vatican ordered investigation carried out into allegations against Saunder under the norms of Vos estis lux mundi.

The bishop’s former secretary also claimed to The Pillar that there had been a list of dozens of young Aboriginal men pinned to the diocesan office wall during her time there, to whom the bishop ordered frequent payments from Church funds.

Quilty also said that Saunders was routinely bullying and abusive to staff, including her, and could not be questioned about the payments, or what they were for.

Saunders currently faces more than 20 criminal charges related to alleged sexual abuse, including two counts of rape and 14 counts of unlawful and indecent assault; he was arrested earlier this year.

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