My Sisters and Brothers,
A priest of the Diocese, Fr Ron Peters, today appeared in court in relation to charges of an alleged indecent assault in 1993. His legal representatives indicated he will plead not guilty and the matter was adjourned to 10 July 2019.
While the charges relate to allegations outside our Diocese, Fr Peters has been an active member of our community and is well-known within our region. We understand that at this time there is an emotional impact for anyone involved. It is natural to feel hurt or confused and so it is important for anyone who needs support or guidance to be able to access it.
There will be many varied feelings at this time and what is of most importance is the understanding that no one stands alone. Throughout this process there is help and support available.
We, as a Diocese, are committed to caring for and protecting children, young people and those who are vulnerable and so we urge anyone who needs assistance of any kind to reach out to your school principal or to one of the Child Protection Officers at the Catholic Education Office on 4253 0907 for a confidential discussion and onward referral as needed. You can also contact the Diocesan Director of Professional Standards and Safeguarding, Ms Asante Viswasam (0408 512 163) or an external community group such as Lifeline (13 11 14.)
Our desire is for a just outcome in this matter so be assured that we will cooperate fully with the police and courts while respecting the rights and privacy of all parties involved.
Yours in the Lord,
Most Rev Brian G Mascord DD
BISHOP OF WOLLONGONG