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Anglican Archbishop Roger Herft ‘told of abuse priest’

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The Anglican Archbishop of Perth was allegedly told a senior priest was a sexual predator, including of children, on at least three occasions, documents tendered to a royal commission reveal, ­although his evidence says he “cannot recall” this happening at the time.

The priest in question, Graeme Lawrence, was dean of Newcastle Cathedral during the 1990s when Archbishop Roger Herft was ­bishop of the NSW diocese.

Mr Lawrence, whom the commission has heard was part of a “Gang of Three” that protected a serial pedophile priest, was subsequently defrocked after having group sex with a teenage boy.

Archbishop Herft and Mr Lawrence are to face cross-examination before the Royal Com­mis­sion into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse next week.

“To the best of my knowledge, I cannot recall the dean’s name being connected to child abuse within my time as bishop,” Archbishop Herft said in a witness statement tendered to the commission and released yesterday.

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