The case relates to the laicization of Fr Denis McLinden, alleged perpetrator of abuse against many girls in the diocese over several decades, in the early 1990s. The then bishop, Leo Clarke apparently promised protection to the abuser:
"Your good name will be protected by the confidential nature of this process", despite "your admission to Father Brian Lucas and other evidence".
"A speedy resolution of this whole matter will be in your own good interests as I have it on very good authority that some people are threatening seriously to take this whole matter to the police," Bishop Clarke's letter said.
The alleged knowledge of Archbishop Wilson (immediate past President of the Australian Bishops' Conference) of other Maitland-Newcastle cases (he was a priest of Australia's most notorious diocese so far as the abuse scandal goes for over twenty years, notary in the McLinden case and Vicar General there from 1987) has been the subject of an ABC Four Corners Report. According to the SMH, he has exercized his right to silence and declined to be interviewed by police on the McLinden matter.
McLinden died in 2005, and Bishop Clarke died in 2006. Bishop Malone resigned at the age of 71 last year.