Who Was Bill Edwards? Salesian Priest Accused of Child Abuse

Following media scrutiny, Salesian College Chadstone has decided to remove Father Bill Edwards from its honor roll and hall of fame. This action comes years after the college was made aware of disturbing child abuse allegations against Edwards, The Age reported.
father bill edwards salesian

(Image: stjosephs.com.au)

Following media scrutiny, Salesian College Chadstone has decided to remove Father Bill Edwards from its honor roll and hall of fame. This action comes years after the college was made aware of disturbing child abuse allegations against Edwards, The Age reported.
The victim, who remains anonymous, informed Salesian College Chadstone Principal Mark Ashmore nearly two years ago about the allegations against Edwards. Although the institution was asked to cease honoring Edwards, who passed away in 2010, in the victims letter itself, it was only after The Age pursued the story that college was prompted to take action.
Who was Bill Edwards?
Father Bill Edwards (1928 - 2010) was a significant figure in the Salesian community in Australia. He was known for his contributions to the establishment of Salesian College Chadstone and the spirit of Salesianity that still lives on today, the official website of the college states.
Edwards is originally from Wollongong. He served as the foundation Headmaster of St Joseph’s College and his work centered around educating the young, per the website.
The life and work of Father Edwards are detailed in the book “G’Day Cobber, Dare to be a Saint: The Life and Letters of Fr. Bill Edwards SDB”, authored by Father Stephen Ardill, a priest of the Diocese of Port Pirie in South Australia.
In 2011, the Salesian order was alerted to the alleged abuse committed by Edwards when the victim's mother brought it to the attention of Father Francis Moloney, the then provincial of the Salesians in Australia-Pacific.
The victim initiated a civil lawsuit against the Salesian Society and Archbishop Peter Comensoli in the Supreme Court of Victoria in August 2021. The writ reveals that the boy was only 12 years old when he joined St Joseph’s College in Ferntree Gully in 1990 and participated in a camp overseen by Edwards, who served as a teacher and rector at the school run by the Salesians.
According to the court documents, during the camp, the belated priest dragged the boy to a bed and made him perform oral sex on him. Despite settling the case with a payment exceeding $1 million in June 2022, the Salesians continued to recognize Edwards' contributions to the college.
End of Article
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