Bishop Christopher Saunders of Broome has voluntarily stood aside from his duties amid the airing of allegations against him of historical sex abuse offences.
A Communiqué from the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana dated 10 March announced that the emeritus Bishop of Wollongong, Peter Ingham, had been appointed by the Holy See as Apostolic Visitor to the diocese “conscious of the particular situation in the Diocese of Broome and concerned for the pastoral care of the clergy, religious and laity of the Diocese”.
“Bishop Christopher Saunders, in order to allow the Apostolic Visitor the freedom to carry out his duties, has voluntarily stood aside from the ordinary administration of the diocese for the duration of the visitation,” read the Communiqué.
“The day to day running of the Diocese will be the responsibility of Monsignor Paul Boyers.”
According to a media report the 70-year-old bishop had been at the centre of a police investigation into offences against two young men and denies the claims.
It is understood that no charges have been laid by police.