Quick Exit

Robert Donaldson will give evidence about the sexual abuse he experienced while in the pastoral care of Father Magnus “Max” Murray (Father Murray). The abuse occurred between 1955 and 1965, starting when Robert was seven years old and Father Murray was the assistant priest at St Bernadette’s Church, Dunedin. The abuse has affected Robert’s entire life, including his family relationships and his ability to work fulltime due to anxiety and depression. Robert’s initial approaches to members of the Catholic Church provided some support, including arranging an ACC claim for regular counselling. Robert was later approached by Police to provide a statement against Magnus Murray, who was convicted in 2003 for sexual offending against four boys, including Robert. Despite attending a restorative justice meeting with Magnus Murray, Robert has found this did not result in closure or healing. Robert considers it a disgrace that Magnus Murray was defrocked only in 2019, 16 years after his convictions. He also considers that celibacy in the Catholic Church is a problem, along with secrecy, minimisation and cover-up.  

Statement of Robert Donaldson

PDF, 2.1 MB

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