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Senior Australian bishop charged with child sex abuse

Published on Jun 30, 2014 10:36 AM

SYDNEY (AFP) - One of the most senior members of the Catholic Church in Australia has stepped down from his role after being charged with child sex abuse, the Church said on Monday.

Max Davis, who heads the church's military diocese, is reportedly Australia's most senior clergyman and the first Australian Catholic bishop to be charged with a child sex offence.

It is alleged that he sexually abused a student while teaching at St Benedict's College near Perth in 1969 - two years before he was ordained. No further details were provided by police.

The Catholic Military Ordinariate of Australia said in a statement that Davis, 68, "emphatically denies" the charge. "An allegation has been made to the police that in 1969 Bishop Max Davis abused a student at St. Benedict's College in New Norcia," the statement said.

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