The Sydney Morning Herald reports…
“…In evidence before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse at the end of last year, Brian Houston said he’d had no inkling of his father’s dark secrets before October 1999.
He spoke of feeling shock and devastation, described how he had confronted his father at the first opportunity and – after convening a meeting of other AOG elders to discuss the crisis – forced Frank to stand aside (albeit on a pension) from further preaching duties.
But the counsel assisting the commission, Simeon Beckett, has taken a sterner view of the matter. Late last year he recommended Houston be referred to NSW police for failing to pass on that earliest claim of abuse (others involving at least six boys in New Zealand surfaced later). And he chastised Houston for failing to recognise the conflict of interest inherent in having carriage of the complaint against his father while also being head of Hillsong and head of the Assemblies of God.
Houston can barely contain his anger at Beckett’s recommendations. He maintains he respected the wishes of the victim, by then an adult, who had wanted the matter kept in-house; and that elders of the Assemblies of God had full knowledge and oversight of his handling of the affair.
Houston tells Good Weekend: “It didn’t really matter what the facts were, the counsel assisting [the commission] had his mind made up about what happened and never moved off it at any point….”