Xenophon 'ignored Scientology invite'AAP
2009, 9:07 am
The Church of Scientology says independent senator Nick Xenophon ignored an invitation to meet with church officials before he used parliamentary privilege to attack the organisation.
Church of Scientology Australia president Reverend Vicki Dunstan said Senator Xenophon "made no effort to ascertain the truth or falsity of the allegations he made in the Senate on Tuesday night".
Senator Xenophon used parliamentary privilege to raise allegations of criminal misconduct on behalf of ex-members of the church, and called for an inquiry into the tax-exempt status of the church.
The government has said it will consider Senator Xenophon's request for an inquiry but the opposition is not so keen.
Ms Dunstan accused Senator Xenophon of abusing parliamentary privilege to publicly utter false allegations concerning the church, which she said had been investigated by authorities in the past and had cleared the church of any wrongdoing.
"The church had recently invited the senator to meet with church representatives to answer his questions and to address any mutual concerns," Ms Dunstan said in a statement on Friday.
"He ignored the invitation."
The alleged incidents voiced in the Senate on Tuesday came from disgruntled former members with their own agendas to put forward and were used by Senator Xenophon for "his own political aspirations", she said.
The church says the invitation to Senator Xenophon to speak with church officials remains open.