The Catholic Church has faced a back lash over the reinstatement of a predator priest. They have now backflipped and removed him.
I can;t believe they thought they could get away with reinstating him in the first place.
THE Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne has removed a leading Australian priest who sexually preyed on a disabled and vulnerable woman.
In an embarrassing backflip, the Melbourne Archdiocese has removed Father Tom Knowles from one of the nation’s busiest churches just weeks after reinstating him.
The move comes after revelations in Fairfax Media last month that a confidential church inquiry had found he had an improper sexual relationship with disabled woman Jennifer Herrick over a 14-year period in New South Wales.
As a result of this inquiry, Father Knowles was put on administrative leave for 16 months but was returned to active ministry in January this year.
His reinstatement was criticised last month by Ms Herrick and victims’ groups, especially in light of the confidential letter sent by the church to Ms Herrick acknowledging ”the harm that can be caused to vulnerable people in such a case.”
Last month, senior church official Father Graeme Duro defended Father Knowles’ return to active ministry at St Francis’ Church in Melbourne’s CBD, stating that the priest had taken ”responsibility for his actions and it is appropriate for him to return to public ministry”.
But in the last fortnight, other senior church officials intervened in the case to have Father Knowles removed.
Church documents obtained by Fairfax Media this week reveal that Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart has formally withdrawn Father Knowles ”faculties to engage in any public ministry within the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Melbourne”. Archbishop Hart is believed to have received letters from concerned Catholic parishioners after Father Knowles’ reinstatement was made public.