Catholic Church reinstates predator priest

The Catholic Church in Australia has reinstated a predator priest after giving him 18 months gardening leave. He preyed on vulnerable adults not kids, so he gets reinstated. If it was kids he had been rooting then they would have quietly moved him on and said nothing.

A leading Australian priest who sexually preyed on a disabled and vulnerable woman on Sydney’s north shore for 14 years has been allowed to return to preaching and running community groups at one of the nation’s busiest churches.

The recent decision by the Catholic Church to allow Father Tom Knowles to return to full duties at St Francis’ in Melbourne’s central business district after about 16 months of “administrative leave” has outraged his victim and victims’ groups. 

Father Knowles’s reinstatement comes after the church apologised to Jennifer Herrick, paid her $100,000 in compensation and acknowledged “the harm that can be caused to vulnerable people in such a case”.

Ms Herrick’s story highlights a rarely exposed facet of church abuse: vulnerable adult parishioners who are targeted by their priest for a sexual relationship.

While the case falls outside the royal commission on child sex abuse because she was 22 when the sexual relationship began, her lawyer, Peter Karp, said: “The adult victims [of clergy abuse] are voiceless victims.”

Psychologists say such relationships may be compared with those in which doctors have sex with vulnerable patients, while a professor of theology at the Australian Catholic University, Neil Ormerod, believes there may be hundreds of similar cases yet to emerge.

Once again the moral arbiters of society have failed.

 


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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