Problem Priest Moved Next to School

By Craig Binnie
Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia)
July 9, 2004

A CATHOLIC priest who was moved from a church beside a school after admitting he molested a teenage boy was shifted to a church property next to another school.

Parents at the second school, Carlton Gardens Primary in Rathdowne St, were shocked yesterday when told a pedophile had been living next door.

"It's insane. I am astounded that the Catholic Church would be so stupid," one parent said.

"How could anyone put a pedophile next door to a school?"

Priest Barry Robinson has admitted he had sex with a teenage boy while working in the United States 10 years ago.

But he was allowed to continue working at St Mary Immaculate Conception in Williamstown. He resigned from his priestly duties and moved only after angry parents called for him to be removed.

The church's decision to relocate Mr Robinson next door to another school has annoyed fellow priests.

"I am disgusted at the way my church has handled the abuse of minors by some of my fellow priests," said one priest who did not want to be named.

"But believe it or not, the Archdiocese of Melbourne has housed this priest in a special house for priests with problems right next to a primary school."

Father Greg Bennett, who runs the Sacred Heart Presbytery, said Mr Robinson had recently moved from the house. He referred questions about the appropriateness of housing child molesters next to a school to the Vicar-General of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, Monsignor Les Tomlinson.

Monsignor Tomlinson was not available to comment last night.


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