Revolt on Sex Priest

By Laurie Nowell
Sunday Herald Sun
May 23, 2010

A LOCUM priest who was rejected by a congregation because of his history of sex with a child has been assisting at another parish.

Father Barry Robinson, who has admitted to a church inquiry to having sex with a 16-year-old youth, has been "helping out" at Our Lady Help of Christians in Eltham.

Locals are angry Father Robinson has been allowed into the parish, which has a school attached.

Last month, parishioners at Healesville revolted over plans to allow him to fill-in over Easter. "Some parents are uncomfortable with Robinson being in the parish and we have alerted the school's principal," one parishioner said.

She said Father Robinson had not been at the school, but parents still had concerns.

In 1999, Eltham priest Father Wilfred Baker was sentenced to four years' jail over 16 counts of indecent assault and one of gross indecency, involving eight boys aged 10 to 13, over a 20-year period.

A spokesman for the Melbourne Archdiocese said: "Father Robinson occasionally stands in in parishes in circumstances where the resident priest may be unavailable due to other commitments, illness or vacation.

"Father Robinson does not otherwise hold any office or appointment within the Archdiocese. He has not been charged or found guilty of any criminal conduct."

In another development, the parents and a teacher of two of the children sexually abused by priests in Healesville have written to their diocesan leaders pointing out how the Catholic Church in Australia had ignored the Pope's instructions over child abuse.

Quoting Pope Benedict XVI, who said: "Anyone who is guilty of pedophilia cannot be a priest", the letter asks why two Healesville priests, fathers Daniel and Pavlou -- both convicted of child sex offences -- were still priests.

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