Melbourne Churches Prepare for Arson Attacks
March 23, 2016
The Catholic Archidiocese of Melbourne have alerted churches linked to paedophile priests to be cautious of potential arson attacks over Easter.
The warnings come after a fire at a Balwyn church earlier this month and three other church fires around the same time last year.
Shane Healy, spokesman of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne was urged by the Vicar General to issue a wide message to all churches liked to paedophile priests to be vigilant towards possible attacks.
More than half a dozen churches have been attacked by arsonists over the past 13 months, many of them linked to child-abusing priests.
The latest, St Bede's in Balwyn North two weeks ago, was connected to paedophile Terrence Pidoto, who served as an assistant priest in the early 1970s and was jailed for seven years in 2007 for abusing four boys.
Other churches targeted include Bannockburn, Dandenong, Brighton and St Kilda East - all with historical links to paedophile priests.
The historic St James Catholic Church was almost razed by fire in March last year, the same day as St Mary's in St Kilda East was damaged by a suspicious fire.
Two days later, $250,000 damage was caused to St Mary's in Dandenong when a blaze was lit on the church's altar and in the storeroom.
All three churches were linked to the late Fr Kevin O'Donnell, one of Australia's worst paedophile priests who has been the subject of 56 child abuse complaints covering 1944 to 1990.