Paedophile Priest Finian Egan Warned to Stay Away from Nsw Diocese after Release on Parole
By Australian Broadcasting Corporation
December 18, 2017
|PHOTO: Father Egan was found guilty in a Sydney court of rape and indecent assault in November 2013. (ABC News: Thomas Oriti)|
A Catholic bishop has taken the unusual step of warning his parishioners of the impending release of a paedophile priest and imposing additional restrictions on him.
Finian Egan is due to be released from Long Bay Prison on parole tomorrow after serving four years of an eight-year sentence for the rape and abuse of young girls over three decades on the NSW Central Coast and in Sydney.
The Bishop of Broken Bay, Peter Comensoli, wrote to parishioners in his diocese in the wake of last week's royal commission report into institutional responses to child abuse.
"The pain and complexity of the matters detailed in the royal commission have reached deeply into our lives in many different ways," Bishop Comensoli wrote.
"I want to acknowledge one local situation which will enter a new phase this week. On Tuesday ... Finian Egan, formerly a priest of the Diocese of Broken Bay, is to be released on parole."
"This development will occasion different reactions and emotions for many of you, even distress, especially for those who may have known Finian, and most particularly for those who have been offended against and hurt by him."
The Bishop said Egan had already been "permanently removed from ministry," but "as his bishop I am also placing additional restrictions on him".
He said he had banned Egan from:
Referring to himself as a priest or implying in any way he was a priest
Seeking accommodation in any area which he has previously ministered
Turning up to any parish site in the Diocese of Broken Bay, including any presbytery.
No longer considered risk to children
Bishop Comensoli noted the restrictions were in addition to the conditions imposed by the Parole Authority, which had placed him in initial accommodation outside the Broken Bay diocese.
The Parole Authority believed 81-year-old Egan was no longer a risk to the community because of his age.
|PHOTO: Father Egan once ministered at St Gerard's Catholic Church in the Sydney suburb of Carlingford. (Peter Rae: Fairfax Archives)|
He was convicted in the Downing Centre District Court in 2013 of seven counts of indecent assault and one count of rape committed between 1961 and 1987.
His victims were aged between the ages of 10 and 17 and his crimes were committed while working as a priest at Leichhardt and Carlingford in Sydney, and at the Entrance on the Central Coast.
During his trial in 2013, Egan's victims condemned the church's handling of accusations against him.
The church celebrated Egan's career in a special mass in 2009, just weeks after it upheld a complaint from one of his victims.
He was also allowed to conduct mass in Sydney after the complaint was upheld and was given approval to do the same in Ireland, with no warning to the Irish church about the findings.