Midland Parish Priest Stands down over ‘inappropriate Behaviour with Adults’
By Nick Butterly
December 19, 2017
|Father Kenneth Asaba has stood down after an investigation into complaints.Picture: Picture: Facebook|
A Catholic priest has stood down from a Perth parish amid claims he engaged in “inappropriate behaviour with adults”.
Perth’s Catholic Archbishop Timothy Costelloe wrote to worshippers at the Midland parish at the weekend to confirm Father Kenneth Asaba had offered his resignation after an internal investigation.
In a statement, Archbishop Costelloe said about two years ago allegations were made against Father Asaba and the complainants were encouraged to take the issue to the WA professional standards office of the Catholic Church.
The details of the complaints have not been made public.
That investigation found against Father Asaba.
The priest requested an independent review of the finding. This was conducted by a barrister.
The review again found against Father Asaba.
Archbishop Costelloe said Father Asaba, who is originally from Kenya, was now taking time to consider his future.
In the statement, the Church said he had been barred from acting as a priest in the diocese.
“This has been a distressing experience for every-one concerned,” Arch-bishop Costelloe said.
“This distress has been added to by the time it has taken to reach that point.
“I apologise for this but can only say that the process must be undertaken with care, thoroughness and impartiality — and this takes time.”
Archbishop Costelloe admitted many parishioners would be confused by the situation and possibly angry about the process.
He said those who made the complaints would receive continuing support from the church pro-fessional standards office.
“For Father Asaba, the most important thing is to provide him with the assistance he needs to come to terms with what has happened and begin to make sound decisions, in consultation with me, regarding his own future.”
Last week’s Royal Commission report was critical of the Catholic Church, recommending the Church dump the centuries-old demand for priests to remain celibate and that there should be an end to the secrecy around confession.
In response to the findings, Archbishop Costelloe promised that the Church would be more open in investigating complaints.
“There will be no easy dismissal of people’s stories, no sweeping of things under the carpet, no cover-ups,” he said.
This month the Perth archdiocese revealed it had ordered a financial investigation into the historical records of its Subiaco church after complaints by parishioners.