‘Reform’: Lone protester targets St Patrick’s over Christmas

The Gympie Times

December 29, 2017

By Scott Kovacevic

THE findings of the Royal Commission into child abuse has made a Gympie man launch his own crusade in the hope of reforming one of the region’s biggest parishes.

Over the past week, Frank Lightfoot has been protesting with homemade signs calling for the reform of the Catholic Church following the release of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

And he has not been subtle about his passion.

He has already set up camp outside St Patrick’s Church in the lead-up to Christmas, and said that on the first day someone called the police in the hope they would move him on.

A former Catholic himself, the 71-year-old said he had a personal connection to the child abuse controversy.

“I encourage renewal because a lot of my family members are impacted by this,” Mr Lightfoot said.

Asked if setting up outside the church before and on Christmas might be poking the bear, Mr Lightfoot said there was no better time.

“It makes sense to go to St Pat’s on the one day when they have a good turnout,” he said.

And not everyone was happy about it, either.

“There’s a few people that had a go at me,” he said.

“One bloke offered to kick my sign down.”

“Another bloke was also very angry that the sign only deals with the Catholic church. He said ‘what about all the others?’ I said give me a chance, I’ve only just started.”

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