Disgraced Wollongong paedophile priest Peter Lewis Comensoli dead at 80

Illawarra Mercury

March 30, 2019

By Shannon Tonkin

The former Catholic priest passed away on January 24. A private funeral has already been held.

Comensoli was born in March 1939 and educated at Catholic schools in the Illawarra before being ordained as a priest in July 1965, at the age of 26, to minister in parishes in the Wollongong dioceses.

In 1993, the Mercury exposed Comensoli’s sexual abuse of altar boys in the early 1980s, leading to him being stood down from all forms of ministry and charged by police.

The trauma and pain endured by victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and their families is real and is acknowledged.

The then-55-year-old pleaded guilty to the offences the following year and was sentenced to two years’ jail, with a non-parole period of 18 months, in Sydney District Court.

Despite his conviction, Comensoli retained the title of reverend until he was formally defrocked in 2015, a year after being charged with further historical sexual offences stemming from crimes committed against three boys between 1966 and 1968.

He was convicted in 2016 but avoided a jail sentence due to his advanced age and lack of reoffending since 1994.

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