Accused Priest "Will Never Work Again"


July 9, 2008,23599,23993281-1702,00.html

A PRIEST suspended over a sex abuse complaint will never again offer holy sacraments or perform as a priest, a bishop says.

Sydney Bishop Anthony Fisher, co-ordinator of World Youth Day, today said Father Terrence Goodall was suspended after Anthony Jones complained of being sexually assaulted by him.

Letters obtained by the ABC and aired this week show Sydney Archbishop Cardinal Gerorge Pell told Mr Jones his complaint could not be upheld because the church was not aware of any other complaint.

But another letter, written at the same time in 2003, shows Cardinal Pell was aware of a second allegation of sexual abuse against Goodall.

Dr Pell said yesterday he had got it wrong and had expressed himself poorly.

In 2005, Goodall was convicted of indecently assaulting Mr Jones after pleading guilty to the charges, but served no prison time.

Bishop Fisher said Goodall would not administer holy sacraments or act as a priest.

"When a priest has been accused of things like this they are usually suspended until the completion of the investigation," Bishop Anthony said.

"Then once it was completed, his (Goodall's) faculties were withdrawn altogether, which means he can't celebrate the sacraments or preach or engage in active ministry.

"I've not heard of any suggestion that he's doing that, but if he is it would be without the church's permission."

He said the suspension was "effectively taking away his licence to act as a priest".

"That's already happened."

Priests were no longer "defrocked", Bishop Fisher said.

"There's no kind of ritual of tearing his clothes off. There used to be in the Middle Ages, but we don't have that kind of thing now," Bishop Fisher said.

"Now what you do is you take away their permission to ever act as a priest again and that's what's happened to him."


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.