Sex Priest "Betrayal"

By Laurie Nowell
Herald Sun
May 16, 2010

A PEDOPHILE clergyman has been sent to conduct an Easter mass in a church that has seen two priests convicted over child sexual abuse - one as recently as last year.

Parishioners at St Brigid's Parish in Healesville were outraged last month over plans for admitted child sex fiend Father Barry Robinson to carry out Easter services as a temporary replacement priest.

The visit came only 12 months after former Healesville priest Paul Pavlou was convicted of possessing child pornography and the indecent assault of a boy, 14, and given an 18-month suspended sentence.

In 2000, Father David Daniel, also a one-time Healesville priest, was sentenced to six years' jail and classified as a serious sexual offender over 16 counts of indecent assault, gross indecency, and indecent acts involving children.

The Sunday Herald Sun has learned Father Robinson is one two Catholic priests found to have been the perpetrators of sexual abuse who have been appointed to a panel of supply, or fill-in, priests in Victoria.

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The other is Father Graham Redfern, who is also a senior army chaplain.

Both been found by the church to have abused young people under their pastoral care - yet they both are still able to conduct church services and deliver pastoral care.

Father Robinson has admitted having sex with a 16-year-old boy in Boston in the 1990s, according to US court documents.

Father Redfern was found by a church investigator Peter O'Callaghan, QC, to have had sexually abused a vulnerable 18-year-old Dandenong boy who was grieving after his mother's death in the 1970s.

He had given the boy's mother the last rites and carried out her funeral service.

Father Robinson was at the centre of fresh controversy last month when parishioners at St Brigid's planned a protest over his proposed visit to their Easter Vigil.

An email campaign saw the new priest confronted over the visit and the event cancelled.

Easter masses at the church were abandoned and locals forced to travel to Lilydale.

Parishioners said the attempt to bring Father Robinson to Healesville was "shocking" and "horrifying".

"It was incredibly shocking and disrespectful of parishioners and the whole community," a female church member said.

"Parishioners, many with children, were asked to welcome this man into their homes. It is beyond belief.

"The Archdiocese has a lot to answer for, for putting us through this after what happened with Father Pavlou.

"We have been betrayed again."

A Melbourne Archdiocese spokesman said: "Father Robinson occasionally stands in in parishes in circumstances where the resident priest may be unavailable due to other commitments, illness or vacation.

"He does not otherwise hold any office or appointment within the Archdiocese. Father Robinson has not been charged or found guilty of any criminal conduct."


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