Catholic Church [i.e., the laity in the pew putting money in the collection basket or donating to diocesan fund-raisers] paying for retired paedophile priest’s bills, car

Catholic Church [i.e., the laity in the pew putting money in the collection basket or donating to diocesan fund-raisers] paying for retired paedophile priest’s bills, car

[A common occurence in Western Europe, North America and Australasia (“Down Under”) where such priests are not defrocked or laicized but put on “permanent administrative leave” and thus receive full salary, benefits, and pension until they die or voluntarily (and IMHO foolishly) accept laicization! – AQ Tom]

By A Current Affair – Jul 24, 2018

A retired Catholic priest convicted of indecently assaulting three boys is still being financially supported by the Church, which has even provided him with a new car.

Robert Francis Flaherty was five years ago convicted of the assaults, which took place in the ’70s and ’80s.

Speaking with remarkable candidness to A Current Affair, Flaherty openly made admissions about two of the attacks.

“Back in 1972 I was accused of touching a teenager. He consented to it, he was about 14 or 15,” he said.

That victim was an altar boy at Our Lady of the Rosary Church at St Mary’s.

“There may have been mutual touching, nothing else,” Flaherty said.

“At the same time my mother was in palliative care – she’d been there for three years. My father had just died so it was a time of life when, you know, I was gone.”

The second assault took place 10 years later, with another boy aged between 14 and 15.

This time the boy, who attended mass at St Monica’s Parish Church at Richmond, was assaulted at Flaherty’s weekender at Mollymook on the NSW South Coast.

Flaherty claimed he was “covering the fellow up” against the chill of the night when he “touched him on the outside of his pants”.

He claimed the attacks were the result of “carelessness” and said he had apologised to the victims.

“It was caused by carelessness, lack of judgement, lack of self-control,” he said.

Flaherty also admitted that the Catholic Church paid for his bills and for a 2017 Kia Cerato he used for his personal transport.

He claimed it was standard practice that would apply to any “retired priest”.

The third of Flaherty’s victims, Dwayne, said he was “flabbergasted” by it.

Flaherty's 2017 Kia Cerato is registered to the Catholic Church.

Flaherty’s 2017 Kia Cerato is registered to the Catholic Church.

When he was 11, Dwayne, then an altar boy at St Patrick’s Church in Blacktown, was also assaulted by Flaherty at his Mollymook house.

In his case, Dwayne woke up as the assault was being carried out.

“It wasn’t so much what he did to me, it was what he did after to keep me quiet,” Dwayne said.

“To put the shame and the – sorry, not he shame, the guilt of not being able to tell anybody.”

He claimed Flaherty told him the church would believe the priest over an 11-year-old boy.

Flaherty still denies having carried out the assault against Dwayne.

He told A Current Affair he had “no recollection” of the episode, but claims he did give the boy a rub down with vapor-rub as he had a “cold”.

“Today he’s still claiming that he didn’t do it. To me, that hurts,” Dwayne said.

“I did want an apology, would have liked an apology from him that never came.”

In a statement to A Current Affair, the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney said it sought to minimise the risk to the community once paedophile priests had served their sentence.

A spokeswoman said research showed offenders who were supported and monitored, were less likely to re-offend.

The Archdiocese also admitted it was “financially supporting” two other priests who had been convicted of sexual abuse.

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