Inquiry launched into sex offenders participation in parish life

A Brisbane parish is under fire for allowing two defrocked priests — convicted paedophiles — to serve as readers in the parish. 

A Brisbane parish is under fire for allowing two defrocked priests — convicted paedophiles — to serve as readers in the parish. The Diocese of Brisbane’s Professional Standards Board has been asked to investigate allegations the Rev. Trevor Bulled, rector of Holy Trinity Church, Fortitude Valley, had permitted Barry John Greaves and Robert Francis Sharwood to serve in the church’s liturgical ministry as readers and choristers. Greaves was jailed for nine months in 2009 for having sexually molested three altar boys, aged between 11 and 16, in the early 1980s. Sharwood was jailed for 12 months in 2006 for sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy in Brisbane 30 years earlier. The two priests were defrocked after their convictions but they were permitted to serve as lectors and choir members in the parish by then Archbishop John Parkes after their release. However in 2012 the diocese adopted regulations under its new archbishop, the Most Rev. Phillip Aspinall, that prohibited sex offenders from contact with children in church and forbid their serving as a church leader, including a “reader at worship.” A diocesan spokesman told local media the alleged actions were a violation of church policy. “We have no reason to believe that anyone was placed at risk, but regardless this breach of policy will not be tolerated,” he said. “Unfortunately there are a few recalcitrant people in the parish who want to do things their own way.”

 
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