Five Australian religious workers have been charged with allegations they sexually abused children. Also Rev. Graeme Sturt was barred for five years from exercising ministerial duties, and a former church worker was prohibited from holding any lay offices. At a professional standards hearing, the priests denied the charges but offered no evidence in their favor. The former dean of Newcastle, Graeme Lawrence, along with Revs. Bruce Hoare and Andrew Duncan, were all defrocked.
This was all done within the church, but police are continuing to investigate the charges. Former Newcastle Mayor John McNaughton said he still supports Lawrence. “I think they can’t make a priest not a priest, and the people who look to Father Graeme Lawrence for their counseling and religious instruction and so on will continue to do so, myself included.”
McNaughton sounds like he’s got his head up his ass. Personally, I think it’s past time we saw more of this, not less.