Today Victorian police charged a 67 year old Catholic Priest with 10 charges of child sex abuse. This man was a teacher and principle of several catholic colleges through the 70's, 80's and 90's.
He was also for a long time a man I looked up to.
He was a teacher of great compassion, or so I thought.
He was the man who introduced me to the wonders of hiking and cemented in me a deep abiding love for the Australian bush.
He married my Wife and I. What he did and what he is can never damage my memories of that wonderful day, but I'll admit to it having put a small shadow over part of it.
He never touched me thankfully, but even back then in my early teens I think i was innately careful around him.
That said I spent many weekends hiking with him and other kids. All sharing the same tent and I shudder to think how close I came to experiencing something truly horrible.
He doesn't really play a role in my decision to reject religion. I had already made the intellectual steps away from it well before rumors that he was wanted for questioning made it to me.
He hid from Australian authorities for many many years working for his religious order in the Vatican, refusing to come back and face the questions.
I just hope that the victims of his evil crimes are able to find peace.
I understand the conflict you feel upon your discovery, though I have to say, at least your police are DOING something about this. I've seen incident after incident reported by CBS News' 60 Minutes and other media over the years (hell, DECADES!), yet reports of arrests or trials or convictions is rare as hen's teeth. Why these pedophiles remain unincarcerated in the US is beyond me. It is way past time the kid gloves were taken off and that the child molesters and those who shuffled them about in an effort to prevent their discovery were taken to task before the bar of American justice.
this priest was part of a religious order and from what I have been reading today the current leader of that order in Australia has been proactive in weeding these parasites out. He managed to get one excommunicated and was personally involved in bringing this priest back from rome.
We have inquiries into institutional sex abuse on at both state and federal level at the moment and hopefully many prosecutions will result out of it. Religious bodies from Catholic Church to Salvation Army have all been hauled in front of these inquiries and none of them have looked good.