Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane has apologised for a high-profile priest who was jailed for sexual abuse.
    The former director of the Brisbane archdiocesan Catholic Media Office, Fr Paul McLachlan was sentenced last Friday to three years and eight months jail after he was concicted of sexually molesting a 13 year old boy.
    A Brisbane District Court jury convicted Fr McLachlan, 67, of two counts of sodomy and five counts of indecent dealing. The court heard the incident occurred 25 years ago.
    Archbishop Bathersby said that clergy and religious are in a special position of trust in the communisty and to abuse that trust is a deplorable act.
    "I apologise to the victims in this matter and to their families. I want to assure them that the Catholic Church is trying to learn from its mistakes in the past," he said.
    Fr McLachlan said in his defence that the alleged offences had never taken place.
Catholic Leader
12 Oct 00

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