Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources





Outcry against "sex monster" priest

The weekend press reported with the headline 'Sex monster may get life', the news that Australia's most notorious clergy sex offender was found guilty on Friday of a further 23 abuse charges.

Unrepentant former Melbourne priest Michael Glennon, 59, stared at the jury from the dock and mouthed the words "no", "wrong", "absolute crap" and "never" as the foreman sealed his fate on the charges of abuse on three boys from 1986 to 1991.

He has now been convicted over the past four years at three trials of 50 sex offences, which carry maximum penalties of up to 25 years' jail.

The trials could not be reported until now for legal reasons.

Glennon committed further offences against young boys while awaiting trial on other sex charges, after broadcaster Derryn Hinch was jailed in 1987 for exposing him in his controversial "trial by media" radio campaign.

Glennon is currently more than half-way through a 6 1/2 year minimum jail term imposed after another jury convicted him in 1999.

The former priest, karate teacher and scout chaplain has now been convicted of abusing 15 children, including altar boys, over 17 years. Many of the attacks took place at a youth camp outside Melbourne that he helped establish.

He is now classed a serious sexual offender under legislation that treats the protection of the community as paramount and allows longer jail terms than would otherwise be justified.

His latest crimes can finally be revealed after the lifting of suppression orders banning publication of three trials that began in 1999.

Meanwhile Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano said on Friday that the clergy sex-abuse scandal in the United States has been exaggerated by the media and unfairly tainted thousands of priests.

"The scandals in the United states received disproportionate attention from the media," he said, "There are thieves in every country, but it's hard to say that everyone is a thief."

Catholic World News

Editorial: Keep him caged (Herald-Sun)
More convictions for pedophile priest (The Age)
Abuse counselling crisis: Sex assault victims face long waits as service is swamped (The Mercury)

13 Oct 2003