Wollongong bishop seeks return of cult members
The Bishop of Wollongong, Bishop Peter Ingham, wants - "for the good of their souls" - to help followers of cult leader William Kamm "back into full communion with the Catholic Church".
The Catholic Weekly reports that Kamm, head of the so-called Order of St Charbel community near Nowra has been sentenced to up to five years' jail for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl described as his 'spiritual wife'.
He will return to a Sydney court in December to face five counts of sexual assault and six of aggravated indecent assault. He is alleged to have abused a girl when she was aged between 11 and 15 at his religious community.
The Vatican outlawed Kamm in 2002 and authorised Bishop Peter to issue a decree against him and his associates, outlining the Church's rejection of his claims and teachings, and ordering him to disband his movement.
Kamm claims to have had visions from the Virgin Mary, who, he says, gave him the name "Little Pebble" to protect his real identity. He says he has been the vehicle for more than 500 prophecies from Mary, and even Jesus Christ after God 'spoke' to him in a paddock in 1984.
Bishop Ingham said: "My concern as chief pastor of the diocese of Wollongong is to protect people of good faith who have become caught up with Mr William Kamm, Fr Malcolm Broussard (the group's bishop) and their associates.
"For the good of their souls, I want to help these people back into full communion with the Catholic Church.
"Ever since Bishop William Murray first warned people of the dangers of Mr Kamm's movement a quarter of a century ago and asked him to cease, the diocese of Wollongong has continued, through Archbishop Philip Wilson and myself, to make it quite clear that Mr Kamm and his teachings and activities are in contradiction to the authority of the Catholic Church.
Cult members invited to return (Catholic Weekly 30/10/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Website of the Little Pebble | Announcement by Bishop Malcolm Broussard (14 October 2005) regarding the Sentencing of the Little Pebble (16/10/05)
Cult to continue despite leader's conviction (CathNews 17/10/05)
Federal cash for Little Pebble cult school (CathNews 3/8/04)
Little Pebble to face trial (CathNews 26/11/03)
Little Pebble disciple cleared of sex assault charges (13/2/03)
'Little Pebble' to face court next month on sex charges (5/11/02)
Church bans NSW South Coast cult 'miracle worker' (18/6/02)
Cult falls apart (South Coast Register 19/10/05)
27 Oct 2005