Predator priest's crimes come back from the grave

EIGHT years after his death, the actions of a predator priest and the Catholic Church's treatment of his victims, will be called into question this week.

The royal commission, which is currently examining the Church's response to victims through its Towards Healing counselling program, began hearing evidence last week about the later Father Paul Rex Brown, a former Lismore priest who was convicted for child pornography offences in the mid 90s.

Jennifer Ingham, 51, told the commission that during the late 70s and 80s, she was repeatedly sexually abused as a teenager by Brown and that senior members of the clergy knew what was going on.

At 17, in her final year of school, Ms Ingham had attempted suicide on several occasions and was eventually hospitalised and treated for bulimia.

She said that following her release, Father Brown arranged for her to attend regular psychiatric appointments in Sydney, where he would meet with her and continue to abuse her at a motel.

When he took up residence at a parish at Tweed Heads, Father Brown paid for her to fly from Sydney and visit him.

During that trip he allegedly told Ms Ingham her breasts tasted like the breast of another young girl he knew.

Ms Ingham said that when she broke her silence to clerics in the 90s, one priest cried and admitted he had known that she and at least two other girls were being abused by Father Brown.

Senior members of the Lismore Diocese will be asked to respond to the allegations when the hearings return to Sydney this week.


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