Bishops criticised for attending funeral of abusive priest

Survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of clergymen are outraged three senior bishops attended a funeral celebrating the life of an abusive priest.

In 2003, Laffey admitted he had sexually assaulted Mike Phillips in the mid 1960s, when Phillips was a 13-year-old altar boy at St Mary of the Angels Church in Wellington.

Laffey retired from his priestly duties after the claims were made public.

Catholic Bishops Conference spokeswoman Amanda Gregan told Stuff Laffey was not permitted to practice as a priest from the time the complaint was brought.

“The accusation was upheld, and assistance was offered by the church to the complainant in the form of arranging counselling and support,” she said.

“The funeral service of Tom Laffey followed established rituals of bringing the deceased to a church to ask forgiveness for sin and to commend them to God’s mercy.”

His requiem Mass was held in Ponsonby, Auckland, last Friday. Continue reading

News category: New Zealand, News Shorts.

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