Stood down for a second time … Father Tom Knowles. Photo: Angela Wylie
THE Catholic Church has removed a leading Australian priest who sexually preyed on a disabled and vulnerable woman in NSW.
In an embarrassing U-turn, the Melbourne Archdiocese has removed Father Tom Knowles from one of the nation’s busiest churches just weeks after reinstating him.
The move comes after revelations by Fairfax Media last month that a confidential church inquiry had found he had an improper sexual relationship with disabled woman Jennifer Herrick for 14 years in NSW.
As a result of this inquiry, Father Knowles was put on administrative leave for 16 months but was returned to active ministry in January.