The Bishop of Broken Bay, Mr Peter Comensoli, has warned parishioners in The Entrance of the impending release of convicted paedophile, former priest, Mr Finian Egan.
Mr Egan is due to be released from Long Bay prison on Tuesday December 19, after serving four years of an eight-year sentence for sex offences committed against girls aged between 10-17, between 1962 and the 1987.
These offences took place across Sydney and at The Entrance.
Catholic Bishop Comensoli wrote to parishioners following the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child abuse, and expressed both his sympathies for those affected by the news of Mr Egan’s release, as well as outlining some of the conditions surrounding his return to society.
“The pain and complexity of the matters detailed in the Royal Commission have reached deeply into our lives in many different ways,” Bishop Comensoli wrote.
“I recognise the dreadful wounds experienced when trust has been betrayed in our local faith communities, and I am determined to right the wrongs for victims, survivors, families and faith communities, and to work for their healing.
“I acknowledge, quite plainly, my responsibility to do all that we can to ensure the safety of everyone in our Diocese.
“The recommendations of the Royal Commission will significantly aid me, and my key leadership team, in this task.
“I want to acknowledge one local situation which will enter a new phase this week.
“Finian Egan, formerly a priest of the Diocese of Broken Bay, is to be released on parole.
“This development will occasion different reactions and emotions for many of you, even distress, especially for those who may have known Finian, and most particularly for those who have been offended against and hurt by him.
“Given the various reactions people will experience to this news, I wish to share with you some of the conditions that surround his return to society,” the Bishop wrote.
According to the Bishop, Mr Egan has been permanently removed from Ministry, and following his release, prison authorities have organised accommodation for him outside of the Broken Bay Diocese.
“We understand that the nature of his parole will also entail certain restrictions, particularly around matters of association, and as his Bishop, I have also placed certain additional restrictions upon Finian,” Bishop Comensoli wrote.
These restrictions include: Never exercising priestly ministry whatsoever; never referring to himself as a priest or in any way imply to be a priest; never seeking accommodation in any area in which he has ministered previously; and never presenting himself in person to any diocesan or parish site of the Diocese of Broken Bay, including any presbytery.
Mr Egan, now 81-years-old, was granted parole by the Parole Authority, which deemed him no longer a risk to the community.
Letter, Dec 16
Rev Peter Comensoli, Bishop of Broken Bay