A priest has stood down from a Perth parish amid claims he engaged in “inappropriate behaviour with adults”, The West Australian reports.
Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe wrote to worshippers at the Midland parish at the weekend to confirm Fr Kenneth Asaba had offered his resignation after an internal investigation.
In a statement, Archbishop Costelloe said about two years ago allegations were made against Fr Asaba and the complainants were encouraged to take the issue to the WA professional standards office of the Catholic Church.
The details of the complaints have not been made public.
That investigation found against Fr Asaba.
The priest requested an independent review of the finding, conducted by a barrister, which again found against Fr Asaba.
Archbishop Costelloe said Fr Asaba, who is originally from Kenya, was now taking time to consider his future.
In the statement, the Church said he had been barred from acting as a priest in the diocese.
“This has been a distressing experience for everyone concerned,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“This distress has been added to by the time it has taken to reach that point.
“I apologise for this but can only say that the process must be undertaken with care, thoroughness and impartiality — and this takes time.”
Archbishop Costelloe admitted many parishioners would be confused by the situation and possibly angry about the process.
He said those who made the complaints would receive continuing support from the Church's professional standards office.
“For Fr Asaba, the most important thing is to provide him with the assistance he needs to come to terms with what has happened and begin to make sound decisions, in consultation with me, regarding his own future.”
In response to last week's royal commission report findings, Archbishop Costelloe promised that the Church would be more open in investigating complaints.
“There will be no easy dismissal of people’s stories, no sweeping of things under the carpet, no cover-ups,” he said.
Midland parish priest stands down over ‘inappropriate behaviour with adults’ (The West Australian)