The Perth Archdiocese has launched an inquiry into the historical financial records of its Subiaco church after complaints from parishioners, The West Australian reports.
A spokesman for Archbishop Timothy Costelloe confirmed Church administrators had begun a review of the books at the parish of St Joseph to ensure “professional governance” and to demonstrate “due diligence”.
“The Catholic Archdiocese of Perth Administration Centre received several queries raised by a parishioner/parishioners of the Subiaco Parish pertaining to the parish’s finances,” the spokesman said.
The most recent parish newsletter included a small note about the inquiry, said to have been published on the order of Greg Russo, chief executive of the Archdiocesan finance office.
The newsletter said the Perth Archdiocese had done a preliminary investigation after queries and was reviewing the parish’s financial accounts from “previous years up to January 2017”.
The Church said the report would be completed and handed to the Archbishop before the end of the year.
St Joseph’s parish is one of the establishment Catholic churches in Perth and the church often plays host to prominent society weddings.
Fr Joe Walsh led the parish for 16 years. He left St Joseph’s last year and was appointed chaplain of All Saints Chapel in the CBD in February.
St Joseph’s is now overseen by Msgr Kevin Long, a former rector of St Thomas More College at the University of WA.
Fr Walsh was surprised that unnamed parishioners had made complaints to the archbishop’s office about St Joseph’s.
He said he worked very hard in his time at the parish and got on very well with his successor.