A priest has offended parents at a Melbourne primary school by comparing paedophile priests to adulterous women in a school newsletter, reports The Age.
Fr Bill Edebohls, the parish priest at St Mary's Primary School in Malvern East, also took aim at lawyers and the media for not showing enough mercy during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.
He said he was concerned the Royal Commission would not give victims an opportunity to heal.
"Why? Because both the media and the lawyers, like the baying crowd of men in the Gospel ready to throw stones, don't understand the need for a justice that is drenched in mercy."
The statements were printed in the school's March newsletter and delivered at the St Mary's church in East Malvern.
"Maybe to get the real drama and effect of the story we ought to replace the adulterous woman with a paedophile priest," he wrote, after recounting the Gospel tale of Jesus showing mercy towards an adulterous woman, telling the baying mob "he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."
The priest's homily went on to say: "That does not mean there is no condemnation of the sin, no punishment or consequences for the perpetrator or an institution that protected him. But it does mean justice with mercy."
One parent said it was abhorrent to compare a crime like paedophilia with a moral issue like adultery.