The Catholic Archbishop of Perth has stood aside a priest and called in police to investigate long-running financial concerns at one of Western Australia’s oldest churches. Source: The West Australian.
The Perth Archdiocese released a statement to The West Australian yesterday in which it revealed it had stood aside Father Joe Walsh and referred an internal financial investigation to WA Police.
The West Australian reported last year that Archbishop Timothy Costelloe had launched an inquiry into the historical financial records of St Joseph’s church in Subiaco after complaints from parishioners.
Father Walsh led the parish for 16 years. He left St Joseph’s in 2016 and was appointed chaplain of All Saints Chapel in the CBD in February.
A spokesman for the Perth Archdiocese said yesterday the Archbishop had directed the financial administrator of the church to refer the matter to police after a “protracted and complex” inquiry into allegations of possible financial mismanagement at the parish of St Joseph’s.
“Rev Father Joseph Walsh, who was parish priest at the time in question, has been stood aside from his present responsibilities as chaplain to All Saints Chapel in the city, until these matters are finally resolved,” the spokesman said.
The Church said the investigation was only into issues at St Joseph’s prior to January 31 last year.
St Joseph’s parish is one of the establishment Catholic churches in Perth and often plays host to prominent society weddings.
The parish is now overseen by Monsignor Kevin Long.
Father Walsh was unavailable for comment yesterday.