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Convicted paedophile says he should remain priest after sexually abusing 34 boys

Convicted paedophile says he should remain priest after sexually abusing 34 boys

Convicted clerical sex abuser Vincent Ryan said he should remain a priest after decades of abusing children.

In the new ABC documentary series Revelation, the Catholic priest said there was no reason he should not retain his role.

“It’s a duty. I’ve committed myself to it,” he said. “It’d have to be a very serious reason, unless I’m stopped by authority, for me to make that decision and at this moment I don’t see it.”

The interview was filmed before Ryan was sentenced in 2019 to three years and three months in jail for the sexual abuse of two altar boys at the Junction and Cessnock. He has previously served 14 years in jail for the abuse of 34 boys from the 1970s to the 1990s, including a child who was abused more than 200 times from the age of 10 over a period of six years.

After he was released in 2010, Ryan remained a priest and was allowed to perform the Catholic mass in private.

Ryan told the ABC he confessed that he was sexually assaulting boys to his priest, who gave him a penance of “three Hail Marys and a decade of the Rosary”.

“I don’t know the exact words, but they would have been aware that I … that I had offended against children because … I can remember one priest saying, ‘you’ll go to jail if you don’t stop this’,” Ryan said.

According to Crikey, Ryan informed at least two other church officials in the 1970s that he was a paedophile.

Ryan blamed his immediate superiors at the Catholic church for not monitoring him more closely after they learned of his crimes. “The church still was in a fortress, defending itself against all these horrible [people] wanting to drag it down.”

Peter Dorn, who was abused by Ryan as a primary school student in Maitland in the 1970s, questioned the church’s refusal to remove the sexual abuser from priesthood.

“How does the church want somebody like that? How did they say that’s a person acting on behalf of God?” Dorn said. “They say they have acknowledged it, but if they still recognise him as a priest, you know that’s disgraceful.”

When asked if he could be forgiven for his decades of sexual abuse of children, he said, “By God, most certainly.”