-  # Thomas Grealy
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79 yrs old
Sentenced in 1997 in the Liverpool District Court to 7 yrs jail.
Primary School Principal (Catholic). 5 child sex offences (including committing unlawful sexual intercourse/ indecent assault).
Victim was a boy (aged 9 yrs).
Brother convicted of sex abuse a church 'treasure'
The head of the Patrician Brothers in Australia has apologised after a brother jailed for child sexual abuse was
referred to as a "treasure" in a church publication.
Patrician Brother Thomas Grealy was convicted of molestation and buggery charges in 1997.
He spent four years in jail for the rape and indecent assault of two boys when he was principal at the Patrician Brothers'
Primary School at Granville in Western Sydney.
During his trial the court heard Brother Augustine, as Grealy was then known, would cover the statue of the Virgin Mary in
his office with a coat to hide his shame before abusing the nine and 10-year-old boys in his care.
Not only does he remain a Patrician brother, but in a September newsletter Grealy is pictured standing alongside leaders of
the Patricians in Australia and is referred to in the caption as one of three "Patrician treasures".
Lawyer Jason Parkinson represents five men who allege they were abused by Grealy in the 1970s.
"It's had such a detrimental effect on their life that there's been a number of suicide attempts and a number of serious
issues in relation to self-harm," he said.
"[I] just couldn't believe that the order would refer to a child molester as a treasure.
"It just goes beyond belief that they would even be inviting him to remain within their group. He should've been shunned,
should've been sent away. Shouldn't be allowed in the order."
Nearly 40 years later, Mr Parkinson said the Patrician Brothers had not taken responsibility for Grealy's behaviour and was
squabbling with The Archdiocese of Sydney over responsibility.
"It was just terrible that Catholic orders and the Archdiocese and the Catholic Church itself can arrange their affairs in
such a way that they can attempt to escape liability and responsibility," Mr Parkinson said.
"There's no other organisations in Australia that can do that."
Brother Philip Mulhall, the head of the Patrician Order in Australia, was until recently also the executive officer for
national standards around dealing with child sex abuse claims for the entire Catholic Church in Australia.
He says the publication describing Grealy as a treasure was a "dreadful, sad mistake".
"Number one, it's not the reality, but number two, the contributor who did that should not have put that in and I should've
picked it up, to be honest," he said.
"I can understand how victims feel about that.
"I know how they feel about it: affronted, confronted, injured, hurt - all those things - and angry. And I'd apologise to them."
Brother Mulhall also appeared with fellow members of the order in a photo, standing next to Grealy.
"I'll accept criticism of that," Brother Mulhall told Lateline.
"Sometimes when you have a gathering... someone says go and stand over there and we'll take a picture. And sometimes you don't think about it.
"I don't stand in solidarity with Tom Grealy at all.
"I know it's easy to say it, but I am genuinely concerned for his victims and I'm very concerned for these five victims."
Brother Mulhall said Grealy had never been dismissed from the order.
"The policy at the time that he came out was like this: he's our member, he's our problem, and we have a responsibility to see that he's not a problem for other people," he said.
"He wasn't even brought back into the order; he had never left it, really.
"He was in jail as a Patrician Brother. Everybody knew that. And it was great shame for everyone, a shame for us."
Another Patrician Brother was charged with child sexual abuse at the Patrician Brothers College at Blacktown about
12 months ago but remained at the school for two months before his removal.
Brother Mulhall said he informed the Catholic school system which administers the school "straight away".
"And then action was taken to start an investigation," he said.
"To be honest, I don't think at that stage there was anything terribly definite, but then things must've become clearer subsequently.
"I was no longer involved in the investigation directly myself, except to be updated every so often as to say we're still
investigating this matter."
The Federal Government's recently announced a royal commission that is being asked to specifically examine institutional
responses to allegations of child sexual abuse.
Brother Mulhall says he will cooperate with it completely if lessons can be learnt for the future, even if it means criticism.
"I think there needs to be very good scrutiny of the way abuse issues have been handled in the Church generally, including my
own congregation," he said.
"I hope that the commission will go through, maybe not looking so much for targets, but looking for how people handle this sort
of stuff, how it was dealt with and were there lots of mistakes in that or were there some mistakes in that.
"And [also] what things can be put in place for the future so that it can be a whole lot better than it was in times gone by."
Child Rapist Still A Patrician Brother
Australia's Catholic Bishops are meeting in Sydney to plan their response to the Royal Commission on child sex abuse.
One item they might consider is why a child rapist remains a Patrician Brother, and was recently praised as a living treasure.
Brother Thomas Grealy looks just like any other senior citizen, but he is a convicted paedophile who raped a 10-year-old boy.
After four years in jail, his Catholic brethren welcomed him back, keeping his title, housing and financial support.
Known as Brother Augustine, Grealy was principal of Patrician Brothers School in Granville.
In his office, he covered a statue of Mary with a black raincoat, before molesting students.
Not only does Grealy remain a Patrician Brother, but he is highly regarded.
In September's issue of their newsletter he's acclaimed as one of "our Patrician treasures." It’s a strange honour, for a
convicted child abuser.
The President of the Bishops Conference Archbishop Denis Hart said he thinks victims will feel deeply, deeply hurt knowing
that a Catholic brother is still serving, after being convicted of paedophilia.
“The religious orders should view the matter terribly, terribly seriously."
Asked whether those convicted of abusing a child should be allowed to remain as brothers or priests, Archbishop Hart said he
believes the matter is so serious that it should be “addressed purposefully”.
He says that priests should be removed as they are within his jurisdiction, but says brothers aren't within his jurisdiction.
But he says the matter should be carefully considered.
It might be argued Tom Grealy's done his time and at 83 deserves some Christian forgiveness, but his victims say they'll never forget.
They tried suing for compensation, but struggled due to the complicated structure of the Church.
"The message that the Patrician Brothers are giving other members of their order and all the other orders is that if you molest
children, we'll look after you for the rest of your life," Lawyer Jason Parkinson said.
7News Sydney (26-11-2012)
Pedophile 'treasure' a dreadful mistake, says Brother
The description of a convicted pedophile by his religious order's newsletter as a "treasure" is shattering, the head of the Patrician Brothers says.
Brother Philip Mulhall said Brother Thomas Grealy, who was convicted and jailed for the rape of boys in western Sydney in 1997, said featuring a photo of Br Grealy in the order's newsletter was a dreadful mistake.
Br Mulhall said the contributor should have picked up the inclusion and he himself should have.
"I'm shattered by that," he told ABC television.
Asked why Br Grealy was allowed back into the order after his release from jail, Br Mulhall said the policy at the time was to take responsibility for the members of the order.
"He's our member, he's our problem and we have a responsibility to see that he's not a problem for other people.
"That was the rationale.
"He wasn't brought back into the order, he never really left it."
Br Mulhall said he thought the approach should be re-examined but it was the correct decision at the time.
Lawyer Jason Parkinson is representing five other men who allege they were assaulted by Br Grealy when he was a school principal.
"He should have been shunned, he should have been sent away, he shouldn't have been allowed to stay in the order," Mr Parkinson said.
Br Mulhall said he was very open to the federal government's royal commission into sexual abuse.
"I certainly will co-operate with it completely, even if that means criticism of myself or criticism of my colleagues or criticism of people that I know, so that something really good can be learnt for the future."
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