Sunday, July 29, 2007

Apology for priest's tirade

THE Catholic Church has apologised over a senior Melbourne priest's foul-mouthed and racist tirade outside its city cathedral.

The Rev Monsignor Geoffrey Baron verbally lashed out at a group of teenage skateboarders who taunted him outside St Patrick's Cathedral.

The outburst, which occurred after the priest was provoked and pushed by the youths, was filmed and posted on a website.

During the angry rant the priest, who is the dean of the archdiocese of Melbourne, used obscene language and suggested in vulgar terms that the youths were homosexual.

"Get off the property you f------ c---," he appears to have said.

He also attacked one of the youths about his ethnicity.

"Go back to where you come from, you don't belong in Australia," he said. "Little foreigner there, look at the slanty eyes, black hair."

The outburst occurred about a year ago, but has recently surfaced on the internet.
Archdiocese of Melbourne Vicar General Monsignor Les Tomlinson apologised over his colleague's actions, but said the priest had been under siege.

"He apologised for any offence he has caused to anybody and I, on behalf of the archdiocese, repeat that apology," Monsignor Tomlinson said.

"What people are commenting on is how out of character this behaviour is."

The church has employed security to keep skateboarders away from the grounds.

Grainy images on the video show the priest appearing to try to kick a teenager.

He also taunts a youth for wearing glasses, dubbing him "four eyes".

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