Child rapist still a Patrician Brother

EXCLUSIVE: 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, and allowed him to keep his title, housing and financial support.

When confronted by 7News, and asked whether he still deserved to be a Patrician Brother, Thomas Grealy did not respond.

Known as Brother Augustine, Grealy was principal of Patrician Brothers School in Granville in Sydney's west.

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 the September issue of their newsletter he is acclaimed as one of "our Patrician treasures."

It is 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 child abuse 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 said convicted priests should be removed, but brothers are not within his jurisdiction, but the matter should be carefully considered.

It might be argued that Tom Grealy has served his time and at 83 years of age he deserves some Christian forgiveness.

But his victims say they will 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.

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