A Catholic priest has sparked outrage after telling a group of school kids that if a raped and murdered woman would have been “home in bed” and had a stronger faith, she would not have been killed.
The priest decided to show the youngsters a picture of Adrain Bayley, who was convicted of raping and murdering Jill Meagher back in 2012, before making his statements.
Students and staff alike were shocked when the priest made the comments, during an end-of-semester service at the St. Christopher’s Primary School in Airport West, Melbourne, Australia, on Friday.
While the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne denied that the priest made the remarks, the Vicar-General of the archdiocese of Melbourne apologised for the “victim-blaming” speech.
Monsignor Greg Bennett made a statement to reporters.
“I’ve spoken with the priest; he acknowledges that the homily wasn’t appropriate and apologises for the offence and upset it has caused. The reference to Jill Meagher in particular was offensive and inappropriate and the people of Victoria and Ireland mourn her sad and tragic death. We do not share the sentiment of the homily this morning and we certainly apologise for the hurt that this homily may have caused today.”
At the same time, Carolyn Worth, the manager of an Australian center against sexual assault, expressed her outrage at the priest’s comments.
“This is about a violent, dangerous man who attacked somebody. It’s not about what she was going. Women have a right to be able to walk in the street alone without being attacked by dangerous predators. It’s offensive to all women, certainly to Jill Meagher’s family,” she said.
As the family takes legal action against Bayley, Jill’s bereaved mother commented on her loss.
“We are all so devastated, knowing that Bayley should never have been out on the streets, it’s been cruelty for all of us. If a proper system had been working in Victoria, Gillian would be alive today.”
Bayley was subsequently found guilty of raping three other women, including his 16-year-old sister’s friend 25 years ago.
[Featured image: 9news.com]