Two female victims get a Catholic priest charged in court

By a Broken Rites researcher (article posted 15 April 2014)

Two West Australian women have prompted a Catholic priest to admit in court that he committed sexual offences against each of them when they were young girls living in different parishes many years ago. This demonstrates why it is always worthwhile for a church-victim to have a chat with specialist police in the Child Abuse Squad.

This priest, Father Patrick Holmes, is a member of a Catholic religious order called the Camillian Fathers (or Ministers to the Sick). This order specialises in providing chaplains for hospitals as well as working in parishes.

On 15 April 2014, Father Holmes (aged 79) appeared in Perth Magistrates Court, Western Australia, where he pleaded guilty to six charges relating to indecently dealing with two young girls.

In two different parishes, the offences occurred (in different years) in the presbytery (the house where priests live).

Father Holmes admitted that:

  1. In 1969, he dealt indecently towards a girl, who was six to seven years old, in the presbytery at the Holy Name parish in Carlisle, a Perth suburb.
  2. In 1980, he dealt indecently towards a girl, who was 10 to 12 years old, in the presbytery at St Aloysius parish in Shenton Park, a Perth suburb.

A magistrate ordered Holmes to appear next in Perth District Court in June 2014. when a judge will hold pre-sentence proceedings, followed by a sentencing.

Broken Rites consulted a recent edition of the annual Australian Catholic Directory (published in mid-2013). This says that the Camillian Fathers have their world headquarters in Rome. The Australian leader of the order is in Sydney. The order has 15 priests in Australia, nine of whom are each listed as a chaplain at hospitals in New South Wales. Father Patrick Holmes is listed as living in a Perth suburb.

The charges against Fr Patrick Holmes are a result of investigations by the Child Abuse Squad of the West Australian police into sexual assaults of children.

Anyone who is a victim of child abuse, or has information on child abuse, should contact police on 131 444.


To see a later Broken Rites article about Father Patrick Holmes, click HERE.