Priest suspended over foul-mouthed outburst

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Priest suspended over foul-mouthed outburst


Barbara McMahon in Sydney

Tuesday July 31, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

A Roman Catholic priest whose racist and expletive-laden outburst against a group of skateboarders was filmed and posted on YouTube has been put on leave by church authorities in Australia.

The Reverend Monsignor Geoff Baron, the Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne, was secretly filmed on video swearing at and racially abusing the group of teenagers who had been trespassing on church property and taunting him.

The video of the ugly confrontation, in which the teenagers jostle with the priest and accuse him of being a paedophile and he directs a tirade of foul-mouthed and racist comments at them, has spread like wildfire around the southern Australian city.

The incident happened a year ago but footage of it, secretly recorded by some of the teenagers, was posted on the website only recently, prompting the elderly clergyman into making a public apology. "The shame that I feel and the embarrassment, I can't really describe," he told Southern Cross Broadcasting radio station yesterday. He said he deeply regretted his actions but he had acted like "a kind of a hunted animal being yapped at by jackals and hyenas".

After seeing the video, the Australian Childhood Foundation called the remarks offensive, and spokesman Joe Tucci said that the church should arrange anger management and counselling for the priest. But some of Monsignor Baron's parishioners have come to his defence, saying that the skateboarding group had caused trouble before and that the priest was provoked beyond endurance by the boys.

Today, the Archbishop of Melbourne, the Most Reverend Denis Hart, intervened in the row on his return from a trip to Ireland. He said he would investigate the incident and had given the dean a period of leave. "I have known Monsignor Baron for 46 years. I know him to be a very good and talented man and priest and I am deeply troubled by the incidents at St Patrick's Cathedral," Archbishop Hart said in a statement.

"For the time being, I want to relieve the dean of the pressures and responsibilities he carries as dean of the cathedral." He said he applauded the dean's courage in making a public apology on radio and that security at the cathedral would be re-examined in light of the incident.

abusing – lżyć, wymyślać

applaud- pochwalać, przyklaskiwać

counselling - doradztwo

dean - dziekan

endurance - wytrzymałość

expletive-laden – obciążony przekleństwami

footage – materiał filmowy

foul-mouthed – ordynarny, wulgarny

intervene - interweniować

jostle – szturchać, przepychać się

outburst - wybuch

paedophile - pedofil

parishioner - parafianin

prompt- sugerować, podpowiadać

reverend - czcigodny

spread like wildfire – rozprzestrzeniać się z szybkością błyskawicy

taunt- szydzić, drwić

tirade - tyrada

trespass – wkraczać na czyjś teren

yap - ujadać

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