A priest committed child-sex crimes, and was later appointed as the deputy to a bishop

A priest committed child-sex crimes, and was later appointed as the deputy to a bishop

A retired senior Catholic priest from western Sydney, Father RichardCattell, is scheduled to appear in Sydney’s Penrith District Court on 20 February 2015 for sentencing on child-sex charges. The offences were committed against an altar boy in the 1980s. In the early 1990s, Father Richard Cattell was appointed as the Vicar-General of Sydney’s Parramatta diocese, helping to administer this diocese for Bishop Bede Heather.

Father Cattell retired from parish work in the mid-1990s. He later lived privately at Port Macquarie on the New South Wales mid-north coast and, recently, on the Gold Coast in Queensland. On 28 February 2014, New South Wales detectives travelled to Tweed Heads, on the New South Wales side of the Queensland border, and interviewed Richard Cattell at Tweed Heads police station about one former altar boy who has alleged that he was sexually abused while Cattell was based at parishes in western Sydney in the 1980s.

Richard St John Cattell was summoned to Tweed Heads Local Court on 24 March 2014, to enable the matter to be officially filed in New South Wales.

Police alleged that, at the time of the offences, Father Cattell was based at a parish called “Our Lady of the Rosary” in a suburb called St Marys [situated 45 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, near Penrith]. According to a church website, Reverend Richard Cattell was the parish priest in charge of Our Lady of the Rosary parish 1982 from to 1994.

Police alleged (in court documents) that, during three years between 1984 and 1987, the priest touched and fondled the young boy’s genitalia. Police alleged that, in 1987, the priest engaged in sexual intercourse without consent with the boy.

During 2014 the case began going through its next steps at the magistrate level in Local Courts in western Sydney.

In late 2014, Cattell pleaded guilty to particular charges, and the case was then passed on to a higher court, the Penrith District Court, for sentencing by a judge on the particular charges relating to the guilty plea. The District Court case number is 201400062169.

Other alleged victims, also, have contacted the NSW Police regarding alleged abuse by Cattlell and these allegations are still being investigated by detectives at other police stations.

Father Richard St John Cattell was ordained in 1964 for the Sydney archdiocese. His early parishes included Concord West and Lakemba. His parishes in the 1970s included Liverpool, Castle Hill and East Gosford. About 1981, he was in charge of St Matthew’s parish, Windsor.

For the remainder of the 1980s, and until 1994, Father Richard Cattell was listed as the parish priest in charge of the “Our Lady of the Rosary” parish in St Marys, near Penrith.  The “Our Lady of the Rosary Parish” includes the suburbs of Claremont Meadows, Colyton, Oxley Park, St Marys and Werrington.

In the mid-1980s, parishes in Sydney’s outer-west were separated from the Sydney archdiocese to form a new separate western-suburbs diocese, which is called the “Diocese of Parramatta” (because the bishop is located in Parramatta). Father Richard Cattell became a senior priest in the new diocese; and in the early 1990s he was listed as the Vicar-General, helping Bishop Bede Heather to administer the new diocese..



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