Priest's headstone upsets abuse victim

Nov. 14, 2012 at 11:13 AM

SYDNEY, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A headstone listing the achievements of an Australian priest convicted of sexually abusing children is the "ultimate insult," one of his victims said Wednesday.

The Rev. James Patrick Fletcher died in prison in 2006 while serving an eight-year sentence for raping an altar boy, The (Sydney) Telegraph reported.

Peter Gogarty, a victim of Fletcher's abuse, said the grave of the pedophile priest is marked with a bronze plaque detailing his career and refers to him as "Reverend Father."

"How can this man, a convicted pedophile, die and be buried in the priests' section of the cemetery?" said Gogarty. "Fletcher should never have been buried as a priest."

"That was the ultimate insult to Fletcher's victims," he said.

A spokesman for the Catholic Church said someone considered a "manifest sinner" is not denied a funeral if they "have given some sign of repentance before death."

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