Assignment Record – Rev. Barry Robinson
Summary of Case: A native of Australia where he was ordained in East Melbourne in 1970, Robinson ministered in several parishes before heading to Santiago Chile in 1979 where he worked with the Columban Mission Society. He returned to Australia in 1985 and appears to have worked in an East Melbourne parish until 1992. At some point he arrived in Boston MA at Blessed Sacrament parish in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood. In 1994 he admitted to his therapist that he had "sexual relations" with a 16-year-old boy in the Blessed Sacrament rectory. Robinson also admitted to having engaged in "sexual misconduct" while he was in Chile. The therapist reported his disclosure to civil authorities. Robinson fled to his native Australia before he could be investigated. He was allowed to continue in active ministry in the Melbourne archdiocese after receiving treatment. He died October 10, 2014.
Died: October 10, 2014
|1970||1973||Airport West||Victoria/ Australia||assistant|
|1976||Dandenong North||Victoria/ Australia||assistant|
Melbourne archbishop was Thomas Francis Little (1974-1996).
|1992||St. John the Evangelist||East Melbourne||Victoria/Australia||Administrator||This assignment is per the website for St. Patrick Cathedral in Melbourne. Another source places him at this parish in the late 1980s and early 1990s".|
Boston archbishop was Bernard Francis Law (1984-2002).
|April 1994||Blessed Sacrament||
Boston (Jamaica Plain)
• Robinson admitted to a therapist in March 1994 that he had had "sexual relations" with a 16-year-old boy in the rectory of Blessed Sacrament parish.
|MA||Robinson's therapist reported his disclosure to the Dept. of Social Services, who reported it to the District Attorney. Robinson abruptly left the U.S. and returned to Australia in April 1994.|
|Melbourne||Australia||hospital chaplain||Melbourne's Vicar-General in 2004 stated that Robinson's "license to act as a priest" was taken away in March 1994.|
Little was succeeded by George Pell (1996-2001), followed by Denis James Hart (2001- ).
|2004||St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception||Williamstown, Melbourne||
According to Melbourne church authorities, Robinson was allowed to return to active ministry after intensive therapy. This parish had a primary school next door. Robinson's contact with children was supposed to be restricted. In January 2004, the archdiocese refused to remove Robinson from the parish in response to calls for his removal. Robinson did leave the parish on his own accord, due to what he called "pressure of the cowards," but was returned there after a few months. Due to more outcry from parishioners with children at the parish school, Robinson resigned in May 2004, and was placed on administrative leave. The parish was deeply divided on the issue. In July 2004 Robinson was moved to a house for priests "with special problems," right next door to another elementary school, prompting another outcry.
In 2010, parishioners at St. Brigid's in Healesville discovered that Robinson was to conduct Easter services as a fill-in priest at their parish. Easter services were canceled after parishioners campaigned to prevent Robinson from coming to St. Brigid's.
Robinson died October 10, 2014.
• Problem Priest Moved Next to School, By Craig Binnie, Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia), July 9, 2004
• Priest Returns to Australia before Probe into Possible Sex Abuse, By Barney Zwartz, Associated Press State & Local Wire, January 14, 2004
• Priest Left US after Admission in Sex Case, By Stephen Kurkjian and John Ellement, Boston Globe, January 14, 2004
• New Allegations Re-Ignite Abuse Issue, Union Leader (Manchester NH), January 15, 2004
• Sex Priest Serves in Local Parish, By Barney Zwartz, The Age (Melbourne, Australia), January 16, 2004
• Priest Keeps His Job, By Catherine Hockley, Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia), January 21, 2004
• Priest's Return Worries Parents, By Farrah Tomazin, The Age (Melbourne, Australia), May 13, 2004
• Priest Who Had Sex with Teenage Boy Resigns from Parish, By Farrah Tomazin, The Age (Melbourne, Australia), May 14, 2004
• Sex Priest "Betrayal", By Laurie Nowell, Herald Sun, May 16, 2010
• Revolt on Sex Priest, By Laurie Nowell, Sunday Herald Sun, May 23, 2010
• Fugitives from Justice: Roman Catholic Priests, By David Jackson, Gary Marx, Brian Boyer, David Eads, Katie Nieland, and Joe Germuska, Chicago Tribune, March 11, 2012
• Robinson, Rev. Fr. Barry, Obituary, Herald Sun (Melbourne Australia), October 13, 2014
Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.
Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.
This assignment record collates Robinson's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.
This assignment record was last updated on November 2, 2015.
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