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Family fury after church welcomes tributes for paedophile priest Anthony Laundy
The horrified family of a child abuse victim is calling for a church to apologise after the funeral of a paedophile priest who carried out years of abuse was advertised in its newsletter.
He died last month.
The mother of one of his victims, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, expressed her shock a coach party was organised for people to attend the funeral in Croydon on Tuesday.
The woman said: “My son was systematically abused by Laundy over four to five years and he has suffered ever since.
"I am absolutely enraged.
“The church where he perpetrated many of his crimes advertising his funeral is outrageous.”
Seeing his abuser’s funeral advertised brings back horrible memories, she said.
The woman said even many years later her son finds it difficult to trust people after being sexually abused by Laundy, who admitted what happened before being jailed in 2000.
She said: “They are treating his funeral like a parish church outing, with drinks and nibbles, when this is a convicted paedophile that has done extensive damage to my son and others.”
The mother has demanded an apology from the churches advertising Laundy’s funeral.
Father Tom Scannell of St Winifride’s apologised that the family had been so deeply hurt by the item in the newsletter of St Winefride’s church.
However, John Neil, a parishioner for Sacred Heart, said the advert in the church newsletter was a formality given to anyone who had died and the church would not be apologising.
Mr Neil said: “It is not about condoning what may or may not have happened with Tony Laundy.
“It would be more extraordinary to bury a man hush hush – people must be invited to pray for him, his family are bereaved.
“We recognise people may or may not have sinned in the past.
“We have to pray for the repose for the soul.
“It is not without sympathy for the victims.”
Dozens of mourners attended the funeral at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Wellesley Road, Croydon.
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