The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is Monsignor Geoff Baron. He gets the award for the following.
CANBERRA - A Roman Catholic priest who unleashed a torrent of expletives and racist abuse against skateboarders outside his Australian cathedral, only to have the outburst filmed and placed on YouTube, has been put on leave.It isn't easy to embarrass a Cardinal. Look at the lack of reaction by American Bishops and Cardinals to priest abuse allegations. That was till the lawsuits started coming in recent years. The church listens to the sound of money before the safety or health of its parrishoners.
The Reverend Monsignor Geoff Baron, the dean of St Patrick's Cathedral in Australia's second biggest city, Melbourne, was videotaped swearing at and abusing a group of teenagers using the cathedral grounds as a skate park.
"Move, you f****** fool," Baron tells one skater in the video, slapping one of the group across the head and prompting a torrent of abuse in reply.
Pointing to a skater lying on the ground, Baron is heard telling the youth "Little foreigner there, look at the sleepy eyes, black hair".
"At least he's got hair. You f****** bald p***k," one youth replies.
The embarrassed Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, placed Baron on indefinite leave after the outburst appeared on YouTube, while security guards began patrolling the cathedral grounds on Wednesday amid threats of reprisal attacks.
"I want to relieve the dean of the pressures and responsibilities he carries as dean of the cathedral," Hart said, promising further action.
Baron apologised for the outburst on Tuesday, but on radio described the skaters as "jackals and hyenas" who had provoked him with allegations he was a paedophile.
The video clip of the outburst, which was filmed a year ago but only recently posted on YouTube, was viewed tens of thousands of times but is now listed as "removed by the user" at http://youtube.com/watch?v=2OLkLPWKfDM.
I saw the video. The teens may have egged him on, but the Monsignor was out of control too. That's all it takes to make Monsignor Geoff Baron today's Knucklehead of the Day.
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