A Catholic priest was sentenced to serve two years and eight months under house arrest in the Vatican and ordered to pay almost £9,000 compensation on Tuesday, for brawling with arresting officers in Rome last Monday.
Handsy cleric, Father Peter Slocombe, 72, was resisting arrest, having been caught fondling two women on a crowded subway train.
When Fr. Slocombe exited the train the women he had groped chased him down the platform, before pointing him out to the officers on duty at the station.
Fr. Slocombe Bashes More Than Just The Bible
But when officers attempted to detain the British priest, Fr. Slocombe became belligerent.
He lashed out at the shocked cops, shouting at the officers that he was a man of the cloth.
Eventually the septuagenarian priest was subdued and bundled into the back of a squad car, but not before breaking the nose of one of the Italian cops and battering the other.
He will now serve his 30-month sentence at the Vatican training college, but is appealing his conviction for sexual assault and resisting, claiming that his hands were tucked away the whole time because he was ‘afraid of pickpockets’.
A police spokesman gives a very different version of the arrest and events leading up to it, telling reporters:
“This guy was crazy. He was punching and kicking out at the officers. He kept saying he was man of the cloth and was innocent but we have witnesses who say he was touching two women on the train and the victims identified him.”
Parish Were Planning Party For Train Groper Priest
News of Fr. Slocombe’s arrest will come as a blow to parishioners of St Joseph Church in Tewkesbury, Gloucester, where he had been parish priest for a number of years.
His congregants had been planning a party next month, to celebrate his fifty years in the priesthood.
Fr. Slocombe also served as Catholic chaplain at the University of Gloucester and as chair of the Cheltenham Interfaith Committee, an interfaith forum with the motto ‘faith in harmony’.
But as Catholic Church sex scandals go, the unfortunate case of train groper and cop basher Fr. Slocombe, is a more venial sin than the stories of widespread abuse and orchestrated cover-ups which have plagued the Catholic Church in recent times.
After all, it wouldn’t the first time a Catholic priest ran into trouble on holiday.