Malcolm Broussard, now the most senior member of The Order of St Charbel, issued a statement yesterday urging followers to remain at peace and assuring them that “the forces of evil” had not won.
Mr Broussard, a Texan who uses the title bishop but was officially excommunicated from the Catholic Church in 2003, posted a message on the group’s website saying “this community will continue to go forward”.
William Kamm, known to followers as The Little Pebble, was jailed on Friday for up to five years for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl who lived in the sect’s community in 1993.
He was found guilty in July of four counts of aggravated indecent assault and one of aggravated sexual intercourse.
Kamm’s devotees believe he receives messages from the Virgin Mary and will be the last pope on earth. He molested the girl soon after he told her she had been chosen, at the direction of the Virgin Mary, to be his mystical wife.
Kamm and his followers believe he will have 12 queens and 72 princesses with whom he will father a divine tribe after the “end times”.
Mr Broussard said: “It would seem, on the surface, that the dark forces of evil have won a victory, but it is not true.”
The Catholic Church has outlawed the order. A school in the grounds of the community at Cambewarra, outside the south coast town of Nowra, is under investigation by the NSW Board of Studies.
Kamm’s barrister Greg Stanton said his client would appeal against the conviction and the sentence.