A New South Wales priest excommunicated from the Catholic Church has been stripped of his holy orders and responsibilities by the Pope because of his association with William Kamm’s religious sect.
Kamm, known to his followers as The Little Pebble, was last month jailed for at least three-and-a-half years for indecently assaulting a then 15-year-old member of his outlawed Order of St Charbel, at Cambewarra, near Nowra on the south coast.
Malcolm Broussard, who has been with the sect for 20 years, is a self-proclaimed bishop and major superior residing in the Cambewarra community known as Gethsemene.
One of Kamm’s staunchest supporters, Mr Broussard was ordained to the priesthood on May 20, 1978, in Houston Texas, for the diocese of Galveston-Houston.
Mr Broussard has issued repeated calls for support for Kamm, and following his conviction has urged his followers to “go forward” against the “dark forces of evil”.
The Chancellor of the Diocese of Wollongong, the Reverend Father Peter Comensoli, today confirmed Pope Benedict XVI had decreed Mr Broussard also be stripped of his priestly title, responsibilities and rights for his “ongoing obstinacy” within the order.
The decree, served personally on Mr Broussard, ordered he be “dismissed from the clerical state”, meaning he can no longer call himself Father, say mass, give sacraments or take confession.
He also is no longer allowed to wear priestly dress or enjoy other rights afforded to the position, Fr Comensoli said.
“The Pope’s now saying something very specific about the status of Malcolm in terms of his priesthood,” he said.
The decree had been issued some time ago, Fr Comensoli said, but the church had not made it public out of respect to Mr Broussard.
“It’s just been an ongoing obstinacy of those who have been involved with Little Pebble in refusing to accept the authority of the church. They have claimed that what they are saying (in terms of their beliefs) will be, in time, verified by the church. But it won’t.”
The church had no control over Mr Broussard’s continued ministry within the order, Fr Comensoli said, and had effectively distanced itself from him altogether.
Mr Broussard refused to comment on the decree, today issuing a statement condemning those who acted against Kamm, a “prophet of God”.
“The Little Pebble continues to maintain that he is innocent of all the charges levelled against him,” he said.
“As time passes, the conspiracy surrounding the Little Pebble will be exposed by God’s All-Powerful Hand.”