Reader Garry Furlong took this picture at 7.15am as the fire tore through the historic St James Church. Source. Photo: Garry Furlong.
The savagery of a moralist who can cheer the burning down of a church that is the heart of local, living Catholic community pledged to do good:
Actress Rachel Griffiths says she and other former parishioners of a Melbourne church which was gutted this morning are relieved the “haunted house on the hill” has been destroyed.
The massive blaze – which has now been deemed to be suspicious – started at the historic St James Church in the beachside suburb Brighton just after 6am today.
It had been the home of priest Ronald Pickering, who was found to be a pedophile by the Catholic church but was never brought to justice before his death.
Griffiths told 774 ABC Melbourne she went to visit a friend a few doors down from the church when she heard the news this morning.
“I was quite elated, like many of my generation, when I heard the news this morning,” she said.