Fr Brian Lucas, General-Secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, has asked Catholic media outlets to cooperate to inform the faithful of the status of defrocked priest Malcolm Broussard, who is associated with cult leader and convicted sex abuser William Kamm (aka The Little Pebble).
Recently, the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued an offical notice regarding Broussard, who was born and educated in the USA but now lives in Wollongong Diocese.
Fr Lucas is anxious that Catholics know who he is and that he is no longer entitled to present himself as a priest.
Broussard was excommunicated from the Catholic Church in June 2003 for attempting to have himself consecrated as a bishop without papal consent within the sect.
The Vatican notice informs of a 15 September 2005 decree of Pope Benedict XVI that Broussard "may no longer present himself as a preist or perform any priestly functions".
Last month, Chancellor of the Diocese of Wollongong, Fr Peter Comensoli, confirmed the decree, which was served personally on Broussard. It 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.