A WELSH priest who abused three schoolboys was sent for treatment at a sex addicts' clinic by the Catholic Church, we can reveal.
Last week John Kinsey, 46, was found guilty of seven counts of indecent assault at Worcester Crown Court, where a judge warned he faced a long prison sentence.
While he denied the charges, the trainee monk at Hereford's Belmont Abbey admitted in court he had indulged in gay sexual practices as a priest - which are banned by the Catholic Church.
And it was revealed that Kinsey - who met the Pope when he was studying theology at Rome University - had suffered a nervous breakdown and was sent by his abbot to a clinic which specialised in treating alcoholics and sex addicts.
Cardiff-born Kinsey, known as Brother John, attacked his victims - one as young as 13 - in a bell-tower, a church sacristy and an office, when he was training as a Benedictine monk at the abbey between 1986 and 1990.
He groped one of the schoolboys during bell ringing practice and another while he was playing the church organ. He also carried out sex acts on another teenage boy. The third was attacked as he was being taught how to swing an incense burner.
The court was told Kinsey "groomed" his victims, all now in their 30s, and gave them gifts as "sweeteners".
But Kinsey's parents last night protested his innocence, claiming he is the target of a money-making plan by the three victims.
Speaking at their home in Whitchurch, Cardiff, where photos of their son with the Pope take pride of place, James and Sheila Kinsey said their son had only ever shown interest in women.
Mr Kinsey, 77, said: "I know everyone says they have been falsely accused, but my son has been. All he wanted was to be a monk but now I wish to God I had never seen Belmont.
"He will never go back as a monk now, even if he is cleared.
"John went out with a young lady for quite a long time and got into the position where he could have married her, but decided to go to Belmont.
"Even one of his old friends told us that when they went out as youngsters he was never interested in boys but girls.
"He was an excellent boy right through his life. I can't believe it took these boys 16 or 17 years to come forward and then they did all at the same time.
"Why would they all come forward at the same time if they hadn't been communicating? I honestly think these three had got in cahoots with each other and the first decided to make some money.
"We want to clear John's name and are going to try for an appeal."
Mr Kinsey, who has been married to his wife for 58 years, said his son feels let down by Belmont Abbey.
"With things like this people are suspended straight away, they are guilty straight away before they have even had a court case," he said.
"He would not go back there as a monk now, even if he was cleared. He is so bitter about it."
Mr Kinsey, who said his son worked in churches across Wales, also claimed the Abbey paid him to leave with a cheque for £2,000.
"John said it was pieces of silver. He never cashed it."
Although Belmont Abbey was unavailable for comment, the Catholic Bishop for the Diocese of West Wales the Right Rev Mark Jabal , who was Prior of the Abbey during the time of the assaults, said: "I have been made aware of the decision in respect of John Kinsey.
"The verdict which indicated a betrayal of trust is very distressing and of course I feel great sympathy for the victims of abuse and their families."
Canon Robert Reardon of the Catholic Church in Wales added: "All cases are of concern to us because one case is one case too many.
"The Catholic Church is actively seeking to make the church and church organisations safer for children."
Kinsey, who was remanded in custody, is due to be sentenced on April 1 at Worcester Crown Court.