A victim of notorious paedophile priest Paul David Ryan has described a move by the Diocese of Ballarat as "inconceivably stupid".
A number of south-west churches in Warrnambool and Moyne shires have now formed the Star of the Sea, South West Coast parish.
The victim said the new name was extremely triggering because his abuser was facing the prospect of being deported to the US to face charges in the Star of the Sea parish in Virginia Beach.
"It just brings it all back," the man who did not want to be named said. "They obviously haven't done their due diligence - someone should have checked the name."
The man said it was another slap in the face to victims and survivors of clergy abuse.
"It makes you think not too many people in the Catholic Church care about victims and survivors," he said.
Another clergy abuse survivor said he believed the name should be changed.
"I understand people may not have made the connection - it's OK to make a mistake - but the name should be changed."
The survivor said there were promises made by the Catholic Church at the Royal Commission. "Here is the first chance to walk the walk, but they haven't - they've learnt nothing," he said.
In Good Faith chief executive officer Clare Leaney said the name change was extremely disappointing. "This has sent a real shockwave through our survivor community, particularly those located in the Warrnambool area," she said.
"It has resulted in a lot of hurt and confusion about why this name change was made without any consideration of the harm that has been done."
She said survivors felt a sense of betrayal. "When these renaming processes are undertaken without investigating some of the really hurtful parts of our history, it can be very damaging," she said. Churches included in the new parish include St Joseph's in Warrnambool, St Pius X in Warrnambool, Infant Jesus in Koroit, St Patrick's in Port Fairy and St Anne's in Purnim.
St Joseph's Warrnambool parish priest father John Fitzgerald acknowledged the disappointment.
"Any concerns raised are really important," he said. "I know different things can trigger deep heart-felt emotion in people, especially victims."
Father Fitzgerald said parishioners in each of the churches were asked to suggest names. He said the majority of people wanted to celebrate the area's connection to the sea. "We wanted to be faithful to those who put forward a name," he said. "However, it is unfortunate that there is a connection there."
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