I read with horror this week that a youth worker in the Northern Territory of Australia is facing charges under mandatory reporting laws. Her crime? While she did eventually report her concern about the possible sexual abuse of a five-year old child, she has been summonsed to appear before a magistrate because she did not report her suspicions immediately.
While I don’t know enough about the specific case to comment on whether or not this young woman should be charged, I do know that Catholic priests, Bishops and other officials have committed and continue to commit this same and far worse offences on a regular basis.
They don’t suspect, they know. Not in relation to one child, but thousands. And they never report the details to authorities, but instead go to considerable effort to cover up these crimes.
But no one has any intention of prosecuting them.
Once again the Catholic Church has managed to manipulate cowardly Catholic politicians to ensure it is exempted from the provisions of mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse.
These arrogant and entitled criminals consider themselves above the laws applying to their fellow human beings. And have no hesitation is using all their considerable underhanded influence to ensure no police come knocking on their doors in the middle of the night. Except to protect them from having to listen to the complaints of angry victims who have been callously and deliberately denied justice.
If the mandatory reporting laws applied to the Catholic Church in all states in Australia, and around the world, there would be very few Bishops, Cardinals, Provincials of religious orders, and other Church officials who would not be facing jail time.
Naturally the Paedophile Protector in Chief, the criminal known as B16, is one of the worst offenders.
The question that screams out to be asked is, why should Catholic Church officials be above the law?
Who is responsible for framing these laws so the Catholic Church is not covered? What possible reason can be given for excluding the one group widely known and frequently proven to be the very worst offenders for this crime?
And, unlike social workers, Catholic Church officials have a vested interest in hiding these crimes from authorities.
The Catholic Church continues to enable the sexual abuse of children, continues to cover up sexual crimes against children, continues to protect their criminal colleagues who prey upon children, and continues to re-abuse the already devastated victims.
Trusting these self-described “holy” men to do the right thing to protect children is not working. To continue to trust them is obscene.
The only people they are interested in protecting is themselves. And their child abusing criminal mates.
They claim to have made changes but they have not stopped covering up these crimes. They will not stop covering up child sexual abuse by their colleagues unless forced to do so by law.
Let’s look at my own case as an example.
In 1996, the Catholic Church knew about my abuser and compiled a list of 49 known victims. Then moved him interstate, changed his name and covered the whole sorry mess up.
Victims who dared to speak up or demand action were ruthlessly silenced and ostracised.
In 2008, I reported him to the police.
Had the Catholic Church ever informed the police about the thousands of serious child sex crimes committed by their esteemed colleague?
The police had never heard of him.
But surely in the new era of Benny the Rat’s version of “zero tolerance” they at least co-operated with the police investigation?
They refused to co-operate, called in their attack dog lawyers, refused to hand over documents without a search warrant, hid documents in the roof of the Church and moved a key witness overseas for the entire duration of the police investigation so he could not be questioned.
Finally, despite eye witnesses to my abuse, they managed to exploit a legal loophole which not only let him off scott free but also ensured he is not prevented from working with children, and offers little hope he can ever be held responsible for his thousands of past crimes and any future crimes.
And all this happened at the very same time that Ratzo was publicly claiming to:
“cooperate closely with those in authority”
“establish the truth of what happened in the past”
“answer … before properly constituted tribunals.”
“cooperate with the civil authorities”
with “complete honesty and transparency”
Meanwhile the men most involved in covering up these crimes in the late 1990s have gone on to enjoy the respect and influence that accompanies senior positions within the Catholic Church. Their reputations are unscathed by their sordid activities. Because they also cover up the cover up, not just the original crimes.
Laws must be changed and enforced to prevent any more children being sacrificed to the ambition and greed of men who claim to speak and act on behalf of God.
And who consider the suffering of little children as barely worth noticing.
Except when issuing a cynical media apology in an attempt to make the issue go away.
Leave the well-intentioned social workers trying to do the right thing alone until after we have arrested and tried all the sanctimonious criminals who profit from the suffering of thousands of children.
Or in the future expect many more children to suffer as I and so many others did.