In my previous post I called on everyone to write to politicians to demand action to ensure that John Pirona’s tragic death is the last one.
I am happy to help make this important job easier.
Here’s a draft letter if you don’t have time to write your own. Or use it as a start and make whatever alterations you want.
If you knew John personally, please add some details about how much his loss will be felt in the future. Pollies need to understand these are real people, not numbers, with real families and friends, jobs and responsibilities, and many ways they made your life better just because they were alive.
Most politicians will accept email if you prefer to deliver this way, but they may not pay attention to or reply to emails without a return address, so be sure to include one.
Both State and Federal politicians should be contacted. Choose your local member, and/or state and federal Attorneys General, Premiers and the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, plus any other ministers or politicians you think are relevant. Each Parliament, state and federal, offers contact details for its members on its official website. That is the easiest way to find them. I will shortly post a few of the most important ones as an addition to this post.
If you wish, you can email a copy of your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we get enough together I can make sure they are all copied and delivered to the relevant politicians, including those who support the call for a Royal Commission. The bigger the number of letters, the more seriously they will take it.
Here is a link to an online petition calling for a Royal Commission if you don’t want to write a letter.
Dear (Politician name),
I am shocked and saddened by the suicide death last week of John Pirona. His suicide was caused by his abuse at the hands of a notorious paedophile priest, a priest already known to be a child abuser and allowed by catholic church officials to have continued privileged access to innocent children including John.
But John could have survived his abuse if Australia took the scourge of child sexual abuse seriously and offered appropriate help for its victims to recover.
Instead John was abandoned to the tender mercies of the secretive and power obsessed catholic church hierarchy, which has been proven the world over to callously and recklessly sacrifice vulnerable children and adult survivors to protect its own interests.
Everything the catholic church leaders do to survivors like John could have been designed deliberately to inflict the maximum additional harm, to make recovery, and even survival, almost impossible.
John was brave, fought hard and had a loving family to support him, but it was not enough to save him against the weight of the vested interests that wanted to bury the truth of the crimes committed against John. Unfortunately while doing so they also buried John, and he became forever a victim of the catholic church’s greed, and our nation’s neglect.
It would be simply appalling if this was just about John, but it is much, much worse than that. At least 40 known suicides in Victoria have been attributed by police to just two child rapist priests. Information about other clusters of suicides is emerging in some of the areas where predators were given free reign by the catholic church to destroy children’s lives. The tragic story of Emma and Katie Foster’s suffering and Emma’s death by suicide and Katie’s permanent damage is horrifying, especially as their rapist was knowingly allowed free reign to commit absolutely vile crimes on huge numbers of tiny children, little more than babies, for decades. Their suffering, and the terrible loss their families and friends suffered, and the many, many more cases the church has managed to suppress, must all be added to the tally of needless death from this criminal conspiracy.
For it is a criminal conspiracy.
The sexual abuse of many thousands of Australian children is obviously a most serious crime. It is a crime against humanity. The deliberate coverup of these widespread and systematic crimes is itself a crime. The deliberate mistreatment of vulnerable survivors, leading in some cases to death by suicide, if not already a crime, certainly should be.
In its efforts to ensure that its ‘holy’ men, who it knows are guilty, escape the legal consequences of their horrific crimes, the catholic church acts as judge, jury and executioner towards the innocent children it has already allowed to be sexually exploited, and by denying them justice callously hands them a life sentence. Or in the case of John Pirona and too many others, a death sentence.
(If you knew John personally, this might be a good place to include some details)
John’s death is one too many. We should be saying “any death is one too many” but we are far, far beyond that.
Concerned citizens and distressed victims have been begging for a proper investigation of this criminal conspiracy for years, even decades. But this topic is too hard to face, and the damage is too easy to ignore, hidden by shame, denial and a smokescreen of church lies. But if we adults find it hard just to think about the true nature, the true scale, the true horror of this problem, imagine how hard it is for little children to survive the actual experience. And how much harder we make it for them by ignoring their pain and suffering and refusing them help.
Abused children can recover. The majority of children can be protected from exposure to dangerous sexual predators. But not if the problem is just ignored. And not if we don’t take action to put child protection above institution protection.
The time for asking for a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse in the catholic church is long past. The time for asking for urgently needed law reform is long past.
We demand them. There is simply no valid excuse for refusal.
We demand our politicians comply with their obligations under the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child, to which Australia is a signatory.
(Your name and signature)