Voiceless Victim

A survivor of clergy child sexual abuse speaks out for those who can't speak for themselves

Category Archives: Catholic Church manipulation of politicians

Does Papal Pretender Deserve Person of the Year? No Way Jorge

The announcement that Time Magazine had declared Pope Frank, the Paedophile-Protector-in-Chief, their Person of the Year for 2013 left all of us who are not either brain dead, brainwashed or irretrievably corrupt completely speechless.

Pope frank on time

Surely this would be the joke of the new century, if it were not so terribly tragic.

The subsequent announcement that this old man in an old fashioned, baggy white dress and retinue of silly hats and caps, has been declared Esquire Magazine’s Best Dressed Man of the Year is simply ridiculous beyond belief.

Even more bizarre is that The Advocate, a gay magazine, declared the leader of this vehemently anti-gay, though largely homosexual, religion as their Person of the Year, too. Despite recent carefully crafted murmurings of a softening of the traditional hate filled hard line against gays, there is simply no way Francis of the Facade is any friend to openly gay men, or their interests.

The vatican’s new, and no doubt highly paid, PR supremo, Greg Burke, a member of the catholic cult Opus Dei, and a former Fox News staffer, is clearly no stranger to the tricks used to spread ultra conservative, orthodox religious spin. The information that the cunning Mr Burke is also a former Time employee makes a little more sense of Time’s puzzlingly inappropriate award.

It is easier to accept that a sleazy Vatican employee pulled in all his favours from his very good friends and former colleagues at Time than that otherwise seemingly intelligent editors came to this decision without inducements or prompting. Of course the publishers at Time, and the other magazines, no doubt enjoy the controversy and spike in readership that such a stupid choice generates. And it seems they really don’t care about any loss of credibility amongst those still in possession of a brain. Or perhaps they’ll have moved on to a new job before any fallout is felt.

This pope has done absolutely nothing to eradicate the epidemic of child rape destroying the lives and threatening the very existence of hundreds of thousands of the most innocent and vulnerable in this world. This man, Jorge from Buenos Ares, who claims infallibility and holiness, and demands slavish adoration and unquestioning respect in the face of a crime wave that puts the mafia, his collaborators, to shame, has done nothing, has achieved nothing, that justifies in any way a fraction of the media attention thrown away on him.

Far less an honour stolen from the truly deserving but less grasping.

Why do the mindless adore Francis the Fake?

Well, it’s certainly not for his good looks.

pope frank cartoon 3

Benny the Rat could not help but look as evil as his actions, even after a makeover. Foolish Frankie looks dorky, he smiles, and tries very hard to come across as benign, even human.

Sure, the puppet master Burke has regularly staged deliberately heart tugging photo opportunities as part of the media profile makeover to soften the image of this head of the world’s wealthiest criminal organisation. But why can so few people understand how cynical this carefully constructed facade, designed to please, distract and mislead, really is?

Cringe worthy stuff from the paedophile protector in chief

Cringe worthy stuff from the paedophile protector in chief

The fact that an immensely rich and supremely powerful world leader, who could do so much good at the stroke of a pen, but chooses not to act, is not as bad an habitual criminal as his predecessor, is not any reason to declare him person of the year.

This latest papal pretender is more of a clean skin than the master of clergy child rape enabling and coverup, Ex-Benedict the former Holiness, who these days makes good use of the specious claims of Vatican city to be a nation state, hiding out for the rest of his life from law enforcement.

But now that the latest heartless narcissist, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, has swapped pink for white and is firmly ensconced in the ostentatious arms of Vatican gold, at least away from the cameras, he cannot help but be just as culpable as all his fellow popes. Unless he does something to change the centuries of tradition whereby unimportant children of lay catholics are thrown under the wheels of the solid gold gravy train driven by Vatican Inc.

Has anyone seen any evidence of Francis implementing actual change, not just more weasel words?

pope x 2

Has the warm, caring fantasy of humility and change meant F1 has finally revealed the full details of these crimes, or thrown open the carefully hidden secret files, ordered cardinals to stop obstructing justice and assist local law enforcement, removed known dangerous sexual predators from their hiding places in the bosom of mother church, or introduced real child protection measures, not just the appearance of change.

Anyone deserving the title of human being, let alone person of the year, would do at least that.

Not So Very Frank Francis can’t quite manage what most of us would do without hesitation, and in a heartbeat, but he has announced another fake body to look into this issue. A committee paid for and controlled by the catholic church, despite any nonsensical claims to “independence”.

If such a committee were to actually be independent, it should be made up of and seek input from survivors, whistleblowers, uncorrupted law enforcement and law makers, and those who have worked to rebuild lives destroyed by centuries of papal inaction. The funding of an independent committee would be completely independent of church hierarchy. And any results would never be filtered through church officials, or only released once rewritten to their satisfaction. There is zero possibility of Faker Frank’s Fake Committee looking anything like that.

Genuine investigations have been conducted and are being conducted throughout the world by properly qualified, suitably empowered and truly independent investigators.

There is no additional need for the criminals to investigate themselves. The very notion itself is preposterous. There is no societal need for the Vatican to swamp the media with their lies. This deluge has been going on for centuries, and it is these very lies that have allowed the crimes to continue, and have prevented the operation of justice.

There is no need to hear the Vatican’s excuses and misdirections on this subject once again, even after supposedly “expert” contributions. Because the only “experts” the Vatican consults, or listens to, are those who say what they have been instructed or paid to say.

There is no knowledge gap in this area that requires addressing by those committing the crimes. Plenty of people and institutions have first hand experience and decades of understanding of what is really going on, what the cause is, and how to prevent it continuing. These are people who live in the real world and have no trouble facing difficult concepts such as truth, reality and the crimes committed by catholic clerics.

The only stumbling block is the fanatical secrecy of the catholic church, and the criminality of their actions in protecting and enabling child rapists to escape law enforcement and continue to rape children.

The catholic hierarchy misuses respect for religion and the religious belief of millions of catholics as a justification to get away with pretending not to be criminals, while continuing to commit their crimes. 

And the cowardice of many politicians and law enforcement officials, manipulated, threatened or corrupted by catholic church officials to neglect their duty to enact and enforce laws that protect children rather than dangerous but powerful predators, means that, as required, catholic criminals are treated as above the law, and so continue to flout it.

Any Vatican conceived and controlled facade of an investigation is hardly going to address that aspect, let alone resolve it.

The apologists pumping out the catholic hierarchy’s propaganda would have us ignore this crucially important issue and instead bathe in the reflected glow of Friendly Frankie. Yet what could be more important than the safety of our children?

Only childless, self absorbed, sexually dysfunctional yet sex obsessed, developmentally delayed little boys in the bodies of grown men, who are spiritually dead yet pretend to talk with their invisible friend while playing dress ups and participating in canabalistic rituals, could fail to understand that so completely.

What do vatican PR spin masters under the instructions of Burke want to distract us with? What do they promote as more important than saving children from being raped repeatedly by dangerous men claiming the authority of god?

The media circus that is the cult of Francis the Humble.

How things have changed

How things have changed

pope frank bells and smells 2

Or the winner of my award for Con Job of the Year.

The man once took a bus, when he could have taken a limo.

No limos here

No limos here

Give the man a Nobel peace prize.

The man makes it known he is staying in a hostel, when he has a free room in a gold encrusted palace.

Really? He actually sleeps there? He doesn’t sneak back through the secret passages at night and luxuriate in silk sheets and solid gold toilet?

Wouldn’t a truly humble man do other things in a similar vein?

Wouldn’t a truly humble man in the midst of such greed make significant changes?

Wouldn’t a truly humble man do these things because they were the right thing to do, and not perform them for the cameras and announce them in media releases?

And even if Frankie the Fixer did actually do what is claimed for him, why does he not donate any savings to the poor, or to victims of his vicious policies?

If some good came of his choices, other than truly spectacular PR victories, then it might in some way, any way, be meaningful.

Oh, the symbolism

Oh, the symbolism

But he does not and it is not.

This obscenely wealthy pope, who hoards countless billions in cash and property, and could fill a dozen world class museums with his priceless art treasures, makes a few token gestures, makes a few vague comments, and continues with evil policies, while refusing to act to prevent so much suffering in the world, much of which is easily in his power to prevent.

Those who seek, or even accept without seeking, great power of any kind, have great responsibility to use that power wisely and for the greater good. Popes have almost unlimited power of every kind, and could single handedly make this world a safe place for children. Could institute effective programs to offer every child shelter, an education, health care and enough food to eat.

But they see only that any sharing of their wealth, any use of their power, except to shore up their own power and add to their own possessions, means less wealth and less power for themselves. These empty, soulless men grasp desperately to posses everything, but can never fill the gaping hole in themselves. Because they are filling it with the wrong thing. They stridently claim spiritual superiority, but are spiritually bereft and the ultimate materialists. Nothing, not even the enslavement of the whole world to their bidding, and the pouring of the whole wold’s resources into their coffers will ever satisfy them.

No amount of deceit, no amount of crime, no amount of corruption or destruction of the innocent is repugnant or wrong to them, if it is in the pursuit of their own wealth and power.

And so the deceit of Francis The Great Pretender should be seen as business as usual.

Yet it stings.

How can so many be fooled by this paper thin nonsense?

The tiniest application of logic or thought to this tomfoolery makes the whole rotten edifice crumble before your eyes.

pope frank smirk

Yet one picture of a goofy looking, smirking hypocrite makes people feel safe and that everything will be okay after all. That these self described good, holy men could not really be pretending, could not really be evil monsters preying on us and our children in every possible way.

Well they are.

pope frank not impressed

And it is time to grow up.

It is time to investigate the comforting lies and find the real truth.

And if that truth is even worse than expected, and it is, it is time to face it.

Because there is only one thing worse than facing such a horrible truth.

And that is by ignoring the problem, allowing it to continue.

Stay safe everyone.

VV

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How Much Justice Will Survivors See in this New Year?

Welcome to a new year.

The Christmas/New Year period is tough, not festive, for so many survivors. Difficulty in maintaining relationships with family, friends and colleagues is one of the lifelong impacts of childhood sexual assaults. A time of year emphasising the love and support offered by those important relationships only makes us feel more abandoned, isolated, and worthless than ever.

The trauma that caused smiling, confident, normal children to become loners and misfits unable to trust anyone was, and still is, exacerbated unnecessarily by callous, self serving institutions who sacrifice the most innocent and most vulnerable again and again in their attempts to coverup the criminality and abuse of power at the core of this problem. And so the ongoing pain we suffer is increased as a direct result of the policy of denial, of the deceitful PR pretending everything is okay, and that things have changed, and of the criminal coverup of the original crimes.

The very same institutions who knowingly exposed us to danger and brutally denied us the help we need insist on drowning out all other voices at this time of year so they can force their self serving fantasies down our throats and look down their noses at us for not fitting the unrealistic stereotypes they fanatically promote.

How do we make 2014 better than 2013?

How do we move away from the unresolved trauma that has stolen so much from us and keeps us prisoners, serving out our life sentence?

How do we relax and let go of the stress inflicted on our tiny bodies by such devastating and incomprehensible attacks?

How do we learn that not everyone in this world is a terrifying child sexual predator in priests’ clothing, or a despicable self serving enabler who knows children are being harmed but doesn’t do anything to stop it? Or a self described “good priest” or “good catholic” or “good christian” who turns their back and, by not speaking up, by not expressing disapproval of officials’ decisions, gives support for the crimes and the coverup to continue? Or a coward who caves under pressure from the powerful and the vicious and lets children suffer so that they will not be personally disadvantaged?

Here in Australia we have been given a rare opportunity to turn around our lives. To truly become survivors, or even thrivers, and leave victimhood behind.

Because in Australia we have been given a comprehensive, nationwide investigation into how this country, through its most highly respected institutions, has doubly betrayed our children. First by allowing the routine sexual exploitation of children to flourish unchecked, and then by refusing those harmed by such crimes access to justice and healing.

Not only are we the historic beneficiaries of such a momentous instrument for change, but we have also been given the gift of Justice Peter McClellan as Chair of the Royal Commission, and Senior Counsel Assisting Gail Furness, SC.  These two have demonstrated in public hearings to date considerable ability and determination not to betray Australia’s children again.

Justice Jennifer Coates has also shown exceptional empathy in private sessions, and ability to help survivors feel truly believed and understood for the very first time in our lives.

Thanks to this Royal Commission, for me, finally, the healing has begun.

It wasn’t the announcement of the Royal Commission by then Prime Minister Julia Gillard on 12 November 2012 that did it.

It wasn’t meeting Julia herself at Kirribilli House in January 2013, and learning that she genuinely believed in and supported Australian survivors and our push for justice.

It wasn’t the early working of the Royal Commission, when I and many other survivors attended private sessions to tell of our experiences.

It wasn’t even the first public hearings, when we first saw important, hard questions asked of those who let children down. Questions to which there was no appropriate answer forthcoming.

For me, as a victim of the catholic church, and I do mean that the catholic church as a whole deliberately victimised me for decades, my healing began with the first Towards Healing public hearings in late December 2013. This was when catholic church officials were first truly held accountable, in exacting detail, for their appalling treatment of children, and their complete and deliberate dereliction of their duty of care to us.

When I saw Justice Peter McClellan and Gail Furness SC work tirelessly to uncover the truth about the catholic church’s criminal conspiracy to coverup child sex crimes, and then not turn their backs on us, not shrug their shoulders and pretend it was nothing really, or that nothing could be done, that is when everything changed for me.

Suddenly my struggle to recover, to self care, to sleep, or even just to live became easier. Instead of being trapped in an endless battle I could never win, I was now engaged in a lifelong process to claw back some of what had been stolen from me. I would still never be the person the innocent child with limitless potential I once was could have become. But now instead of one of the walking dead, I can rejoin the living and work to be the best person I can under the circumstances.

It didn’t take some mythical knight on a white charger to sweep in to rescue us. It just took people of honour, integrity and perception to not fold under the catholic church’s bribes, threats and excuses, and to stand up for what is right, rather than what is expedient.

Our suffering did not evaporate in a puff of smoke with the wave of a magic wand. We fought the lies and the corruption, we stood up to the vile criminals in positions of power covering up for other criminals. We could not be silenced, and now, finally, we are being heard.

And we should never, ever forget those of us who did not make it this far. Who did not live to see this first glimmer of precious, rare justice.

In 2014 I wish the same support and the same hope for all survivors of child abuse, all survivors of abuse of power and injustice. That we all find a way to make our voices heard, and to change the outcomes for ourselves and for those who come after us.

This blog is read in 96 countries around the world, covering all continents. Even in the spurious nation state called Vatican city.

In every country there are victims who deserve to be heard, who deserve justice and healing. In every country abuse is continuing right now because governments don’t value children or prioritise child protection.

I hope in 2014 many other countries will learn from our experience in Australia and be inspired by Julia Gillard’s example. I hope more world leaders will earn their people’s respect by standing up to the political manipulations of religious officials, and announcing a real inquiry into child sex crimes by those using religion to protect paedophiles.

I hope that countries around the world will remove bias in their legal systems that protect child rapists and punish their victims.

I hope in 2014 the UN will take real action against the catholic church (or the spurious nation state called Vatican city or the (un)Holy See) for its appalling record of enabling widespread and systemic child sexual exploitation by its representatives in countries throughout the world.

I hope by this time next year we will all feel a little more hopeful, a little more valued, a little more connected to each other and to the rest of society. A little more sure that we are survivors, not voiceless victims.

Stay safe everyone, and have a healing 2014.

VV

A Tale of Three Inquiries – Part 3 The Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry

The Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry was the first of the current trio of investigations into the coverup and enabling of widespread child sexual assault by religious institutions.

All three inquiries are officially named in softer, and more complicated and inclusive language, but the core issue is that hundreds of priests and religious have been raping and sexually violating tens, if not hundreds of thousands of kids, and their bishops and cardinals have let them get away with it.

Not only have the self described religious “leaders” helped the rapists to escape law enforcement and continue offending, they have acted decisively to prevent victims being heard or receiving the help we so desperately need. They have made every effort to prevent any independent scrutiny of this issue. They have blocked any legal or political moves to enforce a more compassionate or law abiding response.

And children continue to be exposed to danger, since more than 99% of all child sex criminals, and likely an even higher percentage of this carefully protected subspecies, are still free to reoffend, most with their reputations and identities protected, and with privileged and unquestioned access to kids.

The Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry was widely criticised by many, including myself, at the time of its announcement, for the many deficiencies of its terms of reference. Drafting the terms of reference was a political decision, made by a Premier no longer in power, and is no reflection on those conducting the inquiry.

But despite its inadequacies, this is nonetheless an extremely important inquiry, a crucial milestone and indeed stepping stone towards nationwide attempts at justice, and a strategic testing ground for this issue.

Without the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Organisations we would probably not have the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Or rather, we would probably not have it yet.

This first announcement, on 17 April, 2012, softened up the church hierarchy to the fact that it was no longer politically acceptable for them to continue to be allowed to get away with their criminal conspiracy. This first blow to the bishops’ previously inviolable secrecy paved the way for the more powerful and comprehensive national inquiry announced on 12 November, 2012.

Victorian Attorney General Robert Clark admitted on the 7.30 Report on 20 April 2012 that the Victorian Government had negotiated extensively with Catholic officials and their lawyers in the twelve months prior to the announcement of the Inquiry.

Hullo? Does no one in this country understand the meaning of the word “corruption”? Or is the problem rather that those in power, in all spheres, understand it all too well? The government does not ask permission of drug bosses or bikie gangs before investigating their crimes, or negotiate the conditions of any investigation. This situation is no different, except perhaps that religious criminals commit crimes that disgust even the most hardened ordinary criminals.

The fact that such negotiations took twelve months, despite a clear direction in the Cummins Report from the year before that an inquiry was needed, and public disgust at the growing numbers of suicide deaths coming to light which resulted directly from the appalling response of the catholic church, shows how very hard it was to get the church’s permission to investigate its crimes.

Once again, are we living in the Dark Ages? The church is supposed to be subject to our local laws and answerable to the Government, not the other way around.

For those unsure how this secret influence over Australian governments has been achieved, a brief reading of the Seven Mountains strategy should be illuminating. The actual Seven Mountains strategy is practiced by a different cult, fundamentalist loonies, but it does spell out what the catholic church has been doing for millenia in their attempts at world domination.

Basically the Seven Mountains strategy aims to equip what they call “change agents” to become educated and burrow their way into positions of power and authority in the seven cultural mountains of influence. These change agents are instructed to go into the world and make disciples and teach them to obey the commands of Jesus (as interpreted by them, of course). They believe culture is shaped by only a few operating at the top of a cultural mountain of influence. (world domination, anyone?). They speak in the language of inclusiveness but are actually deeply conservative.  Once having achieved the desired domination (they are often known as dominationists) we can be sure they would soon introduce an authoritarian theocracy.

An example of the catholic version can be seen in attempts to control and profit (even more) from mental health services in Australia by ensuring the appointment of a senior church official to the inaugural position as Mental Health Commissioner. This was a man personally responsible for many mental health problems experienced by thousands of survivors, through his role in developing and implementing Towards Healing. The prospect of the countless thousands suffering from the effects of brutal sexual, physical and psychological abuse by religious institutions receiving the help they need would shrink dramatically under such stewardship. Thankfully he was forced to resign from the role before he could do much damage, but the system is such that there are sure to be many others pursuing the church’s agenda in or near such strategic positions, throughout Australian government, courts, academia, arts and entertainment, the media and business.

And no doubt, the Royal Commission.

The process of infiltrating and perverting our culture and government can be reversed by people standing up for what is right over what is expedient for a bunch of rich, well connected old crims playing dress ups.

Note that the then Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, only found it necessary to phone Cardinal (I’m not the head of the church in Australia) Pell and warn him he was going to have to get a lot more familiar with a concept called the truth. As far as we know there was no extensive consultation, indeed there was no time for it to occur, unlike in Victoria just months earlier.

But I believe the church hierarchy’s insistence that the terms of reference of the Victorian inquiry be widened to other religions and indeed other institutions will backfire and end up shooting them in the foot. First of all, despite their constant whining about being unfairly targeted (try being a defenceless long term child victim of a rapist priest, and then you will know about unfair targeting), no-one has ever suggested the catholic church is the only place of refuge for dangerous serial sex offenders.

It is clearly one of the best and most accommodating host institutions for such vermin, but no one disputes that child rapists exist everywhere, except perhaps where they cannot access their prey.

Did catholic officials really believe they could hide from view in the crowd of other abusive institutions who sacrifice children to protect themselves? Do they not understand the immense and horrific scale of the problem they have allowed to flourish, compared to others. Or do they really only look as far forward as being able to say “Nah, nah, told you it wasn’t just us!”

This strategy of being one of the crowd comes apart when it comes to recommendations, however.

The catholic church always ensures it operates under a series of special conditions, receives special treatment, official or unofficial, which gives it undeserved and unfair advantages over other organisations.

And over victims seeking justice or even protection from ongoing sexual assaults.

But if these crimes are being investigated across the board, as church officials themselves insisted, any recommendations must surely apply uniformly across the board.

The evidence will no doubt support going further than that and imposing especially stringent scrutiny for catholic institutions. Unfortunately that will never happen as the squawking about unfairness would be unending. Rest assured though, the public simply will not accept the catholic church being given any more free passes to continue to commit crimes unchecked.

That alone will be pretty hard to endure for those who believe themselves above the law, and entitled to be above the law.

One item sure to test this issue is the heavily promoted “sanctity of the confessional”. This attempts to place a religious practice, changeable and subject to the whims of a criminal cabal ruling what is claimed to be a sovereign foreign country, above Australian law relating to some of the most serious of crimes against some of the most vulnerable in society. It endangers children, obstructs justice and thwarts law enforcement.

Continuing to give credulity to this nonsense makes a mockery of our legal system.

Other ways in which this inquiry has paved the way is the shocking evidence revealed via public hearings throughout 2012, and the widespread media coverage of that evidence.

This factor is vitally important, as many in the wider public do not have the advantage we survivors enjoy, of knowing just how bad the situation truly is, just how evil and cruel these self serving officials are, and just how desperately significant change is needed. Every incident of media coverage increases public understanding and reduces the chances of the church hierarchy being successful in any future attempts to sweep this under the carpet yet again and carry on with their crimes as usual.

Most significantly, this inquiry provided an opportunity for senior Victorian police to officially stop protecting church officials from the truth, and start telling it like it really is. The results were explosive.

Unfortunately from the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry evidence, it would seem some senior NSW police are still being pulled in two different directions between telling the truth and religious affiliation. Or should I say intimidation?

The evidence revealed in the Victorian public hearings is enormously beneficial to survivors. It is also traumatic and triggering, but hearing the truth told and listened to and believed in public, in a formal, official setting, for the very first time, can help to heal the immense additional damage inflicted by mistreatment at the hands of officials concerned only with covering up.

It can inspire victims to become survivors. To ask for help.  To tell their own stories. And to seek justice and healing.

Hearing church officials being asked hard questions about their actions by an official inquiry for the very first time is also something this inquiry has offered to survivors throughout Australia. This inquiry did not ask enough questions, did not cover enough details, and did not go deep enough, very far from it, but it did put the entitled princes of the church under the spotlight and hold them accountable for a few hours.

For that we are very grateful.

We look to the Royal Commission to finish the job. No matter how large.

Many survivors did not manage to write a submission or front a public hearing in the totally inadequate time allowed, so their evidence was not heard or taken into account. Hopefully in the meantime they have found the strength and the support to contact the Royal Commission and have their say that way.

The flaws identified in the Victorian Inquiry’s Terms of Reference resulted in pretty much what was expected. An inquiry that was too short, too shallow and didn’t get the full job done. Thankfully we now have the Royal Commission to fill those gaps. And in the meantime, with the help of this inquiry, the Australian public, Australian media and Australian politicians have moved some distance from the appalling neglect, cowardice and complacency which allowed these atrocities to flourish unchecked for so long.

One delightful aspect of this inquiry has been to see a group of somewhat inexperienced, and certainly inexpert politicians on the Family and Community Development Committee grow into the role suddenly foisted upon them. They rose to the task without exception and now are finished the immeasurably difficult job of drafting recommendations.

In many ways, knowing what is needed is brutally simple.

Protect children, not criminals

Support victims, not criminals

Hold the criminals accountable, don’t cover up their crimes

Prevent the criminals from continuing to commit these crimes, don’t give them the perfect conditions in which to reoffend

Such simple, obvious concepts. That tragically, appallingly, have never, ever been implemented in this country. Certainly not in the catholic church, and not elsewhere.

Our children deserve this at the very least.

But ensuring workable recommendations that will actually be implemented is horribly complicated.

Hopefully this will be seen as an opportunity to trial some innovative recovery and support strategies, such as the excellent and very practical proposal developed by survivors in Ballarat.

My advice to the Committee, were they to seek it.

Aim high.

Don’t limit yourselves.

Make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Honour the suffering of all the victims, particularly those precious and far too short lives lost to suicide.

And do everything possible to prevent any more innocents from being added to our number.

The report of the Parliamentary Inquiry is expected to be released on Wednesday morning.

However, the Committee can only make recommendations to the Victorian parliament, for implementation in Victoria. And the implementation of those recommendations will be dependent on support from political parties who until now have shown themselves to be more interested in religious voting blocs and the influence of church leaders than what is best for our children.

Some religious apologists will criticise any recommended actions to protect children. They will argue unfair treatment, violation of religious freedom (do they really want to admit their religious practice requires the rape of little children?) and a range of conspiracy theories.

Officials, if they have any sense, will not argue, at least not in public. Ferocious behind the scenes lobbying and threats will however attempt to remove, water down, delay or otherwise render ineffective any recommendations.

The response to these recommendations will be a test of the integrity of church officials and politicians alike.

Will they serve the best interests of society, and demonstrate they deserve their positions of authority?

Or will their response merely be self serving?

Stay safe everyone.

VV

Why Aren’t We More Outraged by This Corruption?

Last month it was revealed Catholic church officials were less than honest with police in NSW about the crimes of their carefully protected child sex offender colleagues and friends.

Many would say, so what’s new?

What was new was the release under Freedom of Information of documents requested by David Shoebridge, MLC. These damning documents demonstrate how the Catholic Mafia in the NSW police, a group many of the witnesses before the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry swear do not exist, were helping this coverup in an official capacity.

The non existent mafiosi went so far as to promote the drafting of a document, a Memorandum of Understanding between NSW Police and church officials, which contained a clause stating that the church would, could and should hide crucial evidence from police unless ordered to hand it over by a court.

“Church authorities shall make available the report of an assessment and any other matter relevant to the accused’s account of events only if required to do so by court order.”

Other troublesome clauses effectively give veto over the release of evidence to the police to – can you believe it – the offenders themselves! Or to other parties who commonly experience threats or pressure from church officials not to be honest with police.

Why any police force would draft such clauses undermining our laws and the rights of abused children to access justice simply beggars belief.

But in the hands of the catholic church, with a well documented history of officials taking any such concession and then exploiting it to a ludicrous degree in their efforts to cover up crimes and bury scandal, such a clause is akin to carte blanche for any and all breaches of laws against the cover up of serious crimes.

Surely the NSW public believes and expects that institutions such as the catholic church should obey the laws of NSW, the same as anyone else.  Any document of this nature is clearly an attempt to avoid doing just that. Or to give official support to a long standing corrupt practice.

Thankfully someone in the police force stopped this farce before it became a tragedy.  The document was never signed. And never came into force.

Not that it could, because it is illegal.

In addition to criminally stupid and horrifyingly immoral.

Such an agreement contravenes Section 316 of the Crimes Act.

Of course, survivors and those who work in this area know that consistent Catholic church practice (though church officials will never admit it is policy) is to breach Section 316 of the Crimes Act in every possible way in cases of child sexual assault and other serious crimes.

That is certainly what happened in my case.

But the NSW police refuse to investigate this additional crime, for which there is clear evidence.  And in their 18 months of investigation of the many, many sexual offences against me, they never managed to obtain copies of incriminating documents, whose existence I only learned about afterwards.

So this announcement has added poignancy to me, as it brings me back to the heart-wrenchingly hard task of trying to survive my brutal denial of justice.

It makes me rethink the whole episode.

It was not just a lack of support from senior police for the efforts of my excellent detective. It was not just the absolute obstruction of the police investigation by church officials. It was not just bureaucratic incompetence at pursuing relevant documents. It was not just witnesses and potential whistleblowers intimidated about the personal consequences of revealing the truth. It was not just a lack of cohones from the Director of Public Prosecutions and the truly appalling DPP solicitor ‘managing’ my case. It was not just an ineffective, antiquated, heavily biased and totally inappropriate legal structure for dealing with these cases.

It was all those things.

But it was also corruption.

The mere existence of such an official document is evidence of corruption.

The fact it was never signed is largely irrelevant.

Someone, and the question needs to be asked, who, in the NSW Police force worked on this document with the intention it become policy.

Having read the entire document, there is an approach, a use of language and expressions that lead me to conclude the document was drafted, and I assume initiated, by church officials, not police officials.

That a self serving and corrupt criminal institution should attempt to dictate police policy should raise red flags all over town.

Many of the clauses actually talk about church officials co-operating with legal requirements to report these matters to police and also co-operating with police investigations. Unfortunately church officials do not actually comply with these clauses.  I believe them to be window dressing or a distraction from the illegal clause hiding amongst them and now revealed by David Shoebridge.

What is the reaction of church officials to the public exposure of this secret policy document?

Did they abhor the illegality of its purpose and proposed actions?

Did they deny knowledge of such an evil plot?

Did they claim to be “doing so much better these days” ?

No, they admitted they used (and still use?) this clause as a reason and excuse for their own illegal behaviour. As if somehow, by its very existence, it was able to override the law and make their illegal behaviour magically not illegal.

Could they really be stupid enough to see this MoU as a “Get Out of Jail Free Card”?

“But Your Honour the corrupt police officer working under the Cardinal’s/Bishop’s instructions said it was okay to do it that way, so you really can’t blame me, can you?”

There was certainly no mention of why this detail had so far been kept secret from all official inquiries. You know, the official inquiries they fought so hard to prevent, but now claim to support. Is this ongoing secrecy about corrupt practices their idea of how to be open and transparent and co-operate fully?

This matter must be investigated thoroughly by the Royal Commission. This matter by itself should be enough to trigger a Royal Commission, if we did not already have one.

I wonder if NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell is as keen to investigate this evidence as he was to undermine the claims of Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox about NSW police not fully investigating catholic child sexual assault cases?

Somehow I doubt he will announce another NSW Special Commission of Inquiry.

We should also be asking about the existence of similar illegal arrangements in other Australian states, especially those states whose police forces have been most tightly controlled by the catholic mafia.

But the question I really want to ask is why are the media, politicians and the public not more outraged by this blatant corruption of our police force by a wealthy religious institution engaged in widespread criminality?

This is not the sort of thing that should ever happen in the Australia I want to live in or raise my kids in.

This is the sort of real issue we should be basing our electoral decisions on, rather than the manufactured question of who is prepared to act most inhumanely to stop the boats, re-abuse refugees and impress the xenophobes.

Stay safe everyone.

VV

Read the MoU

Sincere thanks must go to NSW MLC David Shoebridge for obtaining and revealing this crucial document, as he has done with so many others.

While the issue of child protection and justice for victims must always remain outside of party politics, David deserves all credit for being one of only a handful of Australian politicians who have truly fought for the rights of abused children. Unlike so many politicians and others who, when the Royal Commission was announced last year, suddenly took undeserved credit for supporting our efforts while forgetting their own many years of obstructing our pleas for justice, David has long put in tremendous effort, and taken much flak, on behalf of victims.

A Tale of Three Australian Inquiries – Part 1: The NSW “Special” Commission of Inquiry

Hartigan can't recallmalone can't recalllucas can't recalllonergan hasn't asked a question

Everyone supporting survivors in Australia seems to have been suffering from constant exhaustion for the last few months, trying to keep up with three different inquiries and numerous media issues.

They do say to be careful what you wish for. Every time we are tempted not to bother dragging ourselves out to attend hearings, provide input, support survivors or front the media, all we have to do is remember how hard it was to bring this issue to public and media attention, and how important it is we not waste these once in a lifetime opportunities to reveal the truth and achieve lasting law reform.

There will be time to rest, time to cry, time to spend time on recovery, and time to blog regularly once the hard work is done.

For those not able to attend the many inquiries currently under way, let me give you a brief taste of their work. These are personal opinions based on what I have seen personally, which may or may not represent the full picture.

Inquiry No 1 – The NSW “Special” Commission of Inquiry

Following the stunning accusations made late last year by Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox, no one actually wanted or asked for a narrow political inquiry designed to protect the reputation of the NSW Government and senior police.

Yet such a beast was imposed on us by Premier Barry O’Farrell within days of Peter Fox’s open letter to the Premier and his subsequent television interviews.

When it was followed just days later by Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s historic announcement of a national Royal Commission, Barry O’Farrell was presented with an ideal opportunity to fold his “Special” Commission into the real thing, the Royal Commission.

Unusually, a state Premier didn’t avail himself of an opportunity to let the Federal Government pick up the tab, and proceeded with this expensive exercise in punishing a courageous whistleblower.

It is hard to tell whether Commissioner Margaret Cuneen SC has been ordered to deliver something other than the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, or whether she has simply been given a poisoned chalice by the Catholic Premier and Attorney General.

Certainly the misogyny of the male dominated legal profession towards female lawyers in general, and this crown prosecutor in particular is no secret. Smug male lawyers and politicians are most likely snickering over Margaret’s predicament right now.

In public hearings Ms Cuneen’s role has been more of a referee than a driving force, though behind the scenes this may be different.

But there was a hand directing what evidence was examined and what questions were asked, and that hand steered the heavy machinery of the “Special” Commission, at least in the first term of reference, firmly in the direction of mowing down Peter Fox and avoiding everyone else.

The question is, whose hand?

Who instructed Ms Lonergan to examine in microscopic detail any evidence which could be used to discredit Peter Fox? Who told her to spend days making accusation after accusation of vague wrongdoing, whether or not supported by the facts or Peter’s answers to her questions? Who told her to do such a good job of taking over the role of the defence barristers and undermining Peter and his evidence in every possible way.

I was in court when she finally finished questioning Peter for the first time and said to myself, “surely the defence barristers will have nothing to do now that she has already done their job for them?”.

I was wrong.

The wolves actually scuffled to see who could take first nip at Peter’s flesh. The vicious animals were unleashed to maul the man standing bound hand and foot before them.

Ms Lonergan had at least couched her endless litany of repeated insinuations and accusations in a professional and respectful manner.

The legal thugs paid by NSW police and church officials to land as many body blows as possible had no such compunction. Their manner was so aggressive, so offensive and so abusive that Ms Cuneen intervened, more than once.

The worst offender? Counsel for the victim hating General Secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishop’s Conference. This barrister was eventually dismissed when it was realised his attacks had zero relevance to his client and were nothing but courtroom antics and particularly ugly intimidation.

No doubt the defence counsel were eager to show their clients some result for their exhorbitant daily fees. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, when such disgraceful behaviour is allowed in a court supposed to be delivering justice.

Just because it is accepted practice doesn’t make it right. And it is so far from appropriate behaviour towards victims, that I sat in the public gallery in horror at the prospect that victims may be subjected to this blood sport.

Thankfully the “Special” Commission protected other witnesses, including victims, from this legal bullying.

But not Peter. For despite his heroic strength, his smiles and quips, his refusal to be beaten down, and his stoic endurance under terrible pressure, there was an horrific price to pay for the crime of speaking out for abused children, and against the criminal coverup of the crimes against us.

Peter and his family have paid that price every day since his letter to the Premier. But the price was particularly heavy in the Newcastle Supreme Court under Premier Barry O’Farrell’s “Special” Commission of Inquiry.

The “Special” Inquiry’s second term of reference focussed on the role of church officials, and hearings into this issue were held separately, after a short break. I’m so glad that, when drafting the terms of reference, someone remembered that an inquiry into the cover up of crimes within the catholic church should, at least for the sake of appearances, ask a few questions of church officials.

Those few questions were asked gently, and with obsequious respect for the greedily claimed but undeserved dignity of their religious roles.

Survivors in the public gallery were even more distressed by this Special treatment from the Special Inquiry, than they were by the brutality unleashed on Peter Fox. Or perhaps it was the comparison, the double standard, the hypocrisy, and the continuation of years of giving criminals in drag a free pass from legal responsibility for their actions, that hurt so much.

It is possible Counsel Assisting Julia Lonergan SC was attempting to catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.  These entitled princes of the Church of Child Rape do not even deign to pretend to co-operate with anyone rude enough to ask them a direct question. But they will chat familiarly with someone who goes along with their little charade and acts as if they are, by virtue of their self appointed titles, incapable of wrongdoing.

And this is when they unconsciously reveal the twisted thinking behind their inhumanity.

Lowlights of the weeks of evidence from church officials include the mysterious virus that conveniently robbed so many of them of memory of anything even vaguely incriminating.

Not all memory, just any memory that got a little too close to the uncomfortable truth. This virus has similarly affected church officials in other countries whenever anyone has tried to hold them accountable for their actions.

Even Julia Lonergan SC found the frequency of the answer “I don’t recall” to “beggar belief”.

Bishop Michael Malone’s distaste for looking at sex abuse files failed to generate the desired sympathy from those forced against their will to endure the far more distasteful sexual assaults from his carefully protected predator colleagues.

But Father Harrigan got plenty of sympathy, and a week to recover, from Commissioner Cuneen after the horror of having survivors and supporters sedately express a fraction of their disgust for the crimes of the clergy. In return, said sedate protestors were threatened with contempt of the Commission. Even that rebuke was more than the child rapists ever faced.

The excuse of blaming dead people, so favoured by Archbishop Dennis Hart and Cardinal Big George Pell, and many others, didn’t wash here since documentary evidence to the contrary was right in front of them.

Instead the vile Father Brian Lucas resorted to the ridiculous claim to be acting in victims’ best interests in covering up our abuse. In my personal experience, echoed by so many others, the only way this vicious church enforcer would like to help us, is into an early grave.

Much of the church evidence was held in camera, away from public view and the media. Purportedly because of the possibility of criminal charges.

Frankly, in my layman’s view, even much of the evidence in public hearings justified the laying of charges for misprision of felony or covering up serious crimes.

Will this Special Inquiry break with the long held tradition to ignore, dismiss, or fail to follow up on crimes by Catholic clergy, particularly the cover up of child sex crimes, and particularly those committed by senior church officials?

Experience would suggest it will not, but I would welcome being proved wrong on this.

And I am prepared to protest loud and long in front of NSW Parliament House if the evidence of a long term systemic criminal conspiracy to cover up ongoing child sex crimes is not passed to NSW police to investigate.

The Commission is now finished its public hearings and we can do nothing but wait for the report due on September 30.

Nothing except perhaps to demand of the staunchly Catholic NSW Attorney General an explanation why the brief of evidence delivered to him by Strike Force Lantle stills sits on his desk and has not been approved for the recommended charges to be laid against church officials.

The police finished their investigations by July 2012, and the DPP has been in possession of the brief of evidence at least since October 2012.

Is he looking for a good distraction, such as a Federal election, to bury the news that he refuses to proceed on this matter? Or if he intends to allow the law to operate without political interference, why has he not done so before now?

Stay safe everyone.

VV

Julia Gillard’s legacy lives on in historic Royal Commission

Many victims of child sexual abuse are mourning Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s overnight defeat at the hands of the smirking, conniving, grey haired boys club. I suspect she knew all along her time at the top would be short and that she had a limited opportunity to achieve real change before she would be taken down for the crime of being a successful, assertive woman.

Unlike many of our underachieving politicians, Julia did not waste her time in power. She made a genuine, positive difference to so many people’s lives and to our nation’s progress towards being a humane society.

The people she aided were not the ones who would help fund a privileged retirement from politics. Rejecting self interest for social justice, Julia Gillard stood up for the rights of the abused, the neglected, and the deserving. And she did it with grace, with conviction and with calm determination.

It is undeniable Julia is no unblemished model of perfection. Unfortunately Australian politics is a dirty business and the route to the top invariably involves getting excrement on your hands. But instead of burying her face in the trough once there, Julia wiped her hands, rolled up her sleeves and got down to the business of being a true leader.

Blokey, misogynist Australia will never forgive her for that. For showing up their childish, self serving antics as not inevitable, but simply not good enough.

Julia made mistakes aplenty too. An example is her refusal to support heroic Australian citizen Julian Assange and protect him from bullying and possibly murder by the thugs of the US administration. I can only imagine what pressure was brought to bear to obtain such a betrayal.

But when she got it right, Julia got it so very, very right.

She is the only world leader in history to truly stand up to the might of the oppressively powerful Catholic Church hierarchy and insist they be held accountable, nationally, for their crimes.

Even the International Criminal Court in The Hague last week baulked at such a task, and indeed, dodged the responsibility, leaving Julia, and, hopefully, other world leaders who may follow her example, to stand up for the rights of abused children.

This is not her only such achievement, but for me, it is the one that makes so much difference.

I had the privilege to meet Julia at Kirribilli House in January, and discuss one on one her intentions for the Royal Commission. I saw a genuine desire to right this grave wrong, to uncover the truth, and to deliver some justice to those denied it so cruelly.

I have also seen first hand the workings of this Royal Commission, and met with those entrusted with this difficult and delicate task, and have full confidence this legacy has been left in good hands. There will be many who attempt to undermine the intentions of the Royal Commission, but I believe those at the very top are smart enough, talented enough, determined enough and empowered enough to get to enough of the truth that child rapists in priests clothing will never again feel so completely protected from Australian law as they have until now.

What does the future hold for the Royal Commission and those affected by its work? Will Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott gut the Royal Commission or hobble its ability to undertake this vital investigation?

If they attempt to do so they can be sure survivors and the media will be watching closely. And if we do see corrupt attempts to once again protect powerful criminals and once again betray Australia’s children we will certainly not sit back and let it happen. We will not be silenced. We will never again be voiceless victims.

Stay safe everyone.

VV

Child Rape, Truth and Politics

Regular readers will know Voiceless Victim was chosen to represent victims at a morning tea with the Australian Prime Minster, Julia Gillard, at her gorgeous official Sydney residence, Kirribilli House, the day after the announcement of the terms of reference for our long awaited Royal Commission.

Since you could not all be there, the least I can do is share with you what I learned, and what I experienced.

We gathered at a nearby hotel to fill in consent forms and wait till the official party were ready to receive us.

Here was my first and only disappointment of this momentous day.

Some of those who most deserved to be there were not invited.

The list of those who should have been there is very long. I understand they could not invite everyone. But not inviting Chrissie and Anthony Foster, and their two surviving daughters Katie and Aimee, shows that those putting together the invitation list still have a lot to learn about who are the real contributors to this issue.

Some were invited who had no right to be there, who have worked in this area, but whose actions actively harm victims, and whose motives are less than pure. These self serving vultures were preening themselves smugly at being included in “the few” and sneering at “the many” who did not make the cut. Their salivating at the prospect of influence, media attention and generous funding to come their way was nauseating.

I have heard much about such opportunistic frauds and the harm they have done in Ireland from the amazing Irish defender of victims’ rights, Hanora Brennan.

It is very sad to see them rear their ugly heads in Australia even before our hard won Royal Commission has begun. But it is inevitable.

We must accept such creatures will appear, no matter what we do, and should we slay the current dragons they would simply make way for more of the same, inevitably attracted to the government gravy on offer, pushing the needs of victims aside in their desperate scramble to fill the gaping emotional holes in themselves.

But genuine victims and those genuinely working to help victims can take action to keep the focus on the needs of victims. I will address this topic specifically in a future post.

Back at Kirribilli House we were joined by representatives of the Forgotten Australians and the Stolen Generations. It was interesting to note that while some of us discussed our hopes for the success of the Royal Commission, Aboriginal representatives were slow to hope and wary of trusting government promises.

I don’t blame them.

Whatever we have suffered, they have suffered ten times worse. However much we have been lied to and betrayed by those in power, they have endured ten times the lies and betrayals. We must all remember they are our brothers and sisters in suffering, and especially deserving of truth, justice and healing. The real stuff, not the Catholic smokescreen, PR stunt, meaningless words with no action type.

After a security check we lined up to do the official greeting with Julia Gillard, and Jenny Macklin, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. We shook hands first with Jenny, then if she knew us she introduced us to Julia, or if she didn’t, we introduced ourselves.

Say your name, smile, shake hands, move on for the next person to take your place. Simple.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get my name out. I burst into tears, right in front of the waiting, and now delighted, media.

As I struggled to compose myself enough to croak out my name, I could see the media trying not to celebrate too obviously at the prospect of a “crying victim” shot with Julia.

Julia was gracious, patient and understanding.

I’m not sure if she could hear my name, but I think she heard the “thank you” that followed it.

I have done enough healing not to beat myself up about bursting into tears on meeting the Prime Minister. Or to let the prospect of photos of my distress being splattered around the media disturb me. I can shut those unhelpful emotions out.

What overwhelmed me was that after decades of our abuse being allowed to continue unhindered by those supposed to protect little children, and ignored by the whole country, suddenly the most powerful politician in Australia was putting investigating and taking action to stop the crimes against us right at the top of our national priorities, where it belongs.

As I explained when I emerged into the stunning harbourside gardens, they were good tears. Good because finally we were going to get the help we had always deserved. But being treated well upsets me. Never having experienced it, I don’t know how to handle it. I can handle being abused, dismissed, ignored, or treated as worthless, insignificant, beneath notice or a liar.

But to be treated as an innocent grievously harmed by cunning criminals, worthy of an investigation of the truth, of healing and of law reform to prevent similar crimes – well, like all of us, that is something I have been ruthlessly denied.

Something the Catholic church works tirelessly to prevent happening.

Something I find overwhelming.

It is something we are all going to have to get used to in 2013.

Julia spoke briefly to us as a group. She spoke without notes and her staff informed me it was unscripted, and her own words.

It was compassionate and well considered like her two terrific speeches to announce the Royal Commission itself and its Terms of Reference.

I spoke to many of the staffers and advisers surrounding Julia and Jenny and found them as a group to be enthusiastic and knowledgeable about this issue, with a genuine commitment to delivering justice to victims and implementing real changes.

Jenny Macklin has a solid background of working in this area and was greeted with delight as an old friend by many of the Forgotten Australians and Stolen Australians. That is very encouraging.

I spoke to our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, one on one for some minutes, and spoke at length to her staffers. As far as is possible to gauge from such a short acquaintance, I feel confident Julia has a genuine commitment to and understanding of this issue, not just a political commitment.

I don’t have a lot of respect for politicians as a breed and politics as a whole. It attracts so many self seekers and influence peddlars, so many whose opinions and morals (or lack of them) are for sale that most aspirants with a genuine desire to improve our society fall away in disgust at what a dirty, filthy game it is, or are punished for not playing power games well enough.

But in recent months Julia has been starting to earn my respect. She gave the smirking royalist former seminarian mysogynist Tony (some of my best friends are women) Abbott what for and gave all Australian women hope that we can change the blokey, jokey, don’t get your knickers in a twist, vicious mysogyny that infects our culture.

Julia has also taken action on climate change, on making greedy mining companies contribute rather than just steal, on care of our disabled, on mental health and so many other issues. I don’t agree with everything she has done, and her tenuous hold on power means compromise, serious compromise is inevitable.

But unlike many of her predecessors and her opponent in this years’ election, she has tried to to take on important issues. Issues that could make this country a great place to raise children. Issues that are deserving of attention, not just attractive to voters.

One of the issues I raised with Julia at the morning tea was the need to overcome legal professional privilege, as this is one of the most likely scams catholic officials will use to hide the truth from the Royal Commission. Along with shredding documents and sending them to the Vatican.

Julia assured me that despite the ability to overcome legal professional privilege not being conferred automatically by the Royal Commissions Act, this Royal Commission would be able to use such power, if the Commissioners ask for it.

We need to ensure the Commissioners ask for this power, and for many other things.

Because the Royal Commission is now out of the hands of the politicians. I feel comfortable that the politicians, led by Julia Gillard, have done the best possible job under the circumstances.

Who would have thought that in the space of a few months we would have been given the Royal Commission we were told so many times would never happen, and it has been established as a genuine attempt to succeed in its stated aims.

But in this it is almost unique.

We are accustomed to those inquiries that are allowed to proceed suffering in their ability to uncover the truth as a result of the corrupt influence of catholic church officials and other powerful protectors of those who prey on children.

This is the first such inquiry not designed from the beginning to fail.

But it still can fail.

The Commissioners are now the ones who can deliver us justice or prevent its delivery.

It is up to all of us who have knowledge and experience of these terrible crimes to help them and to advise them in the delivery of truth, justice and healing, and the fight against the vested interests who will use all their wealth, power and influence to hide the truth, evade justice and deny us healing.

But even if the corrupt and the guilty snatch the truth from us, and the self serving steal the assistance meant for victims, they can never take away the fact that we were here.

A Royal Commission, a genuine desire for change, and victims honoured guests of the Prime Minister.

We have already, all of us, achieved great things, and we should all smile to ourselves and think, “They tried to stop this ever happening, and they failed.”

Stay safe everyone.

VV

Voiceless Victim Invited to Tea with the Prime Minister

Who would have imagined as little as twelve months ago, that Australian victims would be about to start work on their submissions to the Royal Commission into institutional child sex abuse we were told so many times would never happen.

And that we would be generally pretty happy with its newly announced Terms of Reference and Commissioners.

And that Australian child sexual abuse victims, heartlessly excluded from the 2008 papal apology in Sydney that was supposedly addressed to us and for our benefit, would be the guests of honour at a morning tea with the Prime Minister.

That, dear friends, is the surreal situation we will find ourselves in tomorrow at Kirribilli House, Sydney.

The cuppa and bikkies we consume tomorrow will not just fill the bellies of the representative few.

They will fill the hearts of all victims with a hitherto foreign emotion.

It is called hope.

We know Julia is using us for a photo opp.

We know there is a healthy dose of political expediency in her announcement.

But at the end of the day, this gutsy woman, Julia Gillard, was the first Prime Minister in Australian history to make the call to a Cardinal Prince of the church and tell him “You’re not going to like this mate, but I’m doing it anyway.”

I will carry all of you with me in my heart tomorrow.

You will all be there, where you deserve to be.

Guests of honour, invited by the Prime Minister.

No longer neglected.

No longer abandoned.

No longer voiceless.

Fire’s Too Good for These Devils

As much of Australia prepares to face catastrophic bush fire conditions today, I hope everyone is safe from fires and comes through unscathed.

That even includes the church’s carefully protected child rapists and those who sacrifice additional children to cover up their crimes.

Fire is too good for these devils.

I want them to make it to the Royal Commission and to face the music, and their own responsibility, for their, until now, hidden actions.

I also hope the imminent announcement of the terms of reference for the Royal Commission and the all important names of the Commissioners are not announced today.

Because if they are announced on a day when everyone is so preoccupied, and many are still on summer holidays, it can only be bad news.

It can only mean there is something in the announcement that needs to be buried under other issues on a busy news day.

An announcement today will mean those who benefit from the coverup have managed to subvert the search for truth before it even begins.

Stay extra safe today everyone. And if possible on such a scorcher, stay cool as well.

VV

Pope’s butler faces jail, unlike rapists and their protectors

In yet a further example of pernicious Vatican hypocrisy, the Pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, faces trial and very likely jail for the crime of revealing the truth about the corruption and infighting endemic amongst the ‘holy’ men who inhabit the Vatican.

It is indeed encouraging to know that the Vatican is capable of arresting, imprisoning, and convicting wrong doers.

Unfortunately, in the upside down world of Vatican morals, truth is considered a crime, while those who rape, or enable and cover-up the rape of little children, are protected and rewarded.

There are plenty of criminals hiding out in the Vatican who should be occupying a cell rather than a palace.

Such as Cardinal Bernard Law, described by the 2003 Report of the Office of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts into the Sexual Abuse of Children in Law’s former Archdiocese of Boston as bearing ultimate responsibility for an institutional acceptance of the criminal sexual abuse of children and a massive and pervasive failure of leadership, and for placing huge numbers of children at obvious and known risk of sexual assault. Which did indeed result in the rape of innocent children on a truly horrific scale.

For his crimes, instead of jail and a trial like Gabriele, Law has been offered a safe refuge from justice, and been accorded positions of enormous power and respect. And, on his 80th birthday, Law was publicly feted at great expense and treated as a hero and inspiration to all.

We can only hope such rewards do not encourage too many to follow in his insidious footsteps.

If the Vatican insists on behaving like an outlaw state, harbouring fugitives from international justice and obstructing the lawful operation of local law enforcement in sovereign countries throughout the world, can we at least be honest enough to treat it like one.

Paolo Gabriele was trying to expose the criminality, the twisted immorality, the lies and hypocrisy of a obsessively secretive institution that aims to control the world, commands that you believe every word they utter without a shred of proof, and insists they are infallible, despite the sheer impossibility of the concept itself, and the mountains of evidence to the contrary.

He was trying to expose the fact that many church leaders are supremely evil men posing as godlike beings. That they are allergic to honesty. That they function through coercion, manipulation of the gullible, the trading of influence and wealth, and unending deceit.

We should not kiss the rings of the Princes of the church, and grovellingly hand over tax breaks, inequitable political influence, undeserved respect and a free pass to commit crimes against humanity.

We should not surrender our hearts and our brains every time they open their mouths.

Not if we, and our children, want to consider ourselves free and independent.