Voiceless Victim

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

Category Archives: suicide as a result of child sexual abuse

Who is Looking After the Children? Certainly Not the Catholic Church.

Crack paedophile protection team on the job

Crack paedophile protection team on the job

When a normal human being looks at a child they see a fellow human being. A human being who is tiny, innocent, vulnerable, loveable and full of potential. One who deserves our utmost efforts to protect them from harm.

When a narcissist looks at a child they see an object who is easier than most to manipulate into giving them whatever they want. The child is nothing to them but a tool to use to obtain their desired objective.

When a sociopath looks at a child they see an easy mark, one they can dominate much easier than most adults, and one they can train to bend to their will. The child is nothing to them but a target they can derive pleasure or power from, through subjugating and harming the child.

Those who rape children are usually narcissists, sociopaths, or both.

They look at a child and see an object for sexual release, or someone they can enjoy harming through forcing them to submit to abhorrent sexual acts against their will.

Those who sexually abuse children do so because:

  1. They believe they are entitled to sexually prey upon the vulnerable, and that any child who cannot defend themselves or is not protected by the adults around them is fair game
  2. They believe they can get away with it

Religious institutions both produce and attract so many child rapists because of the existence of four crucial conditions conducive to the sexual exploitation of children. These are highly exaggerated entitlement, imbalance of power, sexual dysfunction and lack of accountability.

The catholic church in particular has a problem with its priests raping children in large numbers, in every country where it has a presence. Though catholic officials, dissociated from both reality and humanity, see the problem as one of the victims selfishly and unfairly reporting the crimes committed against them.

Catholic religious, and priests in particular, are trained to believe they are special, above lay persons or normal human beings, and are entitled to special treatment. Many readily accept the proposition that they are more holy, purely by virtue of their position, and therefore far more deserving than ordinary mortals.

As their entitlement grows, so the relative entitlement of lay persons is diminished, particularly low status lay persons such as women, children, the disadvantaged and the disabled.

In dysfunctional individuals this robs any such people they come across of even the core right to refuse an entitled cleric sexual access to their bodies.

This distorted entitlement is dangerous enough by itself. When matched with the ultimate unquestionable, godlike authority demanded for catholic priests by the catholic hierarchy, it becomes doubly dangerous.

But even a highly entitled individual in a position of overwhelming power over children does not automatically desire to rape them. Normal, healthy human sexual development generally results in adults looking for consensual sexual relations with other adults. But no catholic priest is offered the opportunity for normal healthy human sexual development, unless they come to the priesthood as an already normal adult.

Most of the rapist priests causing recent or current problems were not given a choice in the decision to become a priest, whether by compulsion or extraordinary family pressure. Many were locked away in a dysfunctional, often abusive seminary system, some as as young as 11 or 12, well before they were capable of making a lifetime decision about the priesthood and its requirement for celibacy. Most were deliberately denied the support of their families throughout their formative years to ensure their dependence on the church alone.

They were shut away from female company, and as the Royal Commission hearings revealed in December, the entire teachings on sexuality amounted in many cases to “Don’t”.

Many were brutalised, bullied, manipulated and abused, including sexually. Some seminaries operated in such a way that new recruits were simply pounced upon by sexual predators the minute the door shut behind them.

Is it any wonder then that research reveals the majority of priests are psychosexually immature, and a large proportion are sexually dysfunctional?

But even this does not make them child rapists.

Even if these entitled, powerful, sexually dysfunctional individuals existed in an otherwise just or humane environment, child rape would not flourish to reach the epidemic proportions seen in the catholic church.

Unfortunately the catholic church supports and protects the rapists and punishes and undermines their victims. This happens on such a scale that the rapists know without a doubt that the church will ensure they not only get away with their crimes, but are also helped to continue them.

In fact many come to believe they are not just entitled to rape whomever they please, but also entitled to escape responsibility for their crimes.

The catholic church, like the rapists themselves, views children with the eyes of a narcissist.

Children are not considered precious or valuable by the catholic church. They are not vulnerable or deserving of protection. To the callous hierarchs they are either unimportant, beneath notice, sexual prey or collateral damage.

Of course church officials know they need to make occasional deceptive statements about loving and valuing children, if they are not to lose most of their flock. But if children were truly valued in any way, the way human beings value children, the church would surely have acted to protect these innocents from the very real and very well known and understood danger of being raped by entitled clerics.

Much more precious to the narcissist church is la bella figura or pleasing façade. This façade is crucial to the hierarchy’s continued ability to operate profitable tax free commercial enterprises, receive generous government funding, and dictate government policy around the world.

For centuries the catholic hierarchy have been able to behave like criminals and be honoured as saints. This is achieved by maintaining a fanatical obsession with supporting the lie that the church does good works and all priests and religious are holy.

Properly protecting children from rape by priests necessarily involves admitting that priests rape children. Admitting that priests rape children is a far worse outcome in the opinion of the catholic hierarchy than even hundreds of thousands of children being raped.

But why?

Because the catholic system of brainwashing from childhood, controlling throughout their lifetime, and profiting from the billions of lay catholics could not continue without the widely held belief in the holiness and superiority of the poorly paid, often severely dysfunctional priests who shore up the hierarchy’s lives of power and luxury.

This fantasy of specialness, otherworldliness, sacrifice and nobility is supported by the fallacy of clerical celibacy.

Universal mandatory celibacy is unique to the catholic church. It plays an important role in the incidence of child rape in this institution, though it is not a “cause” of child rape.

The cause of child rape is the belief that it is acceptable to rape children, a positive assessment of the relative risk of such behavior, and the decision to act accordingly.

Celibacy in the catholic church is not widely observed. Experts estimate as many as 50% of clerics are not celibate at any time. The number who have never broken their vow of celibacy must indeed be small.

Whether or not a priest is celibate is, frankly, a private matter. But the catholic church has chosen to deceitfully promote their clerics as non sexual, and therefore not just holy but unquestionably safe around children.

Because of this public appearance of celibacy, any sexual liaison by a priest is, at least within the catholic church, illicit, and must remain hidden from general view.

A secret homosexual affair is normal and hardly frowned upon, especially if kept in house, for example with another priest.

Preying upon barely adult vulnerable girls who can be manipulated to blame themselves for the liaison, and can be controlled and exploited for sex without scandal, often for decades, is also common. It is also rape, by the way.

Child rape is common amongst the more disturbed and sexually predatory because children are unlikely to speak out for decades, and even if they do, are unlikely to be believed. Children, because of their size and development, can be easier to dominate and control than fully grown adults, who may be able to resist physically or have an adult understanding of their rights. Children are also easier to frighten into silence and to convince to blame themselves for the priests’ crimes.

Not only are the child rapists more dysfunctional than those raping adults of either sex, they also tend to be more prolific. Adult-oriented predators may be satisfied with a single sexual partner for decades and may amass at most a handful of victims over a lifetime of abuse.

Child rapists by comparison tend much more to have multiple concurrent victims, such as my abuser. The worst cases can get their hands on thousands of primary victims, and destroy many entire communities. Some child rapists are not obsessed with a particular type of victim but rather the power over another. These predators will rape boys, girls and occasionally adults of either sex as well, depending upon opportunity.

Imagine the number of opportunities for being caught, either in the act or at least acting inappropriately, such as having a child overnight in their bedroom, that prolific predators present. How many lay catholics or other religious see things that should result in action to save a child from such a terrible fate, but do nothing?

How many bishops receive reports of such activities or complaints from victims or their families and do absolutely nothing?

The sexual predators see this, and they learn very quickly, that in the catholic church, almost no-one puts the safety of an unimportant child, or even thousands of children, above the reputation of a priest and the church itself. Certainly no-one in a position of power. Anyone in a position of power who tried to protect children rather than the church would not be in power for long.

And so child rape is considered by many priests a soft and relatively low risk option for their illicit sex. The church hierarchy’s lack of an effective response to these crimes solidifies the view that is it acceptable to rape children as long as scandal is avoided.

Interestingly, it is not the rape of thousands of innocent children that will bring to life the catholic church’s considerable ability to control and punish its priests, but something few outside the church would see as harmful.

Normal consensual relations with an adult woman is perhaps the most illicit sex of all for catholic priests. The most frowned upon by the catholic hierarchy.

Marry a woman you love and who loves you, and you will be thrown out of the church immediately in disgrace.

Rape thousands of children, ruin countless lives, including family members of the victims, and cause scores of suicide deaths, and you’ll probably be promoted and honoured as especially holy in life and in death.

You will certainly be forgiven, offered every possible assistance, and protected from publicity and law enforcement throughout your life.

This misuse of the concept of forgiveness by the catholic church is also crucial in exposing more children to rape by priests.

The catholic church, because of the strong desire to coverup these crimes to maintain la bella figura, defines them as mistakes, missteps, slips and unfortunate occurrences.

It readily forgives the rapist and tries to rob the victims of their right to decide whether to forgive, or even to complain. It bullies the families of victims to stay silent, pressuring them that it is unchristian to deny forgiveness, regardless of the fact the criminal has neither admitted his past offences or even stopped offending.

In recent years many documents have come to light revealing a long history of predilection for this appalling crime, detailed knowledge of its seriousness, and edicts outlawing it and recommending the most stringent possible punishments. Such efforts have either been temporary, ineffective or insincere as the problem has continued throughout church history.

Today’s church has turned its back on such attempts and chosen to allow, even positively enable, the rape of children.

More recent documents show an obsession with enforcing secrecy about these crimes, a declaration that something as inoffensive, some would say positive, as the ordination of women should be considered a crime of equal seriousness with child rape, plus official instructions to bishops not to co-operate with local law enforcement in these matters, and to punish victims for speaking out far more stringently than the offender is punished for raping children.

Faced finally with some of the truth of these crimes reaching the public, and no longer able to get away with the traditional approach of point blank denial, the church hierarchy now engage in a PR war to further harm victims and ensure child protection remains inadequate or non existent.

These particularly callous efforts meld insincere apologies, avoidance of responsibility, deflection of blame, focus on the church and its officials as victims not perpetrators, with vague promises that never result in any meaningful change, action or increase in child protection.

When under particular media pressure, church hierarchs will announce the formation of a review body, committee, council, or resource group, or commission research or issue guidelines.

Experience has shown these efforts are cynical, meaningless and possibly dangerous. Mendacious claims include: “we know much better now”; “things have changed”; “we are doing everything possible now”; “the church is the safest place for children”;  “we followed the advice of lawyers/psychologists”; or “we were no worse than society in general”.

Independent inquiries such as in Ireland and Philadelphia have revealed in detail that such claims are baseless, and not just the law but even their own woefully inadequate guidelines are today still not followed.

Many independent experts have resigned in disgust over bishops’ efforts to exert dictatorial control over and effectively hobble the operation of supposedly independent review bodies or research organisations, including members of the National and local Review Boards set up by the US Bishops’ Conference, and the German equivalent of the widely criticized John Jay Study.

German Bishops commissioned “independent research” yet expected to be able to manipulate the research and rewrite the report so that the results reflected their propaganda objectives, rather than the outcome of data analysis. The researchers resigned the commission last year, after first ensuring all other German researchers were aware of the deceitful tactics of the bishops and would not be similarly misled.

German Bishops pumped out industrial quantities of misinformation, refused to accept responsibility for their own actions, and falsely blamed others: the usual strategy when in danger of being seen for what they truly are.

The hierarchy of the catholic church demands respect for religious practices, tax breaks and unquestioned authority and trust when it suits them. But they also claim diplomatic immunity and other benefits as a nation state, even in instances when they are functioning as the headquarters of the criminal catholic church.

The Vatican is rapidly filling with fugitives from local law enforcement eager to benefit from claimed diplomatic immunity or the lack of extradition treaties with the country or countries where their crimes were committed. Many of these fugitives are under investigation for or already proven guilty of child rape or enabling and covering up child rape.

Yet the Vatican arrogantly informs the UN that as there are few children within its tiny borders (apart of course from child prostitutes temporarily shipped in to service the various lusts of these self declared celibates), therefore there are few child protection issues for the Vatican to address.

Thankfully, at the review of the Holy See’s compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 16 January in Geneva, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, whose purpose is to stand up for children’s rights everywhere, gave zero credence to Vatican attempts to yet again avoid responsibility for its steadfast refusal to protect the countless children deliberately and knowingly exposed to its rapists throughout the world.

The fact that this is a consistent worldwide problem is a result of the consistent worldwide practice of this church, as dictated from the Vatican.

As first world countries become more aware of the problem, instead of shuffling child rapists between parishes or states, the trend is now more frequently to shuffle the criminals between countries, and especially to developing nations, where victims are less likely to be heard or believed.

In every possible way, the culture, structure and operation of the catholic church supports and enables the widespread and systemic rape of children.

Based on which actions by priests and bishops they support and promote, and which they punish and discourage, the conclusion is inevitable that the catholic church hierarchy, based in Vatican city or as they prefer to be known when pretending to be a nation state member of the UN, The Holy See, have no desire or intention to put child protection first. They did not in the past, they do not now and there is no sign of any genuine intention to do so in the future.

Thankfully the UN have put the Vatican on notice that they must make real changes, not just perform another PR display of the appearance of change.

Or risk losing the protection of la bella figura.

Without la bella figura, the whole extremely profitable edifice will come crashing down.

Perhaps the Church of Child Rape and the Paedophile Protector-in-Chief will finally take this issue seriously.

Stay safe everyone.

VV

Sexually Abused Kids Don’t Have to Suffer All Their Lives and They Certainly Don’t Have to Die

Evidence about the Jonathan Lord YMCA case continues at Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. A number of brave, strong, articulate mothers spoke about discovering their small boys had been abused by Jonathan Lord. Each one is the kind of mother, the kind of Australian, that makes this country great.

If most mothers were more like them, we would never have needed this Royal Commission, because the coverup, the secrecy, the willingness to sacrifice children to protect reputations, and the lax attitudes towards child safety, including jokes but no action about “kiddie fiddlers”, would never have taken hold in our culture.

I spoke privately to one of these inspirational mothers yesterday at the hearings. She talked of a generational change in parenting attitudes. I agree. My mother’s generation were all too willing not to question authority, especially religious authority, not to believe their children’s disclosures, or even the evidence of their own eyes.

Revered, powerful males were unquestionable. Religious of both sexes were untouchable. Children had no rights whatsoever.

Today, not so much.

As a mother of two boys of a similar age to Jonathan Lord’s victims, if I had the slightest suspicion, the tiniest inkling of anything or anyone harming my child, nothing, and I do mean nothing, would stop me from doing whatever it took to protect them. Or to help them recover.

But it’s not enough to rely on that change in attitudes. We need effective and comprehensive systems to ensure our children’s safety.

The courageous witness noted that just because the YMCA does a much better job with child safety than the Catholic Church, does not mean that what the YMCA does is good enough.

Which is why the Royal Commission’s investigation into these issues is desperately needed.

More issues continue to emerge about systemic problems that let our children down and leave them vulnerable to sexual exploitation by determined criminals.

As the numbers of boys disclosing grew, police, DoCS and the YMCA started to treat the later revelations of additional victims and additional offences as less relevant or even annoying.

What these organisations seem to forget is, even if the organisations are not as interested in subsequent information, once several victims had already come forward, to those directly involved as victims or parents of victims, this is the most devastating, critical, traumatic and vitally important element of their lives.

And that these victims and families all deserve the very best of support to help them through such a difficult time and to improve the long term prospects for all involved, particularly the innocent kids.

For example, once the police had enough evidence to proceed to arrest on the basis of a number of victims and a number of crimes, officers weren’t particularly interested to have to stop their other work to interview new victims. But every single victim deserves to have their story heard and to have the offender held responsible specifically for the crimes against them.

This is a common problem, with most of Australia’s prolific repeat offenders only ever brought to trial for a fraction of their victims and a minute fraction of their actual offending. This is one of many reasons for completely inappropriate sentencing decisions for these crimes in Australia. And is even more worrying in light of the fact that less than 1% of child sexual abuse cases even make it as far as  conviction.

Families were also kept in the dark by many organisations, especially the YMCA, about what was going on, severely impacting their ability to properly support the child victims, which should have been the top priority.

Initially, parents were told Jonathan Lord was simply on annual leave, or not told who was the subject of the police investigation, removing parents’ ability to ascertain whether their child was affected by these crimes and thus offer support as soon as possible.

This is appalling.

Even worse, Jonathan Lord, after being arrested then released on bail, kept offending.

The secrecy must have been a factor in allowing this to happen. If the community was informed, parents would have been able to protect their children from serious further harm. This is also not a unique occurrence. Child sex offenders, often well respected and prominent members of the community, are frequently released on bail, despite being a significant flight risk and a significant danger to the community. In so many ways, the reputations and privacy of child sex criminals throughout Australia are vigorously protected at the cost of undermining child safety and inflicting additional suffering on victims.

Hopefully the revelations resulting from this Royal Commission will remind the Commissioners, our politicians, individuals and institutions that every extra offence carves additional severe trauma into a child’s broken heart, even if the child has lost count because of the already large number of sexual assaults they have suffered.

We all need reminding that the constant terror of facing an unending future of additional assaults for years on end irreparably damages a child’s psychological development. And the knowledge that no-one will act to stop the offending, especially if adults are known to be aware of what is going on, exponentially increases this harm.

We all need reminding that every additional victim is a precious life possibly destroyed, another family ripped apart by tragedy, perhaps irrevocably.

The good news is many of Jonathan Lord’s victims have wonderfully supportive parents doing everything possible to help them recover, and for some, their prognosis is hopeful. They have a good chance of reaching their potential, and enjoying a normal life free from the dark shadow of ongoing trauma.

The reason they will likely do so much better than many other victims of child sexual abuse is because they were able to see firm action taken by powerful adults to rescue them from their attacker and hold him accountable for his crimes. And because they are receiving early and, hopefully, ongoing counseling assistance as needed. They will certainly all need watching for the next few decades (not just till the age of 18) to identify if long term impacts of their abuse emerge and to ensure they receive appropriate and timely support.

This encouraging outcome illustrates that sexually abused kids do not have to suffer terribly throughout their lives and die early, unable to stand the pain of living.

This is not an outcome that has ever been an option, and is still not an option, for victims of Catholic clergy sexual predators.

Personally I look forward to the day the Royal Commission understands that not only does the Catholic Church enable and coverup the widespread and systemic sexual abuse of children, not only does it severely re-abuse sexually abused children through a cruelly self serving response to these crimes, but that this dysfunctional institution and the sociopaths who run it are also directly responsible for the tragic deaths of far too many of our doubly abused kids.

And I look forward to the day the Royal Commission recommends the Australian Government takes appropriate action for the first time in history.

Stay safe everyone.

VV

Vale John Pirona

John Pirona was farewelled yesterday in a moving, uplifting and beautiful ceremony. A huge number of family, friends, colleagues and well wishers spilled out of the building, filling the surrounds with a sea of people who fervently wished they could somehow undo the events which led to this day.

John’s family had a tough job in organising his memorial. To combine their own private farewell with a public desire to honour John, to combine their own Catholic beliefs with the pain of his fellow victims at the hands of Catholic officials, to combine the determination not to allow those who caused John’s suffering to continue to do it to others with the need to celebrate John’s amazing ability to smile and spread joy in the face of such suffering.

Yesterday delivered all those things with honesty, dignity and respect for everyone’s feelings.

The overall impression was of a man who lived life to the full, who was brave, funny and loving, who was very, very human, who tried not to burden others with his pain, and who had everything to live for. And who will be sorely missed.

His family, and I’m sure many others who knew him, are struggling to understand his final decision.

He had so many people that he loved wholeheartedly, who loved him back. A job that he enjoyed, where he was respected and successful. Numerous interests that energised, absorbed and recharged him. A zest for life rarely seen.

And even in dealing with his painful past abuse, he at least was able to know his attacker was in jail for those offences, was unable to target more innocent children and ruin their lives, and could never again pretend not to be a child sexual predator.

Plus John had been receiving help to recover from Mayamarri, now know as Heal for Life.

So why did John have to die?

I didn’t know John personally, though I have spoken to people who knew him. What I can provide is insight into the side of him that is so mysterious to his family and friends, the world of the hidden suffering of victims of catholic church enabled child sexual abuse.

It was not his childhood abuse alone which led to John to the seemingly incomprehensible decision that death was his only choice and that those he loved were better off without him. He should have been able to overcome that with the help of his loving, supportive family, Mayumarri, and all the parts of his life that he enjoyed and which made him feel fulfilled and competent.

But his abuse did not stop in childhood. And it was not restricted to just the sexual abuse by the predator who derailed his life and stole his innocence.

The response of the school, local catholic church leaders, their appalling lawyers, and other church officials up to and including the Pope all heaped additional hidden abuse on John throughout his life. By not admitting his abuse even occurred, by not properly acknowledging his suffering even when forced to admit his abuse, by treating him as the problem, by minimising their own guilt, by trying to force him to blame himself, by callously and viciously fighting against the conviction of a dangerous criminal they had no doubt was guilty, by putting him through hell for trying to exercise his right to recovery, by constantly filling the media with lies about how well they are treating victims or protecting children or dealing with this issue, and by refusing to take effective action on this issue in Australia and around the world .

These, by themselves, are enough to make anyone feel angry, worthless and powerless.

But John’s case, and so many others, combines the original abuse, which destroys a child’s core sense of self worth and human dignity, with ongoing re-abuse, which constantly undermines any progress made towards self worth and survival.

So despite his amazing and seemingly successful efforts to find a purpose and joy in life, his loving and supportive family and the two beautiful girls he adored, and everything else he had going for him, there obviously came a time when the burden of worthlessness and powerlessness seemed too heavy, when his life appeared to have negative value, and when he felt he had no choice but to stop fighting because he wasn’t worth fighting for.

From the outside we can see how very valuable he was, how he was absolutely worth fighting for. But trapped inside his pain, and the guilt and shame he never deserved, John could not see it. That is what was stolen from him in childhood. And that is what a total absence of compassion and honesty from the organisation which enabled his abuse ensured he never recovered from. John didn’t make a choice to leave you. He felt he had no choice.

That is his tragedy. And ours.

Another question John’s family and friends seem to struggle with is whether there is something they could have done, particularly in his last days, that would have saved him or made a difference. I’m sure your love and support and friendship made a huge difference and gave him so many high points to his life. But it is unlikely you could have significantly impacted the very personal fight with his internal demons. Only John, armed with the right tools, could have destroyed those.

How to stop any more deaths like John’s is the job of another day.

Today we remember and honour a wonderful human being who was with us all too briefly, but who packed so much living into his short time.

Letter to politicians demanding Royal Commission and Law Reform

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 voicelessvictim@gmail.com. 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.

(Politician name)

(Politician address)

(Your  name)

(Your address)

(Today’s date)

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.

Yours faithfully,

(Your name and signature)

Callous church leaders kill another victim

The suicide death of clergy sex abuse victim John Pirona has devastated an entire community in the Hunter region of NSW, and saddened and enraged his fellow victims around the country.

The news was made all the more tragic because John disappeared nearly a week before his body was found, leaving room for hope. But with knowledge of his history as one of dozens of victims of a notorious paedophile priest, and the existence of a suicide note telling of the overwhelming pain of his abuse, it was hard to see any other outcome of the search for John Pirona this week.

Until his body was found, we could cling to even the tiny chance of finding him alive, and avoid facing the fact that another innocent had been cut down by this awful epidemic. But as the terrible news broke yesterday, many were unable to hold back tears, overcome by his needless suffering and preventable death.

As his family struggles to cope with the lifelong loss of a beloved husband, father, son and brother, questions must be asked about the criminal conspiracy which sacrificed John’s safety, his entire human potential, his family’s happiness, and finally his life.

John did not have to die. His abuse did not have to result in a suicide note and a search for his body. He could have recovered. He could have become a survivor and lived to see his kids grow up.

But the fact of his abuse threatened the interests of the secretive, wealthy and influential catholic church. A callous, self serving institution ruled by a hierarchy that routinely sacrifices innocent children’s lives, while proclaiming its superior understanding of love and compassion.

An institution claiming moral leadership and demanding generous tax concessions for its commercial enterprises, while systematically engaged in crimes against humanity, while imposing upon all its members a conspiracy of silence and while hiding behind a criminal coverup of serious child sex crimes.

With the right help, it is absolutely possible for most child sex victims to overcome the effects of their abuse. These efforts are made easier if:

the abuse is stopped and does not continue for years

the child is supported and offered help as soon as possible after the abuse occurs, or as soon as they report the abuse

the child is treated with respect, understanding, sympathy and consideration, and is listened to, believed and taken seriously, and action is taken to hold the perpetrator responsible for their crimes

the child is helped to feel that they have no reason to be ashamed of or feel guilty for what happened to them

the child is helped to feel less powerless and worthless and to rebuild their life, including learning techniques to deal appropriately with ongoing effects of the abuse such as PTSD

In Australia few victims of any child sex crimes receive the best possible help. In many cases nothing is ever done to help them. Our society simply does not take this crime, or the hidden damage it inflicts, seriously enough. It is a tough topic to address and we prefer to avoid it, to allow it to stay hidden, to consider victims somehow “wrong” rather than looking for what has caused their damage, to not believe or help victims so we can go on pretending it doesn’t exist in epidemic numbers in all sections of society.

Unfortunately that attitude only ensures plenty more children will suffer abuse in the future, and struggle to recover for most of their lifetime.

But of all the victims of child abuse, those little children preyed on by predator priests not only don’t receive the help they need, they all also suffer an ongoing and devastatingly damaging campaign of re-abuse by a huge and powerful organisation, that makes their job of recovery so much harder. And in the case of far too many courageous innocents like John Pirona, it becomes impossible.

In the catholic church no one lifts a finger to protect the children and get them out of harm’s way, instead leaving them to endure regular abuse for years. It is common for responsible adults including priests, bishops, teachers, principals, in some cases even parents, to be aware of or told of the child’s suffering, but instead of helping, ignore this knowledge or even punish the child, and send them back for more abuse.

This abandonment is often accompanied by emotional manipulation or threats to prevent public knowledge of the abuse, which are devastating enough by themselves, and doubly so in conjunction with sexual abuse.

With victims, families and witnesses under enormous pressure to remain silent, very few of these dangerous criminals are ever reported, tried or convicted, which means serial child sex predators continue to convincingly pretend to be trustworthy and respectable, and exploit the community’s trust and respect in order to ruin as many lives as possible.

The children find themselves utterly alone, unable to tell those supposed to care for them, or betrayed by them in the most devastating manner. Somehow, traumatised and disconnected, they make it to adulthood, and one day, often decades later, are able to or forced to face their abuse.

This is the stage most likely reached by John in 2008, when he spoke out about his abuse. While dealing with the lifetime of buried pain that emerges as part of the healing process, survivors can sometimes feel stronger than ever before, but are also extremely vulnerable and fragile. They need plenty of support. But they also need to learn how to stop being a victim, how to properly care for themselves, how to live and how not to be drawn relentlessly towards self harm and death. Even at this stage it is possible to overcome abuse and re-abuse. This is made easier if survivors are listened to, believed, and if they find justice, truth, and an acknowledgement of their experience, if they know their abuser is facing responsibility and serious consequences for his crimes, and are reassured that concrete changes have been made that will prevent anyone else suffering as they have done.

It is not a lot to ask.

But the catholic church begrudges even this to victims of its crimes.

It is not just that the church never considers the human lives it is sacrificing when it protects child rapists and keeps them out of jail and free to rape, and imposes them on unsuspecting communities, blessed with a disguise which makes their horrendous crimes frighteningly easy to commit.

It is not just that the church denies, dismisses, minimises, excuses and shifts blame for these crimes, and in every possible way undermines victims’ already fragile self worth and ability to survive the emotional and psychological devastation wrought by the abuse, and encourages them to feel ashamed and guilty about what happened to them.

It is not just that the church keeps victims in the dark about this incredibly personal issue, and buries the truth under a mountain of lies and excuses.

It is not just that the church never offers any form of help to victims in their efforts to recover, in order to discourage all but the strongest, most vocal, or best supported from ever coming forward, and so ensuring the majority of victims suffer in silence, and do not challenge church lies about the scale of this problem.

It is not just that victims must somehow find the strength to face the church’s determined obstruction of any police investigation, or the heroic defence of dangerous criminals they know to be guilty, brutal treatment of victims in any court proceedings, and use of a range of legal loopholes and technical defences to comprehensively deny justice to the majority of victims.

It is not just that the church will not even pay for the most basic form of support such as counselling, unless victims submit to either an aggressively antagonistic  mediation or civil court process, or a biased, misleading, in-house system which pretends to be designed to help victims, but serves primarily to protect the church’s reputation, and to minimise publicity and financial compensation.

It is not just that the church makes ludicrous claims to have child protection measures in place when no measures exist to limit the crimes committed by the child rapists already protected and enabled by the church, and the only efforts consist of feeble attempts to limit the number of new rapists entering the priesthood, plus a PR campaign to promote a misleading facade of safety to lull catholics into complacency around this issue.

It is not just that the church manipulates politicians and lobbies ferociously against any law reform or judicial investigation that might actually improve child protection or force the church to be held accountable for its actions, or be forced to comply with the law, all the while making fallacious claims of willingness to co-operate.

It is not just that many church personnel treat survivors with a thinly veiled mixture of resentment, suspicion, contempt, condescension, disbelief and hostility, and act as if survivors are unpredictable and childish aggressors being humoured by the grown ups and guilty of attacking an innocent and unfairly victimised church.

On top of all those huge challenges the church conducts an aggressive campaign of PR stunts and media statements which paints a completely false picture of this issue, claiming to already be doing the very things victims most want to see, but inflicting devastating additional harm on large numbers of victims every time they are quoted in the media, as victims know from painful personal experience that church leaders are lying, while survivors’ voices trying to tell the truth are undermined or drowned out by the aggressive and manipulative church PR machine, and rarely heard.

Put together, this overall treatment of victims results in devastating re-abuse, serious impediment to, if not total prevention of healing, and an almost insurmountable obstacle to leaving the pain of the past behind and getting on with their lives.

John Pirona did not die simply because of his abuse. He died because the way he was treated by catholic church leaders compounded the effects of his abuse and made him feel too powerless and worthless to live.

It is completely unacceptable that John Pirona and so many others were killed by the catholic church in this tragic, tragic way.

It is completely unacceptable to allow the catholic church to kill any more victims.

There is no question that if this issue involved any other organisation there would have been exhaustive police investigations, arrests and convictions. We  cannot trust the catholic church not to try to circumvent our democratic system of government and dictate public policy so that they can continue to commit their crimes in secret and remain above the law.

Many other victims are devastated by this loss, whether or not they had the privilege of knowing John. Many are thinking of the times when their own despair at their treatment by church leaders led them to contemplate suicide. They know “that could so easily have been me”.

There is no time to wait. We cannot allow church leaders to cause another death.

Our politicians for years have flatly refused to come to the aid of victims of this brutal organisation. But support of the catholic church is fast moving towards becoming electoral poison.

Either we move directly to desperately needed law reform.

Or immediately put in place a Royal Commission to investigate these crimes and make recommendations for law reform.

Make a commitment to end the deaths and relieve the suffering.

To do nothing is to admit we are happy to live in a totalitarian theocracy by stealth with no respect for truth, justice, human life or human dignity. Or the law.

For the sake of my own recovery I try not to wallow in anger about the abuse and injustice I have suffered at the hands of the catholic church.

But I am very, very angry that another victim has had to die while we wait for even a semblance of justice.

We cannot bring back the loved ones already lost.

But we can refuse to let them kill any more innocents.

It is time to write to your politicians and demand change. My next post contains a draft letter for those who would like help to do this.

Stay safe everyone and if you feel you are not coping, promise me one thing.

Ask for help.

VV

Just Like in Hunger Games, the Church is killing our children

The catholic church, when faced with the choice of protecting itself or preventing children from being raped, has consistently chosen to sacrifice the children.

Usually without a second thought.

This is not a claim without evidence.

There is ample proof.

In recent years there have been official, properly investigated judicial reports proving this to be the case in diocese after diocese, country after country.

And when innocent children dare to speak out about the atrocities inflicted on them by the unquestionably “holy” representatives of this most “compassionate” church, how are they treated?

In the most abhorrently vicious manner possible.

In the manner most likely to exponentially compound their distress and their harm.

In the manner chosen specifically to bully them into silence.

There is even a church law which expressly forbids them or anyone else ever saying anything publicly about what happened to them.

Too bad if speaking out and acknowledging the harm done to them is necessary to their recovery.

In fact, everything the catholic church imposes on victims of their carefully protected rapist colleagues could have been calculated to harm us, to deny us healing and recovery, to silence us and to drive us to an early grave.

Australia’s highest ranking church official gloats in private about “getting rid” of victims, while publicly pretending to be “doing everything possible” to help us.

It is no surprise to survivors of the Church of Child Rape that the numbers of innocent children who could not stand both their original abuse and the constant re-abuse by church officials are horrifyingly high. If this matter were ever properly investigated by more than a single police detective in one small area of one state, we all know the numbers of children killed by the catholic church would not stop at dozens. It would not stop at hundreds.

The catholic church hierarchy are happy when child sexual abuse victims put an end to our worthless lives.

This is the perfect solution for them.

The evidence is buried with our abused bodies, and everyone scratches their head over what could have caused such a senseless waste of a valuable human life and its boundless potential.

But now a Victorian police detective has unearthed details of at least 40 suicides from a handful of rapist priests, with just two of them responsible for more than 20 deaths.

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/churchs-suicide-victims-20120412-1wwox.html#ixzz1rrs5FhD8

I’ll tell you what caused the death of those 40 innocents, and the countless others who have been successfully covered up.

The catholic church killed them.

And the Victorian Government is currently considering a clear recommendation from their own inquiry which makes it perfectly clear that the only reasonable, humane, just, civilised thing to do would be to properly investigate the cause of these deaths, and the treatment of all victims of child sexual abuse by this most self serving organisation.

To not hold a Royal Commission is to say, we care about kids who die from drowning (around 50 per year nationally), we care about kids who die from traffic accidents (more people die from suicide than from traffic accidents each year, and most of them are kids or young adults), but we could not give a damn about child sexual abuse victims, because that would involve uncovering some very unpalatable truths about a very powerful and wealthy organisation which pulls the strings on most political puppets in Australia.

So Premier Baillieu and Attorney General Clark, are you human beings or puppets of the Church of Child Rape?

Pope, Cardinals, and Bishops just as guilty as their precious child rapists

In my personal experience as a victim of catholic church enabled child sexual abuse, as a child protection activist, and as a member of a victim support self help group, I have always known that I was not abused solely by the cunning predator who went to such lengths to regularly torture me and at least 49 other little girls. I, in common with every other catholic victim/survivor, was abused, abandoned, blamed, bullied and victimised by the entire catholic hierarchy from the pope on down.

Every day, the catholic hierarchy and their unthinking apologists go out of their way to try to add to the mountain of harm already heaped on my shoulders.

My experience demolishes their protective facade of sanctity and moral superiority, and since they are unable to face the truth bravely and compassionately, they instead deflect their church imposed self hatred onto the defenceless, the already damaged, the innocent victims – those most deserving of compassion. Their twisted belief being that if they can drag us down to their level with their lies, they will seem less loathsome by comparison, and will thus feel better about themselves.

They cannot make my experience, which makes them so very uncomfortable, not exist, so instead they settle for attempts to make me not exist, to make me appear to be other than who I truly am, or to drive me to suicide.

A friend sent me an article by Tom Doyle, written more than a year ago, which expertly expresses this.

The Vatican spokesman keeps telling us the pope is deeply concerned about the clergy abuse “crisis,” There is little doubt that he is, but not because of the massive harm done to countless victims and their families and to the disappointed faithful who are tired of waiting for the “church” to do something meaningful.

He and the cardinals are deeply concerned, but they’re concerned for the wrong reasons. They see their credibility, their power and their relevance eroding at an ever increasing rate. They see a rapidly growing number of Catholics who refuse to be treated as children by the bishops and who pose a very serious threat to the crumbling myth that the pope and the bishops know what’s best for all. They see the growing chasm between the moral code the hierarchy is trying to persuade everyone, even non-Catholics, to accept and the reality of what is really happening out there in the world they are so afraid of.

The pope, the Vatican and the rest of the world’s hierarchy will not bring about the needed change because they are unable and not simply unwilling to do so. Their personal interests are far too deeply ingrained to allow them to make the sacrifices needed to step down from their thrones and be for the suffering and marginalized rather than for themselves.

The pope and the cardinals have betrayed the real church. They have perpetrated the sexual and spiritual violence just as much as the priests who physically violated the victims. They need to be willing to say “I hurt you” and not hide behind Vatican mumbo jumbo and double-speak.

They need to acknowledge that the formalities and legalities they have relied on to protect their own interests have been secondary and equally vicious acts of violence against the victims.

They need to admit that restitution is essential and deserved by the men and women abused by the immediate perpetrators but also by the church.

They need to acknowledge that they have intentionally tried to shift the responsibility for this worldwide debacle to other persons, to societal forces and even to the victims themselves and they need to admit without qualification that they, the hierarchs of the church, are solely responsible for the horrific damage to the victims and to the Body of Christ.

See the full article by Tom Doyle in NCR.

Taste of justice at last for state victims, but will Church victims be tossed to the wolves?

The most horrifying evidence in recent weeks from a West Australian inquiry into the reign of terror of convicted serial child rapist Dennis McKenna at the head of a state run hostel at Katanning is not about the abuse itself, but about the complete and utter betrayal of dozens, possibly hundreds, of abused children. Every responsible adult the children turned to while trying to find a way out of their nightmare put their own interests above child protection. It seems there was no-one brave enough, or strong enough, to stand up to the influential and highly respected dangerous criminal, McKenna.

Those who sent defenceless kids back to be repeatedly raped, bullied, humiliated, emotionally abused and economically exploited included teachers, principals, Board members, parents, social workers, councillors, police, leading politicians and even the head of Anglicare.

In many cases there was absolutely no question what was going on. But all these powerful adults deliberately turned their back on innocent children’s right to safety and to not have their lives stolen from them.

What this says about Australian culture is shockingly challenging to our misguided perception of ourselves as a caring and compassionate society. Even those who do not knowingly participate in a conspiracy to cover up serious child sex crimes, are still happy to ignore the suffering of victims, to not talk about this issue, to not demand we do better to protect today’s children from sharing the terrible fate of so many of yesterdays victims.  Or to offer victims justice and healing.

The fact these adults were threatened by, or afraid of the influence of McKenna is no excuse. It is always, unquestionably, wrong to sacrifice children to protect adults. To rely on children’s vulnerability and their silence to avoid facing responsibility for your own actions.

The result? Destroyed lives lasting for generations, a community with its heart ripped out, and a swathe of needless, preventable suicides.

It is imperative the inquiry by Justice Blaxell does not just expose the appalling suffering of McKenna’s victims, and their disgraceful betrayal. It must lead to additional jail time for McKenna, who has only been convicted of a tiny fraction of his actual crimes, to criminal charges for those who covered up his crimes, and to unstinting help with healing for all his victims.

As well, the Victorian State Attorney-General Robert Clark needs to pay close attention to the evidence as he considers the clear recommendation from the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry, also known as the Cummins Report, earlier this month, for a formal investigation of the response of religious organisations into the criminal abuse of children by religious personnel within their organisations.

And every other Attorney-General should also, finally, put this issue under serious consideration, particularly since the WA head of the Anglican Church’s Anglicare, Ian Carter, has been implicated as part of the coverup of McKenna’s crimes. And particularly since church protected rapists benefit from, not just apathy, negligence and influence, but also the entire resources of wealthy, powerful and highly secretive organisations who regularly lie to and obstruct law enforcement, believe themselves above the law and will stop at nothing to hide the truth of this issue.

In fact, if the Catholic Church was not a paradise for paedophiles, and the breeding ground for a poisonous rape culture, McKennna’s victims may have been spared all their suffering. McKenna’s experience of bullying and sexual abuse at a Catholic school is very likely to have inspired his own crimes. If the Catholic Church had stopped just one of their thousands of child rapists, hundreds of dead or damaged victims would have been able to live long and normal lives, with every possibility of realising their full potential.

How well I remember, like McKenna’s victims, the feeling of being trapped in an insane adult controlled world with no hope of help from anywhere. I remember with the intensity of long years of terror that those supposed to protect you, supposed to be custodians of justice and morality, just couldn’t give a damn. That every single adult you know is a liar and a hypocrite and a rapist protector. No wonder it is so hard for us to feel worthy of living, worthy of trying to have a future of our own choosing, or worthy of ever elusive justice.

Surely by now we have finally learned enough to understand the importance of delivering justice to all victims of these monsters, and protection from influential predators for all our children.

How Many Dead Children Are Too Many?

An average of 50 children die from drowning in Australia every year. This figure is considered unacceptably high. Generously funded multi million dollar public education campaigns called Swim and Survive and Swim Kids aim to teach children about water safety in order to bring that shocking number down.

Royal Life Saving’s CEO Rob Bradley says, “The safety of children’s lives has to be the highest of priorities.”

But only when their life is at risk of unfortunate accident.

When adults who should protect our precious children instead prey on them, the rights of powerful adults not to be held responsible for their crimes take precedence over children’s rights not to be abused.  In some cases vulnerable and defenseless children are so traumatised by abuse they cannot bear to live with the resulting long term pain.

Nearly 2,000 children and young adults commit suicide each year in Australia. This is forty times the unacceptably high drowning rate.

Most, if not all, will have experienced some form of child abuse or bullying during their short lives, including child sexual abuse in many cases. And since most of the abuse originates from family members, family friends and trusted, powerful adults such as priests, teachers, and coaches, nobody wants to talk about this issue, face the horrifying truth or do anything to protect the nearly 2,000 abused children who will commit suicide this year.

Or the children who will be murdered by their abusers, or the children and adults who will die from dysfunctional and avoidant coping behaviours resulting from childhood abuse, which are not recognized as suicide.

Two rapist priests in Victoria are personally responsible for the suicide deaths of over 30 of their victims over a number of years. But this number is not considered unacceptably high. Allowing even one child to be raped, then re-abused until they commit suicide should be absolutely unacceptable. But no-one is willing to hold the obscenely wealthy and powerful Catholic Church responsible for its crimes.

The Catholic Church created the conditions which presented these predators to unsuspecting communities as above question, holier than ordinary mortals, incapable of doing wrong, and above the law.

The Catholic Church insisted on the special treatment and undeserved respect for priests, and the sacrifice of unimportant children, which resulted in them and their colleagues continuing to prey upon scores of young boys for decades.

The Catholic Church is also responsible for deliberately withholding the affirmation, support and counseling that may have helped these 30+ kids to be able to live with their pain and work towards recovery. Or even believe that they deserved help and recovery.

And if these cases are typical of the callous treatment routinely given to innocent and damaged victims the world over, Catholic leaders and employees would have called these abused children liars, threatened them with dire consequences if they told anyone what happened to them, and perhaps drove their message home with a brutal physical punishment or additional sexual abuse.

This is just one example among thousands.

Unfortunately it is impossible to provide more details because the Catholic Church also insists on the ability to deal with these crimes in house and in secret.

The Church’s official punishment for those who publicly reveal such details is much swifter and far more severe than any action against the rapists who ruin so many lives.  Avoidance of scandal is far, far more important to the Catholic Church than children’s safety.

In fact it is rare for any internal action at all to be taken against child sex predators, except to move them to new locations where unsuspecting communities once again provide privileged access to their favourite prey.

They are certainly not reported to child welfare authorities or the police. If law enforcement tries to investigate their crimes, church members and leaders obstruct the investigation. If a criminal case makes it to court, the Church funds a vicious and expensive defence.

But very few cases survive the loopholes, legal technicalities and horrific toll on already damaged victims, all of which the Church ruthlessly exploits to keep most cases out of court.

Once in court, the Church funded defence deliberately tries to inflict as much additional harm as possible on victims, in order to make them break down and give up, or else to accidently refer to facts that are not allowed to be heard in court and thus trigger a mistrial.

A mistrial means starting all over again with a new trial. It means the victim’s suffering must be exacerbated yet again, with no guarantee of justice in return for their immense bravery, or even of success in protecting other children from at least this one predator. The only purpose of trying to trigger a mistrial is to push a victim beyond breaking point so that they cannot continue to put themselves on the line for justice for all the victims of the same abuser who cannot come forward, and for protection for his future victims.

Yesterday a report was released into improving child protection in the state of Victoria, and soon in NSW a private member’s bill will be introduced aiming to offer NSW victims of Catholic Church sexual predators their first taste of justice.

Undoubtedly the Catholic Church will mount a well funded campaign to fight any child protection measures that affect the Church, and ensure they remain free of any official responsibility for the safety of the children they expose to the predators they protect.

It is up to the people, the politicians and, most importantly, the Catholics of Australia and the world to show them that this is unacceptable.

You Ensured We Never Had A Chance

This poem is dedicated to all the apologists, enablers and paedophile protectors of the catholic church.

But particularly to the founder of the Passionist family group movement who introduced a monster into family homes. He then let this criminal have even more unsupervised access to his favourite prey through child/youth groups and weekend retreats. And left this dangerous predator in place for decades despite clear warning signs. And used his own alcoholism as an excuse for neglecting our safety, refused to speak to police investigating these crimes, and still thought it appropriate to recently accept a national award and the associated accolades.

It is also dedicated to the provincial of the Passionist order in Australia at the time this monster’s crimes were first revealed, who at the same time as covering up a monumental crime spree and hiding the culprit from justice by moving him interstate and changing his name, and denying assistance or justice to his dozens of victims, was also drafting the Towards Healing protocol still acclaimed throughout the catholic world as a model for how to deal with child rapists. And who has now been promoted to a cosy post at the UN, safe from facing responsibility for the coverup.

And to another provincial of the Passionist order who supervised the obstruction of a recent police investigation and exploitation of a legal technicality to ensure this same dangerous criminal, who he knows is a prolific offender, escaped trial and remains free, and hidden from scrutiny, and able to continue to offend.

But most of all this poem is dedicated to the community who helped create the Passionist family group movement, who promote themselves worldwide as A Family For All, but sacrifice innocent children, looking the other way because they are too cowardly to upset the catholic hierarchy, enabling child sex crimes, or even forcing their own children to submit and to shut up.

 You Ensured We Never Had A Chance

by Voiceless Victim

I was vulnerable but you let him target me.

I was defenceless, he violated me, but you looked the other way.

I was alone in my pain because you abandonded me.

I suffered deeply but you made me pretend nothing was wrong.

I needed support but you were too cowardly to stand up for me.

I was not the only one, because you let him continue to ruin lives.

You were finally forced to act, but all you did was hide him from justice.

You made a list of his many victims, but prevented our recovery.

I was too scared, but others begged you to do the right thing, and you punished them.

I needed to know but you kept me in the dark.

I finally spoke up and you obstructed the police.

I saw him arrested, then saw you get him off scott free.

I had eyewitnesses, but you stole my right to a trial.

I was robbed of justice so you could pretend his crimes never happened.

That you are holy and deserving of respect.

You are not.

He committed thousands of child sex crimes against dozens of little girls.

And you let him.

Then protected him from all responsibility for his actions and now keep his whereabouts secret.

But what of all the little girls he destroyed?

What of the suicides, the shattered lives?

Our potential smashed before we had a chance to grow up?

What of our suffering, our families trying to cope with our issues, unaware of the cause?

We are damaged, almost beyond repair, and now our kids and grandkids will also pay the price.

But you, and he, believe you are above the law, that you don’t have to pay.

That we should pay for your crimes as well as his.

We could have survived what he did, if we had received help.

If the attacks had stopped, instead of being allowed to continue for years.

If you hadn’t lied to us, about us, and treated us as the guilty ones.

But what we experienced was a threat to you, your reputation, and the power and wealth of your church.

Our suffering made us your enemies, to be sacrificed and silenced and destroyed.

We never wanted any of this, never asked for it, and certainly never deserved it.

We were just little girls, eager for our chance at life.

He preyed upon us.

You ensured we never had a chance.

But while nightmares regularly rob us of sleep, perhaps you share this one thing with those you have so grievously harmed.

For knowing what you know, and what you did and are still doing, how can you sleep at night?

How can you deliberately harm so many and still expect to pass your final judgement?

You can’t possibly believe what you preach, because no god would welcome you to heaven when you have put so many innocents through hell.

I am not afraid of your god, or of your hell.

Nothing could be worse than what you have already forced me to endure.

I can take anything your obscenely wealthy and corruptly influential church cares to throw at me.

I know you will continue to attack me while I refuse to suffer in silence like a good little victim.

I know you would all like nothing better than for victims to die off as soon as possible and solve this problem of your own making.

But I will not be silent and I will not die.

I would not be surprised if you send a hitman after me one day.

I’ve already been bullied legally by your alley cat lawyers, and verbally by your thuggish enforcer.

Yet I’m not afraid.

After a childhood of constant terror, and an adulthood scared of everything and everyone, I’m not wasting any more time on fear.

I suppose I should thank you for that.