Voiceless Victim

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

Category Archives: Vatican inaction on child rape

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

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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

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.

Italy acknowledges Vatican unworthy of unfair tax breaks

The new Italian Prime Minister, Mario Monti, has responded to a petition by 130,000 citizens to end unfair tax-free perks for the Catholic Church’s commercial enterprises. Promising to reverse the trend which in the past saw anti-competitive and possibly illegal special privileges for the Catholic Church quietly passed by corrupt politicians, the new measures, to be introduced to Italy’s parliament, will stop the Catholic Church taking advantage of its tax-exempt status to profit by as much as 2.2 billion euro per year in Italy alone.

The EC is already investigating the fact that tax exemption for Catholic Church commercial enterprises which are competing with enterprises without the benefit of the Church’s unique privileges is very likely to be proved both a form of illegal state aid and a mechanism to stifle competition.

The measures will be a relief to Italians suffering under a raft of severe new austerity measures, who cannot help but notice the princes of the Church flaunt their obscene wealth and luxurious lifestyle, just like medieval robber lords who laughed and gorged themselves while the peasants starved.

And the measures are sure to be closely observed by other long suffering, predominantly Catholic EC countries such as Spain and Greece.

There has been no official Church response so far, but past experience makes it likely the Church will deny reality, deny responsibility, cry poor and try to paint themselves as a victim.

The crying poor excuse is unlikely to fool many. In Italy the Church’s wealth is all too obvious. 20% of all property in Italy is reputed to be owned by the Catholic Church, at least 110,000 properties worth an estimated 9 billion euro. Most Church owned properties are the most valuable buildings on the most valuable land. And a large proportion of them are rented out at top commercial rents, not made available to charities rent free or at token rent, as those arguing for ever broader tax exemption would have everyone believe.

The current Italian measures relate only to Church properties which are operated commercially. Around the world there is a need to slow the accumulation of vast wealth in the hands of greedy Church leaders by removing unjustified tax exemptions, not just from commercial properties, but also commercial enterprises which unfairly compete with equivalent businesses without the benefit of the Church’s generous tax breaks.

In Australia, for example, the Catholic Church is a leading supplier of aged care, health, mental health, education and other social services. Businesses forced to compete with the aggressively entrepreneurial Catholic Church do so on anything but a level playing field. And consumers forced to use Catholic schools, hospitals or aged care facilities, for example, have no choice but to be subject to the Catholic Church’s intrusive and authoritarian policies on sexual, reproductive, medical and palliative decisions. Policies that not even the majority of committed Catholics willingly submit to. Policies which can lead to horrendous unnecessary mental and physical suffering and even death.

Who can forget the evidence of the Irish experience with the Catholic Church’s ruthless exploitation of children’s ‘educational’ institutions or the theft of Spanish babies to be sold for illegal adoptions as an example of allowing the Catholic Church too much market dominance, too much power without proper supervision, and, crucially, too much undeserved respect and reverence.

But apart from the inherent unfairness of allowing the Catholic Church to convince its political cronies to let it get away with these unjustified public subsidies of an extremely wealthy organisation, the Catholic Church is shirking its moral responsibility to millions of victims of its direct abuse or abusive policies.

While Church organisations run profit making enterprises and funnel ever more wealth to Rome, millions of victims of institutional abuse, child rape by priests, AIDS infection through lack of condoms, and poverty brought about by support of robber regimes and warlords, are suffering and dying for lack of help.

Surely any functioning human being, even those so deluded as to claim to speak for god, must realise that helping to repair the immense harm inflicted on innocent children is actually more important than tax breaks for one of the wealthiest organisations on earth.

Surely Cardinals could downgrade to business class flights so that homeless and drug addicted child rape victims could access hostel accommodation and rehabilitation programs? Surely wealthy orders do not have to buy another luxurious villa in Rome, and could instead allow all victims of their institutional abuse to access much needed counselling? Surely a multi-million dollar canonisation ceremony could be pared back to the simplicity of the early saints so that a medical clinic could help AIDS orphans to reach adulthood? Or the number of regular jaunts to Rome for conferences and Papal meetings be cut back so stolen babies could be helped to find their birth parents? Or a Papal tour be less opulent so that safe housing and clean water can be built for refugees of war and famine?

Think how much of the harm the Catholic Church inflicts on the powerless could be relieved by intelligent use of the billions of dollars of tax breaks the Catholic Church receives around the world? Even just the tax breaks they should never, ever have been given, those for commercial enterprises?

It is time for every country to follow Italy’s lead. Remove unfair public subsidies. And put the money to use in helping those who currently suffer in silence and receive no help from the organisation which abused them, helped or covered up for those who abused them, and bullied them into silence.

If all these millions of damaged children are helped to recover and lead useful lives, not only will the money spent on helping them find its way back into the economy to stimulate growth, but all the newly contributing members of society who are no longer a drain on social services will bolster economic growth long term.

Surely even politicians can see the logic in that.

Read the news coverage of Italy’s brave, moral and logical decision.

www.smh.com.au/world/churches-to-lose-tax-break-as-italy-searches-for-cash-20120217-1te9u.html

Even Thief Gives Pope Lesson in Morality – But Is B16 Capable of Learning?

Are the media truly picking on the catholic church over child sexual abuse, as petulantly claimed by the Vatican’s propaganda machine? Or are catholic church leaders the last people in the world any responsible parent would want to have anything to do with their children?

Last year the scandal of Penn State coaches covering up child sexual abuse in their midst and allowing it to continue for years, shocking though it was, nonetheless showed up the catholic church for their even more appalling approach, in continuing to sacrifice children to sexual predators rather than endanger their own reputations or the church’s immense wealth. Admittedly Penn State only acted very late in the day, and most likely only to immunise the university’s reputation from the inevitable fallout, but at least they did take action.

Something the catholic church is yet to do, despite all the faux apologies and announcements of “stringent guidelines”. Or world summits of those most involved in covering up. Or attempts to assume the position of experts in child rape. Or the establishment of an e-learning centre with multi-lingual advice.

Yesterday in Australia a petty thief showed the pompous bureaucrats at the Vatican’s “world summit” on child sexual abuse just how simple it is to recognise the right thing to do. His selfless act to protect children set a precedent of moral behaviour unseen in catholic circles the world over.

The thief knew there would be serious personal consequences.

He understood we all have a responsibility to protect the defenceless.

He acted straight away to put child safety first.

Nobody is claiming this man is a saint. Though his behaviour is more saintly than that of JPII, the (soon to be) Patron Saint of Paedophiles, who had a quarter of a century of absolute power to put children first and still failed.

Our thief saw an open car window in a supermarket carpark, and opportunistically helped himself to a wallet and two mobile (cell) phones. This was not his only offence.

But when he saw child pornographic images on one of the stolen phones, he did not need decades of excuses and distractions to understand this issue.  He went straight to the nearest police station and handed the incriminating phone, and himself, in to police. Despite being warned by police he may also be prosecuted for theft, the man said he wanted to hand himself in if it assisted police with such investigations.

Another man has subsequently been arrrested for child pornography.

The magistrate thanked our heroic thief. “You did the right thing,” the magistrate said. “That kind of offending is very serious. You are to be commended for your conduct even though it placed you at jeopardy of losing your own liberty.”

He did indeed lose his liberty, after pleading guilty to seven charges. The magistrate sent him to jail, but to encourage others to learn from his example, significantly reduced his sentence because of his heroic act and acceptance of responsibility for his own actions.

If only the Paedophile Protector in Chief and his cabal could learn enough to aspire to equal the morals of a thief!

If only the thousands of respectable rapists so highly honoured and protected by the catholic church could do as this thief has done, and turn themselves in to protect children.

If only the so-called “good priests” and “good catholics” valued children as highly as our humble thief, then maybe they would not turn away in the face of evidence of child rape, and allow it to continue unhindered.

This simple example of putting children first demonstrates that the only advice anyone should ever take from the Vatican regarding child sexual abuse is how to continue to get away with it. Or what not to do if you want to protect children.

For the catholic church hierarchy to try to position themselves as child protection experts is an obscenity.

And a further insult to their millions of victims.

It is high time everyone stopped pretending they have a shred of credibility left, and laughed their never ending stream of self serving PR stunts off the world stage in disgrace.

Read the original media article about the heroic thief who puts the Pope to shame.

Towards Deception and Denial: Vatican PR Parading as Global Summit

Vatican PR is in overdrive again, trying to drown out any unauthorised commentary of the so-called “Global Summit on Sexual Abuse” this week, with an avalanche of their own carefully manipulated spin.

Vatican PR has finally realised this stunt cannot be taken seriously without the involvement of victims, and has taken the unprecedented step of inviting one lone victim to participate. Though this single voice is not the headline speaker and she is all too likely to be ignored amongst all the rapist protectors pretending the catholic church has any intention of doing anything other than provide a new set of excuses and denials to help catholics feel better about supporting this criminal regime

Surprisingly, Marie Collins, the victim who has been invited, is a real spokesperson for victims, not an indoctrinated dupe of the regime.

In this, Vatican PR is following the well worn precedent of previous criminal regimes such as Hitler’s Third Reich. Invite someone with real credibility to an event purporting to be trying to enact real change. By the time the guest discovers there is no intention to do anything other than claim PR brownie points for changes they have no intention of implementing, the guest will be in an untenable position from which it is almost impossible to extricate themselves with honour.

While the criminal regime will forever misuse the guest’s usurped reputation for the purposes of coverup and deception.

We victims wait nervously to see just what further insults parading as apologies, excuses pretending to be taking responsibility, and lack of action disguised as ground breaking changes we will be forced to endure.

But underneath the cynicism born of harsh experience with these heartless, careerist, hypocritical, narcissistic princes of the church that all victims share, we still hold our breath secretly hoping despite so much first hand evidence to the contrary, that well hidden beneath those expensive silk gowns, beat the hearts of fellow human beings capable of acting with compassion.

We long to be proven wrong. We wonder whether we just misinterpreted the abusive way we were treated all these years by those claiming publicly to be doing everything to help us. That they really have been trying all this time, working through complex internal politics. And not just lying, waiting for the heat of public exposure to cool so they can get back to business as usual, the same disgraceful way their business has been conducted for centuries.

But that hope is fleeting, the pattern is too consistent, the charade of compassion too unconvincing. Ignore the words and examine only their actions. In their actions the truth is plain to see.

This organisation that proclaims itself a moral leader for all the world, is the slowest learner in all human history in the field of understanding that children are an innocent and precious resource, not cannon fodder for your favourite rapists.

There will be no gasps of shock, no pleasant surprises, no tears of relief that we can abandon our crusade to save the children because finally the catholic church is going to do the right thing.

There never has been any question about what needs to be done. There is absolutely no need for this sham of a summit to work out what to do.

The only reason the Vatican has not acted before this week to protect children, offer justice and healing to victims, and hold child rapists and those who protect them accountable for their crimes is because they lack the will to do so.

And there is absolutely no reason to believe that this has suddenly changed.

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.

More Damning Evidence Vatican Couldn’t Give A Damn About Kids’ Safety

The Netherlands has recently been added to the growing list of countries or local authorities to have conducted official investigations into the catholic church’s cover up of widespread child rape. Just like those in the US and Ireland, Dutch authorities found the actions, or lack of action, by bishops and other church officials disgracefully lacking in ignoring the rights of children not to be raped, and considering only the avoidance of scandal. Just like everywhere else in the world they have a presence, the catholic church in The Netherlands repeatedly and knowingly exposed new children to known rapists in order to protect the interests of the church, with not a moment’s thought for the safety of those children or the devastating effect of such crimes on their entire lives.

In fact, if it were not the obscenely powerful and corruptly influential catholic church being investigated, there is little doubt the words criminal conspiracy would have been used. If we can ignore the threats of retribution from the bullies of the catholic hierarchy for one moment and be perfectly honest, there really is no other way to accurately describe what is going on in front of everyone’s eyes, but which few, even today, are brave enough to correctly label.

What else do you call a consistent worldwide policy to continue to sacrifice many thousands of additional children to the church’s known sexual predators in priests clothing, in order to protect the wealth and influence of the universal church, and the careers and reputations of child sex criminals and those who protect them?

The infallible Vatican denies there is such a policy, but then for many years they also emphatically denied their priests were raping children, despite certain knowledge at the time that the problem was serious, widespread and ongoing.

So any Vatican statements on this subject are hardly trustworthy. As this latest report confirms in common with all previous reports, without hard factual evidence to back them up, Vatican pronouncements about what was, is or is not being done to protect children from their own colleagues cannot be taken as anything other than the latest excuse or diversion. Or in other words, lies.

In fact the Vatican only ceased denying there were rapists preying on children using their status and respect as catholic religious to access victims and avoid discovery, when the volume of evidence that they were lying about this issue was simply too significant to dismiss any longer.

Only one significant internal document has so far managed to escape the veil of deception that the Vatican drapes over their attempts to deal with serious crimes against children in house and in secret. Crimen sollicitationis has provoked many arguments about what it does or does not prove regarding official Vatican policy in dealing with child sex crimes. This organisation has had two millenia of practice in protecting their own interests and wealth, and are not in the habit of making the rookie mistake of being open and honest about their naked self interest. At least not in writing.

But it is simply impossible to deny that crimen sollicitationis proves that telling the truth, by revealing that priests rape children, is treated far more seriously and punished much more severely than the actual child rapes themselves.

Crimen sollicitationis also reveals part of the Vatican policy of re-abuse of victims. Victims are threatened with excommunication if they speak about their abuse. Any trauma recovery specialist can confirm that victims of child sexual abuse remain trapped in a self destructive spiral unless they can face and deal with the crimes committed against them by those they had every right to expect to protect and nurture them. Being bullied into silence by revered authority figures threatening the ultimate punishment, and forcing them to live a lie, condemns innocent victims to self harm in one or more of its many forms, a lifetime of additional suffering, and in far too many cases, direct or indirect suicide.

Unfortunately in Australia there is no political will or moral courage to examine evidence of the catholic church’s crimes against children and their coverup. Or to implement desperately needed changes to protect any more children from being sacrificed by the catholic church or other corrupt and self self serving organisations. Despite barely a handful of brave individuals prepared to fight for our children’s rights to be safe from rape by authority figures, the vast majority of Australian politicians and lawmakers are simply too afraid of the power and influence of the aggressively deceitful local church leaders.

With more than 30 known suicides of victims of just two of the Australian catholic church’s hundreds of expensively protected child rapists, the Victorian Attorney General is nonetheless delaying, with a view to avoiding having to act, calls for a royal commission into this issue. Other states are not even considering the rights of child sex victims to some semblance of justice, despite repeated heartfelt requests for proper investigations over many years.

See the excellent NYT article about the latest damning report on Voice from the Desert’s website

State Gives Church A Beginners Lesson In Morality

The recent revelations that football coaching staff and their supervisors at Penn State University have been up to the Catholic Church’s old tricks has devastated victims of Catholic Church enabled child rape as much as the community directly affected by the crimes and their repercussions.

The fact that Penn State was able to do the right thing in this situation (at last), highlights for us how very wrong, cruel, self serving, heartless and avaricious is the position taken by Catholic Bishops, Cardinals, priests, and communities the world over. Not to mention the Paedophile Protector in Chief himself.

The revelations about Penn State have sparked a nationwide outcry over a single sexual predator with eight known victims (though likely many more), with arrests of those guilty of both the child sex crimes and the criminal conspiracy to coverup those crimes, plus sackings, and a determination to prevent this ever happening to other children. And despite a short lived, very Catholic, attempt by parts of the community to ignore the real victims and honour the criminals as victims of injustice, overall there has been a very encouraging focus on the poor choices made by those in positions of privilege and responsibility, which clearly recognises that anyone who makes such choices, not just once but year after year, is undeserving of both.

Yet when the Catholic Church is repeatedly exposed in ever greater detail as a criminally negligent institution which protects its reputation and considerable wealth at the expense of innocent children, despite a salacious delight in scandalous revelations, there has been no outcry. Where is the public condemnation of the fact that, instead of addressing the widespread crimes enabled by a system which could have been designed to encourage abuses of power, and the deliberate, callous coverup of those crimes, the Catholic Church has been allowed to get away with more outrageous lies, excuses, and denials, more systematic obstruction of justice, ongoing endangerment of children, a continuation of the coverup and worst of all, a continuation of the freedom from proper supervision or regulation which allows these crimes to flourish unchecked? At least Penn State has put a stop to the abuse but the Catholic Church is still a paradise of support, protection and enablement for child sex predators.

Surely the problem in the Catholic Church is more serious than in Penn State.

Just in terms of sheer numbers, the Church problem is huge. Thousands, probably tens of thousands of child rapists instead of one. Many millions of victims across centuries instead of eight or more across decades.

In terms of the damage done to victims, there is also an additional layer of spiritual abuse, plus the truly vicious re-victimisation of survivors of clerical child rape in order to bully, threaten, and intimidate them into keeping the full extent of this dirty secret hidden from view. There is also the complete denial of the essential assistance and emotional support which can make such a difference to how well or if a victim is able to recover. The Catholic Church is even able to, in many, many cases, set victims’ own families to attacking innocent and vulnerable children purely because the horror we had the misfortune to be unable to escape threatens the local Bishop’s comfy and respectable retirement or possibility of further advancement within the Church, and all the power, luxury and privilege that comes with it. On top of all the other abuses we suffer, this abandonment by our families, our communities, our spiritual leaders, everyone supposed to look after us and value us, is likely to be the final, unbearable straw that breaks us.

Those of us who have survived everything the callous Catholic Church throws at us in their attempts to destroy us, see that Penn State victims are valued by their community. Their suffering is recognised and mourned. There is a determination that no other children shall suffer in the same way, which is so important for recovery. The community flocks to a candlelight vigil to offer support and understanding to victims.

It is absolutely wonderful that Penn State victims, that any victims are treated with respect and consideration, and this is what we sincerely wish for all victims. Yet it reminds us of how very badly we are treated, and brings to the surface the childhood damage that forces us to believe we are not worth helping.

We see the support for the Penn State victims and are reminded how our suffering is nothing, the sacrifice of our lives is nothing, our experience is less than nothing in the denials that it ever happened. Under the insane teachings of the Catholic Church, we are made to feel guilty for the crimes committed against us, no matter how innocent we were. So we naturally see this support for Penn State victims and conclude, even though we may know better consciously, that we do not receive any assistance, we are ruthlessly attacked and ostracised, blamed and threatened, because of some fault, some essential worthlessness in ourselves.

Surely the world can see the injustices, the crimes, the immorality of the Catholic Church, and yet nothing is done.

It must be because we are undeserving of help, protection or assistance. We are not worthy of recovery, which is why no-one insists the Catholic Church pay for the support services we so desperately need. We are not worthy of justice, which is why the majority of priestly predators escape justice through loopholes, statutes of limitations, or with the weight of the Church’s obscene wealth to buy them delays and technicalities to last until they are too old to stand trial, or to bully lawmakers into abandoning many already difficult attempts to enforce the law, or to grind impoverished victims into silence or suicide.

Those who have not seen first hand the true “compassion” the Catholic Church offers to victims of its ambition and greed might imagine the Catholic Church could learn from the excellent example set by Penn State.

But the Catholic Church doesn’t want to learn.

And it certainly doesn’t want to act.

The Church hierarchy has no intention of doing the right thing by victims. It has no desire to be moral, just, compassionate, or understanding. It has no intention of reversing the very great evil done to us, or helping us to recover. It will not introduce child protection measures to ensure no other children suffer in this way, but it does want to take credit for having done so, and also to arrogantly and falsely claim to be a safer environment for children than anywhere else.

This will not change unless change is forced on them.

There are only two groups of people that can force change on the Catholic Church hierarchy.

Ordinary Catholics can speak in the only language the Church hierarchy understand. Money. Catholics who know about the crimes committed by priests, Bishops, Cardinals and the pope himself, and yet continue to contribute financially are giving their explicit approval to the policy to encourage and coverup crime, protect criminals at great expense, deny assistance to victims and endanger additional children. By bowing to Church pressure to keep quiet, to not speak about known abuse, to not question appalling decisions and policies, and to swallow and even repeat the disgraceful lies and excuses used to obscure this issue and hide the real guilty parties, ordinary Catholics encourage the Church hierarchy to believe it can weather a short term PR problem and continue its criminal activities unchallenged forever. The Penn State example will hopefully help to clarify for these people just how obscene and immoral the Catholic Church’s approach to this issue really is.

Lawmakers in every country are the other group that must take some responsibility for forcing change on this issue. Lawmakers have the power to require both appropriate scrutiny and absolute compliance with new, stronger laws to protect children against sexual exploitation by powerful adults. Such laws should remove the ability of organisations to act in their own best interests at the expense of child safety, and offer all children the same standard of protection, no matter which predator, or which abusive organisation they may be exposed to. Naturally laws need to be enforced to be effective.

The example of Penn State shows it is absolutely possible to put a stop to sexual crimes against children despite a comprehensive coverup of these crimes and an hierarchical culture that respects position, privilege, wealth, reputations and careers above the rights of children not to be raped. The elements that make this example so different from the appalling behaviour of the Catholic Church hierarchy are a genuine commitment to real change, not just deceitful PR spin, respect and understanding for the victims who have been let down so badly by those they had every right to rely upon, and a willingness to address the cause of the problem.

Catholics Sit On Hands While Kids Are Raped But Up In Arms Over Sarandon Comment

Catholic spokespersons, including the repulsive child rape apologist Bill Donohue, have called Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon obscene for an off the cuff reference to the Paedophile Protector in Chief, Joseph Ratzinger, also known as Pope Benedict XVI. She called His Greediness a nazi.

Determined to stamp out the crime of speaking your mind, Catholic groups rushed to slam Sarandon’s remark in the strongest possible terms.

If only they were a fraction as enthusiastic about addressing child rape, which remains rampant within the ranks of Catholic hierarchy, clergy, other religious and employees.

But as the well rehearsed excuses about Ratzinger’s membership of the Hitler Youth flood the media and drown out all other views, one can’t help but draw a parallel between this spin campaign and the ongoing efforts to paint the fact that the Catholic Church enables and covers up child rape look somehow okay, not their fault, a media beat up, a homosexual conspiracy or the fault of the Woodstock generation.

But perhaps Ms Sarandon was not simply referring to the indisputable fact from Ratzo’s youth, but to the policies and actions of His Wealthiness since beating off the other claimants to the best room in the Vatican.

When one is referred to as a nazi, the speaker means that this person is obsessed with control; suppresses all opposition; cultivates a belief in himself as infallible, almost Godlike, and a father figure; demands the appearance of excessive adoration from his mindless subjects; promotes aggressive racism, misogyny and homophobia and uses psuedo-intellectual arguments to support his inhumane policies; imposes his world view on all within his reach through bullying, threats, propaganda and indoctrination, preferring to begin with the very young; interferes with and dictates every aspect of his followers’  lives, no matter how personal, for his own benefit; treats his subjects as his personal slaves; and pretends to operate from a high moral ground but is very happy to impose his callous will through astonishing brutality. Oh, and puts on a good show for the plebs, complete with colourful costumes, powerful symbolism, mindless chants and rousing songs. Need I go on?

B16 was and is a nazi. The brave and talented Ms Sarandon has been remorselessly vilified by Catholic fascists for simply telling the truth, and as an example to others not to follow her example. After all, the truth is the sworn enemy of the Catholic Church hierarchy, its apologists and mindless followers.