Voiceless Victim

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

Tag Archives: Catholic Church callous treatment of victims

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

Victims Heard at Last

Statement issued by survivors of Catholic child sexual abuse, their families and supporters on the first day of Royal Commission hearings into the catholic Church’s response to child sexual abuse:

The children of Australia have long been denied our basic human right to safety.

In order to protect the reputation and assets of wealthy institutions and those who control them, we have been knowingly exposed to terrible danger.  We have suffered unbearable pain, and many of us have not survived.

When we begged for help or for justice our voices were ignored.

Those in a position to help us left those responsible for inflicting this harm to “deal with” the crimes committed aginst us.

In doing so they neglected their duty of care to us and to tens of thousands of children of this country over a long period of time.

But now, thanks to the bravery of survivors, insiders in various organisations and the media, speaking out about this issue when no-one wanted to listen, we are here, at last, to witness the truth being told by a few heroic individuals.

As you listen to their experiences, we hope you will gain a greater understanding of the real impact of these crimes, and we ask you to remember also all the others, heard and unheard, who have been through similar pain.

Our stories are hard to hear, but they are even harder to live, and immensely difficult to tell.

We tell them so that future children will not be callously exposed to danger, as we were.

We ask you to open your hearts and your minds to the suffering of so many Australian children, and in doing so secure the right to safety for future generations of children.

We ask that those responsible be held responsible. We ask that those accountable be held to account.

We ask for laws that protect children rather than predators, and we ask that they be enforced uniformly, that no person or institution be considered above the law.

We ask that all children be offered the same protection, no matter where they live, who their parents are, or what they believe.

We ask you not to be swayed by comforting but meaningless promises of change by institutions proven to continually lie about this issue.

We call on all State and Federal Governments to express support for and move towards implementing the recommendations of the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry. We ask that this become the bedrock of child protection and justice for survivors in Australia, a solid foundation upon which the Royal Commission, with its more extensive investigations and recommendations, can build.

But most of all, we who know first hand what it is to be abused, abandoned and to live in constant fear, beg the Royal Commission, the media, our politicians, and the public to remember this is not about point scoring, or reputations, or power. It is most definitely not about religion. Or politics.

This is about living in a safe and just society.

This is about protecting children.

Stay safe everyone.

VV

RIP Father Kevin Lee – a disobedient priest and a good man, punished for his honesty

The sad news is filtering through about the death of Father Kevin Lee in last week’s massive typhoon in the Philippines.

This was no doubt a very great tragedy for his friends and especially his young family, with whom he had spent so little time.

Kevin saw his daughter Michelle born in late September, knew her for a few short weeks, and will never see her grow up. But he was satisfied and happy, writing prophetically in his blog,

“I am watching you Michelle and I never want to feel regret that I did not love you enough. I want to know that whatever happens, I am grateful to God and Josefina for giving me the best treasure in my life. I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know how long I have with you. But.. every day…grateful … that you are my daughter…”

This terrible tragedy will also touch survivors around the country, as Father Lee was one of an extraordinarily rare breed. A catholic, and a priest, who eventually found the courage to put truth and justice before personal expediency and protecting the crimes and the criminals of his institution.

Father Kevin Lee was an Australian catholic priest who was in a loving and committed relationship with a woman.

It is not unusual for catholic priests to have sex with adult women. At least amongst those priests who are not gay or who don’t find it acceptable, convenient or exciting to rape children. What was unusual about this relationship was that it was consensual and loving, not abusive and exploitative.

If he had preyed upon a vulnerable young woman like so many of his colleagues, and forced her into both a sexual relationship and the secrecy made necessary by the catholic church’s celibacy requirement, he would have been in less trouble with the catholic hierarchy.

The point of the nonsensical celibacy rule is that, like in Orwell’s 1984, it is designed to be broken. Priests are human beings, very very far from divine and certainly not asexual. But once the celibacy rule is broken and the hierarchy or fellow priests have knowledge or evidence of it, they suddenly posses leverage, power and, most importantly, control over those who lapse in this way.

Consequences are threatened but rarely eventuate.

This blackmail, often mutual, is the oil which greases the many cogs of the Vatican machine.

You don’t tell my secrets and I won’t tell yours

It makes for some very strange bedfellows.

But Kevin went further. He committed what was, in the eyes of the hierarchy, a very great crime. A far more serious crime in their twisted thinking than raping thousands of children or vulnerable women and leaving behind a trail of immense suffering and death.

His heinous crime?

He married a woman.  While still a priest.

Strangely enough, the earth didn’t open up and swallow him.

He got on with his role as a priest and did some good for his community. For a whole year. And no one noticed the difference.

Now to remain a “good priest” and a “good catholic”, all he had to do was to keep up the lie. As long as the deceit and the fiction is maintained, no one has a problem.

But Kevin chose to be a moral and authentic human being instead, and told the truth.

Only he didn’t stop at the fact he had been married for a year and it hadn’t interfered with his ability to perform his duties as a priest.

He also told the truth about the widespread criminal coverup of systemic child rape within the catholic church.

Any up to date, reasonable, responsible, well managed organisation would welcome the information provided by Kevin, assess what it meant and revise their policies and procedures accordingly.

But no one except the seriously deluded has ever accused the catholic church of being up to date, reasonable, responsible or well managed.

Instead church officials refused to listen to Kevin and kicked him to the curb.

Now they had every right to do that.

What he did was not wrong, evil or unlawful in any way. Quite the opposite.

But he broke their stupid, senseless rules and they grabbed at the opportunity to terminate him.

What makes this so sinister is the comparison with the fact that thousands of other priests serially, systemically, routinely break the law by raping, in many cases, stupendous numbers of defenceless children, ruining hundreds or even thousands of innocent lives each, but they suffer little or no consequences, and in some cases are promoted.

And this is still the case.

Australia has now provided numerous examples of priests being swiftly (for anyone, not just the glacially slow church machinery) evicted from their ministry and the church altogether for what amounts to, if we stick with the Orwellian 1984 theme, thoughtcrime.

Hold the wrong opinion, or even worse express it publicly, and a priest can expect the most stringent penalty in the canon law arsenal enacted with lightning speed.

We are not talking cruel, discriminatory, vicious opinions here. Rather we are talking about not supporting the Vatican’s political and power seeking agenda, the fantasy of papal infallibility, and the cruel, discriminatory, vicious dictates insisting on blind, mindless obedience to the immoral, harmful, impoverishing and perversely intrusive sexual, marital and reproductive policies of these out of touch, obscenely wealthy, dysfunctional, childless old singletons.

By comparison, if a priest destroys the lives of thousands of innocent children, including the murder of those who suicide from their assaults and subsequent mistreatment by deceitful officials,  every excuse not to act will be rolled out, and every support and assistance provided to hide and protect the criminal and obstruct secular justice.

Look at this situation outside of the distorting effect of religious belief. Is this a world you want to live in, where this is what routinely happens, is widely acknowledged to happen and yet no-one in power does anything to change it, or even thinks they should? Do we really live in a democracy? Do we really have rule of law? Or are we already in a vicious theocracy by stealth?

Kevin Lee was not prepared to live in that world. He tried, using the power of the truth, to change it.

And it has changed. Thanks to Kevin, along with the efforts of so many others, we now have a National Royal Commission investigating the handling of child rape in the catholic church and other institutions.

I certainly hope before he died Kevin had a chance to give his evidence to the Royal Commission. Or perhaps they can question the officials, including Cardinal George Pell, to whom he reported his evidence.

Though what are the chances of Pell actually telling the Royal Commission what Kevin told him?

I can hear another few hundred “I can’t recall” moments coming on.

The battle is not won yet. Those same church officials who ignored Kevin’s evidence will try to hide the truth, undermine the Royal Commission’s efforts, and lobby to ensure no recommendations are implemented.

For those who are, like Kevin was, ministers of the catholic church and have knowledge about the coverup of these very serious crimes, now is the time to honour Kevin, and the victims and survivors, by continuing the fight to let the truth be known by the Royal Commission. To let an understanding of the full truth shape how we deal with this issue in the future.

The strategy, quoted by so many who consider themselves “good” priests or bishops, as a reason for staying put and keeping quiet, to try to “change the system from within” will never work.

Because unless you are part of the hierarchy, unless you are listened to and exert influence in the corridors of Rome, you are not really on the inside.

You are one of a cheap and largely powerless labour force, treated with utter contempt by those with real power, and used to milk as much money as possible from, and usurp the moral authority of, the mindless millions of lay catholics.

You are on the bottom of a pyramid of narcissists and sociopaths, who will never let people less cruelly self absorbed, less damaged or less obsessively ambitious than themselves climb the ladders of influence, nepotism and corruption.

But you are also likely to be a witness to many serious crimes.

You may have been told that to fight the church’s inquisitors and face down criticism for others’ actions is courageous and honest.

But the catholic church does not value courage or honesty. It punishes them.

It perverts them and mislabels them. Calling the cowardly brave and the liar an honest man.

Now is the time to utilise these very real, very human attributes.

Now is the time to rediscover your humanity.

Now is the time to stand up to the bullies and the liars and the criminals.

Now is the  time to tell the truth.

Just like Kevin Lee did.

RIP, and thank you, Kevin.

Stay safe everyone.

VV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And no doubt, the Royal Commission.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For that we are very grateful.

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

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

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

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

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

Protect children, not criminals

Support victims, not criminals

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

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

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

Our children deserve this at the very least.

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

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

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

Aim high.

Don’t limit yourselves.

Make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or will their response merely be self serving?

Stay safe everyone.

VV

Rat in the Vat Gives Up Funny Hat

Out of the blue, the world’s most powerful paedophile protector has announced he is handing over the keys to the best room in the Vatican.

This sudden and unexpected break with six centuries of tradition, where aged and often senile Popes usually only release their maniacal grasp on absolute power with their final breath, demonstrates just how easy it is to unleash radical change on previously unquestionable and immoveable Vatican customs, if, and this is the big if, there is a genuine desire for such change.

But in the area of protecting innocent children and unsuspecting communities from the perverted monsters so beloved of Ratzinger and his hierarchy, change has always been impossible.

Because there is no desire to put children first.

No desire to protect the innocent and the vulnerable instead of those who rape them and destroy their innocence.

No desire to deliver on oft repeated but still meaningless promises of truth, justice and healing.

So a change in the name of the paedophile protector in chief will not deliver a change to the policy of protecting the reputation and wealth of the institution and its hierarchy, no matter the cost to victims.

There is no voice amongst the hierarchy asking for real change.

Under JPII and B16 any such voices were ruthlessly eradicated.

Excluded, sidelined, ostracised, victimised and silenced.

The route to Vatican power is only open to those who support, not challenge, those already in power.

Yes men, mediocrities, conservatives, narcissists.

Those obsessed with the trappings and seductions of wealth, power and influence.

Those, like George Pell, adept at denying justice to victims while creating a facade of concern and of change.

None of the possible candidates for the funny hat will deliver change, though there will be plenty more empty promises.

And those in the running will not care how much damage their refusal to deliver change on this issue will endanger children or further damage victims or even damage the church itself. They only need to delay the inevitable march of justice until they are too old or dead to care.

As Ratso has himself demonstrated so tellingly, if they want to, they can change.

And they can act, swiftly and decisively, if they really want to. Like in cases of really serious crimes, such as discussing the possibility of the ordination of women.

They can even arrest and imprison wrong doers in their ranks.  Like in cases of the very worst criminals, such as the Pope’s butler, who revealed the truth about Vatican corruption to the media.

So, unconcerned with which particular power obsessed old man in a dress will now take possession of the solid gold toilet with diamond encrusted handle, there is really only one important question to ponder about this announcement.

Why did Pope Pinocchio retire?

I don’t for a moment swallow the line about age and infirmity. Ill health is the excuse they always use when moving rapists away because the locals are starting to twig to what is going on.

What’s your favourite conspiracy theory?

Post a comment below.

And, in tribute to the disgraceful reign of a self serving despot, here’s a list of a few of my favourite names for the old fraud.

B16, Ratso, Ratty, Benny the Rat, Bene the Bad, the Rat in the Vat, Rat in a dress, Pope Rat, Pope Nazi, Pope Pinocchio, Paedophile Protecting Pope, paedophile protector in chief, Protector of the Paedophiles, Monarch of the Paedophiles, Pied Piper of Paedophiles, His Weathiness, His Greediness, Monarch of the Rapists, the criminal known as BXVI, occupant of the best room in the Vatican, power obsessed narcissist, and rich old man who likes to play dress ups and has an out of control God-complex.

Stay safe everyone.

VV

Addendum:

Imagine my delight at a new name reflecting the despot’s hasty exit – Ex Benedict

Love it!

George “Marie Antoinette” Pell tells victims to eat Legal Aid cake

Like the opulently robed 18th Century Queen of France, Marie Antoinette, who reportedly dismissed her  starving peasants’ need for bread with the stunningly insensitive quip, “let them eat cake”, the opulently robed Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, yesterday dismissed child rape victims’ need for legal representation with the cold hearted evasion, “they can use Legal Aid”.

George, like the original Marie, completely missed the point of the injustice being highlighted.

The comparison between the flock of sinfully expensive top tier legal hot shots who shield the wealthy Cardinal and his paedophile priests from justice, and the almost insurmountable barriers preventing access to legal representation for the innocent children impoverished as a direct result of the crimes committed by those expensively protected paedophiles is stark enough by itself.

But this further demonstration of George Pell’s smug inhumanity to victims was uttered as he left the Red Mass – an annual event in many cities where the catholic hierarchy commands and receives a public expression of submission to its will and interests from the cream of the legal profession.

Shockingly, supposedly impartial judges are foremost among those eager to demonstrate their willingness to put allegiance to and protection of the pope, his Vatican officials and his local agents above the secular law of the state and country they are supposed to serve.

Pell ran into victims’ advocates as he scurried from St Mary’s Cathedral, where the mass was held, to the morning tea where those who sat through the arrogantly colourful display could ensure their attendance was duly noted by hard faced catholic officials. Once this important box is ticked, attendees’ can feel satisfied their possibility of acquiring lucrative postings or prestigious invitations, or of getting their children or grandchildren into the most exclusive schools will be significantly improved.

Pell’s Marie Antoinette moment came in response to a question from a victims’ advocate, asking how victims could access even a fraction of the legal might Pell had summoned to his side yesterday morning.

The slighting reference to begging for Legal Aid being good enough for victims clearly indicates that a level legal playing field – a fair chance at justice for victims – is the last thing Pell wants.

Not satisfied with routinely denying victims assistance to heal so he can spend more on his own legal muscle to deny them justice as well, Pell then put his elegantly shod foot even further down his own throat.

“I’m on your side”, he trumpeted.

As Pell stutteringly tried to elaborate on this outrageous fiction, and failed, we gave the clumsy cardinal an opportunity to turn his fiction into reality. We offered Pell a meeting with victims to discuss ways he could actually help victims, rather than just claim to do so.

But like his regularly repeated claim to be doing everything possible to help victims, Pell’s claim to be on our “side” was all talk and no action.

He left muttering disgustedly, “I’ve already done that”, as if it was somehow our fault that he attends deliberately rare meetings with victims resolutely determined neither to listen to us nor to bend from his Vatican ordered position of denial, evasion and coverup.

There was no way George “Marie Antoinette” Pell was going to waste any of his precious time, now, or any time in the future, listening to victims or attempting to understand our needs and concerns.

A strikingly similar attitude to that attributed to the ill-fated and out of touch Queen of France, who, as we all know, lost her throne and her head as a result of the arrogance, corruption and abuse of power of her reign.

I sincerely hope today’s Marie, presiding over a monarchical system rife with those very same vices, does not share the historical Queen’s fate.

Especially since I am so looking forward to visiting dear Marie in jail when our justice system finally becomes transparent enough to be applied equally to all citizens.

When inviting senior judges and the state’s Attorney General to a fancy dress party and morning tea no longer results in church officials being able to hide their crimes behind a sacred smokescreen that magically elevates them above the law.

Stay safe everyone.

VV

Papists protect child rapists

Papists protect rapists 

by Voiceless Victim

Papists protect their child rapists
but won’t protect kids – like me.

Papists pretend. What rapists?
Who cares what those lies do to me.

Papists revere holy rapists
but won’t even listen to me

Papists stand up for their rapists
the one they attack is me.

Papists still hide their child rapists
so no-one can ever see me.

Papists tell lies for their rapists
to drown out the truth from me.

Papists are good mates with rapists
and brag about silencing me.

Papists buy lawyers for rapists
use loopholes to keep them scot free.

Papists speak up for priest rapists
when I speak, watch ‘em sue me.

Papists sure value their rapists
no-one’s more worthless than me.

Power obsessed papists choose rapists.
The price of their power is me.

Who is the victim here?

The arrogant, entitled prince of a wealthy, influential monarchical religious institution which considers itself, and is treated, as above the laws of the land

or

The damaged, impoverished, abandoned child victims of serial rapists, whose suffering has been dismissed and whose pleas for help have been ignored by the same arrogant, entitled prince of the church and his cabal.

 

Those who demand that serious and widespread criminality, and an ongoing criminal conspiracy to coverup these crimes, be dismissed as all in the past

or

Those whose suffering is a direct result of being knowingly exposed to these dangerous predators by this refusal to obey the law and report these criminals to police.

 

Those whose expectation that their every word will be listened to adoringly and slavishly parroted, with no requirement their pronouncements be tainted by such mundane things as facts or truth, has been somewhat disappointed in recent days

or

Those whose need to be believed and treated with sensitivity when reporting these most traumatic experiences was so callously ignored for decades.

 

Those who spared no expense to protect and to support the criminals who have brought such disrepute to the religious institution and inflicted unimaginable suffering on those most deserving of protection

or

Those who have been brutally denied the support and services to recover from the damage that only some were able to survive.

 

Poor George. You may be the victim of your own inadequacy and manifest unfitness for position.

But YOU ARE NOT THE VICTIM HERE.

And your whining and self pity are offensive to those you have so harmed and about whom you routinely lie.

Why did you make us wait so long?

The sheer joy of Monday’s announcement of a national Royal Commission into child sexual abuse in religious and other institutions in Australia was not the only emotion bringing victims to tears this week.

There was sadness at years of unnecessary suffering by victims who had begged and begged for anyone to stop ignoring this issue and deal with it head-on.

There is the unbearable tragedy of those who did not survive, those who are collateral damage to the reputations of callous careerists and to institutional arrogance and greed.

There is shock that, at the end, as developments accelerated, this decision seemed so simple and everyone suddenly seemed to get it. Or at least, at last, to publicly admit they get it.

There are the feelings of abandonment, and of worthlessness from having been neglected and ignored and knowingly allowed to suffer all those years. Feelings which can come out now that, finally, finally, finally, our leaders are saying in the national media that we are important after all, we are worth saving, we are worth holding the criminals that harmed us and those who protected them, accountable for their crimes.

Suddenly the inexplicable inability of powerful people to understand that child rape is wrong, always was wrong and will always be wrong has evaporated.

What caused them all to suddenly gain so many extra IQ points, almost overnight?  Let’s hope their clarity and understanding don’t disappear as quickly as they appeared.

There is disgust.

Disgust at the disgraceful attempt by the once arrogant and now bumbling, but always callous, Big George Pell to paint himself as the victim here.

And there is pride.

Pride that in this highly flawed country, in this far from perfect world, Australian politicians took the high moral ground to address and eradicate real evil in our midst.

Pride in our own contribution to this outcome, no matter how small.

Pride in those incredible, brave individuals amongst us who made a stand on this issue, no matter the personal cost.

Pride in those who took a terrible beating in the early days, but couldn’t be beaten down. And who made the way easier for those who followed.

The fact that we have announced this Royal Commission is, deservedly, a source of national pride.

Countries around the globe are now looking to us to set a new international standard of child protection.

And, wonderfully, it seems our politicians have given us a real opportunity to achieve just that.

But the fact that wealthy, powerful, politically influential criminals were protected for so long, that brave victims were ignored and abandoned for so many years, that our suffering was increased exponentially, that so many additional children’s lives and potential were derailed, and that far, far too many never lived to see this day, that is, most deservedly, a national disgrace.

Stay safe everyone,

VV

True meaning of the word “CATHOLIC”

C – Callous

A – Arrogant

T – Totalitarian

H – Hierarchy

O – Obstinately

L – Lying about

I – Indecent assaults against

C – Children