Voiceless Victim

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

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Getting it is not an accomplishment. Getting rid of it is. When’s that going to happen?

I am reposting here in full an excellent editorial written by Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) about the disgraceful performance of the Vatican’s paedophile protectors in front of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on January 16, 2014.

Bishop Charles Scicluna at the UN, the face of Vatican compassion for children they knowingly exposed to rapists

Bishop Charles Scicluna at the UN, the face of Vatican compassion for children they knowingly exposed to rapists

EDITORIAL

 “The Holy See gets it,” Msgr. Charles Scicluna, declared before the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child at a meeting in Geneva, reports the Los Angeles Times.

“Getting it” is not an accomplishment.

Getting rid of it is.

Not only is “getting it” not an accomplishment, it’s not an “ah hah” moment, it’s not even Christianity.

Getting the rape and sodomy of children is basic humanity.

Raping and sodomizing children is criminal.

Luring children into situations where you can rape and sodomize them is criminal.

This is not a complex theological argument.

Getting it is when Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, MO packs a moving van after being removed from his office.

Getting it is extraditing a Polish archbishop to Poland to answer Polish authorities’ questions about being a sexually abusive priest/archbishop — one who is being investigated in the Dominican Republic and Poland. Getting it is not saying you will deal with the matter with your own courts.

Getting it is releasing the documents. They are the place where the truth lives.

Removing Finn, extraditing Weslowski, releasing the truth doesn’t take commissions, papal or otherwise.

They take a Pope.

The Vatican has had one for over 2,000 years. In some years, it’s had more than one.

You can “get” this intellectually or emotionally – your choice – but out of basic humanity the journey is not a long one, the road is not laden with obstacles, the distance from Point A to Point B is short.

Getting this is simple.

Adults under no circumstances should rape or sodomize children. Period.

People who are in authority over those who rape and sodomize children shouldn’t harbor the people who do it, provide the needs of life for them, shuttle them into safe places, or hide them.  If they do, they are complicit in the rape and sodomy of children.

This is doubly, if not triply true if you are a religious institution which claims 1.2 billion members and you have a sign out that says you know the way to the moral life and you are exporting it.

It is inherently true if this religious institution also has a sign out that proclaims the priests of its largest rite as well as the professed men and women religious in the outfit don’t have sex, period – not with anybody, least of all by raping and sodomizing children.

If Catholics and the world at large accept the “we get it” explanation along with the rest of the Vatican representatives’ testimony before the UN Committee as to what is good and right and proper and what needs to be done for justice to be had in this crisis — it’s outrageous.

What the Vatican ”gets” is that the world is catching on to it and it had no other viable defensive option than to appear before the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva.

The world is catching on, make no mistake about this, because of the courage and the dedicated hard work of the survivors.

Here we applaud the heavy lifting that is done by SNAP.

And when you are causing the world to “grill” in unprecedented fashion one of its most powerful institutions, that’s some lifting.

The Vatican representatives ducked and dodged and deflected in the testimony before the UN.

We make available for you at the end of this editorial the text of Archbishop Silvano Tomasi,’s address as the Vatican Information Service presented it.

We call your attention to the Vatican’s characterization that Tomasi, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, was at Geneva as part of a periodic reporting event, — not as a player in an historic, unfiltered sit-down-and-answer-questions about your record on the sexual abuse of children for all the world to see and hear.

Routine event as the Vatican Information Service tried to characterize it in its official record? Nothing could be further from the truth. Seems in cover-up, as in war, truth is also the first casualty.

The catalyst for this particular committee “grilling” as news reports told the world, was the failure of the Vatican to provide required annual reports as a signer on the UN Treaty of the Child. The failure existed for 11 years. Some periodic reporting.

We will give the Vatican this: along with Tomasi whom they could have sent alone, — they did send Monsignor Scicluna and to his credit Scicluna went. Scicluna knows where the bodies are buried and it was a high level risk to send him. He worked for Joseph Ratzinger in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He knows what’s in those records at the Congregation.

One has to wonder as Scicluna sat there being grilled by civil authorities if he thought that his former boss in the Congregation of Faith, should have been sitting there taking the heat or at least feeling it radiate at the other end of a video conferencing camera within his Vatican castle.

Catholics, we do hope, will not be hoodwinked by this performance and add insult to injury to survivors by being sucked into another re-run of “it’s history.”

Pope Benedict XVI had every opportunity on any day of the week, any moment of the day or night, during nearly the entire papacy of Pope John Paul II  and the entirety of his own papacy to clean house of sexual abusers, to move the backlog of laicization cases still gathering dust in the Congregation, to remove abusive and cover-up bishops, to release Vatican documents, to order bishops and cardinals and congregations to release documents, to order bishops, cardinals and congregations to release names, — to come clean.

He didn’t do it.

That’s a choice, a clear choice, not a failure or a deficiency in “getting it.”

The sitting pope had scandal on his mind, too, as his representatives were on the hot seat in Geneva.

Said Pope Francis, it is reported, in his homily:

“But are we ashamed? So many scandals that I do not want to mention individually, but all of us know…We know where they are! Scandals, some who charged a lot of money…. The shame of the Church! But are we all ashamed of those scandals, of those failings of priests, bishops, laity?(emphasis added). Where was the Word of God in those scandals; where was the Word of God in those men and in those women? They did not have a relationship with God! They had a position in the Church, a position of power, even of comfort. But the Word of God, no! ‘But, I wear a medal,’ ‘I carry the Cross ‘ … Yes, just as those who bore the Ark! Without the living relationship with God and the Word of God! I am reminded of the words of Jesus about those from whom scandals come … And here the scandal hit: bringing decay (it: decadenza) to the people of God, including (it: fino alla) the weakness and corruption of the priests.”

We added the emphasis to the  phrase “ priests, bishops and laity” because we believe there should be howls of protest from the laity – who never see the light of day in parallel references with priests and bishops when it comes to anything else in the Church but they are lumped into the shame of scandals in equal proportion.

This is insulting.

Yes, there are lay people who have been on parish or school staffs that have abused –they have been prosecuted in vastly higher numbers than priests and bishops who have abused and covered up abuse , no comparison — and after being accused they have not been given hiding places and financial underpinning by the Church — nor had their bail paid by the Church. There are lay chancery officials who have covered up but their known number does not rise to anywhere near equal portion to the known number of priests and bishops who have abused and covered up and who had and have the power to end this crisis but fail to end this crisis. Same holds true on the financial scandal front.

This largest crisis in the Church in the last 500 hundred years has not been caused by  lay people. Good grief.

Getting it is not an accomplishment.

Getting rid of it is.

When’s that going to happen?

Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) KristineWard@hotmail.com

TEXT of the Vatican Information Service report:  

Vatican City, 16 January 2014 (VIS) – Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, C.S., Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva, spoke this morning before the Committee on the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC). He presented the Holy See’s periodic report on this issue.

ARCHBISHOP TOMASI BEFORE COMMITTEE OF CHILD RIGHTS: HOLY SEE AND ITS INSTITUTIONS ARE COMMITTED TO DEFENCE OF INVIOLABLE DIGNITY OF EACH CHILD

Vatican City, 16 January 2014 (VIS) – Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, C.S., Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva, spoke this morning before the Committee on the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC). He presented the Holy See’s periodic report on this issue.

“The protection of children remains a major concern for contemporary society and for the Holy See,” the prelate said. “… Abusers are found among members of the world’s most respected professions, most regrettably, including members of the clergy and other church personnel. …”

“Confronted with this reality, the Holy See has carefully delineated policies and procedures designed to help eliminate such abuse and to collaborate with respective State authorities to fight against this crime. The Holy See is also committed to listen carefully to victims of abuse and to address the impact such situations have on survivors of abuse and on their families. The vast majority of church personnel and institutions on the local level have provided, and continue to provide, a wide variety of services to children by educating them, and by supporting their families, and by responding to their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Egregious crimes of abuse committed against children have rightly been adjudicated and punished by the competent civil authorities in the respective countries.”

“Therefore, the response of the Holy See to the sad phenomenon of the sexual abuse of minors has been articulated in different ambits. On the level of the Holy See, as the Sovereign of Vatican City State, the response to sexual abuse has been in accord with its direct responsibility over the territory of Vatican City State. In this regard, special legislation has been enacted to implement international legal obligations, and covers the State, and its tiny population.”

“On the international level, the Holy See has taken concrete action by the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990. In 2000, the Holy See acceded to the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography, as well as the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. The Holy See then promotes and encourages these international instruments.”

“At the same time, the Holy See as the central organ of the Catholic Church has formulated guidelines to facilitate the work of the local Churches to develop effective measures within their jurisdiction and in conformity with canonical legislation.”

“Local Churches, taking into account the domestic law in their respective countries, have developed guidelines and monitored their implementation with the aim of preventing any additional abuse and dealing promptly with it, in accordance with national law whenever it occurs. … The result of the combined action taken by local Churches and by the Holy See presents a framework that, when properly applied, will help eliminate the occurrence of child sexual abuse by clergy and other church personnel.”

The Permanent Observer explained that “the Holy See’s ‘Periodic Report on the CRC’ is divided into four Parts: Part I deals with general considerations, including the nature of the Holy See as a subject of international law. Part II responds to the concluding observations of the Committee to the Holy See’s Initial Report, and, in particular, questions concerning reservations; the Committee’s four principles and the duties and rights of parents, the education of girls, education about health, and education on the CRC. The Holy See also discusses the principles it promotes concerning the rights and duties of the child within the context of the family. Part III presents the international contributions of the Holy See in advancing and promoting basic principles recognized in the CRC on a full range of issues pertaining to children (e.g., the family, adoption, children with disabilities; health and welfare; leisure and culture; and special measures to protect children, including questions pertaining to sexual abuse, drug addiction, children living on the streets and minority groups). Finally, Part IV addresses the implementation of the Convention in Vatican City State.”

“In the end, there is no excuse,” the prelate repeated, “for any form of violence or exploitation of children. Such crimes can never be justified, whether committed in the home, in schools, in community and sports programs, or in religious organizations and structures. This is the long-standing policy of the Holy See. … For this reason, the Holy See, and local Church structures in all parts of the world, are committed to holding inviolable the dignity and entire person of every child—body, mind, and spirit.”

“Pope Benedict XVI,” the prelate concluded, “speaking to the Bishops of Ireland in 2006 had these important words to say: ‘In the exercise of your pastoral ministry, you have had to respond in recent years to many heart-rending cases of sexual abuse of minors. These are all the more tragic when the abuser is a cleric.’ … Likewise, Pope Francis clearly … undertook new action and has announced the creation of a Commission for the Protection of Minors, with the aim of proposing new initiatives for the development of safe environment programs for children and improving efforts for the pastoral care for victims of abuse around the world.”

Stay safe everyone.

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

Newcastle Diocese’s Disgrace – Memory Loss, Distaste for the Truth, and Prayers but no Action

Pat protesting

Public hearings of the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry in Newcastle in recent weeks have left survivors and supporters disappointed, horrified, traumatised, gasping in disgust, occasionally giggling, and even bravely protesting before the media contingent.

And finally, applauding the amazing bravery of AH in exposing his private pain to public scrutiny. Nothing less, it seems, will serve to stop church officials from evading responsibility for any crimes they may have committed, or from continuing to expose children to serious danger.

One reaction we have not experienced is surprise.

The predictable list of excuses is being rolled out with gusto.

Blaming dead people, impenetrable vagueness about important details, convenient claims of memory loss, avoidance of personal responsibility, denials, excuses, and insulting assertions that refusing to listen to us, neglecting our needs and bullying us into not seeking the help we so desperately want is actually in our best interests; all these are being spouted ad nauseum.

It is no surprise either that these tactics eerily echo similar excuses used in the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry hearings and in numerous investigations of this issue around the world.

Despite all this, some survivors will be helped. Some truth is coming out, mostly in documents. Some admissions are being made, where their own documents leave no room for continuing denials.

The abuse problem in this region is staggering. But this narrow and politically constrained investigation is not allowed to see the full picture. Nowhere near it.

Plus, there are other regions in NSW, and in other states, that have suffered equally from this destructive epidemic. But they were not the subject of politically embarrassing claims on TV. And so, predictably, they do not warrant the time and expense of this Special Commission.

The NSW Government will no doubt claim this whole exercise is intended to help survivors. But we can recognise, through long and painful familiarity with the hypocrisy of church officials, when our abuse is used to further exploit us and harm us, under cover of helping us, by those engaged in self serving power games.

And so we watch and listen as a brave whistleblower is viciously targeted. And church officials are given a public platform for their usual smug, entitled and evasive performance, while survivors and supporters are largely silenced.

We wait to see whether this inquiry will be allowed to do anything with the glimpse of the truth it has been permitted to see through the cracks in the previously unbreachable, heavily armed wall concealing the church’s real actions.

And we wait for the real inquiry, the Royal Commission, to start its public hearings.

Stay safe everyone, this is a challenging time but it is not the end, just the beginning.

VV

Child Rape, Truth and Politics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don’t blame them.

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

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

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

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

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

Julia was gracious, patient and understanding.

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

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

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

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

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

Something the Catholic church works tirelessly to prevent happening.

Something I find overwhelming.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But in this it is almost unique.

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

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

But it still can fail.

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

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

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

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

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

Stay safe everyone.

VV

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.

Church Officials Still Investigating Their Own Crimes

The Australian Catholic Church has announced it has received but is yet to release the report of its internal investigation into the role of three senior church officials in the coverup of child sexual abuse by the priest known only as Father F.

The report, prepared by former Federal Court judge Anthony Whitlam QC, is based on an examination of documents supplied by church officials. These include the history of appointments, ministry and activities of the serial predator Father F and the way in which reports by the victims of the respected priest were handled.

Relying on evidence supplied by the very institution being investigated, an institution with a long and proud history of covering up sexual exploitation of minors and other vulnerable populations, and of hiding incriminating documents and other evidence from law enforcement while claiming full co-operation, the report is expected to deliver a result in line with claims by church officials that there is no reason for charges to be laid against Fathers Peters, Lucas and Usher.

At issue is the crime of covering up serious crimes – serial child sexual assaults by an adult in a position of absolute authority over vulnerable children.

Church officials were repeatedly informed about Father F’s crimes, since the first complaints were received in 1983, but refused to act to protect children or inform police. Documentary evidence exists of a report to church officials in 1983. Clear evidence of the knowledge of Fathers Peters, Lucas and Usher of Father F’s criminal activity comes from a letter recording a 1992 meeting between these three and the admitted child abuser. Details of the 1992 meeting and his admissions at that meeting were confirmed in court by Father F in 2004. Documentary evidence also exists from 2002, showing Cardinal Pell was aware of Father F’s offending, once again without any action to prevent re-offending, help victims, prevent the suicides of victims or inform police.

It beggars belief that even after the announcement of a national Royal Commission into child sexual abuse and its cover up, the NSW Police and NSW Government do not publicly recognise how inappropriate it is for Catholic Church officials to presume to usurp the role of law enforcement in the investigation of these crimes.

The NSW Police are currently investigating this matter, so what possible role is there for an investigation whose terms of reference were set by the Catholic Church, whose costs are paid for by the Catholic Church and whose main, likely only, sources of information are Catholic Church officials? This is a report by and for the Catholic Church, and any involvement in such an exercise by people who are not themselves Catholic Church officials should not be mistaken for independence.

There is surely no place for a self generated smokescreen to obscure and deflect police efforts, findings and actions.

Would we give any credence to drug lords investigating illegal drug importation or its coverup?

Would we expect police to treat seriously a report into gang related drive-by shootings which was commissioned by bikie gang leaders?

If police find the actions of church officials to be sufficiently criminal that charges need to be laid, those officials should not be treated as above the law.

And they and their colleagues should not be handing police a report which could and should be seen as trying to dictate to police the result of a current police investigation into their own actions or lack of action.

Surely the resources poured into this and other heroic efforts to protect predator priests and those who cover up for them would be better spent assisting not obstructing the justice system, helping victims to recover, not adding to the damage from which they need to recover, and protecting children from sexual predators not protecting predators from law enforcement.

And surely the NSW Police, the NSW Government and the NSW public should file this report, if it is released, in the paper recycling bin where it belongs.

 

The Four Corners documentary, Unholy Silence, uncovered much of this evidence.

Opinion on the announcement of this investigation by Andrew Morrison SC.

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

Top 10 incredibly insensitive statements from the Catholic hierarchy

The power obsessed Catholic hierarchy, led by Ratzo the Paedophile Protecting Pope, have appointed themselves as moral dictators and guardians for the whole world.  Whether we want them or not.

Personally I’d rather follow the moral guidance of the mould stain in my shower.

But I’m biased. I’ve had first hand experience of their morality in action. It ain’t pretty. It ain’t compassionate. And it sure as hell ain’t humane.

It is a great way to learn about the depths of evil to which human beings can descend. Find yourself on the wrong side of the Catholic hierarchy through no fault of your own and see how much Christian love and understanding comes your way.

Here’s 10 examples of how they think about, respond to, or treat innocent victims of child sexual abuse.

In their own callous, inhumane, insensitive words.

There are some things anyone with a single brain cell and a molecule of empathy would know not to say. Not these sanctimonious bullies.

My conclusion. These megalomaniacs with God complexes and a penchant for dress-ups must all suffer from at least one personality disorder. Whether they are narcissists, psychopaths, both, or some other combination, one thing they are not, is sensitive.

Here’s proof from their own self-absorbed lips:

1.  Archbishop Dennis Hart in Melbourne, Australia, screamed at a sexual abuse victim to ”go to hell, bitch” after she knocked on his door at 1.20am in the morning.

2.  The insufferable Bishop Anthony Fisher in Sydney during the Pope’s visit for World Youth Recruitment Drive 2008, snapped when child sexual abuse victims distracted the media’s attention away from his own carefully controlled and taxpayer-funded propaganda. He berated victims, who were and still are consistently lied to and denied justice by the Catholic Church, for “dwelling crankily on old wounds”. One person in particular he was referring to had very recently lost one daughter to suicide, while the other needs 24 hour care, after both were raped in primary school by the same Catholic priest.

3.  Cardinal George Pell of Sydney arbitrarily dismissed Anthony Jones’ allegations of rape by Father Terrence Goodall despite the findings of a church investigator that Jones’ claims were actually substantiated. Pell claimed in a letter to Anthony Jones that there were no other victims of Father Goodall, when on the very same day Pell also wrote to another victim of Goodall’s confirming this other victims’ claims of abuse. When caught out in these bare-faced lies, on national television, smug Pell assumed the general public will mindlessly swallow whatever baseless nonsense he spouts, in the same way his unthinking adherents do. “There was no cover up,” claimed Pell.  We also believe you when you try the old line “the letter was badly worded and an honest mistake.” Sure, Big George, sure.

4. Then there’s the  pastoral letter from His Greediness that was read to Catholic Church congregations throughout Ireland. It reluctantly admitted the actions of the Irish hierarchy were “grave errors of judgment”, but said nothing about the Vatican’s responsibility, and offered no assistance, and very little sympathy, to victims. Hold on, aren’t grave errors of judgement stuff like choosing to wear gold encrusted dresses and funny hats in public on a regular basis? The Irish Church’s contribution to the shocking abuse of thousands of children over seven decades was nothing less than a criminal conspiracy.

5. Ratzinger’s defenders enthusiastically claim he has done more to resolve this issue than his predecessors, not that that’s saying much. But they think cynical, self-serving, half-hearted apologies, instead of the usual complete and total denial, should be treated as highly commendable and considered an end to the issue. “As Pope, he has been unusually and laudably aggressive in dealing with abusers,” says David Gibson, author of a Ratzinger biography, a sentiment echoed by many Vatican apologists, who praised the Pope’s “firm and enlightened” attitude in dealing with the paedophile crisis.

I wonder if the victims of the Church endorsed predators foisted upon unsuspecting communities by a Vatican that knew about their crimes but refused to take any action would agree?

6. Jacques Gaillot, the former bishop of Evreux, west of Paris, is responsible for not one but two insensitive, and revealing, admissions. The retired French bishop correctly recognised it was a mistake to take a convicted Canadian pedophile priest,  Denis Vadeboncoeur, into his diocese in 1987. But he dismissed any suggestion of culpability with the devastatingly inadequate  “back then, that’s how the church operated”.

Not satisfied with one foot in his mouth, he shoved the other one in too. “We were being helpful. We were asked to take in an undesirable priest and we agreed”. What a nice guy! Not so helpful for any subsequent victims, however.

7. In 1985 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Paedophile-in-Chief, resisted repeated pleas from a Californian diocese to defrock a priest with a record of molesting children, putting “the good of the universal Church”, above other considerations. Those other considerations that didn’t get a look in included protecting additional children from being abused.

8. We had a triple whammy from the Vatican over Easter this year of increasingly fantastic claims blaming everyone but those responsible for the sexual abuse tsunami. The steady stream of scapegoat-fingering statements were not only bizarre, they were also breathtakingly insensitive.

First, they attacked the media for breaking the previously inviolable code of silence on this issue. The media were accused of “slanderous attacks”, a “defamation campaign”, a ”campaign of hatred against the church”, a “stoning” of Benedict, a “frenetic desire to tarnish” him, “a smear campaign”, and “an offensive aiming to destabilise the pope and through him the Church.”

The pope added the final word, slamming the less than flattering media coverage of his own poor performance on this serious, disturbing and important topic as “petty gossip”. The Catholic News Agency followed up by letting Father Gabriele Amorth, a Vatican exorcist, (they have an exorcist!!!) explain that the negative reporting was “prompted by the devil.” The devil, he added with a straight face, was probably also behind any cases of abuse. Then came the icing on the cake: the Pope’s own preacher tried to paint the abuse riddled Church as the victim in this drama. Victim of the kind of widespread persecution that characterized the “more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism.”

The mind-blowing hypocrisy of this ridiculous claim is best expressed by leading advocate for sexual abuse victims in the United States, David Clohessy, who described comparing criticism of the church to persecution of the Jews “breathtakingly callous and misguided.”

“Men who deliberately and consistently hide child sex crime are in no way victims,” he said. “And to conflate public scrutiny with horrific violence is about as wrong as wrong can be.”

9. Italian victims claimed a number of priests had “fondled and masturbated” them as well as sodomising them in dormitories, bathrooms and the priests’ quarters.

Among the accused is Monsignor Giuseppe Carraro, a former Bishop of Verona who the local diocese has sought to have beatified. Gianni Bisoli, one of the victims, told the Associated Press that Bishop Carraro, who died in 1981, had molested him five times.

The current Bishop of Verona, Mgr Giuseppe Zenti, initially accused the victims of “hallucinating”. However, the diocese had to open an inquiry after one of the accused lay brothers admitted to sexual relations with pupils.

10. And what better way to end this list than with a nasty and quite surreal squabble between rival religious leaders.

The leader of the world’s Anglicans, Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, expressed his “deep sorrow and regret” to Diarmuid Martin, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, to apologise for remarks he had made earlier in a BBC radio interview.

This enthusiastic apology to his rival was more sincere than many a Catholic apology to child sexual abuse victims. It was in response to Archbishop Martin’s vicious and petulant outburst about Williams’ comments during the broadcast.

The Irish primate claimed he was “stunned” and revealed “In all my years as Archbishop of Dublin in difficult times I have rarely felt personally so discouraged”. He was clearly more upset by this issue than by hordes of his own depraved priests raping and torturing thousands of vulnerable children.

So what is more shocking to a Catholic Archbishop than child sexual abuse rampant in his ranks?

What had Rowan Williams said that was so bad?

He told the truth.

Rowan Williams candidly referred to the Catholic Church in Ireland as having  “lost all credibility” in light of the child abuse epidemic and systemic cover-up. Not even Archbishop Martin would disagree with that assessment.

His problem with Rowan Williams was for saying it in public.

Even more shocking than the Catholic Archbishop beating up on the Anglican Archbishop for admitting the facts instead of avoiding the issue like he should have, the Anglican Archbishop quickly accepted he had made a serious mistake and apologised. Profusely.

For telling the truth.

Coming soon: Top 10 excuses why its okay for Catholic priests to abuse defenceless children