This would only be in line with their own hocus-pocus teachings.The catholic Church has continuously investigated sexual abuse and procedures by their own ilk, since the Council of Elvira in 309 C.E. and has nevertheless indulged in these crimes ever since, for nearly 2000 Years.If we now start to believe or trust, liars, criminals, cheats and deceivers, we have only ourselves to blame.
Saturday, 31 August 2013
The answer, in part at least, may be the lobbying power of church conservatives, the Catholic Church in particular, and the office of Sydney Cardinal George Pell, more particularly still.
And their focus has not been the Coalition alone. Labor insiders acknowledge the impact of Cardinal Pell's office as it reduced the scope of its new national regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission.
Charity leaders, church heads and political insiders have told The Sunday Age about the lobbying campaign over charities regulation by the Sydney archdiocese, notably Cardinal Pell's business manager and chief political envoy, Danny Casey.
The pressure applied by the Sydney church through the charities debate has raised the question of the access and sway it may enjoy under Australia's first Catholic Liberal prime minister and his Catholic-strong frontbench that includes Kevin Andrews, Barnaby Joyce, Joe Hockey, Malcolm Turnbull (a convert), Andrew Robb and Christopher Pyne.
This was done when the blog was first started and not many people had stumbled upon it. Most people appearing before the commissioners will tend to just accept whichever ones are allocated to them. However, perusal of their detailed backgrounds may have some influence on whether or not people are comfortable with who they’ve been allocated to.
Middle Ages Vatican condemns New Age American Nuns: The Celestine Prophecy come true! Sisters in Crisis book mocks LCWR Sisters in Christ
Friday, 30 August 2013
It is both a sad and difficult question.
Whatever the motivations, no victim needs to talk before he or she is ready. This is taken for granted and needs no further discussion. Yet, something must be done to avoid the production of further victims. This is actually possible, fortunately. There is no requirement to give a victim’s name or the abuser’s name, and a person can still present a submission drawing attention to the offending organisation, even if it merely says that “organisation x should be investigated.”
Mgr Leo Cushley, who will be installed as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh next month, is expected to fully endorse plans by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland dating back to 2011 to examine all Church records for instances of clerical abuse.
Archbishop Emeritus Mario Conti of Glasgow said last week that the Scottish Bishops’ plan for an independent inquiry into these records was postponed when one member—reported to be Cardinal Keith O’Brien, before he retired—indicated that his diocese needed more time to be sufficiently prepared to participate.
David Edwin Rapson's crimes were so evil he was kicked out of the church by Pope John Paul II in 2004 after years of lobbying by his Melbourne superiors.
Rapson rose to become vice-principal of Sunbury's notorious Salesian College Rupertswood despite a string of allegations being levelled at him in the 1980s.
It was there he committed many of his crimes during the 1970s and 1980s, telling a fellow priest that "God made us this way".
The 60-year-old former priest was today remanded in custody after a County Court jury found him guilty on all charges, eight counts of indecent assault and five counts of rape.
He has already served one prison term after being jailed in 1992 for abusing a 15-year-old student at the school, years after victims first complained to college leaders.
Rapson is one of eight Salesians who have been publicly accused of molesting students at the Rupertswood campus during four decades from the 1960s.
Ballarat’s major party federal candidates have all met this week with a survivors deputation.
Survivors raised concerns that the Royal Commission currently under way could be watered down, that all victims needed to be heard, that a full-time support worker was needed in clergy abuse “hot spots” and there needed to be greater access to mental health and financial resources, including victims temporarily joining the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Disability Scheme.
Survivor Andrew Collins said the deputation’s motivation was simple.
“No more deaths,” Mr Collins said.“I have tried to kill myself before. Most other victims that I know of have also tried as well.
“Unfortunately, many have succeeded. In Ballarat alone, it has been reported that there have been over 40 confirmed suicides linked to clergy abuse.
“Then there are the unconfirmed ones. The single car accidents and drug overdoses.
“Alcohol and drug abuse, along with violence and family and relationship breakups are also prevalent.”
He pleaded not guilty to eight charges of indecent assault and five counts of rape relating to the abuse of eight students, who were between 12 and 17 years of age, between the mid-1970s and 1990.
The court heard he would use computer games, soft drinks, alcohol and cigarettes to lure the young boys into his office, where he would sexually abuse them.
The jury was told on one occasion, a 12-year-old boy was given a glass of lemonade that made him feel sleepy.
When he regained consciousness he had been raped.
In another case, a 16-year-old boy was given three-quarters of a bottle of scotch before he was indecently assaulted by Rapson.
One of the former students alleged he was raped by Rapson on four separate occasions in 1990.
Defence lawyer, Shaun Ginsbourg, said while Rapson had crossed the line by plying the children with cigarettes and alcohol, it did not make him a sex abuser.
After a nine-day trial in the County Court, the jury of 12 on Friday morning found Rapson guilty of eight counts of indecent assault and five counts of rape.
He raped one of his victims on four separate occasions in 1990.
Rapson showed no emotion as the foreman said the former priest was guilty of all the charges against him after more than two days of deliberations.
Thursday, 29 August 2013
The former northern beaches high school religion and maths teacher took that need to a 15-year-old student, having sexual encounters with him in her house and car several times between June and August 2008.
She made me feel excited and powerful, but as I matured I felt ashamed, angry, guilty and confused."It was a distorted view of what I thought I needed to feel loved," the 51-year-old, who cannot be identified, told the NSW District Court on Thursday.
"I took the victim's approaches to me for [help with] maths and I read them totally inappropriately . . . I read them as somebody loving me or seeing me as someone of value."
The special commission of inquiry will reconvene in Sydney on September 9 when the general-secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Father Brian Lucas, and the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Sydney, Monsignor John Usher, will give evidence.
Father Lucas gave evidence to the inquiry during its eight weeks of public hearings that wrapped up in Newcastle earlier this month.
He said between 1990 and 1995 he heard of 35 complaints against priests while working on a team established to persuade paedophile priests to resign.
Father Lucas was also part of a committee that designed protocol for bishops in dealing with allegations of criminal behaviour in the 1980s and 1990s.
Commissioner Margaret Cunneen, who was due to hand down her findings on September 30, was granted an extension last week to report to the NSW government on February 28 next year.
Commissioner Cunneen is investigating the circumstances in which Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox, whose allegations of a church cover-up sparked the inquiry, was asked to stop investigating certain matters.
The hearings, with Monsignor John Usher and Father Brian Lucas, are scheduled to start at 10am on September 9.
The commission finished its scheduled public hearings in Newcastle on August 1, but commissioner Margaret Cunneen has held a series of in-camera hearings during the intervening weeks.
Father Lucas, the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, gave evidence in the public Newcastle hearings and was listed as one of at least 15 witnesses giving evidence behind closed doors.
Monsignor Usher, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Sydney, had not appeared previously on witness lists.
Wednesday, 28 August 2013
Pell told Gerard O’Connell of the “Vatican Insider” earlier in the year that “The Holy Father is an old style Jesuit, he’s taken a vow of poverty and he takes it seriously. Most of the rest of us haven’t taken a vow of poverty.” When things got a bit boring at “Domus Australia”, George took some time off to fly half-way around the world to accompany about 40 “pilgrims” (no, we’re not tourists!) to Rio. On the way, he stopped off in Lima to catch up with an old mate, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne (pictured below).
The NSW Special Commission of Inquiry will reopen its public hearings next month to hear evidence from Brian Lucas, the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, and John Usher, the chancellor of the archdiocese.
Father Lucas has previously told the inquiry the two men met about 35 alleged pedophile priests, convincing them to resign in a "secret and discreet" process.
In accordance with the alleged victims' wishes, Father Lucas said, the two senior clerics did not report any of these priests to police, despite 10 of the men privately admitting they had committed child abuse.
At least one of these priests is before the courts, charged with child abuse. The resignation of another priest failed to prevent that priest continuing to work for the church, and having access to children, the inquiry heard.
Submissions to the paper close on 11 October and the TJHC’s will be distributing a consultation document to Church stakeholder on Friday 6 September.
Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Council, said the Council’s submission would represent the whole Church and would be a comprehensive statement on the current church environment and include recommendations for reforms.
“The process the Royal Commission is going through in calling for submissions to various issues will ultimately paint a picture of how different institutions across the country have responded to child sexual abuse,” Mr Sullivan said.
“The Council consulted widely on the first issues paper, working with children checks, and lodged that submission on 12 August. We received valuable contributions from across Catholic agencies.
An 85-year-old Irish Catholic priest has been arrested on the Spanish island of Tenerife for the sexual abuse of young boys in Britain, spanning a 37-year period.
Paul Cullen, originally from Dublin, was arrested in the town of Arona, in the Canary Islands. He was wanted by the police for alleged indecent assaults in Derbyshire, in Britain. It is alleged that this abuse took place between 1955 and 1991. Some of the children, altar boys, were aged just 7, 8 and 12 when they were first abused.
According to the Daily Mail, Cullen told police that he was “teaching sexual practices” for later life.
The priest was detained on a European arrest warrant, issued in Britain. He will be taken to the National Court in Madrid.
I thought the article would validate my husband’s experience. That’s why I emailed him the link to the decade-old New York magazine article about his alma mater, the American Boychoir School for vocal prodigies, where alumni from as late as the 1990s estimate that one in five boys were molested. Boys like Travis.
“It used to feel like an isolated incident that affected just me," Trav said.
It was the end of my workday on an October afternoon; I had just set my keys on the kitchen table. My coat was still buttoned.
“Now I know I spent nearly three years of my childhood at a boarding school not just with random pedophiles, but in a culture that allowed it.”
As his wife, how do I respond? That he survived? That he’s brave? That he’s a hero for letting me talk about it? That I will stand beside him with a personal mission and public vow that nobody will ever hurt him, physically or emotionally, again, the way they did during his 30 months as a choirboy from 1988 to 1990?.
The NSW Special Commission of Inquiry, which held the last of its eight weeks of public hearings earlier this month, will reconvene for an additional hearing in Sydney in September.
The two witnesses who have been called to give evidence are Brian Lucas, the general-secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, and John Usher, the chancellor of the archdiocese of Sydney.
Father Lucas has previously given evidence before the inquiry, saying he and Monsignor Usher personally met about 35 alleged pedophile priests during the early 1990s, most of whom were subsequently convinced to resign.
This "secret and discreet"' process meant potential scandal could be contained within the church, Father Lucas told the inquiry.
A body set up by the Catholic church in Australia to oversee its dealings with the royal commission into child sexual abuse is not the predominantly lay-run organisation it has been represented as, according to documents obtained by Guardian Australia.
The Truth, Justice and Healing Council was established last January by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia to prepare documents and legal submissions for the royal commission and review the church’s existing abuse protocols. It is chaired by retired NSW supreme court judge Barry O’Keefe, with former general secretary of the Australian Medical Association Francis Sullivan as its chief executive and media face.
Although two of its 13 members are bishops – Mark Coleridge, the archbishop of Brisbane; and William Wright, the bishop of Maitland-Newcastle – the TJH Council has been promoted from the outset as a lay-dominated organisation operating at arm’s length from the hierarchy, and its own press releases describe it as an “independent advisory group”.
In fact, the council is tightly controlled by a separate 11-member “supervisory group” made up of bishops and heads of religious orders. The existence of this second body is referred to in the TJH Council’s terms of reference, but its size and membership have never been made public.
Tuesday, 27 August 2013
Prosecutor David Cordy, in his closing address in the trial of former Salesian priest David Edwin Rapson, told the County Court he wanted to "debunk" some of the theories put forward by the accused man's barrister during the trial.
Mr Cordy said it was the inference of defence counsel Shaun Ginsbourg that the complainants could not be reliable in their evidence because were teenage boys at the time of the alleged offences, nor could some of them be trusted because of their own legal problems as adults.
Mr Rapson, 60, has pleaded not guilty to eight charges of indecent assault and five counts of rape related to alleged incidents involving eight boys between the mid 1970s and 1990.
One of the complainants alleges he was raped on four separate occasions in 1990.
Mr Cordy told the jury on Monday that Mr Ginsbourg had inferred the complainants told "a pack of lies" by asking them if it could have been someone else who abused them.
"It is a fanciful argument to say that a 13 or 14 or 15 or 16-year-old boy wouldn't know who touched him in a school environment when the person who touched him is known to him ... That is just a furphy," he said.
The Vatican news service Chiesa released a report Wednesday that announced a papal edict issued by Pope Benedict, only days prior to his resignation, on a change in the name of the Roman Catholic Church as mentioned in the text for the rite of baptism. Chiesa reported of Benedict that “He wanted ‘Church of God’ to be said instead of ‘Christian community.’ The order to change was issued a few days before his resignation. And it went into effect after the election of Francis” (August 22).
Though the change is only really coming to light now to the eyes of the Catholic public, it was originally published in Notitiae, the official bulletin of the governing body of the Roman Catholic Church, the dicastery, some time back.
What is particularly interesting is Chiesa’s observation that “Its existence was pointed out, amid the silence of the Vatican media, by the newspaper of the Italian episcopal conference, Avvenire.”
Chiesa describes the change in the Roman Catholic baptismal rite that Benedict introduced as follows: “From now on, at the end of the rite of reception, before signing with the cross the forehead of the child or of the children, the priest will no longer say: ‘Magno gaudio communitas christiana te (vos) excipit,’ but instead: ‘Magno gaudio Ecclesia Dei te [Church of God] (vos) excipit.’”
I went to church, to Sunday school, but I just never bought it.
I was the kid who asked questions like "who made God?" And "why did people stop living for hundreds of years?"
The looks of frustration, anger and, most of all, repressed doubt on the faces of my priests and teachers struck me as proof of my rightness. I started to believe that even the most ardent acolytes, deep down, didn't fully believe either.
But I could see why they wanted to.
Eternal life, the answers (albeit unconvincing) to life's mysteries and the self assurance that comes with knowing right from wrong are tempting fruit.
But science offers the same benefits minus the self deceit. Our atoms live forever, the universe is 13.77 billion years old and being nice is a matter of evolutionary advantage. Apples of knowledge, now with less calories. No guilt required.
Many have already adopted the inductive diet. One in four Canadians now report that they have no religious affiliation. But science hasn't been able to replicate everything religion has to offer.
Many will not want to approach police first, largely due to authority figure concerns, or a lack of trust in officialdom. Despite the fact that people involved in hearing concerns have, in recent times, become more aware of the difficulties associated with reporting abuse, many will still not like this way of approaching justice and help. This is fair enough, so alternatives need to be available.
This posting is not so much about whom to approach, as much as whom NOT to approach. There are enough people who have had a very bad experience from contacting bodies set up by their abuser’s organisation for others to be particularly wary of contacting these bodies first, if at all.
Defence counsel Shaun Ginsbourg, in his closing address to the County Court in the trial of former Salesian College priest David Edwin Rapson, told the jury the allegations dated back too far for a jury to find them true.
Mr Rapson, 60, has pleaded not guilty to eight charges of indecent assault and five counts of rape related to alleged incidents between the mid 1970s and 1990 while he was a priest at the boarding school in Rupertswood.
One of the complainants alleges he was raped on four separate occasions in 1990.
Salesian priest David Edwin Rapson has pleaded not guilty to eight charges of indecent assault and five counts of rape at Lysterfield College and Rupertswood College between the 1970s and 1990.
Rapson's barrister Shaun Ginsbourg told a Victorian County Court jury that Rapson had given some children cigarettes and alcohol but denied all of the abuse allegations.
"It is true that he's crossed the line in terms of socialising with children but that doesn't make him a sex abuser," Mr Ginsbourg told the court on Tuesday.
Prosecutor David Cordy previously told the court that the crown case relied heavily on the evidence of the eight alleged victims.
A free media-only forum will be held in Sydney this Friday, August 30, with the aim of encouraging informed, accurate and ethical reporting on the Commission by bringing together victims/survivors, mental health and legal experts, Commissioners and experienced journalists.
The sessions will be made up of expert talks and journalist workshops, and speakers will include The Honourable Justice Peter McClellan AM, Chair of the Royal Commission, Mindframe’s own Marc Bryant, and MP and Victorian Inquiry Commissioner Frank McGuire.
This forum is funded by Dart Centre Asia Pacific and supported by the Mindframe National Media Initiative, the Media Entertainment & Art Alliance, Suzanne Smith and the ABC.
For more information on the event or to register, visit http://dartcenter.org/content/reporting-responsibly-royal-commission-on-institutional-responses-to-sexual-abuse#.UgQsH4asdfw
The Mindframe National Media Initiative (Mindframe) reminds media reporting on the Royal Commission that adding help-seeking information to stories (online, print and broadcast) can provide somewhere for people who may be impacted by the coverage to find professional support. A list of 24-hour crisis lines can be found HERE.
One of the worst examples of the bishops' arbitrary power was the sudden closure of Columba House, the Edinburgh home of the Scottish Catholic Archives, in late April, despite previous assurances that adequate notice would be given to researchers. The pretext given was a serious outbreak of mould. Even at the time this sounded lame since rumours of the mould had been circulating since mid-February. Requests to see the specialist report commissioned on the mould have been rejected. Suspicion that the outbreak was not as serious as claimed was fuelled when Aberdeen University announced at five days' notice that the older portion of the archives, which have been transferred there, would be accessible again from early August.
I don't know much about the church in Africa, but considering a few months ago we were talking seriously about the possibility of an African pope, it is worth exploring. Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana was one African candidate mentioned at the time as a possible replacement for Pope Benedict. We were also led to believe that the African church was a thriving, fast-growing community that bode well for the future of the universal church.
Now we learn of an extensive resistance to celibacy within the African church. We read about an African bishop who left the church to marry and subsequently provided leadership for many other priests who chose to marry. Many of us may remember Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo getting married several years ago in a Unification Church ceremony. Yet the entire incident generally seemed to be a somewhat strange aberration.
Milingo left the church and became a leader of others wishing to serve God as married priests. We now learn that large numbers of priests feel celibacy is simply incompatible with African culture. Finally, we read that there are as many as 300,000 African Catholics following these schismatic married priests and their archbishop. Such a large group cannot be ignored as somehow inconsequential. To carry it one step further, there are those who are saying that if the truth were known, the actual situation of the African church would be even more startling.
Monday, 26 August 2013
While certain members of the Catholic Church and Victoria Police and court services are alleged to have turned not only a blind eye but ensured that no action was taken against perverted disgusting individuals who used their position of power and trust to sexually abuse children, Dennis Ryan in his role as a police officer paid a very high price for trying to do his job.
Congratulations, Dennis, on what you tried to achieve along with a few others in this area, and I am so sorry for the loss you sustained: health, family, job, financial.
By writing the book you have showed how much you did, despite being stymied, bullied and sometimes broken by simply trying to do your job.
I am sure there are many people who thank you for what you tried to do.
I am a Catholic and this story has not affected my faith in the Christian faith as over the years I have met some nuns who bullied and a priest who burnt my hand when I was a child, as I was playing with fire.
I have never forgotten the experience and wondered at the time how people who were supposed to love everyone who could do that to a child.
Sunday, 25 August 2013
Liberal upper house MP Rob Lucas said there was a "clear public interest" in a proposed parliamentary inquiry to be set up as early as next month.
One of the problems in sentencing of historical sexual abuse cases is that it is based on the norms for the time of the offence, not of the time of conviction. This leads many people to be disappointed at the punishment meted out to their abusers.
Penalties for cover-ups must reflect current standards, not those at the time of the cover-up, otherwise even more people will be left with the burden of disappointment and disillusionment. If an actual cover-up occurred for an event in 1980, but was not revealed until 2010, then it must be the standards of 2010 which apply, not those of 1980. Clearly, a range of penalties will apply depending on the extent, and consequences, of a particular cover-up.
Archbishop Mario Conti, the former archbishop of Glasgow, said last week the former head of the church in Scotland delayed plans to commission an independent examination of clerical sex offences going back decades. Without his backing, the other bishops also decided to delay, he said, claiming such an exercise “would have been faulty” without O’Brien.
But amid anger among Catholic laity over the handling of the scandals, insiders said the church’s own law showed bishops can press ahead in their own dioceses, and cannot be stopped by colleagues.
The church said yesterday that, once O’Brien’s successor Monsignor Leo Cushley is in place this autumn, an audit will be released showing complaints against clergy, church workers and volunteers.
But critics said that only an independent audit of historic abuse was required, and said the failure of individual bishops to publish details was an example of “delaying tactics”.
Saturday, 24 August 2013
Spanish police hold man (85) on suspicion of sexual assault of British altar boys
Spanish police have arrested an 85-year-old Irish Roman Catholic priest suspected of sexually abusing three altar boys in Britain over many years.
Monsignor Leo Cushley, who will be installed as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh next month, will "fully endorse" plans by the rest of Scotland's bishops to trawl church records for decades of clerical abuse.
It follows revelations Cardinal O'Brien blocked an independent inquiry into cases of historic sexual abuse that had the support of every other bishop in Scotland.
The retired Archbishop of Glasgow, Mario Conti, has revealed that the disgraced cardinal, then the president of the Bishops' Conference and who has since resigned after admitting sexual misconduct with other priests, refused to co-operate with plans to commission an independent examination of the historical cases, leading to it being shelved.
The Emeritus Archbishop told Catholic newspaper The Tablet: "It was the intention of all but one member of the bishops' conference to commission an independent examination of the historical cases we had on file in all of our respective dioceses and publish the results but this was delayed by the objection of the then-President of the Conference."
But Catholic sources have said that has already been partially undone, with current Glasgow Archbishop Philip Tartaglia opening files going back to 2006.
Friday, 23 August 2013
However, there is an equally important consideration which the Royal Commission may well miss. It will consider what makes for a “fit and proper” person to work with children, but is likely to give minimal, if any, consideration to what makes for a “fit and proper” organisation.
The term “fit and proper” comes from the Anglo-Saxon “fit” and the Norman-French word “proper”. Both words mean the same thing, that is, acceptable to the authorities. Most countries around the world have a highly-developed set of laws concerning fit and proper persons. Some people are not permitted to be company directors, for example.
There have been far fewer laws concerning fit and proper organisations. As one academic has noted, “A further difficulty is to know how much bad behaviour can be tolerated inside an organisation before the whole enterprise is deemed unfit.” This factor has been receiving much attention in the U.K., particularly in relation to whether Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB group is a fit and proper organisation to hold a broadcasting license.
Stopped archdiocese participating in investigation, forcing it to be scrapped
Shamed Cardinal Keith O’Brien personally blocked an inquiry into sex abuse in the Catholic Church in Scotland less than a year ago.
The probe had been agreed by the most senior members of the Church hierarchy.
It would have examined all abuse cases on file on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.
The hierarchy planned to publish the results of the investigation, but the then president of the Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal O’Brien, who resigned earlier this year after admitting sexual misconduct, objected.
He refused to allow his archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh to participate, forcing the project to be scrapped.
Other Scottish bishops had agreed the inquiry should go ahead.
Archbishop Conti told the Catholic paper he was confident the percentage of priests involved in abuse was small.
The Catholic Church has said it will engage in any process which allows "lessons to be learned".
Commenting on the continuing investigation into allegations of sexual and physical abuse at Fort Augustus School, Archbishop Conti said he would have alerted the proper authorities if the allegations had been made to him while he was Bishop of Aberdeen.
He held that post from 1977 to 2002.
A public inquiry into historic institutional child abuse in Northern Ireland is to send a specialist team to Australia after almost 60 alleged victims or witnesses now living in the country made contact.The probe has discovered that around 110 children were sent to Australia from residential facilities in Northern Ireland between 1947 and 1956 as part of a controversial UK government child migration policy. Most ended up in western Australia.
Of the 355 people to come forward to the inquiry alleging abuse in institutions such as borstals and state or church-run children's homes, 57 are from Australia - more than one in seven.
That is 10 more than the 47 people who have applied to engage with the investigation from Great Britain. There have been 224 applications from Northern Ireland and 17 from the Republic of Ireland, with five from other countries and five incomplete forms.
Thursday, 22 August 2013
THE Special Commission of Inquiry into the alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests in the Hunter won't hand down its findings until next year.
The inquiry opened in February and was due to report to the government by September 30.
But Premier Barry O'Farrell told question time yesterday that Commissioner Margaret Cunneen had sought an extension and would report on February 28 next year.
"We should all agree that it is obviously more important that the relevant matters are properly and thoroughly investigated," he said.
"No one wants any shortcuts when it comes into matters as serious as these."
Mr O'Farrell said the inquiry had more than a hundred private hearings with more than a hundred summons to produce its documents.
Ms Cunneen is investigating the circumstances in which Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox, whose allegations of a Church cover-up sparked the inquiry, was asked to stop probing certain matters.
It goes without saying that the new bill makes an important step in protecting children by recognizing that those who “obtain, patronize, or solicit” prostituted children are guilty of the crime of human trafficking. Beyond prosecuting both those who seek sex with children and those who profit from it, we also need to make provisions to better identify children who are being exploited and to help those who have survived such an experience.
“Soliciting or obtaining sex with minors, paying to have sex with a child, is a crime — period, end of story. This is a monumentally important bill that will do more to curb this terrible crime of [sexual] slavery in the 21st Century,” said Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, a sponsor of the bill.
In the Nelson District Court yesterday, the girl's mother said the most devastating thing was that she couldn't erase the irreparable damage Brown caused her daughter.
Brown, 79, who was a vicar at the Anglican Church's Richmond parish until 1976 and more recently had volunteered as chaplain at Nelson Hospital, was sentenced to six months' home detention for an indecent act on a girl younger than 12, after an incident in Nelson in January.
Brown admitted putting his hand down the front of a girl's pants and touching her genital area after he was caught in the act by his wife. They have since separated.
He stood with his head bowed and eyes closed during the mother's statement.
"I trusted you as a mother," she said.
There is consistent evidence that Marist offenders were sheltered by the church, over many decades in some cases. It has been well established that a cover-up technique adopted for abusive parish priests was to transfer them to new, unsuspecting, parishes. The same thing happened with Marist teachers, who were shifted to other schools when things got too hot for comfort.
Many of the Marist brothers, who were convicted of offences, remained members of the order, in good standing, until their deaths.
The special commission of inquiry opened in Sydney in February and was due to report to the NSW government by September 30.
But Premier Barry O'Farrell told question time on Thursday that Commissioner Margaret Cunneen had sought an extension and will now report her findings on February 28 next year.
"We should all agree that it is obviously more important that the relevant matters are properly and thoroughly investigated," he said.
"No-one wants any shortcuts when it comes into matters as serious as these."
The Premier Barry O'Farrell has told parliament he has now given Ms Cunneen until the end of February next year.
"While we all want the commission to report as soon as possible on these matters so that hopefully we can learn the lessons we should all agree that's it's obviously more important that the relevant matters are properly and thoroughly investigated," he said.
"No one wants any shortcuts when it comes to inquiries involving matters as serious as these."
Mr O'Farrell says earlier this week he received a request from Ms Cunneen for more time.
"I've agreed to recommend to her Excellency the Governor that the commission's report be presented on the 28th of February 2014," he said.
Wednesday, 21 August 2013
• Police have identified over 20 potential victims of sexual abuse in an investigation into two Catholic boarding schools in Scotland
• Investigation into Fort Augustus Abbey School in the Highlands and Carlekemp in East Lothian began in March following a complaint from a former pupil
The investigation centres on allegations of abuse at the Benedictine-run Fort Augustus Abbey School in the Highlands and its prep school Carlekemp in East Lothian.
The investigations began in March following a complaint by a former pupil. A BBC Scotland investigation, broadcast last month featured five men who claimed they had been raped or sexually assaulted by two Australian monks Father Aidan Duggan and Father Chrysostom Alexander. Father Fabian Duggan, Father Aidan Duggan’s brother has also been accused of abuse.
Survivors Andrew Collins and Peter Blenkiron yesterday called for victims to temporarily access the current Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) disability scheme, or an equivalent, until the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse recommendations are released.
"As every month goes on, more lives will be lost to suicide and more families will break up," Mr Collins said.
"The only reason we are proposing to temporarily access the DVA scheme is that it is already in place and the cost would be less than setting up a new scheme.
"This is no way minimises the contribution of those who have fought and suffered in our defence forces."
Mr Collins and Mr Blenkiron have written to the major party's Ballarat's federal election candidates, along with Senator John Madigan, on behalf of victims, their families and support groups, asking if they would support the proposal and help put it in place immediately.
You can turn your paedophile tendencies into real money today! You can get government grants to “counsel” the victims you produce, and with the right choice of cheap “counselors”, you can make a handsome profit.
During the course of a private meeting Benedict XVI said that a mystical experience led him to resignAndrea Tornielli vatican city
“God told me to.” This was Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s reason for stepping down from the pontificate. An anonymous individual who visited Ratzinger about a week ago gave a statement recounting what was said during the private meeting, Catholic news agency Zenit reports.
Ratzinger’s decision to stay out of the limelight still raises many questions, six months after the shock announcement of his resignation, Zenit says. One person was lucky enough to hear the reasons for this decision from Ratzinger’s very lips. Although the Pope Emeritus lives a cloistered life, he does very occasionally accept highly private visits in the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in the Vatican which is his current residence.
A retired priest from the NSW Central Coast has been charged with possessing child abuse material.
Detectives from the Sex Crimes Squad's Child Exploitation Internet Unit raided a home on the Central Coast on Tuesday.
They arrested a 72-year-old man and seized computer equipment, a DVD and other items for forensic examination.
Tuesday, 20 August 2013
On the bright side, Cardinal Pell will return from his Roman summer holiday shortly, complete with suitcase full of new outfits, and briefcases full of books. One would hope that none of those pesky protestors take the opportunity to meet him at the airport, wearing offensive T-shirts!
He can then take a firm hand at the helm steering the church through the minefield of the Royal Commission. The absence of his steady influence caused some problems at the NSW enquiry.
Dozens of former pupils at the Fort Augustus Abbey school in the Highlands and its East Lothian feeder school, Carlekemp, have claimed they were molested and beaten by the monks who taught them decades ago.
A group of former pupils told a BBC documentary that they were raped or sexually abused by Father Aidan Duggan, an Australian monk who taught at Carlekemp and Fort Augustus between 1953 and 1974.
Duggan died in 2004 but some abuse claims relate to men who are still alive and police said they have been investigating since March.
One former headmaster of Fort Augustus, Father Francis Davidson, resigned from a role at Oxford University last week amid accusations that he failed to act on reports of abuse during his time in charge in the 1970s.
Detective Chief Inspector Pamela Ross said she understood it was a difficult thing for people to speak about but encouraged anyone with information to come forward.
We know 107 cases have been substantiated during former Bishop Ronald Mulkearn’s 26-year term from 1971 until 1997.
We know through the recent state government inquiry into institutionalised child abuse, the Catholic Church Insurance has a list of clergy they would not cover because of their paedophilic activities, yet they remained in service and were just relocated.
We know 40 of the victims committed suicide.
We also know this is probably just the tip of the iceberg. One perpetrator alone allegedly boasted he had hundreds of victims.
Best and Farrell are still in jail, Ridsdale’s parole hearing decision has been put on hold while new incidents are investigated, Dowlan left the Christian Brothers after serving his sentence, changing his name and receiving a payout of $135,000, Claffy received a good behaviour bond and Fitzgerald died before he could face justice.
Monday, 19 August 2013
Royal Commission CEO Janette Dines said that more than 200 people have already told their story in private sessions across the country and more than 2,500 people have shared their story with the Royal Commission over the phone or in writing.
“The private sessions are already contributing significantly to the Commissioners’ understanding of the nature and extent of the sexual abuse of children within institutions in Australia,” Ms Dines said.
“Many of the personal stories which the Commissioners receive report a level of abuse and mistreatment of children which will shock many people,” said Ms Dines.
“We understand how difficult it can be for people to come forward and talk about what happened to them,” Ms Dines said.
“Trained counsellors are available to provide immediate support to anyone in distress, and we encourage people to bring a support person with them such as a friend or family member.
“This will not be the only opportunity for Victorians to come forward to tell their story. We will hold private sessions in Victoria as many times as it takes to hear peoples’ stories,” said Ms Dines.
Private sessions have been held so far in Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra.
People affected by child sexual abuse in an institution can register to tell their story by phone 1800 099 340 or email email@example.com
If you need more information, including about support services, visit the Royal Commission’s website at www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au
Media enquiries: Ph: (02) 8282 3966 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Since this is a preliminary article, the average figure of about $25 billion will be used, even though most would agree that even the higher figure of $38.7 billion is probably far too small in reality.
Again, using the lower bounds of the statistics, about 10% of child abuse is child sexual abuse. This means that this abuse costs $2.5 billion.
Allowing, yet again, for the minimum figure, 7% of child sexual abuse comes from strangers, mainly religious sources, and others such as Scouting. This yields a final figure of $175 million, as the cost of clerical and other offenders’ child sexual abuse, to the taxpayer and the victims.
Royal Commission chief executive officer, Janette Dines said that more than 200 people have already told their story in private sessions across the country and more than 2500 people have shared their story with the Royal Commission over the phone or in writing.
"The private sessions are already contributing significantly to the Commissioners’ understanding of the nature and extent of the sexual abuse of children within institutions in Australia," Ms Dines said.
"Many of the personal stories which the Commissioners receive report a level of abuse and mistreatment of children which will shock many people," said Ms Dines.
"We understand how difficult it can be for people to come forward and talk about what happened to them," Ms Dines said.
"Trained counsellors are available to provide immediate support to anyone in distress, and we encourage people to bring a support person with them such as a friend or family member.
The royal commission will visit Broome, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek and Kununurra.
The meetings will focus on how to make it easier for Aboriginal people to engage with the royal commission and how Aboriginal community organisations can support people wanting to share their story.
Commissioners Helen Milroy and Andrew Murray will meet with representatives of the Kimberley Stolen Generations, Yawuru community leaders, Aboriginal legal and medical services, sexual assault and mental health services, and the Kimberley Land Council.
The 77-year-old, who is facing 57 counts of indecent dealing and one of common assault relating to more than 10 school children during the 1970s and 1980s, did not appear at Beenleigh Magistrates Court this morning for a fourth time.
His barrister, Barry Ryan, said his client continued to suffer medical problems and needed to consult specialists.
He handed up a medical certificate to Magistrate Trevor Morgan and asked for another six-week adjournment, which Mr Morgan granted.
Mr Ryan did not explain the nature of his client's health problems, and declined to answer questions as he left court.
The retired south-east Queensland priest, who cannot be named under Queensland law, was charged in March but has not attended any of his four court dates.
Retired Catholic priest facing 50 child sex abuse charges 'too ill' to appear in court, lawyer claims
The Father, 77, who taught in southeast Queensland schools in the 1970s and 1980s, is accused of abusing girls and boys under the age of 16.
Detectives earlier this year charged the man with 57 counts of indecent treatment of children and one count of common assault relating to offences alleged to have taken place between 1977 and 1988.
The retired priest, who cannot be named, did not appear in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court on Monday and his lawyer Barry Ryan tendered a medical certificate to excuse his client's appearance.
Yet a six-month investigation into the Abbey and its monks has uncovered five decades of systematic physical and sexual abuse reportedly carried out by a series of sadistic and predatory paedophile monks. Men of God, supposedly.
When BBC journalists started investigating this story, Fort Augustus Abbey, in the Highlands, had been closed for 20 years; its prep school, Carlekemp, in East Lothian, for longer.
But there were whispers about the brutal practices carried out by some of the monks who had lived in the Abbey and taught in the school.
Sunday, 18 August 2013
Some of the offending organisations, including the Catholic Church in particular, vigorously oppose mandatory reporting, especially in the context of the confessional. Many commentators have suggested that church law is being elevated to a position above that of the state.
In Ireland, government officials have made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that the law of the state reigns supreme. Here, few politicians have dared to comment because of the political power of the churches. As the public becomes more aware of the role of mandatory reporting in protecting children, in the course of the Royal Commission hearings, then there will be more pressure on government to take a clear stand one way or the other.
Saturday, 17 August 2013
Firstly, there is the matter that a flat was maintained within the Home for a priest who acted as a “chaplain”. This provided the potential for abuse. Indeed, that happened with one Fr. Bernard Maxwell Day, who occupied the flat between 1961 and 1963.
It was the practice in St. Catherine’s that, after early morning Mass, the priest’s breakfast would be prepared in the convent kitchen and a girl would have to take it to the priest’s flat. A girl would also be sent to tidy the priest’s bedroom and make his bed. These women say that Father Day used to sit girls on his knee and touch them indecently. They assumed that this was the normal job of priests.
Friday, 16 August 2013
The general approach from government to deal with problems has been to set up an “Ombudsman”. This is fine in principle, if the right person is appointed. Too often, however, this has not been the case. Eventually, the Ombudsman becomes merely an extension of the government which appointed him or her.
Sometimes, the appointment becomes simply a cushy job for some politically-connected hack. At other times, the position itself is not given any teeth. The Ombudsman makes a lot of good-sounding noises, but little change occurs. This may appear to be a bit of a cynical view, but a quick review of the many instances where an Ombudsman has been installed tends to reinforce this view.
Government will always tend to support a professional in such positions, because they can be counted upon to be “responsible”, or, to put it another way, not to be too critical of their employer, the government.
The opening day of the trial for David Edwin Rapson heard the boy was 16 or 17 when he was allegedly grabbed on the testicles by the priest in his office at Salesian College Rupertswood one day in 1988.
Prosecutor David Cordy said the boy told Mr Rapson to "f... off" and punched him in the head and went home to report the alleged incident to his parents, who then contacted the Sunbury school.
But the boy’s father was told that the teenager’s behaviour was "inflammatory" and that it would be in the school's "best interests" for him not to return, the County Court heard.
"So that was the end of that," Mr Cordy told the jury in his opening address on Friday.
Mr Rapson has pleaded not guilty to eight charges of indecent assault and five counts of rape related to alleged incidents involving eight boys between the mid 1970s and 1990.
Former Rupertswood College principal Frank Gerard Klep, 69, of Burwood, has appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court for a committal mention in relation to more than 30 charges of sexual abuse against 11 victims.
The matter was adjourned because more victims have came forward with complaints.
Klep's lawyer Tony Hargreaves said he hadn't had a chance to speak with his client about four new complaints against him.
He said the matter had already been adjourned a number of times.
'The reason it's been adjourned is complaints keep coming forward,' Mr Hargreaves told the court on Friday.
'We can't talk about a result until we know what the charges are.'
The matter was adjourned until September 20.
Klep's bail was extended.
Aboriginal community organisations in Broome, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek and Kununurra will meet with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse next week.
Chief Executive Officer, Ms Janette Dines, said the meetings will focus on how to make it easier for Aboriginal people to engage with the Royal Commission, and how Aboriginal community organisations can support community members who may wish to come forward and tell their story.
"The Royal Commission is committed to giving Aboriginal people a voice," said Ms Dines.
From 19 to 24 August, Commissioners Helen Milroy and Andrew Murray will meet with representatives of the Kimberley Stolen Generations, Yawuru community leaders, Aboriginal legal and medical services, sexual assault and mental health services and the Kimberley Land Council to explain how the Royal Commission works and learn about the extent of institutional child sexual abuse in the Kimberley region.
Ms Dines said this was the first in a series of visits to the Kimberley over the coming months.
“We will be back in March 2014 for more community meetings, and then mid-year to meet with people who want to tell their story to the Royal Commission,” said Ms Dines. “The Royal Commission will return to Western Australia as many times as it takes to hear people’s stories”.
The Royal Commission encourages people affected by child sexual abuse in institutions to register to tell their story to the Royal Commission by phone 1800 099 340 or email email@example.com.
For more information, including about support services, visit the Royal Commission’s website at www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au
Media enquiries: Ph: 8282 3966 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commissioners Helen Milroy and Andrew Murray will spend almost a week in the state’s north speaking to representatives from the Kimberley Stolen Generations, Yawuru community leaders, Aboriginal legal and medical services, sexual assault and mental health services and the Kimberley Land Council to explain how the Royal Commission works.
Ms Milroy, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist from WA and Mr Murray, a Rhodes Scholar and a former WA Senator, will also be there to learn about the extent of institutional child sexual abuse in the Kimberley region.
This is the first of several planned visits by the commission to the region over the coming months.
Chief executive Janette Dines said the commission wanted to give Aboriginal people a voice in the inquiry process and encouraged victims to come forward to tell their story.
Danny Sullivan, chairman of the Catholic Safeguarding Commission in England and Wales, said the Church in Scotland would benefit from outside scrutiny and criticised those in the church who suggested their current system was “streets ahead”.
The chairman was responding to Bishop Joseph Devine, the retired bishop of Motherwell, who has dismissed calls for an independent inquiry, which is currently being considered by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Scotland after the controversy surrounding sexual abuse at Fort Augustus Abbey School.
In a letter to Catholic weekly The Tablet, Mr Sullivan wrote: “Bishop Devine is wrong to dismiss an external review of safeguarding in Scotland on the number of cases he believes it involves. Viewing the documentary on Fort Augustus Abbey School makes appallingly clear once more the profound damage to one individual by abuse. England and Wales has benefitted from two external reviews which have given us a sense of purpose and strategy though we never regard ourselves as ‘streets ahead’ of anyone else. There indeed lies the road to complacency.”
Thursday, 15 August 2013
A major inquiry into historical institutional abuse in Northern Ireland is launching an international appeal for victims and survivors to come forward. The inquiry seeks to investigate child abuse which occurred in residential institutions administered by nuns and priests in Northern Ireland over a 74-year period, from 1922 up to 1995.
The Inquiry recognizes that there has been considerable migration from Northern Ireland to various parts of the United States and is anxious to encourage any survivors who suffered clergy childhood abuse in Northern Ireland institutions but who now live overseas to get in touch. The Inquiry’s Chairman, Sir Anthony Hart, said he appreciates that the decision to contact the Inquiry can be a very difficult one for survivors, particularly if they live abroad.
“We recognize that, for many potential witnesses, reliving their experiences will be very painful and traumatic,” he said. “Indeed, some will not have told their closest relatives or friends about the abuse they suffered. If they now live overseas, the thought of contacting the Inquiry may seem especially daunting. But we want to emphasize that we’re doing everything we can to make the process as easy as possible for those living abroad.”
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett this morning unveiled a raft of child abuse prevention measures which could ban some parents from being near children.
If police or Child, Youth and Family believe someone poses a threat to a child, High Court or District Court judges could impose a ban, similar to restraining orders in cases of domestic violence, preventing them from working, living and socialising with children.
Screening and vetting of every person in the Government Children's Workforce would also be introduced and people with serious convictions will be permanently restricted from working closely with children.
"Someone who has committed a serious offence should not be allowed near children," Ms Bennett said.
The government yesterday refused to say whether the adviser, Kate Baldock, had told anyone, including then education minister Grace Portolesi or Premier Jay Weatherill, about the rape of a seven-year-old girl in December 2010 by a pedophile school services officer, when she was developing a strategy to handle possible media inquiries in February last year.
As revealed by The Australian yesterday, government emails obtained by the opposition under Freedom of Information laws show Ms Baldock was informed of the incident on February 10 last year -- more than a month before Ms Portolesi claimed in evidence to the royal commission that she became aware of the case.
Mr Weatherill has said he first became aware of the incident when it was revealed in parliament in October that parents had been kept in the dark for two years.
They inflicted physical and sexual abuse against pupils at St Augustus Abbey School and feeder school Carlekemp, East Lothian.
Now Fr Fabian Duggan, Fr Aidan's brother, has been accused of sex abuse.
He told the BBC: "Father Fabian had a long narrow room and what he would do, he would tend to call children in to talk to them. And, what he would then tend to do, is he would go to the other side where you would be trapped inside the room and you couldn't get out again.
"One time I was in there, I have no idea why I was in there, and then he basically just put his hand down inside my trousers and started to fondle me. I turned away as fast as I could and rushed out."