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.
Sunday, 31 May 2015
Peter Saunders was hand-picked by the Pope six months ago to be the Catholic Church's commissioner for the protection of children.
Cardinal Pell has been under fire since allegations that he turned a blind eye to abuse resurfaced last week at the royal commission into child abuse in Ballarat.
Pope's commissioner for child protection says Cardinal Pell is a 'dangerous individual' and 'almost sociopathic'
In an interview with Channel 9's 60 Minutes, Mr Saunders said Cardinal Pell had a "moral responsibility" to front the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and address allegations that he knew of priests abusing children in Ballarat and elsewhere but did nothing to stop it. Cardinal Pell has denied these accusations.
Pope Francis’s specially appointed commissioner for the protection of children added:“I think it’s critical that he is moved aside — that he is sent back to Australia and that the Pope takes the strongest action against him.”
Cardinal Pell has not seen the material that 60 Minutes is planning to broadcast this evening.
The Cardinal has not met and has not been approached by Mr Saunders.
Cardinal Pell knows of the important work Mr Saunders has done as a survivor of abuse to assist victims, including the establishment of a victims survivors group in the United Kingdom and more recently serving as member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors established by the Holy Father to develop policy to achieve this.
Saturday, 30 May 2015
CARLY CRAWFORD SUNDAY HERALD SUN MAY 30, 2015
EVIL priest Gerald Ridsdale is “arrogant”, spends his jail time hiding inside his small unit and has multiple Catholic Church priests on his list of contacts.
The serial paedophile, who the Catholic Church allegedly protected during his horrific 30-year sex offending spree, hardly ever leaves his residence inside the Ararat jail.
“He rarely ventures out into the main area,” said a prison source.
“He keeps to himself, presumably because he’s worried about getting bashed.”
The meeting was held between Bishop Bird, Mr Collins and fellow survivor Peter Blenkiron to discuss the diocese footing the bill for the difference between the disability support pension, which many survivors live on, and the returned servicemen’s pension, which is an extra $256 a week.
Friday, 29 May 2015
Residents will gather at noon at the Grenville Street courthouse and walk to the Sturt Street median strip to join the Survivors of Suicide White Wreath Day memorial service.
As a student body we are well aware of the events currently unfolding in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse being heard in Ballarat.
The details revealed in the hearing are simply unfathomable to the students of today. We are hearing of heinous and disgusting crimes to which nobody should ever have been subjected.
EARLY OFFENDING BY GERALD RIDSDALE
Started offending while in seminary in 1950s.
KNOWLEDGE BY THE CHURCH IN BALLARAT
* The first complaint about Ridsdale was made to Bishop James O'Collins in 1961. He was told if it happens again he's "off the mission" (priesthood taken away).
* Bishop Ronald Mulkearns knew about Ridsdale's offending in 1975, but didn't suspend him until 1988.
* Convicted priest Paul Ryan says Bishop Mulkearns knew about him in 1977 and "buried his head in the sand" about sexual abuse in diocese. Ryan was removed as priest 1993.
* Bishop Mulkearns, Monsignor Leo Fiscalini and vicar general Father Henry Nolan all received complaints about Ridsdale's conduct in Mortlake (1981-1982).
Gordon Hill hopes the many people like him who were abused as children by clergy in Ballarat will eventually end up finding a little bit of peace and recognition.
The 72-year-old is glad he made the 3000km journey from Western Australia to the Victorian regional city to tell the royal commission of the physical and sexual abuse he suffered as a child at St Joseph's Home.
But many survivors of the widespread abuse by clergy over decades in the Ballarat diocese feel that even after an intense two-week public hearing, there's still a long way to go.
In particular they point to the Catholic Church's response and handling of abuse complaints.
Child abuse sex inquiry: Bishop Paul Bird denies as many as 14 Ballarat priests involved in abuse as hearings wrap up
Bishop Bird said while he does not know the actual figure, he does not think all of the complaints were substantiated.
Diocese of Ballarat would struggle to cover all child sexual abuse compensation claims, says Bishop Paul Bird
Bishop Bird said they might have to rely on financial aid from other dioceses if a large amount of claims are made.
"I do have doubts that we could meet those claims," Bishop Bird said.
"We need to learn from the royal commission to ensure we can put in measures to prevent those types of situations occurring."
As many as 14 priests have been found to have sexually abused children in Victoria’s Ballarat diocese, the child sexual abuse royal commission has heard.
Data before the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse shows there have been at least 130 claims and substantiated complaints of child sexual abuse against the Ballarat diocese since 1980.
He was charismatic and many were in awe of him, his nephew David Ridsdale recalls.
Ridsdale's mother would be frantic when he came home to visit, ordering his six siblings to get their cars off the driveway hours before his arrival.
Take Thursday, for example, down at Fairhaven outside a nice house on the Great Ocean Road, occupied by former bishop Ronald Mulkearns, 83. He was named this week as the "pivotal person" responsible for failing to prevent rampant child sexual abuse at Catholic institutions in Ballarat in the 1970s, moving Ridsdale around the state and overseas as the allegations against him piled up.
A Rome-based confidante of the cardinal said he believed he had already fully dealt with the allegations when they were raised in 2013 at a parliamentary inquiry.
“The Cardinal was anxious to support the Inquiry and provided detailed submissions as well as many hours of sworn evidence and questioning,” the close friend said.
“No adverse findings on these issues emerged.”
He will stand trial in Sydney on January 18.
The trial is expected to take four weeks.
The ex-priest first appeared before the Armidale Local Court on October 18, 2012.
Giving evidence for a second day at the child sex abuse royal commission in Ballarat, Australia’s worst paedophile priest said he was now sorry he wasn’t reported to police and believes he should never have been ordained.
Ridsdale also appeared to back track on evidence given on Wednesday, conceding he may have approached Cardinal George Pell to give character evidence at his 1993 court appearance.
But there is nothing ordinary about Gerald Ridsdale.
It is hard to reconcile the image on the screen — that of a feeble old man who needed the assistance of a walking frame — with the one that has been painted in the media of an evil, perverted sex fiend who preyed on young children with zero thought for the hurt and harm he was causing.
But make no mistake — the man who appeared at the royal commission into child sex abuse via video link from his Ararat prison is a monster.
He told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that the issue should be revisited.
“If we looked at the possible negative effects of not including women, then that would add to the reason for the discussion,” he said.
I felt like taking a shower because the need to be cleansed after my exposure to this piece of excrement was akin to a drug addict searching for another fix. It wasn’t simply listening to his accounts of various incidents of child abuse that made me nauseous. The tales of complicity by various figures in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Victoria at the time had a familiar ring to them.
Ridsdale has finished two days testifying as part of its investigation into widespread abuse by clergy in the Ballarat diocese and the response of the Catholic Church.
Church lawyers have asked for time to consider Ridsdale's evidence before questioning him.
Child sexual abuse inquiry: Catholic Church did not understand paedophilia at the time of Gerald Ridsdale's offending
"It's not yet public, but we have heard from at least one priest who confessed to his confessor, and in that way reconciled his offending behaviour, which continued with his belief in God," Justice McClellan said on Friday.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Ballarat has heard the 81-year-old former priest went on to abuse children in Maroubra and the Diocese of Wollongong after he had been sent away from Ballarat because of multiple complaints that he was sexually abusing children.
Thursday, 28 May 2015
Two Ballarat bishops knew of Ridsdale's crimes, one as early as 1961, and two Sydney archbishops knew he had "sexual problems" and should be kept away from children, an inquiry has heard.
The child sex abuse royal commission has also heard allegations raised during Ridsdale's last court case that a victim believed another priest walked in while Ridsdale was sexually assaulting her.
Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns also knew Ridsdale was committing crimes and abusing children, the commission heard.
Ridsdale was sent out of Victoria, effectively to a desk job in Sydney, to get him away from parishes and access to children, senior counsel assisting the commission Gail Furness SC said on Thursday
The Chairman of the Commission, Mr Justice Peter McClellan, confirmed that Cardinal Pell would be asked to provide a statement about his responses to victims of abuse in the Victorian goldfields city and warned the Church that the Commission would make findings even if the Church persisted with its stance of not cross-examining survivors of abuse.
A judge last year said a girl believed another priest was present for a short time while Ridsdale was sexually assaulting her and must have been aware of the assault but did not intervene.
On Thursday, senior counsel assisting the child sex abuse royal commission, Gail Furness, asked Ridsdale who that priest was.
Speaking to Neil Mitchell on 3AW Mornings, he urged senior leaders in the clergy to appear at the Royal Commission hearings in Ballarat.
"There are a lot of Catholics who are sick and tired of the church operating like one of the worst insurance companies anywhere," he said.
"Denying claims, refusing to acknowledge things and having to be dragged almost to deal with some of these issues."
Giving evidence to the royal commission into child sex abuse, 81-year-old Ridsdale was taken through his history of offending, starting at the Corpus Christi Seminary in Werribee where he realised his attraction to boys.
Ridsdale and Cardinal Pell lived in the Ballarat East presbytery together for about a year in the early 1970s.
Ridsdale told the child abuse royal commission he would have chatted with Father Pell but he did not tell him about his issues with children since his time in the seminary.
“No I don’t think so,” Ridsdale told the commission’s Ballarat inquiry on Thursday.
The admission comes after he told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Wednesday, which was holding hearings in Ballarat, that he could not remember living with Cardinal Pell at all.
Records show they lived together for about a year.
Ridsdale said he could not remember offending against a child when he went to live at White Cliffs in NSW, after stepping down from parish work in 1988.
"I can't think of anyone that I did," he told the child sex abuse royal commission's Ballarat inquiry on Thursday.
Senior counsel assisting the commission Gail Furness SC said there was a family Ridsdale met and became friendly with.
DISGRACED priest Gerald Ridsdale now believes crimes told in confession should be reported to police.
“Well, from my experience and what I’ve done and the damage that I’ve done, I’d say yes definitely,” he said.
“I don’t know what the church ruling or legislation or thought is about that, but that’s my personal opinion.”
FULL ROYAL COMMISSION COVERAGE.
Ridsdale was giving testimony via video-link from jail at Wednesday’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Wednesday, 27 May 2015
On Wednesday, he revealed how he had an established pattern of finding victims, befriending their families and setting up drop-in centres to trap vulnerable young boys.
Speaking after 62 per cent of people in the South voted in favour of changing the constitution to allow gay and lesbian couple to marry, the former minister of Kilskeery Free Presbyterian Church went on to brand it as a “false religion” which has “cursed” Ireland.
Father Eric Bryant told the Herald Sun that concerns over Ridsdale’s “committing homosexual acts” were explicitly discussed in the meeting — which was attended by now Cardinal George Pell — at which it was decided to shift Ridsdale from the parish of Mortlake.
WATCH RIDSDALE GIVE EVIDENCE HERE
The stunning revelation came as Ridsdale on Wednesday broke his silence over his crimes to the royal commission.
He said church authorities knew he was molesting children in the 1960s, but gave him access to more vulnerable youngsters for almost 30 years.
Parents' anger at Sydney Archbishop's note sent home with Catholic schoolchildren about horrific abuse being uncovered at royal commission that says some criticism is 'unfair'
Archbishop Fisher was responding to the Ballarat sex abuse inquiry
Parents saw the letter as a sign that the Catholic Church is still in denial
Archbishop Fisher also defended Cardinal George Pell in the letter
But Cardinal Pell's association with pervert Gerald Ridsdale didn't help
Looks deceive. It's all in the perspective.
He was a monster, sure enough, to little boys awed by this man in the robes of a priest who offered himself as a friend and molested them, again and again. Boys who, according to senior counsel, afterwards couldn't bear anyone touching them or their fathers coming near.
Survivors of child sexual abuse and their supporters have poured scorn on the evidence given by Gerald Ridsdale, accusing the convicted paedophile of protecting the hierarchy of the Catholic church.
Ridsdale, 81, gave evidence to the royal commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse via video link from prison, where he is serving time after being convicted of more than 140 offences against children as young as four over three decades until the 1980s.
Australia's worst pedophile priest has told the child abuse royal commission he did not tell anyone he was abusing children, as he was afraid of being kicked out of the priesthood.
"I knew it was wrong. It was morally wrong and it was legally wrong," Ridsdale said.
"Yes, they were serious sins.
"I'd be fearful all the time of someone reporting me."
The 81-year-old admitted he hurt the children.
"Yes, I did, I know that."
Today, Ridsdale told the Royal Commission he was "out of control" abusing children, and admitted he did not tell anyone for fears of being defrocked.
Child sexual abuse inquiry: Paedophile Gerald Ridsdale continued on as priest despite bishop's warning, royal commission hears
Clergy abuse sufferer Andrew Collins says victims are bitterly disenchanted that Ridsdale has not revealed who within the church hierarchy knew about his offending and moved him round
Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican's prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy said he was "horrified" by claims of abuse and cover-ups by the Catholic church, and that he will give evidence if he is asked.
"I am horrified by the accounts that survivors have given in their evidence during the Ballarat hearings, and at the enormous impact the abuse has had on them, their families and the community," Pell said in a letter to the inquiry, referring to his home city where he served as an assistant priest from 1973 to 1983.
Cardinal Pell has previously denied the claims but issued another statement today saying he would front the hearings in Ballarat if he was asked to do so.
Child sexual abuse inquiry: Notorious paedophile Gerald Ridsdale unable to control his sexual urges, royal commission hears
Gerald Francis Ridsdale says he did not tell anyone he had abused children when he was first ordained because he was afraid of being kicked out of the priesthood.
Ridsdale has told the child abuse royal commission that he did not confess all his sins during confession once he left the seminary, and told no one he was abusing children when he was ordained in 1961.
Ridsdale also said he can't remember asking then-Father Pell what he would say on his behalf at Ridsdale's first court appearance in 1993, when the two were photographed together.
Ridsdale said he could not remember living in the presbytery with Father Pell in the early 1970s.
"I've been told that but I can't remember actually being there with George," Ridsdale told the child abuse royal commission hearing in Ballarat.
'I was out of control': Australia’s worst pedophile priest tells commission he knew what he did was wrong
Appearing today before the commission’s Ballarat hearing into institutional responses to child sex abuse via videolink from jail, Ridsdale has repeatedly referred to the prosecutor’s notes and has struggled to remember much of his previous testimony and the circumstances of his offending, including the names of some of his many victims.
'I never had much to do with him', he said.
Ridsdale says he can't remember having any dealings with now-Cardinal George Pell, despite living in the Ballarat East presbytery with him.
Australia’s most prolific pedophile priest said he had never confessed his own offending, either to friends or in confession. But he now believes crimes related in confession should be reported.
“I think in the days when I was sort of working as a priest, everything told in confession was to be kept secret, private,” he told the royal commission into child sexual abuse.
“Without wanting to pre-empt the Royal Commission in any way — you can’t just invite yourself to give evidence — I want to make it absolutely clear that I am willing to give evidence should the Commission request this, be it by statement, appearance by video link, or by attending personally.”
Ridsdale has told the child abuse royal commission that he did not confess all his sins during confession once he left the seminary, and told no one he was abusing children when he was ordained in 1961.
"I didn't confess the sexual offending against children," Ridsdale told the commission's Ballarat hearing, via videolink from jail.
Ridsdale, 81, also told the commission that he was sexually abused by two family members before he was 12 in evidence given via videolink from Ararat prison.
The royal commission into institutional child abuse in Ballarat on Wednesday heard then Ballarat Bishop James O'Collins received a complaint concerning Ridsdale molesting a young boy in the early 1960s.
‘I am deeply committed to helping the survivors’: Cardinal George Pell FINALLY agrees to give evidence at Royal Commission into child sexual abuse
A petition called for Pell to attend Royal Commission into child sex abuse
Pell wrote a letter to Justice Peter McClellan on Tuesday night to confirm his willingness to travel to Ballarat
Pell insists he has not yet been called to give evidence in any form
Victims gave evidence Pell bribed them for silence and ignored complaints
He has been criticised for visiting
"Well from my experience and what I've done, and the damage that I've done, I'd say yes definitely," he said.
"I don't know what the church ruling or legislation or thought is about that, but that's my personal opinion."
Ridsdale said he finally "got up the guts" to talk to a psychiatrist or psychologist during his time in Warrnambool and told them he thought he was gay.
Tuesday, 26 May 2015
Addressed to Pope Francis, the Change.org petition calls for Pell — the Vatican’s financial chief and former archbishop of Sydney — to answer questions from Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Gerald Ridsdale said that by the 1980s his decades-long catalogue of sex crimes against children was an open secret as the Catholic Church continued to shuffle him around Victoria.
In a series of letters and interviews published by the royal commission into child abuse sitting in Ballarat, it is revealed church authorities did little to curb Ridsdale’s offending except provide counselling and move him between parishes.
PELL CLAIM ‘EMERGED IN COURT LAST YEAR’
Talking to church investigators in 1994, Ridsdale said at one point while stationed at Mortlake in the 1980s there was no stopping him.
Father Adrian McInerney gave evidence that Bishop Ronald Mulkearns knew that Father Gerald Ridsdale was abusing children but just moved him from parish to parish.
Father McInerney's evidence has raised more questions about how much Cardinal George Pell knew about the sexual abuse of children in Ballarat in the 1970s and ‘80s.
The Herald Sun can reveal the significant allegation regarding Cardinal Pell’s knowledge of abuse in the early 1970s was raised in a case last year, but the cardinal’s identity was kept confidential.
The cardinal was never questioned or charged over the unconfirmed allegation, made by one person, because the matter in question was not officially considered a crime under Victorian legislation.
Listening to the horrific stories of abuse coming out of the royal commission's investigations in Ballarat has led me, and many other Australians, to ask how these atrocities could been ignored for so long. One factor complicit in the silence about this abuse is the historic relationship between Catholic understandings of sin and psychology.
Father Adrian McInerney, the parish priest at St Alipius Parish in Ballarat East is giving evidence at the Ballarat hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Father Adrian McInerney is giving evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Ballarat.
But St Alipius parish priest Fr Adrian McInerney has denied any knowledge of Ridsdale’s offending.
Ridsdale has spent more than 20 years behind bars after admitting to molesting more than 50 kids, but it is estimated he assaulted more than 200 in an evil career that spanned decades.
He dished out much of his vile abuse to kids while based at St Alipius parish, Ballarat East, before being shuffled between Victorian parishes by Bishop Ronald Mulkearns.
A priest says he was shocked when he found out Father Gerald Francis Ridsdale was facing child sex abuse charges, but still gave character evidence for him in court.
Father Adrian McInerney said he accompanied Ridsdale to his first court appearance in 1993 and it was only in court that he found out that Ridsdale was charged with sex offences.
“I know how it looks but I’m saying I did not know,” McInerney told the child abuse royal commission in Ballarat.
The cover-up involving former Victorian Father Gerald Ridsdale and his crimes in NSW in the 1980s has been detailed for the first time in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Giving evidence to the Commission, psychiatrist Carolyn Quadrio said victims were angered by having to see doctors and psychologists who had been paid for by the institutions they were abused by.
“That’s one of the problems at attempts at redress made by the institutions,” Professor Quadrio said. “Maybe the institutions can pay the bill, but that’s all.
Cardinal George Pell has engaged various tactics over the years in his response to the grave allegations regarding his part in the Catholic Church's handling of sexual abuse victims, but the attitude has remained the same: impassive, righteous, unrepentant, unmoved.
Monday, 25 May 2015
Anthony Foster, whose daughters were raped by a Melbourne priest, says more needs to come out about the widespread abuse in the Ballarat diocese.
The child sex abuse royal commission's investigation has uncovered documents from meetings where it was decided to move Australia's worst pedophile priest, Gerald Francis Ridsdale, between parishes.
A former principal of a school in western Victoria said Bishop Mulkearns had told her in 1982 not to tell staff about Ridsdale’s abuse of students, there was not to be a meeting with parents and that “we could do nothing for the children”.
Bishop Mulkearns, then the most senior Catholic in Australia’s worst diocese for clergy sex offences, has also been accused in evidence tendered to the royal commission of having asked a nun to tip off Ridsdale that others knew about his offending, allegedly with the intention of stopping it.
Speaking of the shame and disillusionment felt by clergy and faithful after sex abuse accounts and allegations, Archbishop Anthony Fisher says he is determined to ensure it never happens again in the church.
"We may feel disillusioned, contaminated, ashamed," he said in a letter to Sydney Catholics on Monday.
In a letter to parents on Monday, principal Stephen Meek said the school had provided information about the conduct of some former staff members to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
He said some of the cases, dating back to the 1960s, had already been dealt with by the courts.
Former Geelong Grammar staff member Phillipe Trutmann was jailed in 2005 for sexually abusing more than 40 boys. Trutmann, a boarding house assistant at the Anglican co-educational school, abused eight to 13-year-old boys over a decade from 1985.
Gerald Francis Ridsdale will give evidence to the child sex abuse royal commission's Ballarat hearing for at least two days from Wednesday.
One of his victims, Stephen Woods, said it was important to hear from all sides to find out as much as possible about the institutional and systemic problems that facilitated the abuse.
Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher defends Catholic Church and Cardinal George Pell over response to child abuse claims
In a letter to Catholic schools and parishes in the Sydney diocese, Archbishop Fisher rebuffed allegations that the church used legal manoeuvres to protect itself from victim claims for compensation and applauded Pell for his handling of the child sexual abuse scandal.
On Monday it emerged that Cardinal Pell visited Ballarat and a school at the centre of clergy abuse claims just weeks before the royal commission hearings began in the town.
Positive reaction to overturning of Catholic church's hold on Ireland may have knock-on effect elsewhere
Ireland is “the” Church. Rather Ireland was the Roman Catholic Church. Now it’s a free country. The Church approved, aided and abetted abusers of thousands of children for decades in Ireland, the domestic abuse and virtual slavery of women, the oppression of an entire society- for centuries. Now the canary in the mine has died. As goes Ireland so will go the Church.
What you just heard was the snap of the last vestige of Roman Catholic Church “moral” authority…
LAST WEEK, in Ballarat, no fewer than 17 survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church told their stories. The horror and pain in each individual story was gut-wrenching, but the cumulative effect was far worse than that. What emerged was a dense and interconnected latticework of violence, and sexual crimes of young children on a large scale.
Victims say they feel shunned by the visit, saying he should also make himself available to appear at the commission, which has been scheduled for months.
They have called on Cardinal Pell to appear at the three-week hearing to explain claims aired at the commission that he tried to keep quiet allegations of abuse.
The cardinal has issued a statement from Rome denying the explosive allegations that claim he ignored sex abuse complaints for more than 20 years.
But victims say that is not enough.
The Cardinal is pictured walking the halls of St Patrick's College with the school's headmaster John Crowley in the April edition of the school's magazine The Shamrock.
A Catholic church rule requiring clergy to remain celibate is not driving child abuse, an expert has told a royal commission.
Carolyn Quadrio, an associate professor at the University of NSW, said that while abuse occurred in every faith group, it seemed to be more marked in Catholic institutions.
In a letter sent to thousands of former students, Scotch College also admits it settled claims dating back to the 1960s - mostly related to sexual abuse, The Age newspaper reports.
Sunday, 24 May 2015
Lawyer and Monash University doctoral researcher Judy Courtin says the fact church figures who covered up abuse have not been held accountable adds to the harm to victims.
"The ongoing response of the church, which is one of contempt or disdain, is causing ongoing harm to the victims," Ms Courtin told AAP in Ballarat.
Ms Courtin, who has worked closely with abuse survivors in the Ballarat diocese and conducted wider research into justice for clergy abuse victims, said survivors want the whole truth to come out that goes further than what the offenders themselves did.
"It was much more important to have accountability of the hierarchy on the concealing than accountability of the offender," she said.
Opinion: All Catholics must condemn child sex abusers much as we expect all Muslims to denounce extremists
The sense of deja vu is all-pervasive, as victims, after enduring years of shame, depression, denial and cover-ups by those in whom they placed their trust and faith, come forward to tell their stories publicly, only to have those they accuse play a game of denial or “I don’t recall”.
In what's seen as a breakthrough for abuse survivors and their advocates, Melbourne's Scotch College has finally admitted it settled a handful of historical claims – most of which relate to sexual abuse –dating back to the 1960s.
They are tragic stories of lost childhoods and damaged adulthoods.
FULL ROYAL COMMISSION COVERAGE.
But what tends to be forgotten are the secondary victims – the partners, the children, the parents ... family members of those who were abused.
Today, Clare Linane bravely – and very honestly – tells what it’s like to be the wife of not only a survivor but a man who has made it his life mission to help other victims.
Clare is the wife of Peter Blenkiron, who has been leading the charge to not only stop the Ballarat victim suicides but to ensure the horrors of the past are never repeated.
Catholic church leaders buried their heads about clergy abusing children in Ballarat and should have made victims a priority, a priest convicted of indecent assault has told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.
Paul David Ryan, 66, told the commission he could not explain how so many notorious pedophiles came to operate in Ballarat diocese at the same time. But he agreed the culture of the diocese allowed it.
Saturday, 23 May 2015
Sounds a bit bah-humbug, doesn’t it?
Stick with me for a sec.
I love Midnight Mass, although I’m not a Catholic, and I’ve been going along for about 20 years at Christmas, although I always have to go by myself because nobody in the family will come. For me, it’s not Christmas till I’ve sung Silent Night by candlelight.
The Catholics do it better than anyone. In my 20 years of solo Christmas Eve action, I’ve attended all kinds of denominations and churches for Christmas Eve services, and I must admit: there’s nothing like the Catholic St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney City for incense and Latin and blokes shuffling round in frocks — all the essential ingredients for a real feeling of festivity.
They are the priests of Ballarat, of Maitland, of points far and wide, who snuffed out the light innocence of youth and the implicit trust the young have in adults. In its place grew, in many cases, a dark and nightmarish pit. From such depths these boys had to pull themselves out and go into adulthood and make a life for themselves. The boys became survivors of a casual monstrosity of perversion.
Board member Michael Goldhirsch stepped down this week, bringing the number of members who have resigned in the past three months to five.
The resignation of Mr Goldhirsch, who has been a member for decades, leaves just three board members.
An online petition signed by members of Melbourne's Jewish community has called for the committee of management to resign, saying it does "not have the confidence of the community"
Friday, 22 May 2015
Time to extend freedom to the dying-The churches reject voluntary euthanasia, regardless of the suffering inflicted on the dying.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is making clear that the right of churches to operate above the secular law is no longer acceptable.
Australia’s most notorious paedophile priest Gerald Francis Ridsdale admitted he was out of control and “went haywire” in the Victorian town of Mortlake where he was believed to have abused every boy in school.
A series of letters and documents published by the royal commission into sexual abuse website reveal details of Ridsdale’s abuse and the response from the Catholic church, including Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns.
A spokesman for the Catholic Church's Truth Justice and Healing Council told media outside of the the royal commission into child sexual abuse that "we have determined that regardless of the position the commission is taking that it is not in the best interests of witnesses or anyone else that they be cross-examined".
Media Statement by Nicky Davis, Leader, SNAP Australia (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)
0422 538 440
Pope Francis moved Cardinal George Pell to Rome from Australia. Now, the pontiff must force Pell to testify before a governmental panel.
Serious allegations against Pell have repeatedly been raised - both through sworn testimony and through media interviews.
Francis has said - and Catholics all know - that to move forward, the truth about this scandal must be disclosed. Pell's participation in the governmental inquiry is crucial if this is to happen.
And for the healing of Australian Catholics and victims, Pell must be questioned under oath about child sex abuse and cover up cases in his home country.
Abuse victims such as John Ellis, who suffered at the hands of Catholic clergy, should be allowed to revisit their compensation claims against the church, the Archbishop of Sydney says.
Anthony Fisher says the church has admitted to its failings in the case of Mr Ellis who was abused while an altar boy but lost his compensation court case because the church successfully argued it was not a legal entity.
Archbishop Fisher said the church was taking a "generous" approach to victims who come back seeking a better compensation deal than they were given in decades gone by.
BR CLINCH also revealed the Christian Brothers spent $1.5 million to defend Robert Best in court.
THE Christian Brothers have paid Ballarat victims nearly $3 million, Oceania Province leader Brother Peter Clinch told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Friday.
Br Clinch said the average payment was $70,000, though 11 recipients had their claims re-examined and raised to $90,000.
He said investment funds were being liquidated to pay victims in Ballarat, Perth, Goulburn, Melbourne and Sydney. He also said victims asking for third re-examinations would be considered.