Christian Rape-A-Babe News!

News and Views about catholic clergy sexual abuse and related issues
Why only terrorists? Hang Catholic Rapist Priests too, deliver justice!

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.

They lie in the name of their 'Lord',
let us speak out in the name of TRUTH
Catholic clergy Bible thumpers having trouble remembering
Let us tell them

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Let's salute the true heroes of 2017

Brisbane Times
December 29, 2017
By Julia Baird
[Note: For more on Joanne McCarthy, see From Darkness, a Light Starts to Shine, by Ian Kirkwood, Newcastle Herald, December 14, 2017 and There Will Be a Royal Commission Because There Must Be, by Joanne McCarthy, Newcastle Herald, August 3, 2012. See also the Newcastle Herald's coverage of the abuse crisis.]
This year, when cart-wheeling down streets to usher in the new year, take a moment to hat-tip the legends of the one ending.
Here's my list of some icons of 2017, each a reminder of the change that a determined individual can make.
* * *
5. The fifth is investigative journalists. We can all thank scammer Jaime Phillips, who tried to get the Washington Post to run a false story, only to have them challenge her inconsistencies, thereby underlining how rigorous and scrupulous reporters have to be in breaking the kinds of stories that have roiled 2017 and toppled the likes of Harvey Weinstein. Another mention must go to Joanne McCarthy, whose relentless reporting for the Newcastle Herald about sex abuse of children in the church promoted a royal commission. The fruits of this reporting were seen in the stunning, wide-ranging report handed down by Justice Peter McClellan a few weeks ago. Based on five years of intense, rigorous research and harrowing interviews, this is a massive achievement. And none of these reports could ever be printed without the courage of the victims.


Thursday, 28 December 2017

'Reform': Lone protester targets St Patrick's over Christmas

THE findings of the Royal Commission into child abuse has made a Gympie man launch his own crusade in the hope of reforming one of the region's biggest parishes.
Over the past week, Frank Lightfoot has been protesting with homemade signs calling for the reform of the Catholic Church following the release of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
And he has not been subtle about his passion.
He has already set up camp outside St Patrick's Church in the lead-up to Christmas, and said that on the first day someone called the police in the hope they would move him on.
A former Catholic himself, the 71-year-old said he had a personal connection to the child abuse controversy.
"I encourage renewal because a lot of my family members are impacted by this,” Mr Lightfoot said.
Asked if setting up outside the church before and on Christmas might be poking the bear, Mr Lightfoot said there was no better time.


Cardinal Law's complex role in the contemporary history of clergy sexual abuse

National Catholic Reporter
December 28, 2017
By Thomas P. Doyle

Public awareness of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy actually dates from 1984. It was triggered by the public exposure of widespread sexual violation of children by a single priest in the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, and its systemic cover-up by the church's leadership that lasted well over a decade.
Cardinal Bernard Law, who went from in 1974 being bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to in 1984 being named archbishop of Boston, became the most powerful and influential Catholic bishop in the United States. This all came to a screeching halt in 2002. In one day Law became the face of hierarchical treachery and dishonesty when The Boston Globe revealed the systemic cover-up of widespread sexual abuse by Boston priests, most of it his doing. He remained the face of the hierarchy's disgraceful attitude towards the violation of minors and the vulnerable. Even in death he remains the focal point of the anger and rage of countless victims of sexual abuse by clergy — certainly Boston victims, but also others worldwide.


Tuesday, 26 December 2017

OPINION: Please, parliament: protect kids from pedophile priests

The Australian
December 26, 2017
By Chrissie Foster
A total of 37 per cent of the 15,000 survivors who came forward to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse were sexually assaulted within the Catholic Church. These atrocious crimes against children were not committed by suburban delinquents or bikie gangs — but by your local clergy.
Back in March 1996 when my husband, Anthony Foster, and I began our battle against the Catholic Church hierarchy over the sexual assaults of our own child by a priest, it was at a time when a rumour flourished — that supposed victims were liars after money. This lie was taken as the biblical truth by the faithful.
That, together with a priest’s status — claiming they became another Christ when ordained — meant we were easily dismissed by priest and parishioner alike. But there was no hint of the black-hearted Father Kevin O’Donnell being another Christ with his child rapist career, which spanned 50 years as a priest.
A secret report dated August 2, 1995, by Melbourne Response’s Carelink head Richard Ball on O’Donnell stated “he had some early involvement with young folks but nothing much until shortly after ordination (1942), and from then on until three or four years ago (1991/92)”.
Complaints were acted on by the hierarchy — various archbishops took actions to protect O’Donnell. He was left in place or moved to a new parish to continue sexually assaulting children which he did at every primary school he oversaw.
This criminality is what we were fighting, and the arrogance and heartlessness of these ontologically changed holy men — I could neither believe in them nor stomach them. Who could once the truth was known? Who could support such men who sexually assaulted little children, or those who protected the criminal, even abetting further sexual assaults?
Almost 22 years later we have our royal commission findings and recommendations, which are damning of the Catholic hierarchy and its failure to protect children from rapist priests and brothers.
This month saw victims’ accounts validated by a royal commission that forensically exam­ined witnesses and more than 1.2 million documents. It was a great moment; it was a relief and a stamp of truth on what victims had been saying for decades.
The royal commissioners, because of their five years of listening, researching and analysing, are experts on the issue of child sexual assault. There is no higher authority than them on this crime anywhere in the world.
They know what will make Australian children safe, they know what civil laws need to be enacted to counter this insidious felony against our youngest, most vulnerable, powerless citizens. The commission’s recommendations must be implement­ed by the governments of this country.
Australian taxpayers have stumped up $450 million for these recommendations, which were handed to the Governor-General on December 15 and must not go to waste by sitting on a shelf collecting dust in Parliament House.
Reacting to some of the commission’s recommendations for child protection, members of the church hierarchy promise they will go to the Vatican bleating because their power and authority have been challenged.
There was no going to the Vatican on behalf of the thousands of children raped by their colleagues; only legal arguments, petty church-restricted payouts and the silencing of children.
Now church leaders go to a Vatican knowing that the men there never lifted a finger to help or protect children, or spoke words to eradicate the child rapists among them; a Vatican that, when asked, refused to hand over church files on Australian pedophile clergy to the royal commission. All roads lead to Rome, including the pedophile road.
But in 2013 a high-ranking Catholic clergyman stated under oath to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Non-Government Organisations: “Well, we are good citizens, so if the government sets regulations for the whole of society, we certainly follow them.”
So politicians should feel free to implement the royal commission’s recommendations and enact civil laws that will ensure child safety.
By comparison, the Vatican’s canon law is nothing more than the rules of the local footy club and, as such, must be ignored by civil law. If the hierarchy wishes to reject civil law and obey canon law then we will watch them go to prison.
The damage done by the Catholic hierarchy for decades by not removing pedophile priests from contact with children, and therefore creating more victims — as confirmed by the royal commission’s findings — is a wilful, criminal abuse of power.
Apart from irreparable damage, misery and death to children and adults, the church is responsible for the enormous repair bill from attempts to restore victims’ lives. It is a huge bill that the Australian taxpayer has had to pay. Perhaps governments should look to retrieve costs by placing a levy on the Catholics and others in line with their percentage of wilful and neglectful prolonging of child sexual assault.
All that said, my family has had its first Christmas without Anthony. He passed away suddenly in May. He did not live to see the end of the royal commission during which he attended so many sessions and round tables. It is a tragedy that he did not see the victory that awaited all victims and survivors and their families.
Anthony fought a long, hard battle. His insightful analysis and gentle voice on this issue will be forever missed. He tried so hard to make the future safer for children so that what happened to our two daughters at the hands of a trusted priest, in a system of education and at the mercy of a hierarchy that has been shown not to care on any level about any child, would not happen to others.
Anthony was a great counter to the men who claimed to be holy. They had no moral compass — they are hollow men with hollow words. When they die and go to their God they may then realise they got it all wrong in protecting their body of assets and power instead of protecting the bodies of children.
Chrissie Foster, with Paul Kennedy, is author of Hell on the Way to Heaven.


Miranda: Catholic Church tied to a past that can’t be undone

THE act by parishioners of removing ribbons placed by survivors and their supporters to mark the institutionalised sexual and other abuse at churches, orphanages, schools and
elsewhere was misguided and insensitive.
Ribbons had been tied to church gates, fences and signs from Ballarat to Shepparton, Sale, Mortlake, Ararat, Sunbury, Bendigo, Castlemaine and Lancefield in a movement called the Loud Fence campaign, which began in 2015.

Anglican Dean of Perth Very Rev. Richard Pengelley apologises for Church hurt

The Anglican Dean of Perth apologised for the hurt the Church has caused in a moving Christmas Day sermon.
Speaking after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Very Rev. Richard Pengelley said the Church deserved much of the bad press it had endured.
“I am deeply sorry for the ways in which we have hurt people,” he said.
Mr Pengelley told worshippers at St George’s Cathedral the Church was inclusive of all cultures, sexualities and walks of life.
He pointed to the good work it did in the community, from helping with food relief to providing music and arts programs.
“We support charities ... we are home to memorials and burials,” he said. “We support refugees, lobby for justice and we lobby to be inclusive.”

Cardinal Law at the gates

Bernard Law, who came to symbolize the inability of the Catholic church to deal honestly with sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, died last week at 86.
No human being should be only a symbol in the eyes of fellow human beings. But there is a reason Cardinal Law became a symbol. He, as the archbishop of Boston, enabled the abusers — serially transferring them instead of urging them into treatment and defrocking them. He also directed a systematic stonewalling by the archdiocese when the Boston Globe began to uncover the extent of clergy abuse in Massachusetts. And though he “apologized,” in a very broad and general way, several times, he never set out to make it right.


Not the time: Bishop won’t comment on Royal Commission into abuse

BISHOP of Bathurst Michael McKenna plans to study the recommendations put forward from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse before having his say on them.
The 409 recommendations, aimed at keeping children safe, were handed down in a 17-volume final report on December 15.
Bishop McKenna, whose diocese includes Catholic parishes in Orange, Dubbo, Mudgee and Cowra, said it was not the right time to respond to the report’s recommendations.
“The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has now concluded its work and delivered its report to the Australian Government,” he said.


Sunday, 24 December 2017

Pope Francis’ top ‘reform’ cardinal accused of massive financial scandal

December 22, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The cardinal who has led Pope Francis’ efforts to “reform” the Church is now accused of having received over 40,000 USD monthly for years from a Catholic university under his control, and of funneling millions of dollars to foreign corporations that have mysteriously lost part of the deposits.
The allegations appeared in a report that was delivered to Pope Francis in May of this year which was revealed Thursday by the Italian newspaper L’Espresso.
Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, the archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, has wielded immense influence under Francis’ papacy because the pope chose him to lead the “C9” Council of Cardinal Advisers charged with reforming the Roman Curia. He was one of the key members of the liberal faction at the Synod on the Family that has resulted in a crisis over the Church’s teaching on marriage.


35 thousand euros a month for the Cardinal: the new scandal that shakes the Vatican

Francesco's friend and adviser, Oscar Maradiaga, preached pauperism but received half a million a year from a University of Honduras. Bergoglio also wanted an investigation on millionaire investments and on the inappropriate behavior of Bishop Pineda, a loyalist of the cardinal 

When he finished reading the inquiry drafted by the apostolic envoy he himself had sent to Honduras last May, Pope Francis’ hands went up to his skullcap. He had just found out that his friend and main councilor — powerful cardinal Oscar Maradiaga, a staunch supporter of a poor and pauperist Church and coordinator of the Council of Cardinals after he appointed him in 2013 — had received over the years from the Catholic University of Tegucigalpa around 41,600 US dollars a month, with an additional 64,200 dollars bonus in December. Bergoglio had yet to learn that several witnesses, both ecclesiastical and secular, were accusing Maradiaga of investments in some companies in London topping a 1,2 million dollars that later vanished into thin air, or that the Court of Auditors of the small Central American nation was investigating a flow of large sums of money from the Honduran government to the Foundation for Education and Social Communication and to the Suyapa Foundation, both foundations of the local Church and therefore depending on Maradiaga himself.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

‘A horrible year’: Australia’s leading Catholic slammed for Christmas message

Advocates for marriage equality have criticised Australia’s leading Catholic for saying 2017 was a ‘horrible year’ because of the same-sex marriage debate and the findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.
In a Christmas message released on Friday, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher said Christian concepts of life and love were challenged during the “annus horribilis” of 2017.
Reverend Fisher also acknowledged the “shameful crimes and cover-ups” in the church uncovered by the child abuse royal commission.
“For people of faith you might say it’s been an annus horribilis,” he said.


Friday, 22 December 2017

'It saddens me and turns my stomach upside down.'

TWO LOCAL priests reflected with sadness on the history of child sexual abuse within Catholic institutions after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented its final report to the Governor General on Friday, December 15.
After 54 years working as a Catholic priest in the Darling Downs and beyond, Fr Terry Hickling said the thought of abuse within the Church shocked and disappointed him.
"I am very, very sad that these things have occurred and that priests religious and people involved in our Church have been involved in pedophilia," Fr Hickling said.
"It saddens me and turns my stomach upside down."
Catholic institutions were vastly over-represented in reports of abuse taken from more than 8,000 survivors over the five years the Commission was conducted.
Nearly 65 per cent of victims identified as male, and most perpetrators of institutional child sexual abuse were teachers and persons in religious ministry.


Thursday, 21 December 2017

Nothing sacred about Church confessional — not a damned thing

I was on the phone to a friend talking about a tricky dynamic she’d been trying to navigate between her and a colleague. My friend is strong, successful and capable.
She is generous and kind, bloody hilarious and great with people in general. Still, she’d been having problems with a particular chap and couldn’t nail down why.
She said part of it was his demeanour, the way he spoke to her, the way she felt belittled by him, but even that wasn’t enough to explain her overwhelming sense of paralysis and nausea.
Her need to run to the bathroom after each difficult interaction they had. In short, she felt incapable of navigating a situation she would normally have sailed through.
As I listened to her talk, it got quiet on the other end of the phone. Then I heard crying. A soft, heavy sobbing. In an instant, almost like the gentle cracking of an eggshell, it had dawned on her why she had reacted this way.
“He reminds me of the man who sexually abused me when I was a little girl,” she said.
I’m sharing this story with my friend’s permission, even though you’ll never know her name.
And I’m sharing this story because last week when the report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse was handed down, there was one response that sparked a flame of rage within me that I have been unable to extinguish.

Midland parish priest stands down over ‘inappropriate behaviour with adults’

A Catholic priest has stood down from a Perth parish amid claims he engaged in “inappropriate behaviour with adults”.
Perth’s Catholic Archbishop Timothy Costelloe wrote to worshippers at the Midland parish at the weekend to confirm Father Kenneth Asaba had offered his resignation after an internal investigation.
In a statement, Archbishop Costelloe said about two years ago allegations were made against Father Asaba and the complainants were encouraged to take the issue to the WA professional standards office of the Catholic Church.
The details of the complaints have not been made public.
That investigation found against Father Asaba.
The priest requested an independent review of the finding. This was conducted by a barrister.


'We can't have business as usual': Ballarat Catholics push for change

Catholics in the Victorian town of Ballarat — referred to as an epicentre of child sexual abuse — say the church must accept grassroots involvement from parishioners to enact changes recommended by the royal commission.
The Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse issued a damning report about the Ballarat Catholic Diocese earlier this month, describing its handling of clergy child sex abuse as a "catastrophic failure of leadership".
The Commission's final report, released on Friday, also called for sweeping reforms for the Catholic church including that bishops draw upon advice from lay people in relation to the admission of individuals to the priesthood.


Pope's role in disgraced cardinal's funeral draws outrage

Rome (CNN)Pope Francis offered a short benediction at the funeral Thursday of Cardinal Bernard Law, a move that disappointed some sex-abuse survivors who said the pontiff should not dignify the former Boston archbishop who resigned in disgrace over the Catholic Church's sex-abuse scandal.
Francis' participation in the ceremony fueled the controversy over a decision to grant Law a full cardinal's funeral at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.
During the Mass, Law's casket lay on a rug in front of an altar, flanked by seated cardinals and bishops wearing white mitres. Francis sprinkled holy water on the casket and circled it with incense, before saying the blessing later in the service, Vatican video showed.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Bernard Law, The Vatican’s Face of Evil, Is Dead but the Pain Lives On

Bernard Law, the American cardinal who became of the face of the Catholic clerical abuse scandal in America, is dead at the age of 86, but his cover-up legacy lives on.

ROME—Cardinal Bernard Law, the former archbishop of Boston who resigned in shame at the height of the American clerical sex-abuse scandal in 2002, who died early Wednesday morning in a Roman hospital, never rose above the disgrace that brought him down—at least not outside the Vatican’s protective walls.


Church Sex Abuse Survivor On Law Death: ‘Gates Of Hell Are Open Wide’

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The death of Cardinal Bernard Law, the disgraced former archbishop of Boston whose failures to stop child molesters in the priesthood sparked what would become the worst crisis in American Catholicism, has drawn little sympathy from survivors.
Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston attorney who has represented dozens of people who say they were sexually abused by priests, said Law’s death has reopened old wounds.“They feel cheated by Bernard Cardinal Law’s death,” Garabedian said at a news conference Wednesday, saying he’s concerned how abuse victims will handle the news, knowing Law was never charged with a crime.
“Society has not lost a great protector of innocent children with the passing of Bernard Cardinal Law,” he said.


Disgraced former archbishop Cardinal Bernard Law, who fled Boston after the sexual abuse scandal, dies at age 86 in Rome

  • Cardinal Bernard Law, former archbishop of Boston, dies at age 86 in Rome
  • He was highest-ranking official in history of US church to leave office in disgrace 
  • It was revealed Law failed to remove sexually abusive priests from the ministry 
  • His actions and silence led to a sense of betrayal among many Boston Catholics 
  • The abuse extended over six decades harming 789 children involving 237 priests
  • After the scandal Pope John Paul II appointed him archpriest of the Patriarchal Basilica of St. Mary Major, which is when he moved to Rome
Cardinal Bernard Law, the disgraced former archbishop of Boston, died at the age of 86 in Rome on Tuesday.
Law, whose failures to stop child molesters in the priesthood sparked what would become the worst crisis in American Catholicism, had been sick and was recently hospitalized in Rome. 
The official who confirmed the death was not authorized to make the announcement and asked to remain anonymous. The Vatican is expected to make a statement on Wednesday.

Cardinal Bernard Law, symbol of church sex abuse scandal, dead at 86

(CNN)Cardinal Bernard Law, the former Boston archbishop who resigned in disgrace during the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal, has died, the Vatican confirmed. He was 86.
Law died in Rome, where he had served as archpriest of the Papal Liberian Basilica of St. Mary Major after he was forced to resign in 2002 as archbishop of Boston.
Law's name became emblematic of the scandal that continues to trouble the church and its followers around the globe after it was revealed that he and other bishops before him had covered for pedophile priests in the Boston Archdiocese.
Law at the time apologized during a news conference to victims of abuse by a priest, John Geoghan, who had been moved from parish to parish, despite Law's knowledge of his abuse of young boys. Law insisted Geoghan's abuse was in the past.

Disgraced Catholic Cardinal Bernard Law has died aged 86

BERNARD Law the ex-archbishop of Boston who was embroiled in a mass cover-up of child sex abuse within the Catholic Church has died in Rome aged 86, according to reports.

Bernard Law was the central figure in a public scandal in which he moved priests to new dioceses after they molested children instead of informing the police.
Law was once one of the most important leaders in the US church.
He influenced Vatican appointments to American dioceses, helped set priorities for the nation’s bishops and was favoured by then Pope John Paul II.
The Boston Globe uncovered the scandal in 2002 and its Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation by the Globe’s which was the basis of the movie “Spotlight”.



Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Australian Gov't Recommends Making Celibacy Optional for Catholic Priests to Protect Children

A Catholic priest in Queensland has told his congregation the church is a flawed institution, and Australian archbishops must fight for change to stop sexual abuse. Of survivors who reported abuse in religious institutions, more than 60% cited the Catholic church, which demonstrated "catastrophic failures of leadership", particularly before the 1990s, the report said. Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president, said the bishops would take the royal commission's recommendations seriously and present them to the Holy See. It said priests should report abuse confided to them, even in the secret context of the confessional. "I revere the law of the land and I trust it but this is a sacred, spiritual charge before God which I must honor and I have to respect and try to do what I can do with both", Hart said. "I would feel terribly conflicted and I would try even harder to get that person outside confessional, but I can not break the seal", Hart told reporters.


Father Finian Egan abuse survivor believes there are more victims of paedophile priest

A survivor of abuse by Catholic priest Finian Egan has slammed the church for protecting the convicted paedophile and says there are more victims out there.
"He's evil and a monster. He preys on children," Kellie Roche told 7.30.
"What kind of person does that?"
Finian Egan was released on parole today after serving the minimum four-year term of an eight-year sentence.
"You'd think that a paedophile would serve its full sentence. Because if anyone's going to serve their full sentence, shouldn't it be someone who is a threat to children?" Ms Roche said.
She said she is shocked it has been determined that at the age of 83 Egan is considered no longer a threat to children.


Catholic priest released from jail, but has no apology for sexual assaults

A former Catholic priest who sexually assaulted young girls over three decades has been released from jail after spending four years behind bars.
Now 81, he was freed at the earliest possible opportunity, but when confronted by Seven News there was no apology for his actions.
His stint behind bars over, Finian Egan had ample opportunity to show his contrition but he did not say a word when confronted.


Monday, 18 December 2017

Catholic priest in Toowoomba says sexual abuse needs to stop

A CATHOLIC priest in Toowoomba has told his congregation the church is a flawed institution, and Australian archbishops must fight for change to stop sexual abuse.
Father Peter Schultz used his homily on Sunday to personally apologise to anyone who'd suffered abuse, which he said was the fault of the church hierarchy.
"We are a flawed institution and we have to own that fact," he told followers at St Thomas More's Church in South Toowoomba, just a few days after the royal commission into institutional abuse handed down its final report.
"I hope and I think there are enough people both within the church and outside to keep calling it to account, keep calling it to act properly."
He also used the service to issue a personal apology, and demand action by church leaders to ensure the horrors of the past could not happen again.
"To any here ... who have suffered abuse by a member of the hierarchy, I personally say sorry," he said, in comments recorded and aired on ABC radio.


Paedophile priest Finian Egan warned to stay away from NSW diocese after release on parole

A Catholic bishop has taken the unusual step of warning his parishioners of the impending release of a paedophile priest and imposing additional restrictions on him.
Finian Egan is due to be released from Long Bay Prison on parole tomorrow after serving four years of an eight-year sentence for the rape and abuse of young girls over three decades on the NSW Central Coast and in Sydney.
The Bishop of Broken Bay, Peter Comensoli, wrote to parishioners in his diocese in the wake of last week's royal commission report into institutional responses to child abuse.
"The pain and complexity of the matters detailed in the royal commission have reached deeply into our lives in many different ways," Bishop Comensoli wrote.


Broken Bay bishop warns of coming release of paedophile priest

THE Catholic bishop of Broken Bay has taken the unprecedented step of warning his parishioners of the impending release of a paedophile priest from jail.
Finian Egan is due to be released from Long Bay Prison on parole tomorrow after serving four years of an eight-year sentence for the rape and abuse of young girls over three decades on NSW Central Coast and in Sydney.


Dassi's journey: from Adass abuse survivor to campaigner for justice

Dassi Erlich was sitting in a Jerusalem restaurant last month with her sisters, Elly Sapper and Nicole Meyer, inside a cavernous space dominated by funky light fittings, when an ultra-Orthodox Jewish teenager approached the table.
The girl had recognised the three women from Israeli television coverage. As she spoke, they listened with tears in their eyes.


Survivors vow to replace Loud Fence ribbons removed from St Patrick’s Cathedral

The very visible sign of Ballarat’s child sexual abuse history – the fluttering ribbons of the Loud Fence of St Patrick’s Cathedral – have been removed and placed in a reflection garden in the church grounds.
On Sunday, about 60 parishioners removed the hundreds of ribbons that survivors had placed there from the early days of the Royal Commission hearings in to child sexual abuse in the Ballarat diocese.
The removal of the ribbons drew mixed reactions from survivors and families, as did their placement in a glass-topped chest.
A lack of consultation about the process and timing of the ribbon removal, just days after the Royal Commission in to Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse handed down its final recommendations, also angered many.


Sunday, 17 December 2017

A Marist Brother, 77, is charged over alleged historic child-sex offences

A Marist Brother, now aged 77, has been ordered to appear in court in January 2018 charged over child-sex offences allegedly committed in Sydney about 50 years ago. Police allege that the offences occurred at a boarding school in Hunters Hill, Sydney.
Detectives from the New South Wales State Crime Command’s Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad have established a special unit, "Strike Force Gallagher", to investigate allegations of sexual abuse at a boarding school at Hunters Hill in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The allegations were originally raised at Australia's recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
On 12 December 2017, following extensive inquiries, Strike Force Gallagher detectives charged a 77-year-old man with:
  • nine counts of inciting an act of indecency; and
  • four counts of indecent assault.
Police will allege in court that the offences involved four students and occurred while the man worked at a Hunters Hill boarding school in Sydney between 1966 and 1970.


'Loud Fence' ribbons removed from Ballarat cathedral three days after royal commission findings

Ballarat Catholic Diocese Vicar-General Father Justin Driscoll has defended the decision to cut hundreds of brightly coloured ribbons off the fence at St Patrick's Cathedral just three days after the findings of the royal commission into child sexual abuse were made public.
The ribbons represented support for victims of child sexual abuse and were part of the Ballarat-born Loud Fence movement, which has spread around the world in the wake of widespread abuse by institutions such as the Catholic Church.
The ribbons were stripped from the fence on Sunday by St Patrick's parishioners and placed in a special purpose-built box in the corner of the churchyard.
But just hours after they were removed new ones were being tied back on after survivors and their supporters reacted angrily to the move.
And many of them took to social media vowing they would decorate the cathedral fence on Ballarat's main street with even more ribbons this week.


Do ask, do tell: Commission calls for mandatory reporting of child sex abuse

People working closely with children, such as priests or foster carers, should be forced to tell police about sexual abuse under mandatory reporting laws, a royal commission has found.
Religious ministers, out-of-home care workers, childcare workers, registered psychologists and school counsellors should be brought into line with police, doctors and nurses who are all obliged by law to report sexual abuse. 


‘I was abused too’: the bishop who fought for sex abuse victims

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse handed down its final report this week. A long-time campaigner for and supporter of survivors of abuse by clergy is retired Catholic bishop Geoffrey Robinson. He spoke with Eternity’s Anne Lim: 

Bishop Geoffrey Robinson was born into a world of faith. But in another life, it’s quite likely that he would have been happier as a family man and may not even have been a priest.
The retired Catholic bishop is aghast when he looks at 12-year-old boys today because at that tender age his mother, a good Irish Catholic, sent him to the seminary.


Holy See Press Office Communiqué, 15.12.2017

The final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse in Australia is the result of the Commission’s thorough efforts over the past several years, and deserves to be studied seriously.
The Holy See remains committed to being close to the Catholic Church in Australia – lay faithful, religious, and clergy alike – as they listen to and accompany victims and survivors in an effort to bring about healing and justice.
In his recent meeting with the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Pope Francis said the Church is called to be a place of compassion, especially for those who have suffered, and reaffirmed that the Church is committed to safe environments for the protection of all children and vulnerable adults.


Australian probe into child abuse attacks Catholic celibacy

CANBERRA, Australia — An Australian inquiry into child abuse recommended Friday that the Catholic Church lift its demand of celibacy from clergy and that priests be prosecuted for failing to report evidence of pedophilia heard in the confessional.
Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse delivered its final 17-volume report and 189 recommendations following a wide-ranging investigation. Australia’s longest-running royal commission — which is the country’s highest form of inquiry — has been investigating since 2012 how the Catholic Church and other institutions responded to sexual abuse of children in Australia over 90 years.


Australia and Catholic Church ‘Failed’ Abused Children, Inquiry Finds

SYDNEY, Australia — A royal commission investigating the sexual abuse of children in Australia found Friday that the nation was gripped by an epidemic dating back decades, with tens of thousands of children sexually abused in schools, religious organizations and other institutions.
The commission, the highest form of investigation in Australia, urged government action on its 189 recommendations, including the establishment of a new National Office for Child Safety and penalties for those who suspect abuse and fail to alert the police, including priests who hear about abuse in confessionals. It also urged Australia’s Roman Catholic leadership to press Rome to end mandatory celibacy for priests.


Royal commission: The abused are many, and so are the dead, but do Church leaders really get it?

In politics, it is rare that a mechanism for unqualified good is put in place.
A body called by the highly provisional title, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse, might have proved to have been a squib if not given appropriate powers and if not well-led.
But it was given such powers, and like others, I was delighted to hear the Prime Minister refer to the completed hearings as "an outstanding exercise of love".
Now the Federal Government, the states and the institutions have to apply themselves to its recommendations with similar exercises of generosity of spirit.


15 recommendations from the royal commission into child sexual abuse you should know about

The final report from the almost five-year royal commission into child sexual abuse was officially handed to the Governor-General this morning.
The document is tens of thousands of pages long, and contains a total of 409 recommendations which aim to make institutions safer for children.
Of those 409 recommendations, 189 recommendations are new today.
You can follow our live blog for updates as we continue to read through the report. But if you're strapped for time, here are some of the big ones you should know about.


Friday, 15 December 2017

Roman Catholic Church should end priest celibacy, report sex abuse: Aussie panel

An Australian inquiry into child abuse could rock the Roman Catholic Church.
The panel on Friday called on the church to repeal its celibacy requirement for priests, and said clergy should face prosecution if they fail to report evidence of pedophilia heard in the confessional.
Australia’s Royal Commission into Institution Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released its 17-volume report and made almost 200 recommendations following a five-year investigation into how the Catholic Church and other institutions responded to sexual abuse of children in Australia over 90 years.


'I've seen the anguish': WA archbishop addresses sex abuse findings

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe says the Catholic Church in WA "must act" in order to address concerns of child sex abuse within its institutions after the Royal Commission handed down its final report on Friday.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse delivered its report to the Governor General of Australia and made 198 recommendations aimed at better protecting children from sexual abuse in Australia.


Catholic Church Singled Out In Australian Sex Abuse Report

In a far-reaching report on child sex abuse in Australia, a government commission is recommending that the country's Catholic Church lift its celibacy requirement for diocesan clergy and be required to report evidence of abuse revealed in confession.
Those are among the 400 recommendations contained in the 17-volume final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, which is wrapping up a five-year investigation – the longest in Australia's history.
"We have concluded that there were catastrophic failures of leadership of Catholic Church authorities over many decades," the report said.


Royal commission: Celibacy and confessional overhaul proposed in child sex abuse findings

Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart has said he does not fully support some of the 189 new recommendations delivered by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The sanctity of the religious confessional would be tossed aside and celibacy would become voluntary under the new recommendations, many of which are aimed at making children safer.
In what would be a shake-up of centuries of tradition, the recommendations called for an overhaul of confessional, with religious ministers forced to report any child sexual abuse revealed to them.


For abuse survivor Rob Walsh, the fight for justice doesn't end with the royal commission

It was an emotional day for many as the royal commission handed down its final report, in all 17 volumes, after five long years of investigation.
But for at least one survivor of child abuse, Rob Walsh, today doesn't mark the end of a long campaign for justice.
He will be travelling to the nation's capital to campaign for all of the royal commission's recommendations to be implemented.
Mr Walsh was abused as a boy in Ballarat by two of Australia's most notorious paedophiles, Gerald Ridsdale and Robert Best.
He said he has been heartened by the inquiry's almost 200 separate proposals, but is sceptical of the Catholic Church's response.


Background article: The church gave the paedophile priest Robert Claffey a new parish, putting more children in danger

This Broken Rites article gives some background about how a Catholic priest, Father Robert Claffey, committed sexual offences against children (mostly boys) while the Catholic Church transferred him around parishes in western Victoria for 14 years between 1969 and 1992. Some of Claffey's victims began contacting Broken Rites in 1993, and Broken Rites gave each victim a Victoria Police phone number where the victim could have a chat with child-protection detectives. In 1998, Claffey was convicted regarding two of his victims, and in October 2016 he was jailed regarding 12 more of his victims (Claffey's offences included buggery, indecent assault and sexual penetration of a child). The 2016 court case brought the court's total to 14 children. In 2017, detectives launched new court proceedings against Claffey regarding some more of his alleged victims.


Thursday, 14 December 2017

A national compensation scheme for abuse victims was supposed to be up and running by now. Why isn't it?

n 2015, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended a national redress scheme for victims of institutional child sexual abuse be up and running by mid-2017 "at the latest".
But the $4 billion scheme is still not in place.
The Federal Government has introduced a bill into Parliament, but the states and territories are reluctant to sign up to the proposed scheme.
And the major institutions which will pay the compensation to survivors are waiting to see what the states do.
Which leaves around 60,000 Australians anxiously waiting for their chance to apply for compensation.


From darkness, a light starts to shine

ALMOST five years have elapsed since the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse began its processes in 2013.
Although it has been a truly national inquiry, Newcastle Herald readers will know that a lot of the events that led to the commission took place in this part of the world. Indeed, a lot of the reporting that played a major role in putting pressure on the federal government to commission the inquiry came from the Herald and its Shine the Light campaign spearheaded by Gold Walkley-winning journalist Joanne McCarthy. But the Hunter’s role in the road to the royal commission did not start with Joanne.


Job not over after child abuse inquiry

The head of the royal commission that exposed decades of inaction and cover-ups of child sexual abuse wants the leaders of Australian institutions to set aside any resentment and enact real change.
Victims and child protection advocates say the job is far from over after the end of the $500 million five-year inquiry, demanding immediate action from governments, churches, charities and other organisations that failed children so badly.
Commission chair Justice Peter McClellan said many institutions and government agencies now accept they failed and must make changes, but also warned of possible holdouts.
"There may be leaders and members of some institutions who resent the intrusion of the royal commission into their affairs," Justice McClellan told the inquiry's final sitting in Sydney on Thursday.


Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Catholic Church 'shouldn't run schools' unless it reports abuse revealed during confession: survivor

Child sexual abuse survivor Damian De Marco is calling for the Catholic Church to be banned from operating Australian schools unless it agrees to report abuse revealed during confession.
The call comes as the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse prepares to hand down its final report tomorrow.
Mr De Marco said government support should be pulled from Catholic schools unless the church promises to protect children over its own reputation.


Ireland has lessons for Australia eight years after its own child abuse royal commission

Ireland is still debating the scandal of child abuse in the Catholic Church, eight years after a royal commission into the matter delivered its groundbreaking report.

Ireland is still debating the scandal of child abuse in the Catholic Church, eight years after a royal commission into the matter delivered its groundbreaking report.
It found abuse was endemic in church-run schools where the under-privileged and troubled were sent.
The Ryan Commission published its report in 2009, 10 years after it began, and found that "beyond a doubt the entire system treated children like prison inmates and slaves".
Mannix Flynn was seven years old when he was taken to court for skipping school and stealing a toy car in Dublin.
"I was brought into the cells under the building, dragged out in a police van and taken away on a train, hundreds of miles away," Mr Flynn said.
He was sentenced to seven years at St Joseph's Industrial School in Letterfrack on the other side of the country, run by the Christian Brothers.
He suffered sexual abuse and was one of the hundreds of witnesses who gave evidence to the Ryan Commission.


‘It was us against everyone’: how abuse survivors will keep pushing for change

Melissa Davey speaks to Manny Waks and other advocates about the end of the royal commission and the path ahead

Manny Waks, a survivor of sexual abuse who exposed crimes against children that occurred within the secretive Jewish Yeshivah community, describes the work of the child abuse royal commission as “life-saving” and “life-changing”.
On Thursday morning the six royal commissioners led by Justice Peter McClellan will sit for a final time in front of abuse survivors and advocates, many of whom followed the commission’s work around the country. Guardian Australia spoke to Waks and other advocates and experts about the commission’s work over the past five years and what they hope will change once its work is done.


Grappling with Rome: David Marr's lessons from the royal commission

In the squalid history of the Catholic church’s part in the sexual abuse of children, the only law that really counted was the Vatican’s. As Australia’s massive public inquiry into the scandal delivers its final report, has that changed?

When I grew up on the sheltered Protestant north shore of Sydney one of the givens about the Catholic church was that when push came to shove it would obey Rome rather than the law.
This was a time when the election of a Catholic president of the United States was widely considered impossible or at the least dangerous. Where would JFK’s loyalties lie in a crisis, to Washington or Rome?
I worked to get that fear out of my system because I saw it as religious bigotry. Australia shed it too. So did the western world. JFK turned out to be the poster boy for Catholic leadership, a man of undivided loyalties to his country.


Royal Commission: Former PM Julia Gillard says public wants action after five-year abuse inquiry

REMOVING tax concessions to push “recalcitrant” churches to act on child sexual abuse reforms would have community support because “the public won’t tolerate” inaction after the five-year child abuse royal commission, said Julia Gillard on the eve of the commission’s final report.
Australians would be “waiting and watching” for any sense of church or political delay after a final Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse sitting on Thursday and the handing of the final report and recommendations to Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove on Friday, Ms Gillard said this week after establishing the commission in 2012.


Suspended member of papal clergy abuse commission to resign

Vatican City — The member of Pope Francis' commission on clergy sexual abuse who was suspended nearly two years ago after publicly critiquing the pope says he will now resign his post in advance of the expiration of his term of office Dec. 17.
Englishman Peter Saunders told NCR Dec. 13 he is planning to send a formal letter of resignation Dec. 15 to Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
"It's just a kind of closure for me that I feel I've done my best for the church and the institutional church has kind of rejected me," Saunders said in a brief interview. "And so I will resign."


Australian bishop urges end to clericalism

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen says culture of church contributed to sex abuse crisis in country
 Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen of Parramatta, Australia, speaking to the National Council of Priests of Australia, urged an end to clericalism in the church and expressed hope that a newly revitalized Catholic clergy would emerge from the sex abuse crisis that has wracked the Catholic Church in Australia.


Undeniable: Politicians must 'resist religious influence' when child abuse royal commission makes recommendations

Justice for survivors of child sexual abuse now hangs on the courage of politicians to resist religious influence and self-interest when acting on the royal commission's recommendations, according to a ground-breaking former Victorian MP.

"It's over to you. You are the ones directly responsible," Ann Barker said in a message to parliamentarians across the nation.
"And if you don't fulfil your responsibility, then I think the community of Australia — not just the victims and survivors that have gone through this whole process, but the broader community — will say to politicians, 'No. You have a responsibility, fulfil it, and do it now'."


Tuesday, 12 December 2017

The church versus Anthony and Chrissie Foster: Some background

y a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 12 December 2017

One of Australia's most notorious paedophile priests, Father Kevin O'Donnell, committed sexual crimes against children throughout his 50-year career in Melbourne Catholic parishes while his superiors and colleagues looked the other way. In his final years, he even received public praise from one of his superiors, Bishop (later Cardinal) George Pell (see further down in this article, under the sub-heading "Praise from George Pell"). Eventually some of O'Donnell's victims (with help from Broken Rites) contacted the police and got O'Donnell convicted and jailed. Later, more people came forward with complaints about Father O'Donnell (including Anthony and Chrissie Foster, whose two young daughters encountered O'Donnell in his final parish). After all this exposure about Father O'Donnell, Archbishop George Pell hired a public relations firm to paint Pell as a pioneer in "helping" victims.Therefore, Anthony and Chrissie Foster asked Pell to grant proper compensation to help their two damaged daughters, but Pell's lawyers tried to defeat the Fosters (instead of "helping" them). The story of the Fosters is told in the second half of this Broken Rites article.
O'Donnell is dead but his numerous victims — and their families — still bear the scars of his crimes.


George Pell returns to Australia: Some background

  • By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 11 December 2017

After he moved from Australia to Rome in 2014 for a senior role in the Vatican, Cardinal George Pell became reluctant to re-visit Australia. When he was asked (in 2014-2017) to give evidence at Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Pell preferred to appear from Rome by video-link. He said health problems were preventing him from travelling to Australia. But in mid-2017 he finally returned to Australia, where police have charged him with "multiple" sexual offences allegedly committed some years ago in the state of Victoria, involving "multiple" complainants. This Broken Rites article gives some background about Pell's travels in the years 2014 to 2017, based largely on our research into the public hearings of the Royal Commission.


George Pell: Complainants to give evidence on historical sexual offence charges over two weeks

It is expected to take up to two weeks for the complainants against Cardinal George Pell to give their evidence at an upcoming committal hearing, a Melbourne court has heard.
The 76-year-old will face the pre-trial hearing in March next year on historical sexual offence charges, involving multiple complainants.
No other details of the case can be reported for legal reasons.
Cardinal Pell strenuously denies the allegations.
Prosecutor Fran Dalziel told a short hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates' Court that a remote facility had been booked for a fortnight to allow the complainants to give evidence via video link.
The court will be closed to the public during that part of the month-long proceeding, as required by law.


Sexual abuse survivors fear being 'deserted' after royal commission ends

Advocates say commission’s closure will create ‘sense of loss’ and express concerns there will be insufficient support
Survivors of sexual abuse and their advocates have spoken of their fears of being left in the lurch once the child abuse royal commission’s work officially draws to a close.
On Friday the royal commissioners will deliver their final report to the governor general in Canberra, marking the end of their five-year inquiry into how abuse was able to occur in more than 4,000 Australian institutions.


Maitland-Newcastle Royal Commission report withheld until "a later time"

THE Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has handed its report into the Catholic Church’s Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle to the federal government.
But it has recommended the contents not be made public at this point.
The commission said on Tuesday that it had delivered Case Study 43 - The response of Catholic Church authorities in the Maitland-Newcastle region to allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy and religious.
It also handed up Case Study 44, which involved “allegations of child sexual abuse against a priest” in the the Catholic dioceses of Armidale and Parramatta.
The commission said its terms of reference require it not to prejudice current or future criminal or civil court proceedings.
It expected the two reports would be made public “at a later time”


Closed court hearings for Cardinal George Pell

The Melbourne Magistrates Court has requested an off site location for two weeks, when the trial against Cardinal George Pell begins next year. The remote location will be used to hear the evidence of complainants in a closed court. Closed court hearings are required for certain types of complainants in Victoria. Lawyers for Pell are also continuing to negotiate with the ABC over information subpoenad from one of its journalists. Cardinal George Pell has voluntary taken leave from his role as one of the most senior catholics in the church to return to Australia for the case. He has been charged with historical sexual offences, made by multiple complainants. He has vehemently denied all the allegations made against him.


Julia Gillard prepares for end of the royal commission she ordered five years ago

The prime minister who instigated the royal commission into sexual abuse says Australians "won't tolerate" more inaction, and predicts removing tax concessions to push "recalcitrant" churches to act on reforms would win strong public support. Julia Gillard said Australians would be "waiting and watching" for any sense of church or political delay after the release on Friday of the landmark final report from the five-year long Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.


Monday, 11 December 2017

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse | Abuse impacts families following of the Catholic church

IT WILL come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to hear Anne Levey has not stepped foot inside a Catholic church for more than two years.
Her son Paul’s tale of being sent to live with notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale in Mortlake in the 1970s was among the most harrowing heard across more than two years of testimony.
Despite her best efforts to have her teenage son removed from Ridsdale’s control, disgraced former Bishop Ronald Mulkearns claimed he could not fulfill her wish despite knowing of the priest’s abusive history.


Royal commission condemns Wimmera Catholic authorities

THE Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released a scathing final report into Catholic authorities in the Wimmera.
The report found the Diocese of Ballarat had an secretive and abusive culture that prioritised reputation above child welfare and failed to stop the crimes.
The commission was particularly scathing of the actions of former Bishop Ronald Mulkearns, saying he failed to take action to have (infamous paedophile priest Gerald) Ridsdale referred to police and to restrict Ridsdale's contact with children.


Why Australia's royal commission on child sexual abuse had to happen – explainer

The inquiry which investigated decades of sexual abuse in institutions delivers its final report on 15 December
The Reckoning, part 1: David Marr on the road to the royal commission

 What is the royal commission into institutional responses into child sexual abuse?
The royal commission delivers its final report to the Australian governor general, Sir Peter Cosgrove, on 15 December, after five years’ work.
In 2012 the then prime minister, Julia Gillard, announced a royal commission into institutional responses into child sexual abuse, something survivors and their advocates had been seeking for years after allegations in Australia and in other countries, notably the US and Ireland. “There has been a systemic failure to respond to it,” Gillard said. “The allegations that have come to light recently about child sexual abuse have been heartbreaking. These are insidious, evil acts to which no child should be subject. There have been too many revelations of adults who have averted their eyes from this evil.”


The Reckoning, a major new podcast series on the child sexual abuse royal commission, launched by Guardian Australia.

In his first podcast series, David Marr investigates the story of Australia’s world-first royal commission into how institutions concealed child abuse
A powerful podcast series on Australia’s royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse is launched today by Guardian Australia, investigating faith, money, abuse and power.
In his first podcast series, Guardian Australia’s award-winning writer and broadcaster David Marr examines how the commission came to investigate decades of child abuse, hidden by the Catholic church and other institutions.
As the royal commision prepares to deliver its final report after five years, Marr and Melbourne bureau chief Melissa Davey talk to victims, experts and participants in the royal commission to investigate: why was it necessary? What did it uncover? And what comfort can it give to the victims?


Church reform not over after abuse inquiry

The Australian Catholic Church must do more to atone for the widespread child sexual abuse within its ranks and its cover-up despite facing influential pockets of resistance, its key royal commission adviser argues.
The need for reform and change in the church is far from over despite the end of the five-year inquiry that exposed "a massive concealment exercise", Truth Justice and Healing Council CEO Francis Sullivan says.

How child abuse royal commission happened

Then prime minister Julia Gillard said there had been a systemic failure to respond to "vile and evil" child sexual abuse and a national response was appropriate.
"There have been revelations of child abusers being moved from place to place rather than the nature of their abuse and their crimes being dealt with," she said on November 12, 2012.
"There have been too many revelations of adults who have averted their eyes from this evil."

Victims fear abuse royal commission report will be shelved

CHILD abuse victims fear the $500 million royal commission’s final report later this week will be shelved and they may face a battle to get governments to act.

WHILE survivors are grateful their voices have finally been heard and cover-ups exposed, there are concerns over what happens after the five-year institutions sexual abuse inquiry ends on Friday.
There is a lot of hope but also much anxiety and a real lack of certainty, survivor and activist Dr Cathy Kezelman says.
“The inquiry has provided a place where survivors felt that they had people who were looking after their interests,” the Blue Knot Foundation president said. “When the commission goes, who is going to take that position? Who will be able to keep ensuring that there are real changes to institutions, that institutions change in culture and structure and children are safe?


Call for immediate action on abuse inquiry

The prime minister and premiers must act now to ensure reforms recommended by the child sexual abuse royal commission are not shelved or lost in politics, a key Catholic Church adviser says.
The church's Truth Justice and Healing Council CEO Francis Sullivan has called on Malcolm Turnbull and state and territory leaders to immediately set up a COAG committee to implement the recommendations in the inquiry's final report, which will be released on Friday.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Men came forward to abuse royal commission

(Based on survivors who told their stories to the abuse royal commission in private sessions)
* Most male (64 per cent)
* Outside of institutional settings, girls make up a higher proportion of victims
* 70 per cent of survivors of abuse in religious institutions male; 66 per cent for institutions managed by secular organisations; 55 per cent for government institutions
* More girls than boys abused in child care and health settings
* More boys than girls abused in places of worship, out-of-home care, social support services, juvenile justice and detention, educational, recreation, sports and clubs, armed forces and youth employment settings
* 10-14 most common age of first abuse (46 per cent of victims)
* 28 per cent abused when aged five to nine; five per cent aged under five
* 10 per cent abused when 15-17
* Female victims tended to report that abuse began at younger age than male victims

Inquiry shone spotlight on child sex abuse

Gabrielle Short hopes Australia doesn't forget. But more than anything she hopes it never happens again.
She is one of the tens of thousands of children sexually abused in more than 4000 Australian institutions.
The children who were not believed or were too scared to tell anyone, often for decades, if ever.
The organisations that turned a blind eye to the abuse as they put their reputation ahead of the protection of children.
The crimes. The cover-ups. The denials. The inaction or inadequate and unjust responses.
A national tragedy perpetuated over generations within many of Australia's most trusted institutions, to use the words of the judge who led the five-year child abuse royal commission.
This is not a case of a few "rotten apples".

Hundreds of charges from abuse inquiry

Hundreds of people may be charged with child abuse thanks to a royal commission that advocates say has already helped victims achieve some justice by uncovering the truth.
The five-year inquiry has referred 2559 matters to the authorities, mostly the police.
So far 204 prosecutions have been commenced.
Hundreds more are currently under investigation and hundreds are awaiting investigation.
However, the royal commission has cautioned that in many cases the matters may not result in prosecutions because the offender has died or there are other difficulties in commencing criminal proceedings.
Lawyer, researcher and advocate Judy Courtin says the royal commission has helped victims achieve many of the necessary elements of justice, of which financial compensation is only one part.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Little legacy lost after school wipes former archbishop's name from school building

Former Melbourne Archbishop Frank Little will have his name removed from a building at his old school for his role in orchestrating a culture of secrecy that allowed scores of children to be sexually abused by Catholic clergy.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse delivered a withering assessment of the Melbourne archdiocese's handling of clerical abuse on Tuesday, with much of its opprobrium reserved for Archbishop Little.


Melbourne archbishop prioritized church interest over clergy abuse victims, Royal Commission finds

The former Melbourne Catholic Archbishop had prioritized the interest of the church over the welfare of its clergy abuse victims and covered up the allegations by transferring offending priests to other locations, the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse has found.
In a recently released report, the Royal Commission shared how the late Archbishop Frank Little went to certain lengths to hide the sexual abuse allegations against priests under him. The investigating body made the conclusion after it heard the accusations against seven ministers in the Melbourne Archdiocese, ABC News relayed.


John Cleary paid the price for speaking out in Newcastle Anglican diocese

JOHN Cleary is the former banker who looked back fondly on his banking years while drowning in Newcastle Anglican Church's dark child sex history for more than a decade.
"There were days when I thought, 'Oh gee I miss the banks'," said the former Newcastle Anglican diocese registrar who became a whistleblower before severing ties with the church in February.
"People bag the banks for doing the wrong thing but look what the Royal Commission's shown us about what happened in churches. Is there a lot of difference?" he said as the long-awaited final report into the Hunter Anglican history was released.


Perth archbishop Roger Herft should face charges: Abuse victims

Victims of abuse by priests say former Perth Anglican Archbishop Roger Herft should face criminal charges for failing to report suspected criminal clergy to police.
Abuse survivors are also calling for Archbishop Herft to be defrocked and to hand back his Order of Australia, saying the saga has caused immeasurable pain to victims.
A report from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse which investigated the Anglican Church’s diocese of Newcastle detailed how systemic issues inside the Church allowed a group of perpetrators to operate for at least 30 years.
The report noted seven clergy and others associated with the Newcastle diocese had been convicted of child-sex offences. Father Peter Rushton, who has since died, is accepted by the church to have been a notorious abuser, but he was never charged.


Archbishop Philip Wilson sent $1000 to abuse victim's parents

More than 30 years after Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson ignored an altar boy's claims he'd been abused by a pedophile priest he sent $1000 to the parents of another boy abused by the same priest, a court has heard.
Wilson, accused of concealing sexual abuse by the now-dead priest James Fletcher in the NSW Hunter region when told about it in 1976, sent the cheque in 2009, Newcastle Local Court was told on Friday.
The family of the abused boy refused to accept Wilson's cheque and sent it back.
The abused boy's sister, who cannot be named, told the court Wilson had been a family friend who had officiated with Fletcher at her wedding.

South West Centre Against Sexual Assault the trauma of abuse is ongoing

THE trauma of Warrnambool children abused by the Catholic Church is ongoing and should never be forgotten, according to the boss of the South West Centre Against Sexual Assault.
The comments by centre manager Mary Clapham come after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Assault released a scathing report which condemned the church’s Ballarat diocese leaders, who were responsible for parishes across the region.


Thursday, 7 December 2017

Ex-teacher jailed for sex abuse

A former Melbourne schoolteacher who sexually abused schoolboys under his care decades ago could walk from jail in a year.
Vili Kovac, 85, raped a boy during a school camp while teaching at Marcellin College and abused another boy while working as an athletics coach at Xavier College.
The assaults occurred in the 1960s when the boys were aged 12 or 13 and attending the Catholic schools.
Kovac was on Thursday jailed for four years for buggery and indecent assault.
He denied the buggery charge, which went to trial during which the victim had to recount to a jury the school camp attack.
The rape occurred in a tent at night during a camp Kovac was supervising at Wilson's Promontory, the victim said.


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Catholic schools 'completely failed' to protect children, abuse inquiry finds

A Catholic diocese in Australia is being accused on a 'catastrophic failure in leadership' in a damning report into its handling of child sex abuse by priests.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse's latest report is based on public hearings held in the Diocese of Ballarat between 2015 and 2016. It accuses the diocese of a culture of secrecy and said 90 per cent of the abuse complaints related to seven priests with more than half linked to just one, Gerald Ridsdale, acording to ABC.


Inquiry found church failures led to abuse

The Ballarat Catholic Church's catastrophic and inexcusable failures led to more children being sexually abused by its clergy, a royal commission has found.
The response within the Diocese of Ballarat to abuse complaints spanning at least three decades was driven by a desire to avoid scandal and protect the church's reputation, the commission said.
Priests were moved to another parish if allegations emerged where they often offended again.
The inexcusable failures led to more children being sexually abused by Catholic clergy in the diocese.


Report gives Ballarat abuse survivors ‘ultimate confirmation’ of failures

Witnesses at the Ballarat hearings will never forget the testimony of brave adult men as they recalled the horrific abuse they suffered as children in Catholic schools, choirs and orphanages.
Many shook violently and sobbed as they recalled in fine detail the beatings, the psychological terror and the vile sexual attacks all endured at the hands of the supposedly good men of the cloth. 
Many old school friends in the town had already taken their own lives, they said, due to the unbearable memories and sense of shame and confusion about what was inflicted in dark corners of classrooms of St Alipius primary school, presbytery bedrooms and confession boxes. 

Ballarat diocese's 'catastrophic' failure led to more abuse, commission finds

A "catastrophic and inexcusable" failure by the Catholic Church in Ballarat to deal with paedophile priests led to scores of children being abused, a royal commission has found.​
The response within the diocese of Ballarat to abuse complaints spanning more than three decades was driven by a desire to avoid scandal and protect the church's reputation, the report by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found.