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Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Celebrates 25 Years
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Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

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Schedule of Activity: Apr–Aug 2014

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Public Hearing Case Studies click here 

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Announcements of Issues Papers and Submissions here

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SNAP Australia Submission
in response to
Issues Paper #6
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For Commentary on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Australia) and Memorial coverage of Lewis Blayse.
 Click Here: LewisBlayse.net

Victoria Parliament's "Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Organisations"

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Inquiry Report Summary
 13 Nov. 2013
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To read the Committee's report click:
Exc Summary        Vol. 1        Vol. 2

NSW, Special Commission of Inquiry into matters relating to the Police investigation of certain child sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

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Transcripts

SNAP Legal Action

For all things related to the
SNAP and Center for Constitutional Rights lawsuit filed against
the Pope and four
Vatican officers
for
violations of
human rights 
 [ CLICK HERE ]


Video: Moves to Put the Pope in Court

            Fighting for the Future                (UN filing on February 28, 2013)



FEELING DESPONDENT?

If you or anyone you know has suffered abuse, call Lifeline.

TELE:     131 114



Contact Information &

Meeting Announcements 


Where To Report Your Abuse


Victims' Stories (listen and read)


Public Awareness Presentations and Radio Interviews


Information and Support


Other Australian organisations concerned with child abuse prevention.



PUBLICLY ACCUSED CLERGY

Partial List


PM Julia Gillard's full statement on the child sex abuse royal commission (with Q n A)

[click HERE for Transcript]


OPINION: Sex abuse survivors want to be believed

By Bob OToole and Lindsay Gardiner
April 2, 2013

Click "OPINION" to read Article

Call Of Duty

ABC Australian Story          April 29, 2013

The video story about  Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox; a man who was only doing his job.

Click "Call"  for story and video

Cops and Catholicism:  the cultural connection between police and the church

Download audio

ABC Radio - Andrew West        May 8, 2013

"George Pell and Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church"

Adelaide Festival of Ideas Forum [audio report], October 24, 2013



SNAP

AUSTRALIA



HEADLINES and NEWS ARCHIVES 

[Click on the BLUE heading above for
healines and news archives]

[Click on the BLUE story titles below to open the recent stories]

"Bishop Bill Ray calls for fresh look at abuse cover-up", QLD, The Australian, Michael McKenna, October 25, 2014.

Anglican Bishop Bill Ray has called on Australia’s royal commission into child abuse to hold public hearings and use its special powers to investigate the cover-up of the rape and beatings of young boys at a north Queensland boarding school in the 1960s. The north Queensland Bishop yesterday said he feared the ­extent of the sexual abuse by former principal Robert Waddington and other clergy at St Barnabas boarding school in Ravenshoe, southwest or Cairns, would remain secret unless the commission investigated. …

"The Bishop of Manchester's statement on the Waddington Inquiry", United Kingdom, Anglican Communion News Service, October 22, 2014.

… Robert Waddington abused children. He abused them in Australia and in England. He exploited the trust placed in him, first as a teacher and then as a priest, to gain repeated and unsupervised access to the children he abused. My heart goes out to those whose lives have been irreparably damaged by what Robert Waddington did to them. When I read of the ongoing effects of his abuse, decades after it took place, it makes my blood run cold. …

"Church legally liable for pre-1996 child sexual abuse", Australia, Eureka Street, Frank Brennan, October 21, 2014.

In August the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse turned its spotlight on the Melbourne Response, the protocol adopted by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne after George Pell became the Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996. Much of the media attention was on Cardinal Pell’s video link appearance from Rome (pictured), where he is now overseeing Vatican finances as Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy. …

"Catholic primary school teacher banned from going near children as he awaits trial for allegedly uploading child abuse material", Sydney, Daily Telegraph, Lema Samandar, October 21, 2014.

… Peter Ronald Kleist faced Burwood Local Court today after he was charged last month with two counts of using a carriage service for child pornography material and four counts of possession of child abuse material. … The 58-year-old, who is a teacher at a Catholic primary school in southwest Sydney, is banned from being near children while on bail. …

"Senior Catholic priest Monsignor David Cappo gives evidence at Father John Fleming defamation trial in South Australia Supreme Court", SA, news.com.au, October 21, 2014.

Father John Fleming “definitely” raised allegations he had been involved in a ménage-a-trois when he was interviewed by a senior Catholic priest, a court has heard. Monsignor David Cappo has provided the Supreme Court with handwritten notes of his 1995 interview with Fr Fleming, prompted by allegations of sexual misconduct towards a teenage girl. …

"Priest charged with child sex abuse", VIC, Sydney Morning Herald, Jane Lee, October 20, 2014.

… Roger Mount, 72, was last week deported to Australia from Papua New Guinea, where he was the priest of a remote parish. This is despite the Catholic Church apologising to and paying at least two people who alleged he had sexually abused them as children in the 1990s and the 2000s. Legal documents show the St John of God order paid alleged victims more than $100,000. …

"Former St Stanislaus' College teacher jailed for sexual abuse", WA, Western Advocate, October 18, 2014.

A Catholic priest who formerly taught at St Stanislaus’ College will spend at least 11 months behind bars after being convicted of abusing a West Australian teenager more than 30 years ago. Glenn Humphreys, 61, was found guilty of abusing a boy between 1983 and 1986 when the boy was aged 15 to 17. …

"Adelaide Anglican Church synod supports priests breaching confessional to report crimes", SA, 7 News ABC, October 18, 2014.

The Anglican Church in Adelaide has backed an earlier move by the church nationally to let its priests break the confidentiality of confessions. Earlier this year, the national synod met in Adelaide and voted for an historic change to let priests ignore the privacy of the confessional in cases of serious crimes, such as child abuse. …

"Father John Fleming’s inappropriate relationships “wrong whichever way you cut it”, court hears", VIC, Herald Sun, Sean Fewster, October 17, 2014.

Father John Fleming’s inappropriate relationship with a male parishioner and “prurient” interest in two teenage girls was “wrong whichever way you cut it”, a court has heard. Lawyers for the Sunday Mail today told the Supreme Court their evidence against the prominent priest was a “contextual tsunami” that would “break” over his years of denials. …

"Child sex offence case against ADF Bishop Max Davis adjourned", WA, ABC News, Joanna Menagh, October 17, 2014.

The case against Australian Defence Force (ADF) Bishop Max Davis, accused of child sex offences in Western Australia 45 years ago, has been adjourned until next year. Davis was facing three charges of indecent treatment of a 13 year-old boy in 1969, when he was a teacher at Saint Benedict's College in New Norcia, north-east of Perth. …

"Hillsong Church: Abuse unreported, perpetrator rewarded", NSW, Religion News Service, Boz Tchividjian, October 17, 2014.

Disturbing news surfaced last week that the founder and senior pastor of one of the largest churches in Australia, and a church well known in this country for its worship music, failed to report his father for sexually abusing children. Brian Houston of Hillsong Church, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse that in October of 1999, he learned that an adult had reported being sexually abused as a child by leading Pentecostal pastor, Frank Houston. The elder Houston was permanently suspended from preaching and given a “retirement package”. The victim was sent $10,000.00. The church eventually uncovered up to eight more cases of child sexual abuse by Frank Houston before he passed away in 2004. None of these cases were ever reported to law enforcement. …

"Elderly man extradited to Victoria to face 62 charges over historical sex offences", VIC, Herald Sun, Jon Kaila, October 17, 2014.

An elderly man has been charged with scores of historical sex offences. The man, aged 72, was arrested in Cairns and will be extradited back to Victoria today and face 62 charges at Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday. …

"Sex abuse victim lashes out at church elders at royal commission", NSW, Sydney Morning Herald, Rachel Browne, October 17, 2014.

A man who was repeatedly molested by his youth pastor lashed out at church elders, accusing them of using the child sexual abuse royal commission to "justify their failings and minimise their responsibilities". In a statement read out to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse, the man, now aged in his mid-20s, described his life as a living hell. …

"Police officer says reports not her role", NSW, Sky News, October 17, 2014.

A police inspector who advised a church body charged with handling reports of child abuse did not see it as her role to pass on information to her superiors. The Police Integrity Commission (PIC) was today questioning Inspector Beth Cullen about her role on the Catholic Church's Professional Standards Resource Group (PSRG) - a body set up to help funnel information about sex abuse cases to the police. …

"Police officer failed to report cases of sex abuse by church", NSW, Newcastle Herald, Michelle Harris, October 17, 2014.

A police officer never reported or told her superiors of the dozens of cases of child sexual abuse she learnt of through her involvement with a Catholic Church advisory group, telling the police watchdog ‘‘that wasn’t my role’’. Inspector Elizabeth Cullen rejected any conflict of interest between her membership from 1999 to 2005 of the Church’s Professional Standards Resources Group, which was set up to consider abuse victims’ complaints, and her responsibilities as an officer. …

"Reporting child abuse claims 'not my role', says police inspector", NSW, Sydney Morning Herald, Paul Bibby, October 17, 2014.

A NSW Police Inspector learnt about scores of child sex abuse cases while on a Catholic Church advisory committee but did not report any of the information back to the force, the police watchdog has heard. The officer told the NSW Police Integrity Commission on Friday that her role was that of an "adviser or liaison" not as an "investigator or conduit of information". …

"‘Blind reporting’ of abuse allegations in Catholic church defended by officer", NSW, The Guardian AAP, October 17, 2014.

A senior police officer at the centre of hearings into the force’s relationship with the Catholic church has broken down in tears while defending the practice of “blind reporting” sex abuse. Inspector Elizabeth Cullen was a member of the Professional Standards Resources Group (PSRG) between 1999 and 2005, a body that supported the church’s Professional Standards Office (PSO). …

"NSW Police officer on Catholic Church abuse panel says not her role to report misconduct, inquiry told", NSW, ABC News, Jessica Kidd, October 17, 2014.

A senior police officer who sat on an internal Catholic Church panel set up to manage allegations of sexual abuse by members of the clergy says it was not her role to report that information back to New South Wales Police, an inquiry has heard. The Police Integrity Commission (PIC) is investigating whether then-Senior Sergeant Elizabeth Cullen's appointment to the Church's Professional Standards Resource Group (PSRG) amounted to police misconduct. She is now an Inspector. …

"Overhaul of Pentecostal churches needed to protect children, royal commission hears", NSW, Sydney Morning Herald, Rachel Browne, October 17, 2014.

Australian Pentecostal churches might have to enforce a strict national child protection policy as a condition of registration with their umbrella body Australian Christian Churches, a royal commission has heard. The national president of Australian Christian Churches, Wayne Alcorn, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse that the organisation would review its structure after listening to shocking cases of abuse which occurred at three affiliated churches. …

"Abuse victim tells of living hell", NSW, Courier-Mail, Annette Blackwell, October 17, 2014.

A young man abused as a boy by a Pentecostal pastor says attempts by leaders of the movement to justify themselves at a royal commission have made him even angrier. HIS statement was read on the fifth day of a hearing into how a Queensland church and the Australian Christian Churches (ACC) handled allegations youth pastor Jonathan Baldwin sexually abused the boy for two years from 2004 to 2006. …

"Child sex abuse inquiry: Youth pastor victim says church more concerned with reputation than him", NSW, ABC News, Nicole Chettle, October 17, 2014.

A man who was sexually abused by a Sunshine Coast youth pastor as a child says Australian Christian Churches was more concerned with protecting its reputation than protecting him, an inquiry heard. The Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has completed hearings into the way Pentecostal churches managed complaints of child sexual abuse in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. …

"Church 'needs' child abuse hotline", NSW, Sky News, October 17, 2014.

The Pentecostal movement needs a hotline for senior pastors to report child sex abuse allegations to the executive, a retired church leader says. Chris Peterson was senior pastor of a small church in Queensland when Jonathan Baldwin, a former youth pastor, was jailed for eight years for indecent treatment of a child under 16 and one count of sodomy. …

"Churches will review conflict of interest rules after Hillsong abuse revelation", NSW, 9 News, October 17, 2014.

"Priest at centre of paedophile allegations arrives back in Australia [w/ video]", VIC, Sydney Morning Herald, Rory Callinan, October 16, 2014.

A Catholic priest who was allowed to continue preaching in Papua New Guinea despite being named in child abuse compensation settlements has been deported to Australia and is likely to face being extradited from Queensland to Victoria. Earlier this month, Fairfax Media revealed how Father Roger Mount was still being allowed to minister at a remote parish in PNG despite being named in the Catholic church documents as an alleged child abuser of boys in homes in Victoria and NSW. …

"Child abuse inquiry: Victim of Sunshine Coast youth pastor still angry at church's handling of complaint", NSW, ABC News, Nicole Chettle, October 16, 2014.

A man abused by a Sunshine Coast youth pastor as a child is still extremely angry at the church's handling of his complaint more than five years after his abuser was jailed, an inquiry has heard. Perpetrator Jonathan Baldwin befriended his victim, referred to in the commission as ALA, at a Queensland church that cannot be named for legal reasons in 2004. …

"Former commander defends blind reporting", NSW, Sky News, October 16, 2014.

A former NSW child protection squad commander has defended the system of blind reporting of sex abuse cases by the Catholic Church to police, saying it has kept open the lines of communication. But Kim McGee only considered information about sex abuse from a key church- and police-sanctioned body as intelligence reports, and not reports of crimes. …

"PIC hearing: Police officer on Catholic Church child abuse panel not forced to report, inquiry hears", NSW, ABC News, Jessica Kidd, October 16, 2014.

A senior police officer who sat on a panel set up by the Catholic Church to investigate allegations of child sexual abuse was not obligated to report the information she received, an inquiry has heard. The Police Integrity Commission (PIC) was investigating the conduct of Inspector Elizabeth Cullen while she was a member of the church's Professional Standards Resource Group (PSRG) to determine if it amounted to police misconduct. …

"Police agency head unaware of Church policy, Integrity Commission told", NSW, Newcastle Herald, Michelle Harris, October 15, 2014.

The former commander of the Child Protection Enforcement Agency has told an inquiry he was unaware that Catholic Church officials routinely withheld the names of victims when they reported sex abuse to police, as he never checked on the Church’s reporting practices. John Heslop also told the Police Integrity Commission on Wednesday he could not recall a draft agreement between NSW Police and the Church that set out abuse reporting protocols, although the agency’s chief of staff received advice while Mr Heslop was commander that warned the draft’s terms breached criminal laws and the Catholic Church was seeking ‘‘preferential treatment’’. …

"Advisory To Survivors Of Clergy Abuse Dealing With The Royal Commission And Government Funded Support Systems", Australia, Survivors of Clergy Abuse Australia (SoCAA), October 18, 2014.

"Ex-Christian brother Ted Bales admits to 55 new sex offences", VIC, The Standard, Genevieve Gannon, October 10, 2014.

… Ted Bales, 64, was taken into custody yesterday after pleading guilty to indecently assaulting boys over a 16-year period in the 1970s and 1980s. Bales, now a defrocked layman living in Thomastown, was formerly known as Edward Vernon Dowlan. The name ‘Dowlan’ has frequently appeared alongside some of Australia’s most notorious clergy paedophiles, including Robert Charles Best and Gerald Francis Ridsdale. …

"Christian Brothers apologise for Vic abuse", VIC, 9 News, October 10, 2014.

… Ted Bales, 64, this week pleaded guilty to 55 counts of indecent assault spanning 16 years during the 1970s and 1980s. The Christian Brothers Oceania apologised and expressed sorrow that children had been abused in its care. … Bales, now a defrocked layman living in Thomastown, was formerly known as Edward Vernon Dowlan. …

"Christian pastor faked phone call after sex abuse complaint, inquiry told", NSW, The Guardian, Michael Safi, October 10, 2014.

… Emma Fretton began giving evidence on Friday that she was physically and sexually abused for more than four years from the age of six while a student at Northside Christian College in Bundoora in Melbourne’s north-east. Fretton told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse that a teacher, Kenneth Sandilands, would type out lewd stories about her family on a portable typewriter and make her sign the pages. …

"Hillsong Church is a haven of a thing called prosperity theology. But does God really want you to be rich? [w/ video] NSW, news.com.au, October 10, 2014.

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘worshipping the almighty dollar’. … This philosophy is the cornerstone of an American movement called “prosperity theology”, and one man who preaches its message to his Australian flock is Hillsong Church leader Brian Houston. …

"Pastor's son sought legal advice over abuse allegations", NSW, 3 News (New Zealand), Annette Blackwell, October 10, 2014.

Hillsong church senior pastor Brian Houston consulted a lawyer about his father's position when abuse allegations were raised but omitted mentioning his meeting with the lawyer in his statement to the royal commission into the matter. The Auckland-born man who is a leading light in the evangelical movement in Australia was in the witness box for a second day at a hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney today. …

"Hillsong pastor Brian Houston: ‘There may be more abused’ [w/ video]", NSW, news.com.au, October 10, 2014.

… On his final day of giving evidence at a royal commission into how Pentecostal churches responded to complaints of child sexual abuse, the popular Sydney preacher was asked if he now accepted his father had abused other children in New Zealand. “I’ve no doubt, and we probably do not know how many. We may never know just how far it went,” he told the national inquiry on Friday. …

"Hutchins old scholars urged to snub media inquiries over 1960s sex abuse allegations", TAS, news.com.au, October 10, 2014.

The chairman of Hobart’s exclusive Hutchins School has written to former students asking them to refer media inquries about child sex allegations back to the school. … The 1960s allegations against the late David Lawrence and former teacher Lyndon Hickman (1942-49 and 1964-65) were known to the all-male boarding school. … It is understood allegations were made to the commission at recent private hearings. Mr Morris and Anglican Bishop John Harrower said the school and the Diocese would co-operate fully with the royal commission.

"Alleged sex abuse victim of PNG-based priest speaks out [w/ audio]", Papua New Guinea, Radio Australia, October 10, 2014.

An Australian man who says he was sexually abused by an Australian priest currently living in Papua New Guinea says he would like to confront Father Roger Mount about what happened in the 1960s. Father Roger Mount was rushed from his small rural parish in Sogeri to a hospital in Port Moresby, after a suspected drug overdose. …

"Priest accused of pedophilia goes to PNG hospital, stalls deportation to Australia [w/ video]", Australia/New Guinea, The Age, Rory Callinan, October 9, 2014.

AThe Papua New Guinea-based Catholic priest ordered by the church to return to Australia after Fairfax Media revealed his alleged involvement in Australian child abuse cases appears to have stalled his departure by going into hospital. The Catholic Church paid more than $100,000 to victims who alleged abuse by Father Roger Mount when he was a brother with the Catholic St John of God Order running children's homes in NSW and Victoria in the 1960s and 1970s. …

"Priest accused of sexual abuse in PNG in suspected drug overdose [w/ audio]", Australia/New Guinea, Radio Australia, October 9, 2014.

An elderly Australian priest accused of sexually abusing boys in the 1960s has been rushed to hospital in Papua New Guinea, after a suspected drug overdose. Priest accused of sexual abuse in PNG in suspected drug overdose (Credit: ABC) It came just hours after Father Roger Mount was made aware of plans to deport him to Australia. …

"Royal Commission to hold public hearing into the Hutchins School, Hobart", TAS, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, October 9, 2014.

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing at the Hobart Federal Court from 19 November 2014 at 10:00am AEST. The public hearing will inquire into the responses by the Hutchins School and the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania to allegations of child sexual abuse at the School. …

"Ex-Christian Brother pleads guilty to 55 historical Victorian sex offences", VIC, Herald Sun, Shannon Deery, October 9, 2014.

… Edward “Ted” Bales, of Thomastown, pleaded guilty to 55 charges of sexual assault at the Melbourne Magistrates Court today and was immediately taken into custody. … Bales indecently assaulted males in Ballarat, Forest Hill and Warrnambool between 1970 and 1975 and in Lovely Banks, East Melbourne and Lower Templestowe between 1980 and 1984. Bales, who changed his name from Edward Dowlan after serving a previous jail term for similar offending, was allegedly moved between parishes by his superiors after complaints were made about him. …

"Child sex abuse inquiry: Hillsong leader Brian Houston says victim can decide about going to police", NSW, 7 News ABC, Nonee Walsh, October 9, 2014.

Hillsong Church leader Brian Houston has told an inquiry he did not report child sexual abuse claims against his father to police because the victim was over 18 when he came forward. … "Rightly or wrongly I genuinely believed that I would be pre-empting the victim if I were just to call the police," he said. …

"Hillsong head did not report sexual abuse allegations because it was the victim's 'prerogative'", NSW, 9 News, Tyron Butson, October 9, 2014.

The head of the Hillsong Church has told an abuse inquiry he did not report allegations his preacher father had sexually abused a young boy to police because he believed it was the victim’s “prerogative” to report the incident. Senior Pastor Brian Houston also today told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he did not see a conflict of interest in his heading up the internal investigation into the allegations, despite being the son of the man accused. …

"Hillsong ignored own rules on pedophile founder: inquiry [w/ video]", NSW, SBS, October 9, 2014.

Rules were set aside by the executive of the Pentecostal movement when it came to dealing with allegations against confessed pedophile Frank Houston, the father of Hillsong senior pastor Brian Houston. …

"'You never forget the moment you find out your dad's a paedophile': Hillsong's Brian Houston tells of the 'devastating' 10 seconds when he realised his father, Frank, was a paedophile [w/ video]", NSW, Daily Mail (UK), Daniel Piotrowski, October 9, 2014.

Brian Houston, the son of Hillsong founder Frank Houston, has told a hearing about the moment he found out his father was a paedophile. …

"Justice fears for child sex abuse victims", NSW, Yahoo! News, Karlis Salna, October 9, 2014.

… An analysis of police and court data from NSW suggests a steady increase in the number of incidents of child sexual assault offences reported between 1995 and 2013, including a spike following the two-year Wood Royal Commission which concluded in 1997. But for the same period, the proportion of child sexual assaults reported to police where charges were laid declined dramatically, from around 60 per cent in 1995, to around 15 per cent in 2013. …

"Wollongong lawyer Aaron Kernaghan praises royal commission into child abuse", NSW, Illawarra Mercury, Louise Turk October 9, 2014.

… Ms Taylor has been giving evidence in the public hearing in Sydney which is inquiring into the responses by Australian Christian Churches and two affiliated churches to allegations of child sexual abuse. Mr Kernaghan, a former prosecutor, said the commission far surpassed anything he had seen in the criminal justice system in terms of providing opportunities for people directly or indirectly affected by child sexual abuse to share their experiences in appropriate ways. …

"Suspended evangelist Frank Houston continued to preach despite sex abuse claims, royal commission told", NSW, Sydney Morning Herald, Rachel Browne, October 8, 2014.

… Barbara Taylor, a senior pastor with Emmanuel Christian Family Church in Plumpton, told the royal commission she had raised concerns about the sex abuse allegations with the state executive of the Assemblies of God in 1998, but it took months before officials took action. …

"Allegations of abuse by Kiwi pastor heard by Aussie inquiry [w/ video]", NSW/New Zealand, TVNZ, October 8, 2014.

A New Zealand church leader has been identified as a serial child sex abuser at a royal commission in Australia. But before moving to Australia, ONE News has uncovered that Frank Houston was investigated by the Assembly of God Church here for molesting young boys. …

"Hillsong founder met with church leaders ONE YEAR after being told of sex abuse allegations against his father [w/ video]", NSW, Daily Mail (UK), Louise Cheer, October 8, 2014.

It took a year for Hillsong leader Brian Houston to meet with the Pentecostal church about allegations his father had molested a seven-year-old boy. …

"Hillsong leader speaks of 'painful' abuse allegations against his father Frank Houston", NSW, ABC News, Nicole Chettle, October 8, 2014.

… Senior Pastor Brian Houston spoke outside a Sydney hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. … "It's been painful for 15 years. But you know I also understand my pain's nothing compared to someone who been molested or sexually abused by a paedophile, by a predator." …

"Ex-coast pastor called to testify at royal commission", NSW, The Chronicle, Emma McBryde, October 8, 2014.

A father has criticised a Pentecostal church organisation for abandoning his family after a Sunshine Coast youth pastor sexually abused his son. … Pastor Lehmann is accused of being slow to act after the allegations surfaced because the youth pastor, Jonathan Baldwin, was his son-in-law. …

"Sydney chief Chabad rabbi's wife sorry for offensive email to child abuse victim", VIC, Haaretz (Israel), October 8, 2014.

… On Monday, Pnina Feldman said she regretted the email she had sent three days earlier to Manny Waks, who went public with his story of child sex abuse in the Jewish community, stressing she had written a “private” email to Waks. …

"Feldman apologises after pressure from rabbis", VIC, The Australian Jewish News, October 7, 2014.

UPDATED: Rebbetzin Pnina Feldman apologised to child-sexual-abuse victim Manny Waks after pressure from rabbis in Melbourne. … “I haven’t met a person yet with one nice word to say about you. Most people consider you a lowlife,” Rebbetzin Pnina Feldman said in an email to Waks on erev Yom Kippur. … “There is something very ugly and personal about your anti Yeshiva campaign. Just because a security guard molested you don’t blame Yeshiva,” Rebbetzin Feldman said referring to David Cyprys, who was found guilty of abusing Waks at Yeshivah in Melbourne.

"Inquiry hears pastor abused young boy", NSW, Sky News, October 7, 2014.

… Counsel assisting the royal commission Simeon Beckett said the commission would hear 'no allegations of child sexual abuse' against Frank Houston were referred to police and 'no civil proceedings have been commenced in Australia'. …

"Hillsong church leader slams paedophile father William Francis ‘Frank’ Houston as ‘repulsive’ at child sex abuse royal commission [w/ video]", NSW, Daily Telegraph, Janet Fife-Yeomans, October 07, 2014.

… “You know it’s your fault all of this happened. You tempted my father,” the victim, now 52, has claimed Brian Houston said to him. The man said he replied: “Why, did he molest you also?” and Brian Houston became very angry and slammed down the phone. …

"Hillsong head allegedly told man abused by pastor abuse was his own fault [w/ video]", NSW, SBS, Manny Tsigas, October 7, 2014.

Known for its rock'n'roll style of worship, Hillsong has transformed the image of Christianity. Its music has had number one hits in Australia and made the charts in the United States. Allegations against one of the men who helped create the church that is now known as Hillsong were raised in the royal commission today. … The victim, who can only be identified as AHA, told the hearing Brian Houston said to him during a phone conversation about the alleged abuse by Frank Houston: "Yes, okay, I'll get the money to you. There's no problem. You know, it's your fault all this happened. You tempted my father." …

"Pastor lived a shocking double life, abuse victim tells Royal Commission [w/ video]", NSW, 9 News, Damian Ryan, October 7, 2014.

With fire and brimstone he preached the word of God and condemned the evils of sin. But throughout all of that, preacher Frank Houston reportedly lived a shocking lie, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard today. …

"Hillsong founder 'told man his father sexually abused it was victim's fault'", NSW, The Guardian, Helen Davidson, October 6, 2014.

The head of Hillsong Church, Brian Houston, told a man who was abused by Houston’s father that it was his fault for tempting the preacher, the victim has told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse. It was also alleged that Frank Houston, a preacher who helped build Australia’s Pentecostal movement, which led to the establishment of Hillsong, met the victim in a McDonald’s and offered him $10,000, saying he did not want his actions hanging over his head when he stood before God. …

"Brian Houston to give evidence at sex abuse inquiry", NSW, Christian Today, Carey Lodge, October 6, 2014.

… Australia's sex abuse royal commission is to examine how the Australian Christian Churches (ACC) movement, formerly Assemblies of God, handled the allegations when they came to light in 2000. Originally trained as a Salvation Army officer, Frank Houston later became a Pentecostal Christian pastor in the Assemblies of God church. He founded the Sydney Christian Life Centre, which was in 1999 merged with his son Brian's church – Hills Christian Life Centre, now known as Hillsong. … Before his death in 2004, aged 82, Frank Houston confessed to sexually abusing a boy in New Zealand three decades earlier, and was immediately removed from ministry by Brian. …

"Anglican Diocese of Tasmania to co-operate with Royal Commission", TAS, The Examiner, October 6, 2014.

… There will be a public hearing in Hobart on November 19. "(The hearing will be) ‘in relation to the Hutchins School's response to allegations of child sexual abuse and the role of the Anglican Church, Diocese of Tasmania in responding to those allegations’," a statement said. …

"Hutchins School abuse allegations: Tasmania's Anglican diocese to front sexual assault royal commission", TAS, 7 News ABC, October 6, 2014.

The Hutchins School and Anglican Diocese of Tasmania will appear before the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse over allegations of sexual assault at the school in the 1960s. The allegations relate to former headmaster David Lawrence and former teacher Lyndon Hickman, both of whom are dead. …

"Survey Has Hard Messages For Church", New Zealand, NZ Catholic, Rowena Orejana, October 6, 2014.

The responses of more than 2000 New Zealand Catholics provided to the survey for the Third Extraordinary Synod on Marriage and Family showed Catholics feel that the Church is “out of touch”, even “hypocritical”, in some of its teachings. ... Many also felt the reports of sexual abuse by the clergy have “undermined their faith in priests and bishops as teachers in matters of sexual morality”. …

"Accused Australian priest in PNG has no visa", Papua New Guinea, Sydney Morning Herald, Rory Callinan, October 6, 2014.

A Catholic priest who, as a religious brother, is alleged to have abused boys in the 1960s in Australia and has been allowed to continue ministering in Papua New Guinea has not had a valid visa for the country for four years, a senior church administrator says. Father Roger Mount has also ignored official requests to leave his parish at Sogeri near the Kokoda Track about 45 kilometres north-east of Port Moresby since 2011. … Over the past two decades the Catholic St John of God Order in Australia which employed Roger Mount as a brother when the alleged abuse occurred has paid more than $100,000 to his alleged victims and apologised. …

"Victim horrified to learn alleged abuser continues to preach in Papua New Guinea", NSW, Sydney Morning Herald, Rory Callinan, October 6, 2014.

When David McNamara first complained to the Catholic Church in the 1990s that he had been sexually abused in a church-run home, he believed his abuser would face justice. … But, in August, the 60-year-old realised that the former brother, who had allegedly repeatedly molested him when he was 12, was still working as a Catholic priest, now in Papua New Guinea, and potentially has contact with children. …

"Case Study 18, October 2014, Sydney", NSW, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, October 5, 2014.

The Royal Commission is holding a public hearing in Sydney from Tuesday 7 October 2014 commencing at 10:30am (local time). The public hearing will break between 11:30am-11:50am and 1pm-2pm daily. The hearing will examine the responses by Australian Christian Churches (a Pentecostal movement in Australia) and two affiliated churches to allegations of child sexual abuse. …

"Former residents of Darwin institution at centre of child sex abuse allegations begin legal action", NT, 7 News ABC, Sally Brooks and Xavier La Canna, October 5, 2014.

… On Saturday, alleged victims from the Retta Dixon home met at the site where the facility once stood. … Retta Dixon was a home in Darwin that operated for more than three decades and housed mainly Aboriginal children, many of whom identify as being from the Stolen Generation. … Former residents are taking legal action and have formed a group to investigate their options called the Retta Dixon Claimants Group.

Tendency evidence: Concerns Court of Appeal ruling could thwart child abuse convictions

VIC, ABC News, Sarah Farnsworth, October 3, 2014.

A recent Victorian Court of Appeal ruling has sparked concerns a clamp down on the way child abuse cases are handled could thwart convictions. In June, three Court of Appeal justices ruled only cases that are "remarkably" similar would go before the same jury, making it harder for groups of victims to band together. …

"Public Hearing Notice for Operation Protea", NSW, New South Wales Government - Police Integrity Commission, October 3, 2015.

… The general scope and purpose of that hearing will be to investigate:  1. Whether there was any police misconduct involved in the participation of any New South Wales Police Force (“NSWPF”) officer in the Catholic Church Professional Standards Resource Group between 1998 and 2005; and  2. Whether there was any police misconduct involved in the participation by the NSWPF in any agreement, protocol or Memorandum of Understanding (whether or not formally entered into) between the NSWPF and the Catholic Church concerning the handling of complaints of abuse committed by Catholic Church personnel or employees. …

NSW Police Integrity Commission examines informal agreements between Catholic church and abuse investigators

NSW, Newcastle Herald, Gabriel Wingate-Pearse, October 3, 2014.

The Police Integrity Commission has taken up the issue of informal agreements between NSW Police and the Catholic Church which allowed the church to withhold the results of internal investigations of abuse. The Commission released a notice on Friday announcing Operation Protea with a public hearing to be held on Monday October 13. …

"Analysis: Operation Protea is a welcome move by the NSW Police watchdog", NSW, ABC News, Suzanne Smith, October 3, 2014.

The announcement today that the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) in NSW will hold a public hearing as part of Operation Protea – an investigation into the relationship and agreements between police and the Catholic Church - is a welcome move. There should be absolute clarity as to whether these arrangements were appropriate or could be in contravention of section 316 of the NSW Crimes Act – which refers to concealment of crimes. …

"NSW Police Integrity Commission opens inquiry into agreements between police and Catholic Church over handling of abuse claims", NSW, ABC News, Emily Bourke, October 3, 2014.

… Last year, the ABC's Lateline reported accusations that the church tried to strike a formal arrangement with police over how to handle abuse allegations and what information would be handed over for investigation. There are questions over whether the memorandum of understanding was ever signed, approved or even in operation. Operation Protea has now been set up to investigate such arrangements and whether there was any police misconduct between 1998 and 2005. …

"Watchdog to investigate police dealings with Catholic Church over abuse", NSW, Sydney Morning Herald, Nick Ralston, October 3, 2014.

The police corruption watchdog will investigate whether there was any misconduct by the NSW Police Force in its dealings with the Catholic Church over the handling of complaints of abuse. The Police Integrity Commission's investigation, dubbed Operation Protea, will conduct a public hearing in Sydney on October 13. …

"Child sexual abuse victims urge other Tasmanians to speak to royal commission", TAS, 7 News ABC, Tyson Shine, October 3, 2014.

Two Tasmanian men who have appeared before the royal commission into child sexual abuse are urging others to come forward. The men say they were victims of historic child sexual abuse at St Virgil's school in Hobart in the 1950s. …

"Cameron Tully jailed for 14 years for child sexual offences", SA, ABC News, Elizabeth Byrne, October 3, 2014.

… Cameron Flynn Tully, 40, was found guilty of 18 counts of sexual assault, ranging from rape to acts on indecency, after a trial in June. Sentencing Tully, Justice John Burns described the abuse as "brazen, revealing an arrogant belief that your victims would not report the crimes, and if they did would not be believed". …

"Raped by his supervisor then convicted of buggery: life in a 70s boys' home", NSW, The Guardian, Helen Davidson, October 3, 2014.

In 1972 a 16-year-old resident of a Sydney boys’ home was charged with buggery after he tried to report to his carers that he had been raped by a supervisor at work. Peter Solway says he was forced by the home’s administrator to lie to the police and confess to what was then a crime, or be transferred to a notoriously violent detention facility in Tamworth. … Solway tells Guardian Australia that soon after arriving at Ashfield he and other boys were taken by Charlton’s executive officer, Ray Menzies, on a camping trip to Sydney’s Blue Mountains. Solway says he witnessed Menzies sexually abusing a boy there. …

"Sydney teacher charged with publishing child pornography", NSW, ABC News, October 1, 2014.

A Catholic primary school teacher has been charged with publishing child pornography on the internet after police searched his home in Sydney's west. … The images were uploaded to a website that was being monitored by the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the US, police said. … "After making their own inquiries, NCMEC staff determined that the material had been uploaded from an internet protocol (IP) address in Australia, and subsequently referred the matter to Australian authorities," a NSW Police statement said. …

"My mother was sexually abused, says Jane Fonda", Los Angeles, Sydney Morning Herald, Rachel Clun, September 30, 2014.

Actor Jane Fonda has revealed her mother was sexually abused and committed suicide. Speaking at an event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Rape Treatment Centre, Fonda revealed the personal details to a crowd of philanthropists and activists. …

"Australian Indigenous Ministries apologises to sexual abuse victims [w/ audio]", NT, ABC – PM, Will Ockenden, September 30, 2014.

… Trevor Leggott told the commission that, despite running Australian Indigenous Ministries for the last 18 years, the first he had heard of the severity of sexual and physical abuse was this year. He told the commission that while AIM had more than $4 million in property assets, it would be impossible to sell them to raise money for compensation. Will Ockenden reports. …

"Royal commission: NT magistrate Michael Carey admits recommendation to drop court action against sex offender did not meet guidelines", NT, ABC News, Xavier La Canna, September 30, 2014.

… At the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the NT's Acting Chief Magistrate Michael Carey gave evidence about a memo he sent in 2002 when he worked at the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). … The note from Mr Carey in 2002 has been described as "pivotal" to the decision to drop action against Henderson, who was never prosecuted for his alleged crimes while working as a house parent at Retta Dixon. …

"Group 'can't afford' NT abuse compensation", NT, Sky News, September 30, 2014.

… AIM general director Reverend Trevor Leggott, who's headed the organisation since 1996, and says he didn't know of the abuse claims - some of which date back more than 60 years - before last week. He made a formal apology to victims a day before his appearance on Tuesday at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse sitting in Darwin. He said AIM had few resources and couldn't afford to pay compensation, but then admitted under questioning that it owned several properties worth $4.1 million. …

"The price Aboriginal children paid at Retta Dixon", NT, Sydney Morning Herald, Greg Pemberton, September 30, 2014.

The royal commission into child sexual abuse has asked searing questions about the behaviour of people in power across Australian society, writes Greg Pemberton. In Darwin this week, it turns its attention to the homes for Aboriginal children run by missionaries 50 years ago, when government policy was one of assimilation and young children were stolen from their families. …

"‘Shunned’ victim of pedophile priest turns on royal commission", NSW, The Australian, Dan Box, September 30, 2014.

A Former victim of a pedophile priest has accused the child abuse royal commission of treating him “with the same lack of ­respect shown to me by the Catholic Church” after his complaint about the conduct of an inquiry went unanswered. …

 "Special needs student sues school, claiming teachers bullied him", NSW, Sydney Morning Herald, Louise Hall, September 29, 2014.

… Jordan Niko took De La Salle College Revesby Heights, a Catholic boys' school in Sydney's south-west, to the NSW Supreme Court, seeking damages for negligence, assault, trespass and breach of contract.  Mr Niko, now 18, claimed the bullying by the principal and teachers continued despite his mother, Julie Southern Niko, warning the school the "lack of respect and care" for her son would aggravate his learning difficulties and special needs. …

"NT has seen 30% surge in child abuse reports, royal commission told", NT, The Guardian, September 29, 2014.

… The NT Department of Children and Families (DCF) has also seen a 25% rise in the number of children in out-of-home care, and a 29% increase in investigations into child protection matters in the financial year to 30 June, said Simone Jackson, the executive director of the out of home care division at the department. …

"Beth's story: a church sex abuse case study in 'secondary victimisation'", VIC, The Age, Chris Goddard, September 29, 2014.

"I was a young schoolgirl with everything before me. I was a student doing well at Forbes High School, coming first in four subjects ... However, my life and future plans were stolen from me by the criminal actions of an Anglican priest ... Donald Shearman."…

"Australian cardinal faces the Vatican’s law of the jungle", Vatican City, Crux, John L. Allen Jr, September 27, 2014.

 [Il lato oscuro del Cardinale]

… Now a bigger target seems to be in l’Espresso’s sights, in the form of Australian Cardinal George Pell, the secretary for the economy under Francis and effectively the pope’s finance czar. On Friday, l’Espresso ran a sensational expose, though not by Magister this time, headlined “The dark side of the Cardinal,” focused on Pell’s record on the sexual abuse crisis facing the Catholic Church in Australia.

"INTL- Paraguay bishop ousted, SNAP responds", United States, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, September 25, 2014.

… For perhaps the first time ever, the Vatican has punished a bishop, Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano of Paraguay, who protected and promoted a credibly accused sex offender cleric. The trouble is no one is sure that's why Ciudad del Este's bishop is being punished. …

"Paraguay bishop Livieres sacked over 'abuse cover-up'", Vatican City, BBC News, September 25, 2014.

Pope Francis has sacked a Paraguayan bishop who has been accused of protecting a priest suspected of sexually abusing young parishioners. …

"Pope sacks Paraguayan bishop accused of protecting abuser priest", Vatican City, Buenos Aires Herald, September 25, 2014.

… A statement said the pope had removed Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano from his post as head of the diocese of Ciudad del Este and named another bishop to run it as an administrator for the time being. The pope's sacking of the bishop came after a Vatican investigation of the bishop, the diocese and its seminaries, said the statement, which gave no details. …

"Claims sex offender Donald Bruce Henderson abused Darwin children at swimming spots for years", NT, ABC News,  Xavier La Canna, September 25, 2014.

Convicted child sex offender Donald Bruce Henderson allegedly molested numerous children in swimming spots across Darwin and was seen acting suspiciously as late as 1992, a royal commission in Darwin has heard. Despite numerous allegations, spanning decades, Mr Henderson was only ever convicted of one matter - sexually assaulting two boys at the Casuarina public pool in October 1983. He pleaded guilty and was released on a $500 good behaviour bond in 1984. …

"Northern Territory detective ‘bungled’ Retta Dixon paedophile probe", NT, The Australian, Amos Aikman, September 25, 2014.

… Former detective Roger Newman began his investigation in the late 1990s after receiving a complaint alleging that former “house parent” Donald Henderson had committed at least 100 separate sexual acts on children while working at the Retta Dixon Home in the 1960s and 1970s. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was told Mr Newman took too long to discover that Mr Henderson had been convicted of similar offences in the 1980s as well as previously charged with abusing children at the RDH in 1975. …

"Abuse hearings for Tiwi Islanders", NT, 7 News AAP, September 25, 2014.

The royal commission into child sexual abuse in institutions will hold private session for Tiwi Islanders as part of its engagement with Aboriginal communities. Aboriginal inmates in prisons across Australia are also being contacted by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to make sure they can share their stories. …

"Catholic diocese urged to come clean on panel resignations", NSW, ABC News, September 25, 2014.

… A Special Commission of Inquiry into child sexual abuse found Monsignor Allan Hart and Father William Burston to be unimpressive witnesses, prompting calls for them to resign. A seven-member independent panel was set up by the Catholic diocese to determine their future, but two members have quit and only one has been replaced, delaying its final report. Bob O'Toole from the Clergy Abuse Network says he has several concerns. "We don't know of the two resignations which ones went," he said. … Mr O'Toole says he is worried the panel no longer includes a victim of abuse. …

"Child sexual abuse: women make up 10 per cent of perpetrators reported to royal commission", NSW, Sydney Morning Herald, Joanne McCarthy, September 24, 2014.

A blind Vietnamese orphan who was five when she came to Australia, 11 when she was sexually abused by a Catholic nun and 35 when she received $15,000 in compensation for her "personal trauma" has spoken out for the 10 per cent of people reporting female perpetrators to the child sexual abuse royal commission. …

"Tom Calma ‘definitely’ told of Retta Dixon Home abuse", NT, The Australian, September 24, 2014.

… In surprise revelations yesterday, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard that Dr Calma was informed about some of the abuse in the 1970s while working for the NT government. The alleged abuse occurred at Retta Dixon Home for children and women, run by Australian Indigenous Ministries (formerly Aboriginal Inland Mission) in Darwin’s Bagot Aboriginal Reserve between 1946 and 1980. …

"Human rights figure denies knowing of sex abuse claims", NT, ABC – Indigenous, Xavier La Canna, September 24, 2014.

Prominent human rights campaigner Tom Calma has denied he was told of child sexual abuse occurring at the Retta Dixon home in Darwin, in response to a claim made yesterday at an inquiry. …

"Commissioners tour Retta Dixon House", NT, Sky News, September 24, 2014.

Royal Commissioners investigating institutional responses to child sex abuse have toured the site of the Retta Dixon House. The home for Aboriginal and mixed-race children, between 1946 and 1980, has been described as a house of horrors. …

"Children not 'responsibility' of worker", NT, Sky News, September 24, 2014.

… Lola Wall told the Royal Commission in to Institutional Responses in to a Child Sexual Abuse in Darwin that she knew about the serious allegations of rape and sexual assault allegedly carried out by fellow house-parent Don Henderson. But she didn't think she had to speak out. Mrs Wall did however, stop the children in her care, as well as her own three children from spending any time alone with Henderson. …

"Retta Dixon: Accused child abusers should appear at royal commission, witness says"NT, ABC News, Xavier La Canna, September 24, 2014.

… Sandra Kitching, 64, visited the site of the former Retta Dixon home on Wednesday, along with the commissioners presiding over the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Ms Kitching said she refused to visit parts of the site that still harboured "bad spirits", but she wanted to pay her respects to those who died at Retta Dixon. …

"Vatican arrests former archbishop and diplomat Jozef Wesolowski on charges of paedophilia", Vatican City, ABC News, September 24, 2014.

The Vatican has arrested a former archbishop accused of paying for sex with children while he was a papal ambassador in the Dominican Republic, the first-ever arrest inside the city state on charges of paedophilia. Jozef Wesolowski, a Pole who was defrocked by a Vatican tribunal in June, was placed under house awaiting a criminal trial, the Vatican said in a statement. …

"Pope Francis appoints five women to theological panel", Vatican City, Catholic Herald (UK), September 23, 2014.

Pope Francis has named Australian theologian Tracey Rowland among the new female members of the International Theological Commission. The Vatican announced her appointment this morning, along with those of Sister Prudence Allen RSM, Sister Alenka Arko, Dr Moira McQueen and Prof Marianne Schlosser. …

"NT victims say 'house parents abused us'", NT, Sky News, September 23, 2014.

A horrifying picture of sustained physical and sexual abuse suffered for decades by mixed-race and Aboriginal children at a home in Darwin is unfolding at a national inquiry. …

"Abuse allegations heard at Commission", NT, Sky News, September 23, 2014.

Former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Dr Tom Calma was told of an abuse allegation at Retta Dixon House in Darwin, decades ago, the Child Sex Abuse Royal Commission has been told. …

"Human rights campaigner Tom Calma was ‘helpless’ when told of sexual abuse allegations: inquiry", NT, The Australian, Amos Aikman, September 23, 2014.

Prominent indigenous human rights campaigner Tom Calma was told of horrific allegations of sexual abuse at a Darwin missionary home that were never followed up, a royal commission has heard. …

"Carers knew of abuse in home: inquiry", NT, 7 News AAP, Neda Vanovac, September 23, 2014.

… Former residents of the Retta Dixon home for mixed-race indigenous children in the Northern Territory said no authority could be trusted with allegations that house parent Donald Henderson had molested them. …

"Harrowing day of evidence at child abuse royal commission in Darwin [w/ audio]", NT, ABC – PM, David Mark, September 23, 2014.

Former residents of the Retta Dixon Children's Home in Darwin have broken down on the stand while giving evidence to the child sexual abuse royal commission. … And a warning, Will Ockenden's story contains distressing details.

"Child sexual abuse inquiry: Allegations told to Tom Calma not followed up, royal commission told", NT, ABC News, Xavier La Canna, September 23, 2014.

… On the second day of hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Darwin, there was more graphic evidence of abuse at the Retta Dixon Home, which mainly housed Aboriginal children between 1946 and 1980. A witness known only as AKV said he was repeatedly abused by a former house parent at the home, Donald Bruce Henderson, who in 1984 was convicted of sex crimes against two boys unrelated to his time at Retta Dixon. AKV said Dr Calma was working as a welfare officer with the NT government about the time the abuse took place in the early 1970s. …

"Retta Dixon children ‘chained up and beaten’, inquiry hears", NT, The Australian, Amos Aikman, September 22, 2014.

… The commission is sitting in Darwin for the next fortnight to hear evidence from nine residents of the home, which housed Aboriginal and mixed race children and unmarried women. It will also hear from a number of experts and government and other agencies. In her opening statement, Sophie David SC assisting the Royal Commission said the former residents would give “harrowing” testimony about experiences at the RDH. …

"Children 'chained like dogs', sexually assaulted", NT, ABC – Indigenous, Xavier La Canna, September 22, 2014.

… A former resident of the Retta Dixon home in Darwin told the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse of vicious beatings at the facility. Lorna Cubillo was taken from her family and moved to the Retta Dixon home around 1946 at the age of seven or eight. … Ms Cubillo told the hearing she was physically and sexually abused by house parent Desmond Walter while at Retta Dixon. …

"Royal Commission into child sex abuse to hear from Retta Dixon Home victims in Da", NT, NT News, Ellie Turner, September 22, 2014.

Barbara Cummings is among thousands of victims of cultural genocide. “I got terrible thrashings. we all did,” the grandmother said, remembering leather belts and a cane. … But some children had it worse. …

"Former Retta Dixon Home residents give evidence at royal commission [w/ audio report]", NT, ABC – PM, Mark Colvin, September 22, 2014.

At the child abuse royal commission in Darwin, a former resident of a home for Aboriginal children and young women has described her stay as like living in a "jailhouse", another resident of the Retta Dixon Home says she was chained up if she did anything wrong. The opening day of the commission's case study of the Retta Dixon Home has heard from several former residents. …

"Petition calls for senior Yeshivah leaders to resign", VIC, The Age, Jewel Topsfield, September 22, 2014.

A grassroots Jewish group will this week call for the resignation of the two most senior members of the Yeshivah Centre and Chabad movement in Melbourne over the child sex abuse scandal in the 1980s and '90s. The group will launch a petition to coincide with the Jewish high holidays calling for Yeshivah Centre spiritual committee chairman Rabbi Avrohom Glick and Yeshivah Centre chairman Don Wolf to personally apologise to the victims and resign from all positions of leadership in the community. …

"New Sydney archbishop wants to help Catholics regain trust in church", Sydney, National Catholic Reporter, Sharyn McCowen, September 22, 2014.

New Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher has pledged to regain the confidence of Australian Catholics and the broader community in the wake of the church's sexual abuse scandal. Pope Francis named the bishop of Parramatta and former auxiliary bishop of Sydney to succeed Cardinal George Pell, now prefect of the Vatican's Secretariat for the Economy. …

"Our hopes for the new archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher [comment]", Sydney, Sydney Morning Herald, Geraldine Doogue, September 21, 2014.

 Bishops have always occupied a venerable place in the life of the church. Even though Rome has steadily centralised its power in the last 150 years, the temperament and approach of a local bishop really matters to his people, more than is generally recognised by our largely secular society. So as a Sydney Catholic, what am I seeking from Anthony Fisher? …

"'Sack Pell' group holds protest outside Bendigo Sacred Heart Cathedral", VIC, Bendigo Advertiser, Renee Thompson, September 21, 2014.

Parishioners at Bendigo's Sacred Heart Cathedral were greeted with a confronting scene when departing Mass on Sunday. Banners and petitions were wielded by fellow Sandhurst Diocese parishioners calling for Cardinal George Pell's sacking over the Catholic church's handling of child sex abuse claims. … St Mary's of Mooroopna parishioner Catherine Dooley said Cardinal Pell's response to the church's handling of child sex abuse claims reflected a church more interested in protecting its reputation than children. She said Bishop Tomlinson's recent comments in particular had served to make it clear "more energy" was given to protecting clergy than protecting victims. …

"NT abuse inquiry into Retta Dixon home", NT, 7 News AAP, Neda Vanovac, September 21, 2014.

From her birthplace at Banka Banka Station in central Australia in 1938 to Darwin's Supreme Court on Monday morning, it has been a long walk to justice for Lorna Cubillo. Ms Cubillo, 76, will be the first Northern Territory witness to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which will focus for the next fortnight on the Retta Dixon home, where Ms Cubillo lived from 1947 to 1956. …

"Stolen Generation children in Darwin to detail 'sexual abuse, emotional deprivation' at royal commission", NT, 7 News ABC, Ruby Jones, September 21, 2014.

… Eighteen witnesses are expected to testify over two weeks of public hearings in the Northern Territory, including nine former residents of the Retta Dixon Home.

"The Catholic Church's dirty secrets: abuse, injustice and a damning letter", NSW, Newcastle Herald, Joanne McCarthy, September 19, 2014.

He’s the man whose statement to Hunter police about being sexually abused by a Catholic priest launched Strike Force Georgiana in 2007, and ultimately led to a royal commission. His name is John Parmeter, pictured above, and he wants people to know who he is as Strike Force Georgiana enters its eighth year investigating historic child sexual abuse cases. ... The priest, Peter Brock, pictured below, died last week. Today, Mr Parmeter reveals the ugly truth – what he calls the ‘‘dirty secrets’’ – about the Catholic Church’s elevation of Father Brock to a national role in 2010, despite knowing of his ‘‘sexual misconduct’’ with Mr Parmeter and his twin brother from when they were nine years old. ...

"Royal Commission calls for Indigenous survivors to share their story", NT, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, September 19, 2014.

… New community announcements in Yolngu Matha and Modern Tiwi are being aired on Northern Territory radio stations in Darwin and more than 40 remote locations from today. The announcements will air ahead of the Royal Commission’s first public hearing in Darwin commencing Monday 22 September. …

"Little faith in new archbishop: victims", Sydney, Herald Sun, Karlis Salna, September 19, 2014.

 Bishop of Parramatta Anthony Fisher, 54, was appointed to his new role by Pope Francis on Thursday night. … abuse survivors on Friday slammed the appointment, citing "callous" comments Bishop Fisher made at the World Youth Day in 2008 when he said the parents of an abuse victim who had committed suicide were "dwelling angrily on old wounds". "Many survivors believe the only place where we will be first under Bishop Fisher is in media statements, mentioned dismissively with an insincere apology, and then ignored," Nicky Davis, from the survivors network SNAP, said on Friday. …

"'I am ashamed': new Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher admits church has failed abuse victims", Sydney, Sydney Morning Herald, Rick Feneley, September 19, 2014.

… To the survivors of abuse and to the church's youth, Archbishop Fisher said: "To both of them I say, no excuses, no cover-ups. I am ashamed and I'm sorry for where we've failed you in the past. The church can do better and I'm determined to play my part as a leader in Sydney." …

"New Sydney Catholic Archbishop vows 'no cover-ups' in wake of sex abuse inquiry", Sydney, ABC News, September 19, 2014.

… Archbishop-elect Fisher has been the Bishop of Parramatta for the past four years, and takes over the role from Cardinal George Pell who has been appointed to a senior role at the Vatican. He has promised that the Catholic Church will be fully accountable in the wake of the royal commission. "I think the Catholic Church is going through a period of well-deserved public scrutiny and humiliation and certainly self examination, but I hope we'll emerge from that purified, more humble, more compassionate and be spiritually regenerated," Bishop Fisher said. …

"‘Mud on boots’ of new chief Catholic Anthony Fisher", Sydney, The Australian, Tess Livingstone, September 19, 2014.

… Bishop Fisher, a member of the Dominican Order of Preachers, is the first religious order priest appointed to Australia’s most senior church job since ­English Benedictine Roger Bede Vaughan in 1877. Bishop Fisher, a qualified lawyer with a doctorate in Bioethics from Oxford University, attended St Ignatius College, Riverview, in Sydney where he was dux. He grew up in Lakemba in western Sydney when it was “an ordinary working class Anglo suburb”. His father, Colin Fisher, who turned 80 earlier this year, ran a pharmacy in the suburb and saw it change over the years to become a stronghold for Vietnamese migrants and later the Muslim community. His mother, Gloria Fisher, has a Spanish background and grew up in China and the Philippines. “Like many people in Parramatta and Sydney, I come from a multicultural background,’’ he said. …

"A conversation with Sydney’s new Archbishop [w/ audio]", Vatican City/Australia, Vatican Radio, September 18, 2014.

"Child abuse royal commission to look at allegations against father of Hillsong founder", Sydney, The Guardian, Helen Davidson, September 18, 2014.

Child abuse allegations against a preacher who helped build Australia’s Pentecostal movement will be investigated by the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, it was announced on Thursday. The commission will examine how the Sydney Christian Life Centre and Hills Christian Life Centre (now Hillsong Church) and Assemblies of God in Australia (now Australian Christian Churches) treated allegations against the Pentecostal Christian pastor William Francis “Frank” Houston and two other men. …

"Hillsong Church to come under scrutiny at royal commission into child sex abuse", Sydney, Sydney Morning Herald, Rachel Browne, September 18, 2014.

The popular Hillsong Church will come under the scrutiny of the child sexual abuse royal commission when it examines Australia's Pentecostal institutions at its next public hearing in October. …

"Cardinals jousting in public? Been there, done that", United States, Crux, John L. Allen Jr., September 18, 2014.

Back in February, … retired Cardinal Walter Kasper of Germany had delivered an impassioned appeal to fellow members of the church’s most exclusive club for relaxing the church’s ban on divorced and remarried Catholics receiving Communion. … Five high-ranking cardinals have published a book pushing back against Kasper’s view that Catholics who divorce and remarry without an annulment — meaning a declaration from a church court that their first union was invalid — ought to be able to receive Communion and the other sacraments of the church under certain circumstances. The opposition features Cardinal George Pell, an Australian who is Francis’ finance czar, and whose muscle under this pope was recently confirmed when he managed to get his protégé named his successor as the Archbishop of Sydney; Cardinal Gerhard Müller, a German who serves as the pope’s doctrinal czar; and American Cardinal Raymond Burke, a hero to Catholic traditionalists and cultural warriors everywhere. …

"Archdiocese of Sydney dumps George Pell’s sex abuse verdict NSW, The Australian, Dan Box, September 18, 2014.

The Catholic archdiocese of Sydney has overturned the findings of a Vatican inquiry, conducted under its previous archbishop ­George Pell, which attacked the credibility of alleged child abuse victims and said they may have “fabricated” their claims of abuse by a priest. A “definitive final ­decree”, written by Cardinal Pell’s interim successor, Bishop Peter Comensoli, found “with moral certainty” that the alleged victims were abused at a boarding school during the 1970s, as they claimed. …

"Royal Commission to hold public hearing into Australian Christian Churches", Sydney, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, September 18, 2014.

The Royal Commission is holding a public hearing in Sydney from 7 October 2014 at 10.30am. The public hearing will inquire into the responses by Australian Christian Churches (a Pentecostal movement in Australia) and two affiliated churches to allegations of child sexual abuse. …

"Police Commissioner to determine resources for child sex investigation in the Hunter NSW, ABC News, September 16, 2014.

… A police strike force was set up in August to investigate alleged child sexual assaults in the Hunter region, dating back 40 years. It is focussing on the Anglican Diocese, with police urging anyone who has been a victim or has knowledge of a child sexual assault to contact them. The Police Minister Stuart Ayres said resources will be allocated based on demand. …

"Victorian Government criticised for failing to respond to child sex abuse report Betrayal of Trust [w/ audio report]", VIC, ABC News, Jessica Tapp, September 16, 2014.

Survivors of child sex abuse are criticising the Victorian Government for failing to expedite laws to deal with abuse in response to last year's parliamentary inquiry. The Betrayal of Trust report was handed to the Government last November, which has passed some legislation in response. But abuse survivors are angry that the state election appeared likely to prevent many of the report's 15 recommendations from being acted on this year, with only one week left before election preparations begin. …

"Former Catholic school teacher charged with historic child sex offences - Lismore", NSW, New South Wales Police Force, September 16, 2014.

Police have charged a former Catholic school teacher with 19 historic sex offences against children and adult teenagers in the 1970s and 1980s. … Today (Tuesday 16 September), detectives arrested an 81-year-old man at his home in Kingscliff. The man was taken to Tweed Heads Police Station where he was been charged with nine counts of sexual assault against a child, three counts of sex assault, four counts of indecent assault, one count of detain for advantage and two counts of soliciting a male to commit an indecent act. …

"Blenheim priest admits indecent assault", New Zealand, The New Zealand Herald, Adam Poulopoulos, September 16, 2014.

… Father Aidan Kay, 71, formerly of St Mary's Catholic Church, appeared in Blenheim District Court today over an incident in July. Judge Peter Hobbs remanded Kay on bail, and he is due to reappear in court on October 20. …

"Police criticise church for naming guilty priest [w/ video]", New Zealand, TVNZ ONE, Daniel Faitaua, September 16, 2014.

… Aidan Kay pleaded guilty in Blenheim District Court to a charge of indecently assaulting a male. Church leaders began telling parishioners on Saturday evening that Kay had been relieved of his duties. This was followed by a media statement issued after Sunday mass by the leader of the Catholic Church in New Zealand Archbishop John Dew. Police are now questioning the church's decision to reveal Kay's name before he appeared in court today. …

"Ex-Hobart priest on sex charge", New Zealand, The Examiner, September 14, 2014.

… Police have charged Aidan Kay, a priest at St Mary's Catholic Parish in Wellington, with an offence following a complaint, the Catholic Archbishop of Wellington John Dew said in a statement yesterday. Father Kay was based in Hobart for five years and took up his post in New Zealand in February 2013. …

"Archdiocese of Perth confronts horror of child sex abuse with ‘transparency and independence’", WA, Perth Now, Peter Law, September 14, 2014.

Child-abuse awareness classes will be taught at Catholic schools and Sunday schools in the Archdiocese of Perth as part of sweeping anti-abuse measures. Volunteer “safeguardian officers” will be trained and appointed in each of the 104 parishes and 100 affiliated schools for children and vulnerable adults to report abuse. …

"Pope Francis’ Course & Crew For Synod Family Sail Can Sink The Vatican Titanic", United States, Christian Catholicism, Jerry Slevin, September 13, 2014.

Pope Francis has recently stepped up significantly his already strong efforts to protect the Catholic hierarchy from basic international laws and any democratic oversight. Of course, Francis is trying to avoid both the long reach to the Vatican of Australia’s Royal Commission now investigating Cardinal Pell’s alleged abuse cover-ups, as well as increasing calls for a comparable US Presidential Commission under President Obama. …

"Former priest David Rapson to face evidence from alleged abuse victims in new trial", VIC, The Age, Mark Russell, September 11, 2014.

… "What is distinctive about his use of the office, apart from anything else, is that it was a location which embodied, and reinforced, his authority over the boys at the school," said Court of Appeal president Justice Chris Maxwell and Justices Geoffrey Nettle and David Beach on Thursday. The appeal judges said evidence from two victims allegedly abused by Rapson in his office would be admissible at his new trial in the coming months. …

"Nun accepts ‘grave injustice’ done to children sent to Australia", Northern Ireland, Irish Times, Gerry Moriarty, September 11, 2014.

… Sister Brenda McCall, representing the Sisters of Nazareth, acknowledged the suffering caused to the children who were sent to Australia as part of a scheme by the Australian government to bring “white” children of “good stock” into the country. … Although the witness had a happy childhood in Australia, she said feelings of “abandonment and isolation came to the surface” when she got engaged.Witness suffered feelings of ‘abandonment and isolation’. …

"Rabbinical leaders to be called to royal commission into child sexual abuse", VIC, The Age, Jane Lee and Richard Baker, September 11, 2014.

… The royal commission into child sexual abuse began inviting Jewish victim-survivors to tell their stories in recent weeks, publishing advertisements in the Australian Jewish News. "Anyone who experienced child sexual abuse while in the care of a Jewish institution, such as a school, youth program or sporting club, and wishes to share their story, can make contact with the royal commission," the advertisement says. …

"The pope’s American gamble", USA, Crux, John L. Allen Jr., September 10, 2014.

… Both out loud and in private, some churchmen in Rome and other parts of the world often have said that while abuse of minors by priests is reprehensible, the idea of a “crisis,” and the perceived need for aggressive measures to combat it, has been driven by the sensationalistic media culture and litigious judicial system of the United States and nations most in its sphere of influence. In a recent Crux interview, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York confirmed that this prejudice is still alive. …

"Father Tom Knowles loses right to minister following sex admission", VIC, Newcastle Herald, Joanne McCarthy, September 10, 2014.

… Father Tom Knowles had his faculties removed after the Church acknowledged Central Coast woman Jennifer Herrick had ‘‘endured a great deal of emotional and psychological pain and suffering’’ because of the secret relationship. ‘‘This is permanent and he cannot minister publicly as a priest again, either in Melbourne or anywhere else in the Catholic Church,’’ Father Graeme Duro, the head of Father Knowles’s order, the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers, said. …

"Clericalism and Abuse", USA, Waiting for Godot to Leave, Kevin O'Brien, September 10, 2014.

I just wrote about how an allegedly abusive English teacher was using art and literature not at the service of others or of understanding and appreciating God and life, but for selfish and twisted reasons. Australian Archbishop Mark Coleridge says the same thing about certain priests (my emphasis) ...

"Australian Archbishop Links Clericalism To Abuse", New Zealand, NZ Catholic, Rowena Orejana, September 10, 2014.

Clericalism is at the heart of the sexual abuse issue that has plagued the Catholic Church in Australia. Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge told more than 100 priests of Auckland diocese that there is a “whirlpool effect” in the Australian Catholic Church, and the two powerful cross-currents at work are: the Royal Commission, and Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium. “A strange point of convergence [between the two cross-currents] is … what is often called clericalism. … “The power is certainly entrusted to the ordained. But how do you use the power: to create or to destroy? That’s when power is dangerous, and religious power can be particularly dangerous. That is one of the things that emerges very clearly in these cases of sexual abuse,” he said. … 

"Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry: Boys painted black to look 'like Aborigines'", Northern Ireland, BBC News, September 9, 2014.

A man has told the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry that he and other young boys being shipped from Northern Ireland to Australia had their faces painted black to make them look like Aborigines. … He went on to explain the impact of the abuse in later life: "I had no idea how to parent my children, or even how to cuddle and love them." … "I really don't know what love is," he said. …

"Priest admits sex on beach as woman accuses church of breaching duty of care", NSW, Newcastle Herald, Joanne McCarthy September 7, 2014.

A Catholic priest has admitted to having sex with a woman at places including a beach, a camping ground, in a grandstand, a church-owned building and in the Italian city of Florence, despite his vow of celibacy. … Central Coast woman Jennifer Herrick, 60, has filed a landmark breach of trust case against the priest and the trustees of his order. Ms Herrick alleges the Blessed Sacrament Fathers failed to act on disclosures made by the priest to senior members of the church about his sexual misconduct. …

"Melbourne sex abuse priest Mato Krizanac returns to church in Bosnian parish", Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sydney Morning Herald, Cameron Houston and Chris Vedelago, September 7, 2014.

A Catholic priest expelled from the Melbourne diocese for sexual abuse has been allowed to resume his duties in an overseas parish despite an explicit warning from Archbishop Denis Hart to the church hierarchy in Bosnia. … But The Sunday Age can reveal that Father Krizanac immediately returned to a clerical role in Bosnia with the apparent permission of the Archbishop of Sarajevo, who ignored the damning findings of the church's independent commissioner in Melbourne, Peter O'Callaghan, QC. …

"Gillard’s brave child abuse inquiry has given victims a voice", Sydney, The Australian, Graham Richardson, September 05, 2014.

 Thousands of Australia’s children were sexually and physically abused, and their suffering went unpunished and unrecognised. Their abusers roamed free to repeat their atrocities while the organisations to which they belonged conspired to protect them from the law. When Gillard announced a royal commission into child abuse there were many in the churches and the charities who had cause to feel the ruffle on the hairs of the back of their necks. Most important, it gave an opportunity to the thousands mentioned above to ­finally tell their stories. For many of them it had been virtually impossible to speak about what was done to them. …

"Rachael Romero's art lays bare cruelty women and girls suffered at Magdalene Laundries", Adelaide, 7 News ABC, Mike Sexton, September 5, 2014.

… The exhibition entitled Enslaved is by New York-based artist Rachael Romero, who worked in the Adelaide laundry from the age of 14 in 1967 after she fled from her abusive father. She remembers it as a workhouse like something from a Dickens novel and says women and girls were abused and injured. … Now the artist hopes her exhibition at the Hawke Building of the University of South Australia in Adelaide will remind people that children have human rights but are still facing abuse. "I don't want hand wringing or tears, I just want people to make an effort to understand and when kids say they are being abused then do something about it," she said.

"Allegations of abuse of child migrants sent to Australia are being heard at an inquiry in Northern Ireland [w/ audio report]", Northern Ireland, SBS World News Radio, Greg Dyett, September 4, 2014.

Northern Ireland, SBS World News Radio, Greg Dyett, September 4, 2014.

Substance abuse, failed relationships and, sometimes, even premature death are some of the devastating results for adults abused as children. Their stories are being told at Australia's royal commission into child sexual abuse, but that is not the only place. Some of their voices are also being heard this week in Northern Ireland, at the biggest inquiry ever held in Britain. Greg Dyett reports. …

"Govt will cap abuse payouts: lawyers”,  Melbourne, Sydney Morning Herald, Annette Blackwell, September 4, 2014.

… The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) …  spokesman Andrew Morrison SC said the alliance had no problem with a redress scheme, but "we do have major problems with it being controlled by the very bodies which are responsible for making the payments". "A large part of the offending bodies are government and constraints on government expenditure mean the government will impose very low caps as they have done on victims' compensation," told AAP on Thursday. …

"Young at Heart: Church leaders must answer [comment]", VIC, Bendigo Advertiser, Annie Young, September 4, 2014.

… Last week I read an obituary notice in The Age (August 30) concerning a much loved young man; Sam committed suicide as a result of suffering years of depression, periodic anxiety and panic attacks. … His counsellor knew … a young man who had been sexually abused by a locum priest at his Catholic primary school, a priest who then ordered Sam not to tell his parents or the school under threat of rejection and expulsion. … Child sexual abuse. Cardinal George Pell simply does not get it. This is a story which has taken years to emerge from darkness and more years to be acknowledged. …

"Tzedek welcomes extended Royal Commission", VIC, J-Wire, September 3, 2014.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has received a further two years to complete its work…a decision welcomed by Jewish advocacy group Tzedek. … We hope and expect that the Royal Commission will now have sufficient capacity to hold a public hearing into a Jewish community institution in Australia. …

"No evidence of media prejudice against Catholicism [comment]", Sydney, The Age, Jonathan Holmes, September 2, 2014.

… Two weeks ago, the federal Attorney-General delivered a lecture on religious freedom to the Law School of the University of Notre Dame in Sydney. Freedom of religion is too often ignored, he complained, when human rights and freedoms are discussed and defended. He then launched into an extraordinary attack on Fairfax Media and the ABC. … Did Brandis offer his listeners a single example of this onslaught against religious freedom? Did he quote one program on the ABC, or one article in a Fairfax newspaper, that treated Catholic or Jewish tenets, liturgy and congregations with scorn? No, he did not. Not one. Which prompts me to wonder what the hell he was talking about. …

"Royal commission into child sex abuse extended for two years", ACT, Sydney Morning Herald, Latika Bourke, September 2, 2014.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that was initiated by former prime minister Julia Gillard has been extended for another two years by the Coalition. The royal commission requested an extra two years to complete its work in its interim report handed down in June: the government has agreed to the request and the reporting date is now set for December 15, 2017, which is after the next federal election. …

"Child Abuse Royal Commission Granted Extension", ACT, Pro Bono, September 2, 2014.

The Federal Government has agreed to an extension for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for a further two years. … The Attorney-General Senator George Brandis says he met the Chair of the Royal Commission, Justice Peter McClellan AM, on two occasions since the beginning of this year, to discuss the future program and additional needs of the Commission. …

"Abused boys may get more compo", WA, The West Australian, Amanda Banks, September 2, 2014.

Several dozen men who were abused as boys at four Christian Brothers' homes in WA are having their compensation reviewed after the order opened the door to increasing payouts at a public hearing of a royal commission nearly four months ago. …

"Australia to get Irish abuse evidence", Australia, Yahoo! News, Annette Blackwell, September 2, 2014.

… Over the next three weeks the Historical Abuse Inquiry (HIA) being held in Banbridge, County Down will hear from 50 men and women who were part of a child migrant program which saw 130 children sent to Australia between 1922 and 1995. Some will give evidence by video link from Australia while others have made statements. Officials from the HIA have been in Australia twice over the past year meeting with witnesses. …

"Northern Ireland children sent to Australia like little baby convicts, abuse inquiry told", Northern Ireland, News Letter, September 1, 2014.

… The Sisters of Nazareth order of Catholic nuns was responsible for the removal of 111 child migrants aged as young as five before and after the Second World War, some of whom faced grave sexual and physical violence after arrival. Another 20 were sent by other institutions. … Reasons for transport included boosting “Catholicisation” or other religious authority in the colonies, propping up the number of white inhabitants of the Empire or saving money and emptying overcrowded workhouses, the investigation heard. …

"Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry: 130 NI children sent to Australia [w/ video]", Northern Ireland, BBC News, September 1, 2014.

One hundred and thirty children from Northern Ireland, some as young as five, were sent to Australia as child migrants, an inquiry has heard. The experiences of 50 of them will be heard by the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) either by oral or written evidence. …

"Feminism pushed child abuse reform: report", ACT, SBS AAP, September 1, 2014.

… Between the late 1800s and 1960s "child sexual abuse was denied or minimised by academics, psychoanalysts and the broader community as the fantasies of disturbed individuals or the result of sexually promiscuous or aggressive children," the report said. The report, prepared by the Australian Institute of Criminology, found that the greatest period of reform in Australia's child abuse laws occurred after the 1970s. …

Melbourne, The Age, Annabel Crabb, "By George: Cardinal sins in child protection [comment]", August 31, 2014.

Who can say where Cardinal George Pell gets his lines? … In the ongoing titanic struggle between Cardinal Pell and his own mouth, it's become increasingly easy to demonise the church. Crimes against children are unspeakable enough; to complain implicitly that one's own organisation is less free to commit those crimes than another sounds reprehensible principally because it is. …

Sydney, Sydney Morning Herald, Damien Murphy, "Catholics, keep away, lest you hear what you ought not", August 31, 2014.

The former president of Ireland Mary McAleese will deliver the Rosemary Goldie Lecture at Sydney Town Hall on Sunday week but local Catholics, it seems, are being discouraged from attending. The Catholic Weekly newspaper refused to take advertisements for the lecture which honours an Australian Catholic theologian who became the first woman to serve in an executive role in the Roman Curia. … The story claimed the advertisements were refused because Professor McAleese's views did not accord with the Church. …

Sydney, Sydney Morning Herald, Annabel Crabb, "Turning blind eye to sex abuse of children is not a rare flaw [comment]", August 31, 2014.

Most of us – if asked – would agree that the sexual abuse of children is about as bad as human behaviour gets. Most of us would like to think that we would do anything within our power to avert it, if given the opportunity. But in the real world, people's reasons for looking the other way are many and varied. … In the case of the church, it's easy to blame an organisation – particularly when it's a large, powerful one, and especially when it has as its spokesman a person so inveterately cloth-eared as Cardinal Pell. But blaming organisations helps us avoid a deeper, altogether more uncomfortable truth; that looking the other way out of fear, deference, embarrassment or unwillingness to be thought prejudiced or unfair is a common human flaw, found everywhere.

"Father tells young daughter not to worry about sexual abuse as ‘Jehovah sees everything and will sort it out,’ court hears", Adelaide, SA, The Advertiser, Ken McGregor August 27, 2014.

The religious father of a young girl who complained about being sexually abused by a fellow devotee told his daughter not to worry because “Jehovah sees everything, he will sort it out”, a court has heard. Henricus Stephanus Landmeter, 77, of Para Hills West, had been found guilty of the persistent sexual exploitation of a child between 1992 and 1998. … The woman said she had come to court to tell Landmeter he could not hide from his crimes anymore. … Judge Julie McIntyre remanded him on continuing bail to be sentenced later this week.

"Pell inflicts more agony [Editorial]", Melbourne, VIC, The Standard, August 23, 2014.

Editorial: The arrogance of Cardinal George Pell knows no bounds.

His appearance at the royal commission into sex abuse on Thursday confirmed what many victims of horrific acts at the hands of Catholic clergy already knew, he cares very little about them. Appearing at the commission, not in person but via a video link from the Vatican, Cardinal Pell likened the Catholic Church’s responsibility for child abuse to that of a trucking company whose driver had assaulted a hitchhiker. …

"Sex abuse lawyer blasts Pell comments", Melbourne, VIC, The Standard, August 23, 2014.  by Matt Neal.

… Warrnambool lawyer George Foster of Maddens Lawyers labelled the comments as “appalling”. … “May I suggest a more appropriate one: A boss who knows or suspects that his driver deliberately flouts the road laws continues to send him out on jobs. “Late one night the driver sees a hitchhiker, deliberately lines him up and runs over him. The driver gets out of the truck, goes back to the hitchhiker, further assaults him and robs him. “The driver then gets back into the truck, reverses over the stricken hitchhiker several times and then drives off while “flicking the bird” to the hitchhiker through his open cabin window. “The driver then goes back to the depot and tells his boss what has happened. His boss tells him to clean the blood and guts off the bull bar, to tell no one and if challenged say that it was all the hitchhiker’s fault.” …

“Royal commission: Child abuse victim support groups outraged over Cardinal George Pell's testimony [w/ video]”, Melbourne, VIC, ABC News, August 22, 2014, by Thomas Oriti

… Saying it would not be appropriate for legal culpability to be "foisted" on church leaders, he drew an analogy between the Catholic Church and a trucking company, citing a hypothetical example of a case involving a woman who was molested by a truck driver. "It would not be appropriate, because it's contrary to the policy, for the ownership, leadership of that company to be held responsible," Cardinal Pell said. … Nicky Davis from the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests was in the audience of the royal commission during Cardinal Pell's comments. She said the truck analogy left the audience "open mouthed in shock". … "If this foreign state is committing so many crimes on Australian soil against Australia's most vulnerable citizens, why are we putting them in charge of providing social services to vulnerable people?" The Australian Trucking Association said Cardinal Pell had insulted every truck driver in Australia. "There are more than 170,000 professional truck drivers in Australia," the chair of the association, Noelene Watson, said in a statement. "They have families and children. Cardinal Pell's analogy is a deep insult to every one of them." …

"Top Vatican figure in row over child abuse comments”, August 22, 2014.  Melbourne, VIC, RTE.IE News,

Cardinal Pell, a former archbishop of both Melbourne and Sydney … acknowledged to a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Melbourne that the church had a moral obligation to the victims of paedophile priests. But he suggested that when it came to its legal responsibility, the actions of its priests were not necessarily the fault of the church, citing the hypothetical example of a woman being molested by a truck driver. "If the truck driver picks up some lady and then molests her, I don't think it's appropriate, because it is contrary to the policy, for the ownership, the leadership of that company to be held responsible," he said via video link from Rome. … Nicky Davis, from the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, told ABC radio in Australia it showed Cardinal Pell was out of touch. … "It was a highly offensive comparison and showed that, at the end of the day, all he was concerned with was protecting himself and making excuses for behaviour that is inexcusable." …

"Sex abuse survivors angered by powerful Vatican cardinal’s testimony", Vatican City, Religion News Service,  August 22, 2014. By Josephine McKenna.

One of the most powerful men in the Vatican, charged with cleaning up corruption and fostering financial reform, has outraged survivors of sex abuse by clergy by likening the church to a trucking company that refuses to take responsibility for a driver who molested women. … The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which represents 18,000 people around the world, said it was appalled by Pell’s testimony and accused the Vatican of failing to protect children. “He shows that he really has absolutely no conception of what is appropriate or inappropriate behavior and what are appropriate or inappropriate things to say to survivors,” said SNAP’s Nicky Davis, who attended the inquiry in Melbourne, Australia. …

"Pell is opting for the moral low road in comparing the church to trucking", Melbourne, VIC, The Guardian, August 21, 2014. by David Marr.

Rome has been good to Cardinal Pell. Soft folds of skin fall to his chin. He looks a little older, more comfortable and a very long way away. Hopes of a glimpse of St Peter’s were dashed. He sat in front of the plainest possible curtain for his two-and-a-half-hour grilling by the royal commission. Surely it was one of his life’s mistakes to compare the church to a trucking company? It opened the cardinal to scorn on all sides. Did he have in mind truckies interfering with hitchhikers? Yes. Did the church have no more integrity than a trucking company? …

Vatican saved priest despite abuse finding

AUSTRALIA
The Australian, Sarah Elks, August 12, 2014.

The Catholic Church did not sack a parish priest even after an internal investigation commissioned by George Pell discovered he was guilty of child sex abuse. ABC TV’s Four Corners last night revealed the results of a 1997 church investigation into Peter Searson that concluded he had for years sexually abused girls at the parish of Doveton, outside Melbourne. …

In the Name of the Law [w/ video]

Australia, ABC - Four Corners, Quentin McDermott and Peter Cronau, August 11, 2014.

They were sexually abused by the clergy and then found themselves targeted by the Church's lawyers. Why did it happen and who was responsible for the strategy? This week on Four Corners, reporter Quentin McDermott reveals the systematic way the Catholic Church sought to conceal the sexual abuse of children, using lawyers to minimise the potential financial impact to the organisation. …

Broken Rites has helped a "Four Corners" TV program re church-abuse

Melbourne, Broken Rites, August 10, 2014.

Broken Rites has helped the Australian Broadcasting Corporation with research for a Four Corners television program, being broadcast on Monday 11 August 2014. The program is about how the Catholic Church in Australia tries to cover up its child-sex abuse - and how the church avoids paying full compensation to victims. The ABC producers obtained information from Broken Rites research. Here are the links to some of the relevant Broken Rites articles which helped Four Corners. … Four Corners also gives an example of one notorious Melbourne parish - Doveton. This low socio-economic area is on Melbourne's south-eastern outskirts, near Dandenong. The Melbourne Archdiocese leadership sent a succession of sexually-abusive priests to this parish. For example (you can click on any of the following names). …

George Pell opens up about his new role at the Vatican as 'God's Banker'

Vatican City, Brisbane Times, Colin Kruger, August 10, 2014.

… In an article titled Pope's finance chief talks Vatican reform, Pell was asked what he was doing in Rome and why the reform was necessary. ‘‘I'd say we're attempting to put into place the best available set of management practices,’’ Pell says.  

Anglican Church apologises to victims of abuse across Canberra and Goulburn

ACT, 7 News ABC, Kathleen Dyett and Jonathon Gul, August 10, 2014.

… Bishop Stuart Robinson publicly apologised to victims of abuse at the hands of church members, or groups connected to the church. … "I take this opportunity to apologise for any abuse or mistreatment, that those in this event, that is the service that you're attending, may have experienced by groups or individuals connected with our Anglican church," Bishop Robinson said. …

Wagga Anglican church says sorry

ACT, Daily Advertiser, Ella Smith, August 10, 2014.

The Anglican church broke its silence on abuse within the ministry with a formal apology in Wagga yesterday. … "The general response in my community, many people were in tears, there was a heavy feeling of sorrow and the chance to lament the immense pain," Rector of Anglican parish of Wagga, Father Michael Armstrong, said. "It's also about us, as a church, asking for forgiveness. …

Priest says church must clear the air

NSW, The Leader, Monica Heary, August 9, 2014.

… "The church has to do away with secrecy looking at this issue and also at celibacy; these are real questions for it to consider," said Father John Sullivan, 74. … Among the parishes where he has ministered are Marayong, Malabar and Concord. …

Disabled woman sues top priest

NSW, The Australian, Dan Box, August 8, 2014.

A disabled woman is suing the former Superior of a Catholic religious order, alleging that he sexually abused her over 14 years and that others in the church failed­ to act on their knowledge of what took place. Documents tendered to the NSW Supreme Court show former school teacher Jennifer Herrick, 61, alleges Father Thomas Knowles repeatedly assaulted her without consent, including by forcing her to have sex in a park grandstand and within sight of other people. …

Ex-priest’s sex pleas in Armidale court

NSW, Armidale Express, Victoria Nugent August 8, 2014.

An alleged child sex abuse victim who came forward after hearing his priest’s name on the radio will give evidence at a committal hearing. The former priest was committed to Armidale District Court in September for 76 historic child sex offences yesterday. He pleaded guilty to 45 charges, and not guilty to 31 charges at Armidale Local Court. Fifty charges were dismissed. …

Marist Brothers review abuse compo cases

NSW, QLD, & ACT, Sky News, August 8, 2014.

… The Catholic order has been under scrutiny in recent months as the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse examined its handling of complaints against two pedophile brothers who abused children in NSW, Queensland and the ACT. … Brother Crowe says the Marist Brothers have already revisited several past compensation cases and agreed to new settlements.

Marist sex abuser Gregory Sutton may have been tipped off, inquiry hears

NSW, QLD, & ACT, The Guardian (UK), Helen Davidson, August 7, 2014.

A police officer who investigated early allegations of child sexual abuse by Marist Brother Gregory Sutton has added further testimony to claims Sutton was tipped off so he could evade arrest. A royal commission is examining how the Marist Brothers responded to allegations of child abuse against Sutton and another of its former teachers. …

Alleged paedophile David Edwin Rapson to be freed after court ruling

VIC, Herald Sun, Shannon Deery, August 07, 2014.

A priest accused of being one of the state's worst paedophiles could be freed from prison today after serving just 11 months of a 13-year sentence. The move is believed to have devastated many of David Edwin Rapson's alleged victims who fought for more than 25 to bring him to justice. … They admitted because of the varying nature of Rapson's alleged offending it was unfair for all the matters to be determined by a single jury. He will now face retrials in the County Court. …

Retired priest James Henry Scannell jailed for assaulting altar boy 40 years ago

VIC, The Age, Adam Cooper, August 7, 2014.

… James Henry Scannell, who has worked as a priest across Melbourne for half a century and was a chaplain at Kew Cottages, was on Thursday jailed for two years, to serve a minimum of 12 months, for sexually assaulting a boy in Kew between 1970 and 1972. …

Vic priest jailed for abusing altar boy

VIC, Daily Telegraph, Joel Cresswell, August 7, 2014.

… Priest James Henry Scannell was asked by a long-time friend and member of his East Kew parish to discuss puberty with her nephew in the early 1970s. Instead, Scannell, wearing only a dressing gown, led the boy into his bedroom, stripped him naked and sexually abused him. …

Sex abuse victim Jennifer Herrick seeking damages from former parish priest

NSW, ABC News, August 7, 2014.

A disabled woman has begun a legal case against her former parish priest for sexually abusing her over a 14-year period. Jennifer Herrick is seeking aggravated damages from Father Tom Knowles and three senior members of his Catholic Church order, the Blessed Sacrament Fathers. … In June, Ms Herrick spoke exclusively to the ABC about how the church was using the controversial Ellis defence to fight her claim. …

Abuse inquiry hearings to resume in Sydney

NSW, QLD, & ACT, Sky News, August 7, 2014.

… This phase of the inquiry, resuming on Thursday, is focused on the responses of the Marist Brothers and its schools to allegations of child sexual abuse levelled at Brother John Chute and former Brother Gregory Sutton. It is also looking into the handling of compensation claims. …

Bishop Stuart Robinson working to expose abuse by clergy

Canberra, The Canberra Times, David Ellery, August 6, 2014.

… Bishop Robinson was explaining the decision to hold a diocese-wide "Lamentation Sunday" this weekend to address the issue of child sex abuse. "The Lamentation Sunday and apology is not predicated on anything other than the pain we are feeling as a result of the pain we have inflicted either directly or indirectly [on the victims of child sexual abuse] over the past 30 or 40 years,” he said. "People responding to media reports and the royal commission tell us that these things are affecting them, even up to 50 years later, and they want to deal with them." …

Child abuse recommendations ignored

VIC, Sydney Morning Herald, Henrietta Cook, Jane Lee, August 6, 2014.

One of Australia's leading philanthropists has demanded the Premier urgently implement all recommendations from the Victorian inquiry into institutional child sex abuse, warning further delays will lead to a "betrayal of trust". … Andrew Blode, chief executive of the Jack and Robert Smorgon Families Foundation, which helped establish the Australian Council for Children and Youth Organisations and has supported hundreds of charities, recently wrote to Premier Denis Napthine to express concerns about the delay. …

Vic priest has sex convictions quashed

VIC, SBS, August 6, 2014.

Former Catholic priest David Edwin Rapson has had his child sex abuse convictions quashed and been granted bail ahead of fresh trials. Rapson, 61, was jailed for 13 years in 2013 for rape and sexual assault offences involving eight boys at two Victorian Catholic colleges between the 1970s and 1990. But he was released on bail on Wednesday after the Victorian Court of Appeal quashed his convictions when the prosecution conceded the charges should not have been dealt with in the one trial. He will now face fresh trials in the Victorian County Court. …

An open letter to Rabbi Gutnick

VIC, J-Wire, August 6, 2014.

Rabbi Mordechai Gutnick has been elected president of the Rabbinical Council of Victoria. Social worker Vivien Resofsky has sent him an open letter. …

Alleged paedophile David Edwin Rapson to be freed after prosecution bungle

VIC, Herald Sun, Shannon Deery, August 06, 2014.

A priest accused of being one of the state's worst paedophiles could be freed from prison today after serving just 11 months of a 13-year sentence because of a bungle by state prosecutors. The move is believed to have devastated many of David Edwin Rapson's alleged victims who fought for more than 25 to bring him to justice. …

Former priest David Rapson freed, new trial ordered, as sexual abuse convictions quashed

VIC, WA Today, Adam Cooper, August 6, 2014.

Former priest David Rapson is to be freed from jail and has had convictions for sexually abusing eight boys at a Catholic boarding school quashed, in a ruling that has devastated men who gave evidence in court against him. … The Court of Appeal said the concession was proper and quashed Rapson's convictions on five counts of rape and eight of indecent assault, that he be released from custody on bail and that he face a new trial in the County Court. …

Priests' fate left to panel of seven

NSW, Newcastle Herald, Joanne McCarthy August 5, 2014.

A seven-member panel headed by a retired NSW Supreme Court judge will decide the future ministry of senior Hunter Catholic priests Bill Burston and Alan Hart. Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Bill Wright has called for submissions to the panel, which is considering whether the clergymen should remain parish priests after adverse findings by NSW Special Commission of Inquiry head Margaret Cunneen, SC, in May. …

Anglican bishop apologises for 'hurt and sorrow' caused by child sex abuse

ACT, The Canberra Times, David Ellery, August 5, 2014.

… The text of the apology, to be read out by Bishop Stuart Robinson at a "Lamentation Sunday" service this weekend, was made public on Tuesday afternoon and is targeted at childhood victims of sexual abuse. Lamentation Sunday fulfils a pledge made by the bishop during his charge to the Diocesan Synod in Goulburn last September when he led the synod in a confession for past failures by the diocese to respond appropriately to child sex abuse. …

Assessing the Catholic Church's child abuse culpability

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street, Peter Kirkwood, August 5, 2014.

 the impetus for the authors featured in this interview to write their recently published book, Reckoning: The Catholic Church and Child Sexual Abuse (jointly published by Eureka Street and ATF Press), their own thorough study of this thorny issue in the context of the Australian Catholic Church. Damian Grace and Chris McGillion are eminently qualified to write on this topic, both with distinguished careers: Grace as an academic specialising in applied ethics and political philosophy, and McGillion as a journalist and author who’s devoted most of his career to writing about religion. …

Salvation Army supports voluntary child sexual abuse compensation plan

NSW, The Guardian (UK), Helen Davidson, August 5, 2014.

The Salvation Army would support compensation schemes for victims of child sexual abuse but “would resist having to contribute” to its funding unless it had some authority over staffing, decision making and the ability to question costs. … It also suggested an institution should be given the option to “opt in or out” of the scheme, “as a matter of general principle.” …

Bishop reveals make up of advisory panel on child abuse response

NSW, ABC News, August 5, 2014.

A retired Appeals Court judge and prominent Anglican will chair an independent panel set up to advise the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic diocese on its response to a child abuse inquiry. … Commissioner Margaret Cunneen described evidence given by two senior Hunter priests Monsignor Allan Hart and Father William Burston as unimpressive. … Bishop Bill Wright … has today announced retired judge Kenneth Handley QC will chair the panel.

Child sex abuse inquiry uncovers more victims

UK /Australia, The Australian, Michael Mckenna and Amanda Gearing, August 05, 2014.

… In a statement, Archbishop Sentamu said he hoped the church would learn from the “systemic failure’’ that allowed the child abuse. “Whilst it is never possible to put right the wrongs that have been done, the seriousness of the crimes which have been committed makes us determined both to acknowledge our responsibility and our shame for our failure to protect children in the past, and to respond far more positively to those victims who bravely come forward to share their experience today,’’ he said.

Outrage over diocese paying for renovations to former Bishop Ronald Mulkearns' property

VIC, The Courier, Fiona Henderson, August 5, 2014.

Ballarat’s Catholic diocese paid for renovations to former Bishop Ronald Mulkearns’ Great Ocean Road property. … Skipton builder Charlie Robinson, who carried out the works, … said he was told to give Bishop Mulkearns “whatever he wants” and send the diocese the bill.

Newcastle solicitor says national agency needed to compensate child abuse victims

NSW, ABC News, August 5, 2014.

… In a submission to the child abuse Royal Commission, solicitor Peter Kelso says there is a need for a national approach to Redress Schemes. He says current state schemes are ad-hoc with entitlements ranging from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands depending on whether a victim was abused in a church or state-run institution. …

Record number of submissions received on redress

ACT, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, August 1, 2014.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has published 78 submissions in response to its recent issues paper on redress schemes. Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said the high number of submissions reflected strong community interest in the issue. …

Vic abuse victim says he is 'scarred'

AUSTRALIA
Sky News, August 1, 2014.

A Victorian man sexually assaulted as a child by a Catholic priest says weddings and christenings leave him devastated for months because they stir up memories of the attack. … The now-retired priest, 88-year-old James Henry Scannell, was last month found guilty of a single charge of buggery by a Victorian County Court jury. …

Royal Commission forum for deaf and hard of hearing

Sydney, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, August 1, 2014.

The Royal Commission is holding a national information session in Sydney on Monday for people who are deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing. The event will feature live captions and Auslan interpreters, and it will also be webcast on the Royal Commission website. Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald will explain the work of the Royal Commission and answer questions from the community. …

Forum for people with disability in Sydney

Sydney, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, July 30, 2014.

People with disability have been invited to attend an important information session in Sydney next month to find out more about the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. … Date: Monday 11 August, Time: 11:00am–12:30pm, Venue: York Conference and Function Centre (Bowlers Club), Bass Suits, Level 2, 99 York Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Royal Commission to visit Geelong

ACT, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, July 29, 2014.

People in Geelong are invited to learn more about the work of the Royal Commission at a community information forum next month. Chair of the Royal Commission Justice Peter McClellan will address the forum on Wednesday 13 August 2014. …

An adequate response to child sexual abuse

Australia, Eureka Street, Andrew Hamilton, July 30, 2014.

Reckoning: the Catholic Church and Child Sexual Abuse, written by Chris McGillion and Damian Grace, and jointly published by Eureka Street and ATF Press, offers a useful map of the journey that has led to the Royal Commission into Sexual Abuse. … the Catholic Church must take responsibility for the sexual abuse inflicted by its representatives and for its concealment, and for ensuring that aspects of its culture that encourage abuse are remedied. For this, serious and independent study will be necessary. …

Marist Brothers sex abuse compensation bill expected to rise

ACT, The Canberra Times, David Ellery, July 29, 2014.

The Marist Brothers may have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional damages to victims of serial paedophile and former Marist College Canberra teacher Kostka (John) Chute. … Additional victims, who had not previously sought redress, have come forward as a result of recent publicity about Chute’s activities in the ACT and elsewhere. …

The royal commission into child sexual abuse needs more time to do its job

ACT, The Guardian, Claire Moore, July 29, 2014.

… We are still waiting for the Abbott government to respond to that request. In its interim report, the royal commission said this extension is essential for it to complete the public hearings to fulfilling its terms of reference. I am not surprised – the inquiry opened a floodgate. Courage begets courage. Initial public and private hearings encouraged others to come out of the silence. Around 3,000 people are on a waiting list to give evidence in closed session. …

Former Members Reveal Shocking Details of Abuse Handed Out by Christian Assemblies International (CIA) Leader Scott Williams

NSW, International Business Times, Indrani Bhattacharyya, July 29, 2014.

… Four Corners brought out the truth to show that the self-styled religious guru Pastor Scott Williams used his warped brand of evangelical Pentecostalism to run a secret homosexual sex ring while allegedly misusing enormous amount of member donations for personal purpose. Heart wrenching true stories of abuse saw day light as former members decided to open up about the years of torment they went through at the hands of their 'cult leader'. …

Christian Assemblies International: Former members detail abuse handed out by CAI leader Scott Williams [w/ video]

NSW, ABC News, Caro Meldrum-Hanna, July 28, 2014.

A four-year investigation by the ABC has uncovered shocking claims of abuse and torment in relation to NSW-based registered charity and religious group Christian Assemblies International (CAI). Tonight's Four Corners reveals that self-styled religious guru Pastor Scott Williams was using his warped brand of evangelical Pentecostalism to run a clandestine homosexual sex ring while allegedly misusing vast amounts of member donations for personal use. …

Manipulated, sexually abused and hidden in plain sight: Victims reveal the unspeakable horror of secret Australian cult 'The Assembly' [w/ video]

NSW, Daily Mail (UK), Emily Crane, July 28, 2014.

Shocking claims of abuse within a secret NSW-based religious group have come to light after former members revealed the years of torment they endured at the hands their 'cult leader'. … The claims of horrific abuse alleged to have occurred within Mr Williams' NSW-based religious group, Christian Assemblies International (CAI), were uncovered during a four-year investigation by the ABC's Four Corners. …

Secrets, lies and sex abuse as ex-sect leader chooses life on the inside

VIC, The Age, Chris Johnston, July 28, 2014.

… Ten days ago Chris Chandler, 56, drove to Melbourne from his property on French Island, in Western Port. Then he went to the Melbourne Magistrates Court to hand himself in. Chandler was a leader of the secretive Bible sect known as Friends and Workers, or the Two by Twos, who have 2000 Victorian members. He had already admitted his guilt in eight charges in a Gippsland court including unlawful indecent assaults, indecent assaults and gross indecency on three young female victims. …

Child porn priest taped SBS shows

Adelaide, Sky News, July 28, 2014.

A Catholic priest who possessed child pornography bought some material to understand the concept of paedophilia, an Adelaide court has been told. … More than 70 per cent of the images were in the least serious category involving no sexual activity, but five images and two videos were in category five, the most serious.

From torture to reunion: The story of the Riverview Old Boys

QLD, Queensland Times, July 27, 2014.

Robert Toreaux knows what it's liked to be tortured; to spend each day in fear of being attacked and humiliated without being able to escape. … The 66-year-old spent a good portion of his childhood living and working at the Riverview Training Farm for Boys. The Salvation Army-run facility has proved to have a long and grim history as a place of abuse, where children were routinely physically and sexually assaulted by staff. …

Australian Defence Force bishop to deny child sexual offences, court told

WA, 7 News ABC, Rebecca Trigger, July 25, 2014.

The Catholic Bishop of the Australian Defence Force is to plead not guilty to child sexual offences dating back 45 years, a Perth court has been told. Bishop Max Leroy Davis is accused of abusing a student at St Benedict's College at New Norcia, north-east of Perth, in 1969. … Davis is believed to be the most senior clergyman in the Catholic Church in Australia, and the first bishop to be charged with a child sexual offence. …

Child abuse reports increase but less than half investigated: report

Australia, Sydney Morning Herald, Rachel Browne, July 25, 2014.

The number of child abuse reports increased by 15 per cent over the past two years, but more than half of all reports were never investigated by authorities, according to new figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. … The 272,980 abuse notifications involved 184,216 children, the majority living in NSW and Victoria. …

Victim criticises judge over abuse hearings

NSW, The Australian, Dan Box, July 24, 2014

… Peter Gogarty, who was repeatedly abused by a Catholic priest, wrote privately to commission chairman Peter McClellan about the treatment of Margaret Cunneen SC, a barrister who led a separate commission of inquiry into child sex abuse. … “Given my public and strident support of ... (the) commission, I am very disappointed that the media has been offered the spectacle of an apparent ‘in-house’ spat.” …

Catholic priest jailed for historic sexual offences against young girls

WA, ABC News, Joanna Menagh, July 24, 2014.

A 79-year-old Catholic priest has been jailed for three years for sexually abusing two young girls in Perth decades ago. Patrick Holmes pleaded guilty to six child sex charges, which were laid against him earlier this year. The first three offences were committed in 1969 and involved a girl aged about six or seven. …

Hunter priest charged with historical child sex offences

NSW, ABC News, July 23, 2014.

… Yesterday a 66-year-old man was charged with three offences of alleged offences of indecent assault against a boy. Officers allege the offences happened at Maitland between 1971 and 1972. …

Families SA insider says new child-protection policies will fail without extra resources to help overstretched social workers[with poll]

SA, Perth Now, Lauren Novak and Sam Kelton, July 23, 2014.

... In the wake of revelations a man working for Families SA was last month charged with child sex offences against seven preschool-aged children in his care, the State Government has promised an urgent review of policies and processes to shield vulnerable children from predators who use the care system to gain access to them.  ...

With child abuse, we need to talk about original sin

Australia, The Conversation, James Boyce, July 23, 2014.

The statistics attached to the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse have confirmed what many people suspected – that while child abuse has been widespread in Christian and secular institutions, the Catholic Church is dramatically over-represented. … This is not a matter of Catholic bashing but of civic responsibility. There is no question that Catholic schools and welfare institutions are now essentially shaped by professional and secular values, but this is still not uniformly the case. Grappling with the Church’s self-evident problem cannot be an in-house chat. …

Magnanimous memoir of a 'dead canary' bishop

Australia, Eureka Street, Andrew Hamilton, July 23 2014.

'Benedict, Me and the Cardinals Three' by Bill Morris. … The recent book by Bishop Bill Morris, replete with documentary evidence, tells the story of a canary caught in the shafts of Vatican culture. His early expiry date pointed to something amiss in the governance of the church, heralding the larger disclosures in the Royal Commission on sexual abuse. …

Child sex abuse allegations: Vigilance the key say protection advocates

SA, ABC News, July 23, 2014.

… A man, 32, from Adelaide's southern suburbs is facing charges of unlawful sexual intercourse involving seven preschool-aged wards of the state over 18 months to late 2012, as well as pornography offences. Authorities say the man had cleared police, child protection and psychological checks before he was hired to care for children in a government-run residential facility. …

Melb Church to face abuse royal commission

VIC, Daily Mail (UK), AAP, July 23, 2014.

Melburnians who survived child sex abuse within the Catholic Church will have a chance to have their stories heard by the royal commission next month. … The church says its formal course of action in Melbourne, adopted in 1996 and known as The Melbourne Response, is the first institutional response in Australia. The archdiocese will have to explain to the royal commission why it has the Melbourne Response and what it was supposed to achieve. …

Royal Commission to hold public hearing in Melbourne

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, 22 July, 2014.

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Melbourne commencing on Monday 18 August 2014. The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to inquire into: The principles, practices and procedures of the Melbourne Response adopted by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and their application in responding to: …

Rules won't restore the Church

Australia, Eureka Street, Chris McGillion and Damian Grace, July 22, 2014.

'Reckoning' by Chris McGillionIt is widely assumed that rules are the solution to transgressions such as those being investigated by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Rules without doubt are useful. They can be framed to aid compliance and deter wrongdoing. It is no argument against them to say that people will still offend, but if rules are more legal requirements than the expression of genuine morality, they will have limited effectiveness. …

A victims nightmare in the 'care' of the Salvation Army

SA, Newcastle Herald, Joanne McCarthy,  July 19, 2014

Raham Rundle was seven when he became a number, in the quiet outside a storeroom at a Salvation Army boys home in the Adelaide Hills. … The only witness was a Salvation Army sergeant, a man who, nearly 50 years later, would scream hysterically after a jury convicted him of violently raping four boys at the home, including the child known as 44. …

Details of sex abuse allegations should not be used to sell ads

AUSTRALIA
Dubbo Photo News, Tony Webber, July 19, 2014.

The thoroughly appalling revelations of child sexual abuse seem endless. … Churches, non-government organisations, children’s homes, schools, charities – from the Salvation Army, through the Police Boys’ Clubs and now Swimming Australia – all have had their names ruined through association with the endemic abuse of children. …

Wollongong's Catholic Bishop celebrates 50 years with letter from Pope

NSW, ABC News, Nick McLaren, July 18, 2014.

The Catholic Bishop of Wollongong, Peter Ingham, is celebrating 50 years as a priest with a letter from the Pope. The letter from Pope Francis, in Latin, conveyed his good wishes and blessing upon Bishop Ingham, the clergy and the people of the Diocese of Wollongong. …

Catholic Archbishop says abuse victims are 'the new missionaries'

Canberra, Sydney Morning Herald, David Ellery, July 17, 2014.

… “We are going through an unprecedented crisis in the Catholic church,” he said this week. “There is so much shame, there is so much humiliation with the criminal acts of some of us [that] for us to stand alongside victims, to encourage them to come forward and to listen to their story, is absolutely imperative.” Appointed to lead the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn last September, Archbishop Prowse said he had been humbled and inspired by “the raw courage of so many victims of clerical sex abuse as children”. …

Paedophile accused: Sydney man, 55, posed as welfare worker in Vanuatu and gave toys to children before molesting them, say police

NSW, Daily Telegraph, Ben Pike, July 17, 2014.

Accused paeodphile Gregory Druery used his position of trust with the church and families to abuse children, police say. The 50-year-old, technician who was arrested at a Chipping Norton apartment this morning, brought underprivileged children from Vanuatu to Australia by offering them paid holidays. …

Can the Vatican go viral? George Pell’s communication challenge

Sydney, The Conversation, Richard Umbers, July 16, 2014.

… In the very near future we may see such a radical reshaping of how we view the Vatican and it will come via the most unlikely of social media champions, Cardinal George Pell, current Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy in the Holy See. Cognisant that the wireless no longer refers to a radio set, last Wednesday Pell, the former archbishop of Sydney and Melbourne, broadcast a social media thrust for the Vatican by way of a YouTube-streamed interview. …

Specialist courts needed for sexual assault cases, Lloyd Babb tells royal commission

NSW, Sydney Morning Herald, Rachel Browne, July 15, 2014.

… , the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions … Lloyd Babb, SC, said sexual assault cases comprise almost a quarter of the office’s work but deserve sensitive handling due to their nature. He told the royal commission it was his opinion that such cases be dealt with by specialist prosecutors in dedicated courts. …

Australia priest abuse rate 'double pope's estimate'

Sydney, News 24, July 15, 2014.

… "That two percent includes priests and even bishops and cardinals," the pope was quoted as telling Italy's La Repubblica daily, in comments later questioned by a Vatican spokesperson. Francis Sullivan, the chief executive of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, said he believed the figure was historically higher in Australia, where clergy were deeply involved in schools and orphanages. …  the number of perpetrators of child sex abuse was about four percent in Australia, he said.

Pope's estimate on paedophile priests only half of real number, Australian Catholic Church body says

ACT, ABC News, Jason Om, July 15, 2014.

A key Catholic Church body says 4 per cent of priests in Australia have been paedophiles, double the number estimated by the Pope. … In an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Pope Francis said 2 per cent of clergy, including bishops and cardinals, were paedophiles. … In Australia, the Truth, Justice and Healing Council is compiling statistics on abusers for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. …

Bishop Bill launches tell-all book tonight

QLD, The Chronicle,Chris Calcino, July 14, 2014.

… The behind-the-scenes and often-secretive machinations of the Catholic Church will be thrust into the limelight, with Emeritus Bishop Morris going into detail about the Vatican dealings that led to his dismissal in 2011. "It relates, from my perspective, the dealings I had with various congregations of the Vatican's Curia, and with certain cardinals and officials, as well as with Pope Benedict XVI, regarding pastoral activities and a letter I wrote to the diocese in Advent of 2006 while the Bishop of Toowoomba," he said. …

The Church Must Respond to the Royal Commission Now, or Be Left Behind

ACT, ABC - Religion and Ethics, Francis Sullivan, July 11, 2014.

Last week, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released its interim report. Much of the attention so far has focused on the first volume of the 700-page plus report. It is the second volume, however, that brings together what is a truly horrifying litany of abuse and suffering. It is this volume that tells the individual stories of abuse and the treatment survivors subsequently received from the institutions in which they were abused. …

Catholic Church Insurance silent on Marist Brothers $9 million payout row

ACT, WA Today, David Ellery, July 11, 2014.

The Catholic Church Insurance company CCI is staying mum on whether or not it will try to recover almost $9 million that may have been wrongly paid out on behalf of the Marist Brothers. The payments, made to Canberra victims of serial sex abusers “Kostka” John Chute and Gregory Sutton, might not have been made if CCI had been told the Marist Brothers had known for decades that the men were paedophiles and did nothing to remove them from contact with children. …

Outrage as Australian judge says incest, pedophilia ‘may be accepted’ by society

NSW, RT, July 11, 2014.

An Australian judge has incurred the wrath of child protection and gay rights advocates after stating that incest and pedophilia may no longer be considered taboo – just as gay relationships are now more accepted than they were in the 1950s and 60s. …

Why I agitated for confessions in the Australian Anglican Church to no longer be bound by confidentiality

Australia, The Tablet (UK), Garth Blake QC, July 11, 2014.

… Anglican clergy in Australia are no longer compelled to keep confessions of serious crimes confidential, following a decision made by the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia last week. … Confidentiality will only be required if the penitent has already reported the offence to the police and, where applicable, the Director of Professional Standards. …

Anglican shift on confessions puts abuse victims' interests first

Australia, The Conversation, Renae Barker, July 11, 2014.

The Australian Anglican Church has put the interests of children and victims of crime ahead of tradition and doctrine. Priests who hear confessions about serious criminal offences, including child abuse, will no longer be required to keep the confession confidential. …

Cardinal George Pell takes control of the Vatican’s finances and outlines sweeping reforms

Vatican City, Sydney Morning Herald, Nick Miller, July 10, 2014.

Dublin: Australian Cardinal George Pell has taken personal control of the Vatican’s finances in a reform unprecedented in living memory – but says he is facing “sadness and antagonism” from the old guard at the heart of the Catholic empire. In an exclusive interview with respected Vatican reporter John L Allen Jr, Cardinal Pell said his mission was “to be boringly successful, to get off the gossip pages”. …

Royal Commission on child abuse helps Bega Valley man heal

NSW, Bega District News, Ben Smyth, July 9, 2014.

A Bega Valley man who bravely shared his story of childhood abuse at the hands of Catholic teachers with BDN readers, has also had his traumatic past heard by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. …

Pope Meets with Clergy Sex Abuse Victims

USA, BishopAccountability.org, Anne Barrett Doyle, July 7, 2014.

Though overdue, Pope Francis's meeting today with clergy sex abuse victims was a positive and necessary step. … Although his record on abuse is not encouraging, it is possible that Pope Francis will allow his first meeting with victims to radicalize him. The test of his sincerity will be the actions he now takes. We will have some reason for hope if: …

Opinion: Anglican Church votes to let priests break seal of the confessional to prevent child abuse but up to dioceses to adopt policy [with video]

Australia, Courier-Mail, Alison Cotes, July 09, 2014.

It’s not often a movie audience breaks into spontaneous applause, but I saw it happen in a theatre that was showing the 1994 movie The Priest. In it, among many other personal issues, the young priest Father Greg Pilkington has to solve an ethical dilemma – should he report to the police the behaviour of a man who has admitted in the confessional that he was sexually abusing his own daughter. He broke the so-called seal of the confessional and the audience wholeheartedly approved – but the Roman Catholic Church did not. …

Royal Commission releases short films

Australia, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, July 8, 2014.

… The short films provide in depth information on the work of the Royal Commission, private sessions and witness support services. The films were created for people who have experienced child sexual abuse in an institution, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. …

Former school priest to stand trial in August

NSW, Western Advocate, July 7, 2014.

… The matter involving Peter John Ryan, now 71, of Newington, was before magistrate Michael Allen in Bathurst Local Court. … Ryan was charged earlier this year by officers attached to Strike Force Belle, which was established in 2008 to investigate allegations of a paedophile ring at St Stanislaus’ College and All Saints’ College in the 1970s and 1980s. …

Abuse survivors pan Vatican secrecy

NSW, 7 News, Annette Blackwell, July 6, 2014.

… Justice Peter McClellan, chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, told the 14th anniversary forum of Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN) on Saturday the Holy See had provided two sets of documents about two priests. … Justice McClellan's comments were greeted with cries of derision and moans of despair from dozens of victims of Catholic Church abuse. …

Vatican rebuffs Justice Peter McClellan on sex abuse files

Sydney, Sydney Morning Herald, Heath Gilmore, July 6, 2014.

… West Australian Liberal MP Steve Irons, who attended Justice McClellan's address at the 14th anniversary of the Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN) at the Bankstown Sports Club in south-western Sydney, said he would ask the government to become involved.
A key figure in the national apology to the Forgotten Australians, Mr Irons also said he would take up the issue of funding being guaranteed to extend the work of the commission for another two years until 2017. …

Vatican refuses to hand over documents to royal commission [w/ audio]

Sydney, ABC – AM, Lindy Kerin, July 6, 2014.

The Vatican has declined a request from a royal commission to hand over documents about child sex abuse committed by Catholic priests in Australia. … It says the Holy See maintains the confidentiality of internal deliberations and it would be inappropriate to provide such documents. Lindy Kerin reports …

Child sexual abuse royal commission: Vatican declines request to provide all documents relating to Australian priests

Sydney, ABC News, Lindy Kerin, July 5, 2014.

… In a written response, the Vatican says the Holy See maintains the confidentiality of internal deliberations, adding that it would be inappropriate to provide such documents. Leonie Sheedy, founder and chief executive of Care Leavers Australia Network, a support group for victims of child sexual abuse says the Catholic Church is treating the Australian public with contempt. "I'm not surprised ... I feel like the Catholic Church believes it is above the laws of Australia and probably the world," she said. …

Vatican rejects calls for abuse papers

Sydney, The Australian, Dan Box, July 05, 2014.

… Justice McClellan quotes a letter sent by the Vatican to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, that ­“respectfully suggests that ­requests for all information regarding every case — which ­includes requests for documents reflecting internal ­‘delib­erations’ — are not appropriate”. … To date, half of the royal commission’s 14 public hearings have investigated the response of Catholic institutions or orders to instances of child-sex abuse. …

Child sexual abuse royal commission: Vatican declines request to provide all documents relating to Australian priests [w/ audio]

The Vatican, Radio Australia, Lindy Kerin, July 5, 2014.

… The Vatican has provided documents to the royal commission relating to two cases, but Justice McClellan wanted more information to find out how church authorities in Australia, under the guidance or direction of the Vatican, responded to allegations of abuse. …

Vatican will not reveal all: McClellan

The Vatican, 7 News, Annette Blackwell, July 5, 2014.

The Vatican has told the child sex abuse royal commission that it will not hand over all information about members of its clergy who abused children in Australia. …Justice McClellan will tell Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN) the Holy See has provided two sets of documents … But it has told the commission "that requests for all information regarding every case - which include requests for documents reflecting internal `deliberations' - are not appropriate." …

Church to provide financial support for priest caught with child pornography

SA, Courier-Mail, Steve Rice, July 05, 2014.

… John Hogan will be paid accommodation and cost-of-living expenses regardless of whether he is jailed, the Jesuit Provincial Society has confirmed. Hogan, 69, has pleaded guilty to one count of using a carriage service to access child pornography and one aggravated count of possessing child pornography. …

Abuse survivors vow to fight on

WA, SBS, AAP, July 5, 2014.

The redress obligations of cash-poor but asset-rich institutions where children were abused will be covered in a report to be delivered next year, the chairman of the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse says. …

Abbott must fund longer child abuse royal commission [Editorial]

Sydney, Sydney Morning Herald, July 4, 2014.

Australians have been disgusted - and many have felt guilt-ridden - that a public figure as trusted and seemingly innocuous as Rolf Harris was allowed to get away with sexual abuse of vulnerable children over decades. … The Royal Commission … has heard shocking details of more than 3300 such cases in its first year. Brave victims have come forward in person and in writing, knowing it will cause them great anguish, but proceeding nonetheless in the hope fellow Australians will recognise that future generations must not be forced to endure similar pain. …

Greg Ansley: Anglican priests may report serious crime confessions

Australia, New Zealand Herald, July 4, 2014.

Australia's Anglican priests will be free to report serious crimes revealed to them during confessions, ending a church law that has its roots in the 12th century. …

Catholic lawyer believes abuse inquiry has created unreal compensation hopes

Sydney, The Guardian (UK), AAP, July 3, 2014.

… rank Brennan, who is professor of law at the Australian Catholic University, also says there are many risks in a long-running royal commission. … In an article for the online journal Eureka Street the Jesuit priest describes the commission’s statistics on abuse claims in Catholic church institutions as “frightening and shaming”, and says: “The commission has provided a safe space for victims to come forward and tell their stories.” …

Christian Brother on child sex charges

WA, The West Australian, July 3, 2014.

A former Christian Brother has been charged with child sex offences dating back to 1970. The alleged offences happened during a social event at the Christian Brothers Agricultural School near Tardun. …

Former Christian Brother charged with indecent assault

WA, The Age, Liam Ducey, July 3, 2014.

… A 77-year-old Broome man has been charged with two counts of indecently dealing with a boy under 14 years and he is scheduled to appear in Broome Magistrates Court on Monday July 28. …

Former south-west bishop stripped of honour

VIC, The Standard, Fiona Henderson, Matthew Dixon and Alex Sinnott, July 3, 2014.

… Ballarat's Australian Catholic University campus has renamed its theatre, replacing the honour formerly awarded to past diocese leader Ronald Mulkearns. The university has renamed its lecture hall as the Sister of Mercy Theatre after Mulkearns was found to be grossly negligent in dealing with paedophile priests working in south west Victoria. …

Marist Brothers head admits inaction by leaders to blame for child abuse

NSW and QLD, The Guardian (UK), AAP, July 3, 2014.

… Crowe said that after listening to recent royal commission hearings into how the crimes of brothers John Kosta Chute and Gregory Sutton were dealt with in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, it was clear leadership inaction at the time was responsible. Both men were jailed for abusing children in NSW, Queensland and ACT schools. …

Agencies 'paralysed' by abuse inquiry

Sydney, Courier-Mail, Annette Blackwell, July 03, 2014.

… Father Frank Brennan, who is professor of law at the Australian Catholic University, says the effects of a two-year extension sought by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse have not been taken into account. …

Campbelltown child-sex teacher 'tipped off'

NSW, Illawarra Mercury, Paul Bibby, July 2, 2014.

As police sought to bring a Catholic brother living overseas back to Australia to face 67 charges of child sexual abuse, the Australian head of the Marist Brothers told him to "stay over there and enjoy your new life", the royal commission has heard. …

ACU dumps former bishop's name from Ballarat campus

VIC, The Courier, Fiona Henderson And Matthew Dixon, July 2, 2014.

The Australian Catholic University's Aquinas campus has dumped the Mulkearns name from its lecture theatre. The university has renamed it the Sisters of Mercy Theatre. The move to remove the Mulkearns name comes after clergy sexual abuse survivors said last year's state government inquiry into institutionalised child abuse clearly showed former Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns, after whom the theatre is named, had failed to act on paedophile priests. …

A job that must be finished

ACT, The Australian, July 02, 2014.

… Over the past 18 months, Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has made extensive headway uncovering abuse at a range of church, community and sporting institutions. It has also shone a light on how those matters were dealt with or, in many cases, swept under the carpet. The commission has received allegations of abuse committed at 1000 institutions, referred 160 matters to police around the nation and held 14 public hearings. …

Report makes a compelling case to extend sex abuse royal commission

Sydeny, The Conversation, Michael Salter, July 2, 2014.

On Monday, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released its interim report, detailing for the first time the full scope and comprehensiveness of its inquiry into institutional child sexual abuse in Australia. … The report details the impacts of the royal commission to date, including substantive cultural and policy shifts within institutions with responsibility for children. …

Anglican priests free to report serious crimes, including child abuse

SA, Herald Sun, Nadja Fleet, July 02, 2014.

… Church leaders have unanimously backed a historic change that starkly sets Anglican policy against that of the Catholic church, which maintains that “the Seal of Confession is inviolable”, and creates grounds for a major rift between the nation’s two most powerful Christian bodies. …

Marist Brother child molester Gregory Joseph Sutton sent to US to live a new life, royal commission told

ACT, Daily Telegraph, July 2, 2014.

A Marist Brother who ­admitted to child sexual abuse was sent overseas and told to stay there and “live a new life” when a warrant was issued for his arrest, an inquiry has heard. …

Pedophile Catholic brother Gregory Sutton told: stay overseas

ACT, The Australian, Dan Box, July 2, 2014.

A pedophile Catholic bro­ther has told a royal commission the leader of his order alerted him to a police investigation, sent him overseas four days later and subsequently told him to “stay there and live your life”. Gregory Sutton, a former Marist Brother ultimately convicted of 67 sexual offences against 15 children, is the first ­serial offender to publicly give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. …

Special panel to determine action against two Hunter region priests

NSW, ABC News, July 2, 2014.

The Catholic Church will establish a special review panel to determine if further action will be taken against two senior Hunter region priests, criticised by an inquiry into Church cover-ups of child abuse. … Mons Hart was considered for referral to the DPP for criminal charges, but it was found there was insufficient evidence warranting prosecution for failing to report offending by McAlinden to police. Fr Burston was not considered for criminal charges. …

Bishop puts pair’s fate in hands of panel

NSW, Newcastle Herald, Jason Gordon, July 1, 2014.

The Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese will establish an independent review panel to determine the future of priests criticised in findings of the child sex abuse special commission of inquiry. But abuse victims have called the move ‘‘ridiculous’’ and ‘‘yet more evidence that the Church has learned nothing’’. …

Abuse redress urgent: care leavers

NSW, 9 News, July 1, 2014.

Hundreds of care leavers are calling on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to put in place a temporary compensation package for elderly abuse survivors. …

Apology to Fr John Neill OP OAM

NSW, Sydney Morning Herald, July 1, 2014.

The article "Sleeping with boys was 'common practice': royal commission on sex abuse in Wollongong, day 3" (June 26, 2014) was accompanied online by a photograph of Fr John Neill OP OAM. The article discussed allegations of inappropriate conduct against defrocked Wollongong priest John Nestor heard at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Assault. …

Abuse probe needs more time

Canberra, The West Australian, Shane Wright and Andrew Probyn, July 1, 2014.

Volume 1  Volume 2

A royal commission has uncovered child sexual abuse of such a scale that it needs two more years to deliver justice for victims. …

ALP backs more time for abuse commission

ACT, Weekly Times Now, July 1, 2014.

Labor supports giving the royal commission into child sexual abuse more time and money to finish its work and wants the government to do the same. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says the commission's remarkable, painful and difficult work has empowered many people who have previously felt they haven't had a voice. …

Tzedek welcomes Maccabi statement in response to independent investigation into former coach Shannon Francis

VIC, Tzedek, July 1, 2014.

In September 2013 Maccabi appointed an independent committee to investigate misconduct by former Maccabi coach Shannon Francis towards Maccabi members. Tzedek welcomes Maccabi’s public statement today in response to the report, which was recently submitted by the committee. Tzedek CEO Manny Waks issued the following statement: …

Former priest faces jail over Kew sex assault of boy 40 years ago

QLD, Brisbane Times, July 1, 2014.

An 88-year-old former priest faces the prospect of being jailed after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a boy more than 40 years ago. James Henry Scannell was on Tuesday found guilty by a jury of one charge of buggery following a trial in the County Court last week. The jury had deliberated since last Thursday. …

Former Marist Brother Greg Sutton, a convicted paedophile, faces child sexual abuse royal commission

ACT, ABC News, July 1, 2014.

A former Marist Brother jailed for child sex offences has been questioned about why he fled Australia within days of being told of a police investigation into his activities. Greg Sutton is the first convicted paedophile to be called before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. … 

Marist Brothers head tipped off child-sex teacher about police inquiry, commission told

WA, Sydney Morning Herald, Paul Bibby, July 1, 2014.

… In testimony before the commission on Tuesday, convicted paedophile Gregory Sutton set out allegations of a blatant and extended cover-up orchestrated by Brother Alexis Turton, head of the Marist Brothers in the late 1980s and early '90s. …

Pedophile brother contradicts evidence

WA, The West Australian, Peter Trute, July 1, 2014.

… Convicted pedophile and former Marist Brother Gregory Joseph Sutton appeared before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse on Tuesday, marking the first time an offender - accused or convicted - has faced the inquiry. …

Convicted child sex offender appears in witness box at royal commission [w/ audio]

NSW, ABC - The World Today, Emily Bourke, July 1. 2014.

The child abuse royal commission has for the first time heard evidence from a convicted child sex offender. Former Marist Brother, Gregory Sutton, has appeared at the inquiry in Sydney to give evidence about his time as a teacher at schools in Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT. … He served 12 years in jail. … Emily Bourke, joins us now.

Marist boss unaware of abuse complaints

ACT, Sydney Morning Herald, Annette Blackwell, June 30, 2014.

The Marist Brothers had received at least 48 complaints of abuse by a brother before he was jailed, an inquiry has been told. Some of them dated back to the 1950s, but the man who held the order's top job in the late 1980s, and was in charge of the office dealing with abuse victims until 2012, has told the inquiry he didn't know John Chute, also known as Brother Kosta, had a history of complaints against him until 1993. …

Convicted paedophile tells commission he never queried school transfers

ACT, The Guardian (UK), Helen Davidson, June 30, 2014.

Gregory Sutton, the Marist Brothers teacher convicted of child sexual abuse, has told the royal commission he never asked why he was transferred from school to school, and that the head of the order told him to stay in the US to avoid a warrant issued for his arrest in Australia. …

Child abuse commission needs more time, money

ACT, Newcastle Herald, June 30, 2014.

The federal government is being urged to give the royal commission into child sex abuse more time and money to finish its job or risk squandering the opportunity and insulting the victims. …

Police seized 1,555 child porn images at Father Stanislaus John Hogan’s St Ignatius residence, court told

SA, news.com.au, June 30, 2014.

A senior priest at a prominent Catholic school was caught with more than a thousand perverse images of children and teenagers, some in the worst category known to authorities, a court has heard. …

Sexual abuse victim Jennifer Herrick fights Catholic Church's use of the 'Ellis defence' [w/ video]

NSW, ABC, Lorna Knowles, June 30, 2014.

A disabled woman who was sexually abused by her priest has spoken out against the Catholic Church for relying on the so-called "Ellis defence" to fight her legal claim. Jennifer Herrick says the church is still using the controversial legal precedent to block victim's claims, despite Cardinal George Pell telling the child abuse royal commission that victims should be able to sue the church. …

Catholic Church threatens to use Ellis defence [w/ audio]

NSW, ABC – PM, Lorna Knowles, June 30, 2014.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church has come under fire for threatening to use the contentious Ellis defence. That defence says the church is not a legal entity which can be sued. … Now, though, a New South Wales woman says the church still plans to use the legal precedent to fight her compensation claim. Lorna Knowles compiled this report. …

Royal commission into child sex abuse releases interim report, calls for extension and more funds [w/ video]

ACT, ABC News, June 30, 2014.

The royal commission investigating institutional responses to child sex abuse has handed down its interim report, but says it has not yet compiled enough information to make any recommendations. It is calling for an additional two years and $104 million in extra funding to complete the 70 public hearings they have identified as "essential".  So far, only 13 of the hearings have been held. The commission has also conducted thousands of private sessions with individuals, but it says there are around 3,000 more on a waiting list. The interim report says that despite legal obligations to report child abuse, it remains significantly under-reported in Australia. Read the royal commission's interim report here.

Royal Commission into child abuse needs more time

ACT, SBS, AAP, June 30, 2014.

The scale of child sexual abuse in Australian institutions could be far wider than expected and the potential for it to happen still exists. The child sex abuse royal commission also says in its interim report released on Monday that it will need to extend its final reporting date by two years to December 2017 to finish its job. … "If the royal commission is not extended we will not be able to hold a private session for any person who contacts us after September this year," the report said. …

Children can help battle abuse, report says

ACT, Sky News, June 30, 2014.

… The Royal Commission into Institutional responses to Child Sexual Abuse says Children have knowledge and experience different to adults and can make a unique contribution to developing safe institutions. As part of its interim report released on Monday, the commission says it has ordered research into the views of children about their safety from sexual abuse in institutions. …

Inquiry finds abuse takes years to uncover

ACT, Sky News, June 30, 2014.

It takes an average of 22 years for survivors of child abuse to come forward - and it takes men longer than women, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse says. …

Catholic bishop on sex charge

WA, The West Australian, Liam Croy, June 30, 2014.

A senior Catholic bishop has been charged with sexually abusing a child in New Norcia 45 years ago. Max Davis, 68, is believed to be Australia's first bishop and the most senior Church official to be charged with a child sex offence. He is currently the Bishop of the Australian Defence Force. …

Catholic Bishop Max Davis charged with sex offence dating back to 1969

WA, ABC News, June 30, 2014.

The Catholic Church has confirmed that Bishop Max Davis has been charged by West Australian police with a child sex offence dating back to 1969. Bishop Davis is believed to be the first bishop to be charged with a child sex offence in Australia and is understood to be the most senior Australian Church official to face such charges. …

POLL: Rise child sexual abuse reporting a good thing: Karen Willis

NSW, Daily Liberal, By Stephanie Konatar, June 30, 2014.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed a four-year high in sexual assault reports last year, on the back of greater awareness created by Royal Commission into child sexual assault, according to executive officer Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia (RDVSA) Karen Willis. Almost 20,000 sexual assaults were reported in police in 2013, this is an increase of 8 percent on the previous year. … "We know it's really difficult for victims to come forward." …

Dulcie May Holmes’s story of Salvation Army horror

QLD, The Australian, Dan Box, June 30, 2014.

Seventy years ago, when she was just a teenage girl, the Salvation Army used to keep Dulcie May Holmes locked inside a cage. … Today, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will deliver its first interim report, 18 months after it first came into being. After 14 public hearings, more than 1700 private meetings with victims, and allegations of child abuse at more than 1000 institutions, the report is expected to make the case for an extension of its current 2015 deadline. …

'Legal abuse' tactic of Catholic Church decried

NSW, Newcastle Herald, Joanne McCarthy, June 29, 2014.

… The Victorian order, the Blessed Sacrament Fathers, has advised Central Coast woman Jennifer Herrick it will raise the High Court decision known as the Ellis defence to block her claim against its trustees when the matter returns to court in August. The trustees hold the order's assets. The order's use of the defence has been condemned by solicitor and child sexual abuse victim John Ellis, whose unsuccessful compensation case against the Catholic Church led to the 2007 decision that has insulated the Church from claims against it ever since. …

Top bishop charged with sex offence [w/ video]

WA, Sky News, June 29, 2014.

The head of the Catholic Church's military diocese, Bishop Max Davis, has been charged by West Australian police with a child sex offence dating back to 1969. The alleged incident is believed to have taken place when Bishop Davis was teaching at St Benedict's College in New Norcia, northeast of Perth. …

Catholic Bishop Max Davis charged with sex offence dating back to 1969 [w/ audio]

WA, Radio Australia, June 29, 2014.

… Bishop Max Davis is believed to be the most senior clergyman in the Catholic Church, and the first bishop, to be charged with a child sex offence. … "An allegation has been made to the police that in 1969 Bishop Max Davis abused a student at St. Benedict's College in New Nocria," said a statement from the Catholic Military Ordinariate of Australia. …

Catholic bishop charged with a child sex offence

WA, Sydney Morning Herald, Rachel Olding, June 29, 2014.

… It is believed Bishop Davis, who was elected Military Ordinary Bishop of Australia in 2003, is the first bishop in Australia to be charged with child sexual assault. "The bishop emphatically denies the allegation and the charge will be defended," a statement from the Catholic Military Ordinariate of Australia said. …

The Salvos and Moving On (Or: Nothing to See Here, Folks)

NSW and QLD, lewisblayse.net, Aletha Blasé, June 29, 2014.

I don’t know about you, but when someone who’s hurt me or a loved one tells me to “move on,” or “move forward,” and hasn’t made amends, I get a little tetchy. But I get a little curious too, the way one does when one is told not to look at something. …

Alleged sex abuse victim sues Adass Israel School and former principal

Melbourne, The Age, Patrick Hatch, June 28, 2014.

A former student at an ultra-orthodox Jewish school in Melbourne is suing the school and its former principal, who fled the country days after molestation claims against her surfaced. Malka Leifer fled to Israel in 2008, days after being sacked as principal of Adass Israel Girls' School, in Elsternwick, following complaints of inappropriate conduct with students. …

Report: Australian Chabad leaders Under Criminal Investigation For Covering Up Child Sex Abuse

NSW, Failed Messiah, June 28, 2014.

Australian police are reportedly investigating senior Chabad leaders in both Sydney and in Melbourne for failing to report child sex abuse as required by law and for covering up the abuse (and, it seems, for sanction harassment and abuse of witnesses against them). All the rabbis mentioned in the article are senior Chabad rabbis. …

Senior orthodox Jewish leaders face cover-up inquiry over child sex abuse

NSW, The Age, Richard Baker, June 27, 2014.

… The Sunday Age has obtained witness statements and tape recordings from this month’s successful prosecution of a former Bondi Yeshiva authority figure, Daniel Hayman, that indicate senior Jewish leaders failed to act on complaints of abuse and cast doubt over their public statements on the scandal. …

Abuse and corruption the Australian way

Australia, Eureka Street, John Warhurst, June 29, 2014.

Rotten apples with the caption 'Australian owned and grown' We should open our eyes and take in what multiple government inquiries are telling us about Australian society at the moment. It is not enough to focus on just one; we should consider the revelations cumulatively. It is little exaggeration to say that almost no major institution in our society, public or private, has been left untouched. We should join the dots and cry. …

Vatican ex-ambassador convicted of sex abuse, defrocked, first time for a top papal envoy

Vatican City, TribTown, Nicole Winfield, June 27, 2014.

… The Vatican said Friday that Monsignor Jozef Wesolowski was found guilty by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in recent days, and sentenced to the harshest penalty possible against a cleric: laicization, meaning he can no longer perform priestly duties or present himself as a priest. Wesolowski has two months to appeal. He also faces other charges by the criminal tribunal of Vatican City, since as a papal diplomat he is a citizen of the tiny city state. …

Joanne McCarthy: Last line of defence

NSW, Newcastle Herald, Joanne McCarthy June 27, 2014.

At a meeting where I spoke this week I was asked a question. At any time over the past few years, while reporting on child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church and other institutions and campaigning for a royal commission, had I felt unsafe? … For the record, I have never, ever experienced a second of feeling unsafe. For that matter, the only times I even think about whether I feel safe or unsafe are when people ask the question. As much as I might have felt outraged, sickened, appalled or numbed by the way powerful institutions like the Catholic Church treated people who were sexually abused as children, and again when they turned to the Church for help as adults, and as much as I might have challenged the Church, there's never been any sense of things getting out of hand. …

Vatican's shroud of secrecy on sex abuse

NSW, Daily Mail (UK), AAP,  June 27, 2014.

A senior Australian Catholic lawyer has outlined how the Vatican has used a culture of silence to prevent the world discovering the sordid details of its investigations into pedophile priests. Canon law expert Sister Moya Hanlen, …  revealed how in 2001, when the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) took the lead in managing abuse investigations, rules were put in place preventing their details and those of punishments being published for at least 10 years. …

Wollongong bishop Peter Ingham speaks at royal commission on sex abuse

NSW, Illawarra Mercury, Kate McIlwain, June 27, 2014.

Wollongong Bishop Peter Ingham has told a public inquiry of his repeated attempts to stop an accused child molester from working as a priest while the Vatican stalled. … Mr Nestor was suspended from the ministry in 1997 after he was convicted, but later acquitted on appeal, over aggravated indecent assault charges of a 15-year-old altar boy. When more complaints emerged about his behaviour towards boys at summer holiday camps, the diocese continued to pursue his dismissal. …

Royal Commission: Disgraced priest threatened to sue following papal dismissal

NSW, Sydney Morning Herald, Rachel Browne, June 27, 2014.

… Wollongong Bishop Peter Ingham told the Royal Commission … that John Nestor refused to accept that he was to be dismissed by papal decree after a lengthy battle to oust him from the ministry which went all the way to the Vatican. … “I told him the situation and I said I’d be letting the clergy know but I wasn’t planning to make it public,” he told the commission. …

 Canberra priest defends Catholic sexual abuse investigations

NSW, The Age, Tom McIlroy, June 25, 2014.

… Last week, former NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell accused Father Brian Lucas, the secretary of the Australian National Catholic Bishops Conference, and another priest of being responsible for "criminal inaction". Mr O'Farrell called for the leaders of the church in Australia to remove Father Lucas. … This month Father Lucas told the Royal Commission …  sitting in Canberra he kept no notes of a 1993 meeting with serial paedophile Brother Kostka Chute. …

Cleric convinced abusers to resign

NSW, The Australian, Dan Box, June 25, 2014.

… Giving evidence yesterday to the Royal Commission …, Brian Lucas said the interviews, during which he kept no note of what was said, were “about the protection of children”. … In September, the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry heard he conducted interviews with about 35 allegedly abusive priests during the 1990s, convincing those who confessed their crimes to quietly resign their posts. …

Father Brian Lucas protected accused paedophiles, sex abuse royal commission hears

NSW, Daily Telegraph, Ben Pike, June 25, 2014.

… Father Brian Lucas has already come under fire from former premier Barry O’Farrell who, in parliament, called for him to be sacked because he did not report pedophile priests to the police. Yesterday he told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that taking notes during meetings with accused priests would have prevented them from speaking “frankly and openly”. …

Former priest back in court

NSW, South Coast Register, June 24, 2014.

… Robert Flaherty, 70, who now lives at Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains, appeared before Magistrate McGlynn, facing five charges of indecent assault against children. Magistrate McGlynn adjourned the matters until August 1 for possible committal for sentence. …

Vatican overturned bishop's ban on priest

NSW, SBS, AAP, June 24, 2014.

… Brian Lucas, the senior churchman who former NSW premier Barry O'Farrell wants sacked, has been asked at a royal commission to explain his practice of not taking notes while interviewing abusive priests. … Justice Peter McClellan questioned Fr Lucas's practice at a Sydney hearing in which the commission is looking at how the Catholic Church, under its own canon law, deals with priests and others against whom allegations have been made. …

Royal Commission: Vatican's handling of sexual abuse claims against Wollongong priest John Nestor in spotlight

NSW, ABC News, Antonette Collins, June 24, 2014.

It took nearly 20 years for the Vatican to dismiss a Wollongong parish priest after allegations against him first emerged, the royal commission into child sexual abuse has heard. Father John Nestor was charged and convicted of indecently assaulting a 15-year-old altar boy in Wollongong in 1996. A year later he was acquitted on appeal. …

Royal commission into sex abuse: 20 years to fire Wollongong priest

NSW, Illawarra Mercury, Annette Blackwell, June 24, 2014.

A Wollongong priest wasn’t fired until 20 years after complaints about him molesting young boys became known, and the Pope was the only one with the power to dismiss him from the priesthood, an inquiry has been told. … Prime Minister Tony Abbott, then a federal parliamentary secretary to the employment minister, told the court at the time ‘‘he (Nestor) was ... a beacon of humanity at the seminary’’. …

OPINION: Father Brian Lucas must stand down

NSW, Newcastle Herald, Peter Gogarty June 23, 2014.

In the NSW Parliament recently, Barry O'Farrell, the man who established the Special Commission of Inquiry into certain matters regarding two paedophile priests in the Hunter Valley, rose to his feet and gave the Catholic Church, its bishops and Father Brian Lucas a spanking regarding their lame response to Commissioner Margaret Cuneen's report and findings. Pushed by a number of journalists, and by the Newcastle Herald in particular, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference subsequently made a brief statement on June 18. It said: "Father Lucas has the support of the bishops because the report did not make adverse findings as to credit, nor did it recommend any action be taken with respect of Father Lucas." …

Wolllongong Catholic leaders to give evidence in royal commission

NSW, Illawarra Mercury, Kate McIlwain, June 23, 2014.

… The public hearing, which begins in Sydney on Tuesday, is the first time the actions of the Catholic Church in Wollongong have come under the microscope of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It will focus on how the diocese and the Vatican responded to allegations of sexual assault against then Father John Gerard Nestor in the 1990s. …

Why Bishop Morris was sacked

Australia, Eureka Street, Frank Brennan, June 23, 2014.

I am delighted to be asked to participate in the launch of Bishop William Morris' book. Bill was bishop of Toowoomba for 18 years. This book is the story of his forced retirement at the insistence of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and at the instigation of three Roman curial cardinals all of whom have now left the Vatican, having passed retirement age. Naturally, we were not expecting any of those four to be with us this evening. Sadly Bill could not be with us either, being laid up in a hospital bed in wintry Queensland. …

Royal commission told Salvation Army on shaky ground with '1pc' statistic on child abuse [w/ audio]

NSW, ABC News, Emily Bourke, June 23, 2014.

… the Salvation Army is before the inquiry in Sydney today, to respond to the damning evidence revealed during two separate public hearings over the past six months. The royal commission has already told Salvation Army leaders that they are on shaky ground with their claim that only 1 per cent of children in the organisation's homes were abused. … Emily Bourke has been monitoring proceedings …

The Salvation Army has sacked an officer accused of child abuse just months after publicly rewarding him

NSW, Daily Telegraph, Janet Dife-Yeomans, June 23, 2014

… Major John McIver was dismissed last week and the allegations against him including sexually assaulting a boy have been referred to the police, the inquiry into institutional responses to child sex abuse has been told today. The commission had heard shocking allegations from boys at two homes including that Mr McIver had whipped one boy’s genitals, burned another boy on the leg with a cigarette and dislocated another boy’s shoulder. …

Salvation Army admits abuse of boys is its greatest failure: inquiry

NSW, The Australian, Dan Box, June 23, 2014.

… During a submissions hearing today, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was told 19 Salvation Army staff are alleged to have abused around 115 boys living in four of the church’s childrens’ homes. … the church’s barrister, Kate Eastman, … maintained it was not open to the commission to make a finding that widespread sexual abuse was perpetrated by many officers and employees - contrary to the suggestion of the counsel assisting the commission. …

Royal commission: Salvos deny sexual abuse widespread

NSW, Sydney Morning Herald, Rachel Browne, June 23, 2014.

… Kate Eastman, SC, the lawyer representing the Salvation Army, asked the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse not to make a finding of widespread sexual abuse within the organisation at a submissions hearing on Monday. …

Wolllongong Catholic leaders to give evidence in royal commission

NSW, Illawarra Mercury, Kate Mc Ilwain, June 23, 2014.

Some of Australia's most senior Catholic leaders - as well as key Wollongong church figures - will appear before the royal commission into child sexual abuse's investigation into Wollongong's Catholic Diocese over the next two weeks. … The witness list includes Adelaide Archbishop Phillip Wilson, who was Wollongong's bishop from 1996 to 2000, and the general secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference Father Brian Lucas. …

Salvos back in box at abuse inquiry

QLD and NSW, SBS, AAP, June 23, 2014.

 The Salvation Army is back in the box at the child sex abuse royal commission on Monday to give evidence into its handling of allegations against its officers in NSW and Queensland. The organisation has faced two commission hearings, the first in January which looked at its response to sexual abuse at boys' homes in Indooroopilly and Riverview in Queensland and at Bexley and Goulburn in NSW. A second hearing in March looked at how it handled further claims of sexual abuse by two officers. … the NSW government has also made a submission, describing Mr Condon's evidence as "highly improbable". …

Bishop apologises for sex abuse and concealment of crimes

NSW, Northern Star, Leah White, June 23, 2014.

… Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett, on behalf of the Catholic Schools Office of Lismore, wrote to the parents of St Carthage's and Trinity school children in light of the recent revelations of past child sexual abuse by two Marist Brother predators employed at the schools. "While the events that occurred are historic, they are nonetheless disturbing and unacceptable," Bishop Jarrett wrote. …

Anglican Church struggling for money in several dioceses as tough times add up

Adelaide, SA, Courier-Mail, Jill Pengelley, June 22, 2014.

… Dr Muriel Porter says the finances will be discussed at the church’s General Synod in Adelaide, which starts on Sunday. “We have quite a few dioceses that look to be on the brink of bankruptcy,” she said yesterday. “That’s a huge game-changer. …

Pope Benedict treated me unfairly, say sacked bishop Bill Morris

QLD, WA Today, Ross Peake, June 22, 2014.

A sacked Catholic bishop will tell a Canberra audience this week he was treated unfairly by Pope Benedict. “I was deprived of natural justice as I was in no way able to appeal the judgments or decisions that were made,” Bill Morris says. …

We all bear shame for predator culture

ACT, The Canberra Times, Jack Waterford, June 20, 2014.

It's been a humiliating week for the Marist Brothers and the Royal Australian Navy, each associated with terrible abuse of young people in their charge, and forced, in public, to confront the fact that all too little was done about it, whether at the time, or after its existence became clear and the devastating effects were obvious. …

Rape, torture and climate of fear at Riverview boys' home

QLD, Queensland Times, Jessica Grewal, June 21, 2014.

… A damning submission from counsel assisting the inquiry into four of the Army's boys' homes - Riverview near Ipswich, Alkira at Indooroopilly and two others in NSW - calls on the commission to find cultural problems within the Salvation Army structure allowed the systematic abuse of children to occur "on a wide scale and over a considerable period of time". The inquiry had looked at five predators - Victor Bennett, Lawrence Wilson, Donald Schultz, John McIver and an officer known only as X17 - were allowed to move around all four homes despite allegations of child abuse. …

Evidence by Salvo chief ‘not plausible’, says NSW government

Sydney, The Australian, Dan Box, June 21, 2014.

Evidence given under oath by the Salvation Army’s Sydney leader James Condon about his handling of child sexual abuse committed by another officer was “highly improbable”, the NSW government has said. The criticism, in a written submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, is supported by one of the church’s internal ­investigators, whose submission states “the evidence given by Commissioner Condon is not plausible”. …

Royal commission into child sexual abuse: Perth high school 'improved policies for mandatory reporting'

Perth, ABC News, Irena Ceranic, June 20, 2014.

The headmaster of a private Perth school has told the royal commission into child sexual abuse the school has improved its policies for mandatory reporting. The commission is investigating how a teacher was able to molest students for 10 years from 1999, despite several colleagues raising suspicions. …

Headmaster says Perth school has learnt from abuse case [w/ audio]

Perth, ABC – PM, Thomas Oriti, June 20, 2014.

… The headmaster of an Anglican school in Perth says the conviction of a former teacher has been etched into the minds of the school community. The primary school teacher is now in jail for molesting five of his students, but he was able to "groom" the boys for years before he was arrested. … Thomas Oriti reports. … : The 12th case study of the royal commission told a harrowing story. It's a story spanning more than a decade where a primary school teacher, known as "YJ", lured boys inside his classroom and sexually abused them. …

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse - key profiles

ACT, The Canberra Times, David Ellery, June 20, 2014.

Gregory Sutton
The Canberra hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse began on June 10 with the formal lifting of the suppression order on Gregory Sutton’s name that had been in effect (but sometimes breached) since his trial in 1996. …

Yet more pain at royal commission into child abuse [Editorial]

ACT, Sydney Morning Herald, June 20, 2014.

… So egregious were these abuses, and so transparently lacking the Marist Brothers’ response, that they have become almost a byword for institutional abuse in religious schools in NSW, Queensland and Canberra. Indeed, the Catholic Archbishop of Goulburn and Canberra, Christopher Prowse, wrote to parishioners before the two weeks of proceedings began to prepare them for the “public testimonies of the very sad experiences of some victims’’. …

Catholic Church bows to abuse petition

Adelaide, SA, The Australian, Anthony Klan, June 20, 2014.

The Catholic Church has agreed to begin paying child-abuse victims of an Adelaide ­special school after 12 years of legal wrangling, following a petition that gained more than 104,000 signatures. Peter Mitchell, whose son was sexually abused at the St Ann’s special school in Adelaide more than two decades ago, and who launched the petition in February, said the Catholic Archbishop for Adelaide, Philip Wilson, had agreed to meet him in mediation. …

Royal commission told lawyer tried to silence 'regrettably upfront' sex offender Kostka Chute

ACT, The Canberra Times, David Ellery, June 19, 2014.

… Peter O'Brien, who is representing victim and whistleblower Damian De Marco, put it to the former head of the order, Brother Alexis Turton, on Thursday that significant steps had been taken to ensure Catholic Church Insurance (CCI) would not withdraw its cover of crimes committed by Chute. …

 Commission unlocks Marist mysteries

ACT, Daily Mail (UK), AAP, June 19, 2014.

A mysterious memo about "Frater Bart", an email from a lawyer suggesting a pedophile brother be kept under wraps after doing time and a sudden journey to Canada. All three surfaced at a royal commission hearing into how the Marist Brothers Australia handled child sex abuse allegations against two men who over decades molested children at schools in the ACT, Queensland and NSW. Below the surface is the devastation of victims. …

Marist Brother and known paedophile made deputy leader of community attended by boys as young as 12

ACT, Daily Telegraph, Janet Fife-Yeomans, June 19, 2014.

A known paedophile was made a deputy leader of a Marist Brothers community and allowed to work at a “farmhouse” facility which was attended by boys from the age of 12, … When he was charged by police, Brother Kostka Chute had his legal fees paid for by the Marist Brothers, a multi-million dollar organisation that enjoys tax-free status, and accompanied to court on every occasion by the religious orders’s director of professional standards, Brother Alexis Turton. …

Child sex abuse inquiry: Issue of Marist Brothers' indemnity against legal action is raised at inquiry

ACT, ABC News, Ewan Gilbert, June 19, 2014.

… an email sent by a lawyer for Brothers being questioned at an inquiry. The email, produced on the last day of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse hearings in Canberra, was sent to the Catholic Marist Brothers in 2009, warning them about convicted paedophile Brother John Kostka Chute. …."Regrettably quite upfront about various discussions with provincials over the years. I think we will have some problems with indemnity in due course.

Mediation begins between Catholic Church and St Ann’s sex abuse victims seeking compensation

Adelaide, SA, Courier-Mail, Ben Hyde, June 19, 2014.

… A father of one of the abuse victims, Peter Mitchell, said this morning that the Catholic Church had entered talks with the victims’ families who are seeking compensation. “We’re grateful to Archbishop (Philip) Wilson that we’re entering mediation to settle our claims,” he said. … The mediation could end 12 years of legal battles over paedophile Brian Perkins’ molestation of 36 students at St Ann’s Special School more than 20 years ago. …

Marist Brothers made no effort to find paedophile's victims, commission told

ACT, Sydney Morning Herald, David Ellery, June 19, 2014.

The Marist Brothers made no attempt to locate Gregory Sutton's other victims after Canadian psychotherapists told them in 1990 he had possibly abused multiple children, a royal commission has heard. … Another former Marist Brother, Denis Doherty, has previously told the commission that he told his superiors of concerns about Sutton decades before his crimes were exposed. Mr Doherty's lawyer, Timothy Kernaghan, put it to Brother Alexis on Thursday that he had committed a criminal act. …

Marist Brother Kostka Chute allowed to teach for years after first sexual assault complaints, royal commission told

ACT, Sydney Morning Herald, David Ellery, June 19, 2014

The Marist Brothers did not remove serial child molester Kostka Chute from teaching in Canberra until the ACT's youth advocate, Brian McLeod, was alerted in December 1993. This was despite a history of complaints about the now disgraced former Marist Brother at the Canberra college dating back to at least 1986, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard. …

Abuser not sent overseas ‘to thwart investigation’

ACT, Echo Netdaily, AAP, June 19, 2014.

The former head of the Marist brothers in Australia has denied he made a hasty decision to put a prolific child sex abuser on a plane to Canada three days after it became known police were investigating him. …

Royal Commission staff visit Central West NSW

NSW, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, June 18, 2014.

People living in Central West New South Wales who experienced child sexual abuse while in the care of an institution are encouraged to share their story with the Royal Commission. Royal Commission staff are in the region from today meeting with local service providers and community organisations who are working with survivors of child sexual abuse in an institution. …

O’Farrell takes aim at Catholic leaders

NSW, Newcastle Herald, Joanne McCarthy, June 18, 2014.

A Hunter group has called on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to show ‘‘Catholic leadership’’ after the Church’s response to an extraordinary broadside from former premier Barry O’Farrell over the Hunter’s damning history of child sexual abuse. Mr O’Farrell accused Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Bill Wright of ‘‘spin’’, and slammed former bishop Michael Malone and Australian Bishops Conference general secretary Brian Lucas for their ‘‘criminal inaction’’ over Hunter paedophile priest Denis McAlinden, in a speech to NSW Parliament on Tuesday night. …

EDITORIAL: Deja vu in Church’s attitude

NSW, Newcastle Herald, June 18, 2014.

A feeling of deja vu might be affecting some minds in the wake of the report of the NSW special commission into allegations surrounding child sex abuse cases in the Catholic Church. The sense that the Church will not look squarely into the face of its past sins seems troublingly familiar, as does the impression it might have more empathy for its own men of the cloth than it does for its parishioners – even those who have been victims of abuse. …

Sydney diocese behind senior Vatican appointment rejects McAleese claim of ‘old boys’ club’

Vatican City, Irish Times, Joe Humphreys, June 18, 2014.

Claims by former president Mary McAleese that a recent senior appointment in the Vatican was evidence of an “old boys’ club” has been rejected by a spokeswoman for the Australian cardinal involved. … “That job was not openly advertised,” she said. “I am making no point about the man’s qualifications; I understand he is exceptionally well qualified. That is not the point.  “… it just looks to me like the gravitational pull of old boys’ clubs is going to need more than mere words which say ‘we have to do something about it’.” …

O'Farrell calls for Father Brian Lucas' sacking

NSW, Newcastle Herald, June 18, 2014.

Former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell has called for a high-ranking Catholic priest to be sacked from a key leadership position for not reporting child sexual abuse to police. Mr O’Farrell in a speech to parliament on Tuesday night called for Father Brian Lucas, general secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference, to be stood down. …

Lucas defends abuse actions to inquiry

NSW, SBS, AAP, June 17, 2014.

… One of the Catholic Church's most senior officials will give evidence on Tuesday at a national inquiry into child sex abuse in Canberra. Father Brian Lucas, the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference who also testified at a NSW commission into child abuse by Catholic clergy, will be in the witness box at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. …

Lucas defends abuse actions to inquiry

NSW, 7 News, Annette Blackwell, June 17, 2014.

… Father Brian Lucas, the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference told the child abuse royal commission he could not remember a meeting in 1993 with child sex abuser John Chute and the Australian provincial of the Marist Brothers, Alexis Turton. Fr Lucas, a lawyer, said he accepted the meeting had taken place but, as was his practice, he had not taken notes. …

Priest defends failure to mandate abuse reporting - commission wrap

ACT, The Canberra Times, David Ellery, June 17, 2014.

… Father Brian Lucas, the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, also defended the practice of not taking notes during meetings with clergy accused of sexual assault and other crimes. He said he has no recollection of a meeting between himself, Brother Alexis Turton and serial paedophile Kostka Chute in 1993 as he took no notes. …

Serial paedophile Gregory Sutton took young boy on overnight trip interstate

NSW, The Rural, David Ellery June 17, 2014.

When the superior of serial paedophile Gregory Sutton's Lismore monastery learnt he had taken an overnight trip with a young boy in 1986 it never occurred to him sexual abuse might be the motive. … It had also failed to occur to him that a diary entry in which Sutton had written "Picked up AC. What an afternoon, she is magnificent" may also be linked to sexual abuse. He told the commission he was not aware sexually abusing a child was a criminal act at that time. …

Former Marist brother confesses he did not link child sex abuse with crime

NSW, The Guardian (UK), AAP, June 17, 2014.

The former superior of a NSW Marist Brothers community and deputy principal of a school for 600 students has told an inquiry that in the 1980s he did not associate child sexual abuse with crime. …

Napthine government fails to act on child sex abuse

VIC, The Age, Bryan Keon-Cohen and Joseph Poznanski, June 16, 2014.

… In response to community concern about the media coverage of extensive child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church and Salvation Army, the Victorian government initiated an inquiry. It was a significant milestone. The inquiry’s report identified the Catholic Church and the Salvation Army to be the largest institutional offenders, among many 'offending' institutions. The report, by the family and community development parliamentary committee, was tabled in the Victorian Parliament on 13 November, 2013. Six months later, the Napthine government has implemented just three of its 15 recommendations. …

Former Catholic Church boss John Kelly was blind to the evil around him, royal commission hears

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph, Janet Fife-Yeomans, June 17, 2014.

A former Catholic Church education boss said he had never met a paedophile — while one of the country’s most notorious child molesters was working under his nose. John Kelly was director of Catholic education for the Diocese of Lismore when Marist Brother Gregory Sutton, later jailed for 12 years for 67 sex offences, was teaching at the local St Carthage’s Primary School in the 1980s, the child sex abuse royal commission was told yesterday. …

Australian royal commission setting the agenda for children

ACT, Scoop, John A Brown, June 12, 2014.

The Australian Royal Commission into child sexual abuse is soon to announce its interim findings after more than 18 months investigating these abuses throughout Australia. …

Judge says abuse victim Mark Wurth does not have to pay abuser's $20,000 legal bill

NSW, ABC News, Lorna Knowles, June 17, 2014.

A judge has ordered that a victim of child sexual abuse should not be forced to pay his abuser's $20,000 legal bill. Mark Wurth was repeatedly sexually assaulted by his housemaster, Neville Gilbert Betteridge, at the Blue Mountains Grammar School in the 1970s. … in April, Betteridge demanded that Mr Wurth first pay his $20,000 legal bill. …

Royal commission into child sexual abuse: School principal considered theft, not sexual abuse, as crime

NSW, ABC News, June 17, 2014.

A senior Catholic Marist Brother said it never occurred to him that kissing and cuddling children in a locked room amounted to sexual abuse. … He was the deputy principal of a school at Lismore in northern New South Wales during the 1980s and was also in charge of the the local Marist Brothers Community. The community included the now convicted paedophile Brother Gregory Sutton. …

'I didn’t know paedophilia was a crime': What church leader and former deputy school principal told hearing into child sex abuse despite being warned about predatory teacher

NSW, Daily Mail (UK), Freya Noble, June 17, 2014.

The former superior of a NSW Marist Brothers community and deputy principal of a school for 600 students has told an inquiry he did not associate child sexual abuse with crime in the 1980s. … On Tuesday he gave evidence at the royal commission into child sexual abuse that although concerns were raised with him about the behaviour of Sutton at St Carthage's primary school, he left it to the school to deal with it. Towards the end of two-and-a-half hours of evidence he said he considered complaints of inappropriate behaviour by Sutton as 'excessive expressions of affection' and had not heard the word pedophile at the time. …

Senior churchman in box at second inquiry

ACT, Sky News June 17, 2014.

… Father Brian Lucas, the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference who also testified at a NSW commission into child abuse by Catholic clergy, will be in the witness box at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. …

Ex-¬Marist brother Denis Doherty tells royal commission he raised sex abuse suspicions with Catholic Church in the 1970s [w/ video]

AUSTRALIA
Courier-Mail, June 17, 2014.

The former principal of a Queensland school became emotional as he told of his anger when a pedophile brother was arrested two decades after he had first reported him to the Catholic Church. Denis Doherty, an ex-­Marist brother, was principal of a north Queensland primary school where Brother Gregory Sutton, who was later jailed for 67 counts of child sexual abuse, started his career in the 1970s. …

Paedophile teacher molested school boy... then offered to pay for his funeral when victim committed suicide

QLD, Daily Mail (UK), June 16, 2014.

A pedophile Marist brother attended and probably organised the funeral of a young man he had molested as a boy, an inquiry has been told. The man's family later learned of the link between their son's suicide and the fact he had been molested by Gregory Sutton when he was just eight or nine while attending a Marist Brothers primary school in North Queensland in the 1970s. …

Marist Brother told his superiors Gregory Sutton was a child molester

ACT, The Canberra Times, David Ellery, June 16, 2014

A former Marist Brother told his superiors Gregorý Sutton was a possible child molester decades before his crimes were exposed. Denis Doherty told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Monday he had been told to "mind your own business" in 1976 when he asked what was being done about the now disgraced former Marist Brother. …

Former Marist Brothers principal "not sure" if sex acts against children were a crime

ACT, The Canberra Times, David Ellery, June 16, 2014

… John Holdsworth, who left the order in 1999, went to a meeting between Gregory Sutton and the father of one his victims who had committed suicide. The youth, identified as ADO, had told his elder brother that Sutton had molested him shortly before taking his own life. On learning this, the youth’s father sought a meeting with Sutton, who was then in Sydney, and asked Mr Holdsworth to attend to curb any violent impulses he might have. …

Marist Brothers 'did not go to police' after paedophile teacher's confession

ACT, The Guardian (UK), AAP, June 16, 2014.

… John Holdsworth, who oversaw the primary school in North Queensland where Gregory Sutton, later jailed for 67 counts of child sexual abuse, taught in the 1970s, has told the inquiry in Canberra he was not concerned by Sutton's behaviour at the time. Holdsworth, the then community superior, said he could not recall the principal of the primary school, Denis Doherty, raising concerns about Sutton's behaviour in 1974. …

Pedophile at victim's funeral: inquiry

QLD, 9 News, June 16, 2014.

A pedophile Marist brother attended and probably organised the funeral of a young man he had molested as a boy, an inquiry has been told. The man's family later learned of the link between their son's suicide and the fact he had been molested by Gregory Sutton when he was just eight or nine and attending a Marist Brothers primary school in North Queensland in the 1970s. …

Royal commission continues in the ACT

ACT, Sky News, June 16, 2014.

Even as a 21-year-old in his first teaching job Gregory Sutton's behaviour raised suspicions among his colleagues. The Marist Brother started his career in 1973 at a school in north Queensland and within a short time senior teacher Denis Doherty was worried. …

Indigenous residents offered briefing on child abuse royal commission

VIC, ABC Indigenous, June 16, 2014.

An Aboriginal legal service is encouraging Indigenous people in north-west Victoria to consider sharing their stories at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. There has been an overwhelming response from survivors of sexual abuse wanting to talk to the commissioners during private sessions. …

Case Study 13, June 2014, Canberra - Live hearing

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child sexual abuse

live stream

Denis Doherty, former Marist brother.

Surviving brother shocked at abuse claims

WA, The West Australian, Colleen Egan, June 15, 2014.

… The once-powerful Christian Brothers who ran institutions - young boys' guardians and, as several tearful men testified, their sadistic tormentors - were thought to be in the grave. But _The Weekend West _ has discovered there is at least one surviving Brother who was never called to the witness box. Brian Morgan, 82, was twice named in evidence by Maltese child migrants who were sent to Tardun farm school and orphanage. He was not accused of committing or being aware of sexual abuse. …

Top Catholic job still empty after four months

AUSTRALIA
The Australian, Jordan Baker, June 15, 2014.

Catholicism’s top job in Australia ­remains vacant almost four months after Cardinal George Pell said he was heading to Rome, despite the Vatican saying his replacement would be fast-tracked. … The contenders  Anthony Fisher, 54 … From Dominican order, not a diocesan priest. Mark Coleridge, 65 … Bill Wright, 61 …

Former mayor calls for all churches to pay taxes, and donate it to victims of child abuse

QLD, Courier-Mail, Des Houghton, June 15, 2014.

Former Brisbane Lord Mayor Jim Soorley yesterday called for all churches in Australia to pay rates and taxes with some money going to the victims of child abuse by the clergy. Mr Soorley, a former Catholic priest, sparked uproar by accusing some churches of profiteering and abusing their rate-exempt status by banking large tracts of land. “Why should they be exempt?” Soorley said. … He singled out the Salvation Army, the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church for special criticism for harbouring pedophiles. …

Aspinall ready to hand over the Anglican reins

Brisbane, The Australian, Jamie Walker, June 14, 2014.

Anglican Primate Phillip Aspinall is bowing out as titular head of the church in Australia after nine years bookended by bitter rows over child sexual abuse. … last November, he admitted to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that he could not bring rogue or recalcitrant bishops to heel. “The powers of the primate are very limited … if people think that the primate of the Anglican Church of Australia is the CEO of Australia’s Anglicans, then nothing could be further from the truth,’’ Dr Aspinall said. …

Royal Commission into child sex abuse hears dog may have been used to groom children

ACT, news.com.au, June 13, 2014.

A serial paedophile had a labrador called Jason which was used as a possible “grooming device” against his students, the Royal Commission into child sex abuse has been told. … Brother Heinrich, 68, told a hearing in Canberra Brother John Chute, known as Brother Kostka, was not the only brother who ever had a dog. “But certainly it was most unusual,” he conceded. …

Dog may have been part of paedophile plan

ACT, Sky News, June 13, 2014.

… Former brother John Chute, also known as Brother Kostka, worked at Canberra's Marist College between 1976 and 1990 and had the dog for some of that time, 1980s principal Terence Heinrich said. 'Brother Kostka wasn't the only brother who ever had a dog but certainly it was most unusual,' Br Heinrich told a royal commission investigating institutional responses to child sexual abuse. …

Former Marist head denies cover-up, "horrendous failing"

ACT, The Canberra Times, David Ellery, June 13, 2014.

A former Marist College Canberra headmaster has denied he was subservient to his superiors, had deliberately obstructed sex abuse investigations and was protecting a former leader of the order. Brother Christopher Wade, the headmaster when Brother Kostka Chute was removed from the college at the end of 1993, was testifying on Friday afternoon before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. …

Royal commission into child sexual abuse: Former Marist College principal denies covering up allegations

ACT, ABC News, Ewan Gilbert, June 12, 2014.

Former Canberra Marist College headmaster Brother Terence Heinrich has denied he was involved in covering up allegations of child sexual abuse during the 1980s. … Brother Heinrich today admitted under cross-examination that dealing with allegations secretly and internally was the way it was. …

Protecting paedophile priests goes back to canon law

ACT, Sydney Morning Herald, Richard Ackland, June 12, 2014.

How is it that the Catholic Church has not only harboured so many paedophile priests but strenuously covered up their criminal activities? This conspiracy exists not only in Australia but in other countries where the Catholic Church functions. We've seen the same pattern in Ireland, Britain and the US. It is a cover-up on a global scale. …

'No-one is alone' in fight against sex abuse

SA, The Recorder, Hollie Joyce, June 12, 2014.
.
National sexual abuse service representatives visited Port Pirie recently to network with the local service providers to combine forces to make a difference. Knowing where to go for help and support is essential in dealing with large issues in life and these women are passionate about making the appropriate services known. …

Brave Marist old boys have our support

ACT, Brisbane Times, Brendan Long, June 12, 2014.

… It is obviously beyond painful for these men to tell their stories. I don’t think I am alone in the wide Marist community when I say that we, who were not victims, stand with those who were. We feel for them and with them, and in a lesser way of course, share their pain. These are brave men who have fought demons without, and demons within, to bring themselves to the point where they have the extreme courage required to speak in their own voice, before the nation, of their painful story. I admire them. …

Marist headmaster Richard Sidorko meets sex abuse victim

ACT, The Canberra Times, Primrose Riordan, June 12, 2014.

… In an emotional letter sent to Marist College families dated June 11, Mr Sidorko said he was shocked by statements from witnesses at the commission. "When listening to these statements I experienced a variety of emotions including shock, disbelief, sadness and anger," Mr Sidorko said. …

No police policy among Marist Brothers

ACT, 9 News, June 12, 2014.

"Leave it with me." That's what a Marist Brothers school principal was told by the head of the order after reporting a teacher suspected of child sexual abuse. … Then-brother John Chute, also known as Brother Kostka, had touched the man's son on the genitals during a film night at the school …

Vice-principal suspected Marist Brother Gregory Sutton was abusing students but did not tell police

ACT, The Canberra Times, David Ellery, June 12, 2014.

Margaret O'Grady did not report her fears Brother Gregory Sutton was abusing children at St Carthage's Primary School in Lismore to the police, while she was vice-principal, because she had already alerted church authorities. …

Royal commission into child sexual abuse: Former Marist College principal denies covering up allegations

ACT, 7 News, ABC, Ewan Gilbert, June 12, 2014.

… Brother Heinrich today admitted under cross-examination that dealing with allegations secretly and internally was the way it was. Brother Heinrich was the headmaster at Marist College from 1983 to 1989, while Brother Kostka Chute was sexually abusing boys at the school. …

Marist brother left diary on desk which revealed liaisons with young girl Royal Commission told.

ACT, Daily Telegraph, Janet Fife-Yeomans, June 12, 2014.

When Marist brother Gregory Sutton was caught out lying about taking an afternoon off school, a suspicious teacher looked in his school diary which he openly kept on his desk. “Picked up (girl). What an afternoon. She is magnificent”, the former assistant principal of Lismore’s St Carthage’s primary school, Jan O’Grady, said she read in his diary. His entry for the following day said: “I had a fight with (same girl) and we made up.” …

Child sexual abuse royal commission: Peter McClellan requests Vatican documents on priest abuse claims

Vatican City, ABC News, June 12, 2014.

The head of the royal commission into child sexual abuse is seeking help from the Vatican with complaints about abuse involving priests. Justice Peter McClellan took time out to address an international men's health symposium in Brisbane last night. … He revealed he has written to the Vatican seeking copies of all documents held in Rome relating to complaints of abuse by members of religious orders.

Sacked Bishop Bill Morris raised sex abuse case with Pope Benedict

QLD, Brisbane Times, Madonna King June 12, 2014.

… The revelation that the Pope was informed of the case is among many penned by Morris in his book Benedict, Me and the Cardinals Three, which will be released this weekend. Private correspondence between Bishop Morris and the Vatican show a stunning ignorance of the fallout from clerical sex abuse in Australia, as well as the birth of “Temple police’’ - local extreme right Australian parishioners who are taking notes in churches and complaining directly to the Vatican. …

Abuse royal commission probes the Vatican

Vatican City, The Age, Ehssan Veiszadeh, June 12, 2014.

The royal commission into child sex abuse is investigating how the Vatican dealt with allegations of abuse against its priests in Australia. … 

Sacked Bishop Bill Morris raised sex abuse case with Pope Benedict

QLD, Brisbane Times, Madonna King June 12, 2014.

… Bishop Morris was controversially sacked by the Pope in May 2011, prompting international news. The revelation that the Pope was informed of the case is among many penned by Morris in his book Benedict, Me and the Cardinals Three, which will be released this weekend. …

Inquiry swamped by abuse horrors

Brisbane, The Australian, Dan Box, June 12, 2014.

The child abuse royal commission will ask the federal government to extend its work beyond next year, with the commission’s chairman saying it is currently dealing with allegations relating to more than 1000 institutions across the country. … “This was always recognised as unlikely to be achieved,” Justice McClellan will say. “By the end of 2015 we estimate that … we will have been able to conduct only 40 public hearings. From the information we have collected we have concluded that there are at least 30 more institutions which must be examined.” …

Teacher to give evidence at abuse inquiry

NSW, SBS June 12, 2014.

… Jan O'Grady was the deputy headmaster at St Carthage's School in Lismore in NSW's northeast where former brother Gregory Sutton is alleged to have sexually assaulted at least five boys and girls between 1985 and 1987. The school allegedly received complaints from parents and fellow teachers about Sutton's misconduct and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse, currently sitting in Canberra, is assessing if these reports were handled adequately. …

Trinity, Marist Brothers reps: Children ‘safe in our care’

ACT, Northern Star, Leah White, June 12, 2014.

Sickening violations of trust like the ones carried out by former St Joseph's principal John "Kostka" Chute and former St Carthage's Primary School teacher Gregory Sutton will never happen again, Lismore Trinity Catholic College and Marist Brothers representatives have said. …

Dated law allows molester Daniel Hayman to escape jail

ACT, Daily Telegraph, Lema Samandar, June 11, 2014.

A Magistrate has been forced to allow a child molester to escape jail because of a dated law, despite what he described as the “catastrophic” impact on the victim. Daniel Hayman, 50, a Jewish orthodox man who pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a child under his authority at a Yeshiva camp in 1987 or 1988, received a 19-month suspended sentence. …

Pedophile worked in US after sent for counselling by Marists

ACT, The Australian, Jared Owens, June 11, 2014.

The Marist Brothers repeatedly failed to remove pedophile teachers from classrooms, flying one self-confessed offender to north America where he subsequently worked as a Catholic school headmaster despite facing 24 charges of sexual abuse back in Australia, a royal commission has heard. …

Catholic church has 'sociopathic disregard for sex abuse victims'

ACT, The Guardian (UK), Helen Davidson, June 11, 2014.

… Damian De Marco told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse in Canberra that he had repeatedly warned the Marist Brothers that one of their members, brother Kostka Chute, had abused him and was still abusing other young students, but he was ignored and given false promises that Chute would be kept away from children. …

Royal commission into child sex abuse 'a moment of truth' for Australia

ACT, The Guardian (UK), Helen Davidson, June 11, 2014.

… The man also accused the Marist Brothers of enabling the teacher, likening it to “putting an alcoholic in charge of the alcohol cabinet”, and described the actions of the church insurers in dealing with his complaint as “outrageous”. … The royal commission was told that the two men were shifted from school to school across Queensland, NSW and the ACT throughout their teaching careers, despite – and in some cases because of – multiple complaints against them alleging child sexual abuse and inappropriate behaviour.

Northern links in royal commission into child sexual abuse at Marist Brothers school

QLD, Cairns Post, Jessica Marszalek, June 11, 2014.

Two former teachers from a North Queensland school and at least two ex-students will be witnesses at a royal commission into child sexual abuse. … It heard Brother John Chute taught from 1952 to 1993, despite admitting to four cases of abuse when children came forward ­between 1960 and 1972. Despite these admissions, he went on to teach for 17 years at Marist College Canberra, which 39 of his 48 alleged victims attended. …

Marist teacher says he can't recall Kostka molester accusation

ACT, The Canberra Times, David Ellery, June 11, 2014.

… John Doyle gave testimony by phone from London on the same day a witness told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse in Canberra that the Marist Brothers had long had a culture of condoning the unacceptable and that going to confession (about acts of abuse) was regarded as "washing dirty water off their chests". Witness AAJ, who says he was abused at Marcellin College in Randwick by Chute in 1960, said on Wednesday that while women were out of bounds, boys were considered acceptable. …

Child sex abuse royal commission hears paedophile Marist brother dressed students up before abusing them

ACT, Daily Telegraph, Janet Fife-Yeomans, June 11, 2014.

… The 65-year-old man said he still found it difficult to talk about it even 53 years later. He said that Brother Kostka Chute, then aged about 26, had told him there was going to be a school play at the Marcellin school in Randwick. “I was dressed up like a Mandarin woman,” the man said. “The thing was that there was never going to be a play. It was like the whole thing was invented in order for Brother Kostka to have physical contact with me.” …

Royal commission into child sexual abuse: Victim made to dress in women's clothing, inquiry hears

ACT, 7 News, ABC, Ewan Gilbert, June 11, 2014.

… The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard the victim, know only as AAJ, was nine years old when he first attended Marcellin College in Sydney's Randwick in the 1960s. His teacher was John Chute, also known as Brother Kostka, who has since been convicted of paedophilia. …

Teacher who sexually abused 10yo told her he would kill her

ACT, Sunshine Coast Daily, Jessica Grewal, June 11, 2014.

A child-abusing teacher told a 10-year-old victim he would kill her entire family if she outed him when he took a transfer to a Lismore Catholic School, the royal commission has heard. Gregory Sutton, a former Marist Brother who was allowed to teach at schools across Australia and the US before finally being extradited to NSW and jailed in the late 90s, already had a swath of victims when he was given a job at St Carthages in1985. …

Marist child abuse victim wanted more compensation than $93,000 received

ACT, The Age, David Ellery, June 10, 2014.

The first witness to give evidence at the child sexual abuse royal commission hearing in Canberra says she was unhappy with the $93,000 compensation payment she received. The female witness, identified as ADM, said she had been repeatedly abused over an extended period of time by former Marist Brother Gregory Sutton at a school in Campbelltown in the mid-1980s. …

Girl turned crucifix so Jesus wouldn’t see

ACT, Maitland Mercury, June 10, 2014.

A victim of child sexual abuse at the hands of a Marist Brother recalls turning around a crucifix worn by her abuser “so Jesus wouldn’t see what was going on”. … A woman identified only as ADM gave evidence to the commission on Tuesday, relating to her time as a Year 5 student at the school. …

Hunter priest quits parish over Special Commission of Inquiry

NSW, Newcastle Herald, Joanne McCarthy, June 10, 2014.

Hunter Catholic priest Des Harrigan has resigned from his Taree parish after controversy over his appearance at the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry in Newcastle. Father Harrigan declined to comment on Monday, but a spokeswoman for Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Bill Wright confirmed the resignation. …

Jailed LIsmore Marist brother apologises to abuse victims

ACT, AAP, Echo Netdaily, June 10, 2014.

… Witnesses on Tuesday recounted their mistreatment at the hands of Marist Brothers Gregory Sutton and John Chute who worked as teachers at schools in NSW, the ACT and Queensland. …

Lismore Catholic brothers exposed at Royal Commission

NSW, Northern Star, Jessica Grewal, June 10, 2014.

The child abuse royal commission has begun its inquiry into allegations two predator Catholic brothers from Lismore were allowed to damage dozens of children over more than four decades before finally being jailed for their sins. …

Royal commission into child sexual abuse: Canberra hearings to examine Marist Brothers response

ACT, ABC News, Ewan Gilbert, June 10, 2014.

During the 1970s and 80s the Marist College and Daramalan College in Canberra were home to at least five known paedophiles. Four have since been convicted and one took his own life shortly after making his confession. …

Molester unmasked at child sexual abuse inquiry and apologises to victims

ACT, The Canberra Times, David Ellery, June 10, 2014.

It has taken almost 30 years but two women, abused as 10-year-olds by then Marist Brother Gregory Sutton, have finally received an apology from their molester. … The offences occurred while Sutton was a teacher at St Thomas Moore School in Campbelltown in 1984 and 1985. Before this he had taught at Marist College Junior School at Pearce in Canberra from 1980 and 1983. It has been alleged that while in Canberra, Sutton had abused seven boys aged 10 and 11. …

Almost $7 million compensation to Marist Brothers students sexually abused by Brother Kostka

NSW, The Canberra Times, David Ellery, June 10, 2014.

The Marist Brothers have paid out $6.84 million in compensation to 38 former students who were sexually abused by John William Chute, who is also known as Brother Kostka. … Chute is now living in the community in NSW. …

Royal commission names guilty former Marist Brother

NSW, Sydney Morning Herald, David Ellery, June 10, 2014.

The suppression order protecting the identity of former Marist Brother Gregory Sutton found guilty of child abuse in 1996 has been lifted. Sutton has been known as ZA since 1996, but the order was lifted following an application to the NSW District Court by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse sitting in Canberra. …

Pedophile Catholic brothers John Chute and Gregory Sutton continued to teach

ACT, The Australian, Jared Owens, June 10, 2014.

… The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse this morning commenced a hearing into the Marist Brothers' dealings with two pedophile teachers John Chute and Gregory Sutton accused of collectively abusing 69 girls and boys at numerous schools across NSW, Queensland and Canberra. …

Catholic brother did not act on child sexual abuse claim

NSW, The Australian, Dan Box, June 10, 2014.

The former head of a Catholic order, due to give evidence at a royal commission hearing starting today, failed to take any action in response to allegations of child sexual abuse, its lawyers have said. Marist brother Alexis Turton is expected to give evidence during the Canberra hearing …

Jewish volunteer Daniel Robert Hayman avoids jail after being found guilty of sex assault

NSW, Sydney Morning Herald, Emma Partridge June 10, 2014.

A Jewish volunteer found guilty of indecently assaulting a teenage boy at a Yeshiva camp was handed a 19-month suspended jail sentence in a Sydney court on Tuesday. Daniel Robert Hayman did not stop reading from the Book of Pslams as he was given the sentence for touching and holding a 14-year-old boy's penis during a camp at Stanwell Tops in the 1980s. …

Chabad Hasid Gets Suspended Sentence For Child Sex Abuse

NSW, Failed Messiah, June 9, 2014.

… Daniel "Gug" Hayman, a former director of Chabad in Sydney, Australia sexually abused a boy at a Chabad camp in the late 1980s. Hayman went on to fail to comply with his voluntary sex offender counseling in Los Angeles and lived openly there under the partial protection of Debbie Fox, a social worker who at one time was mistakenly believed to be a strong advocate for haredi and Orthodox abuse victims. Hayman was finally arrested in Australia on the old abuse charge and pleaded guilty. …

Call for bishop to step up

NSW, Newcastle Herald, Joanne Mc Carthy, June 9, 2014.

… Adverse findings against two former bishops, the general secretary of the Australian Bishops Conference, and a number of Hunter priests, along with shocking news that a senior Australian Catholic official could be charged with a conceal-type offence relating to the late child sex offender priest Jim Fletcher, had stunned many into silence, he said. But there’s growing anger about the Catholic Church’s, and Bishop Wright’s, muted response to those findings, and the failure to stand down Father Bill Burston and Monsignor Allan Hart as Newcastle parish priests. …

OPINION: Pontifical secret allows abuse to go unpunished

Australia, Newcastle Herald, Kieran Tapsell, June 9, 2014.

The Catholic Church for some 1500 years recognised that simply stripping a priest of his status as a priest was not a sufficient punishment for the sexual abuse of children. Canon law from the 12th century decreed that he should be dismissed from the priesthood and handed over to the civil authority for punishment in accordance with the civil law. … The 1917 Code of Canon Law discarded the decrees requiring priests who sexually assaulted children to be handed over to the civil authorities. Five years later, Pope Pius XI issued his 1922 decree, Crimen Sollicitationis, imposing the “secret of the Holy Office”, a “permanent silence” on all information the Church obtained through its canonical investigations of clergy sex abuse of children. There were no exceptions allowing the reporting of these crimes to the civil authorities. …

Former Marist leader to testify at royal commission

ACT, The Canberra Times, David Ellery, June 9, 2014.

Brother Alexis Turton, the former Provincial of the Marist Brothers who supported Brother Kostka Chute at his trial in 2008, is one of several senior members of the order who will give evidence at the royal commission hearing in Canberra that begins on Tuesday. Three former students of Brother Kostka (aka William John Chute) from Marist College Canberra will also testify before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. …

Brother Kostka Chute: How was this animal allowed to prey on children for 40 years?

ACT, Herald Sun, Janet Fife-Yeomans, June 09, 2014.

… The Catholic order moved Brother Kostka Chute around at least 12 schools across NSW, Canberra and Queensland until he was finally jailed for two years in 2009 after admitting to abusing six of the boys he was teaching. That was only the tip of the iceberg, lawyer Jason Parkinson said yesterday. …

George Pell calls his Sydney archdiocese manager to the Vatican

NSW, Brisbane Times, Ben Doherty, June 9, 2014.

George Pell, the Catholic Church's new finance tsar, has tapped the manager of the Sydney archdiocese's finances to help clean up the Vatican's accounts, which have been plagued by corruption and cronyism scandals. …

Wollongong priest-to-be on the Church, celibacy and child abuse

NSW, Illawarra Mercury, Gemma Khaicy, June 8, 2014.

… Stephen Varney doesn't have sex. He has made a vow of celibacy because, he says, his life is filled with a passion greater than his carnal cravings. … Ironically, he says, this sacrifice allows him to connect with others on a deeper level as he enters the priesthood. ... "I think the Royal Commission needs to happen and I am willing to be that champion of faithful priesthood and helping the victims who have been abused by priests or people in other institutions."

Counting the cost after inquiry rules on whistleblower claims

NSW, The Australian, Dan Box, June 7, 2014.

Outside the office of the Catholic bishop of Maitland-Newcastle, in NSW’s Hunter Valley, hangs a sepia portrait of his predecessor, Leo Clarke, the bishop who protected a pedophile priest. … “I would strongly oppose removing Bishop Clarke’s portrait, because you are almost then trying to censor history. He is part of this story,” says Sean Tynan, manager of the diocese’s child protection service. This small but significant decision is just one part of the reckoning forced on the diocese by the findings of the NSW special commission of inquiry. Nor is the church alone; the local police force and others associated with the “whistleblower” detective who provoked the inquiry are only now beginning to count the cost. …

Fact, fiction and a fight far from over: Special Commission Enquiry report backs Grant

NSW, Dubbo Photo News, Jen Cowley, June 7, 2014.

… This week, a report from the Special Commission of Enquiry – set up to examine claims by former detective Peter Fox about the conduct of police in investigating child sexual abuse in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle – found that Grant, who led those investigations as a young detective during the 90s, was “an impressive and credible witness”, while rejecting Fox’s assertions that Grant had referred to “Catholic mafia” and complained of police hierarchy hindering his investigation. … That the spotlight has returned not only to the Catholic Church, but to all institutions, is vindication enough for Grant. … Grant has been scathing in his condemnation of the involvement of Cardinal George Pell in the alleged cover up of child sexual abuse within the Church, he stands by his call for Australia’s most powerful Catholic to “fall on his sword”. …

Sex abuse and international secrecy imposed by the Vatican [with audio]

Australia, ABC - Religion and Ethics Report, Noel Debien and Tiger Web, June 6, 2014.

 [Crimen Sollicitationis - 1962]

[Crimen Sollicitationis - 1922 - with notes from Thomas Doyle, O.P., J.C.D.]

For 80 years, the Catholic Church did more than discourage the reporting of child sexual abuse, it enforced a policy of strict and absolute secrecy, punishable by excommunication. Noel Debien and Tiger Webb report on ‘crimen sollicitationis’, a papal decree with direct practical effects long after it was repealed. This isn’t a conspiracy.’ Kieran Tapsell is adamant—it’s simply too big for that: 'You can’t have a conspiracy of 5000 bishops.' …

Former Cabberra student tells of being 'victimised' over Marist College abuses

ACT, Canberra Times, David Ellery, June 6, 2014.

Daniel Hopkinson is 36 years old and still waiting for his life to start. The former Marist College Canberra student has never been able to finish a university degree, make a long-term relationship work or secure lasting employment. … He had been prompted to tell his story for the first time in more than two decades by the news the commission was to hold a public hearing in Canberra starting on Tuesday, June 10. ...

Media Statement - Royal Commission appoints new CEO

ACT, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, June 6, 2014.

The Royal Commission has annouced that Philip Reed will commence as Chief Executive Officer from Tuesday 10 June 2014. Philip Reed was most recently Director-General at the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts in Queensland, and prior to that, Director-General of the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General. He brings significant levels of experience in senior levels of government in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.

Royal Commission to hold roundtable on Working with Children Checks

ACT, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, June 6, 2014.

The Royal Commission will hold a roundtable in Canberra to discuss Working with Children Checks. The roundtable discussion, the second by the Royal Commission, will be convened by the Chair of the Royal Commission Justice Peter McClellan AM and Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald AM and will be held at University House, Australian National University on Monday 16 June 2014. …

Psychologist concerned for Hunter Valley police in the wake of wrongful child abuse cover-up claims

NSW, ABC News, Giselle Wakatama, June 6, 2014.

Mental health concerns have been raised about Newcastle police officers wrongly accused of covering up child sex crimes by Catholic priests. A Special Commission of Inquiry into two Hunter Valley paedophile priests Dennis McAlinden and James Fletcher was sparked by allegations by detective Chief inspector Peter Fox. … Newcastle psychologist Roger Peters has treated thousands of police, including some of the officers involved. He says to be wrongly accused of protecting paedophiles is devastating. "They take that as being the equivalent of being a paedophile," he said. "Many of them were quite damaged to begin with and some have become more so as a result of this." …

Lawyer lauds Canberra's role in exposing Catholic sex abuse scandals

ACT, The Age, David Ellery, June 6, 2014.

The prosecution of Canberra Marist Brother John William Chute (aka Brother Kostka) in 2008 and subsequent six-figure civil compensation payouts were crucial in exposing the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal nationwide, ACT lawyer Jason Parkinson says. … "Because they were dealt with in open court, it exposed how the Catholic Church acted in private and people did not like what they saw. This led to the groundswell of disgust that contributed to the decision to establish the royal commission.” …

 Sex case delay ire

NSW, Armidale Express, Victoria Nugent, June 6, 2014.

A magistrate has vented her anger over the 14th delay in the case of a defrocked priest charged with historic child sex offences. The former priest, who cannot be named for legal reasons, first faced Armidale Local Court on October 18, 2012. …

Archbishop prepares parishioners for 'horrendous' child sexual abuse stories

Canberra, ACT, The Age,  David Ellery, June 5, 2014.

The Catholic Archbishop of Goulburn and Canberra has written to parishioners to prepare them ahead of next week’s visit to Canberra by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.  ... “They [the commissioners] will be examining the way in which the Marist Brothers responded to allegations of child sexual abuse in their schools in the ACT, NSW and Queensland,’’ Archbishop Christopher Prowse said. “I write to prepare you for the public testimonies of the very sad experiences of some victims. …

Vatican defended an accused priest

SA, The Australian, Dan Box, June 05, 2014.

… In a public hearing in Sydney, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will investigate the relationship between the Vatican and Archbishop Wilson, during his previous role as the Bishop of Wollongong, south of Sydney. Shortly after his appointment to the diocese, in 1997, local priest John Gerard Nestor was convicted of indecently assaulting a 15-year-old boy several years earlier. …

Hunter Valley Catholic priest charged with child sexual assault offences dating back to 1980s

NSW, ABC News, June 5, 2014.

… Vince Ryan, 76, is accused of a string of offences that allegedly occurred between 1985 and 1986. He faces charges including sexual assault, committing an act of indecency and attempting homosexual intercourse with a male aged between 10 and 18. Investigators from the police Strike Force Georgiana received information about the alleged indecent and sexual assault of a boy in May last year. …

Royal commission to investigate Wollongong diocese case

NSW, Illawarra Mercury, Kate McIlwain, June 4, 2014.

… On Wednesday, the commission announced it would look into the diocese’s response to allegations of sexual assault against then Father John Gerard Nestor, a priest cleared of indecently assaulting a 15-year-old altar boy but later defrocked by the Vatican. The hearing, starting on June 24, will investigate the relationship between the Wollongong diocese and the Vatican concerning preventative and disciplinary actions taken in response to the allegations as well as ‘‘any other related matters’’. …

$22m hit for abuse scandal Catholic diocese

NSW, The Australian, Dan Box, June 04, 2014.

… Bishop Bill Wright also said he was considering whether three senior priests, including a retired bishop and former vicar general, should be withdrawn from ministry after being criticised in the ­report of the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry, released last Friday. Both parishioners and priests of the diocese had been hard hit by the long-running abuse scandal, Bishop Wright said. Attendances at mass were now among the lowest in the country. …

Appalling story of tragic events

NSW, Maitland Mercury, Emma Swain, June 3, 2014.

… The diocesan head this morning broke his silence on the report (released on Friday) saying it was a 'bitter experience' to read the final analysis. … "For me, and others in this diocese, it is a bitter experience to read the report," Bishop Wright said during this morning's media conference. …

Bishop speaks of appalling sex abuse story

NSW, Maitland Mercury, June 3, 2014.

The past three years have weighed heavily on the shoulders of Bishop Bill Wright. Since his arrival to the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese in 2011, the diocesan head has often been forced into the spotlight as the Catholic Church dealt with allegations of historical child sex abuse within its ranks. … “It is spread over 50 odd years and at different times people have known parts of it so it’s a great benefit to us all that the commission has relentlessly tracked down all of the leads, documents and been able to tell the whole story that needed to be told, and it’s an appalling story.” …

Catholic Bishop Bill Wright on Church’s shame, regret

NSW, Newcastle Herald, Jason Gordon, June 3, 2014.

… Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Bill Wright became a willing but heavily burdened face of the Church on Tuesday when he issued a public response to the special commission of inquiry’s findings that during their time in the diocese, at least seven senior clergy had played a role in covering up the abuse by paedophile priests Denis McAlinden and James Fletcher. Bishop Wright, who assumed his role only three years ago, acknowledged that his diocese carried a dark history, a ‘‘sad and sorry story of which we can only be ashamed’’. …

Ex-bishop Michael Malone says evidence misinterpreted

NSW, Newcastle Herald, Jason Gordon, June 3, 2014.

Former Maitland-Newcastle bishop Michael Malone says the inquiry into the Catholic Church’s handling of sexual abuse cases had misinterpreted some of his evidence. … Ms Cunneen ruled that Bishop Malone failed to report McAlinden to police at any stage between 1995 and August 1999. When he handed information to police about allegations made by two victims that year, he withheld similar allegations from another two victims. He was also found to have altered a diary entry ‘‘with the intention of creating a false record to support his version of events’’. …

Catholic Church responds to findings into NSW paedophile priests [w/ audio]

Newcastle, NSW, ABC - The World Today, Thomas Oriti, June 3, 2014.

… The inquiry found that senior officials within the Catholic Church knew about sexual abuse allegations against the priests for decades, but failed to act to protect vulnerable children in their care. The Bishop of the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese, Bill Wright, today expressed his "deep and abiding regret". As Thomas Oriti reports. …

Senior Catholic Church official singled out by Commission of Inquiry referred to NSW Director of Public Prosecutions

Newcastle, NSW, ABC News, Giselle Wakatama, June 3, 2014.

A senior Catholic church official singled out by a New South Wales Commission of Inquiry has had his case referred to the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). … The Commission focused on cover-ups and the concealment of matters, and one confidential volume contains findings that may lead to criminal charges being laid. …

Newcastle's head policeman welcomes special commission findings

Newcastle, NSW, ABC News, June 3, 2014.

Newcastle's head policeman says the findings of the Special Commission of Inquiry into child sexual abuse in the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese highlight the good work done by local officers. Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox, whose concerns sparked the inquiry, not only pointed the finger at the Church but also at his police colleagues for covering up paedophilia within the diocese. … "I'm actually very, very proud of the efforts that police went to in strike force Lantle," he said. …

Shamed, disgusted diocese set to face abuse reality

Newcastle, NSW, Newcastle Herald, June 2, 2014.

A Catholic diocese whose response to child sexual abuse was criticised by a special commission of inquiry will now work through ‘‘the realities’’ of its history, its bishop says. Bishop Bill Wright says the Maitland-Newcastle diocese will have feelings of disgust, anger and betrayal after reading Commissioner Margaret Cunneen’s report looking at how the church handled complaints about former priests Denis McAlinden and Jim Fletcher, both now dead. …

Journalist Joanne McCarthy provided vital assistance to investigators

Newcastle, NSW, Newcastle Herald, June 2, 2014.

A police strike force set up to investigate the alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse within the Catholic diocese would not have happened without the work of journalist Joanne McCarthy, the Special Commission of Inquiry found. In its report released on Friday, the commission found that while McCarthy’s work was responsible for Strike Force Lantle’s formation, she had also provided vital information to police that ultimately led to the inquiry, as well as the royal commission into how various institutions handled sexual abuse allegations. … ‘‘The commission finds no evidence that McCarthy was involved, in league with Fox, in concealing evidence from police and hindering the Strike Force Lantle investigation,’’ commissioner Margaret Cunneen ruled. …

Police commissioner yet to weigh in on Fox

Newcastle, NSW, Newcastle Herald, Jason Gordon and Michelle Harris, June 2, 2014.

Amid all the rage, vindication and soul-searching that has followed the Special Commission of Inquiry’s report into child sexual abuse cover-ups, police commissioner Andrew Scipione still had the plight of victims foremost in his mind during a visit to Newcastle yesterday. … Almost ironically, victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy have rushed to support Mr Fox despite the commission’s adverse findings against him. …

NSW police, Catholic Bishop yet to comment on Special Commission of Inquiry report

NSW, ABC News, June 2, 2014.

Senior Hunter police have spent the weekend pouring over the Special Commission of Inquiry findings but will not comment until the reports contents are fully examined. … 

Catholic witch hunt over paedophiles a warning

NSW, Herald Sun, Andrew Bolt, June 02, 2014.

… Fox triggered a royal commission after telling the ABC’s Lateline in 2012 that paedophile Catholic priests were being protected. He claimed a Catholic mafia in NSW Police had rigged “sham” investigations into Hunter Valley priests that were “set up to fail”. … Here’s the warning: The terrible sins of some clerics has licensed a hate campaign against innocent Catholics. Every witch hunt is the same — denouncers feel holier the wilder their claims.

Victim of paedophile 'hurt' by Fox findings

NSW, Sydney Morning Herald, Joanne McCarthy, Jason Gordon, June 2, 2014.

A paedophile priest victim, whose evidence at the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry reduced people to tears, is ''hurt'' and ''disappointed'' by findings he says lack balance about Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox and what he represents for child sexual abuse victims. ''I gave evidence to give a balanced view on what Peter has done,'' said Daniel Feenan of Maitland. ''I hoped it would be reflected in the findings and it hasn't been, which is why I'm speaking now.'' Mr Feenan's statements to Detective Fox in 2003 led to the conviction of paedophile priest Jim Fletcher, one of two priests who were the subject of the inquiry. …  

Hunter police ‘vindicated’ on handling of sex claims

NSW, Newcastle Herald, Jason Gordon, June 1, 2014.

… Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and Police Minister Stuart Ayres are yet to comment on the report handed down by commissioner Margaret Cunneen on Friday, but association president Scott Weber offered his support to police yesterday. ‘‘The Police Association of NSW is pleased that the special commission has found that officers tasked to investigate the allegations of child sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle have been totally vindicated and their integrity remains intact,’’ Mr Weber said. …

Victims of sex abuse upset only one church figure recommended for prosecution

NSW, Newcastle Herald, Jason Gordon, June 1, 2014.

… The Special Commission of Inquiry on Friday made adverse findings against at least six senior members of the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese, but only one as-yet-unnamed figure has been referred to the Department of Public Prosecutions. Many victims spoken to by the Newcastle Herald echoed the sentiments of one yesterday who said: ‘‘The evidence that the Church knew about [Father Denis] McAlinden for so long is there in black and white. ‘‘Senior clergy went to great lengths to not only cover it up, but protect his name and the Church’s name. It’s all right there in the findings. So why aren’t they all being referred to the DPP?’’ …

Diocese response to child sex inquiry findings

NSW, Maitland Mercury, Andrew Parkinson, June 1, 2014.

Bishop Bill Wright will provide the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese response to the Special Commission of Inquiry’s damning findings into the alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Hunter Region tomorrow morning. …

Whistleblower's child sex abuse claims: call for royal commission to investigate

NSW, The Guardian (UK), AAP, May 31, 2014.

Evidence by a whistleblower, Peter Fox, about the alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church’s Maitland-Newcastle diocese should be investigated by the federal royal commission, the NSW Greens and survivor advocates say. …  A small band of Fox's supporters, who are challenging the inquiry’s findings, including abuse survivors’ families, rallied outside NSW Parliament House on Saturday. …

Royal Commission reveals institutional child abuse

Sydney, Green Left Weekly, Coral Wynter, May 31, 2014.

… The Commission has so far received 11,900 calls, almost 5000 letters and emails, and has heard 1500 private sessions by victims. Any one individual story is first heard in a private session and after all the evidence is collected, a public hearing occurs as an example of the abuse that occurred in that particular institution. From these figures, it can be seen that the sexual abuse by institutions in Australia occurred on a large scale. There are estimates that only 10% of all the victims have come forward. … Lewis Blayse was allegedly a victim of child abuse by the Salvation Army at its Alkira Home in Indooroopilly, Queensland. He died of an aortic aneurysm in February, the night after he was interviewed by ABC’s 7.30. … Nicky Davis says she was a victim of a paedophile priest from the Catholic Church when she was only 12 years old. She was part of an international delegation who went to Rome to protest the canonisation of Pope John Paul II in April this year. They protested because Pope John Paul II had been pope for 27 years and did nothing about the sexual abuse even though the survivors had made hundreds of official complaints. …

Special Commission of Inquiry: 'Hero' officer Peter Fox branded a liar

Sydney, Sydney Morning Herald, Rachel Browne & Jason Gordon, May 31, 2014.

The ''hero cop'' whose explosive claims about NSW Police handling of Catholic Church child abuse helped spark a royal commission, has been branded a liar in a report handed to the state government on Friday. …

Sexual abuse victims and families pay tribute to whistleblower cop

Sydney, NSW, ABC News, May 31, 2014.

A woman whose son was abused by a paedophile priest, has described a police whistleblower as a man of great integrity. … The inquiry's report, tabled yesterday, was damning of Detective Chief Inspector Fox, saying he was not a credible witness and that there was no evidence to show senior police ever tried to stop child abuse offences from being properly investigated. But Pat Feenan, whose son was abused by Father James Fletcher, says they will always be thankful to Peter Fox. "Personally I have found Peter Fox to be very credible," she said. …

Aussie- Report delivers hope for justice at last amid attack on whistleblower

Sydney, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, May 31, 2014

Statement by Nicky Davis, SNAP Australia Leader (04 4901 8594, nicky@nickydavis.com.au)

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests welcomes the finding of the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry, released yesterday, which revealed that there were grounds for charges to be laid against one senior Australian Catholic church official. According to Nicky Davis, of SNAP Australia, “We urge the NSW Government and the Department of Public Prosecutions to end the decades of inaction on this issue and finally bring a first Australian prosecution of a Catholic official for the cover-up of child sex crimes.” …

EDITORIAL: Damning report on Catholic Church

Sydney, Newcastle Herald, May 30, 2014.

… What the Church knew might have resulted in criminal charges against clergy long before some of these were actually laid, had the Church seen fit to tell the police its information. The Church’s failure to reveal potentially criminal behaviour allowed serial offender Denis McAlinden – who molested scores of children over a long disgraceful career as a priest – to continue his offences. …

'We were afraid to claim abuse'

Wodonga, VIC, Border Mail, Nigel McNay, May 30, 2014.

Rhonda was 10 when she was sent to St John’s Orphanage in Thurgoona back in the late 1960s. By the time she left “in the very early 1970s” she had suffered abuse that haunts her to this day. “Yes, I was sexually abused and physically abused while I was in institutionalised care, which was purely at St John’s,” she said. Rhonda did not want to go into the detail, saving it for her confidential testimony to the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse. …

Child sex abuse: fears after funding cuts to royal commission

Wodonga, VIC, Border Mail, May 30, 2014.

A woman who recently gave testimony of sexual and physical abuse at a long-closed Albury-Wodonga girls’ home yesterday slammed a $6.7 million funding cut to a related royal commission. Five weeks ago Rhonda recounted the horrors of her time at St John’s Orphanage to a commissioner in Melbourne. … The Attorney-General’s Department has defended the redeployment last year of $4 million from the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse capital works budget — plus $2.7 million from a pool for witness legal costs — to the home insulation inquiry. …

Special Commission of Inquiry clears police, finds whistleblower Peter Fox 'not credible' over child abuse cover-up claims

Sydney, 7 News, Tahmina Ansari, May 30, 2014.

… The four-volume report, three volumes of which have been released by Commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC, uncovered no evidence to show that senior police ever tried to ensure child abuse offences were not properly investigated. It found Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox was not a credible witness and that it was appropriate for senior police to instruct Chief Inspector Fox to cease his own investigations. …

Abuse cover-up inquiry: whistleblower found to be an unsatisfactory witness

Sydney, The Guardian (UK), AAP, May 30, 2014.

… However, the special commission of inquiry also found that the response by senior church officials into abuse claims made against two Catholic priests, who are both now dead, was ''inexcusable''. The 750-page report also said there is sufficient evidence to warrant the prosecution of a senior church official. …

Special Commission of Inquiry findings into sexual abuse delivered

Sydney, Sydney Morning Herald, Matt Carr, May 30, 2014.

… The special commission presented its report to NSW Governor Marie Bashir on Friday after extensive hearings in 2013. The inquiry covered conduct by clergy, particularly in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese, over knowledge of child sexual abuse by priests Denis McAlinden and James Fletcher. The special commission explored "the extent to which those officials facilitated, assisted or otherwise hindered or obstructed" police investigations. …

OPINION: Credit people power for special inquiry report

NSW, Newcastle Herald, Peter Gogarty, May 30, 2014.

In August 2012 I wrote to every state and federal politician in Australia. I urged them to support the rising wave of community insistence that formal inquiries into child abuse be established. … I will allow history to judge my prediction.

Church abuse inquiry rejects claims of ‘obsessed’ detective Peter Fox

Sydney, The Australian, Dan Box, May 30, 2014.

A whistleblower detective who used a live ABC interview to criticise the NSW Police Force over its handling of child sex abuse is an unsatisfactory witness who gave untruthful evidence about both his employer and the Catholic Church, a state inquiry has found. …

Hiding abuse remains an unresolved crime [with video]

Sydney, Newcastle Herald, Joanne McCarthy, May 30, 2014.

There are four volumes in the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry report released by Commissioner Margaret Cunneen, SC, yesterday. But within those hundreds of pages is a single key line that validates, vindicates and justifies the efforts of so many. There is ‘‘sufficient evidence warranting the prosecution of a senior Catholic Church official in connection with the concealment of child sexual abuse’’ relating to the late Hunter priest Jim Fletcher, the report found. And this is significant for so many reasons. It is significant in world terms. …

Royal Commission Must Urgently Investigate a Potential “Catholic Mafia” Within Australian Law Enforcement (Or: Peter Fox is no Liar and We Know It)

Sydney, lewisblayse.net, May 30, 2014.

Yesterday, the NSW Special Commission of Enquiry handed down its final report. … DCI Fox first become concerned about possible collusion between some police officers and the Catholic Church as a possible explanation for the problem in 2002. Eventually, after years of behind-the-scenes activity, in frustration at lack of action in dealing with the problems he observed, he took the only recourse available to him: speaking to the media. He did so out of concern for victims and their families, and for protection of children in the future. Speaking on ABC’s Lateline program in late 2012, DCI Fox said: “There’s something very wrong when you have so many paedophile priests operating in such a small area for such an extended period of time with immunity.” …

Special Commission of Inquiry findings delivered [w/ video statement from Newcastle Herald journalist Joanne McCarthy]

Sydney, Newcastle Herald, Jason Gordon, May 30, 2014.

A Special Commission of Inquiry into the alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Hunter Region has determined that several senior Catholic clergy deliberately mislead investigations and were unreliable, unsatisfactory and untruthful witnesses. It has also determined that the police detective who instigated the commission had ‘‘exaggerated’’ evidence, had been ‘‘deliberately untruthful’’, illegally shared sensitive information with a journalist and had developed an ‘‘obsession about the Catholic church and alleged conspiracies involving senior police’’. …

NSW child sexual abuse inquiry finds evidence to charge senior Catholic Church official [w/ video]

Sydney, ABC – Lateline, Jason Om, May 30, 2014.

 An inquiry into child sexual abuse in the Hunter region of NSW has found there is enough evidence to charge a senior Catholic Church official with concealing the activities of a notorious paedophile priest. The Special Commission into abuse allegations and their alleged cover-up in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese has delivered its final report calling the failure of clergy to report decades of abuse to police as inexcusable. But it has also slammed the credibility of the detective chief inspector who sparked the inquiry finding him to be an unsatisfactory and at times untruthful witness. Inspector Peter Fox had accused senior police of hindering sex abuse investigations but the commission says NSW police acted appropriately. Jason Om reports. …

Inquiry finds church personnel covered up abuse for decades [w/ audio]

Sydney, ABC News-PM, Thomas Oriti, May 30, 2014.

The Special Commission of Inquiry's damning findings are not limited to detective chief inspector Peter Fox. Commissioner Margaret Cunneen says that for decades, senior officials within the Catholic Church knew about the sexual abuse allegations but failed to act. Support groups for victims worry that the findings against Peter Fox will 'bury' the cover-up. …

Police whistleblower labelled an obsessive and zealot in Catholic child abuse inquiry report [w/ audio]

Sydney, ABC News-PM, Nick Grimm, May 30, 2014.

A special commission of inquiry into allegations that a Catholic mafia in New South Wales colluded with the Church to cover up child sexual abuse by clergy has today handed down its findings. But the main target of its criticism is the man who became a national champion for child abuse survivors when he blew the whistle on so-called 'sham' investigations that were 'set up to fail'. Detective chief inspector Peter Fox has been labelled in the report as an obsessive and a zealot, whose evidence lacked any credibility. But the public report of the inquiry is also notable for what's not in it. There are also adverse credibility findings about senior church officials, but they're in a confidential volume of the report that won't be released until potential criminal proceedings have been determined. …

Critical failures from Church in cover-up

Sydney, Newcastle Herald, Jason Gordon, May 30, 2014.

It’s volume four that Lou Pirona is most interested in. Like the families of other victims of predatory Catholic priests, Mr Pirona is taking more comfort in the fact that charges are looming for at least one of the Church’s senior clergy who covered up for a priest’s paedophilia. ‘‘The fact of the matter is that senior Church officials were protected, and could have remained protected forever by the Church hierarchy,’’ said Mr Pirona, whose son John took his own life in 2012 after ‘‘too much pain’’ from being sexually abused as a child by Hunter priest John Denham. John’s death was the catalyst for the Newcastle Herald’s Shine the Light campaign, which led to the federal royal commission into institutional child abuse. …

Peter Fox: I would do it again

Sydney, Newcastle Herald, Jason Gordon, May 30, 2014.

He’s been battered by the very commission of inquiry which he instigated, but Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox says he would ‘‘not hesitate to walk the same path again’’.  Speaking exclusively to the Newcastle Herald, Mr Fox vigorously defended himself and his actions following yesterday’s final report handed down by Commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC. The report found there was no evidence to support claims that a ‘‘Catholic mafia’’ existed within police ranks, nor Mr Fox’s claims that a strikeforce set up to investigate alleged cover-ups was a ‘‘sham’’ designed to fail. Mr Fox, who has been on stress leave since the middle of 2012 and is close to finalising his employment with the NSW Police Force, said much of his evidence to the commission had been distorted. …

Child abuse inquiry report today

NSW, Maitland Mercury, Emma Swain, May 29, 2014.

A report into the Special Commission of Inquiry into alleged child abuse in the Catholic diocese of Maitland-Newcastle will be delivered to the Governor today. Commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC will deliver the report which will also include a recommendation regarding the publication of the document. … The NSW inquiry was launched in 2012 to investigate alleged abuse by senior church members, along with allegations the church helped cover up those offences.

Sexual abuse report due

NSW, ABC – Lateline, Tony Jones, May 29, 2014.

 A special commission of inquiry into sexual abuse and alleged cover-up in the New South Wales Hunter Region is due to hand down its findings tomorrow, but part of the final report will kept confidential. … Commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC heard evidence about how the police and the Church responded to paedophilia within the Church, including the activities of the now-deceased priests, Denis McAlinden and James Fletcher. …

Govt under fire over movement of money to home insulation inquiry [w/ audio]

ACT, ABC - The World Today, James Glenday, May 28, 2014.

Labor and the Greens are demanding to know why the Federal Government has taken millions of dollars out of the budget for the Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission. The Government has redirected that money into the Royal Commission into the Rudd government's home insulation scheme. From Parliament House, James Glenday reports. …

Department defends claims sexual abuse commission funding redirected to insulation inquiry [w/ video]

ACT, ABC News – AM, May 28, 2014.

… The child sexual abuse royal commission is operating on a budget of $377 million until mid-2016. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has described it as "the best-funded royal commission in Australia's history". Documents provided to the Senate have shown that late last year, $6.7 million was redirected from the child abuse inquiry and put towards the home insulation royal commission. Labor frontbencher Mark Dreyfus had demanded the Government explain "what they've done by taking funding away". …

Tony Abbott defends funding of royal commission into sexual abuse, denying it will be short-changed [w/ video]

ACT, Sydney Morning Herald, Michael Gordon and Rachel Browne, May 28, 2014.

Tony Abbott has predicted that the inquiry into institutional responses to child sexual abuse will be "best-funded royal commission in Australia history" after conceding that the inquiry had underspent its budget last year. … "At the moment, it seems to be adequately resourced, but the main game here will be for governments to appropriately resource the royal commission to finish its job," said Francis Sullivan, chief executive of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council of the Catholic Church. The inquiry is expected next month to seek an extension beyond its December 2015 wind-up date, with Attorney-General George Brandis saying any request, and that additional resources that will be required, will be "fully and properly considered". …

COMMENT: Politics put before justice

ACT, Newcastle Herald, Joanne McCarthy May 28, 2014.

The Abbott government’s decision to reallocate money from the child sexual abuse royal commission to its inquiry into the former government’s home insulation scheme is an own goal for a few reasons. It reinforces the widespread belief this government puts politics before just about anything. By transferring money from a royal commission that has so comprehensively proven it was needed to another that was too easily labelled a political witch hunt, the government is giving critics a free kick and an easy target. …

Child abuse inquiry funding sufficient, says government

ACT, The Australian, AAP, May 28, 2014.

The Abbott government insists the royal commission into child sex abuse has sufficient funds, despite some of its funding being funnelled into the home insulation inquiry. The attorney-general’s department has revealed $4 million was redirected to the “pink batts’’ royal commission. But the government says the amount came from ”savings’’ in the department’s capital budget and from money allocated but not used by the child abuse royal commission for witness legal costs. … Opposition Leader Bill Shorten called on Tony Abbott to urgently reconsider the changes. …

Sex abuse inquiry savings 'are result of lower-than-expected costs'

ACT, The Guardian (UK), Daniel Hurst, May 28, 2014.

… The opposition questioned the redirection of $6.7m of previously earmarked funds into a separate royal commission – the Abbott government-ordered inquiry into Labor’s home insulation program – and accused the attorney general, George Brandis, of concealing the decision. …

Attorney General Senator George Brandis accused of covering up movement of royal commission fund

ACT, news.com.au, May 28, 2014.

In what has been described by Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus as an “indication of the government’s twisted priorities”, the accusation comes after Senate Estimates revealed the Abbott government shifted millions of dollars in unspent money from the child sexual abuse royal inquiry to the inquiry into the former-Labor government’s home insulation program. … The Attorney-General's Department revealed $6.7 million designated for the 18-month-old the child sexual abuse royal inquiry was redirected to the insulation commission.

Janette Dines resignation: Chief executive of royal commission into child sexual abuse steps down

Sydney, 7 News, ABC, Dan Oakes with Thomas Oriti, May 27, 2014.

The chief executive of the royal commission into child sexual abuse has resigned. Janette Dines was appointed to the commission in late 2012 and was previously the director-general of Emergency Management Australia. … Ms Dines, who has been a Commonwealth public servant for 20 years, will leave the position on June 6. While the circumstances surrounding her departure remain unclear, the ABC understands Ms Dines will be returning to a previous role. … But support groups for victims are worried that the resignation has come at a pivotal point for the royal commission. … "When you've got Janette resigning, you can't help but have a level of trepidation about where this is all going."

Popes ordered silence, former judge Kieran Tapsell claims in book

NSW, Newcastle Herald, Joanne McCarthy, May 27, 2014.

A former NSW judge who studied to be a priest with a future notorious Hunter child sex offender has launched a devastating critique of the Catholic Church’s six popes, including two new saints, who covered up a global child sex abuse crisis for nearly a century. … He reserved some of his most devastating criticism for Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, who blamed Irish bishops in 2010 after the release of damning reports into child sexual abuse in that country, but failed to mention bishops were prohibited from reporting cases to police. …

Pope says 'no privileges' for bishops on abuse

The West Australian, AFP, May 27, 2014.

Aboard Papal Plane (Undefined) - Pope Francis on Monday warned there were "no privileges" for bishops when it came to child sex crimes and said he would hold a special mass with victims next week in the Vatican. "Three bishops are being investigated," Francis told reporters on his return flight from the Middle East when asked about the thousands of scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church. "One of them has already been convicted. There are no privileges. Priests who do this are betraying the Lord," said the Argentine pontiff, who has set up a new committee to root out abuse. …

Salvos doorknock donations drop nearly 20% in wake of abuse inquiry

Australia, The Guardian (UK), Helen Davidson, May 26, 2014.

… The Red Shield Appeal doorknock – which sees scores of volunteers visit homes and public places across the country – raised just $4.97m on the weekend, according to the interim Sunday evening tally, well short of the $10m goal. It was a drop of just under 20% on last year’s count, taken at the same time, of $6.17m. Previous appeals have also seen a decline year on year, but only of between 5% and 6%. … Harmer conceded the royal commission had played a role both the drop in donations and the lower than normal number of volunteers, although it was “a bit hard to quantify just how big.” …

Frank Klep, former Victorian Catholic priest and teacher at Salesian College, sentenced to 10 years in prison

VIC, ABC News, Peta Carlyon, May 26, 2014.

Paedophile Victorian priest Frank Klep has been sentenced to 10 and a half years in prison for sex offences. Klep taught at Salesian College Rupertswood in Sunbury, north of Melbourne, in the 1970s and '80s. … Judge Frank Gucciardo described the 70-year-old's conduct as appalling, predatory and vile, and said it had created devastating lifelong consequences for Klep's victims and their families. …

'Evil hypocrite' Vic priest Klep jailed

VIC, SBS, AAP, May 26, 2014.

… A judge has choked back tears as he condemned a pedophile priest for plunging to "the depths of evil hypocrisy" by abusing vulnerable schoolboys. Victorian County Court Judge Frank Gucciardo said Frank Klep used vulnerable young men for his "vile sexual gratification". Klep preyed on boarders and sick children sent to his care at the infirmary he controlled at Salesian College, Rupertswood, and continued the abuse when he returned to the school as principal. …

'Your conduct plumbs the depths of evil hypocrisy': Judge breaks down in TEARS and has to leave court during sentencing of paedophile priest who abused 15 boys

VIC, Daily Mail (UK), Emily Crane, May 26, 2014.

A judge was forced to halt his sentencing of a Victorian paedophile priest after he became visibly upset while speaking about his 'evil’ crimes. Judge Frank Gucciardo choked back tears and had to briefly leave the courtroom after describing the impact of Frank Klep's abuse of 15 schoolchildren during his sentencing on Monday morning. … 'The young men you have abused were broken by your conduct,’ Judge Gucciardo said. …

Family of sex abuse victim urges other victims to come forward

VIC, ABC Ballarat, Lily Partland, May 26, 2014.

Peter Watson's life was torn apart when his school priest sexually abused him. Now Peter's brother, Mick, is calling on other victims of the former Ararat priest to come forward. Mick and Peter Watson were raised as Catholics and attended a Catholic secondary school in Ararat, Marian College. … That was until 1991, when a relatively young priest arrived at the school. He "wasn't a stereotypical priest", and a lot of the kids got on well with him. One of those who became friendly with Father Paul David Ryan was Peter. …

Greens MP calls for release of Special Commission report

NSW, ABC News, May 26, 2014.

Greens MP David Shoebridge is urging the State Government not to delay the release of a report on the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into child sexual abuse in the Hunter. … The inquiry looked at claims police and the Catholic Church covered up abuse by two Maitland-Newcastle paedophile priests, James Fletcher and Denis McAlinden. Green MP David Shoebridge says the report should be made public as soon as possible. …

Child abuse victim Gordon Grant wants the scene of his ‘hell’ kept open

Perth, WA, Herald Sun, Emily Moulton, May 26, 2014.

YOU would think that, after enduring years of unimaginable abuse at Bindoon, Gordon Grant would want the former Christian Brothers orphanage razed to the ground. … He says he has no pleasant memories of the Catholic-run agricultural college yet he wants the school to thrive, to become a beacon of vocational education, even though it serves as a constant reminder of the suffering hundreds of children endured at the hands of the Christian Brothers. …

Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant to act on abuse and violence as he takes lead Jewish role

Melbourne, Herald Sun, Stephen Mcmahon Herald, May 26, 2014.

… Melbourne’s longtime Jewish leader Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant will today be elevated to the role of president of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australia at its conference in Caulfield — making him the defacto leader of the Jewish community. … Rabbi Kluwgant said modernising the faith’s awareness around the dangers of sexual abuse and family violence were his top priorities. …

Don't let budget 'emergency' overshadow child abuse inquiry [Editorial]

The Age, The Canberra Times, May 25, 2014.

While it is self-evident the current government has many issues, the bulk of which seem to be financial, it should be careful not to lose sight of its responsibility to address a much broader range of community concerns than just the budget bottom line. One of those concerns is the tragic issue of child abuse within a wide range of organisations including the Catholic Church, the Salvation Army and others. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hold a hearing in Canberra 15 days from now, having already conducted public hearings in most other states. While the public hearing will be limited to matters affecting the Marist Brothers, its chief executive officer, Janette Dines, has confirmed to this paper that it has already held 47 private sessions here after receiving more than 500 calls. …

Illawarra Salvos appeal gets strong support

NSW, Illawarra Mercury, Gemma Khaicy, May 25, 2014.

This year's Red Shield Appeal yielded both donations and heartwarming stories as people across the Illawarra shared some of their struggles to volunteers over the weekend. … Volunteers were briefed about the royal commission into child abuse, but thankfully weren't hassled about it, …

Salvation Army says donations from its Red Shield Appeal not to fund compensation for victims of abuse

QLD & NSW, Daily Telegraph, Michael Madigan, May 24, 2014.

Child sexual abuse and a tough federal Budget will both have an impact on this weekend’s annual Red Shield Appeal. … The Salvos have been concerned by reports that money raised in their 50th Red Shield Appeal will go to victims of abuse identified in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse. … “We would never compromise our frontline services by doing something inappropriate with the donations,’’ Major Dickson says.

Church could have named predator, royal commission told

QLD, Central Queensland News, Jessica Grewal, May 24, 2014.

Senior members of the Lismore Catholic Diocese had the chance to publicly shame a predator priest and strip him of his title, more than a decade before he died, the royal commission has heard. In her final submission to the inquiry into the Church's response to Lismore victim Jennifer Ingham, Senior Counsel Gail Furness said it was open to the panel to find the Diocese could have called on the Holy See to dismiss alcoholic child abuser Rex Brown. …

Child sex abuse victims name 17 institutions for royal commission submission

Ballarat, VIC, The Courier, Fiona Henderson, May 23, 2014.

Seventeen institutions have been named on Ballarat’s child sexual abuse survivors’ group submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse. Nine of the institutions are local, with another eight from around Victoria, where abuse allegedly took place. Survivor Peter Blenkiron said many individuals who had joined the submission were also taking major steps forward by changing from anonymous to named victims. ...

Marist College Canberra headmaster prepares school for royal commission

Canberra, ACT, Canberra Times, David Ellery, May 23, 2014.

Marist College Canberra headmaster Richard Sidorko met with students on Friday to explain the background to next month's visit to the ACT by the sexual abuse royal commission. … A commission spokeswoman said the hearing would focus on abuses committed by Brother John Chute (aka Brother Kosta) and former Brother ZA. …

UN Committee Addresses Clergy Rape and Sexual Violence as Torture

Geneva & New York, Center for Constitutional Rights, May 23, 2014.

Today, the United Nations Committee Against Torture found that the widespread sexual violence within the Catholic church amounted to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment prohibited by theUnited Nations Convention Against Torture. The committee issued concluding observations following its questioning of Vatican representatives, earlier in May, regarding the Vatican’s record on preventing, punishing and redressing torture. … “The committee called the widespread sexual violence within the Church what it is: torture,” said Center for Constitutional Rights Senior Staff Attorney Pam Spees. “This is an important recognition of the gravity of these offenses that have been minimized by the Church, places responsibility where it belongs – with the hierarchy in the Church, not the victims – and could help open new avenues for redress.” …

U.N. Panel Says Vatican Is Lax Over Abusive Priests

Geneva, The New York Times, Nick Cumming-Bruce and Laurie Goodstein, May 23, 2014.

The Vatican on Friday faced criticism from a United Nations panel for the second time this year over failures to report priests accused of sexually abusing children to civil authorities or to ensure redress for victims. The panel, which is monitoring the Holy See’s compliance with an international treaty prohibiting torture, called on the Vatican to “take effective measures” to monitor the behavior of individuals under its control and prevent abuse. In a statement, the Holy See said the Committee Against Torture had not found it in violation of the treaty, which prohibits torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Panel members bluntly contradicted that assertion. The committee makes recommendations when it sees states that are not living up to the requirements of the convention, and had issued eight pages of recommendations to the Holy See over what it said were its failures in preventing abuse, investigating accusations and compensating victims, Felice Gaer, the committee’s vice chairwoman told reporters in Geneva. “You have the answer in front of you,” she said.

Geneva- SNAP responds to new UN report blasting Vatican

SNAP Statement, Miguel Hurtado, May 23, 2014.

For the second time this year, an international panel of experts is harshly criticizing the Catholic hierarchy for endangering children. … We are also grateful that the UN panel isn't buying what the Vatican is selling – the patently absurd and self-serving claim that top officials in this powerful global monarchy lack real power or responsibility to protect kids from predators (and must only rely on the actions of thousands of individual bishops across the planet). (The committee writes “States bear international responsibility for the acts and omissions of their officials and others acting in an official capacity or acting on behalf of the state, in conjunction with the state, under its direction or control…extends to actions and omissions.. deployed on operations abroad.”) … Given the long history of broken promises by many Catholic officials on the crisis, it’s also misguided at best and harmful at worst for anyone to give any credence whatsoever to the latest in a long string of biased, untested church abuse panels. Dozens or hundreds of such church committees at local levels have produced only minimal progress. It's irresponsible for anyone to praise another panel that has yet to take even one tangible step that protects even one child or exposes even one predator or enabler. …

Holy See responds to UN Torture Committee report [with audio]

Vatican City, Vatican Radio, May 23, 2014.

The Holy See has responded to the Concluding Observations of the Committee of the UN’s Convention Against Torture on the Holy See’s Initial Report. The Holy See has issued a Communiqué saying that the Observations contain several positive elements, as well as some few points that require further clarification and elucidation. he said, adding that the report also notes the Holy See’s efforts to institute reforms to prevent sexual abuse and to compensate and facilitate the care and healing of the victims of sexual abuse. …

UN Committee against Torture critical of Vatican's refusal to assist investigations into child sex abuse

Geneva, ABC News (Australia), Mary Gearin, May 23, 2014.

The UN's torture watchdog has criticised the Vatican for its reported refusal to provide information to authorities, including a NSW inquiry into child sex abuse. The committee in Geneva says it is concerned about allegations that last year the Vatican's representative in Australia invoked diplomatic immunity when refusing to provide documents to assist the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into sex abuse. The UN Committee against Torture has called on the Vatican to cooperate promptly with civil authorities. …

Second UN panel condemns Vatican’s record on abuse – but recognises Francis' reform efforts

Geneva, The Tablet (UK), Hannah Roberts, May 23, 2014.

The United Nations has issued a second damning report into the Vatican’s response to the child sex abuse scandal, but paid tribute to recent efforts by Pope Francis to improve the Church’s record on safeguarding. In a report issued today, the UN Committee against Torture accused the Holy See of failing to report allegations of abuse to authorities, refusing to disclose information for criminal proceedings and transferring clergy to other dioceses, where they were able to molest children again. But there was some praise for progress made by Pope Francis, in particular the recognition of crimes against minors and the establishment of the Pontifical commission for protection of minors. …

White Shield Appeal, 24-25 May, 2014: Tell the Salvos: Clean Up Your Act!

QLD & NSW, lewisblayse.net, May 20, 2014.

… If the Salvation Army thinks it can get away with glossing over issues of the most serious magnitude with these kinds of responses, this tells me it still doesn’t ‘get’ the seriousness of the issues.  That’s why I’ve decided to launch the White Shield Appeal. …  On http://www.whiteshieldappeal.org, there are links to articles about stories that will already be familiar to people who’ve been following the media’s reporting on the issues, and some that may have escaped some readers’ attention. I urge readers of this blog to revisit the issues raised in these articles and see for themselves the full extent of the harm that has been inflicted on so many innocent people through the organisational failings of the Salvation Army. …

Is the Vatican Guilty of Torture?

Geneva, Foreign Policy, Christian Caryl,  May 20, 2014.

On May 23, a United Nations committee is set to publish its verdict … If the U.N. Committee Against Torture rules against the Holy See, church leaders will have only themselves to blame. Both the recently canonized John Paul II and his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, could have chosen to tackle the abuse allegations head-on. Instead they went to considerable effort to cover up cases of abuse, in some cases moving suspect priests away from their accusers to help them evade criminal responsibility. …  If members of the panel deem the Holy See to be guilty of abetting torture, that could encourage the filing of allegations dating back, well, forever. …

Australian Survivors 6 - To Hell and Back

AUSTRALIA, YouTube, May 20, 2014.
 
An abuse survivor now living in London, UK, has used all photos in his possession to produced this video which runs for about 24 minutes.

Royal Commission to hold private sessions in Brisbane

Brisbane, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, May 20, 2014.

From today, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hold 7 days of private sessions in Brisbane over the next two weeks. “All people affected by child sexual abuse while in the care of an Australian institution have the opportunity to tell the Royal Commission of their experiences in a private session with a Commissioner. …

Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry: Probe in Australia return to quiz more witnesses

Northern Ireland, Belfast Telegraph, Deborah Mcaleese, May 20, 2014.

A team from the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry is to travel to Australia next month to speak to a "significant" number of alleged victims. The team, including inquiry chairman, retired judge Sir Anthony Hart, will examine the operation of a child migrant scheme involving the transfer of children from institutions in Northern Ireland to institutions throughout Australia. …

Northern Ireland abuse inquiry to interview victims in Australia

Northern Ireland, Irish Times, May 19, 2014.

The UK’s largest ever public inquiry into institutional child abuse is to travel to Australia to interview alleged victims transferred from Northern Ireland. More than 100 children were removed from church-run residential homes in Northern Ireland, most to Western Australia after the war. An investigation chaired by retired judge Sir Anthony Hart is examining whether they were physically, sexually or emotionally harmed during their journey. …

Perth teacher molested students for years despite warnings [w/ audio]

Perth, WA, ABC – AM, Thomas Oriti, May 19, 2014.

The royal commission into child sexual abuse is preparing to hear evidence that a teacher at a Perth school molested students in his classroom. The man abused primary school students for a decade, despite repeated warnings from other teachers. Concerns were raised as recently as 2009. And because the victims are still young, there are strict rules on what can be said in the public hearing. Thomas Oriti reports. …

Victim told to pay sexual abuser's legal costs [w/ video]

NSW, 9 News, May 19, 2014.

A former teacher convicted of sexually abusing his student four decades ago is suing his victim for the legal costs of a compensation that never made it to court. Neville Betteridge, 70, was convicted of sexually abusing his 14-year-old student, Mark Wurth, when he was a geography teacher and house master the Blue Mountains Grammar School in the 1970s. … At the time, the affluent school in Wentworth Falls was run by the Anglican Church and operated as a boarding school. … Sometime later, Mr Wurth received a bill from lawyers representing the former teacher demanding he pay the $10,000 legal costs of his court preparation — a bill that has since grown to $20,000.  

Royal Commission into child sex abuse to hold private sessions in the Kimberley

Perth, WA, Courier Mail, May 18, 2014.

The Royal Commission investigating child sex abuse in institutions will hold private sessions in the Kimberley region of Western Australia on Monday. … “We strongly encourage all survivors who wish to share their story in private with a commissioner to make contact with the Royal Commission or a local support service,” Ms Dines said. …

Witnesses pass buck in child sex abuse inquiry

Toowoomba, QLD, The Chronicle, Chris Calcino, May 16, 2014.

Former Catholic school principal Terence Hayes has defended his decision not to notify police of abuse claims against pedophile teacher Gerard Vincent Byrnes. … Byrnes is serving 10 years' imprisonment for 44 child sex offences involving 13 girls aged between eight and 10 years old at a Toowoomba school. "Whilst Mr Hayes accepts responsibilities for his own failures to comply with (or indeed consult) the student protection kit, there is a systemic issue here ... he did not receive the advice which he ought to have been given - in particular to comply with the student protection kit," Mr Hayes' submission stated. 

Salvos fundraising could take a hit after damaging Royal Commission hearings

Newcastle, NSW, ABC News, May 16, 2014.

The Salvation Army says it expects recent negative publicity surrounding the organisation at the Royal Commission into child sex abuse to have an effect on its fundraising efforts. … The Royal Commission recently heard evidence that the organisation promoted a confessed child sex offender, Major Colin Haggar, who went on to work in senior roles in the Newcastle region. …

Hayman: to be sentenced this month

Sydney, J-Wire, May 15, 2014.

 Sydney Yeshiva camp volunteer Daniel “Gug” Hayman has pleaded guilty to indecent assault by a person of authority on two male complainants and a charge of indecency against a female complaint has been dropped. …

Number of people reporting abuse at North Catholic up to 19

Pittsburgh, PA, USA, Tribune-Review, Bill Zlatos, May 14, 2014.

The scope of one of the largest sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh grew Wednesday with the disclosure that 19 people have made 23 allegations of abuse by members of a religious order at the former North Hills Catholic High School. … The scandal began on March 20 when the diocese learned that Marianist Brother Bernard Hartman, 74, a former science teacher at North Catholic, is awaiting trial in Australia on charges he molested four students at a Catholic school there in the 1970s and ‘80s.

Inquiries to cost about $260mln

ACT, Sky News, May 15, 2014.

The cost of three royal commissions, including an inquiry into child sexual abuse, is running at $260 million. The total government outlay for the investigations over three years from 2013/14 comes to $260.3 million, the federal budget papers show. …

Risk of false sex abuse claims turning young men off teaching careers, union fears

SA, ABC News,  Caroline Winter, May 13, 2014.

The Australian Education Union (AEU) is worried young men are turning away from teaching as a career option for fear of being falsely accused of child-sex offences. … There has been a decline in male teachers in schools for some years and president of the AEU David Smith says it is understandable why this has happened. "A number of young men ... or men of any age for that matter have been put off, they've told us, by the potential litigation that there might be should there be some sort of vexatious, unfounded accusation against them," he said. …

Royal Commission seeks Jewish victims

Australia, J-Wire, May 13, 2014.

… Royal Commission CEO Janette Dines said that while more than 1,500 people from across Australia have shared their story with a Commissioner, there may be many more who are yet to make contact with the Royal Commission. … According to the research around 65% of those surveyed were aware of the Royal Commission however of these:
* people aged 50+ were most likely to be aware of the Royal Commission
* 24% did not know the role of the Royal Commission
* 40% did not know which organisations the Royal Commission could examine and 37% thought   the Royal Commission could only examine religious organisations
* 50% did not know how to share their story with the Royal Commission
* residents from NSW/ACT were most likely to be aware of the Royal Commission (74%); followed by SA/NT 68%, TAS 67%, VIC and WA 62% and QLD 57%

Assault charges against for St Stanislaus' form master

Bathurst, NSW, Western Advocate, May 13, 2014.

… The matter involving Peter John Ryan, now 71 of Newington, was mentioned before magistrate Michael Allen in Bathurst Local Court yesterday. Ryan, who is being represented by barrister Greg Walsh, did not appear during the brief hearing, which was mentioned by Department of Public Prosecutions solicitor Mr Walford. … Ryan was charged last month by Strike Force Belle officers. …

Salvation army officer accused of child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC – AM, Sarah Dingle, May 12, 2014.

Another Salvation Army officer has been accused of repeated child sexual assault. The ABC has learned that the alleged perpetrator is a Salvation Army Major believed to be in his 80s who was not named by the Royal Commission hearings into child sexual abuse. His alleged victims were the children of fellow officers. … She spoke to Background Briefing's Sarah Dingle. …

National compensation scheme for child sex abuse victims the way forward

Sydney, NSW, Christian Today, Francis Sullivan, May 12, 2014.

Over the past two weeks Australians have heard stories from 11 old men who endured the worst physical and sexual abuse as young boys in orphanages and farm schools run by the Christian Brothers in Western Australia from the late 1940s and into the 60s. … Much of the evidence given during the hearing dealt with justice for the survivors of the abuse and the failing of the Brothers to deal fairly and compassionately as each of the men returned years later looking for help. … A national compensation scheme is part of a reform package proposed by the Truth Justice and Healing Council and supported by Catholic leaders. …

Catholic Education Office employs child safety expert

QLD, The Chronicle, Chris Calcino, May 12, 2014.

An expert in student protection was engaged by the Toowoomba Catholic Education Office in the wake of February's inquiry into child sexual abuse at a Toowoomba school. The revelation that pedophile teacher Gerard Vincent Byrnes was rehired despite serious complaints about his conduct, only to reoffend, has done enormous damage to the educational institution's reputation. …

Pope’s Gift For Moms – More Kids Than You Want & A Saint Who Banned Birth Control

USA, Christian Catholicism, Jerry Slevin, May 11, 2014.

Pope Francis’ No. 1 priority increasingly appears to be to avoid at all costs a US national investigation of priest child sexual abuse cover-ups like the one now underway in Australia. … For key background, see Betty Clermont’s perceptive and well documented overall analysis here [The Open Tabernacle] and Aletha Blayse’s penetrating analysis of Murdoch’s News Corp’s ‘The Australian” newspaper’s efforts here [lewisblayse.net] ... The Australian investigation has apparently already led the lone Cardinal Pell to seek Vatican protection. With that priority, Francis has been busy dealing with related “women’s politics” and almost racing to make all modern popes “saints”, both seemingly aimed at firming key Catholic voter and donor support and enhance thereby protection for his increasingly beleaguered absolute monarchy. …

#PapaFrancesco: Il filmato shock della Rete L’ABUSO

[# PapaFrancesco: The shock of the ABUSE Network movie (with video)]
Milan, Italy, Abuse Network, May 9, 2014.

[Summary: J'Accuse is an eight-minute video in which some representatives of pedophila priests in Italy tell their stories and publicly denounce their situation and their indignation at the false media campaign launched by the Vatican. The media campaign deeply offends and subjects victims to further violence at the hands of the "executioner." The video is in three language with subtitles and has been sent to Pope Francis.]

LA LISTA ITALIANA dei preti condannati per abusi su minori (video)

[THE LIST ITALIAN priests convicted of child abuse ( video)]
Milan, Italy, Abuse Network, May 9, 2014.

"Papa Francesco, almeno tu fai giustizia" Appello delle vittime dei preti pedofili (con video)

["Papa Francesco, at least you do justice" Appeal from victims of pedophile priests (with video)]
 Italy, La Repubblica – Inchieste, May 9, 2014.

Diocese co-ordinator to restore church's integrity

Ballarat, NSW, The Courier, Fiona Henderson May 9, 2014.

The Ballarat Catholic diocese has set up a paid position to help prevent a repeat of its clergy sexual abuse past. A part-time diocesan co-ordinator for professional standards will establish strict conduct policies for not only the ministry but also lay workers and volunteers. …

Anger over Catholic abuse scheme claim [w/ audio]

Sydney, SBS, Darren Mara, May 9, 2014.

… There's been an angry reaction from victims groups after reports a Vatican official told the United Nations that the Australian Church's redress scheme for victims of clerical abuse has been effective. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says a Vatican archbishop told the UN Committee Against Torture the Australian Church's Towards Healing process was an example of the church "responding positively" to victims of abuse. …

Royal commission: Child abuse victims share their stories in private hearings [w/ audio]

Australia-wide, ABC News, Jean Kennedy, May 9, 2014.

In informal hearing rooms set up by the child sex abuse royal commission, victims are telling their stories of abuse in private. Around 1,500 people nationwide have so far spoken about what happened to them. More than 1,000 others are on a ballooning waiting list, which grows by an extra 40 people each week. … So far out of the royal commission's private hearings 156 cases have been referred to the police for investigation. But lawyers say despite government and institutional apologies for the so-called sins of the past, the abuse of children in care is not confined to the past, it is still happening.

State 'leads on priests'

VIC, Bendigo Advertiser, May 9, 2014.

… Victoria was taking a leadership role in addressing the issue, and it could set the tone of a national response, Dr Napthine said. ''I believe other states and jurisdictions will look at what we're doing to require ministers of religion to have a working with children check if they have any dealings with children and families,'' he said. ''I think other states and other jurisdictions should have a good hard look at it.'' …

The Australian’s Premature Reporting on the NSW Special Commission of Enquiry (Or: Support for Peter Fox Needed NOW)

Sydney, lewisblayse.net, May 8, 2014.

… If The Australian is right in its report about what the NSW enquiry is going to do, more voices must be raised to the NSW enquiry. If anyone who hasn’t yet spoken out has any more evidence that can back up what Peter Fox has been saying all this time, now is the time to be talking about it – loudly and without fear of the consequences. According to the NSW enquiry website (http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/Special_Projects/ll_splprojects.nsf/pages/sisa_index): … Finally, it is very much hoped that since discussion of the NSW enquiry’s findings now appears to be much ‘on’ in the media, given The Australian’s very premature strike, the Royal Commission will immediately release a clear and unequivocal statement to the Australian public that it too is very much interested in learning from others about the sorts of things Peter Fox has said to the NSW enquiry and is particularly interested in any evidence supportive of the existence of a possible ‘Catholic mafia’ operating within the NSW police force. Or indeed any police force.  …

Dark history of hidden horrors ... The Christian Brothers order has finally been forced to face their secret sins

Perth, WA, Daily Telegraph, Janet Fife-Yeomans, May 08, 2014.

It was rule 85 that stated the most obvious: Brothers must not fondle their pupils. It entered the constitution of the Christian Brothers in 1962, a time when the order was supposedly getting tougher on the pedophiles in its ranks. It spoke volumes about the order that they still didn’t get it. Assaulting boys was not breaking a rule, or even breaking the vow of chastity — it was a crime. The order even hid behind the quaint term “fondling”. …

Abuse survivors still haunted decades on

Perth, WA, Echo Netdaily, Eoin Blackwell, AAP, May 8, 2014.

For the past 70 years, Gordon Grant has rarely slept more than two hours a night. It isn’t the memories of his two tours of Vietnam that keeps the former soldier awake in the dark. It’s the nightmare he lived while in the care of the Christian Brothers at St Joseph’s Farm and Trade School, in Bindoon, Western Australia, that won’t let him rest. …

Abuse lawyer notes announcement from Christian Brothers on unjust compensation payments

Perth, WA, Leigh Day, May 8, 2014.

… The Royal Commission into child sex abuse is currently sitting in Perth, Australia and is looking into possible abuse carried out in children’s’ homes run by the Christian Brothers. Many British child migrants who were sent to Australia and other Commonwealth countries over many decades lived in homes run by the Brothers, and many of them suffered appalling abuse. … Following the giving of evidence last week the Christian Brothers have said that they will re-examine any unjust payments made to survivors of abuse by them.

Mark Christopher Harvey: Suppression lifted on paedophile's latest conviction

AUSTRALIA
ABC News, James Hancock, May 8 2014.

… Mark Christopher Harvey, 43, went on trial this year for sexually exploiting four girls when he was the director of an out-of-school-hours care program in Adelaide's north-western suburbs. … A judge found him guilty of charges last month but the outcome of the trial could not be reported until a publication ban was lifted today. …

Spark for abuse inquiries

NSW, The Australian, Dan Box, May 08, 2014.

The email appears to contradict much of what the policeman will go on to say. Sent several hours before NSW Police Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox goes live on the ABC claiming he was “ordered to stand down” from the investigation into a pedophile Catholic priest, it warns the detective has a “propensity to run investigations ‘in the press’.” … This account, contained in an email exchange between senior police, is not passed on to the ABC, however, which interviews Fox later that night on its flagship Lateline program on television. Predictably, the November 2012 broadcast creates a storm and is widely seen as critical in the decision, four days later, to announce the royal commission into child sexual abuse. Lateline subsequently wins a prestigious Walkley award for the report. …

Victims of abuse in Australia, including Maltese, may receive additional compensation

Australia/Malta, Times of Malta, May 8, 2014.

Christian Brothers in and around Perth in Australia are to review child-abuse settlements considered unjust and unreasonably low by the victims, including some from Malta, a Royal Commission has been told. … During the hearings, the commission heard evidence, including by Maltese men, of relentless rapes and beatings they suffered when they were boys. As the hearings ended yesterday, the order announced it would provide lifelong psychological counselling to abuse survivors. …

A New Global Jewish Taskforce to Combat Child Sexual Abuse

AUSTRALIA
Galus Australis, Vivien Resovsky, May 8, 2014.

Recently I attended the first International Congress for Child Protection Organisations in Jewish Communities [the Congress] that was held at the Haruv Institute at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The Congress was sponsored by Haruv and Magen, an Israeli child protection organisation in Beit Shemesh. I believe that in order to really understand the problems in Melbourne we need to understand the overall problem and culture underpinning the way in which Ultra Orthodox communities deal with child sexual abuse. …

Enact all abuse recommendations: victims

VIC, 9 News, May 8, 2014.

… The government says it will overhaul the Limitations of Actions Act so organisations can't "hide" behind time limits or other impediments in the legislation to avoid liability. The government says it supports in-principle all 15 recommendations from the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse handed down last year, with some already enacted. But advocacy group Ballarat and District Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse says it needs to adopt all of them. …

Vic govt must do more on abuse: victims

VIC, The West Australian, Genevieve Gannon, May 8, 2014.

Victorian child abuse victims will no longer be constrained by time limits in seeking compensation from the organisations that harboured their abusers, but another hurdle remains. Premier Denis Napthine says organisations will no longer be able to hide behind the statute of limitations for victims who want to take civil action.  … "For victims who are still looking for justice and felt justice was denied that's an important turnaround that they can now bring their claim forward without that time limit that was there previously," spokeswoman Chris MacIsaac said. …

Religious ministers to undergo checks under Victorian Government reform

VIC, Herald Sun, Matt Johnston, May 08, 2014.

All religious ministers will have working with children’s checks and there will be new standards for organisations dealing with youth under a $10 million State Government reform. Premier Denis Napthine revealed the changes, which are a further response to the Victorian Parliament’s inquiry into child abuse titled Betrayal of Trust. That groundbreaking report has already led to new anti-grooming laws, and laws making it an offence to hide reports of abuse. …

Victoria ends statutory time limit on historical child sex abuse cases

VIC, The Australian, May 08, 2014

Statutory time limits blocking historical child sex abuse cases from going to court in Victoria are to be removed. Attorney-General Robert Clark says the government will remove provisions that can block a victim of child abuse taking legal action.  … He said the government would overhaul the Limitations of Actions Act. …

Christian Brothers say door is open for compensation for abuse [with audio]

WA, Radio Australia, May 8 2014.

Victims of child sexual abuse by Christian Brothers from anywhere in Australia are being invited to approach the church for compensation and or life-long psychological counselling if they need it. After almost two weeks of Royal Commission hearings into the matter in Perth, the leadership of the Christian Brothers says the order is prepared to re-open the compensation cases that have been settled for unfair or unreasonably low amounts. …

Victims deserve fairer compensation scheme for horrific abuse

Perth, WA, Slater & Gordon Media Release, May 7, 2014.

Slater & Gordon lawyers have welcomed a statement at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that the Christian Brothers will review the compensation given to former residents in Western Australia. … “The Royal Commission has presented an opportunity for the Church to address the hurt they have caused by providing financial support for their victims,” he said. …

Vatican to hear Aust abuse redress changes

Sydney, 9 News, May 7, 2014.

The Catholic Church in Australia will tell the Vatican that it is in the interests of survivors of abuse that investigations and settlement determinations be taken out of the hands of the clergy. Francis Sullivan, the head of the Church's Truth Justice and Healing Council, also says that all assistance schemes for victims of abuse are being reviewed. … The comments from Mr Sullivan came after concerns were raised by abuse survivors that the Vatican was telling the United Nations that Towards Healing - the Church's Australian process for handling abuse complaints - had been effective. SNAP Australia, a survivors' network for people abused by priests, said Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, who led the Vatican delegation appearing before the UN committee against torture, had cited the Australian process as an example of the Church "responding positively" to abuse victims. SNAP Australia chief Nicky Davis was at the UN hearings …"It was offered as an example of how the Church is responding positively and seemed to imply that it would be a model scheme for other countries," Ms Davis said. She said Australian survivors were astonished to hear the Vatican holding up the "disgraced" Towards Healing process as an example of the Catholic Church properly addressing this issue. … Ms Davis said she would be sending the committee excerpts from evidence heard at the current Australian royal commission so they can be fully informed about Towards Healing.

Abuse survivors reject Vatican claim about Australian redress scheme

Australia/Geneva, The Guardian (UK), May 7, 2014.

Survivors of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy have reacted angrily to a Vatican claim at the UN that the Australian church's redress scheme is effective. In Geneva on Tuesday, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, who heads a Vatican delegation appearing before the UN Committee against Torture, referred to the Australian Towards Healing process as an example of the church "responding positively" to victims of abuse, campaigner Nicky Davis said. Davis, who heads the Australian branch of Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said Tomasi was answering questions about the the Vatican's response to victims when he mentioned Towards Healing. … She said Australian survivors were astonished to hear the Vatican holding up the "disgraced" Towards Healing process as an example of the Catholic church properly addressing this issue. …

Vatican has shown 'total commitment' in anti-abuse fight

Geneva, 7 News, May 7, 2014.

The Vatican on Tuesday said it had shown its mettle in the battle against child sex abuse by priests, telling a UN hearing that it was determined to stamp out the scourge. … "There is a total commitment to clean the house, to change, and above all to work and effect measures that prevent the repetition of abuse. We have crossed a threshold in the evolution of the approach to this problem," he insisted. … However, Barbara Blaine, president of the 18,000-strong international Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the Vatican's defence was "more of the same".  "Tomasi describes what should happen in clergy sex cases, according to Church policy, but what actually happens is very, very different," she told AFP. Critics say the Vatican and individual dioceses have helped abusers escape justice by covering up crimes and transferring them to new parishes, sometimes abroad. … The panel will issue its conclusions on the hearing on May 23. 

 848 priests defrocked, 2,572 disciplined in 10 years: Vatican

Geneva, The Globe and Mail (Canada), John Heilprin And Nicole Winfield, May 6 2014.

The Vatican released comprehensive statistics for the first time Tuesday on how it has disciplined priests accused of raping and molesting children, saying 848 priests have been defrocked and another 2,572 given lesser sanctions over the past decade. … Tomasi insisted that the convention applied only inside the tiny Vatican City state. But he nevertheless released statistics about how the Holy See has adjudicated sex abuse cases globally, and significantly, he did not dispute the committee’s contention that sexual violence against children can be considered torture. …

A staggering $20 million paid to Christian Brothers’ abuse victims

Perth, WA, Daily Telegraph, Janet Fife-Yeomans, May 07, 2014.

… The staggering figure was revealed in the child sex abuse royal commission yesterday. The payments made by both the order and Catholic Church Insurance were made to 531 people, usually child migrants brought to Australia from the UK and Malta, and involved 775 allegations, counsel assisting the commission Gail Furness said. …

Former Christian Brothers leader says NSW police told the order to transfer brother or they would arrest him

Perth, WA, Daily Telegraph, Janet Fife-Yeomans, May 07, 2014.

… Brother Julian McDonald, who was the leader of the NSW and Victorian province from 1990, said he found the request “frankly incredible”. … “Regrettably the police in NSW said to my predecessor ‘transfer this brother interstate or we will arrest him’,” Brother McDonald said. …

Royal Commission: Celibacy not a factor in child abuse, says Christian Brother

Perth, WA, Perth Now, Eoin Blackwell, May 07, 2014.

… Deputy head of the Christian Brothers Oceania province, Brother Julian McDonald, told the Royal Commission … celibacy could be the wrong choice for some, but did not cause abuse. “There is no strong evidence to suggest that celibacy is the cause of offending against children or a strong contributing factor,” Br McDonald said on Wednesday. …

Christian Bros offer life-long counselling

Perth, WA, 9 News, May 7, 2014.

… Deputy province leader for Oceania, Brother Julian McDonald, says former residents of Castledare, Bindoon, Clontarf and Tardun have access to care and support services if they need them. "As an immediate step in response to what we have witnessed here in Perth, we commit ourselves now and into the future to provide ongoing professional psychological counselling for abuse survivors of our Western Australian institutions," he said in a statement. "Such counselling will be provided for as long as necessary. …

Church to revisit abuse compensation

Perth, WA, The West Australian, Amanda Banks, May 7, 2014.

… Brother Julian McDonald, a deputy province leader, told the hearing that the commitment would encompass all 11 men who gave evidence to the commission last week of brutal and repeated abuse at the hands of brothers at four WA orphanages run by the order. "I will say here and now that any settlement that is regarded by the person settled with as unjust will be revisited," Brother McDonald told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. …

Brothers spent $21m on abuse compo

Perth, WA, Sydney Morning Herald, Eoin Blackwell, May 6, 2014.

The Christian Brothers has no future unless the order confronts the devastation caused by child sexual abuse, says one of its most senior officials, amid revelations the congregation has spent $21 million in compensation claims. Julian McDonald, the deputy provincial leader for the Christian Brothers Province of Oceania, on Tuesday told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that victims were being "chopped up" by lengthy litigation. …

Christian Brother Parker ‘admitted abuse’ at Bindoon institution, Royal Commission hears

Perth, WA, NEWS.com.au, May 6, 2014.

… The Royal Commission … is hearing testimony from the order's former provincial leader in WA and SA, Brother Anthony Shanahan. The commission heard a man known as Brother Parker came clean to his superiors about his struggle with the order's “second vow” of celibacy in 1953. …

Christian Brothers recorded 70 complaints

Perth, WA, The West Australian, Amanda Banks, May 6, 2014

Complaints of sexual and physical abuse against 70 different Christian Brothers across Australia were recorded in the order's own records between 1919 and 1969, the royal commission in Perth was told this morning. … The records revealed that among the 70 individuals brothers who were subject to complaints, 18 committed repeat offences. A Brother Keenan was the subject of four complaints and a Brother Lambert Wise had five separate allegations against him. …

Christian Brothers knew about child abuse dating back to 1919 [w/ audio]

AUSTRALIA
ABC News, Thomas Oriti, May 6, 2014.

Evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse reveals the Christian Brothers Catholic order has known for almost a century that boys were being sexually and physically abused in its homes. Historic documents show Christian Brothers were aware of 70 possible offenders across Australia between 1919 and 1969. The order spent more than a million dollars fighting a class action in the 1990s. …

Christian Brother admitted abuse in 1950s

Perth, WA, WA Today, May 6, 2014.

… The Royal Commission … is hearing testimony from the order's former provincial leader in WA and SA, Brother Anthony Shanahan. The commission heard a man known as Brother Parker came clean to his superiors about his struggle with the order's "second vow" of celibacy in 1953. …

Royal commission hears Christian Brothers failed to act on brothers accused of sex abuse

Perth Now, Janet Fife-Yeomans, May 06, 2014.

They referred to it as having "difficulty with the second vow" — chastity. The Christian Brothers' own historian identified 70 brothers around Australia who had complaints made against them mainly of sexually abusing boys between 1919 and 1969, the child sex abuse royal commission has been told. …

Launch of Dubbo counselling service part of Central West push to help child sex abuse victims

Dubbo, NSW, ABC News, May 6, 2014.

A new service for survivors of child sexual abuse will be launched today in Dubbo. The Federal Government has provided 45 million dollars to organisations around Australia to provide support services as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual abuse. Interrelate has the contract to provide counselling services to people in Dubbo, Walgett and Mudgee. …

Catholic Church to review training for new priests on child protection

Australia, Christianity Today, Truth Justice and Healing Council, May 6, 2014.

Work is now underway within the Catholic Church to review the education of people training for the priesthood in Australian Dioceses. As part of a Vatican initiative the Australian Catholic Bishop’s Conference, through a group of senior seminary directors and other professionals, is looking at current practices regarding child protection training in Australian seminaries and theological colleges. …

Vatican tries to draw line under clerical sex abuse scandals at UN hearing

Geneva, The Guardian (UK), John Hooper, May 5, 2014.

… One member after another of the committee against torture brushed aside the Holy See's argument that its obligation to enforce the UN convention against torture stopped at the boundaries of the world's smallest country, the Vatican city state. Instead, they demanded the pope's representative give answers to a long list of questions about the treatment of sex abuse claims against clergy throughout the world. The Holy See, which long predates the city state, is a sovereign entity without territory. It is as the Holy See that the Catholic leadership maintains diplomatic relations and signs treaties such as the convention against torture. …

Vatican Envoy Questioned at U.N. Over Response to Abuse

Geneva, The New York Times, Nick Cumming-Bruce, May 5, 2014.

… Appearing before a United Nations panel for the second time this year, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s representative in Geneva, immediately found himself at odds with members of the Committee Against Torture over the Holy See’s view that it is responsible for applying the treaty only to the few hundred inhabitants of the Vatican City state. … The Committee Against Torture had never encountered an attempt by a state party to the treaty to limit its application to only “a subdivision” of itself, the panel’s vice chairwoman, Felice D. Gaer, said. …

Christian Brother’s conviction stopped more abuse victims coming forward

Perth, WA, Perth Now, Eoin Blackwell, May 05, 2014

The conviction of a Christian Brother who confessed to abusing “unknown” children prevented other men from coming forward to report he abused them, a royal commission has heard. … Brother Dick was convicted and sentenced to three-and-a-half years jail in 1994 after he confessed to 10 counts of unlawfully and indecently assaulting five “unknown” boys under the age of 14. The commission heard double jeopardy laws prevented other men who were abused as children by the Christian Brother from coming forward because it was not known if they were among the five he had been convicted of abusing. …

Royal commission: Christian Brothers 'didn't consider sexual abuse of students a crime'

Perth, WA, ABC News,  Jade Macmillan, May 5, 2014.

… Brother Anthony Shanahan, a former province leader of the Christian Brothers in WA, today gave evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Perth. … Brother Shanahan told the hearing the mindset at the time meant abuse was not thought of "first and foremost" as a crime, but as a moral fault or failing. …

Paedophile victim tells of 'insensitive' Lucas interview

NSW, Newcastle Herald, Stephen Ryan,  May 5, 2014

A victim of paedophile priest Denis McAlinden said she was subjected to a ‘‘very cold’’ and ‘‘insensitive’’ interview by Father Brian Lucas, documents released by a special commission of inquiry stated. … Father Hart asked the victim if she wanted to go to the police, but she wrote that she didn’t want McAlinden to go to jail. She said she wanted him supervised by the church and removed from having any contact with children. …

Christian Brothers to give evidence

Perth, WA, Brisbane Times, May 5, 2014.

Senior members of the Christian Brothers in Australia will be in the witness box when a royal commission hearing into child sexual abuse resumes in Perth. … Howard Harrison, lawyer for the order, said they had a misplaced prejudice against physical and sexual abuse survivors who pursued them through the courts in the 1990s. …

Tears of joy amid tales of misery

Perth, WA, The West Australian, Colleen Egan, May 4, 2014.

Amid the gut-wrenching tales of cruelty and sin at this week's hearings of the royal commission came a ray of sunshine in the lives of two old boys. Tony Page and Eddie Cogan had not seen each other for 67 years before spotting one another in the public gallery. … The two elderly men repeatedly embraced, eyes misting with tears of joy and warmth. …

Bishops should be held accountable for failing to report sex abuse: Vatican advisory board

Vatican City, ABC News, May 4, 2014.

Roman Catholic bishops should be held accountable if they fail to report suspected sexual abuse or protect children from paedophile priests, a panel advising Pope Francis says. After holding its first meeting, the new Vatican advisory board says current church laws are out of date. It says it will develop "clear and effective" rules to deal with the problem. …

Vatican panel to develop 'best practices' to curb sex abuse

Vatican City, The West Australian, May 4, 2014.

… "In time, we will propose initiatives to encourage local responsibility around the world and the mutual sharing of 'best practices' for the protection of all minors, including programmes for training, education, formation and responses to abuse," the eight-member panel said in a statement. …

Abuse panel seeks new rules

USA, Boston Herald, Jordan Graham, May 4, 2014.

A Vatican commission led by Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley will create new policies to hold bishops and other church authorities accountable for failing to report suspected sexual abuse, a move experts say shows the church is taking the problem of pedophile priests more seriously than in the past. … The Vatican is under increasing pressure to address the abuse, including by the United Nations. Tomorrow, the U.N. Committee against Torture will scrutinize the church’s response. …

Pope Francis backs Cardinal George Pell’s Vatican shake-up

Vatican City, Perth Now, May 3, 2014.

Pope Francis is publicly backing his new economy tsar, who is overhauling the Vatican’s administration amid grumblings from some Holy See bureaucrats about a perceived abrasive and secretive style. Cardinal Pell, who in one of his last acts as the archbishop of Sydney appeared before a royal commission into child sex abuse in Australia, took over as head of the Vatican’s finances in Rome in March. …

Watch live: SNAP at the UN in Geneva!

USA, Paris Arrow, May 3, 2014.

Vatican officials are being investigated by another committee at the United Nations this Monday and Tuesday. Three events will be carried live on the internet. One includes SNAP leaders from different countries and our attorneys from the Center for Constitutional Rights. The other two are the actual proceedings from the UN headquarters in Geneva. For details please see below!

 Facing fresh UN grilling, Vatican envoy pushes back

Geneva, Boston Globe, John L. Allen Jr., May 3, 2014.

Ahead of what’s likely to be another grilling tomorrow by United Nations officials over child sexual abuse, as well as matters such as abortion and homosexuality, the Vatican’s senior envoy in Geneva is projecting bravado. “We can take a few knocks, especially for the sake of people’s welfare,” said Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, an Italian prelate. …

 Vatican Urges U.N. Not To Equate Sex Abuse With Torture As Hearings Get Underway

Vatican City, Huffington Post, Josephine McKenna, May 2, 2014.

As Vatican representatives prepare to testify before a United Nations inquiry into torture next week, a senior official warned investigators that it would be “deceptive” to link torture with the pedophilia scandals that have swept the Catholic Church. …

Will the U.N. Again Ask the Catholic Church to Repudiate Its Own Teaching?

Geneva, National Catholic Register, Brian Fraga May 2, 2014.

… On May 5-6, the Holy See will present its initial periodic report to the U.N. Committee on the Convention Against Torture during the committee’s 52nd Session at the Palais Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland. … The Holy See signed the anti-torture treaty on behalf of Vatican City State in June 2002. During the U.N. committee’s session, the Holy See delegation will explain how Vatican City State, through legislative changes, has sought to comply with the treaty. …

Christian Brothers ‘viewed litigators with bias’

Perth, WA, The Australian, May 3, 2014.

The Christian Brothers had a prejudice against abuse sur­vivors who pursued them through the courts in the 1990s instead of seeking pastoral care, a lawyer for the order has told a royal commission. Howard Harrison, a partner at Carroll and O’Dea solicitors, gave evidence yesterday that there may have been an ill-­informed categorisation that people seeking compensation through the courts were somehow less deserving. …

Christian Brothers prejudiced against abuse victims who sued, inquiry told

Perth, WA, The Guardian (UK), Australian Associated Press, May 2, 2014.

The Christian Brothers had a misplaced prejudice against physical and sexual abuse survivors who pursued them through the courts in the 1990s, a lawyer for the order has told an inquiry. …

Mebourne priest Terry Pidoto is charged in court

Melbourne. Broken Rites, May 2 2014.

Terrence Melville Pidoto, aged 69, who has had a long career as a Catholic priest in parishes around Melbourne, was charged in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 1 May 2014 with multiple child-sex offences. …

Christian Brothers ‘used strength to force hand’ in compo talks

The Australian, Nicolas Perpitch, May 02, 2014.

The Christian Brothers had their “knee at the throat’’ of abuse victims during compensation nego­tiations and used their dominant legal position to initially demand that the men pay the church’s costs, without any payment for the horrors they had ­experienced. Slater & Gordon senior solic­itor Hayden Stephens also told the royal commission into child abuse in Perth yesterday that the “minuscule” payments the men eventually received as part of a 1990s class action negotiated by the law firm did not fairly reflect their suffering. …

Salvos bracing for hit to donations

Geelong Advertiser, Ava Benny-Morrison, May 01, 2014.

Shocking allegations aired during a child sexual abuse inquiry might prompt a drop in donations to the Salvation Army this year. But the charity understands 2014 is a year for rebuilding trust, not for money. "This year will be a difficult year for us," Major Bruce Harmer told AAP. … Mr Harmer says if donations are down this year, and even next, their work will continue. … "But we will continue to provide as many services as we can and help that million plus Australians who come knocking on our door every year."

It’s a SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL [Editorial]

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

Australia may seem like a million miles away from you. It really isn’t. In as-the-crow-flies miles, it’s: 9,946 miles from New York City … In the modern world of air travel and communications, Australia is even closer than you think. You probably know someone that’s been there on a vacation or who does business there or someone who has come to the United States from Australia on vacation or to work. In January 2013 Australia set up a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Australia is serious, it appears from the diligence of its work, about finding survivors and learning from them. It also appears to be serious about protecting its children. …

Day 3: Royal Commission hears more horrific evidence about abuse by WA Christian Brothers

Perth Now, Emily Moulton, April 30, 2014.

After more than five decades there is just one overwhelming question Ted Delaney wants answered – why? 

Royal Commission hears from victim: Priest told me to say three Hail Marys after abuse’

Daily Telegraph, Emily Moulton, April 30, 2014.

… “When I was about 13 years old, I went to confession and fessed to Father William that Brother Parker was sexually abusing me,” Mr Delaney told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse today. … “Father William asked me who, and I said Brother Parker. Father William said ‘Did you participate?’ and I said ‘No’. Father William told me to say three Hail Marys and pray and I would be forgiven.”

Abuse victim wants govt explanation

Perth, WA, Australian Teacher Magazine, April 30, 2014.

A man who was left for weeks without treatment for broken bones while in the care of Christian Brothers at a Western Australia orphanage says the federal government neglected its responsibility to child migrants. … “For two weeks I cried with the pain and finally when we were staying at Moore River (the Christian Brothers holiday home) I was crying so much I was taken to Royal Perth hospital. …

Abuse survivor wants attacker exhumed

7 News, Eoin Blackwell, April 30, 2014.

… Gordon Grant, a former resident of St Joseph's Farm and Trade School, Bindoon, also wants the marble-top tombstone of Brother Paul Keaney - the superior of the school in 1947 - dumped in a piggery. … Mr Grant says he wants Keaney's remains exhumed from the grounds of Bindoon and reinterred at the 115-year-old Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth. "We counted 14 Christian Brothers who are buried there, and they are all repeat offenders. They were notorious pedophiles at these four institutions," Mr Grant said on Wednesday. …

Royal commission into child abuse: Victim 'living a nightmare' after sexual abuse by Christian Brothers

ABC News, Rebecca Trigger and Courtney Bembridge, April 30, 2014.

… The man, known only as VV, was giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sex Abuse in Perth on Tuesday. … "I'm tired and weary from always wearing a mask, of portraying a false sense to the outside world, of bearing this guilt and shame regarding my past while living a nightmare of inner turmoil every single day of my life".

‘I was so distressed I just accepted the money’: sex abuse hearing

WA Today, Aleisha Orr, April 29, 2014.

Men who were victims of sexual abuse as children while in the care of the Christian Brothers have told a public hearing in Perth that they not only had to go through the trauma of abuse but also the "traumatic" process of trying to receive compensation. On Tuesday, a man known to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse as 'VV' described sexual and physical abuse he experienced at Bindoon Farm School. …

WA child migrants tell of lost innocence at royal commission into child sex abuse

WA Today, Aleisha Orr, April 29, 2014.

… Nine of 11 men sexually abused as children while in the care of Christian Brothers in Western Australian institutions are set to speak as part of public hearings in Perth. “I lost my country, I lost my language, I lost my culture, I lost my family and I lost any chance of a decent career,” Raphael Ellul told the commission at the second day of hearings. …

Victim became Christian Brother only to be 'treated like outsider'

WA Today,  Aleisha Orr, April 29, 2014.

Brother Albert McGregor had not spoken a word about the sexual abuse he suffered as a child as a resident at Castledare Junior Orphanage and later at St Vincent's Orphanage in Clontarf. He figured his experience had not been a common one for children in the care of Christian Brothers in Western Australia. It was not until he was an adult and three other men who had also grown up in WA Christian Brother-run institutions confided in him about sexual abuse, did he realise that it may have been a "widespread problem". …

Day two Royal Commission evidence: Regular beatings, sexual abuse and hard labour

Perth Now, Emily Moulton, April 29, 2014.

They called him “Killer Moore”, the Christian brother whose “liberal” use of a leather strap sparked fear in almost every child at Bindoon Farm School. … Mr Walsh was just nine when he received his first beating by Brother Moore, his second day at Bindoon. … The commission is investigating how the Christian Brothers and successive WA governments responded to allegations of abuse at four homes at Bindoon, Contarf, Tardun and Castledare.

Christian Brothers told boy, 10, to make himself less attractive, inquiry told

Australia, The Guardian (UK), April , 2014.

… The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has also heard that Christian Brothers pimped boys out to a visiting photographer at St Joseph's Farm and Trade School, Bindoon, in the late 1950s. A witness known as VV on Tuesday told the commission in Perth that a Christian Brother who raped him suddenly announced he needed to confess his sins. "Then Brother Parker came back and said I needed to see Father Gerard. Father Gerard sat me down and told me what we were doing was very wrong, and that I should make myself less attractive," VV said. …

Maltese child migrant tried killing himself, Australian commission hears

Malta/Australia, Malta Today, Matthew Vella, April 29, 2014.

Echoes of the violent world of child migrants, amongst them Maltese emigrants, entrusted to the Christian Brothers back in the 1960s are reverberating inside Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The evidence makes for harrowing reading, as a survey of the Australian press shows. A child migrant identified as ‘VG’ who says he had been raised “in a loving and close family in Malta”, told the commission that reporting violent sexual assaults to priests in confessions only led to more brutal beatings and punishment at the Christian Brothers’ home of St Mary’s Agricultural School in Tardun, a small town in Western Australia. …

Ex-priest 'attacked vulnerable Vic boys'

Brisbane Times, Patrick Caruana, April 29, 2014.

Former Catholic priest James Patrick Jennings knew when the schoolboys he abused would be alone and in which dormitory they slept. Jennings, 81, indecently assaulted three boys while a priest at Bendigo's St Vincent's College in the 1960s. … Jennings, who lives in the Huon Valley in Tasmania, was in February found guilty of five counts of indecent assault against the three boys. He was acquitted on a sixth charge of indecent assault. Judge Wilmoth will sentence Jennings on Wednesday.

Catholic Campaigner Barry O’Keefe Dies

Pro Bono Australia, April 29, 2014.

The Chair of the Catholic Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council, Barry O'Keefe AM QC, died in Sydney last week. …

Witness tells Royal Commission of abuse at St Mary’s Agricultural School in Tardun

Courier Mail, Emily Moulton, April 29, 2014.

Entering a Brother’s room was like entering a lion’s den. Boys who were “chosen” would often start crying even before they stepped in, acutely aware of what would happen next. For VG, a young Maltese boy who was sent to Australia in the 1960s to further his education following the death of his father, there was nothing he remembered fearing more in his first few weeks at St Mary’s Agricultural School in Tardun. … After about 12 months at Tardun, VG’s worst fears came true. …

Child groomed as a ‘sex pet’

The Australian, Nicolas Perpitch, April 29, 2014.

Former child migrant John Hennessey was groomed into a “sexual pet’’ by a group of clergymen during five years of abuse at a West Australian Christian ­orphanage. …He explained that Brother ­Superior Paul Keaney’s grooming programmed him to become used to the “most distorted, twisted patterns of sexual and social conduct” and left him to live a life of pain, confusion and loneliness ever since. …

John yearned for mum amid abuse

The West Australian, Colleen Egan, April 29, 2014.

John Hennessey is 78 years old but if you listened to his words yesterday, all you could see was a frightened and lonely young boy, starved of love. After choosing to take the oath on the Bible instead of an affirmation - he still believes in God - Mr Hennessey paused before starting his testimony, holding a picture of his late mother, May. "I brought my mother with me," he said.

Former child migrants say extent of child sex abuse yet to be exposed [w/ video]

ABC News, Claire Moodie , April 28, 2014.

 There have been national apologies, class actions, a Senate inquiry and a feature film that brought global attention to their cause. But former child migrants shipped to Australia from the UK say the true extent of their suffering is yet to be exposed. They hope the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse sitting in Perth for the next fortnight will uncover the truth. Claire Moodie reports. …

Royal Commission visits Port Augusta

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, April 28, 2014.

… Royal Commission staff will meet with community organisations, counselling and sexual assault service providers and other interested parties over three days beginning Tuesday 29 April 2014. …

Victims tell of merciless abuse

The West Australian, Amanda Banks, April 29, 2014.

A former resident of the Christian Brothers' Bindoon orphanage yesterday exposed harrowing details of his exploitation by the home's brothers, telling the first Perth hearing of a royal commission of his years of being groomed as a sex "pet" and sadistically beaten. … At times breaking down, and prompting some in the packed public gallery to weep uncontrollably, Mr Hennessey said he had been subjected to the "most distorted, twisted patterns of sexual" behaviour by criminals who were safe in the knowledge that his legal guardian - the State Government - would never bother meeting its responsibilities. …

Child sexual abuse royal commission: Victim breaks down describing 'life of pain'

The West Australian, ABC, April 29, 2014.

… John Hennessey is the first of a number of victims to give evidence at the Perth hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. …Mr Hennessey, who was a resident at the Bindoon Farm School north of Perth, broke down during his evidence today as he recounted the moment he realised "something was amiss". …

Abusers knew authorities wouldn't act

The West Australian, Amanda Banks, April 28, 2014.

A former Christian Brothers student has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse his abusers acted with impunity, safe in the knowledge the authorities would do nothing. … John Hennessey spoke … “I was exploited and abused by criminals (who were) safe in the knowledge that the State Government and church were my legal guardians, and would never bother to meet their responsibilities,” he said.

Former child migrant tells harrowing tale of abuse as royal commission heads to Western Australia [w/ video]

ABC News, Jade Macmillan, April 28, 2014.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will begin two weeks of hearings in Western Australia on Monday. The focus will be on four institutions run by the Christian Brothers: the Bindoon Farm School, St Mary's Agricultural School, St Vincent's Orphanage Clontarf and Castledare Junior Orphanage. John Hennessey, who migrated to Australia as a child, is one of a number of men set to give evidence. …

Child abuse royal commission heads to Western Australia [audio report]

ABC - The World Today, Thomas Oriti, April 28, 2014.

… As orphans in England they were promised an adventure and an education in Australia, but instead they were beaten and sexually abused. … The commission will hear the experiences of a number of men and how the Catholic Church responded when presented with the allegations and the evidence. …Thomas Oriti reports. …

Perth child abuse inquiry told about the horrors of sexual abuse

Collie Mail, April 28, 2014.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has opened in Perth and witnesses have been recounting their stories into horrific abuse. Counsel assisting the commission Gail Furness told the hearing at the Western Australian Industrial Commission that in the next two weeks 11 men would talk about their experiences. …

Students are priority: Catholic Church

The West Australian, Amanda Banks, April 28, 2014.

… Catholic Education Office of WA executive director Tim McDonald has written to parents and carers ahead of the public hearing expressing his support for the "critical work" of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. "Though the incidents being examined are some 50 years ago, I am very conscious that the hurt, suffering and sense of betrayal have not diminished with the passage of time for the victims and their families," Dr McDonald said in a letter sent on Thursday. …

Perth child abuse inquiry opens

Brisbane Times, April 28, 2014.

Survivors of physical and sexual abuse in orphanages and children's homes across Australia will be in Perth to support men giving evidence at a hearing into Christian Brothers-run residences in Western Australia. … The evidence from men who were resident at Castledare Junior Orphanage, St Vincent's Orphanage Clontarf, St Mary's Agricultural School at Tardun and the notorious Bindoon Farm School/Boys Town, an isolated institution north of Perth, is expected to be some of the most shocking and explosive heard by the commission. The hearing will run for two weeks. …

Rome- Francis should extradite Polish archbishop or reverse himself

Rome, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, April 27, 2014.

One Polish Catholic official is a soon-to-be saint. A second one, however, is a fugitive. When John Paul II celebrations wind down on Monday, we call on Francis to extradite Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski to Polish law enforcement authorities who want to charge him with sexually assaulting kids in the Dominican Republic. … NOTE – ANOTHER UPCOMING SNAP EVENT IN EUROPE …A few SNAP members from several nations will be in Geneva from April 30 through May 7 for a hearing on May 5 and 6 before the United Nations Committee Against Torture, which will consider whether Vatican officials are violating or complying with an international treaty regarding torture.

Child migrants to hold vigil at Royal Commission hearing

Australia, Radio New Zealand, April 27, 2014.

British child migrants who were sexually abused at Christian Brothers institutions are planning a silent vigil outside hearings for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Perth next week. … They were sent to the Bindoon, Castledare, Clontarf and Tardun orphanages in Western Australia, institutions that survivors have described as being more like concentration camps than children's homes. …

Abused Maltese child migrants to give evidence in Australia inquiry

MALTA/AUSTRALIA
Times of Malta, April 27, 2014.

Maltese child migrants who were raped, tortured and emotionally abused at four Christian Brother’s homes in Western Australia will be among those giving evidence in an inquiry staring tomorrow, the Herald Sun reported. … The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse will be looking specifically into the experiences of former residents sent to Castledare, Clontarf, Bindoon and Tardun orphanages from the late 1940s up until the 1960s.

Fresh call for victims' input into sex abuse inquiry

The Observer, April 27, 2014.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is launching a national public awareness campaign today calling for survivors of child sexual abuse to come forward to share their stories. …"This campaign is designed to encourage all Australians to find out more about the work of the Royal Commission and how survivors can share their story of child sexual abuse. …

Secret report handed to Christian Brothers bosses in Rome reveals ‘sex underworld’ in some Australian orphanages

The Australian, Janet Fife-Yeomans, April 26, 2014.

A secret report handed to Christian Brothers bosses in Rome ­revealed a “sex underworld” in some of the order’s Australian ­orphanages, with some monks raping up to 50 boys each. The report, prepared in the early 1990s by the order’s official historian, contained damning evidence the order’s hierarchy in Australia knew decades earlier about the widespread abuse, but hid it. … Despite knowing of the abuse, which stretched back at least to 1920, the order negotiated with Catholic rescue societies in the UK and Malta for thousands of child ­migrants to be shipped to Australia. Among the homes were Castledare, St Vincent’s, St Mary’s Agricultural School and Bindoon Farm School, all which will be investigated by the royal commission. …

Catholic Church sex abuse victims hold vigil in Vatican [w/ video]

Rome, Press TV (Iran), April 26, 2014.

Multinational victims of the Catholic Church sex abuse have held a candle-lit vigil at the Vatican in protest against upcoming canonization of Pope John Paul II. The vigil by the Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) was held in Vatican City on Friday. SNAP members from all over the world traveled to the Vatican and lit candles and displayed pictures of children who had suffered abuse from Catholic priests. …

'We don't believe it's saintly behaviour': Abuse victims attack John Paul II's failure to stamp out Catholic paedophiles, as one million gather to see him canonised alongside John XXIII

ROME
Daily Mail (UK), April 26, 2014.

Abuse victims of Catholic priests have said that former Pope John Paul II does not deserve to be made a saint because of his failure to bring perpetrators to justice during his reign. … Barbara Blaine, the president of the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), spoke out against John Paul today. Mrs Blaine told the Daily Telegraph: 'It’s time for the Vatican to stop honouring those who enabled wrongdoing. Thousands of victims were abused because John Paul refused to read the reports he was receiving.' Nicky Davis, a 50-year-old from Australia who was abused, said: 'We don’t believe it’s saintly behaviour to allow sex abuse to continue for a 27-year reign. He could have used his enormous power to save children but instead he decided to save the reputation of the Church.' …

Royal Commission to hear boys as young as five were abused for decades at Christian Brothers homes

Herald Sun, Emily Moulton, April 26, 2014.

Boys as young as five were raped, tortured and emotionally abused for decades at four Christian Brother’s homes in WA, a national inquiry into child sex abuse will hear on Monday. And many of those children were sent to Australia from the UK and Malta after the war for what was supposed to be a better life. …

British child migrants plan vigil outside child sex abuse royal commission in Perth

ABC News, April 26, 2014.

British child migrants who suffered sexual abuse at Christian Brothers institutions in Western Australia are planning a silent vigil outside hearings for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Perth next week. Thousands of children - some aged only three - were from 1947 shipped to Australia from Britain, often without their parents' knowledge or consent. …

Former pastor found guilty of five sex offences

Queensland Times, Geoff Egan, April 25,  2014.

A former pastor, who fled the law for seven years, has been found guilty of maintaining a sexual relationship with his daughter's 12-year-old best friend and indecent treatment of children. …He would show the girl and his daughter pornography, and sexually abused the girl over a period of months. …

Go, SNAP, go! God and one are a MAJORITY! Protest in Rome against canonization of Satanas John Paul II. Jesus was alone on the Cross

USA, Paris Arrow, April 25, 2014.

SNAP - Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests – are victims of pedophile priests founded in the USA but are now all over the world especially in Europe and Australia. They held a rooftop candlelight vigil in Rome just before Pope John Paul II canonization. We can’t wait to see their photos with St. Peter's as backdrop. The group honors 'the wounded, not the complicit'. Below are links to their 'open letter' to victims & whistleblowers urging their ‘persistence’ in the battle against the Vatican cover-ups of pedophile priests. Pope Francis is hiding the police most wanted Papal pedophile Nuncio from the Dominican Republic, read more here Abolition of Vatican Concordat in Dominican Republic and bring pedophile Papal Nuncio and other pedophile Polish priests to justice http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2013/10/abolish-vatican-concordat-in-dominican.html.  SNAP urges all who saw, suspected or suffered crimes & cover ups to 'speak up now' ! WE wish them best of luck as they fight the goliath Vatican Titanic Mammon Beast! …

Rome- Victims hold rooftop candlelight vigil in Rome

Rome, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, April 26, 2014.

Victims hold rooftop candlelight vigil in Rome
Event is just before Pope John Paul II is named a saint
With St. Peter's as backdrop, group honors 'the wounded, not the complicit'
They’ll also read an 'open letter' to victims & whistleblowers urging 'persistence
Group urges all who saw, suspected or suffered crimes & cover ups to 'speak up now' …

Records show that John Paul II could have intervened in abuse crisis - but didn't [Commentary]

USA, National Catholic Reporter, Thomas P. Doyle, April 25, 2014.

Sitting on a bookshelf in my office is a red leather-bound copy of the Code of Canon Law. This isn't just any copy of the church's rulebook. It was signed by Pope John Paul II for me at the request of my former boss, the late Cardinal Pio Laghi. It is dated 6-6-1983 in the late pope's own hand. I was definitely a fan in those days. On Sunday after John Paul is promoted to sainthood, it will become a second-class relic. I will not venerate it, nor will I join the cheering crowds. …

Abuse victims slam John Paul II sainthood

7 News, Ehssan Veiszadeh, April 25, 2014.

Abuse victims have slammed moves to make John Paul II a saint, accusing him of covering up sex crimes perpetrated by clergy from the Catholic Church for decades. … Sydney resident Nicky Davis, who was abused over a six-year period from the age of 12, says honouring John Paul II with the sainthood would be totally inappropriate. Ms Davis is in Rome with other advocates from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) to protest against the canonisation. "How can you call a man a saint who didn't take any action - and he had 27 years to do it," she told AAP on Friday. "He had the most powerful position in the world and he still didn't act, with knowledge that large numbers of children were being raped by his priests." …

SNAP in Rome

Rome, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, April 25, 2014.

Victims hold rooftop candlelight vigil in Rome - details of the second SNAP event in Rome earlier today, April 25 2014

Victims plead with Vatican officials - details of the first SNAP event in Rome earlier today, April 25 2014

--Here are some SNAP statements re JPII sainthood:

Open letter to victims, witnesses & whistleblowers on eve of JPII sainthood from SNAP (April 25, 2014)

Rome- Papal PR man desperately defends sainthood (April 25, 2014)

Papal sainthood encourages wrongdoing, says Austrian victim (April 25, 2014)

SNAP blasts beatification of Pope John Paul II (April 2011)

SNAP responds to Pope John Paul II’s canonization (October 2013)

Rome- Victims upset about papal sainthood (March 2014)

NOTE – Upcoming Snap Event In Europe

A few SNAP members from several nations will be in Geneva from April 30 through May 7 for a hearing on May 5 and 6 before the United Nations Committee Against Torture, which will consider whether Vatican officials are violating or complying with an international treaty regarding torture.

[Center for Constitutional Rights]

[SNAP]

[Center for Constitutional Rights]

Rome- Papal PR man desperately defends sainthood

United States, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, Barbara Dorris, April 25, 2014.

… At this late stage, it's pathetic that Pope John Paul II's longtime spokesman still tries to defend his horrific record on sexual violence against kids and church cover ups of predators. As best we can tell, in 27 years as pope, he took one step: in 2002, he met with a few U.S. cardinals about it. What came out of that event? A photo op for the church hierarchy that gave the misleading impression that things were changing. … One does not rise to the very top of the world's oldest, largest and most powerful monarchy by being naive. By all accounts, John Paul was a very shrewd man. He was not ignorant about this scandal. …

Rome--Papal sainthood encourages wrongdoing,says Austrian victim

Rome, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, David D’Bonnabel, April 25, 2014.

We are leaders in an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. We are from the U.K., Austria, Australia and the U.S. … We are in Rome now, specifically, to: …  Our basic message can be summed up in four words: Rewarding wrongdoing encourages wrongdoing. …

A Letter from the Archbishop of Perth to the Catholic community across the Archdiocese of Perth - April 24th, 2013

The EXECUTIVE SUMMARY of the Archbishop's letter containing the main points - click here (PDF - 513KB) to download.

Archbishop Costelloe's FULL LETTER - click here (PDF - 548KB) to download.

Archbishop Admits: “We Have Failed Terribly”. MEDIA RELEASE relating to the full letter - click here (PDF - 372KB) to download.

Catholic Church in PNG struggling with sex abuse [with audio]

NEW GUINEA
Radio Australia, April 24, 2014.

The Catholic Church in Papua New Guinea is maintaining it is doing what it can to deal with cases of sexual abuse by its clergymen. … Catholic Archbishop John Ribat's comments come as the case of priest, Philip Kelera, has been in court in recent weeks. … Archbishop Ribat says the case may be just the tip of the iceberg and the Church is using its 'Good Relations Policy" to deal with cases of abuse.

Court told 'guilt' was the reason Pastor fled

Queensland Times, Geoff Egan, April 23, 2014.

An Ipswich pastor "had a guilty passion" for the best friend of his 12-year-old daughter an Ipswich jury has heard. Crown prosecutor Sal Vasta yesterday told the court the 51-year-old man, who is standing trial for raping and maintaining a sexual relationship with his daughter and her best friend in 2004 and 2005, had an "unnatural sexual attraction" to the friend. …

Royal Commission calls for submissions on redress schemes

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, April 23, 2014.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse today released an issues paper on the effectiveness of redress schemes in relation to child sexual abuse in institutions. Royal Commission CEO Janette Dines said Issues Paper 6 inquired into what institutions and governments should do to ensure justice for survivors of child sexual abuse in Australian institutions through the provision of redress. …

Abusers say they never existed: Congregation of Christian Brothers ‘never in Australia’

The Australian, Janet Fife-Yoemans, April 23, 2014.

The child sex abuse royal commission is being urged to investigate why the Congregation of Christian Brothers has claimed it never existed in ­Australia, as it looks into shocking abuse at four of its orphanages. … Lawyers frustrated at the legal walls erected by the Christian Brothers in Australia launched the case in New York, under an old international law, arguing that it exists as an international order. A judge ruled against the case on a number of points including that they had sued the “wrong” Christian Brothers. Despite being a worldwide religious community within the Catholic Church, the Christian Brothers claims it is constituted differently in different countries and never existed in Australia as the Congregation of Christian Brothers. …

Holocaust loot appeal to Cardinal George Pell

Vatican City, inSerbia, April 22, 2014.

Vatican City – An appeal by Holocaust survivors and their heirs from former Yugoslavia and Ukraine has been sent to Cardinal-Prefect George Pell. … Since 1999 the Holocaust survivors have been requesting the scandal plagued Vatican Bank audit accounts alleged to contain Holocaust era assets looted from the Balkans and Ukraine. About 30 current and former Vatican Bank accounts have been identified as suspect including accounts controlled by the Franciscan Order and various Dioceses. The appeal also includes declassified documents from the US National Archives requested in 2000 but only produced 12 years later which establish both the British and Americans were certain the Vatican was harboring a major Nazi war criminal, Ante Pavelic, the brutal ruler of World War Two era Croatia. …

US allegation against accused brother Bernard Joseph Hartman

Maribymong and Hobsons Bay Weekly, Goya Dmytryshchak, April 22, 2014.

A Catholic brother charged with sexually abusing four children at Altona and Altona North is facing an allegation of abuse in the US, according to a US report. Bernard Joseph Hartman, 74, has entered pleas of not guilty to 14 counts of indecent assault, two counts of gross indecency with a girl under 16, and two counts of assault. … According to the US report, an alleged victim contacted church officials after media coverage of the Australian case. Reverend Ronald Lengwin, of Pittsburgh, said the allegation had been turned over to the “appropriate legal authorities”. …

Supporting abuse victims to tell their story

Whyalla News, Kayleigh Bruce, April 22, 2014.

Local service providers were recently provided with information to aid people who may wish to tell their story to the Royal Commission into the Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse. … Victim Support Service facilitated the information session in conjunction with Know More - an independent legal service offering free legal assistance to people considering making a submission. …

In defence of Cardinal Pell

Eureka Street, Frank Brennan, April 21, 2014.

I write to defend Cardinal Pell in the wake of Elizabeth Farrelly's claim in the Fairfax press that Pell, when appearing before Justice McClellan at the Royal Commission, proposed a 'priestly child abuse insurance scheme' and that 'if you wanted to maximize the damage already done to countless children, you'd be hard put to find a surer way or crueler'. … 

Prayers for ‘a way forward’

The Australian, Rosie Lewis, April 21, 2014.

… Speaking after leading a packed morning mass, Bishop Fisher, who is considered among the frontrunners to replace Cardinal George Pell as Archbishop of Sydney, said he had been praying for “a way forward” in the wake of the child sex abuse inquiry. …

The Vatican’s Shocking Easter Nest Egg

Vatican City, Go Banking Rates, Christina Lavingia, April 20, 2014.

In recent years, the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), often referred to as the Vatican Bank, has come under scrutiny for its lack of transparency and use of funds. With a history of accusations tying the Vatican Bank to everything from money-laundering to connections with the Mafia to, most recently, the funneling of tens of millions of dollars toward legal settlements surrounding priest sex-abuse scandals, many are calling for the Vatican Bank to be more upfront about where its money comes from — and goes. … However, the 2012 “Vatileaks” affair, in which Benedict’s former butler leaked documents disclosing transfers made to the American church to cover its more than $3 billion in sex-abuse settlements, made it clear that the Vatican Bank was still struggling with corruption. …

Case Study 11, April 2014, Perth

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Perth from Monday 28 April 2014. The hearing will look into the experiences of a number of men who were resident at Christian Brothers’ residences in Western Australia and the responses of the Christian Brothers and relevant Western Australian State authorities to allegations of child sexual abuse at the residences. The public hearing will be held at:

Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission
111 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000  

Child safety officers to be appointed across Perth under Catholic Church plan

Perth Now, April 19, 2014.

… Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe recently outlined to senior church personnel a draft policy to appoint child safeguarding officers with specialist training. Common in the UK, the officers take a key role in responding to allegations of abuse and advise parishes on child protection policies. A spokesman for Archbishop Costelloe said he was “keen to act as swiftly as possible” to strengthen the protective measures already in place. …

Behind the red shield

The West Australian, Annette Blackwell, April 18, 2014.

… What the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse laid bare over the past three weeks is a 19th century Christian charity struggling to realise it has to come into the 20th, never mind the 21st century. "They just don't get it," said Leonie Sheedy, co-founder of Care Leavers Australia Network. Sheedy and the members of her organisation have been at the Sydney hearings to support the men and women who had sad, sad childhoods in Salvation Army homes. …

After discussing the Vatican's finances, C8 cardinals move onto Curia reform

Vatican City
Vatican Insider, Andrea Tornielli, April 18, 2014.

From 28 to 30 April Francis’ eight cardinal advisors will be discussing the reform of the dicasteries. They are expected in the Vatican at the end of next week, before the ceremony for the canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II, set for Sunday 27 April. Straight after this, on Monday 28, Francis’ team of eight cardinal advisors will reopen the dossier on Curia reform and will begin examining each of the Pontifical Councils, weighing up all the various proposals for mergers and changes. …

More sexual assault claims against paedophile priest Terrence Pidoto

Herald Sun, Padraic Murphy and Shannon Deery, April 17, 2014.

Notorious paedophile priest Terrence Pidoto will be interviewed behind bars after a string of new alleged victims came forward accusing him of appalling new crimes. … Taskforce Sano was set up to investigate historical and new allegations that have emanated from the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse. Sen-Det David Rae told magistrate Catherine Lamble eight male victims had come forward and given statements to police. …

Victim of paedophile former priest William Dowel offers full forgiveness

The Age, Steve Butcher, April 17, 2014.

A childhood victim of an elderly pedophile former Anglican priest has faced his tormentor in a Melbourne courtroom and offered him "my complete forgiveness" for sexual abuse committed almost 40 years ago. "I want to be free of this burden," the man said of making his pardon in a victim impact statement he read to the County Court, which also spoke of not knowing "what love is". … It was not the only act of mercy bestowed on William Richard Dowel, 88, as a judge also spared him a prison cell because his age and ill-health would probably cause his death behind bars. …

Survivors of child abuse left out of Royal Commission roundtable

ABC News, Angela Lavoipierre, April 16, 2014.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is facing criticism for failing to include survivors of abuse in a roundtable on out-of-home care. … Stakeholders including government representatives, academics and care providers gathered in Sydney to discuss preventing sexual abuse where children are being cared for outside their family home or with foster families. …

 Salvos major sought mercy for abuser

The Australian, Dan Box, April 16, 2014.

… Major Peter Farthing told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse yesterday that he counselled the officer, Colin Haggar, for 18 months after he had admitted assaulting the eight-year-old. In 1992, two years after Haggar was stood down by the Salvation Army, Mr Farthing wrote to the then-commissioner, saying “he has worked very hard to rectify his problems and has made excellent progress”. “Therefore I personally believe it would be appropriate for him to be re-accepted for ­officership,” the letter said. …

Dying abuse victim celebrates giving bedside testimony to Royal Commission [with audio]

ABC News, Alyssa Allen, April 15, 2014.

Barry Wilson waited fifty years to tell his horrific story of child sexual abuse. It was years of abuse while in the care of the Christian Brothers at St Augustine's Orphanage in Highton, Geelong that saw Barry's life spiral out of control. Barry found out six weeks ago that he had liver cancer and only had a few days to live. Amazingly, he found the courage to tell his story of child sexual abuse to the Royal Commission last Tuesday. Barry died on Sunday but his brother Peter Wilson could not be more proud of him. …

No evidence to support Salvation Army officer's claim he confessed act of child sex abuse to police, royal commission told

Sydney Morning Herald, Paul Bibby, April 15, 2014.

A senior Salvation Army officer who says he went to police to confess the sexual abuse he inflicted on a young girl but was told nothing could be done, has had serious doubt cast on his claims. An investigator hired by the Salvos told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Monday that Lieutenant-Colonel Colin Haggar allegedly assaulted the girl three times, not once as the officer had claimed, and that there was no direct documentary evidence that the police confession ever took place. …

Paedophile priest dies before facing court amid new allegations

Herald Sun, Shannon Deery, April 15, 2014.

… Alleged victims of Wilfred Baker have been left devastated that he will not be held to account for a string of crimes against kids between 1966 and 1974. … The Herald Sun understands brothers allegedly abused by Baker were poised to give evidence against the disgraced priest. But prosecutors today filed a notice of discontinuance in the matter following his death in February. …

Salvation Army’s Major Peter Farthing tells royal commission child abusers not same as paedophiles

Daily Telegraph, Janet Fife-Yeomans, April 15, 2014.

The Salvation Army supported a self-confessed child molester to get a working with children check, it admitted today in the child sex abuse royal commission. … Major Farthing agreed that the Salvation Army had not revealed the 1989 incident when Mr Haggar applied for the check in 2002. He remains entitled to work with children until 2018. …

"Sadistic" Salvos may never be held to account

Northern Rivers Echo, Jessica Grewal, April 15, 2014.

The "sadistic" Salvation Army officers who once ruled the Riverview Boy's home may never be held accountable for their sins but the end of yesterday's royal commission hearing brought much-needed closure to the surviving victims who shed light on one of the most disturbing chapters in the region's history. … Tales of rapes, whippings and the injustice of not being believed were recounted by men of varying ages, many of whom told of how the torment had impacted their marriages and ability to care for their own children. …

Salvos didn’t ‘twig’ to abuser’s past

The Australian, Dan Box, April 15, 2014.

THE Salvation Army helped one of its officers apply to be allowed to work with children a decade after he first confessed to his superiors that he had sexually assaulted a young girl. … Giving evidence this morning, the Army’s former Secretary for Personnel, Major Peter Farthing, said a recent operational restructure meant the organisation had been unaware Mr Haggar had some responsibility for children living in crisis accommodation in Sydney. …

'Not all child abusers pedophiles'

Sky News, April 15, 2014.

People who sexually abuse children are not all paedophiles and the Salvation Army would dispute having one in their ranks, … Its former secretary for personnel, Major Peter Farthing, on Tuesday also told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he did not launch an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse of two women because such inquiries were not 'second nature' to him. … 'Some people offend in a kind of crime of opportunity - a situational crime. …

Catholic apology: Priest, 79, admits historic child sex abuse on young girls

Perth Now, Kaitlyn Offer, April 15, 2014.

… Father Patrick Holmes, 79, appeared in Perth Magistrates Court this morning, where he admitted six charges relating to two young girls under the age of 13. Police charged Holmes over an offence in 1980, at the St Aloyius Church in Shenton Park, when he indecently assaulted a girl who was aged 10 to 12 years old when she visited the presbytery after school. He also indecently assaulted a girl aged six to seven years old in 1969 while working at the Holy Name Church in Carlisle, also allegedly in the presbytery. …

Perth priest pleads guilty to child sex offences dating back decades

ABC News, Joanna Menagh, April 15, 2014.

A Catholic priest in Perth has pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting two young girls in offences dating back decades. … The offences occurred when the girl visited the presbytery at St Aloysius Church after school. Holmes also assaulted a girl aged seven while working at the Catholic Holy Name Church in Carlisle in 1969. Holmes pleaded guilty to six indecent dealing charges. …

Organisation not coping with claims: Salvos investigator

The Australian, Dan Box, April 15, 2014.

A former policeman employed by the Salvation Army to investigate child abuse committed by its officers says the organisation is unable to cope with the number of cases being brought against it. … He was particularly critical of the church’s handling of child abuse allegations against senior officer Colin Haggar, who confessed to sexually assaulting an eight-year-old girl in regional NSW in 1990. …

 Child abuser pursuing victim over legal costs [w/ audio]

ABC – PM, Lorna Knowles, April 14, 2014.

It sounds unbelievable, but in New South Wales a convicted child abuser is pursuing his victim for almost $20,000, and the victim says he feels as powerless as when he was being assaulted. The child abuser is a former school teacher who was employed at the Blue Mountains Grammar School in the early 1970s. Even though he was convicted of molesting his former student, he now wants the victim to pay his legal bill. … Lorna Knowles has the story. …

Vatican Summoned to Report to UN Committee on Torture

United Nations, New York
Center for Constitutional Rights, April 14, 2014,

Late on Friday, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), representing the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), filed a report with the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) documenting the severity of long-term harms suffered by survivors of sexual violence by Catholic clergy. The UN committee is reviewing the Vatican on its compliance with international prohibitions against torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment under the Convention Against Torture, which the Vatican ratified in 2002. This will be the second time in four months that top Catholic officials have been called before the UN to account for the Vatican’s human rights record on addressing the ongoing worldwide crisis of sexual violence and cover-ups within the Catholic Church. Vatican representatives will appear before and be questioned by the Committee on May 5 and 6, 2014. …

SNAP & CCR file 2nd UN complaint vs. Vatican

United Nations, New York
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, April 14, 2014.

Statement by Mary Caplan of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 917 439 4187, mcaplan682@aol.com )

… Vatican officials signed a treaty on the rights of the child. In February, they were held responsible – via a blistering United Nations report – for breaking that treaty. We hope the UN's Committee on Torture will issue a similar report after they read the evidence and question Vatican officials in May in Geneva. … On Friday, the Pope made what some call “his strongest remarks ever” about the church's on-going clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis, in which sexual violence against the vulnerable continues to be committed and concealed. But “remarks” protect no one. Only action protects kids. And we urge Catholics to ask themselves “What specific steps – proven, practical steps, has Francis taken that have exposed even one cleric who has committed or concealed child sex crimes?” There are none. Or ask “What has he done to disgorge current cover ups or discourage future cover ups?” The answer: nothing. … it's irresponsible for Francis to continue to talk about abuse but not effectively prevent abuse. …

Kerry Haggar, the wife of a Salvation Army child sex abuser apologised to the victim

Daily Telegraph, Janet Fife-Yeomans, April 14, 2014.

… Lt Col Haggar said her husband Colin, who was also a lieutenant colonel in the Salvos until he was finally dismissed earlier this year, had told her what he had done in late 1989 when they were living in a western NSW town. …

WA priest charged with child sex offences

9 News, April 14, 2014.

A 79-year-old Perth priest has been charged with child sex offences going as far back as 1969.  Police allege the man indecently assaulted a girl who was aged 10 to 12 when he was a priest at St Aloysius Church in Shenton Park in 1980. … The man has been charged with six counts of indecent dealing with a child under 13. …

Priest on multiple child sex charges

The West Australian, April 14, 2014.

… The priest was based at a Shenton Park church in 1980 when he allegedly indecently assaulted a girl who was aged 10-12 years when she visited the presbytery after school. "It is further alleged in 1969, the same priest was working at a church in Carlisle, when he indecently assaulted a girl who was aged six to seven years of age," police said. …

Abuse inquiries linked to sex-offence spike

Cowra Community News, April 14, 2014.

A spike in sex crimes may be the result of more people coming forward to report offenders, police say. Sexual assaults in New South Wales increased by 125 per cent between 1990 and 2013. … NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas says he believes the Special Commission of Inquiry and royal commission, both addressing institutionalised child sex abuse, have encouraged victims to come forward. …

Salvos inquiry continues in Sydney

Brisbane Times, April 14, 2014.

A national inquiry into the Salvation Army's handling of child abuse allegations resumes in Sydney on Monday. Over the past two weeks the royal commission into child sex abuse in institutions has heard how some victims of abuse in army homes in NSW and Queensland felt they weren't believed when they approached the charitable organisation with complaints. The commission is also examining how the army dealt with officers about whom allegations were made. …

The dark world of paedophilia exposed

Sydney Morning Herald, Melinda Tankard Reist, April 13, 2014.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the recent sentencing of Daniel Morcombe’s killer along with the imprisonment last week of former television star Robert Hughes after being found guilty of nine sex offense against three underage girls, have all heightened public attention on the scourge of child sexual assault. … Predators are emboldened and more networked through thriving internet child porn rings. But there are other drivers of the trade in children’s bodies. Products in local newsagencies, milk bars and retail outlets and online, normalise and eroticise child sexual assault. …

Royal Commission rejects claims that WA abuse victims not speaking out

ABC – PM, Emily Bourke, April 11, 2014.

Officials from the child abuse Royal Commission have rejected claims that only one person from the Kimberley in WA is prepared to give oral testimony. … The Royal Commission's CEO Janette Dines spoke to Emily Bourke. …

Ire over ex-priest sex case delay

Armidale Express, Samantha-Jo Harris,  April 11, 2014.

An Armidale magistrate has sharply rebuked the defence of a former priest facing historic child sexual abuse for not filing documents to the court. … Wednesday was the 13th time his case has been before the court. …

Priest case adjourned until June

South Coast Register, April 11, 2014.

… Robert Flaherty, 70, who now lives at Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains, appeared in Parramatta Local Court on Wednesday before Magistrate Miszalski, facing five counts of indecent assault against children. Magistrate Miszalski adjourned the matters until June for hearing. …

Leaked complaint letter about alleged cover-up of sexual abuse shocks Melbourne’s Orthodox Jewish community

The Australian, Shannon Deery, April 10, 2014.

… Police have launched an investigation into how the confidential complaint was leaked after it was photocopied and distributed widely. … But critics of the college's handling of abuse cases say there were active attempts to cover-up the evil acts. …

Royal Commission into child sex abuse struggles to find Kimberley people to testify

ABC News, Erin Parke, April 10, 2014.

David Francis is not bitter, nor angry. He is simply sad for those who suffered abuse, and are still too scared to talk about it. … "When you start going back and talking about things, you're going to bring up your past again, so what happens is it can affect your mental stability. It's a hard thing to talk about." … The 51-year-old plans to tell his story to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse. But he is one of only a handful of people from the Kimberley who have expressed interest in doing so. ...

Pope Francis’ Hero: Cardinal Pell & The “Money First” Approach

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism, Jerry Slevin, April 10, 2014.

As Pope Francis continues apparently to try to fool Catholics with his “bait and switch” strategy, it is helpful to consider Cardinal Pell, Francis’ new choice to maximize the Vatican’s considerable wealth. Pell’s recently revealed and ruthless treatment of victims of Australian priests’ child abuse makes some Wall Street investment bankers’ approach to making money seem beneficent, it appears. Pell’s significance has been captured well recently by Fr. Thomas Doyle, O.P., the leading worldwide advocate for over a quarter century of justice for priest abuse survivors. …

Lawyers preparing class action against Catholic Church over paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale

ABC News, April 9, 2014.

Lawyers are preparing to launch a class action against the Catholic Church on behalf of the victims of paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale. … Lawyer Vivian Waller will represent at least 20 people in a claim against the Diocese of Ballarat. …

Clergy sex abuse victims to sue Ballarat catholic diocese

The Courier, Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Mark Russell April 9, 2014.

At least 20 victims of former Ballarat paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale have instructed a lawyer to prepare a class action against the Ballarat Catholic diocese. The landmark class action against the Catholic Church will be the first test of Cardinal George Pell's recent commitment to make the church less hostile to litigation from sex abuse victims. …

Former Armidale priest back in court

ABC News, Catherine Clifford, April 9, 2014.

A 60-year-old former Catholic priest, facing multiple historic child sex abuse charges, has re-appeared at Armidale Local Court. … It's alleged the accused committed the assaults against three girls and six boys at unspecified locations in Armidale, Moree, Narrabri and Inverell. …

Paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale's victims to launch class action

The Age, Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Mark Russell, April 9, 2014.

Victims of one of Australia's most notorious paedophile priests, Gerald Ridsdale, are preparing a landmark class action against the Catholic Church in what will be the first test of Cardinal George Pell's recent commitment to make the church less hostile to litigation from sex abuse victims. … County Court Chief Judge Michael Rozenes said Ridsdale's ''unfettered sexual deviance'' had been a blatant breach of trust. …

Christian Brothers offer funeral help to child sexual abuse victim Barry Wilson

The Age, Jane Lee, April 9, 2014.

… Mr Wilson was sexually abused when he was about eight years old at the Christian Brothers' St Augustine's Orphanage in Geelong. He gave evidence on Tuesday to the royal commission into child sexual abuse from his hospital bed in Kerang. Mr Wilson was filmed reading aloud his police statement so the evidence could be used in a police investigation into the abuse after his death. …

Judge slams church over paedophile priest secrets

Herald Sun, Padraic Murphy, April 08, 2014.

A priest who allegedly witnessed predatory pedophile Gerald Ridsdale raping a young girl 40 years ago has been slammed by a judge, but the clergyman’s identity has been withheld from the public. … But the judge refused a Herald Sun application for access to documents in which he is believed to be named. …

Libido-suppressing drug Zoladex should be on PBS to treat sex offenders, psychiatrist Danny Sullivan says

7 News, Louise Milligan, April 8, 2014.

One of Australia's leading forensic psychiatrists is pushing for a libido-suppressing drug to be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) to treat serial sex offenders. … Dr Sullivan says the drug, clinically known as an LHRH agonist and marketed as Zoladex, has been successful in reducing recidivism rates of sex offenders overseas, particularly in the US state of Oregon. …

Catholic priest sorry for abuse: court

7 News, Melissa Iaria, April 8, 2014

A Catholic priest who sexually abused 15 schoolboys has become a sorry and shameful pariah, known wherever he goes as "the pedophile priest", a court has heard. Frank Gerard Klep, 70, abused the boys at Salesian College Rupertswood from 1973 to 1984. …

Predator priest Frank Klep has so much to give, lawyer tells court

Herald Sun, Shannon Deery, April 08, 2014.

A predator priest who abused 15 boys across two decades should not die in jail because he has “so much to give” the community, his lawyer says. Frank Klep’s crimes were so sick he was banned from working with children, stripped of his priestly duties and ultimately laicised by the Catholic Church. …

Pedophile priest's attrocities laid bare

7 News, Joel Cresswell, April 8, 2014.

To serial pedophile Gerald Francis Ridsdale, violating children was "the Lord's work". That's what he told one of his 53 victims as he assaulted the nine-year-old altar boy. … It was not until 1993 that his atrocities caught up with him, with his first jail stint. …

Notorious pedophile priest convicted again

9 News, April 8, 2014.

More than half a century after he started sexually abusing the sons and daughters of his parishioners, Australia's worst pedophile priest has learnt he is likely to die in jail. Gerald Francis Ridsdale, 79, was given an eight-year sentence after pleading guilty to 30 new charges against 14 boys and girls between 1961 and 1980, conduct described by the judge as "evil hypocrisy." …

Notorius paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale jailed for a further eight years

The Standard, Mark Russell, April 8, 2014.

… County Court Chief Judge Michael Rozenes said Ridsdale's "unfettered sexual deviance" had been a blatant breach of the trust existing between priests and parishioners. … Ridsdale's position in the church involved a high degree of trust and some degree of power and his offending had had a devastating impact on his young victims. …

Paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale sentenced to 8 years in jail for child abuse

ABC News, April 8, 2014.

Paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale has been sentenced to eight years in jail with a minimum non-parole period of five years for the abuse of 14 children. … The 80-year-old pleaded guilty to the most recent charges, which included raping and abusing children as young as four. …

The Salvation Army lied about their mistakes to two women raped by a paedophile royal commission told

NEWS.com.au, April 8, 2014.

The Salvation Army was lying about their mistakes up to five years ago to two women raped and sexually abused by a paedophile at a Sunday school, the child sex abuse royal commission has been told. The evidence emerged as the Salvos eastern territorial commander, James Condon, clashed with counsel assisting the commission in a heated exchange. …

Salvation Army helped conceal child abuser Colin Haggar, territorial commander admits

NEWS.com.au, April 8, 2014.

… Colin Haggar had sexually assaulted an eight-year-old girl but although he was dismissed from the Salvos, he was allowed to give his own reasons to both his colleagues and his congregation in the western NSW town where he had been based, the child sex abuse royal commission heard yesterday. …

Salvos boosted confessed abuser

The Australian, Dan Box, April 08, 2014.

The international general of the Salvation Army promoted a self-confessed child abuser to a senior rank within the church, despite a church commander in Sydney arguing against the appointment, the royal commission has heard. The officer, Colin Haggar, had been dismissed from the charity in 1990, after confessing to having sexually molested an eight-year-old girl in regional NSW, before being readmitted three years later. …

$10,000 after horrific abuse-inquiry

Sky News, April 7, 2014.

A man who had cigarette butts put out between his toes when he was a child in the care of The Salvation Army was given $10,000 compensation, an inquiry into child abuse has heard. … A hearing held in February heard that EF, who was seven when he was placed in the Indooroopilly Boy's Home in Queensland in 1966, was violently punished and raped by Major Victor Bennett, who was the home's manager.

Whistleblower got it wrong: Salvo boss

SBS, AAP, April 7, 2014.

Salvation Army commissioner James Condon says he opposed the promotion of an officer with a history of sex abuse. … The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard that Mr Haggar confessed to indecently assaulting an eight-year-old girl in 1989, and was dismissed from the Salvos, but was re-admitted in 1993 and subsequently promoted. …

Tragic tale: commission to hear bedside testimony

The Age, Jane Lee, April 7, 2014

Barry Wilson does not have long to tell his story. Six weeks ago, he was told he was dying of liver cancer. In five days, he shed about 16 kilograms. … So on Tuesday, the royal commission will send representatives to his hospital bed in the northern Victorian town Kerang to hear him testify about the sexual abuse he suffered. …  When he was about eight or nine, he was abused while in the care of the Christian Brothers at St Augustine's Orphanage in Highton, Geelong. …

Archbishop Philip Wilson feared sex inquiry

The Australian, Mark Schliebs, April 07, 2014.

The Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide warned that a government inquiry into the abuse of ­intellectually disabled children at an archdiocese school could jeopardise police attempts to convict a pedophile, a letter tendered to a royal commission has revealed. … Archbishop Wilson said that the church was prepared to “co-operate fully” if an inquiry was held but added that other parties would be concerned, according to the letter dated December 17, 2001. …

Vic pedophile priest to be sentenced

Sky News, April 7, 2014.

One of Australia's worst child sex predators, pedophile priest Gerald Francis Ridsdale, is expected to die in prison. … He has now admitted his guilt in assaulting 53 children in abuse that spanned three decades. …

Salvation Army Major put cigarettes out on boy, 7, and threw him in a pool with bricks tied to his legs

Daily Telegraph, Janet Fife-Yeomans, April 07, 2014.

A Salvation Army major put out cigarette butts between the toes of a seven-year-old boy, the child sex abuse royal commission has been told. … When the man, who was also raped by Bennett in the home in 1966 as a seven-year-old, finally told the Salvation Army what had happened, his file was marked “not proved” next to the claims of the cigarettes and the swimming pool. …

Child abuse victim raped, burned, held underwater by Salvation Army major Victor Bennett

The Australian, Dan Box, April 07, 2014.

A Salvation Army officer put out cigarettes on the body of a seven-year-old boy, who was also thrown into a swimming pool with bricks tied to his feet, the royal commission has heard. …

ROYAL COMMISSION ANNOUNCES FIRST PUBLIC HEARING TO BE HELD IN PERTH

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, April 6, 2014.

A public hearing will commence in Perth on 28 April 2014 into the experiences of a number of men who were resident at Christian Brothers’ residences in Western Australia. The hearing will investigate the responses of the Christian Brothers and relevant Western Australian State authorities to allegations of child sexual abuse at the residences. …

Abuse claims at four WA Christian Brothers’ school to be investigated by Royal Commission

Perth Now, Emily Moulton, April 06, 2014.

Claims of widespread child sex abuse at four Christian Brothers-run WA boarding schools will be investigated as part of a nationwide inquiry. … It will hear from dozens of former boarders who spent time as young boys at Castledare Junior Orphanage in Wilson, St Vincent’s Orphanage in Clontarf, St Mary’s Agricultural School in Tardun, and Bindoon Farm School. …

Abuse victim speaks out about Salvos

Sky News, March 6, 2014.

A survivor of child sexual abuse at the hands of Salvation Army officers says an apology from the organisation means nothing to him, while another witness has urged Australians to think twice about donating to the charity. … One man, FE, was raped repeatedly by guards at the Gill Memorial School in Goulburn in the early 1970s. He said he was offered a $60,000 ex gratia payment by the Salvos in 2006, … 'The way I saw it, it was hush money,' FE said. … Earlier, abuse survivor Allan Anderson told the commission the Salvation Army was not transparent, and eliciting accountability from the charity was an 'ongoing roundabout.' … 'Let me suggest to the public as a whole: think twice before you put your hand in your pocket and give when the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal comes around, for you should not give so generously.'

Kathleen McCormack on exposing sex abuse in Church

Illawarra Mercury, Gemma Khaicy, April 5, 2014.

Kathleen McCormack has retired from the Wollongong Catholic welfare agency she established 35 years ago. She spoke to Gemma Khaicy about what she witnessed through her work. The Church's culture of silence muted their voices, but the pain of sexual abuse victims burned until it couldn't be contained. When CatholicCare's Kathleen McCormack heard victims' stories, she went straight to the police demanding justice. …

Catholic Church to revisit compensation caps for abuse victims

ABC News, Hamish Fitzsimmons, April 4, 2014.

The Catholic Church says it will revisit compensation arrangements under the Melbourne Response with a view to either increasing or removing the current cap of $75,000. The move comes after Cardinal George Pell last week told the parents of two victims of a paedophile priest that he would make moves to remove the cap and revisit 300 existing claims against the church. …

Pell was wrong to blame the lawyers, but they aren’t blameless

The Conversation, Vivien Holmes, April 3, 2014.

When counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse put it to Cardinal George Pell last week that his lawyers weren’t his moral advisors, she was implying that he shouldn’t blame his lawyers for his pursuit of a morally bankrupt legal strategy. Pell was the client. He gave the instructions. …

Salvo boss 'delayed' reporting abuser

The Australian, Annette Blackwell, April 04, 2014.

One of the Salvation Army's top leaders in Australia waited nine months before telling authorities about a known sex abuser, who was also his friend, an inquiry has been told. …

Inquiry probes Salvos' abuse claim process

Illawarra Mercury, April 03, 2014.

A man who spent 10 years in a Salvation Army-run boys home wanted the army to pay him $1 million for every year he suffered abuse. Ralph Doughty, who was in the Gill Memorial Home for Boys in Goulburn, NSW, from 1940, when he was seven, to 1950, said he calculated the amount based on cases overseas. "I will guarantee that not one judge ... would be prepared to accept a million dollars a year to [be sexually abused]," said Mr Doughty, now in his 80s. …

Salvos promoted alleged abuser

The Australian, Dan Box, April 03, 2014.

A Salvation Army officer told the parents of an eight- or nine-year-old girl that he had sexually abused their daughter, before saying he was glad to have spoken to them and could now “go out and save more souls”. … As recently as last July, Mr Haggar was working as the director of a Salvation Army centre offering accommodation for vulnerable women and children, despite the organisation receiving other abuse complaints against him. …

Victims walk out on Vic priest’s apology

Melbourne, Australian Teacher Magazine, April 3, 2014.

Victims of a pedophile priest have walked out of a Melbourne court as he stood to deliver an apology. Frank Gerard Klep, 70, has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing 15 boys while a teacher and principal at Salesian College Rupertswood from 1973 to 1984. …

Vic priest leaves behind 'human wreckage'

The Australian AAP, Joel Cresswell, April 03, 2014.

The "human wreckage" left behind by a pedophile priest took little comfort in his apology. As Frank Gerard Klep stood to face the men he abused as schoolboys more than 30 years ago, several could not stomach his pre-prepared confession. … "I abused your trust and betrayed you in the most appalling circumstances, for that I am truly sorry," Klep said. …

Fugitive Catholic priest located by The News tells his victims: ‘I abused your trust’

USA, Texas, The Dallas Morning News, Reese Dunklin, April 3, 2014.

I found Frank Klep giving candy to Samoan children in 2004, far from the criminal charges against him in Australia. Now he awaits sentencing on even more charges. (File)…But Frank Klep’s words were of little comfort, according to The Age newspaper in Australia. …

Clergyman Charged In Australia Faces “Credible” Allegations From Time At North Catholic HS

USA, Pennslvania, CBS Pittsburgh, Lynne Hayes-Freeland, April 3, 2014.

Pittsburgh (KDKA/AP) – The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh says a clergyman awaiting trial on charges he molested four students 30 years ago at a school in Australia is the subject of a “credible” allegation of abuse from when he taught at the city’s North Catholic High School. Fr. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the diocese, tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the complaint against Marianist Brother Bernard Hartman has been turned over to authorities. …

Australian abuse suspect accused in Pittsburgh

USA, Pennsylvania, Observer-Reporter, April 3, 2014.

Pittsburgh (AP) – A clergyman awaiting trial on charges he molested four students some 30 years ago at a school in Australia is the subject of a credible allegation of abuse from when he taught at Pittsburgh’s North Catholic High School, according to a spokesman for the city’s Roman Catholic diocese. That complaint against Marianist Brother Bernard Hartman, 74, was turned over to authorities, according to the Rev. Ronald Lengwin. …

Salvation Army promoted officer who confessed to abusing eight-year-old girl

The Guardian (UK), AAP, April 2, 2014.

The Salvation Army moved and promoted an officer who confessed to abusing an eight-year-old girl, an inquiry has been told. …

Hollingworth case ‘pushed’ cleric to act

The Australian, Mark Schliebs, April 02, 2014.

The Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide wrote to police in 2002 about decade-old child sexual abuse because allegations that Peter Hollingworth mishandled a separate case were made a couple of months earlier, corruption investigators believed. In a 2002 report into why a pedophile investigation was shut down that was tendered to a royal commission, investigators from South Australia Police’s Anti-Corruption Branch included thoughts on why Archbishop Philip Wilson wrote to police about the abuse of intellectually disabled children by a school-bus driver. …

Royal commission told Salvation Army’s ‘physical and sexual abuse’ was rampant

The Australian, Janet Fife-Yeomans, April 02, 2014.

Some victims cannot bear to see the Salvation Army uniform, branding them “Gestapo.” Others refuse to enter their offices. Yesterday Allan Anderson, who was abused by the Salvos in the Bexley Boys Home along with his little brother John, urged the public to think twice before donating to them. …

Cleaning up the post-George Pell parish in Sydney

Sydney Morning Herald, Elizabeth Farrelly, April 2, 2014.

George Pell wants to insure priests against being sued for child sexual abuse. My head is still rotating on its axis. Our man in purple, our alpha priest, moral paragon. Our Vatican princeling, just days from taking up his dauphindom in Rome: he said that? He dropped this fissile solipsism on our public debate and left, smacking the dust from his hands like, we're done now, right? …

Church honours market over Gospel in abuse cases

Eureka Street, Andrew Hamilton, April 2, 2014.

Cardinal Pell was often described as the leader of the Australian Church. What he said and did was taken to represent the Australian Catholic Church. That sometimes annoyed Catholics from other states who saw their church as superior to the Sydney variety, and certainly did not recognise the Cardinal as their leader. …

Commission hearings' trail of collateral devastation

Eureka Street, Neil Ormerod, April 2, 2014.

Most of us who have worked in or near church institutions get used to a certain level of dysfunctionality: poor lines of communication, under-developed personal skills, the arbitrary use of power, the no-talk rule about controversial issues, lack of accountability and transparency, people rising above the level of their competence, and so on. In general we learn to tolerate it and work around it as best we can. At times, however, it comes together as a 'perfect storm' of dysfunctionality leading to incredibly damaging consequences for all concerned. …

Deeper dysfunction behind the Ellis case

Eureka Street, Tim Wallace, April 2, 2014.

In late 2004, two years into the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney's botched handling of a sexual abuse complaint against priest Aidan Duggan, the executive director of the Catholic Church's National Committee for Professional Standards, Julian McDonald, did something extraordinary. He inquired into whether Duggan, prior to joining the Sydney Archdiocese in 1974, had form. This would not have been within McDonald's usual ambit, but Duggan's accuser, John Ellis, had requested the NCPS review the archdiocese's handling of his case — a process stymied early on the basis the archdiocese had no record of other allegations against Duggan, deemed too senile to answer the allegations. …

Watchdog ready to target church investment funds

The Australian, Dan Box, April 02, 2014.

Churches will be barred from offering “easy access” bank-style accounts to their ­parishioners amid tough new ­restrictions proposed by the ­national regulator in a crackdown on more than $1 billion in investments held in unregulated church-run funds. …

Think before Salvos donation: abuse victim

Sydney Morning Herald, Eoin Blackwell, April 1, 2014.

A survivor of child sexual abuse at the hands of Salvation Army officers says an apology from the organisation means nothing to him, while another has urged Australians to think twice about donating to the charity. …

Bexley Boys Home child abuse victim urges people not to donate to Salvation Army

7 News, ABC, Antonette Collins, April 1, 2014.

A former resident of the Bexley Boys' Home in Sydney has urged the public not to give money to the Salvation Army because children have been damaged by child abuse under its care. …

Day Two, Case Study 10 Hearings, Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: Salvation Army (Eastern Territory)

lewisblayse.net, April 1, 2014.

… As has been covered in the media, it was another day of shocking abuse claims against the Salvation Army, including a heartbreaking account of his experiences by the witness known as ‘FE’. …

Ballarat Catholic diocese to host abuse forum

The Courier, Fiona Henderson, April 1, 2014.

Ballarat Catholic diocese vicar-general Father Justin Driscoll firmly believes in the “Francis Effect”. Since the election of Pope Francis in March 2013, Fr Driscoll believes people are finding their “humility to listen”. So the Ballarat Diocese Foundation has joined forces with world-renowned sexual abuse expert Professor Caroline Taylor to host a community gathering on child sexual abuse. …

Catholic Church pays abuse compensation from grant interest

The Australian, Dan Box And Justine Ferrari, April 01, 2014.

Child sex abuse victims are being compensated out of interest the Catholic Church earns from investing the billions of dollars it receives in government grants for schools. …

Abandon principles and pay the price

Brisbane Times, Michael Pascoe, April 1, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell is not normally mentioned in the same breath as Julia Gillard – it's the other side of politics that has been much closer to him – but the departed Prime Minister and departing Archbishop of Sydney have something in common that should stand as a stark governance warning to every board and CEO in the nation: they've been incalculably damaged by abandoning principles. …

Child abuse inquiry removes evidence from web

The Australian, Mark Schliebs, April 01, 2014.

A royal commission has taken the extraordinary step of removing more than a thousand pieces of evidence from public view because of concerns raised by the state government. …

Review payments to abuse victims: commissioner

The Australian, Pia Akerman, April 01, 2014.

Institutions should review all payments made to children in their care that had been sexually abused, according to the head of the royal commission examining the organisations’ responses. …

Child sex abuse inquiry barely scratches the surface of complaints

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

Almost 150 paedophiles have been reported to police by the royal commission into child sex abuse as it investigates 13 ­institutions and more than 30 victims have come forward. …There are 168 institutions, including orphanages and residential schools, where five or more victims have spoken to the commission. It said 62 per cent of complaints involved abuse in a religious ­institution, most of them Catholic. …

2014 Families Australia Oration

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, The Hon. Justice Peter McClellan AM, March 31, 2014.

On 10 April 1874, the New York Times carried an account of the evidence given by a nine year old girl in the Supreme Court of New York on the previous day. It was the chilling story of the mistreatment of an orphan who had been placed into the care of people by the name of Connolly. Mrs Connolly, who the child was required to call Mamma, was later convicted of her felonious assault. …

Child sexual abuse Royal Commission focuses on WA's Kimberley region

WA Today, Aleisha Orr, March 31, 2014.

… In its second visit to the Kimberley, Royal Commission staff are meeting with Aboriginal and other community organisations and service providers in Broome and Kununurra from March 31 to April 11. … "We strongly encourage all survivors who wish to share their story, particularly in a private session with a Commissioner, to register their interest with the Royal Commission," Ms Dines said. …

The Fight to Reveal Abuses by Catholic Priests [w/ video report]

USA, New York Times Retro Report, , March 30, 2014.

Cardinal Edward M. Egan, the former Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, … embodies a certain mind-set among some in the highest clerical ranks. It is an attitude that has led critics, who of late include the authors of a scathing United Nations committee report, to wonder about the depth of the church’s commitment to atone for past predations and to ensure that those sins of the fathers are visited on no one else. …

Cardinal defends Vatican abuse policy

ITALY
SBS (Australia), AAP, March 30, 2014.

Italy's Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco has defended a Vatican policy exempting bishops from having to report suspected child sex abuse to the police. …

Cardinal George Pell — the man of God we know

Sunday Herald, Ruth Lamperd, March 30, 2014.

… Young George hit 6 ft 3 (1.9m) by the time he was 15. He was commanding and jovial, the centre of boarding house social life. … His liturgical accent would have been at home in the wooden panels of a courtroom. At least two of his former classmates could more easily see a black lawyer’s gown billowing about his broad shoulders, a white wig on his head, not a cross hanging by a chain around his neck. …

Law triggered after Muswellbrook priest abuse claims

Newcastle Herald, Joanne Mc Carthy and Gabriel Wingate-Pearse, March 30, 2014.

The Office of the Children’s Guardian is conducting a risk assessment of a Muswellbrook Catholic priest over historic child abuse allegations. Father John Alexander stood aside from parish ministry in November last year after the allegations triggered the need for a risk assessment under new child protection legislation. …

Church fought abuse claimants tooth and nail

Sydney Morning Herald, Catherine Armitage, March 29, 2014.

The now infamous case of the brilliant lawyer and sex abuse survivor John Ellis before the child sex abuse royal commission has laid bare for the first time not just the Sydney Catholic archdiocese's wealth but the cold, dark heart of its handling of child sex abuse complaints. …

 Melbourne Archbishop to discuss removing abuse victim payment cap

ABC – AM, Alison Caldwell, March 29, 2014.

The parents of two abuse victims say they want the Catholic Church to act urgently to remove a cap on payment to abuse victims. Anthony and Chrissie Foster say Australia's most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, this week personally promised them that the $75,000 cap would be abolished. …

Cardinal George Pell and Catholic bishops have seriously overdrawn their moral credit

Canberra Times, Jack Waterford, March 29, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell, former archbishop of Sydney, has departed for Rome to take charge of Vatican finances. His last acts in Sydney involved rationalising the contradictions in his leadership style caused by the chasm between moral and spiritual leadership of his community, and legal and fiduciary management of its assets and finances. For 30 years his has been the authoritarian, cold, unfeeling, and arrogant face of the church corporate in Australia. …

A cup of tea with the cardinal: what George Pell did in the Ellis case

The Guardian (UK), David Marr, Friday 28 March 2014.

… Pell looked weary but cheerful. Less than four hours before appearing in cope and mitre under the arc lights of the cathedral, he had been in the witness box of the royal commission into institutional responses to child abuse delivering one last apology to John Ellis. Some of the time since had been spent praying at the shrine of St Mary MacKillop. …

The Religion of the Humble? Cardinal Pell and the Peril of Institutional Atheism

ABC - Religion and Ethics, Scott Stephens, March 28, 2014.

Prior to entering the conclave that would elect him as Bishop of Rome, Jorge Mario Bergoglio took the opportunity to warn his brother Cardinals against succumbing to an "evil which is so grave" - that of spiritual worldliness. This admittedly strange term was not Bergoglio's at all, but rather comes from the remarkable final meditation of Henri de Lubac's book, The Splendour of the Church. …

With such a faulty memory, how can George Pell rise so high?

The Age, Peter FitzSimons, March 28, 2014.

The Cardinal George Pell's testimony at the royal commission? I just don’t get it. Not simply the staggering lack of genuine contrition from one who has presided over an era that has seen the widespread sexual abuse of children at the hands and worse of priests whose care they were entrusted to. And not only because so much of his testimony seemed to contradict the sworn testimony of so many of his underlings. No, most amazing was his use of the ‘‘I can’t recall,’’ answer when it came time to discuss financial transactions to compensate victims as recently as 2007. What I don’t get is – all put together – how someone so totally exposed as being at best incompetent and always so very vague, can rise to the third most powerful position in the worldwide Catholic Church?

 Pell closes with a profuse apology to abuse victim Ellis

The Australian, March 28, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell has marked the end of his appearance before the royal commission into child sexual abuse with a public apology for the suffering endured by abused former altar boy John Ellis. …

Child rights advocates reject Australian cardinal’s apology over Catholic sex abuse

The Raw Story, Agence France-Presse, March 28, 2014.

Child rights advocates on Friday rejected an apology from Australia’s top Catholic cleric George Pell over sex abuse in the Church, saying it was “hypocritical” and lacked credibility. … A spokeswoman for advocacy group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), Nicky Davis, said the apologies were “completely hypocritical” and Pell showed no emotion when addressing Ellis. “His tone was completely flat, there was no emotion, no humanity there … that’s not how you apologise to someone,” she said. …

Rape victims' parents say George Pell vowed to review Church compensation payments

ABC News Lateline, Hamish Fitzsimmons, March 28, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell has told the parents of two child sex abuse victims the Church will review its compensation payments, even if it costs hundreds of millions of dollars. … The Fosters met Cardinal Pell after his appearance at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney yesterday. Last night's meeting was very different to when the Fosters first met with then Archbishop Pell over a decade ago, when they emerged feeling bullied and scorned. …

Child sex abuse royal commission: Salvation Army victim says he was beaten and held in solitary confinement at Riverview Farm

7 News, Thomas Oriti, March 28, 2014.

… A man known only as JE has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that when he was a young boy he was forced to protect his sisters and mother who were being abused by his father. …

Salvation Army locked boy in room for days without toilet, royal commission told

Sydney Morning Herald, Paul Bibby, March 28, 2014.

A man who was locked in solitary confinement for days without a toilet at a Salvation Army boys home says the organisation's "redress scheme" effectively continued the abuse, likening the organisation's uniformed officers to "the Gestapo". …

Salvation Army officer abused girl then married mother, royal commision told

Sydney Morning Herald, Paul Bibby, March 28, 2014.

A woman who was repeatedly sexually abused by a Salvation Army officer from the age of four later watched in horror as her mother married the man, the Royal Commission has heard. … "I remember around Christmas my mother told me that she was going to marry him," the woman, now 40, told the Commission. …

Child sex abuse royal commission: Victims tell of anger at Salvation Army over sexual and physical abuse at children's homes

ABC News, Thomas Oriti, March 28, 2014.

A woman has told an inquiry she was whipped, humiliated and denied basic needs at a Salvation Army children's home in Queensland. … Cherryl Eldridge today became the first woman to tell the commission of abuse at the hands of Salvation Army officers, and also criticised the charity's treatment of abuse victims. …

Ethics of Cardinal Pell's lawyers under microscope

Illawarra Mercury, Richard Ackland, March 28, 2014.

The joy of commissions, royal or otherwise. In a place where the rules of evidence don't get in the way of finding the truth, a good commissioner or counsel assisting can really fire up the proceedings. And commissioner Peter McClellan with counsel assisting Gail Furness, at the royal commission into child sex abuse, are on fire. …

Pell to review compensation payments

Sky News, March 28, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell has promised to review compensation payments for Melbourne church abuse victims and has conceded it may cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Cardinal Pell met with Anthony and Chrissie Foster, whose two daughters were abused by a priest in Melbourne and told them a cap on payments would be eliminated. …

Abuse victims ridicule George Pell's apology

Newcastle Herald, March 28, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell’s apologies to victims of sexual abuse by priests and others within the Catholic Church have been labelled hypocritical by an advocacy group. … Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests leader Nicky Davis said both apologies were ‘‘completely hypocritical’’.

Anti-abuse groups dismiss Australia cleric apology [w/ video]

Press TV (Iran), March 28, 2014.

Child rights advocates have dismissed as “hypocritical” an apology from Australia's senior Catholic cleric George Pell over sex abuse in the Church. …

Abuse victims criticise Pell apology

SBS, AAP, March 28, 2014.

A group representing victims of sex abuse by clergy are unhappy with Cardinal George Pell's apology. … He used his farewell sermon at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney on Thursday night to "apologise once again to the victims and their families for the terrible suffering that has been brought to bear by these crimes". … Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) leader, Nicky Davis, said both apologies were "completely hypocritical". …

Joanne Mc Carthy: Moral leadership lacking

Newcastle Herald, Joanne Mc Carthy, March 28, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell has failed as a moral leader. Abysmally and absolutely.

He failed in 2004 and 2005, when he accepted John Ellis’s allegations he was sexually abused by a priest were true, but instructed lawyers to ‘‘vigorously’’ and ‘‘strenuously’’ defend the matter in court. In Pell’s own words this week to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, from a ‘‘Christian point of view’’ the Church did not deal fairly with Ellis. …

Salvation Army boy’s home abuse victim refuses apology, inquiry hears

The Guardian, AAP, Friday 28 March 2014.

A man kept in solitary confinement in a boy's home run by the Salvation Army, in which he was made to sleep where he defecated, has vehemently refused to accept an apology for the abuse he suffered, the Royal Commission into Institutional Abuse was told on Friday. …

Salvation Army commander accused girl of lying in sex case

Daily Telegraph, Sarah Crawford, March 29, 2014.

… Envoy John Lane was sentenced to jail in 1997 for indecently dealing with the woman, known as JG, and abusing another girl, JD, from the age of four at the Fortitude Valley Salvation Army Corps in Brisbane in the 1970s. … The women told the child sex abuse royal commission that Colonel Everitt warned them not to call police or go to the media about Lane. …

Jeff Kennett warned Pell to deal with abuse

WA Today, Josh Gordon, Catherine Armitage, March 28, 2014.

Jeff Kennett has confirmed he bluntly warned Cardinal George Pell in the 1990s to resolve allegations of child sexual abuse or possibly face a royal commission. …

Former Chabad youth leader accused of sex crimes found dead

Sydney, Haaretz (Israel), March 28, 2014.

A former Chabad-Lubavitch youth leader in Melbourne accused of child sex crimes has been found dead in a suspected suicide on Thursday, triggering acrimonious accusations that “community vigilantes,” “thugs” and those who conducted “trial by media” have “blood on their hands.” The body of Aron “Ezzy” Kestecher, 28, was found in his apartment on Thursday. …

Australia Chabad Sex Abuse Suspect Aron Kestecher Kills Self

Jewish Daily Forward, March 28, 2014.

Aron “Ezzy” Kestecher, a former Chabad-Lubavitch youth leader in Melbourne who was accused of child sex crimes, died in a suspected suicide. Kestecher, 28, was found dead in his apartment Thursday. He was accused of multiple allegations of child sex abuse against minors and was due to face court in June, police confirmed Friday. …

Salvation Army developed 'matrix' to calculate payouts to abuse victims, commission hears

Sydney Morning Herald, Louise Hall, March 27, 2014.

The Salvation Army took a "largely litigious approach" towards victims of horrific physical and sexual abuse, especially those who sought compensation payments, a royal commission has heard. …

Thus Spake Mungo #120 Pell and Hell

AUSTRALIA
YouTube

Published on Mar 27, 2014

Cardinal Pell's recent appearance in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse leads Mungo to want to draw his attention to the correlations between criminal law and the Gospel According to St Matthew.

Cardinal George Pell’s sex abuse peace offer: the Catholic Church should pay for bad priests

NEWS.com.au, March 27, 2014.

Victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church should be able to sue priests, or their estates if they have died, and the church should pick up the bill, Cardinal George Pell said yesterday in a major shift of attitude. He told the royal commission he would like some legal clarification on whether that could operate retrospectively, in a move that would finally open up the church’s billions for court-ordered verdicts. …

Salvos back at child abuse inquiry

SBS, AAP, March 27, 2014.

… The second public hearing by a royal commission into how the Salvation Army handled allegations of child sexual abuse opens in Sydney on Thursday. The inquiry follows one in January, which revealed extensive abuse at four homes run by the Christian organisation in NSW and Queensland. …

Cardinal George Pell regrets legal strategy used against victim John Ellis

Sydney Morning Herald, Damien Murphy, March 27, 2014.

''Do you understand now from your learning in the area of the effect and impact of child sexual abuse that the impact it had on John Ellis to have the very church he had gone back to dispute that he had ever been abused?'' The rain outside had streaked the windows with tears when Gail Furness, senior counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse suddenly turned the Catholic Church into a perpetrator. … Cardinal Pell: ''I regret that.'' Ms Furness: ''Only regret, Cardinal?'' …

What we did to victim was unchristian: Pell

The Australian, Dan Box, March 27, 2014.

… he former archbishop of Sydney said yesterday he regrets the way the litigation was handled and had been motivated by a desire to protect the church's trustees, who control its wealth. During his second full day in the witness box, the cardinal said he had long been concerned that the Australian church might face similar abuse claims to those that had bankrupted several dioceses in North America. …

George Pell admits deliberately discouraging victims from suing

Sydney Morning Herald, Catherine Armitage, March 26, 2014.

… Pell said his instructions to "vigorously" and "strenuously" defend claims by John Ellis that he was abused were intended to discourage claimants, so they would "think clearly" before litigating against the church. … Gail Furness, SC, counsel for the Royal Commission, asked: “Do you understand now the impact it had on John Ellis, to have the very church that he had gone back to … to dispute that he had been abused?” “I do”, Cardinal Pell responded. …

George Pell approved use of a court ‘tactic’ against abuse claims

The Australian, March 26, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell personally endorsed his lawyers’ decision to dispute in court that a child victim had been sexually abused by a priest, despite himself believing the abuse had taken place, a royal commission has heard. …

Cardinal Pell regrets cross-examination of abuse victim John Ellis [w/ audio]

ABC - The World Today, Emily Bourke, March 26, 2014.

… Cardinal George Pell conceded that it was a mistake to not enter into mediation at the start of the legal process which was so damaging for Mr Ellis, but he maintained he was not responsible for making that decision. … While Cardinal Pell endorsed the overall strategy, he says he wasn't involved in each and every legal manoeuvre. …

George Pell was set on limiting compensation, royal commission hears

Sydney Morning Herald, Catherine Armitage, March 26, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell has admitted he wanted to avoid big damages verdicts such as those made against the Catholic Church in America when he set up the Melbourne Response to deal with child sex abuse complaints with a $50,000 cap on payouts in the 1990s. … The Cardinal’s moral choices in dealing with sex abuse cases have come under sustained challenge at the Royal Commission. …

George Pell tells sex abuse royal commission case against John Ellis was unfair 'from a Christian point of view'

ABC News, Thomas Oriti, March 26, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell says that from a "Christian point of view", the Church did not deal fairly with former altar boy and sex abuse victim John Ellis. … "Any reservations I might have about particular stands of our lawyers, I would not want to suggest that they did anything improper," he told the hearing. …

Bankruptcies in abuse cases worry Pell

Sky News, March 26, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell was worried by sexual abuse case payouts that had bankrupted some US churches and wanted to prevent similar payouts in Australia, an inquiry has heard. … He denied, however, that he wanted sexual abuse victims to go through the Catholic church's internal system, Towards Healing, rather than the courts, so that the church could control the size of payouts. …

Australian Cardinal Pell Admits Limiting Compensation to Sex Abuse Victims, Afraid Church Will Go Bankrupt

International Business Times, Esther Tanquintic-Misa, March 26, 2014.

Australian Cardinal George Pell, who is set to become Vatican's keeper of finances, on Wednesday admitted limiting compensation to victims of sex abuse because of fears the Archdiocese of Sydney will go bankrupt. … Cardinal Pell also said he could not accept that the church will issue payouts to its victims more than any other institution in Australia. …

RC NSW, Newcastle Herald, "WATCH LIVE: Cardinal George Pell at Royal Commission", March 26, 2014.

Cardinal Pell makes it hard to forgive

Herald Sun, Wendy Tuohy, March 26, 2014.

Hearing and reading Cardinal George Pell’s words in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, you may wonder where his lofty role as His Eminence Catholic Archbishop of Sydney and his day-to-day vocation as a caring leader of children, adults and families intersected — if at all. …

 Cardinal Pell defends lawyers as honest, but unfair to victim [w/ audio]

ABC News, Emily Bourke, March 26, 2014.

The child abuse Royal Commission has exposed the moral failings of the Sydney Archdiocese in fighting the case brought by former altar boy and abuse victim John Ellis. The outgoing Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, has conceded that he endorsed the overall strategy of the church's legal team, but he admitted that Mr Ellis was not treated fairly from a Christian point of view and the compensation offers to Mr Ellis were mean and grotesque. …

'It's a mystery to me': George Pell pleads ignorance over abuse case

The Guardian (UK), David Marr, March 26, 2014.

Amazing claims are fine in the pulpit. You expect to hear them any time in a cathedral. But not at a royal commission. George Pell was being asked to explain how his absolute conviction that John Ellis was abused as a boy by Father Aidan Duggan – a belief based on a five-month investigation by a church assessor – squared with the instructions he gave to contest the abuse in the New South Wales supreme court. …

Abuse case challenge 'was not denial':Pell

The West Australian, Peter Trute, March 26, 2014.

… Dr Pell, appearing before the royal commission into child sexual abuse, admitted the Catholic church did not deal fairly with victim John Ellis "from a Christian point of view", but in a legal sense it did nothing improper. He said he defended the Ellis case vigorously to discourage other complainants from going to court, revealing he was worried that payments for abuse cases in the US sent some churches bankrupt and he wanted to ensure similar situations could not occur in Australia. …

RC NSW, Sky News, "Gallery stunned by Pell evidence", March 26, 2014.

RC NSW, Sky News, "Abuse case handling unfair, says Pell", March 26, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell tells Royal Commission he never told church lawyers to deny sex abuse of altar boy John Ellis

Daily Telegraph, Janet Fife-Yeomans, March 26, 2014.

What is the difference between disputing and denying? Quite a lot, according to Cardinal George Pell today. He said that he had never told the church’s lawyers to deny that former altar boy John Ellis has been sexually abused by a priest when he sued the Sydney Archdiocese. He only accepted legal advice that they make Mr Elllis “prove” it. … Ms Furness; “You are making a distinction, are you, between disputing that something occurred and denying it?” Cardinal Pell: “Yes, very definitely.” …

Pell: Vigorous defence against Ellis was to deter other claimants

The Guardian, Helen Davidson, March 25, 2014.

The “vigorous” defence against abuse victim John Ellis was seen as an opportunity to show future claimants they should think twice before litigating against the Catholic Church, Cardinal George Pell has admitted. Ellis’s claim was an “attack” on the trustees of the Catholic Church by people who were not “entirely reasonable”, Pell told the royal commission into child sexual abuse. …

Sydney Archdiocese worth over a billion dollars [with video]

ABC News, Lucy Carter, March 26, 2014.

The Chancellor of the Sydney Archdiocese of the Catholic Church has told the Royal Commission into the institutional response to child abuse that the Archdiocese controls 1.2 billion dollars and turns a multi-million dollar profit every year. … Lucy Carter reports. …

Royal commission into child sex abuse told of incredible wealth of Sydney’s Catholic Church, but no cash for alleged victims of sex abuse [w/ video]

NEWS.com.au, March 26, 2014.

The Catholic Church’s Sydney Archdiocese controls an incredible $1.238 billion in funds — most of it tax free. … The archdiocese’s cash reserves are $321 million and the church has been making a profit of up to $43 million a year through investments since 2001. But the commission has been told that, instead of settling former altar boy John Ellis’s sexual abuse claim for the $100,000 he asked for, it offered him just $30,000 and then spent $1.5 million fighting him in court. Most claims are settled for between $50,000 and $70,000. … The funds are ultimately controlled by the archbishop, who since 2001 has been Cardinal George Pell. …

Dickens tale of the 21st century tells of the bleakest house

Sydney Morning Herald, Kieran Tapsell, March 26, 2014.

Remember Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol? Ebenezer Scrooge is a cantankerous miser who thinks Christmas is all humbug. He is visited by the ghost of his deceased business partner, and, as a result of a series of apparitions, he has a change of heart. He decides to spend the rest of his life being generous. Cardinal George Pell never thought that the claims of clergy sexual abuse victims were humbug, although a number of his colleagues in the Vatican certainly did. …

Bishop sidesteps abuse claims

The Australian, Mark Schliebs, March 26, 2014.

… During the final day of a public hearing in Adelaide on Monday, Archbishop Wilson had a long witness statement tendered to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that outlined his involvement in dealing with such allegations. He said in the statement that he began implementing the church’s Towards Healing processes soon after being appointed Bishop of Wollongong in 1996, and was a member of a bishops’ professional standards committee. … But only four paragraphs in the 22-page statement mention … The NSW special commission of inquiry into child abuse … that identified him as one of several subjects of a police investigation into the alleged cover-up of crimes committed by serial pedophile priest Denis McAlinden. …

Confession must be subject to mandatory reporting

The Age, Bryan Keon-Cohen, Joseph Poznanski, March 26, 2014.

The absolute confidentiality of the Catholic Church's confessional puts vulnerable children at risk. … While the Catholic Church appears willing to accept the Victorian parliamentary committee's recommendations in its report Betrayal of Trust, the church hierarchy rejects the application of a mandatory reporting regime to the sacrament of Penance, that is, the Confessional. … The Victorian inquiry had broad terms of reference and dealt with religious and non-religious institutions throughout Victoria. …

Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney controls $1.2bn, royal commission hears

The Australian, Dan Box, March 25, 2014.

THE Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney controls funds with combined assets of over $1.2 billion dollars that provide the church with multi-million dollar profits every year, the royal commission has heard. … Daniel Casey, the archdiocese’s business manager, said the funds were “ultimately owned and controlled by, if you like, the archbishop of the day ... the archbishop controls these funds.” Most of the money is controlled by two funds, the commission heard, the Catholic Development Fund and the Procuration Fund, which last year held gross assets of $810 million and $426 million respectively. …

Sydney's Catholic Archdiocese has assets over $1 billion, royal commission told

Sydney Morning Herald, Catherine Armitage, March 25, 2014.

… As the commission explores the church's handling of sex abuse claims, an unprecedented glimpse of the books was provided by the archdiocese's business manager, Danny Casey, who said the funds are “ultimately controlled by – owned by, if you like – the archbishop of the day”. … Since George Pell's appointment as archbishop in 2001, the archdiocese has received 204 claims and paid out just under $8 million to victims of child sexual assault, the commission has been told. Payments to “non-school victims” were $5.4 million. This included $740,000 for “boundary issues with adults”. The commission heard the archdiocesan funds have generated annual surpluses including $43.95 million (2007), $19.6 million (2006) and $9.1 million last year. …

Church and community leaders to face jail if they fail to report sexual abuse

Sydney Morning Herald, Josh Gordon, March 25, 2014.

People in positions of responsibility in churches, schools, sporting clubs, youth clubs or the government who fail to report potential paedophiles to the police will face up to five years in prison. New laws being introduced to Parliament on Tuesday will also make it an offence, carrying a maximum three-year jail term, for a person who fails to provide relevant information to police if they know or believe a child has been sexually abused. …"This sends a clear, unambiguous message to the Victorian community: if you are aware of child sexual abuse you must speak up, you must report it to the police," Dr Napthine said. "The era of cover up and silence is over." 

Opinion: Pell's legacy will be his skill at avoiding blame

Whitsunday Times, Owen Jacques, March 25, 2014.

Under questioning by the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse, Cardinal George Pell could not avoid being defensive. He was quizzed on the rules of the church's own "Towards Healing" program, a project designed to right the wrongs perpetrated by predators within the clergy. … Left with nowhere to move by Justice Peter McClellan, the Cardinal was stuck having to either concede wrongdoing or playing ignorant. … His formal statement to the Royal Commission attempts to paint the Italy-bound clergyman as remorseful, sincere and pained with regret. In person, he undermines the lot of it. …

Cardinal George Pell disputes evidence of his closest advisers at the inquiry at the royal commission into child sex abuse [w/ video]

NEWS.com.au, March 25, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell … The former Sydney Archbishop said three senior members of the church and his private secretary were incorrect on eight occasions when they gave evidence to the child sex abuse royal commission on his involvement and knowledge of the controversial case of former altar boy John Ellis. …

Pell admits mistakes, misunderstandings, muddling in Ellis case [w/ audio]

ABC News PM, Emily Bourke, March 25, 2014.

Australia's Cardinal George Pell has expressed regret over the mistakes in the way the church handled the complaint of John Ellis. He says he endorsed the legal strategy to vigorously defend and defeat the case in court, but he didn't have carriage of the day-to-day running of the matter. He's told the Royal Commission that his deputies in the Sydney archdiocese did not keep him in the loop on the financial negotiations, and it was a mistake to reject the offer to mediate with Mr Ellis. …

Royal Commission: George Pell admits failure, wants major change

Sydney Morning Herald, Catherine Armitage, March 25, 2014.

The federal government should set up an independent body to assess what damages should be paid to child sex abuse victims and priests should be insured against being sued for sexual abuse, Cardinal George Pell has told the royal commission on child sexual abuse. …

Cardinal George Pell faces angry protesters at abuse commission

Sydney Morning Herald, Damien Murphy, March 25, 2014.

… Australia's own turbulent cardinal, George Pell, had his own difficulties separating church and state before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Monday. The cardinal turned himself from a man of god into a man of law. After 4½ hours, the questioning was beginning to touch on the difference between moral and legal responsibility and the 73-year-old recently decamped Archbishop of Sydney had begun to be probed about why he had not settled with John Ellis, abused by his Bass Hill parish priest for nearly 10 years. …

Child sex abuse royal commission: Cardinal George Pell says he was not involved in discussions on compensation payments [w/ video]

ABC News, March 25, 2014.

Australia's most senior Catholic cleric, Cardinal George Pell, says he was not involved in discussions about compensation for a man who was sexually abused by a priest. ... Today Cardinal Pell apologised for the abuse, and admitted to a string of mistakes in how the Church responded to Mr Ellis over many years. …

Cardinal Pell says staff to blame for offers

Newcastle Herald, March 24, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell says he knew nothing about ‘‘grotesque’’ compensation offers made by the Catholic Church to the victim of a paedophile priest and he blames staff for the aggressive handling of the case. … He said Professional Standards Office director John Davoren was ‘‘muddled’’ and the former vicar-general and chancellor of the Sydney Archdiocese, Monsignor Brian Rayner, had ‘‘continually got hold of the wrong end of the stick’’. …

Pell disputes priest abuse complaint data

9 News, March 24, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell has disputed records that show the Sydney Archdiocese has had complaints against 55 priests of child sex abuse since 2001. … "I'm aware (of that data) but according to our statistics it's inaccurate," Dr Pell said. He said he had documents that showed there had been 91 complaints but quite a number were multiple complaints about individuals. …

Pell 'sorry' over church's handling of sex abuse case [w/ video]

9 News, March 24, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell has apologised and admitted he made mistakes in dealing with the case of a former altar boy who had been abused by a Catholic priest. Cardinal Pell, however, denied he had ever told Mr Ellis he had been the victim of "legal abuse" after his case made it to the Supreme Court. …

The church comes first for Pell

7 News, Annette Blackwell, March 24, 2014.

"I am not the sort of fellow who runs around blaming people for misunderstandings," Cardinal George Pell said on Monday. That was midway through his evidence to the child sexual abuse royal commission where he blamed a "muddled" John Davoren, the director of his Professional Standards Office, for giving him inconsistent advice on John Ellis. … Cardinal Pell also dumped on the former vicar-general and chancellor of the Sydney Archdiocese, Monsignor Brian Rayner, "who continually got hold of the wrong end of the stick". …

Archbishop Wilson admits St Ann's case could have been handled better [w/ audio]

ABC – PM, Samantha Donovan, March 24, 2014.

At the child abuse Royal Commission hearings in Adelaide, the Archbishop of that Archdiocese, Philip Wilson, has admitted that the cases of intellectually disabled children abused at the St Ann's special school could have been handled better. …

Adelaide archbishop says response too slow [w/ audio]

The West Australian, Margaret Scheikowski, March 24, 2014.

… Archbishop Philip Wilson told the royal commission he would have expected his predecessor to have put in place processes in 1993 which he himself instigated after learning of the abuse in late 2001. "If the matter was known it should have been dealt with in all the formal ways that are required," he told the commission on Monday. …

George Pell removed expression of regret from letter to abuse victim John Ellis

The Australian, Dan Box, March 24, 2014

… The original draft, prepared by the church’s former director of professional standards John Davoren, suggested an expression that the church “very much regret any hurt that you have experienced”. Dr Pell told the commission he removed the reference to regret because it was “illogical”. …

Cardinal George Pell Tells Royal Commission The Vatican Regarded Child Abuse Victims As 'Enemies Of The Church' - Like Nazis

Business Insider, Simon Thomsen, March 24, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell has told the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse that the Vatican regarded anyone claiming they were abused by clergy as “enemies of the church”, whose actions were “as the Nazis had done, and the Communists”. … “The attitude of some people in the Vatican is that if some people made accusations they were made by enemies of the church to make trouble and should therefore be dealt with sceptically,” he said during testimony this morning. …

George Pell: Vatican said enemies of the church made abuse allegations

Sydney Morning Herald, Catherine Armitage, March 24, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell has told the child sex abuse Royal Commission that the attitude of some people in the Vatican was that accusations against priests “were being made exclusively or at least predominantly by enemies of the church to make trouble and therefore should be dealt with sceptically". … Pell admitted in his statement to the commission that he “explicitly endorsed the major strategies of the defence” in the litigation which left Mr Ellis a broken man. …

Abuse victims should be able to sue Church, says George Pell [w/ audio]

ABC - The World Today, March 24, 2014.

… The outgoing archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, appeared before the inquiry in Sydney to answer questions about how the archdiocese is handling the case of John Ellis. … The Church vigorously defended and defeated the claim and set a legal precedent that the Church could not be sued. …

Pell in the box stays firm

Sky News, March 24, 2014.

Outside and inside the hearing room at the royal commission where Cardinal George Pell is in the witness stand, survivors of clerical child sex abuse are listening intently. … Sometimes, such as when the cardinal makes a statement like 'my own position is that you never disbelieve a complaint...', there are sighs. Sitting directly behind the long tables where lawyers for the commission, the church and abuse victims sit, is John Ellis - the man whose saga of sexual and then 'legal abuse' by the church is the reason for the hearing. …

Child sex abuse royal commission: Cardinal George Pell gives testimony in Sydney [w/ video]

ABC News, Thomas Oriti, March 24, 2014.

Australia's most senior Catholic cleric, Cardinal George Pell, has told an inquiry into child sexual abuse he should have exercised greater oversight in the case of a victim who sued the Church. … There are conflicting accounts of what Cardinal Pell, the former archbishop of Sydney, knew about the case when Mr Ellis sued the Church. … Last week Cardinal Pell's private secretary, Dr Michael Casey, told the commission the Church's vigorous cross-examination of Mr Ellis during the litigation process was wrong.

Cardinal Pell has said sorry over the Catholic church’s handling of altar boy sexual abuse case

Daily Telegraph, Janet Fife-Yeomans, March 24, 2014

* Cardinal George Pell ‘sorry’ about the handling of the sex-abuse case of altar boy John Ellis
* Australia’s most senior Catholic says church sex-abuse victims were akin to Nazis, communists and other ‘enemies’ of the church
* Pell maintains denial he told victim Ellis church also ‘legally abused’ him over Supreme Court defence

CARDINAL George Pell has said he is sorry … But he stopped short of totally throwing up his arms and denied that he had ever told Mr Ellis that he had been the victim of “legal abuse” after his case was vigorously defended in the Supreme Court. … “I did not use the term legal abuse. I did not regard the mere defending the litigation as legal abuse.” …

Pell says sexual abuse in church 'taken out of context'

My Daily News, Owen Jacques, Mar 24, 2014,

Facing questions from a Royal Commission, Cardinal George Pell said claims about the prevalence of child sexual within the Catholic Church may have been "taken out of context". … Later in the questioning, Cardinal Pell said he understood about 4% of Catholic priests were accused of child sexual abuse in Australia.

Royal Commission: George Pell says church 'had led the way' on addressing abuse

Sydney Morning Herald, Catherine Armitage, March 24, 2014.

“I call Cardinal George Pell.’’ On those words the man they’d all been queuing to see strode into the child sexual abuse Royal Commission hearing room, the last of about 150 people to take his seat. … It was a fumbling start as the emeritus archbishop of Sydney, who next Monday takes charge of the Vatican’s finances, admitted his statement to the commission had been incomplete. … But “whatever the deficiencies, I think we were ahead of some countries”, he said. ….

George Pell greeted at royal commission by protesters

The Australian, Dan Box, March 24, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell has been met at the royal commission into child sex abuse by people demanding that he tell the truth. … As he was driven into the car park, a placard saying “tell the truth to the Royal Commission” was pressed up against the window of his car. … On the Farrar Place side of the tower, where the hearing is underway on the 17th floor, the CLAN group added extra signage to the red placards calling on the Catholic Church to own up to its “sins”. …

Explainer: What is being examined at the Royal Commission this week?

SBS, March 24, 2014.

As the Royal Commission enters its third week into a hearing about the case of former altar boy John Ellis, SBS takes a look at what's being examined and what's to come. …

Pres. Obama Must Confront Vatican Like PMs Gillard & Kenny Did

USA, Christian Catholicism, Jerry Slevin, March 23, 2014.

Occasionally, for lucky politicians, the right thing to do is also the politically smart thing to do. President Obama will have such a rare opportunity on next Thursday (3/27). Obama then has his first meeting with Pope Francis. Obama will be able to directly confront Francis for failing to hold bishops accountable for facilitating priest predators. … When the courageous Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, set up over a year ago her Royal Commission to investigate institutional child abuse, reportedly 96% of Australians supported her decision to investigate child abuse. … Gillard has just superbly confirmed her strong commitment to the “rightness” of her Royal Commission decision in her generous tribute at the Memorial Service for the prominent and remarkable Australian activist, Lewis Blayse. The tribute was read earlier this month by his impressive daughter, Aletha. She is carrying on bravely her father’s advocacy efforts, as shown in her moving reading of Gillard’s speech in the video here: [lewisblayse.net]
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Julia Gillard’s bold stand followed a similar one against the Irish bishops and the Vatican by the popular Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, as shown in the video here: [New York Times] …

Pope Francis Irony in Vatican Appointments to Anti-Abuse Commission

USA, Guardian Liberty Voice, Lydia Bradbury, March 23, 2014.

Pope Francis is being hailed by many as a revolutionary pontiff, bringing the ancient Roman Catholic Church into the modern era by his openness and acceptance and even his sense of humor. …  In making his initial selections for the new Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, he is assuredly making great strides in the way the church looks at cases of child sexual abuse, but his other appointments to different positions reveal a certain amount of hypocrisy in his selection process. … The choice of the formidable Marie Collins to his new anti-abuse commission is a step in the right direction for Pope Francis. It clearly shows an intention to have the voice of the abused heard at the ground level of Vatican policy. … There is no problem with the Pontiff’s appointments to this commission, but some of his other appointments raise skepticism on how effectively he’s handling this new, anti-abuse direction. the appointment of Australian Cardinal George Pell as head of Vatican finances, who was called upon to testify at the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, is particularly ironic. …

Vatican names victim Marie Collins on child abuse commission 

ABC News Australia Plus, March 23, 2014.

Marie Collins has been an outspoken campaigner for the rights of victims. A former victim of sexual abuse by priests will sit on a new commission created to root out paedophilia in the Catholic Church, the Vatican says. …

OPINION: Victims’ lives left destroyed, and confused, by child abuse

Courier Mail, Terry Sweetman, March 22, 2014.

Maybe it’s a defence mechanism, but lots of bad-taste bloke jokes in pubs revolve around dirty old men offering boiled lollies to children. … “Does the general public realise,’’ she asked, “that for every victim willing to testify there are as many people hiding in fear that their secrets will be exposed, ashamed of the past, feeling dirty and tainted, confused about their feelings for their abuser?’’… “He explained that what he did to me was helping him go to heaven and my reward was that he would take me with him. …

Royal commission: Pell instructed lawyers to fight Ellis claim 'tooth and nail'

Sydney Morning Herald, Catherine Armitage, March 22, 2014.

The Catholic Church's insurer insisted on being "kept in the loop" in the John Ellis case after lawyers expressed concern at Cardinal George Pell's "tooth and nail" approach, according to evidence at the child sex abuse royal commission. …

Victim offered no sympathy by dean of St Mary’s Cathedral

The Australian, Dan Box, March 22, 2014.

A teenager who told the dean of Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral he had been sexually abused was allegedly “humiliated” by the Catholic cleric, who had “a complaint file as big as the New Testament”, church lawyers have said. No record was kept of this 1983 complaint, which came to light 20 years later while the Archdiocese of Sydney was fighting a separate child abuse case, according to documents tendered to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The church continued to defend itself in court, the commission heard, even after learning this second victim was abused by the same Sydney priest, Father Aidan Duggan. …

Trust grew for bus driver

Sky News, March 21, 2014.

A school bus driver gained greater access to students because the level of trust grew between him and the principal, the royal commission into sex abuse has heard. Former principal Claude Hamam said the driver, Brian Perkins, started volunteering around Adelaide's St Ann's Special School by helping out in the woodwork shed, doing repairs around the school and mowing the lawns. 'At the time we had an element of trust that we had for all the staff there,' he told the commission on Friday. …

Priest walks from charges

Newcastle Herald, Joanne Mc Carthy, March 21, 2014.

… Magistrate Robert Stone found inconsistencies in evidence by a man, his mother and sister about an alleged sexual assault when the man was 9, which was allegedly disclosed to Father Fenton, were so significant there were no reasonable prospects a jury would convict him. But Mr Stone, in Newcastle Local Court yesterday, found there was evidence to show the boy was sexually assaulted by Frank Tully, a salesman with the Post group of newspapers, then owned by the Newcastle Herald, at Birubi beach between 1982 and 1984. …

St Ann's ex-principal admits 'judgment error' in saying police check had been done for paedophile bus driver [w/ video]

7 News, ABC, Candice Marcus, March 21, 2014

A former Adelaide school principal has admitted wrongly telling an inquiry he had done a police check on a bus driver who later molested pupils. Reading a statement to the royal commission into child sexual abuse, Claude Hamam said he had made an "error of judgment" by telling an internal inquiry in 2001 that he had made the checks on Brian Perkins. …

Former St Ann’s school principal who hired paedophile Brian Perkins ‘made mistake’ over police check

Daily Telegraph, Sally Brooks, March 21, 2014.

… Claude Hamam has told an inquiry into the handling of sexual abuse claims at the school that he deeply regrets stating that he did do a police check, at his first interview with the Catholic Education Office in 2001. … “I admitted at a subsequent interview with Catholic Education that I had not done a police check and I was accused of lying. …

Church failed in ‘moral duty’ over abuse

The Australian, Dan Box, March 21, 2014

The Catholic Church failed in its “moral responsibility” to a victim of child sexual abuse during a court case in which it denied his mistreatment ever took place, despite having evidence to the contrary, the royal commission has heard. … The first victim, John Ellis, ultimately lost his case in 2007, in a decision the church’s lawyers described as providing “a significant protection to the Cardinal and trustees” against other similar claims brought by abuse victims. …

Former St Ann's principal admits no criminal record check done on paedophile bus driver [audio report]

ABC News The World Today, Samantha Donovan, March 21, 2014.

The former principal of St Ann's special school in Adelaide, Claude Hamam, has admitted to the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse that he didn't do a criminal record check or verify the references of Brian Perkins, a convicted paedophile who went on to abuse about 30 children at the school in the late 1980s and '90s. …

Church denies contriving to deny abuse

Sky News, March 21, 2014.

… Dr Casey, Cardinal Pell's private secretary, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he was shown a June 2005 email from him to the church legal team which said the church-appointed assessor did find 'on the balance of probabilities' Mr Ellis was abused by Father Aidan Duggan. However, the email went on to say that the director of the Public Standards Office, Michael Salmon, had mentioned there were reservations about Mr Ellis's evidence and that as such the church authority had discretion to reject the assessor's findings. …

Joanne Mc Carthy: Applying the Jesus test

Newcastle Herald, Joanne Mc Carthy March 21, 2014

… Before concerned friends leap to the phone to check if I’ve succumbed to the demands of the past few years, can I just say I link Pell and Christ because the best way to consider the cardinal is by applying the ‘‘What would Jesus do?’’ test. He’s the most prominent Catholic in Australia so we should be lining up his words and actions against the teachings of the first Christian. Only then can we answer the question, does Pell practise what the church preaches? … The ‘‘What would Jesus do?’’ test will come in handy next week when Pell gives much-anticipated evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. …

Catholic Education Office chief’s sorrow over abuse at St Ann’s Special School

Herald Sun, Sally Brooks, March 21, 2014.

The sexual abuse of intellectually disabled students was “shocking and appalling” and the handling of the case in 1991 was “unacceptable”, says the former director of the Catholic Education Office. Allan Dooley also apologised to victims of paedophile Brian Perkins, who worked at St Ann’s Special School in Marion more than two decades ago. …

Your kids are safe at Catholic schools, diocese tells parents

Gladstone Observer, Nicky Moffat and Scott Sawyer, March 21, 2014.

… The move was in response to the damning findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, which unearthed decades-old horrific evidence of sexual abuse within the church's ranks. … "As the director of Catholic education in the diocese of Rockhampton, I want to assure you that my highest priority is the safety of the children in our schools," Rockhampton Diocesan director of Catholic education Leesa Jeffcoat wrote to parents. …

Diocese sends mixed messages on reporting child abuse

Gladstone Observer, Nicky Moffat, March 21, 2014.

The Diocese of Rockhampton's policies contradict themselves on child sex abuse. And they send mixed messages. They state that anyone suspecting a child is in immediate danger should call the police, but also mandate that sexual abuse be reported to the principal or designated contact, and no one else. … A policy titled Student Protection refers to protecting children from harm, including self-harm, and points to student protection processes for detail on rules for dealing with abuse. A one-page policy on sexual harassment and bullying provides no definition of either, and points to relevant legislation. …

Royal commission: Email had tried to pin blame on John Ellis

Brisbane Times, Catherine Armitage, March 21, 2014.

An email sent by the Catholic Church's solicitor to its barristers suggested sex abuse victim John Ellis, as a boy of 14 or 15, used to "force himself" on the ageing priest who was sexually abusing him. … Royal commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan put it to Mr Dalzell that he knew the church had a "legally perfect" assessment from its own assessor concluding that Mr Ellis was telling the truth and that Mr Dalzell knew the church had other evidence that tended to support Mr Ellis' case. Yet "you sat there while your counsel put in dispute whether or not Mr Ellis was telling the truth about having been abused, that is the position isn't it?" "Yes," Mr Dalzell responded. …

Pell aide says court denial was wrong

The Australian, Dan Box, March 21, 2014.

… Giving evidence yesterday to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Michael Casey said he was "a conduit" between the church's lawyers and Cardinal Pell, who rarely uses a computer or mobile phone. The cardinal's instructions had been to "vigorously defend" the claim, brought by former altar boy John Ellis, who was sexually assaulted by a Sydney priest over several years during the 1970s, Dr Casey said. …

Child sex abuse royal commission: George Pell's private secretary grilled over legal tactics in John Ellis case [w/ video and audio]

ABC News PM, Emily Bourke, March 20, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell's private secretary has told the royal commission into child sexual abuse the Catholic Church's vigorous cross-examination of a victim during litigation was wrong. … Though a church-appointed assessor concluded Mr Ellis had most likely been abused, when the case came to trial, the church decided to fight him on that. …

Family seek disclosure from Catholic Church

Newcastle Herald, Joanne McCarthy March 20, 2014.

In a nursing home bed, a former Hunter nun, who was a priest's sexual partner from the age of 15, spends her days in the silences of advanced dementia while her brother demands the truth from the Catholic Church. The priest, Father Noel Geraghty of the Catholic order Oblates of Mary Immaculate, died in 2005 without the long-term relationship being acknowledged in public by the Church, although it has confirmed it in writing to the nun's family. …

Paedophile ring investigation shutdown 'sparked police anger', inquiry told

7 News, ABC, Candice Marcus, March 20, 2014.

… The inquiry into sexual abuse of children who went to St Ann's Special School in Adelaide has heard the police investigation was closed in 1993. Detective Senior Sergeant Walter Conte said no reason was given for closing the inquiry, but he had assumed it was due to a lack of resources. … "Certainly there was room for a continued task force at that time. I think hence people were justifiably angry at the management decision to stop at that stage. …

South Australian magistrate threw out paedophile charges, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse told

Perth Now, Sally Brooks, March 20, 2014.

Police had difficulty successfully prosecuting paedophiles almost two decades ago, with one case thrown out by a magistrate who was himself later charged with child sex offences, an inquiry has heard. Detective Senior Sergeant Walter Conte has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse charges were laid against a paedophile following a raid in 1993 but the matter was dropped. …

SA Catholic official apologises to victims

Courier Mail, Margaret Scheikowski, March 20, 2014.

A Senior Catholic education officer has apologised to the victims of "shocking and appalling" sexual abuse carried out by a bus driver who worked at an Adelaide special school. …

Lawyer: church instructed me to dispute John Ellis abuse report

The Guardian (UK), AAP, March 20, 2014.

A lawyer accused of evading his “ethical obligation” not to mislead during a priest abuse case has told a royal commission he was working on the instructions of the Catholic church. In a cross-examination at the child sex abuse hearing in Sydney on Thursday, commission chair Justice Peter McClellan questioned the ethical approach taken by solicitor John Dalzell. … Dalzell was a senior associate with law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth when they were employed by the archdiocese to defend the Ellis case.

George Pell has held views on suing Catholic church 'for some time'

The Guardian (UK), AAP, March 20, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell has believed child sex abuse victims should be able to sue the Catholic church for some time, his private secretary has told a royal commission. … The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is looking at how the archdiocese of Sydney handled a complaint by John Ellis that he had been abused while an altar boy by Father Aidan Duggan at Bass Hill in Sydney’s southwest from 1974 to 1979.

OPINION: Children in care need protection of society

Newcastle Herald, Nicola Ross, March 19, 2014.

… At the very same time that the royal commission is in progress, we are hearing stories that must cast doubt on the question of whether we are really ready for change. The most recent story to emerge is related to paedophile gangs targeting children in residential state care in Victoria for sexual favours. …

Police pressured by archbishop to extradite pedophile bus driver

The Australian, Mark Schliebs and Louis Mayfield, March 20, 2014.

Police acted at the behest of Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson in extraditing pedophile bus driver Brian Perkins in 2002 after earlier refusing attempts to bring him to justice in South Australia, the royal commission into child abuse heard yesterday. … Perkins - who abused and produced pornography of several intellectually disabled children from St Ann’s between 1986-91 - was extradited from Queensland in 2002, 11 years after police seized photographs of students at his home. Sergeant Ramm said senior police and the Director of Public Prosecutions knocked back his recommendation to have Perkins extradited in 1998 because it was deemed too expensive. …

Special school abuse royal commission: extraditing paedophile was deemed too expensive, inquiry hears

7 News, ABC, Candice Marcus, March 19, 2014.

Budgetary pressures prevented police from extraditing a paedophile school bus driver from Queensland to face court in Adelaide, an inquiry has heard. Bus driver Brian Perkins sexually abused up to 30 intellectually disabled students in the late 1980s and early 1990s while working at St Ann's special school. He was finally extradited to South Australia from Queensland in 2002, more than a decade after his offending was discovered. He died in prison in 2009. …

US priest to stand trial for sex attacks on four children

The Age, Adam Cooper, March 19, 2014.

… Bernard Joseph Hartman, 74, who voluntarily returned to Australia from the United States last year after Victorian authorities initiated moves to have him extradited, will stand trial on 14 charges of indecent assault, two counts of gross indecency with a girl under 16 and two of assault. After hearing more than two days of evidence in a committal hearing, magistrate Jo Metcalf on Wednesday found there was sufficient evidence for Brother Hartman to be found guilty. Brother Hartman pleaded not guilty to the charges. …

Innocence stolen by man of God: Vic victim

Melbourne, Australian Teacher Magazine, March 19, 2014.

A man allegedly abused by a Catholic Brother says he is still suffering more than 30 years after his innocence was stolen by a man of God. American Brother Bernard Joseph Hartman, 74, allegedly abused two boys and two girls at Altona where he was a teacher at St Paul’s College between 1976 and 1982. One of the victims told the Melbourne Magistrates Court the scars are still with him. …

Catholic Brother accused of child sex abuse was a sadist: court hears

ABC News, Sarah Farnsworth, March 19, 2014.

American Marianist Brother Bernard Hartman will stand trial over allegations he abused four children while a teacher at St Paul's College in Melbourne more than 30 years ago. … It is alleged Brother Hartman sexually assaulted two girls in their homes after he befriended their families. He is also alleged to have molested two students at the all boys college. …

Vic Govt urged to act faster on child abuse inquiry recommendations

ABC News, March 19, 2014.

Ballarat abuse survivors say the State Government has not moved quickly enough to implement recommendations from a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into responses to child sex abuse. … Ballarat abuse survivor Andrew Collins says some victims are becoming impatient waiting for the recommendations to be implemented, saying they want a clearer time line from the Government. … Premier Denis Napthine says the Government is acting on the report. …

Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse arrives in country Victoria [w/ video]

ABC News, Kate Stowell, March 19, 2014.

The first regional Victorian hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse are being held in Ballarat this week. ... Last year's Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry which produced the Betrayal of Trust report described criminal child abuse in the Ballarat Diocese in the 1970s as "systemic" and "undeniable". It is believed at least 40 suicides in the Ballarat area are linked to child abuse-related illnesses, including post traumatic stress disorder and depression. …

The Catholic Church and sex abuse

Brisbane Times, Bill O'Chee, March 19, 2014.

There is no doubt that the Royal Commission into Sexual Abuse has done much to confront the stain of child abuse. The most disturbing revelation has been how frequently the evil of abuse occurred inside institutions whose purpose was entirely contrary. The Salvation Army was one such institution, and the Catholic Church another. That doesn’t make these institutions bad, but we must understand how the abuse happened. …

South Australia’s top detective shut down investigation into paedophile bus driver Brian Perkins after his arrest in 1993, inquiry told

Daily Telegraph, Nigel Hunt, March 18, 2014.

The state’s most senior detective shut down an investigation into paedophile bus driver Brian Perkins after his arrest in 1993 that prevented further victims being identified, an inquiry has heard. The order, given by Assistant Commissioner Colin Watkins, angered the detectives involved … A visibly agitated Det Mosheev said Det Chief Insp Simons was “told to inform us to cease.’’ He said the detectives were not allowed to examine any material seized from Perkins when they arrested him, which included a large number of photographs of naked men and boys, or continue further inquiries to identify any other potential victims. …

Detective tells inquiry mistakes made in St Ann's investigation [audio report]

ABC News PM, Samantha Donovan , March 18, 2014.

A South Australia police officer has admitted to the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse that if he had checked for previous convictions or outstanding warrants for paedophile Brian Perkins he would have been arrested early in the investigation of the abuse of as many as 30 boys at the St Ann's Special School in the early 1990s. Detective Sargeant Leonid Mosheev also told the Commission it was absurd to suggest police had told the school not to tell parents of the abuse allegations. …

Detective 'horrified' to discover St Ann's special school sex abuse investigation shut down, inquiry hears

7 News, ABC, Candice Marcus, March 18, 2014.

A detective was "furious" and "horrified" that an investigation into a paedophile ring was prematurely shut down, a royal commission in Adelaide has heard. The inquiry, which is examining the sexual abuse of intellectually disabled students from St Ann's Special School more than two decades ago, today heard Assistant Police Commissioner Colin Watkins ordered the investigation cease in 1993. Detective Sergeant Leonid Mosheev was under intense questioning from Sophie David, who is counsel assisting the inquiry, throughout day two of the hearing into the case. …

Police boss tells of abuse inquiry fury

Sky News, March 18, 2014.

… Detective Sergeant Leonid Mosheev said that in September 1993 he had seized a large volume of material, including pornographic photos, from Adelaide school bus driver Brian Perkins. But not long after he was directed not to look at the exhibits or continue inquiries, which meant he could only rely on material obtained in August 1991. He said the direction came from then-assistant commissioner Colin Watkins after Operation Deny was set up in September 1993 to investigate four pedophiles, including Perkins. …

Cardinal Pell was 'giving instructions' as Catholic church fought abuse claims

The Guardian (UK), David Marr, March 18, 2014.

Claims by Cardinal George Pell that he had little to do with the conduct of the notorious Ellis case have been flatly contradicted by the church’s own lawyer in dramatic testimony on Tuesday to the royal commission into the institutional response to child abuse. …

Church was advised against costs chase

7 News, AAP, Peter Trute, March 18, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell knew the Catholic Church was pursuing an abuse victim for more than $500,000 in legal costs against the advice of its lawyers, the royal commission into child sex abuse has heard. … Paul McCann, a partner in law firm Corrs Chambers Wesgarth which acted for the archdiocese in the Ellis case, on Tuesday said he had told the church it should not pursue costs but his advice was not followed. Mr McCann said the church's insurers, Catholic Church Insurance (CCI) had "strongly taken" the position that "they had interests to underwriters that needed to be taken into account". …

Former Catholic Church official contradicts Cardinal George Pell on ex-gratia offer to victim John Ellis

7 News, ABC, Antonette Collins, March 18, 2014.

Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell was informed about an ex-gratia offer made to child abuse victim John Ellis, despite saying in a statement that he was not aware of it, a public inquiry has heard. … In a statement presented to the inquiry earlier this month, Cardinal Pell said he was not aware of ex-gratia offers made to Mr Ellis. But Monsignor Brian Rayner, who represented the Sydney Archdiocese and Archbishop Pell in Towards Healing matters in 2004, has contradicted that statement. …

Serial paedophile priest told rape victim she was 'God's little angel'

The Age, Mark Russel, March 18, 2014.

Gerald Ridsdale, one of Australia’s worst paedophile priests, told one of his victims: "It was the Lord’s work", a court has heard. Another victim said his belief that the Catholic Church hierarchy had known what Ridsdale and other priests were doing was reinforced by Cardinal George Pell’s evidence to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse last year. …

Monsignor Brian Rayner reveals he ‘welled up’ when he took John Ellis to meet abuser Father Aidan Duggan in a nursing home

Daily Telegraph, Janet Fife-Yeomans, March 17, 2014,

… Cardinal Pell has told the commission in a statement that the reason the church fought legal action against a victim of child sex abuse was because he had been told the victim wanted millions - not just $100,000. However Monsignor Brian Rayner, the former chancellor of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, said today that he would have told the Cardinal, then an archbishop, that the victim, John Ellis, had suggested to settle for $100,000 through the church’s controversial Towards Healing protocol. …

 Catholic in Australia: Demographics, scandal underlie tectonic shifts

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter, Tom Roberts, March 17, 2014.

Melbourne and Sydney, Australia: More than a hundred people turned out on a Sunday afternoon in late November to the crypt of historic St. Patrick's Church in Sydney for a presentation by a forensic psychologist on the sex abuse scandal jarring the Catholic community in Australia. During a question-and-answer session, a woman in the audience made a sarcastic reference to priests once thinking they were "ontologically different." The phrase provoked an immediate howl of laughter, as if she'd delivered a punch line of a joke. … A linchpin of that phenomenon -- a clergy standing "in persona Christi" and marked indelibly as something different from the rest of humanity -- is now as much taken for granted as a laughing point as it once was a tenet of faith. … it contained, like an exploration of Catholic DNA, a key to a striking transformation of Catholic life that appears to be occurring in regions where Catholicism once seemed a settled and unchanging reality. …

Disabled boy wanted to kill sex predator, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse told


Daily Telegraph, Sally Brooks, March 17, 2014.

The mother of an intellectually disabled youth allegedly sexually abused by paedophile bus driver Brian Perkins two decades ago is still searching for answers from the Catholic Church, an inquiry has heard. After submitting a list of 35 questions to Archbishop Philip Wilson, Helen Gitsham told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Monday that she is still waiting for them to be answered. …

SA sex abuse boy took knife to molester [w/ video]

The West Australian, Andrea Nicolas, March 17, 2014.

An intellectually disabled boy became so angry at being repeatedly sexually abused by his school's bus driver that he put a knife to the man's face, an inquiry has been told. "I wanted to kill him, I wanted him to die," the now 38-year-old man told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Monday, at its first Adelaide sitting. …

Pell's statement to abuse inquiry disputed

Brisbane Times, Annette Blackwell, March 17, 2014.

A close associate of Cardinal George Pell has contradicted the former archbishop's assertion that he was unaware of how much money abuse victim John Ellis was seeking from the church. Monsignor Brian Rayner was chancellor and vicar-general of the archdiocese when Mr Ellis went through the internal church system of dealing with victims, Towards Healing. …

Intellectually disabled man speaks of abuse by bus driver at Royal Commission in SA [w/ audio]

AUSTRALIA
ABC News The World Today, Sam Donovan , March 17, 2014

An intellectually disabled man has told the Royal Commission he was abused by a paedophile bus driver at his Catholic school in the early 1990s. The Commission is sitting in Adelaide for the first time to investigate how the Catholic Church and South Australian police handled the case of paedophile bus driver Brian Perkins, and how the victims and their families have been affected. …

Royal commission: Family fight Catholic Church after abuse by paedophile bus driver [w/ audio and video]

ABC News, Nina Tietzel, Loukas Founten, March 17, 2014

The case of a paedophile school bus driver who abused dozens of intellectually disabled boys will be the focus of this week's royal commission hearings in Adelaide. Brian Perkins already had a criminal record for sexual abuse when he began working at St Ann's Special School. He sexually abused up to 30 boys in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including Peter Mitchell's intellectually disabled son. …

George Pell knew abuse victim wanted just $100,000, monsignor tells inquiry

The Guardian (UK), AAP, March 17, 2014

Cardinal George Pell was told an abuse victim was seeking only $100,000 from the Catholic church, contrary to earlier evidence that Pell denied he knew the figure, a royal commission has heard. … Asked by counsel for the commission Gail Furness SC whether he had told Pell that Ellis and his wife Nicola had asked for $100,000 for counselling and accommodation costs related to the impact of the abuse, Rayner replied: “Yes, he would have been told that.”…

Special school abuse Royal Commission: Mother tells of son's nightmares and behavioural changes

ABC News, Candice Marcus, March 17, 2014.

The mother of an intellectually disabled boy abused by paedophile bus driver Brian Perkins has broken down on the witness stand at a royal commission hearing in Adelaide. … Perkins was not jailed until more than a decade after the abuse, and died in jail in 2009. …Many of the other parents whose children were molested by Perkins did not find out until years later, the inquiry was told. …

 Sunshine Coast home to hundreds of sex offenders, says cop

Northern Rivers Echo, Mark Furler, March 17, 2014.

A Sunshine Coast church accused of failing to take action against the man who killed Daniel Morcombe says it has removed four pedophiles from its congregation in recent years. Two of those were sent to jail. And a senior police officer, who has worked for more than 15 years in child protection and also attends the large Woombye church, said hundreds of registered sex offenders were living on the Sunshine Coast and thousands more across Queensland. …

 Priest defended despite earlier abuse

The Australian, Dan Box, March 17, 2014.

… Church documents tendered to the commission also show the priest, Aidan Duggan, worked as a chaplain in Sydney’s Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children and as “controller of a flourishing childcare centre” years after the first report of his abuse. The Archdiocese of Sydney spent years contesting Mr Ellis’s claim to have been sexually abused during the 1970s on the basis that Duggan was too infirm to be interviewed and there was no record of any other allegation against him. …

George Pell’s account of handling of abuse case contradicted

The Australian, Dan Box, March 17, 2014

A senior Catholic cleric has given a conflicting account to that of Cardinal George Pell about the church’s handling of a child sexual abuse case. …

Royal Commission: Monsignor admits swearing 'deceptive' affidavit

Sydney Morning Herald, Catherine Armitage, March 17, 2014.

A senior Catholic Church official has admitted he swore a "deceptive" and wrong affidavit for court proceedings in the John Ellis case, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to child sex abuse has heard. The Archdiocese’s Chancellor, Monsignor Brian Rayner, apologised that an affidavit he swore in the court proceedings in 2004 was "deceptive". He agreed he had information about the abuser Father Aidan Duggan's appointments to the parish of Bass Hill between 1974 and 1978. Yet he had signed an affidavit conveying the impression the church had no evidence Father Duggan was at Bass Hill during the years Mr Ellis alleged he was abusing him there except for 1975. "If the affidavit is deceptive then I regret that aspect,'' Monsignor Rayner said. He said he did not prepare it and did not read it carefully nor take the opportunity to correct it. …

Royal Commission hearings start in Adelaide [w/ audio]

ABC News AM, Samantha Donovan, March 17, 2014.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is sitting in Adelaide for the first time to investigate how the Catholic Church and South Australia Police handled the case of paedophile Brian Perkins who abused about 30 intellectually disabled children at St Ann's Special School in the early 1990s. A lawyer acting for several of the families says the Church must explain why it failed to alert most of the families to the abuse and the police must justify why it took them nearly a decade to bring Perkins to justice …

Church urges abuse victims to adopt mediation over litigation [w/ audio]

ABC News AM, Samantha Donovan, March 17, 2014.

Francis Sullivan is the chief executive of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council which is coordinating the Catholic Church's response to the Royal Commission. He spoke to AM about the about the St Ann's case. …

Sex abuse royal commission in Adelaide

Australian Teacher Magazine, March 17, 2014.

The royal commission into child sexual abuse is holding its first sitting in Adelaide to examine church and police responses to claims children were sexually abused at St Ann’s Special School. The school’s former bus driver, Brian Perkins, was arrested in 2001 on charges of sexually abusing profoundly disabled children at the school. …

Bishop Wright's call to forgive angers parishoners

Newcastle Herald, Joanne McCarthy, March 16, 2014.

Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Bishop Bill Wright has stunned parishioners by urging a community to forgive a ‘‘repentant’’ priest because ‘‘there is more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner than 99 just people’’. Bishop Wright, named as a possible replacement for Cardinal George Pell in the Sydney archdiocese, reinstated Father Des Harrigan to Taree in September last year despite noting the likelihood of ‘‘concern and distress’’ among some parishioners about the priest’s conduct. …

Parting thoughts from Cardinal Pell [comment]

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald, , March 15, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell has already said that he is deeply sorry for the Catholic Church's failings in responding to the rape of children by priests.

In the corporate blue and grey surrounds of the child sex abuse royal commission's 17th floor hearing rooms in Sydney's CBD next week he may repeat his undertaking to keep striving to make things better. He may declare himself on the side of the victims. …

Persuasive power of priests

Newcastle Herald, Joanne McCarthy, March 14, 2014.

In 1989 a couple travelled to an isolated farmhouse in the southern highlands for time alone. The mood was strained. … ‘‘Was something wrong?’’ she asked. There was, he said. The relationship was over. He could not continue to carry on with ‘‘a public and a private life’’. The man was Catholic priest Father Tom Knowles. The woman was Jennifer Herrick. In 1989 he was 42 and she was 35. He was on his way to becoming Australian head of his order, the Blessed Sacrament Fathers. …

'No such thing' as Ellis defence

SBS, AAP, March 14, 2014.

The country is waiting to hear from Cardinal George Pell what he really meant when he said victims should be able to sue the church in abuse cases. Is it all incense and mirrors or has the veteran Catholic warhorse George Pell dropped the drawbridge to let thousands of abuse victims storm the legal battlements of the church? …

Catholic official released from vow to give abuse evidence

Echo Netdaily, Annette Blackwell, March 14, 2014.

… Monsignor Brian Rayner was chancellor and vicar-general in the Archdiocese of Sydney when abuse victim John Ellis sought redress for abuse suffered when he was an altar boy at Bass Hill, in Sydney between 1974 and 1979. Monsignor Rayner told counsel assisting the commission, Gail Furness SC, that he had gone to the Papal Nuncio to be released from a vow of secrecy he took when he held the chancellor’s position in Sydney. …

Senior official tells royal commission that Catholic Church has ‘lifelong responsibility’ to child sex abuse victims

Daily Telegraph, Janet Fife-Yeomans, March 14, 2014.

… Church NSW director of professional standards Michael Salmon said he never confronted church authorities about it although he knew “all of the church authority … believed he was telling the truth.” Mr Salmon also had no doubts victim John Ellis was telling the truth about being sexually abused from age 13 by the late Father Aidan Duggan. Mr Salmon confirmed at the commission that the church’s own assessor had found in favour of Mr Ellis and a private investigator contracted by the church had reported he was telling the truth. …

Catholic Education blames procedural failures for Toowoomba school sex abuse

ABC News, Fidelis Rego and Belinda Sanders, March 13, 2014.

The head of Catholic Education for the Toowoomba diocese on Queensland's Darling Downs says a failure to follow procedure was to blame for sex abuse at a local school. …

Catholic Ed boss defends child protection policies

Queensland Times, March 13, 2014.

Catholic Education director for the Toowoomba diocese John Borserio has defended the organisation's child protection policies. Mr Borserio told ABC Southern Queensland that: "We had written procedures, we had good training, but in the end the compliance to that let us down. …

Church official believed priest guilty of John Ellis abuse

The Australian, Dan Box, March 13, 2014.

A senior Catholic Church official has contradicted the account given by Cardinal George Pell’s private secretary that the church had never accepted the truth of an abuse claim brought by the child victim of a Sydney priest. …

The Francis Phenomenon, or Media Infatuation? Reflections on the Anniversary of a Pontificate

ABC - Religion and Ethics, Scott Stephens, March 13, 2014.

There are indications the so-called "Francis effect" may be more of a media-driven epiphenomenon. But what happens when the media can no longer sustain their "progressive" narrative about the pope? The papacy is, to be sure, an office particularly susceptible to projection, to a sort of idolatrous fixation that cannot help but reflect back to us our own hopes and personal agendas. …

Church abuse crisis and the law

Eureka Street, Carmel Ross, March 13, 2014.

… The finding by the High Court that Australian law as it stands does not allow an individual to sue the Catholic Church is an untenable situation if our nation believes justice for individuals is important. The law will always have its limits, but the Ellis defence implies that no single part of the organisation to which the perpetrator Fr Duggan belonged — which conferred upon him the status and duty of a priest and to which he was bound by vows to obey and serve — is able to be held accountable in law for his illegal and immoral behaviour. The complexity of the Church as an organisation often defies understanding, even by many who have spent their lives in religious vows or on the Church payroll. Canon Law provides mechanisms for separation into smaller organisations such as parishes and dioceses, and often these establish a civil legal identity by incorporating as an association or company. Yet all remain part of the Church. This legal separation of so many entities within the Church sometimes allows issues of justice and accountability to fall through the cracks. …

Commission heads to Pell's home town

The Australian, Dan Box, March 13, 2014.

The royal commission will meet privately with victims of child sexual abuse in Ballarat next week, just days before Cardinal George Pell is expected to give public evidence in Sydney. …

Priest freed of vow of secrecy

Newcastle Herald, March 13, 2014.

A senior Catholic official had to be released from a vow of secrecy before he could freely give evidence to the royal commission into child sexual abuse. Monsignor Brian Rayner was chancellor and vicar-general in the Archdiocese of Sydney when John Ellis sought redress for abuse he suffered when he was an altar boy at Bass Hill, in Sydney, between 1974 and 1979. …

A daunting task or radical opportunity? The Catholic Church’s challenges in Australia

The Conversation, Joel Hodge, March 12, 2014.

… Pell’s time as Archbishop of Melbourne and, more recently, as Archbishop of Sydney was marked by a desire to bring Christ to the world, drawing on the emphasis of John Paul II. He expanded Catholic institutions (investing in Catholic schools, universities and social services), focused on the young and vocations (for example by bringing World Youth Day to Australia and reforming the seminary), maintained a constant public presence and cultivated political links. … Whatever we make of Cardinal Pell’s legacy, the next Archbishop of Sydney will certainly have large shoes to fill and, along with the whole church, some daunting challenges. The most immediate are twofold: the sexual abuse crisis, and the declining number of regular church-goers. …

PBS Int’l sells “Secrets of the Vatican” to SBS, TVN, TVI

UNITED STATES
Real Screen, March 12, 2014.

Distributor PBS International has sold 90-minute Frontline doc Secrets of the Vatican (pictured) to Australia’s SBS, Poland’s TVN and Portugal’s TVI. The Quicksilver Media-produced doc, directed by Antony Thomas, uses undercover footage and interviews with Vatican insiders to explore the scandals of Benedict’s papacy, such as the clergy sex abuse crisis, money laundering, Vatican Bank corruption and Vatileaks — the release of documents suggesting cronyism, power struggles, and blackmail allegations within the Holy See. “Antony Thomas and [executive producer] Eamonn Mathews have created an incredible piece of investigative journalism that brings to light many details about the Vatican of which the public has been largely unaware,” said Tom Koch, VP of PBS International, in a statement. “We expect this title to be in high demand when we bring it to MIPTV.”

Francis' Argentina abuse record questioned

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter, Brian Roewe, March 12, 2014.

A U.S.-based group that operates a clergy sex abuse database has accused Pope Francis of remaining silent on clergy sex abuse during his time as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The group BishopAccountability.org published Wednesday morning what it has called the first comprehensive analysis of Francis' abuse track record while he was Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio. The documents span the 15 years (1998-2013) he served as the head of the Buenos Aires church, as well as his time as president of the Argentine Episcopal Conference (2005-2011) and includes information on 42 accused Argentine clerics. Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishiopAccountability.org, said during his first year as pope, Francis has repeatedly attacked corruption in the church's finances but has "basically ignored" the abuse scandal. … The documents' release comes just one day before the one-year anniversary of the start of Francis' pontificate. In the last week, critics have begun to raise further questions of his response to clergy sex abuse after the comments he made last week.

Rome- Crucial records posted on Pope's abuse record; SNAP responds

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, March 12, 2014.

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com ). The most important documents in years about the Catholic abuse and cover up crisis have just been disclosed and they are chilling. They reveal how clergy sex crimes have been dealt with in Argentina when Pope Francis was a high ranking – sometimes the highest ranking – Catholic official there. [BishopAccountability.org]

Commission heads to Pell's home town

The Australian, Dan Box, March 13, 2014.

The royal commission will meet privately with victims of child sexual abuse in Ballarat next week, just days before Cardinal George Pell is expected to give public evidence in Sydney. The decision means the commission will be investigating alleged abuse in the Victorian city where the former Archbishop of Sydney was born and began his career, working alongside a number of pedophile priests. … The private meetings with about 10 victims and a wider community forum follow other informal interviews in Ballarat two weeks ago.

Church would not believe victims of abuse unless priest admitted it royal commission told

The Australian, Janet Fife-Yeomans, March 13, 2014.

A Catholic Church official would not believe a man had been sexually abused for years by a priest - unless the priest admitted it, the royal commission into child sex abuse heard yesterday. As part of the church's bungled handling of the claim by former altar boy John Ellis, the then-Archbishop of Sydney George Pell was told it was Mr Ellis's word against that of the priest, but the priest had never been questioned. … "As you are aware, this is not to suggest that you are disbelieved but that it has become a matter of one person's word against another." …

Royal Commission To Hold Community Information Forum In Ballarat

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, March 12, 2014.

MEDIA RELEASE: The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will be holding a community information forum in Ballarat on Wednesday 19 March 2014. …

Priest accused of abuse of altar boy John Ellis ‘not questioned by church’

The Australian, Dan Box, March 12, 2014.

… The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard that Cardinal George Pell was repeatedly briefed on the process of dealing with the claim, brought by former altar boy John Ellis. Mr Ellis contacted the church in May 2002 to say he had been sexually abused by a Sydney priest over several years during the 1970s. By the time of the complaint, the priest in question, Aidan Duggan, had dementia and was never questioned over the allegations. …

Royal Commission: George Pell participated in 'absence' of justice' for John Ellis

Sydney Morning Herald, Catherine Armitage, March 12, 2014.

… As Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal Pell was informed of Ellis’s complaint within a month of it being made in 2002. Documents tendered to the Commission reveal that from then on the Cardinal actively participated in a bumbling and insensitive process which defied the church’s own “Towards Healing” protocol. The result was an “absence of justice” for Mr Ellis according to an internal Archdiocesan review. Cardinal Pell was then and still is a member of the Australian Catholic Bishop’s Conference which set up the Towards Healing protocol with the warning that “if we do not follow the process and procedures of this document we will have failed our own criteria.” …

EDITORIAL: Cardinal George Pell's change of heart proves Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission's worth

Courier Mail, March 12, 2014.

The abuse case brought against the Catholic Church by former altar boy John Ellis was by any measure a travesty of justice. …

Abuse redress up by $5000 after job loss

AUSTRALIA
Sky News, March 12, 2014.

An offer of $25,000 to a victim of long-term sex abuse was not enough, the man who heads the Catholic Church's response office says. Michael Salmon, the director of the Catholic Church's Professional Standards Office (PSO) for NSW and the ACT, has told a royal commission that he always thought the Archdiocese of Sydney's offer to John Ellis was not enough. …

Victim alleges ‘vindictive campaign’

The Australian, Dan Box, March 12, 2014.

Lawyers acting for Cardinal George Pell privately told his office they had won a “conclusive victory” against a victim of child sex abuse, which placed “a number of significant obstacles” ahead of others seeking to sue the Catholic Church. … They show the church’s lawyers, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, recommended “a media campaign” to “capitalise on this result” and ensure other lawyers considering action against the church were aware of the court’s findings. …

Catholic Church won't budge on litigation defence, lawyer says

The Age, Jane Lee, March 12, 2014.

The Catholic Church continues to rely on the legal argument that it is incapable of being sued in negotiations with alleged child abuse victims, a day after Cardinal George Pell acknowledged they should be able to sue the church, a lawyer says. Melbourne lawyer Dr Vivian Waller said she had acted on behalf of victims in two pre-arranged settlement discussions with lawyers for two Catholic orders on Tuesday. She said the lawyers indicated, in relation to three separate victims' abuse claims, that they may still rely on a NSW Court of Appeal decision, which is often called the Ellis defence. The court held in 2007 that the church's property trust - its only legal entity - could not be held liable for the actions of priests. …

Catholic Church head George Pell told victim John Ellis he had been through 'legal abuse', royal commission hears [w/ video]

ABC News, Joanna Woodburn, March 12, 2014.

… Mr Ellis was abused by Father Aidan Duggan in Sydney between 1974 and 1979. Giving evidence to the royal commission, Mr Ellis recalled a meeting with the former Archbishop of Sydney and Australia's most senior Catholic, Cardinal Pell, in February 2009. Mr Ellis said he was surprised that Cardinal Pell had believed Mr Ellis was seeking millions of dollars, which would need to be defended, rather than an ex-gratia payment of $100,000. …

Catholic Church litigation in Ellis case was 'runaway train' [w/ audio]

ABC - The World Today, Emily Bourke, March 11, 2014.

… The Royal Commission has now been told that the Church's lawyers may have not given the full facts of the case to George Pell and that this may have contributed to the long, vigorous and expensive legal action. Our correspondent Emily Bourke has been monitoring the hearings in Sydney and she joins us now. …

Survivor of child sex abuse says he felt 'beset' by church’s legal response

The Guardian (UK), AAP, March 11, 2014.

A survivor of child sexual abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest has told a royal commission he felt “beset” by the church’s response to his litigation. … The commission is examining the treatment of John Ellis, who unsuccessfully pursued civil litigation against the church and Sydney archbishop Cardinal Pell for the abuse he suffered at the hands of Bass Hill priest Father Aidan Duggan as an altar boy. During a meeting in February 2009 with Pell and John Usher, chancellor of the Catholic archdiocese of Sydney, Ellis said Pell used the term “legal abuse” to describe the treatment of his litigation. …

George Pell was ‘out of the loop’ on decision-making in key abuse case: inquiry

The Australian, Dan Box, March 11, 2014.

… The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard the former Archbishop of Sydney was given misleading information about the case, which was brought by a former Sydney altar boy, John Ellis. … During a subsequent private meeting in 2009, Cardinal Pell apologised to Mr Ellis for the way the case was handled, saying he did not know Mr Ellis had previously offered to settle for a fraction of the amount the archdiocese ultimately spent on the case. …

Church offered abuse victim a deal

Sky News, March 11, 2014.

Lawyers acting for the Catholic Church and Cardinal George Pell offered to waive $500,000 in legal costs if a survivor of child sexual abuse agreed not to appeal against a court ruling. … Mr Ellis told the commission he understood the church had accepted as fact his abuse at the hands of Father Aidan Duggan at Christ the King's Church in Bass Hill, Sydney from 1974 to 1979. But when the matter reached court, church lawyers questioned his honesty. …

George Pell says abuse victims should be able to sue Catholic Church, royal commission hears [w/ video and audio]

ABC News, Joanna Woodburn, March 11, 2014.

Cardinal George Pell believes the Catholic Church should be able to be sued in cases of child sexual abuse, a royal commission has heard. His position foreshadows a major shift in policy that could pave the way for abuse victims to sue the Church. …

Aussie- Victims blast Cardinal Pell's comments as “disingenuous”

USA, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, March 10, 2014

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, … In a savvy public relations move before he testifies to a government panel, Cardinal George Pell now conveniently claims he's OK with Catholic officials being sued when they ignore or conceal clergy sex crimes. He's being disingenuous. …

Royal commission: Cardinal George Pell says child abuse victims should be able to sue Catholic Church

Sydney Morning Herald, Catherine Armitage, March 10, 2014.

… The turnaround in the church's approach to litigation by victims was revealed by senior counsel assisting the royal commission into institutional child sex abuse, Gail Furness, as it heard from witness John Ellis about his treatment by the Diocese of Sydney. "In his statement to the royal commission, the Cardinal says, 'Whatever position was taken by the lawyers during the litigation, or by lawyers or individuals within the Archdiocese following the litigation, my own view is that the Church in Australia should be able to be sued in cases of this kind','' Ms Furness said. Cardinal Pell is due to give evidence in person to the commission early next week. But Cardinal Pell's views do not yet open the floodgates for victims to sue, according to legal experts. A major restructure of the church in Australia to make it a ''suable entity'' as well as legislative change in each state would be required to give Cardinal Pell's words practical effect, Patrick Parkinson, a Sydney University law professor specialising in child sex abuse issues said. ''This is not going to happen overnight,'' he said. …

Church pursued abuse victim for costs [w/ video]

Sky News, Cameron Price, March 10, 2014.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney under then-Archbishop George Pell showed no concern for the well-being of sex abuse victim John Ellis as church solicitors fought him in court, a hearing has been told. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is examining the experiences of abuse survivor John Ellis when he went through the church's internal process Towards Healing and then civil litigation. …

Lawyers acting for Church run up $1.5m bill against victim who wanted to settle for just $100,000

Daily Telegraph, Matthew Benns, March 10, 2014.

LAWYERS representing Cardinal George Pell and the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney helped run up bills of $1.5 million against a victim of sexual abuse who had originally been happy to settle for just $100,000. …

Inquiry told Pell backs right to sue

Daily Telegraph, Annette Blackwell, March 10, 2014.

Australia's most senior Catholic Cardinal George Pell believes victims of child sex abuse should be able to sue the church. Revealed at a hearing of the federal Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney on Monday, Cardinal Pell's position represents a major policy change from the church. …

Catholic Church says abuse victims should be able to sue [w/ video]

SBS, March 10, 2014.

… "The controversy over whether the Church can be sued or not needs to be clarified once and for all," Mr Sullivan told the ABC. "And we are saying that all bishops and all religious leaders need to make available a legal entity, appropriately covered with insurance and wealth, so that individuals can bring a claim of damages against it for matters of child sex abuse." "We're being emphatic about it and we are being clear because we believe it's in the interests of the community." …

Church under George Pell accused of showing no concern for abuse victim

The Guardian (UK), AAP, March 10, 2014.

The Catholic archdiocese of Sydney under then-archbishop George Pell showed no concern for the wellbeing of sex abuse victim John Ellis as church solicitors fought him in court, a hearing has been told. …

George Pell believes abuse victims should be able to sue Catholic church

The Guardian (UK), Helen Davidson, March 10, 2014.

… The public hearing, which began in Sydney on Monday, is the second chapter of the commission’s examination of the Catholic church, this time focusing on the response by the Sydney diocese and the church’s professional standards office (NSW/ACT) to the complaint of John Ellis. … Furness outlined the case ahead, which is predicted to stretch over two weeks. Among her opening remarks, Furness read excerpts from a statement given to the royal commission by Pell, which said in hindsight the Ellis litigation had caused him some concern. …

Abuse survivor shocked by Pell response

Sky News, March 10, 2014.

A victim of sex abuse says Archbishop George Pell 'slammed a door in his face' when he tried to pursue a claim against the church. …

Catholic Church signals major shift as Royal Commission investigates 'Ellis defence' [w/ audio]

ABC – AM, Emily Bourke, March 10, 2014.

EMILY BOURKE: The Catholic Church offered John Ellis $30,000 in compensation for the abuse he suffered as a teenager, and the subsequent trauma that destroyed his marriage and his career in a prominent Sydney law firm. He rejected the offer and took his case to court, but he lost in the NSW Court of Appeal in 2007. Over the next week, the Royal Commission will hear how the Church, and Australia's most senior Catholic cleric, George Pell handled the case. …

Child sexual abuse royal commission: Cardinal George Pell to appear before second hearing into Catholic Church, Ellis defence under examination

ABC News, Justine Parker, March 10, 2014.

… The commission's eighth public hearing will examine a landmark case that established what is known as the "Ellis defence", which suggests the Church is not liable for the criminal conduct of clergy. … It will also examine the outcome of his subsequent lawsuit against the church. …

Sexual abuse victim John Ellis resumes battle with Cardinal George Pell

Sydney Morning Herald, Catherine Armitage, March 10, 2014.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will this week host the next bout of a 12-year battle over whether the Catholic Church can be sued for damages under common law, with lawyer and victim John Ellis once again facing off against Cardinal George Pell. … The Ellis case, which went to the High Court in 2007, has been a curse for victims seeking to sue the Catholic Church because it established in case law, in effect, that the trustees that hold the assets of a church diocese cannot be sued because they are not responsible for the diocese's activities. …

Royal commission provides an opportunity to further the Pell response [comment]

Sydney Morning Herald, Bernadette Tobin, March 10, 2014.

In 1996, just three months after he was installed as archbishop of Melbourne, George Pell established …  the Melbourne Response. Some months later, the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference established a similar process, called Towards Healing. There is debate as to the relative merits of the Melbourne Response and Towards Healing. No doubt each has its strengths and weaknesses. No doubt things can always be done better. … In the coming days, Pell will appear at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The inquiry will consider the experience of John Ellis, whose sexual abuse by a priest in Sydney between 1974 and 1979 was dealt with under the Towards Healing process. Ellis sued the offending priest, as well as Pell and the trustees of the Catholic Church (its ''body corporate'') in Sydney. …

Cardinal Pell will be called this week to give evidence at royal commission into child sex abuse

Daily Telegraph, Janet Fife-Yeomans, March 10, 2014.

… The Catholic Church is notorious for hiding behind what is known as the “Ellis defence’’, a NSW Court of Appeal ruling that means the church does not exist as a legal entity that is capable of being sued. … Cardinal Pell, soon to take up his new appointment in one of the church’s most senior jobs in Rome, is being called as a witness because he was named as a defendant in the case. Victims of sexual abuse s as well as lawyers will watch the questioning of Cardinal Pell closely. The commission is investigating the response of the church to Mr Ellis’ complaint and also to the church’s response to his civil legal claim. …

Tzedek receives government funding

J-Wire, March 9, 2014.

Child sexual abuse advocacy group Tzedek is one of eleven organisations singled out by the government to receive a share of $4.9 million in funding. Tzedek is Australia’s only dedicated organisation advocating for and supporting Jewish victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. …

Questions follow priest’s evidence

Newcastle Herald, Joanne McCarthy, March 9, 2014.

Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese is in damage control after calls for the removal of a priest following his evidence to the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry. … Parents who contacted the Newcastle Herald criticised Bishop Bill Wright for keeping the priest at Taree and said it was symptomatic of a Church that failed to understand the impact of priests’ behaviour on parishioners. ‘‘He may well have gone through some redemptive process of the Church but I question whether he is an appropriate role model for our children or, for that matter, us as parishioners,’’ said a parent of a Catholic primary school child. …

Claim over secret sex with priest

Newcastle Herald, Joanne McCarthy, March 7, 2014.

A woman taking ground-breaking legal action against the Catholic Church after a 14-year sexual relationship with a priest hopes it opens the doors for other women struggling after secret relationships with clergy. Jennifer Herrick, 60, was 19, sexually naive and had a severe physical disability when Father Tom Knowles, then 27, suddenly grabbed her in her parents’ home and kissed her after a church event. She was 22 when he initiated sex. …

Inquiry bells toll for Pell

SBS, AAP, March 7, 2014.

… The man who will control the Vatican's purse strings, Cardinal George Pell cut his financial teeth by bean counting when it came to compensating Australian victims of Catholic Church child sex abuse. That's the harsh hypothesis the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will test at a public hearing opening in Sydney on Monday. It is looking at the response of the Catholic Church to the complaint of child sexual abuse made by John Ellis.

Joanne McCarthy [opinion]: A classic case of karma

Newcastle Herald, March 7, 2014.

AND so to one of my favourite Catholic stories, on the eve of another confronting royal commission public hearing into the church that will feature evidence from soon-to-leave-these-shores Cardinal George Pell. … There won’t be much smiling next week when solicitor John Ellis gives evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse about how he was sexually abused by a priest when he was a school student, and the church’s response when he reported that abuse. Mr Ellis is well known to many Hunter victims of Catholic Church child sex offenders. He negotiated just settlements for most of the 64 known victims of notorious paedophile priest John Denham, despite the devastating impact of his own experiences with the church. He is a champion and a gentleman.

Former principal's job in jeopardy over abuse scandal

Queensland Times, Stuart Cumming, March 7, 2014.

Former Toowoomba Catholic school principal Terence Hayes' job is in jeopardy as his bosses await findings from the Royal Commission into sex abuse. Mr Hayes last month told the commission he had not referred information to police about teacher Gerard Vincent Byrnes, who raped and assaulted 13 children at a Toowoomba Catholic primary school. A spokesman for Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Brisbane yesterday confirmed Hayes was on leave from his position as a Year 7 teacher at St Eugene Catholic College in Burpengary. …

Student protection officer's job in doubt over scandal

Chronicle, Chris Calcino, March 6, 2014.

The child sex abuse scandal at a Toowoomba Catholic school may have claimed another scalp. It is believed former student protection officer Catherine Long has been stood down on full pay pending the results of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Ms Long, who is still employed by the school at the centre of the 2007 scandal, made headlines when she admitted she had no idea what "grooming" was. Her ignorance came despite the fact she was the school's child protection contact. …

Royal commission into child abuse 'keen to engage with as many regional communities as possible'

ABC News, March 6, 2014.

Information sessions are being held across Western Australia for people interested in testifying at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse. The royal commission is due to hold its first Western Australian public hearings in April. … Relationships Australia, which has been funded by the Federal Government to provide support and counselling to people who give evidence, is visiting Broome, Northam and Hedland in coming weeks. Geraldton, Albany and Kalgoorlie are scheduled for later in the year. …

Father Stanislaus John Hogan pleads guilty to accessing and possessing child pornography

Herald Sun, Steve Rice, March 6, 2014.

… Father Stanislaus John Hogan, 69, who has long been associated with Saint Ignatius College at Athelstone, appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court today. He pleaded guilty to one count of using a carriage service to access child pornography and one aggravated count of possessing child pornography. The offences happened at Athelstone between April 2012 and August 2013. …

Jesuit priest admits to child pornography offences

ABC News, James Hancock, March 6, 2014.

… Father Stan Hogan, 69, has pleaded guilty to accessing child pornography and an aggravated count of possessing child pornography. The offences happened between April-June 2012 and last August at suburban Athelstone. Hogan was suspended from the college after his arrest last August. …

Local Catholic leaders open door for sex abuse talks

Standard, Peter Collins,  March 5, 2014.

After weathering years of negative feedback about sexual abuse cover-ups, Warrnambool’s Catholic Church parish leaders have taken a proactive approach by opening up the previously taboo topic for discussion. Tomorrow two discussion workshops will be held in St Joseph’s Church foyer to address the issue of child sex abuse within the wider community and its impact on victims. … “Disclosure is a critical moment and the response received to that disclosure is paramount and is linked to the recovery of the victim,” she says. Meanwhile, a Ballarat-based volunteer organisation, Moving Towards Justice, has invited families of victims of church-related abuse to have their loved ones remembered in the Quilt of Hope which will eventually be hung in a prominent public space. Organisers can be contacted on www.mtj.net.au

Another former Stannies priest arrested

Western Advocate, March 5, 2014.

A former priest at St Stanislaus’ College has become the 11th man charged over historic allegations of sexual abuse at Bathurst schools. Former Bathurst officer Detective Sergeant Justin Hadley, now attached to Sydney’s Northern Beaches command, arrested the 70-year-old man in Marsfield … he was interviewed before being charged with 14 counts of aggravated sexual assault relating to alleged incidents between 1975 and 1982, during the man’s time at St Stanislaus’ College. … Detectives are continuing to investigate the allegations and ask anyone with information to contact Strike Force Belle via Bathurst police station on 6332 8699 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge and Toowoomba Bishop Robert McGuckin tell parents kids are safe from sex abuse at school

The Australian, Tanya Chilcott, March 05, 2014

… Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge and Toowoomba Bishop Robert McGuckin have written to every school parent in their dioceses in an attempt to reassure them their children are protected at school. It comes two weeks after the royal commission into child abuse heard shocking evidence of the abuse of 13 girls at a Toowoomba Catholic school as ­recently as the last decade. The man who committed the crimes is now behind bars, but the commission heard allegations the school did not alert police to the abuse when it was first reported. …

Freethinker helps abuse victim gain support in lawsuit against a Catholic priest in Australia

Freethinker (UK), Barry Duke, March 4, 2014.

Last January we carried a shocking report about the reinstatement of a Catholic priest who had been put on “administrative leave” for 16 months after he was accused of abusing a young disabled woman in Australia over a period of 14 years. Father Tom Knowles, to the horror his victim, Jennifer Herrick, and others who had suffered abuse at the hands of priests, was returned to active ministry at St Francis’ Church in Melbourne. … She added: I also want to tell you, Barry – and I’m sure you will be pleased to know – that I recently have taken out civil court proceedings against Tom Knowles and the trustees and the still-living provincial leaders of his Order (who ought to have been aware of what he was doing, being responsible for him) in the Supreme Court of NSW. … the outrage over the priest’s reinstatement that the Catholic Church was forced into an embarrassing backflip. On February 24, 2013, The Age reported that the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne had removed Knowles from one of Australia’s busiest churches.

Rabbi Glick: His solicitor speaks

J-Wire, Henry Benjamin, March 4, 2014

… From Bill Doogue: We do not name our clients normally.  … But in this case we have asked our now former client if we can speak about him and he has agreed. His name is Rabbi Avrohom Glick. He is head of religious studies at the Melbourne Yeshivah College. He is an important figure in his community internationally. … No one I met who actually knows him thought there was a skerrick of truth in the allegation. What had to occur, and did, was that the nonsense of this allegation was exposed. … It leaves me with one final question. How, in reality, does a person ever recover their reputation from this sort of outrageous attack?

Catholic Priest charged over historical child indecent assaults - Strike Force Belle

New South Wales Police Force, March 4, 2014.

Police investigating the sexual and indecent assault of children at schools in the state’s central west have arrested and charged another man. Investigators from Strike Force Belle arrested a 61-year-old man at his residence in Marsfield today (Tuesday 4 March). The priest was taken to Ryde Police Station and charged with 14 counts of aggravated indecent assault which allegedly occurred between 1975 and 1982 at a catholic secondary college in Bathurst. …

Retired priest on historical sex charges

Sky News, March 4, 2014.

A retired priest has been charged with historical sex offences after a two-year investigation into alleged sex assaults on a boy in Sydney's west. The 73-year-old was charged with three counts of aggravated indecency after he allegedly sexually assaulted the boy between 1984 and 1991 while working at a church in St Mary's. Detectives from the Manning/Great Lakes region began investigating after receiving information from a local man in 2012.

Canberra catholic priest to be tried over molestation allegations

Canberra Times, Michael Inman, March 3, 2014.

… Father Edward Evans, 84, maintained pleas of not guilty when he appeared before the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday. Defence lawyers had asked a magistrate to conduct a full committal hearing … But Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker rejected the application, finding it would not be in the interest of justice. … Ms Walker continued Father Evans’ bail and committed him to stand trial in the higher court on seven charges, including committing acts of indecency and sexual intercourse with a child.

Still we are making welfare hells

Canberra Times, Jack Waterford, March 2, 2014.

Australians could hardly help but be shocked and appalled by recent evidence coming before the royal commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse. … Thank heavens this could not happen today! Now we know about the risks and temptations of sexual abuse. We know about duty of care. We, or our modern representatives, would never put vulnerable people at risk. Enlightened people run our churches, parliaments, bureaucracies, and institutions. We can be sure the horrible epidemics are no more. Or can we? …


'If you tell, you go to hell'

During Pope Benedict's visit to Britain  in the north of England
(16 September 2010)
Channel 4 News Nick Martin meets three clerical sex abuse victims who tell him their harrowing stories.










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Welcome to SNAPAustralia.org 
( Created by and for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy )

THE AUSTRALIAN ROYAL COMMISSION INTO INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSES TO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE NEEDS MORE TIME and FULL FUNDING TO DO ITS WORK:  PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION.


Join SNAP

We  invite clergy abuse victims, family members of victims, and supporters  of victims to be involved and to join SNAP.
 
 
Joining SNAP is free and completely confidential. We never sell nor share our membership list with anyone.
We are also looking for survivors to start SNAP chapters.  Chapter leaders must be able to conduct a monthly self-help support group meeting in their local area and promote the missions of SNAP.

Contact Mark Fabbro, Nicky Davis,  
Barbara Dorris, or 
Steven Spaner
for details.

Catholic Whistleblowers

Est. May 24, 2013

About Catholic Whistleblowers

List of Catholic Whistleblowers


This site is all about the TRUTH
...and there is plenty of it, so
KEEP ON SCROLLING DOWN.
We try very hard to always update and post items on this web site, with complete integrity.

We realize it takes a lot of courage to reach out for help, and we thank you for visiting our site. We also realize this trauma reaches family members and those who are concerned and frustrated about the sex abuse crisis within the religious community.

This web site is a place to find information about our SNAP support meetings in your local area, plus we are constantly updating news stories and information about clergy who have been publicly accused of sex abuse within the Australian dioceses.  Our goal is survivor support, public education, and protection of kids.

We also plan to post survivor video stories. Sometimes it helps to listen to these stories to better understand the trauma and life pain of  those who have been harmed by clergy and those who are related to these survivors: family and friends.

We post on this site many links to other self help groups and information to support victims. SNAP leaders' email addresses and phone numbers are posted for you when you need direct help and support, please feel free to contact any of these compassionate people who care about survivors.  SNAP leaders know that the principle wish of every survivor is healing and the desire to see that their experiences never happen to another child, young person, or vulnerable adult.

You, who are survivors of sex abuse did NOT deserve this, did NOT ask for this to happen to you, and it was NOT your fault. There is healing when you are able to speak up and get this burden off your shoulders, and free from your heart. ... give it to the universe to carry for a while.... Just maybe, your life will be much more at peace.

Our ultimate goal is to open up the secrets, stop the silence, support those who have already been harmed, and thereby protect children.

Thank you for making the decision to visit our SNAPAustralia.org web site.


(ABC 4 Corners videos)

May 27, 1996

Twice Betrayed-Part1

Twice Betrayed-Part2

Twice Betrayed-Part3

Twice Betrayed-Part4

Unholy Silence August 24, 2012

The Homies January 31, 2014

Cult of Horrors July 28, 2014

In the Name of the Law  August 12, 2014

Click the story title to view video

Secrets of the Vatican

PBS Frontline Video
February 25, 2014

WHAT THE POPE KNEW

BBC Panorama Report

14 Septemeber 2010


WHAT THE POPE KNEW

The CNN Report

25 September 2010


OprahLogo.jpg
The Oprah Show

200 Adult Men Who Were Molested Come Forward: Full Episode

January 31, 2013 Interview with Peter Isely, SNAP founding member, advocate of the 200 abused men, and clergy abuse survivor himself.


Male Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Share Their Stories


Pedophiles and Impunity

[9 part documentary]


John Wojnowski

Haunted by his past, he has stood outside the Washington, DC Vatican embassy nearly every day for 16 years. His lonely vigil has made him a hero to victims of sexual abuse. Tell John of your appreciation, just click on John's name above.


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