A better way

on behalf of the children

and the facts of their lives

A broken social system is not a suitable environment in which to raise children

A healthy and well adjusted child requires a healthy and well adjusted environment in which to grow

There are no better educated minds in regards the prevention and survival of sexual abuse than those who have both prevented and survived.

Ireland :: Support for the victims in Ireland in their march against clergy sexual abuse

We victims of clergy sexual abuse are writing this letter to support the victims in Ireland on the historic occasion of their march against clergy sexual abuse and the treatment that they have received from the church.

In doing so the politicians, and parishioners will acknowledge that it is a global problem.

The fact that it is a global problem shows that there is no room in any country for canon law to override criminal law, and the perpetrators of these heinous crimes (the Popes words not ours) should be addressed by the full force of the criminal law of the country where the crime is committed.

Victims here have tried communicating with every level of the catholic system from Parish Priest to the highly incompetent office of the Holy See to no avail.

Our latest protest was at our Church in Healesville (Australia) when the vicar general said mass, we have included the open letter that we delivered to him to which he has not had the courtesy to reply to. This is in direct contrast to the Pope's words that Victims should be listened to.

Healesville Education and Awareness Raising re Clergy
Professional Misconduct and Sexual Abuse
Tel: +610427511702
email: heargroup@optusnet.com.au

6th September2009

Dear Bishop Tomlinson,

Welcome to St Brigid's Parish Healesville. Today is both Fathers Day and the first day of Child Protection Week.

We are the parents and a teacher of two of the children abused by the two convicted paedophile priests of this parish. We request a meeting with you, in the very near future, to discuss the following important matters concerning the ongoing safety of the children of St Brigid's Parish and our diocese.

§ We ask that we be consulted, as well as independent, well-qualified child welfare professionals, in the development of a child safe environment policy that includes procedures and practices for the schools and parishes of this diocese. There should also be annual audits and regular reviews conducted by an independent body to ensure compliance - as is now the practice in many other dioceses around the world.

This would entail some discussion of the past. "We have to consider what was insufficient in our behaviour and how we can prevent, heal, reconcile."(Pope Benedict XVI)*

§ David Daniel (convicted 2000) and Paul Pavlou (convicted 2009) are on the sexual offenders register. Why are they still priests despite the fact that Pope Benedict XVI said that anyone "who is guilty of paedophilia cannot be a priest.'** ?

Will the Archdiocese take action to laicise priests convicted of sexual offences?

§ The crimes for which Paul Pavlou was convicted occurred just two years after his ordination. Obviously the archdiocese' discernment is not adequate. “We'll do all that is possible to have a strong discernment, because it is more important to have good priests than to have many priests.” (Pope Benedict XVI)***

How will screening for prospective priests in Melbourne be improved and continue to keep up with new developments in this field?

Despite many requests we have been refused a meeting to discuss these matters with Archbishop Hart.

We requested a parish meeting regarding these issues but were told that we were not allowed to meet on parish premises for anything other than 'a healing mass' during which there must be no discussion of anything that has happened in the past.

These responses have been very hurtful and seem to us to be less than 'Christlike'. We are hoping that your response may be a little more in line with the Pope's recent words …"It is important to establish the truth of what happened in the past, to take whatever steps are necessary to prevent it from occurring again," (2009)

We have obtained diocese endorsed parish materials from the UK, US,Canada and Ireland as examples of policies, procedures and practices to provide child safe environments. We are keen to share these with any clergy, parish or school staff, parents or parishioners who wish to see them.

To mark the occasion today we have brought white balloons – the Federal Governments endorsed symbol of Child Protection Week - for the children and copies of 'Childwise' 'Wise Up' booklets for their parents.

Maria Kirkwood, the diocese 'pastoral care' arm of the Melbourne Response has told people in the parish that to talk about what has happened is not in the best interest of victims. This is a fallacy. Victims deserve their complete anonymity but they need to safely hear our outrage. Those who have disclosed feel vindicated and those who have not yet disclosed can be encouraged to feel that it is safe to come forward if they know we are not afraid to hear the truth and will take steps to address what has contributed to their suffering.

Victims have told us that supportive letters in the newspapers and online have helped them and the deafening silence of their parish has confused, frustrated and infuriated them. In their compassion however they understand that most Catholics just do not know what to do or say or how to cope with the betrayal of trust.

In fact, all parishioners are victims of these crimes and it takes courage to face the truth and do the work necessary for reconciliation and healing.

We must all work together to ensure the safety of all of our children in the future.

We call on you, at this time in the history of St Brigid's to take up this opportunity to meet and listen to victims, their families and independent welfare professionals and enable St Brigid's to become a model of a child-safe parish for the Melbourne Archdiocese.

This should lead to necessary changes in the diocesan handling of such delicate situations as we have experienced here in this parish.

Yours sincerely

Parents and a teacher of two of the St Brigid's Parish victims

(Names supplied)

The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church allowed a Selesian brother to become a Melbourne diocesan priest in 2005 he was noticed (by a very child safety aware teacher) to have an unhealthy interest in children within 4 months of starting at the catholic primary school in Healesville Vic.

The teacher reported her suspicions only to be told her personal feelings had over ridden her professional judgment. Then the shoot the messenger syndrome which is so endemic in the catholic system took over.

The teacher was forced onto sick leave ! (a tap on the forehead, Nervous break down you know)! A few months later the first complaint was lodged by a parent ! (she's only after money, husband has left her) ! Stay away from her. The Catholic system in Melbourne was about to launch a completely unwarranted attack on a single mother of six whose only wish was to protect her children.

The smear campaign was relentless and gutless and it seems that Catholicism and Christianity are two completely different things.
The mother reported her concerns for her child to the Catholic authorities and was told there was nothing of a criminal nature there. However the Police thought different and the Priest is now a convicted sexual offender and his name will be registered for the next 15 years.

The Teacher whose only wish was to protect children in her charge and was so dedicated in her job she went without sleep one night while on camp because she knew the Priest shouldn't be trusted around the children.

My son was a victim of the first paedophile Priest in our town and I feel that by being able to guide him through his journey of this heinous crime I have learnt a lot about clergy sexual abuse and have a lot to offer on this matter.

The Church would prefer to treat us like lepers and just ignore us completely and while they will not take any positive steps to curb this epidemic of paedophilia that they have launched on our children. I feel that with victims communicating with each other, we can overcome the isolation individualism and minimization that are all part of the Churches toolkit to shut us up and by communicating with each other we can make the Catholic system a safer place for all children.

I was unceremoniously dumped into this journey through Church pedophilia and it hurts me to admit that I cannot travel within 50 mile in any direction from my home town of Healesville Victoria Australia without going through a town that has had a Pedophoile Priest in it in the last 15-20 years.

I wish the people of Ireland the very best of luck with their protest march this week.

Ian Lawther (Emancipated Catholic)

On the sexual abuse, exploitation & deception of children

For those who have and for those who want to 'Hit the Wall'

There is no excuse for sexual abuse according to our law and government except when the abuse has been carried out by Catholic clergy.

"This is a matter for the church and I respect the internal judgements of the church. I don’t stand outside the church and provide them with public lectures in terms of how they should behave..."

Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia, 17 July 2008.


read more ... http://www.mybrokensociety.com/questions101

This is perhaps the most horrific act of abandonment perpetrated against the children of a specific religion by an Australian head of State and is recorded in our history for perpetuity as being made by Kevin Rudd on 17 July 2008, when he spoke in regards those affected by the sexual abuses carried out by Catholic clergy.http://www.pm.gov.au/media/Interview/2008/interview_0363.cfm

This is a deeply flawed and invalid response both morally and legally which includes all victims of clergy abuse being referred over to the leader of the Catholic Church or the respective leaders of other Churches or Religions when quite clearly sexual abuse by clergy is a phenomena found in many Churches and religions and it simply is not within the Prime Ministers realm to pass responsibility for those sexually abused by Catholic and non-Catholic clergy over to the Catholic church or anyone else.

read more ...

Is it any wonder our children are confused?

No wonder our children are confused - if we continually send confusing messages to our children then it is us who is acting irrationally when we demand the right to sanction them for acting in the same way we do, or in the same way our Government services do.

No amount of resources, education, laws, treatments or levels of incarceration and sanctions can educate a child to function both successfully and rationally in a society when the very society which is demanding that is unable itself to function at the levels demanded. There is no rational response to such an irrational situation.

Is it any wonder so many are confused?

Government and our religions are unable to provide and implement successful strategies in regards sexual abuses by clergy and other in the community.

Government and our religions repeatedly and stubbornly refuse to consult with the victims of these abuses by clergy and others in the community and their carers and advocates.

Is it any wonder so many are abused and re-abused?

How can they expect our children to act in a more adult and responsible manner, a manner which is above the examples set by our Governments and religious.

How irrational and foolish are we when we use sanctions against those who are unable to perform on demand at a higher level than those applying the sanctions.

Is it any wonder our children think we are foolhardy and stupid?

Of course we can always sanction our children severely for saying that we got it wrong. We can also sanction them for getting it wrong themselves in a confused world. Their need to survive and remain accepted as children will simply cause them to cede to those sanctions. This simply shows that if you beat a child hard enough and demand that he agree with you they must if they simply want to be loved by their parents and elders. If they want to ever experience the love of those who sanction they simply have no choice but to cede and conform to the power held over them - this use of power proves nothing other than acknowledging the fact that you can force someone into submission. It in no way proves your are on the right track.

Quite simply if these men genuinely had the ear of God as they say, it simply would not have taken 500 years as in the case of Mr Galilei and the shape of the earth, nor would it take very long to resolve the sexual abuse issue if they simply had 10 seconds with God.

It is clear that they simply do not have that line to Jesus Christ because quite simply if they did they would act differently.

Check these other related sites: City of Angels Lady | Molested Catholic | xt3 Molested Catholics | Saint Mother Mary MacKillop | City of Angels Lady | Irish Fire and Ice | September 1 2009 | TFYQA | My Broken Society