CHILD ABUSE ROYAL COMMISSION

"Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known."
Jesus Christ — Matthew 10:36

Anonymous

(Investigator 148, 2013 January)


ROYAL COMMISSION ANNOUNCED

On November 12th, 2012 Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced a commonwealth royal commission into pedophilia which "would look at the abuse of children in all institutions."

Many Australians were aware of the failings of the Catholic Church in dealing with pedophile priests and had clamoured for a full investigation.

Cardinal George Pell, Australia's leading Catholic, initially opposed a royal commission and Paul Kelly (Editor-At-Large) called the Commission "a depressing example of populist politics…framing herself as the arch opponent of this "incredibly evil thing"". (The Weekend Australian, November 17-18, 2012, p. 15)

Royal commissions can compel testimony. They are even able to go behind the confessional seal to compel evidence of what was confessed. Cardinal George Pell, however, has pledged that confession was "inviolable".


PEDOPHILE PRIESTS


Professor Des Cahill estimated the proportion of priestly perpetrators to be "at least 5%" basing this on an American analysis of 105,000 priests "which found 4362 were child sex offenders." (Zwartz 2012)

Madden (2010) reported about a priest-teacher who abused 39 boys between 1968 and 1986 at St Pius X Catholic High School and parishes north of Sydney: "He repeatedly anally raped some boys, either in his office, or in the priests' quarters, before sending them back to class… He ordered some students to perform oral sex on him..."

What did the principal do? "He…at best took no action, and at worst caned the boys who complained."


The Church held the view that internal inquiry was sufficient and police investigation unnecessary. The rationale was that an offending priest would repent and not repeat his sin. Internal inquiry constituted a conflict of interest, the Church investigating things it wanted to hide, and resulted in pedophiles being transferred to other locations where they often re-offended. Internal inquiry in effect meant no punishment for perpetrators and no redress for victims except sometimes money.

Rintoul (2012) reported: "the St John of God order…paid out more than $3.6 million in 2002 to 24 men who alleged abuse over a 30-year period from the 1950s… The church also enabled alleged pedophile Ronald Pickering to flee to England, denied knowing his whereabouts but continued to administer his superannuation."

Dan Box (2012) reported that "The American Catholic church paid tens of thousands of dollars to the US victims of an Australian pedophile priest after they agreed not to pursue legal action against the Australian bishop who sent him there." The priest began abusing students in 1977 when still in seminary. He left the Church in 1993 but still received money from the diocese and was not reported to the police.

Public perception is epitomised by the following letter: "The collusions, systemic acquiescence, almost endemic nature of abuse within the church means that those in authority, those in power, allowed the abuse to continue for years in full knowledge of what was being perpetrated." (The Advertiser, November 22, 2012, p. 24)

Australia had child protection laws in place long before the spate of priestly convictions since the 1990s. Pedophile priests, therefore, could have been reported. A letter in The Advertiser by one Phil Day said: "Part of my work from 1959 involved examining allegations and reports of a sexual nature similar to what will soon be looked into by the royal commission… I can vouch for the fact that at that time there were similar facilities in place as there are now for the reporting of such matters, and they were never taken lightly." (November 22, 2012, p. 24)


OTHER ORGANIZATIONS

The Jehovah's Witness religion has harboured child molesters in Australia, America and other countries. The New York Times (June 17, 2012) reported:
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California jury has awarded $28 million in damages to a woman who said the Jehovah's Witnesses allowed an adult member of a Fremont, Calif., church to molest her when she was a child…

Alameda County jurors awarded $7 million in compensatory damages…and…$21 million in punitive damages…said Rick Simons, her lawyer.

In her lawsuit, Ms. Conti, 26, said that in 1995 and 1996, when she was 9 and 10 years old…she was repeatedly molested by a fellow congregant, Jonathan Kendrick…

Ms. Conti also said in her lawsuit that the Christian denomination's national leaders formed a policy in 1989 that instructed the church's elders to keep child sex abuse accusations secret. Congregation elders followed that policy when Mr. Kendrick was convicted in 1994 of misdemeanor child molestation in Alameda County, according to Mr. Simons…
On appeal the sum was reduced to $11.2 million of which The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York was responsible for 40%. However, a further appeal is underway.

Among organizations it's not only religious organizations that cover up abuse. In England the BBC turned television personality Jimmy Savile into a national institution and ignored complaints about him and about other staff. Savile — who was knighted for his good works — died in 2011 aged 84. A year later victims were going public, the police pursued 400 lines of inquiry, and arrests included entertainment industry personalities. Allegedly Savile exploited his charitable work in hospitals to sexually abuse paraplegics and children's television shows to abuse children. Australia's Royal Commission has no jurisdiction in England — however cover-up in Australian public schools and entertainment professions has been alleged and reported.

People entering adulthood can also be victims. Nicholson (2012) reported that police and criminal lawyers will examine over 1000 "credible claims" of abuse in the Australian Defence Force. Military life is physically demanding so as to toughen up new recruits, and military rapists rationalized rape as an extra way to make new recruits tougher.


THE BIBLE

The Bible is the world's finest instruction manual in ethics and morals, often thousands of years ahead of the times. Guided by the Bible the early Church opposed evils that society saw nothing wrong with such as:
1.    Infanticide;
2.    The slaughter in the Colosseum and other amphitheatres;
3.    Deliberate mutilation of children to make them more effective as beggars;
4.    Religious prostitution;
5.    The use of torture.
The Bible is also against all immorality (including homosexual sex), against bribery, and against punishment of victims — three principles ignored by the churches that protected sexual abusers or caned abused kids who complained.

"Depressing populist politics"? Breaking the "confessional seal"? No. Jesus himself foretold a far greater "royal commission":
"I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." (Matthew 12:36-37)
May the Commonwealth Royal Commission stimulate churches to better follow their Bible and be "pure and undefiled". (James 1:27)


REFERENCES:

Box, D. US church paid to cover sins of priest, The Weekend Australian, December 1-2, 2012, p. 5

Candace Conti
www.nytimes.com/2012/06/18/us/28-million-awarded-in-jehovahs-witnesses-abuse-case.html?_r=0
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2160605/Candice-Conti

Dalrymple, T. The Predator Who made Vulgarity Honourable, The Australian, November 13, 2012, p. 12

Madden, J. (2010) Pedophile priest jailed for ‘sadistic' sexual abuse of schoolboys, The Weekend Australian, July 3-4, 2010, p. 3

Nicholson, B. Police to pursue defence abusers, The Weekend Australian, December 1-2, 2012, p. 1

Rintoul, S. Clerical 'murders' concealed by order, The Weekend Australian, November 11-12, 2012, p. 6

Zwartz, B. One in 20 priests a child sex abuser, The Age, October 22, 2012, p. 1

Over 600 articles examing the Bible on this website:

http://users.adam.com.au/bstett/

http://ed5015.tripod.com/