Child sex abuse inquiry: Rockhampton priest ‘raped me well over 100 times’, Victims give evidence at Royal Commission into abuse at Queensland orphanage, Cruel treatment at Lisburn’s Lissue House

April 16, 2015 Comments Off on Child sex abuse inquiry: Rockhampton priest ‘raped me well over 100 times’, Victims give evidence at Royal Commission into abuse at Queensland orphanage, Cruel treatment at Lisburn’s Lissue House

– Child sex abuse inquiry: Rockhampton priest ‘raped me well over 100 times’, witness says
– Victims give evidence at Royal Commission into abuse at Queensland orphanage
Childhood abuse drove me to prostitution
Carrickfergus man tells of the cruel treatment at Lisburn’s Lissue House which drove him to become a rent boy in London.

Child sex abuse inquiry: Rockhampton priest ‘raped me well over 100 times’, witness says
By William Rollo and Marlina Whop  Apirl 14, 2015

A witness at a child sex abuse inquiry says she was raped “well over 100 times” by a priest at St Joseph’s Neerkol Orphanage Rockhampton in central Queensland.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard the treatment of children at the orphanage was “vicious and sadistic”, while an earlier inquiry found hundreds of children were sexually abused, beaten and forced into hard labour there.

The inquiry has begun hearings into how the Sisters of Mercy, the Rockhampton diocese and the state government responded to complaints made by former residents of St Joseph’s Neerkol Orphanage.

The orphanage has already been the subject of several police and government investigations, and a 1999 inquiry led by former Queensland governor Leneen Forde.

After the so-called Forde Inquiry, the Queensland government at the time offered ex gratia payments of up to $40,000 to people as long as they dropped other legal action against the state.

Over the next two weeks, the royal commission will hear evidence from 18 witnesses, with 13 being former residents of the orphanage, who say they were abused by priests, workers, and nuns there from 1940 to 1975…. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-14/child-sex-abuse-inquiry-neerkol-orphanage-rockhampton/6391002

Victims give evidence at Royal Commission into abuse at Queensland orphanage
Michael Madigan, AAP  The Courier-Mail    April 15, 2015

….A FORMER resident of an infamous central Queensland orphanage says she tried to blow the whistle on sexual abuse she suffered while in care but was ignored by authorities.

A royal commission sitting in Rockhampton has heard that sadistic punishments and sexual abuse were rife at St Joseph’s Neerkol Orphanage, which was run by the Sisters of Mercy from 1885 and 1978.

Former resident Diane Carpenter, 62, told the second day of a public hearing that while at Neerkol in Rockhampton she was sexually abused by a priest called Father Michael Hayes and by a member of a foster family who took her in during holidays….

A CATHOLIC priest is alleged to have hypnotised a 12-year-girl with a silver fob watch before raping her, while another forced his victim to “confess her sin of impurity” after each attack.

In some of the more sinister evidence to come before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, two women yesterday told of a widespread climate of paedophilia mixed with religious piety in the Rockhampton Catholic community in the 1960s and ’70s.

Public floggings with a horse whip of runaway boys and ritual humiliation of bed-wetters, forced to stand in the communal dining room with their wet sheets on their heads, were alleged to be part of an often-sadistic climate at the Neerkol Orphanage, presided over by the Sisters of Mercy.

A 67-year-old woman told of being raped and attacked up to 100 times by local priest Father Reg Durham, the attacks continuing even as she trained to be a nun…. http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/victims-give-evidence-at-royal-commission-into-abuse-at-queensland-orphanage/story-fnihsrf2-1227304003352  

Childhood abuse drove me to prostitution
Carrickfergus man tells of the cruel treatment at Lisburn’s Lissue House which drove him to become a rent boy in London.

By Lisa Smyth – 15 April 2015
A local man has told how he turned to booze and became a rent boy as a result of the horrendous abuse he suffered as a child. Carrickfergus man Chris Donnelly is a former resident of one of the facilities currently being examined by the Historical Abuse Inquiry….
“Lissue House was a hospital for children with mental problems but my only problem was that I had been bullied.”

Mr Donnelly said official records of his time at the hospital show he was living in constant fear of beatings by staff and other residents.

“I was constantly looking over my shoulder and the records prove that,” he said.

“There are so many examples of beatings, getting kicked or slapped just became a normal way of life…. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sunday-life/childhood-abuse-drove-me-to-prostitution-31144906.html

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800 dead babies are probably just the beginning The corpses found in an Irish septic pit resulted from a larger problem.

June 8, 2014 Comments Off on 800 dead babies are probably just the beginning The corpses found in an Irish septic pit resulted from a larger problem.

800 dead babies are probably just the beginning
The corpses found in an Irish septic pit resulted from a larger problem.
By Martin Sixsmith June 6
Martin Sixsmith’s book, Philomena, published by Penguin Books, was adapted for the screen last year.

The discovery of a grave containing the remains of as many as 800 babies at a former home for unmarried mothers in Ireland is yet another problem for the Irish Catholic Church. The mother and baby home at Tuam in County Galway was run by the nuns of the Sisters of Bon Secours and operated between 1925 and 1961. It took in thousands of women who had committed the “mortal sin” of unwed pregnancy, delivered their babies and was charged with caring for them. But unsanitary conditions, poor food and a lack of medical care led to shockingly high rates of infant mortality. Babies’ bodies were deposited in a former sewage tank….

During 10 years of research into the Catholic Church’s treatment of “fallen women” — I wrote about one of them in my book, Philomena, later turned into a feature film starring Dame Judi Dench — I discovered that the girls were refused medical attention, including painkillers, during even the most difficult births; the nuns told them the pain was the penance they must pay for their sin. In the home where Philomena gave birth, an unkempt plot bears the names of babies and mothers, some as young as 15. There are undoubtedly many more there who have no memorial.

For those who survived, the psychological trauma has endured. Philomena and thousands like her were forced to look after their babies for up to four years, bonding with them before they were taken away to be adopted. Many went to families in the United States in return for substantial “donations”; lack of proper vetting meant some were handed over to abusive parents. The mothers were told they were moral degenerates, too sullied to keep their babies. The nuns said they would burn in hell if they spoke to anyone about their children or what had been done with them….

The warped code of honour behind the decades of silence had been inculcated by an all-powerful Catholic Church. For much of the late 20th century, the Irish civil authorities were in thrall to the hierarchy; Archbishop John Charles McQuaid threatened pulpit denunciations if the government contradicted his policies. So the state connived in the mother and baby homes, paying the nuns at Tuam and all the other homes a per capita rate for every inmate….
http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/06/06/800-dead-babies-are-probably-just-the-beginning/

N.S. reaches $29m settlement in Home for Colored Children abuse claim

June 4, 2014 Comments Off on N.S. reaches $29m settlement in Home for Colored Children abuse claim

N.S. reaches $29m settlement in Home for Colored Children abuse claim 
EVA HOARE Staff Reporter Published June 3, 2014

The Liberal government announced a $29-million tentative settlement for the abuse victims of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children on Tuesday.

It’s a first step in a proposed two-prong process the McNeil government had promised some 130 to 150 former residents of the Dartmouth home who had endured decades of severe physical, sexual and psychological abuse while there.

Most of the victims were black, orphaned, or from homes where families could no longer look after them. Their cries for the abuse to be acknowledged had largely gone unanswered, until the former residents launched a class action lawsuit against the province and the home itself for failing to protect them.

The home has already settled with the residents for $5 million, but the province, under Darrell Dexter’s government, continued to wage the battle against the action being certified. The total settlement, from the province and the home, amounts to $34 million and is to cover residents who suffered abuse at the facility from late 1951 to 1989. Residents’ lawyer Ray Wagner of Wagners law firm in Halifax Lawyer said the distribution plan will go back to 1921….
http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1211893-ns-reaches-29m-settlement-in-home-for-colored-children-abuse-claim

Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children
For the people who were raped, abused, humiliated and terrorized when they lived as children at the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children, it has indeed been a “life journey,” as Premier Stephen McNeil aptly put it, to the tentative $29-million settlement of their class-action lawsuit announced Tuesday….
http://thechronicleherald.ca/tags/nova-scotia-home-colored-children

EDITORIAL: The road to healing
THE CHRONICLE HERALD Published June 3, 2014
http://thechronicleherald.ca/editorials/1211995-editorial-the-road-to-healing

Priest cases show abuse issues persist, Files detail decades of abuse in Joliet Diocese, Memorial to victims of child abuse expected to be approved by planners – Irish Times

April 12, 2013 Comments Off on Priest cases show abuse issues persist, Files detail decades of abuse in Joliet Diocese, Memorial to victims of child abuse expected to be approved by planners – Irish Times

“The files, which Rudofski’s attorney shared with the Tribune after redacting the names of other victims, contain more than 7,000 records detailing how the diocese purposefully shielded priests, misled parishioners and left children unprotected for more than a half-century.”

Priest cases show abuse issues persist
Joliet Diocese has struggled to fulfill its public promise to better protect children, records show
April 07, 2013 By Stacy St. Clair, David Heinzmann and Christy Gutowski, Chicago Tribune reporters

When Will County sheriff’s deputies found the Rev. William Virtue sneaking into a private quarry in 1986, police records state that the Roman Catholic priest had blankets, two six packs of beer and a 10-year-old boy with him. He fled on foot when officers arrived, leaving the child behind.

Authorities took Virtue into custody after he returned to his car but later released him without charges because the boy’s mother said she had given her son permission to go swimming with the priest. Still, a deputy forwarded the report to Joliet Diocese officials who put it into Virtue’s personnel file — which already contained several accusations involving inappropriate behavior with underage boys.

The arrest report would remain tucked away for 20 years as Virtue continued to have contact with youths, and even after a seemingly repentant Joliet Diocese pledged in 2002 to improve its handling of sex abuse cases and held up guidelines approved by American bishops as proof of its commitment to transparency and victims’ needs.

Virtue’s personnel file, which contains 500 pages of letters, memos and reports, reflects the struggles the church faced since its public vow to better protect children after a bruising, national sex abuse scandal. Records obtained by the Tribune reveal several instances in which the diocese’s handling of abuse allegations contradicted those promises, adding to concerns about the overall efficacy of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People that U.S. bishops signed amid fanfare in June 2002.

For four years after that charter’s passage, Virtue continued to minister in the central Illinois Peoria Diocese, where he officially transferred at his own request in 1988. A Tribune review found no indication that Joliet Diocese officials re-examined his personnel records after the adoption of the guidelines, which call for a review of all priests….

Virtue was removed from ministry in 2006 by the Peoria Diocese shortly after a former parishioner at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mokena alleged the priest raped him in the 1980s when he was an altar boy, according to church records.

A review board deemed the allegation credible, a decision Virtue is appealing. He has denied any inappropriate behavior.

The diocese reached an out-of-court settlement with the alleged victim from Mokena, church records show.

A Tribune investigation, which included reviewing more than 7,000 pages turned over in a settlement in an unrelated case, uncovered cases in which the Joliet Diocese failed to recognize the severity of allegations, made little effort to find victims and misled the public, raising concerns about the church’s adherence to the charter’s spirit….
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-04-07/news/ct-met-secret-priest-files-20130407_1_priest-cases-joliet-diocese-roman-catholic-priest

Files detail decades of abuse in Joliet Diocese  

By Christy Gutowski, Stacy St. Clair and David Heinzmann Tribune reporters
March 21, 2013

The Joliet Diocese readily admitted that David Rudofski was sexually abused during his first confession at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mokena. It offered him an in-person apology from the bishop and more than six times his annual salary in the hope of putting a quick, quiet end to yet another ugly incident involving a priest.

But Rudofski wanted more than money.

The south suburban electrician wanted the diocese to truly pay for its repeated and, oftentimes, willful mishandling of sexual abuse cases involving clergy — and he insisted on a currency far more precious to the church than money. He demanded that the diocese settle its debt by turning over the secret archives it maintained on abusive priests and making them available for public consumption.

“What was I supposed to do? Take the money and run?” Rudofski said. “How would that help anybody else? If people don’t know how this was allowed to happen for decades, they can’t prevent it from happening again.”

The diocese, however, fought Rudofski’s efforts for more than a year before agreeing to turn over the personnel files of 16 of the 34 priests with substantiated allegations against them. It also issued a news release adding his alleged abuser, the Rev. James Burnett, to its still-growing list of accused clergy.

The files, which Rudofski’s attorney shared with the Tribune after redacting the names of other victims, contain more than 7,000 records detailing how the diocese purposefully shielded priests, misled parishioners and left children unprotected for more than a half-century. They also raise new questions about whether the church has been forthcoming about the number of local priests involved in the scandal and the percentage of clergy confronted with credible claims.

Though the Joliet Diocese’s botched handling of pedophile priests has been well-documented in recent years, the records offer the most complete portrait of the ineptitude and indifference that greeted the allegations almost since the religious district’s inception in 1948. The errors span more than six decades and involved three bishops, 91 places of worship and more than 100 victims.

Researchers and Roman Catholic Church officials have previously said that about 4 percent of priests nationally committed an act of sexual abuse against a minor between 1950 and 2002, with church officials claiming the rate of abusers within the priesthood is no different from that among other professions.

However, the files show that the Joliet Diocese — which includes parishes in DuPage, Ford, Grundy, Iroquois, Kankakee, Kendall and Will counties — had double or triple that percentage in the 1980s. In 1983, for example, more than 13 percent of priests serving in the diocese would later have credible abuse allegations leveled against them….

Rudofski was 8 years old when the Rev. James Burnett fondled him while the boy was making his first confession, documents indicate. Court records show he immediately told his mother that the priest had forced him to pull down his pants in the confessional, but she chastised him for making up an outlandish story on such an important day.

After his mother’s reprimand, Rudofski said he buried the memory and went on to have a normal childhood. He says it wasn’t until adulthood, when he struggled with nightmares about a caped man chasing him, that he confronted the past.  He sued the diocese in 2007.

In an October 2006 affidavit for her son’s lawsuit, Patricia Rudofski said she scolded him for lying because she trusted her pastor. She said she forgot about her son’s allegation until years later, when another alleged victim accused Burnett of abuse.

“I was feeling horrible thinking about my son, thinking that I’m the one who told him to do whatever the priest said,” she said in the affidavit. “I mean, I’m feeling horrible, and I just — it was like a flashback. … Oh my God, he told me.”

David Rudofski, who received a personal apology from former Bishop Peter Sartain in 2010, said he hopes the newly released files will help his mother heal, as well….

Rudofski eventually settled for $600,000 and access to 16 priests’ personnel files.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/joliet_romeoville/chi-open-files-part-of-settlement-for-priest-sex-abuse-victim-20130320,0,440885.story

Memorial to victims of child abuse expected to be approved by planners
Six entries for scheme at Garden of Remembrance have been shortlisted
The Irish Times  Frank McDonald  Thu, Apr 11, 2013

Dublin City Council’s planners are expected to approve the winning scheme for a memorial to victims of institutional abuse at the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square after they receive further information on the €500,000 project….

The winners say their project “creates a fluid progression between the Garden of Remembrance, which commemorates those who died for the cause of Irish freedom, with a memorial dedicated to the young victims of abuse” in Irish institutions….

The proposal for a memorial was made in the Ryan Report, which said it should “spotlight an episode of significance in the history of the State [and] provide a point of reference with sensory significance that keeps alive the memory of those who suffered loss and pain”….

The site adjacent to the Garden of Remembrance was made available by the OPW for the project, which the memorial committee — appointed by Mr Quinn — said should be “an enduring symbol of lost innocence that inspires others to ensure the protection of all children”.

Mr Quinn said he believed the winning scheme would be “a testimony to one of the darkest chapters in our State’s history and … serve as a constant reminder that we must never let such horrendous crimes against children happen again”….
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/memorial-to-victims-of-child-abuse-expected-to-be-approved-by-planners-1.1357503

New BBC boss apologises for Jimmy Savile on his first day in the job, Royal Commission begins – Australia

April 3, 2013 Comments Off on New BBC boss apologises for Jimmy Savile on his first day in the job, Royal Commission begins – Australia

New BBC boss apologises for Jimmy Savile on his first day in the job

By COLIN ROBERTSON, TV Editor 4/2/13
NEW BBC director general Tony Hall yesterday admitted the BBC dropped the ball over the Jimmy Savile scandal….

Speaking on his first day in the job, Lord Hall, 62, said: “I feel very sorry for the organisation but also for those who were victims of Jimmy Savile.

“Today is about creating a sense of what the BBC wants to be going forward, absolutely learning those lessons, not forgetting that history.”….

He replaces George Entwistle, who quit after 54 days when he failed to get a grip on the Savile row.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/4870964/New-BBC-boss-Tony-Hall-apologises-for-Jimmy-Savile.html

Royal Commission begins 3 April, 2013

For victims of institutional abuse it was a long time coming, but the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse has finally arrived, with the first hearing to be held this morning.

The first public sitting of the Commission can be seen via webstream at the Royal Commission’s website from 10am.

Today’s sitting won’t hear any evidence but is expected to explain the work of the Royal Commission so far, and provide more details of future hearings with all six commissioners present.

The Catholic Church will be among the groups investigated by the Royal Commission….
http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2013/04/03/3728584.htm

On the Eve of A Final Accounting: An Update from Kevin Annett and The International Common Law Court of Justice

October 6, 2012 Comments Off on On the Eve of A Final Accounting: An Update from Kevin Annett and The International Common Law Court of Justice

On the Eve of A Final Accounting: An Update from Kevin Annett and The International Common Law Court of Justice
Reverend Kevin Annett, M.A., M.Div. Salem-News.com Oct-05-2012

(BRUSSELS) – I’ve been traveling across Europe and North America since August, helping to establish our Common Law Court of Justice. This Court is something new and historic in the world, a grassroots movement of citizen-powered justice that on October 15 will begin to turn the tables on criminal bodies of church and state.

The Court is now functioning in seven countries, and will issue indictments and enforce its verdicts and sentences against those responsible for hideous crimes against children. More specific directions will be issued to all 58 of its citizen jurors before October 15.

Hundreds of people are on board now with the Court: citizen jurors, judges and prosecutors, and many eyewitnesses and plaintiffs. Summonses have been issued, including to the Pope himself and heads of state. And in response, a senior catholic Cardinal has shown a willingness to break from the Pope and negotiate some of our demands on behalf of a faction in the hierarchy.

And thanks to new information provided by church insiders, we are on the verge of revealing the unmarked graves of little children that scatter the lands of Canada, America, Ireland and other nations; and starting the process to bring those children home.

So here’s my report, written from Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, the USA and Canada….

Our action caused quite the stir in Holland. The top archbishop there wrote about our action to all his clergy, and that same week, over 20,000 people watched our broadcast from Holland about the launching of our International Common Law Court of Justice. (www.itccs.org, Sept. 15 and 17) In response, a German-Swiss television network broadcast our documentary Unrepentant to ten million people across Europe.

These kind of church occupations are definitely an Achilles Heel to criminal bodies like the Vatican, the Church of England and the United Church of Canada. Don’t forget that it was our March, 2007 occupations of Vancouver and Toronto churches and the massive media coverage of those actions that forced the government’s “apology” to residential school survivors a few months later.

But an even greater weapon in our arsenal is the hard evidence of church-sponsored crime and murder that will begin to go online globally on October 15. And this is clearly what churches and governments are worried about.

On September 18, an official with the European Union met with me for a day in Brussels and confirmed this.

“Parliamentarians here have been reading your documentation about the death rate in Canadian Indian schools, ever since your press conference in Rome two years ago” said the man.

“Some of us are preparing a motion to have Canada investigated for crimes against humanity, along with Pope Benedict. There is plenty of evidence showing collusion, thanks to your work.”

Equally encouraging, and a sign of the crisis in the Vatican, is that while in Brussels I received a communication from a senior Cardinal in Rome describing how an anti-Ratzinger element in the Curia wishes to discuss some of the Ten Requirements our Tribunal issued to the Pope on May 4 (www.itccs.org). Now that these kinds of divisions in the Vatican are starting to crack open, it’s clear that the tide is shifting.

http://www.salem-news.com/articles/october052012/canada-crimes-ka.php

Historical Application to be Filed and Served Upon the Vatican, the Queen, & Others, Physical Punishment and Mental Disorders: Results From a Nationally Representative US Sample, ‘James X’, blazing indictment of child abuse – nationwide, decades-long abuse of institutionalized schoolchildren in Ireland

July 6, 2012 Comments Off on Historical Application to be Filed and Served Upon the Vatican, the Queen, & Others, Physical Punishment and Mental Disorders: Results From a Nationally Representative US Sample, ‘James X’, blazing indictment of child abuse – nationwide, decades-long abuse of institutionalized schoolchildren in Ireland

articles:
– Historical Application to be Filed and Served Upon the Vatican, the Queen, & Others
– Physical Punishment and Mental Disorders: Results From a Nationally Representative US Sample
– ‘James X’, blazing indictment of child abuse – nationwide, decades-long abuse of institutionalized schoolchildren in Ireland

UPDATE: Historical Application to be Filed and Served Upon the Vatican, the Queen, & Others – Court Directs Applicants in Chambers Today RE: Monday’s ex-parte Motion

ACP CANADA | July 4 | Toronto Federal Court of Canada

First, we thank all who showed their support today in Toronto. The day went better than I had hoped in that we have now already been able to have the Court issue direction (from chambers) with specific respect to how best to proceed with our first ex-parte hearing on Monday July 9th.

We expected to simply file a motion.  Instead, this historic and remarkable undertaking was taken by senior officials immediately to the Court for direction – whilst we waited patiently in a lovely furnished filing office conference room.  Staff provided us with materials and information – (we learned a few things which we had expected to need clarify next week in court).  To our delight, the Court directed that we file not only the ex-parte motion materials, but also our entire Application – a full week earlier than we expected….

Kanata Day Communique: A Chance to Turn the Tables on the Oligarchy of Crown, Church and Corporation

Issued by Kevin D. Annett, ITCCS and others on July 1, 2012
The biggest criminal conspiracy in history is being confronted this week in a federal court house in Toronto.

On Wednesday July 4, our friend and ally, Jason Bowman of The Association of Citizen Prosecutors (ACP), will be filing the first class action lawsuit in history against the Vatican, the Crown of England, the government and churches of Canada, and pharmaceutical corporations for crimes against humanity and criminal conspiracy.
http://federalclassactions.wordpress.com/  

http://www.itccs.org

Physical Punishment and Mental Disorders: Results From a Nationally Representative US Sample
Tracie O. Afifi, PhD, Natalie P. Mota, MA, Patricia Dasiewicz, MS, Harriet L. MacMillan, MD, FRCPC, and
Jitender Sareen, MD, FRCPC….  PEDIATRICS Volume 130, Number 2, August 2012 (doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-2947)

METHODS: Data were from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions collected between 2004 and 2005 (N = 34653)….

RESULTS: Harsh physical punishment was associated with increased odds of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug abuse/dependence, and several personality disorders after adjusting for sociodemographic variables and family history of dysfunction (adjusted odds ratio: 1.36–2.46). Approximately 2% to 5% of Axis I disorders and 4% to 7% of Axis II disorders were attributable to harsh physical punishment.

CONCLUSIONS: Harsh physical punishment in the absence of child maltreatment is associated with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse/dependence, and personality disorders in a general population sample. These findings inform the ongoing debate around the use of physical punishment and provide evidence that harsh physical punishment independent of child maltreatment is related to mental disorders.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/06/27/peds.2011-2947

full article

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/06/27/peds.2011-2947.full.pdf

‘James X’, blazing indictment of child abuse
By Jennifer Farrar
Associated Press  December 12, 2011

NEW YORK—Gerard Mannix Flynn’s blazing indictment of the nationwide, decades-long abuse of institutionalized schoolchildren in Ireland, titled “James X,” is remarkable and should not be missed.

Flynn’s masterful performance of his work is being presented at 45 Bleecker Street in a very limited run. In it, he lays bare the soul of a middle-aged adult, James O’Neill, who spent the bulk of his childhood being abused by every state-sponsored, often Roman Catholic-run institution to which he was sent, initially at age 6 for not attending school. From there, uncaring judges repeatedly sent him to increasingly harsh, punitive institutions without caring what happened to him.

The shocking true story, dramatized by Flynn, is produced by Gabriel Byrne (who also directed), Liam Neeson and Culture Project. It has the tragically familiar ring of current U.S. headlines about trusted school authorities charged with sexually abusing boys in their care for decades. The willful blindness of Irish officials and society at large, unwilling to confront the church that rules their lives, is even more appalling…..

As James’ life of “crime” unspools, it emerges that many of the nuns, Christian brothers and priests, psychiatrists and jailers who dealt with him over the years either neglected or abused him harshly, as they did with the other children. He was tortured physically, sexually and emotionally, even deemed “criminally insane” at one point, and beaten so badly by one Christian brother that he required surgery….

http://www.boston.com/ae/theater_arts/articles/2011/12/12/james_x_blazing_indictment_of_child_abuse/

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