Australia Gripped by Decades of Sexual Abuse of Children, Panel Finds

December 15, 2017 Comments Off on Australia Gripped by Decades of Sexual Abuse of Children, Panel Finds


Australia Gripped by Decades of Sexual Abuse of Children, Panel Finds
By JACQUELINE WILLIAMS DEC. 14, 2017


Australia’s senior Roman Catholic prelate, Cardinal George Pell, in June became the highest-ranking Vatican official in recent years to face criminal charges involving accusations of sexual offenses.

SYDNEY, Australia — A royal commission investigating the sexual abuse of children in Australia found Friday that the nation was gripped by an epidemic dating back decades, with tens of thousands of children sexually abused in schools, religious organizations and other institutions.

The commission, the highest form of investigation in Australia, urged government action on its 189 recommendations, including the establishment of a new National Office for Child Safety and penalties for those who suspect abuse and fail to alert the police, including priests who hear about abuse in confessionals. It also urged Australia’s Roman Catholic leadership to press Rome to end mandatory celibacy for priests.

“Tens of thousands of children have been sexually abused in many Australian institutions,” said the report, which was particularly critical of Catholic organizations. “We will never know the true number. Whatever the number, it is a national tragedy, perpetrated over generations within many of our most trusted institutions.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the commission had exposed “a national tragedy.”

The commission’s chairman, Justice Peter McClellan, said that the panel heard from more than 1,000 witnesses over nearly 15 months in assessing the magnitude of the abuse.

“It is not a case of a few rotten apples,” the report said. “Society’s major institutions have seriously failed. In many cases those failings have been exacerbated by a manifestly inadequate response to the abused person. The problems have been so widespread, and the nature of the abuse so heinous, that it is difficult to comprehend.”

Australia created the commission in 2012 to investigate decades of sexual abuse in religious institutions, schools and other establishments — the only country in the world so far to initiate such a sweeping government-led inquiry. More than 4,000 institutions have been implicated in abuse allegations, the commission found.

Australian government investigators identified 4,444 victims of abuse and at least 1,880 suspected abusers from 1980 to 2015. Most of those suspected of abuse were Catholic priests and religious brothers. The report released Friday said 62 percent of the survivors who told the commission they were abused in religious institutions were abused in a Catholic facility….

The most damaging revelations about child sexual abuse have centered on scandals in towns like Ballarat, the hometown of Cardinal George Pell, who this year became the highest-ranking Roman Catholic prelate to be formally charged with sexual offenses….

The charges brought in June against Cardinal Pell, one of Pope Francis’ top advisers, followed years of criticism that he had at best overlooked, and at worst covered up, the widespread abuse of children by clergymen in Australia.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/14/world/australia/australia-sexual-abuse-children.html

Principals of Catholic schools throughout Australia have apologised for abuse

June 3, 2017 Comments Off on Principals of Catholic schools throughout Australia have apologised for abuse

Principals of Catholic schools throughout Australia have apologised for abuse 
KATHRYN POWLEY, Herald Sun
June 1, 2017 


PRINCIPALS of Catholic schools have jointly apologised for sexual abuse inflicted on students at their schools.


In a move likened to the Australian Government apologising to the Stolen Generation, Edmund Rice Education Australia today led a “National Ritual of Apology” for victims of abuse at schools including St Patrick’s Ballarat, St Kevin’s College Toorak, and Parade College.

In a special session at the organisations national principals’ conference in Canberra, executive director Wayne Tinsey read a “long overdue statement of acknowledgment and regret”, with principals and representatives of all 34 Edmund Rice Australia schools endorsing each point in unison saying “For this we apologise”.

Dr Tinsey read the statement, beginning: “Today we begin a journey of major change by publicly acknowledging the sexual abuse of students in our schools, some dead, some above, some unknown.

“Today we directly acknowledge the scarring harm of sexual abuse as abhorrent, sinful, shameful and disgraceful. And we also acknowledge that whatever was done can never be undone,”….

Young people had felt “betrayed” when they should have been nurtured. They had felt anger against their abusers and those who failed to protect them.

Dr Tinsey acknowledged the “sadness, grief and sense of loss” felt by victims.
Survivor Ian Whitehead.

“Today we directly acknowledge the alarming statistics of serial sexual abuse, assault and molestation of young people in our schools by Christian Brothers, Clergy and lay staff,” it said…..
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/principals-of-catholic-schools-throughout-australia-have-apologised-for-abuse/news-story/6de8ec5661047097ad2cf60c8012b9d7

Child abuse: Documenting Australia’s shame, The Impact of Child Abuse Can Last a Lifetime

December 20, 2016 Comments Off on Child abuse: Documenting Australia’s shame, The Impact of Child Abuse Can Last a Lifetime

Child abuse: Documenting Australia’s shame
By Phil Mercer BBC News, Sydney  December 19, 2016

In Australia, a boy of 10 is raped by an Anglican clergyman, who cuts his victim with a small knife and smears blood over his back in a twisted ritual to symbolise the suffering of Christ.

This happened in the 1960s in Cessnock, a former mining town in the New South Wales Hunter Valley, but only now has this and other decades-old stories of sexual violence and degradation been heard, catalogued and, crucially for many victims, believed.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is an unprecedented investigation into an epidemic of depravity across Australia.

The far-reaching inquiry began in 2013 and has heard from thousands of survivors of paedophiles who worked, or volunteered, in sporting clubs, schools, churches, charities, childcare centres and the military….

For four days earlier this year, the senior Vatican official was quizzed, denying any personal wrongdoing but conceding the organisation had made grave errors.

“I am not here to defend the indefensible,” said Cardinal Pell. “The Church has made enormous mistakes, is working to remedy those, but the Church has in many places – certainly in Australia – mucked things up.”

When he was 13, John Ellis, a former altar boy, was molested by an Australian monk who was also implicated in a suspected paedophile ring at a former Catholic boarding school in the Scottish Highlands….

“The most important thing for people in being invited to give their own stories and having their stories valued is that somebody cares,” Mr Ellis told the BBC news website.

“For many, many years people have been silenced, people have been fearful of what reaction they will get if they were to tell their truth. The overwhelming emotion people have when they have had that opportunity is empowerment.”

When it hands down its final report at the end of 2017, this painstaking inquiry will have lasted for almost five years. Already, more than 1,700 cases have been referred to the authorities, including the police….
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-38301488


The Impact of Child Abuse Can Last a Lifetime
Dec. 19, 2016 By Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Dec. 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) — The traumatic effects of child abuse and neglect can persist for decades, often with substantial economic consequences, researchers report.

“We found associations of child neglect and abuse with adult socioeconomic circumstances at age 50,” said lead author Snehal Pinto Pereira.

Physical, social or emotional abuse in childhood was linked at midlife to a greater risk of time off from work due to long-term sickness, said Pereira, a research associate at University College London’s Institute of Child Health.

Mistreatment in childhood also lowered the odds of owning a home, she said.

“The associations for child neglect were linked to their poor reading and mathematics skills in adolescence, which in turn could hamper their ability to find work and progress in the job market,” she explained.

The research is only observational and doesn’t establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship. Still, it appears that children who suffered more than one type of abuse were most likely to be thwarted economically….

The study was published online Dec. 19 in the journal Pediatrics.

Child abuse and neglect are major public health problems in the United States, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2014, around 700,000 American kids suffered from abuse or neglect. More than 1,500 died from it, the CDC said.

Toddlers younger than 3 account for more than one-quarter of victims, the agency said.

One study estimated that 1 in 4 children experiences some form of child abuse or neglect in their lifetime, according to the CDC….
http://health.usnews.com/health-care/articles/2016-12-19/the-impact-of-child-abuse-can-last-a-lifetime


Child Abuse Research  https://ritualabuse.us

Articles and Research  by Neil Brick  http://neilbrick.com

Australia: Children stripped, assaulted and tear-gassed at detention center, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre line….reporting of childhood sex abuse and ritual abuse, Evidence of ‘torture’ of children held in Don Dale detention centre, Malawi man arrested after describing sex with young girls

July 27, 2016 Comments Off on Australia: Children stripped, assaulted and tear-gassed at detention center, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre line….reporting of childhood sex abuse and ritual abuse, Evidence of ‘torture’ of children held in Don Dale detention centre, Malawi man arrested after describing sex with young girls

– Australia: Children stripped, assaulted and tear-gassed at detention center
– Dublin Rape Crisis Centre line….notes a ‘resurgence’ in the reporting of childhood sex abuse
– Evidence of ‘torture’ of children held in Don Dale detention centre uncovered by Four Corners
– Malawi man arrested after describing sex with young girls

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre line sees surge in first-time callers
Centre’s annual survey notes a ‘resurgence’ in the reporting of childhood sex abuse
Kitty Holland  July 26, 2016
The number of first-time callers to the national helpline for victims of rape and sexual assault was more than 50 per cent higher last year than the number in 2013, figures published this morning show.

The 2015 annual report from the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre also says there has been a “resurgence” in reporting of childhood sex abuse as well as a “noticeable” increase in levels of hopelessness among callers.

Also noted was a growing willingness by people who had been raped or sexually assaulted by someone they knew to report the crime to the Garda.

“A total of 11,789 counselling contacts were responded to by helpline staff, comprising 10,468 helpline calls and 1,321 contacts via emails, text and social media,” says the report.

Some 5,902 were first-time callers, an increase of 16.25 per cent since 2014 (5,077) and of 50.25 per cent compared to 2013 (3,928)….

Of the calls last year, 51 per cent or 3,736 related to sexual violence experienced in adulthood.

This was a 10 per cent decrease on 2014 when there were 4,163 such calls.
Abuse
Some 3,519 calls last year, or 48.5 per cent, related to childhood sexual abuse and ritual abuse, an 8 per cent rise on 2014 and 10.5 per cent on 2013….
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/dublin-rape-crisis-centre-line-sees-surge-in-first-time-callers-1.2735301

Australia: Children stripped, assaulted and tear-gassed at detention center
By James Griffiths, CNN   Tue July 26, 2016

(CNN)Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called for a national investigation into allegations of abuse and torture at a juvenile detention center.
The allegations, which appeared on Australian Broadcasting Corp.’s “Four Corners” investigative program, showed children as young as 10 being stripped naked, assaulted, tear-gassed and kept in solitary confinement.

“Like all Australians, I have been deeply shocked, shocked and appalled, by the images of mistreatment at the Don Dale center” in Darwin, the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory, Turnbull said….
http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/26/asia/australia-juvenile-detention-center-abuse/

Evidence of ‘torture’ of children held in Don Dale detention centre uncovered by Four Corners
By Caro Meldrum-Hanna and Elise Worthington July 25, 2016

Vision of the tear-gassing of six boys being held in isolation at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin in August 2014 has been obtained by Four Corners, exposing one of the darkest incidents in the history of juvenile justice in Australia.

The vision is part of an investigation featuring a chilling catalogue of footage revealing a pattern of abuse, deprivation and punishment of vulnerable children inside Northern Territory youth detention centres.

The tear-gassing incident was described as a “riot” at the time, with media reporting multiple boys had escaped their cells in the isolation wing of the prison, known as the Behavioural Management Unit (BMU), and threatened staff with weapons.

But CCTV vision and handy-cam recordings made by staff, obtained exclusively by Four Corners, show only one boy escaped his cell after it was left unlocked by a guard….
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-25/four-corners-evidence-of-kids-tear-gas-in-don-dale-prison/7656128


Malawi man arrested after describing sex with young girls
Tuesday, July 26, 2016   Associated Press

BLANTYRE, Malawi (AP) — Malawi police on Tuesday arrested a man who said he was hired by families to have sex with more than 100 young women, including children, in what was described as ritual cleansing.

President Peter Mutharika ordered the arrest of Eric Aniva, who told local and international media he had been paid to have sex with young girls. Aniva also told the media he was HIV-positive.

Aniva was charged with multiple cases of defilement, Malawi Police Inspector General Lexten Kachama told The Associated Press.

“Out of the many women he had sex with, most of them were under-aged children,” Kachama said.

In interviews, Aniva claimed to be a paid sex worker, known as a “hyena,” hired by families and village elders in southern Malawi to have sex with young girls once they reach puberty as a form of ritual cleansing.

In a statement, Malawi’s president said it is unacceptable to commit such violations under the guise of culture….
http://www.thedailytimes.com/news/nation_world/malawi-man-arrested-after-describing-sex-with-young-girls/article_f546d047-4c2b-5e27-ae9e-1d1545ebd03e.html 

Police set to question celebrities, politicians and sports stars in investigation into child abuse on island of Jersey, Top Vatican Cardinal Pell trailed by old child abuse scandal from Australia

June 5, 2015 Comments Off on Police set to question celebrities, politicians and sports stars in investigation into child abuse on island of Jersey, Top Vatican Cardinal Pell trailed by old child abuse scandal from Australia

 Top Vatican cardinal trailed by old child abuse scandal from Australia
“a notorious pedophilia ring just down the road from where Pell once served as parish priest”
“abuse victims and fellow priests have given testimony under oath that Pell knew about the dozens of children who were mistreated there”
“Other priests gave testimony that Pell was probably part of high-level meetings about Ridsdale’s offenses by 1977, an allegation Pell has denied”

Police set to question thirteen ‘celebrities, politicians and sports stars’ in investigation into historic child abuse on island of Jersey
States of Jersey Police say they are to imminently quiz 13 famous figures
They are among the 45 suspects identified as part of Operation Whistle
The investigation is looking into allegations of child sex abuse on Jersey
By Jennifer Newton for MailOnline  4 June 2015

Police investigating child abuse claims on the island of Jersey say they are set to question 13 celebrities, politicians and sports stars.

Detectives have revealed that the prominent figures, who are ‘well known’ will be quizzed ‘imminently’ into allegations of institutionalised sex offences on the Channel island.

Their identities have not been revealed but police have said that 13 of the 45 suspects are public figures, including media personalities, politicians and sports people and they will be questioned as part of Operation Whistle.

The alleged abuse is said to have occurred between the late 1930s until the mid 2000s across four institutions, including the Haut de la Garenne children’s home.

The other institutions, which have not been named, are no longer functioning….

An investigation was launched into allegations of historic child abuse in Jersey in 2007 with former children’s home Haut de la Garenne becoming the focus.

By February 2008, the investigating team had received some claims about possible murders at Haut de la Garenne, a children’s home for 86 years until it closed in 1986….

the investigation did show numerous instances of abuse against past residents, with one former staff member being convicted of abuse.

Gordon Wateridge, was found guilty of eight indecent assaults on teenage girls and jailed for two years in August.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3111224/Police-set-question-thirteen-celebrities-politicians-sports-stars-investigation-historic-child-abuse-island-Jersey.html

Top Vatican cardinal trailed by old child abuse scandal from Australia
By Sarah Kaplan June 3

Cardinal George Pell left Sydney two years ago to great fanfare. The longtime archbishop of Sydney and lauded “defender of the faith down under” had just been appointed chief of the Vatican’s finances — sometimes described as the second most powerful position in Rome. It is the highest an Australian has ever ascended in the church.

But Pell couldn’t leave behind the child sex abuse scandal that had rocked his hometown or the hushed accusations that he had a part in it. Those accusations have grown louder and much more public since last month, when an Australian commission began hearings into a notorious pedophilia ring just down the road from where Pell once served as parish priest.

Amid fervent coverage in the Australian news media, an accusation that his handling of the issue was “sociopathic” and testimony that Pell ignored warnings about his abusive colleagues and attempted to bribe one victim to stop him from speaking out, Pell has now hired lawyers to fight off attacks from the decades-old scandal he can’t quite shake….

Ten thousand miles from Rome, in Pell’s hometown of Ballarat, abuse victims and fellow priests have given testimony under oath that Pell knew about the dozens of children who were mistreated there….

Pell was ordained in Rome in 1966 and moved to Oxford for his PhD. But when he returned to Australia in 1971, he moved back to his home state of Victoria, and two years after that he was back in Ballarat. There he served as a parish priest and vicar. Just down the road, St. Alipius Primary School had become the site of one of Australia’s most notorious pedophilia rings….

One of the worst abusers was Gerald Ridsdale, a now-defrocked priest convicted of sexual offenses against more than 50 children. Ridsdale lived with Pell in Ballarat for two years.

Ridsdale, who told his family he had “hundreds” of victims, according to the Australian newspaper the Age, was moved to nine different parishes over the course of his career — something the church is often accused of doing when faced with allegations of abuse.

Pell said he knew nothing about his colleague’s treatment of children until the 1990s, when Ridsdale was arrested and charged with dozens of counts of sexual assault over the course of two decades.

When Ridsdale appeared in a Melbourne court in 1993, Pell stood alongside him, dressed in a priest’s garb….

In 1994, Ridsdale pleaded guilty to 46 counts of sexual abuse and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was sentenced to an additional four years in 2006 after pleading guilty to 35 more charges, and eight more years in 2013, after additional offenses came to light during the Australian inquiry into the Church’s handling of abuse allegations. All told, he is convicted of abusing 54 children. The youngest was 4 years old….

Meanwhile, Pell’s star continued to rise. He was named archbishop of Melbourne in 1996 and then Archbishop of Sydney in 2001. A 2003 article on his appointment as cardinal called his ascent to the upper echelons of the Church “inexorable,” noting Pell’s moral fervor and reputation as a “staunch and public upholder of Catholic purity.”….

Last August, when Pell appeared before the commission for a broader inquiry on the Church’s handling of abuse cases, he said that the Church should not be held legally responsible for the actions of its priests, comparing it to a hypothetical trucking company that hired a driver who molested women….

Other priests gave testimony that Pell was probably part of high-level meetings about Ridsdale’s offenses by 1977, an allegation Pell has denied….
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/06/03/top-vatican-cardinal-trailed-by-old-child-abuse-scandal-from-australia/

 

‘Australia is ashamed,’ Human Rights Report Records Hundreds Child Abuse Cases In Detention

February 13, 2015 Comments Off on ‘Australia is ashamed,’ Human Rights Report Records Hundreds Child Abuse Cases In Detention

‘Australia is ashamed,’ Human Rights Report Records Hundreds Child Abuse Cases In Detention
By  Sounak Mukhopadhyay  February 13 2015

The Australian Human Rights Commission submitted an inquiry report late on Wednesday night. The report comes with the recommendation of a royal commission.

The royal commission has to examine the impact on hundreds of children being detained for long periods in immigration detention centres. The report, called “The Forgotten Children,” also asked for the release of all the children from mainland detention and from the detention centre on Nauru. The commission examined hundreds of incidents of child abuse that included more than 30 cases of sexual assault as well. The report was then submitted to the Australian government on Nov. 11.

The report happens to be the largest survey ever conducted in the world involving children in detention. There were 1129 children whom the inquiry staff interviewed in a period of more than 15 months. The interview period spanned both the Labor and Coalition governments and went on from January 2013 to March 2014.

According to reports, there were 233 recorded cases of child abuse and 33 cases of reported sexual assault, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The royal commission is going to examine “the use of force by the Commonwealth against children in detention and allegations of sexual assault against these children.”

The report has asked 119 children on Nauru to be removed into the Australian community. The report notes that children who are detained indefinitely on Naaru have been “suffering from extreme levels of physical, emotional, psychological and developmental distress.”….
http://au.ibtimes.com/australia-ashamed-human-rights-report-records-hundreds-child-abuse-cases-detention-1420904

Historic child abuse inquiry opens in Australia

September 20, 2013 Comments Off on Historic child abuse inquiry opens in Australia

Historic child abuse inquiry opens in Australia
By Amy Coopes
Published September 15, 2013

SYDNEY (AFP) –  An Australian inquiry into church and institutional child abuse began public hearings Monday, with warnings that widespread and “shocking” allegations would be heard against places of worship, orphanages, community groups and schools.

Justice Peter McClellan opened the hearings in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, announced by the government last November, saying that thousands of people had so far come forward.

“It is now well known that the sexual abuse of children has been widespread in the Australian community, however the full range of institutions in which it has occurred is not generally understood,” McClellan said in an address….

The inquiry was established by former prime minister Julia Gillard in response to a series of child sex abuse scandals involving paedophile priests, though she insisted the probe would be much broader than the Catholic Church….

McClellan said a hotline set up for survivors of abuse to contact the commission had so far received 4,301 relevant calls….

the first of five public sessions to be held before the end of the year, will examine the “case study” of convicted paedophile Steven Larkins, who headed an Aboriginal children’s charity and was also a Scout leader.

Larkins pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting two boys — aged 11 and 12 — in separate incidents in 1992 and 1997, and is currently in jail for child pornography offences and forging a declaration of his fitness to work with juveniles.
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/09/15/historic-child-abuse-inquiry-opens-in-australia/

Michael Jackson ‘spent $35 million to silence at least two dozen boys he abused’ according to secret explosive FBI files, Qld boy’s horror, raised by global pedophile ring

June 30, 2013 Comments Off on Michael Jackson ‘spent $35 million to silence at least two dozen boys he abused’ according to secret explosive FBI files, Qld boy’s horror, raised by global pedophile ring

Michael Jackson ‘spent $35 million to silence at least two dozen boys he abused’ according to secret explosive FBI files By Daily Mail Reporter 29 June 2013

Michael Jackson paid $35 million in hush money to at least two dozen young boys he sexually abused over 15 years, it has been alleged.

Sunday People has published explosive ‘secret FBI files’ suggesting the King of Pop groomed and molested children from at least 1989, despite his insistence he was just spending time with them.

The damning files claim the deceased popstar was a ‘pedophile’ who watched porn while assaulting a boy, molested a famous child star, fondled a child’s genitals in his private cinema and groped another child whose mother wasn’t ‘bothered’ by it….

While Pellicano is now in jail for racketeering and wire-tapping, his investigator told Sunday People he was hired to help dig the dirt on Jackson and make potential problems disappear.

He claims Jackson was obsessed with child porn and preyed on the sons of friends….

The sleuth said at least three boys were paid to stay silent, with the family of a famous film actor given about $596,300 not to talk to the media.

He said a Neverland maid was allegedly paid $2 million after accusing her boss of molesting her son, while another woman who knew her son was being assaulted ‘turned a blind eye to it because if it didn’t bother him, it didn’t bother her’.

The files on the alleged victims were reportedly compiled when lawyers drew up a list of ‘potential threats’ to Jackson’s image in the early 1990s, when he was on a world tour.

But after the father of Jordan Chandler publicly claimed his son had been abused, other similar accusations began flooding the media.

Chandler was paid a hefty sum to stay out of the limelight….
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2351783/Michael-Jackson-spent-35-million-silence-dozen-boys-abused.html


Qld boy’s horror, raised by global pedophile ring

PAULA DONEMAN, 7News June 29, 2013

HE was a child star but all for the wrong reasons.

He made his debut at just 22-months old – not for a toy store advertisement or even a family friendly PG film. This was for hardcore global pornographic syndication.

He would be filmed being sexually abused by his “adoptive parents” and at least eight other pedophiles in Australia, France, Germany and the United States.

His horrific introduction to the insidious world of pedophilia dated back to 2005 when his Russian mother sold him for $8,000 to a member of Boy Lovers – a sophisticated global network of men whose sexual preference are boys aged between six and eight years old.

The boy was “adopted” by American Mark J Newton who lived in Brisbane and Cairns with his Australian boyfriend, Peter Truong.

Such was the extent of the abuse, the boy, who will be called Adam for legal reasons, grew up believing the abuse and exploitation was a natural part of his daily existence.

Newton even coached Adam on how to deny any inappropriate activity if questioned by investigators.

He was so indoctrinated that when interviewed by a queue of US experts, Adam did not reveal the severe sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of his “parents” and the Boy Lovers network.

Queensland Police Taskforce Argos, which targets pedophiles, also fear the same techniques may have been used on several other children who came into contact with the men.
http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/newshome/17800543/qld-boys-horror-raised-by-global-pedophile-ring/

 

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

Catholic officials knew of teacher’s abuse, court files indicate

November 27, 2012 Comments Off on Catholic officials knew of teacher’s abuse, court files indicate

also: Brother convicted of sex abuse a church ‘treasure’

Catholic officials knew of teacher’s abuse, court files indicate
John Merzbacher, sent to prison, now seeks release
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun
November 25, 2012

The Catholic-school teacher had a pre-teen student pinned to the ground in his Baltimore classroom, the girl’s blouse open and her chest exposed when the doorknob suddenly turned and the school principal — a nun — burst in.

The screaming girl thought she was about to be rescued, according to court records that describe the scene at the Catholic Community Middle School in Locust Point. But Sister Eileen Weisman, who had a key to the room, merely chastised the teacher, John Joseph Merzbacher, for locking the door.

“[Weisman] looked down and her exact words were ‘John, oh John, I told you never to lock the classroom door,'” Linda Tiburzi, who described the incident in a civil court deposition in the mid-1990s, said in a recent interview. “And then she looked at me and said ‘I never want you staying after school again.’ … That’s all she said, that’s all she did, there was nothing, there was no investigation, there were no questions.”

That incident is one of several outlined in court documents, analyzed in a Baltimore Sun investigation, indicating that Weisman and other Catholic officials were aware of the lay teacher’s sexual abuse of students in the 1970s but did not report it until Merzbacher was criminally investigated in the 1990s.

Recent accounts from more than two dozen former pupils and a review of hundreds of pages of documents describe several situations in which critics claim the church had opportunities to protect schoolchildren from Merzbacher, but did not notify police of the allegations against the teacher.

The alleged failures took place in two phases. In the 1970s while the abuse was occurring, Weisman and at least two archdiocesan priests ignored the behavior, even when confronted with it directly, according to accusations in court records. Years later, Weisman and archdiocesan officials delayed reporting Merzbacher to enforcement agencies, despite a victim’s allegations of abuse….

In court records, former students describe Merzbacher, now 71, as a charmer who drew them in with rock records, forbidden foul language, alcohol and marijuana, then terrorized them. The potbellied English teacher beat the boys and humiliated the girls, engaging in sexual acts with both genders and forcing the kids to turn against one another, his accusers claim in the documents. He once fired a revolver in class, students testified during Merzbacher’s trial, and routinely used the weapon to threaten children with death….

Weisman and two archdiocesan priests — identified in court documents as Herbert Derwart and Richard Tillman — were involved in firing another teacher who said he brought concerns about Merzbacher to them in 1974. The officials allegedly told the teacher, Gary Homberg, that he could continue in his position “only under the condition [he] made no mention to anyone of [his] observations of John Merzbacher’s sexual misconduct, the allegations and rumors about John Merzbacher, or the school’s or church’s knowledge of these allegations.”

Weisman went to the archdiocese for guidance after Homberg’s allegations, telling officials that Merzbacher may have brought a gun to school and may have been “interacting inappropriately with the students.” Merzbacher was placed on leave, but reinstated after Weisman said she conducted an internal investigation….

Merzbacher was put on administrative leave while Weisman investigated the claims against him and reinstated shortly thereafter via a Feb. 22, 1974, letter from archdiocese attorney Joseph P. McCurdy Jr., which was submitted in court during the criminal case. That same day, the attorney sent a letter to Homberg advising him of his termination….
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-archdiocese-merzbacher-20121124,0,163396.story

Brother convicted of sex abuse a church ‘treasure’
By Emma Alberici  11/26/12

The head of the Patrician Brothers in Australia has apologised after a brother jailed for child sexual abuse was referred to as a “treasure” in a church publication.

Patrician Brother Thomas Grealy was convicted of molestation and buggery charges in 1997.

He spent four years in jail for the rape and indecent assault of two boys when he was principal at the Patrician Brothers’ Primary School at Granville in Western Sydney.

During his trial the court heard Brother Augustine, as Grealy was then known, would cover the statue of the Virgin Mary in his office with a coat to hide his shame before abusing the nine and 10-year-old boys in his care.

Not only does he remain a Patrician brother, but in a September newsletter Grealy is pictured standing alongside leaders of the Patricians in Australia and is referred to in the caption as one of three “Patrician treasures”.

Lawyer Jason Parkinson represents five men who allege they were abused by Grealy in the 1970s.

“It’s had such a detrimental effect on their life that there’s been a number of suicide attempts and a number of serious issues in relation to self-harm,” he said.

“[I] just couldn’t believe that the order would refer to a child molester as a treasure.

“It just goes beyond belief that they would even be inviting him to remain within their group. He should’ve been shunned, should’ve been sent away. Shouldn’t be allowed in the order.”

Nearly 40 years later, Mr Parkinson said the Patrician Brothers had not taken responsibility for Grealy’s behaviour and was squabbling with The Archdiocese of Sydney over responsibility….

Brother Philip Mulhall, the head of the Patrician Order in Australia, was until recently also the executive officer for national standards around dealing with child sex abuse claims for the entire Catholic Church in Australia.

He says the publication describing Grealy as a treasure was a “dreadful, sad mistake”….

Brother Mulhall said Grealy had never been dismissed from the order….

Another Patrician Brother was charged with child sexual abuse at the Patrician Brothers College at Blacktown about 12 months ago but remained at the school for two months before his removal….
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-27/brother-convicted-of-sex-abuse-a-church-treasure/4393618

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