maandag, november 30, 2009
Clerical Whispers Fides Veritas Libertas Irish RC Priests...Giving The Uncomfortable Truth And News From The Inside...
Toen aartsbisschop Diarmuid Martin donderdag in een van de uitzendingen (goed werk van RTÉ!) zei hoe zwaar, hij gebruikte het woord traumatiserend, het zou kunnen zijn voor mensen, slachtoffers van dat kerkelijk misbruik die nooit aangifte hadden kunnen of willen doen, nu bij het uitkomen van dit Murphy rapport hun ervaringen zwart op wit terug te lezen was ik het grondig met hem eens.
Er waren eerdere rapporten die uitkwamen. Er was de nacht dat Ferns viel, de domino dagen erna. Er waren andere justitiele en parlementaire overheidsonderzoeksrapport
Thomas Doyle, Sipe en zijn makkers.
Er is en was moed voor nodig om te lezen. Ellende die dwas door je heen gaat.
Er was en is SNAP en anderen -soms hartsikke gek en prachtig - en zeker het werk van bisshop-accountability, er zijn de weblogs, er is Australie, er zijn netwerken ook buiten de angelsaksische gebieden.
Soms zelfs te veel omdat je ermee moet leren omgaan in rigoreusiteit tov jezelf.
Er was het Ryan rapport.
Er waren de nachten van de verslagen van de Ryan onderzoekscommissie, nachten die ook ik nooit meer over wil doen.
Een cadeau wat ik, en met mij velen, buiten Ierland kregen.
Ik was blij, na de ervaringen rond het Ryan rapport, met die opmerking van Diarmuid Martin.
Ik dacht dat ik hem verstond.
Teveel, zo kort na het Ryan rapport, Canada, en zeker Australie in dat (on)redelijk isolement van de Nederlandse leugens.
Krankzinnige dagen én nachten, voor een niet-Ier. Voor mij. Waarmee ik ongelooflijk blij ben.
Er is niet alleen trauma. Ook voor een niet-Ier is en was er nog steeds dat delen.
Van sommigen letterlijk dag en nacht.
En de moed van die kerels daar, Ierse priesters op een weblog.
Door gaand waar ik moest en wilde afhaken. Daar moeten ze heel veel moed voor hebben gehad!
Woede, Liefde, Hoop.
En gulle vastberadenheid om het Ierse werk te delen.
God heeft mensen nodig. ze waren er! Ogen, oren, stemmen, handen. Zelfs kippevel in proeven, wegen en weten. Ruikend kopvel.
Dank jullie wel.
Ierse revolutie dagen. Het waren dagen die ik nooit zal vergeten.
zondag, november 29, 2009
Limmerick, Donnal Murray: "cranks often make allegations" en Peter McCluskey "my God, why have you forsaken me"
BM: Could I just say one thing, the worst thing that abuse does in some ways is that is undermines the faith of people.
As I've said in the letter that I have sent out to the priests,
the people who are abused are closer than they realise to the Lord on the Cross, saying "my God, my God, why have you forsaken me".
(afsluiting intervieuw Donnal Murray, Limmerick)
En dat vind ik een vreselijke opmerking.
Om dat een walgelijke uitspraak te vinden, Heer Murray, heb ik het weten van de rest van de smerigheid, “cranks often make allegations” uitkomsten van het Dublin onderzoek niet eens nodig!
Het zich dát realiseren door Peter McCluskey's, overlijden 1-4-2006 37 jaar oud, vader van 3 kinderen, zoon, echtgenoot en broer was daarvoor al meer dan genoeg, realiseerde ik me.
't Is goed om dat dankzij dat rorate weer terug te vinden. Het voor de hokjes benodigde consequent de goede labeltjes plakken is, zelfs op een weblog, nu eenmaal mijn grootste deugd niet.
Mesmo na noite mais triste
em tempo de servidão
há sempre alguém que resiste
há sempre alguém que diz não.
Manuel Alegre, Trova do vente que passa
(Met buiging naar Philips van Marnix van Sint-Aldegonde, de ezelprocessen én Damiao de Gois! Impel stimpel stapel simpel.)
God dank U voor de brede lach die hoort bij zoete wraak!
Van mijn eigenwijsheid.
De nonnen die mij verboden mee te zingen hadden groot gelijk.
Ik zing vals en ik brom. Dank U!
het was het oor dat ontbrak.
tussen jou en my
hoe vernietig breek dit tussen jou en my
soveel verwonding vir waarheid
so min het oorgebly vir oorlewing
maar as die oue nie skuldig is nie
nie skuld bely nie
kan die nuwe natuurlik ook nie skuldig wees nie
en nooit voor stok gekry word
as hy die oue herhaal nie
alles begin dus van voor af aan
dié slag anders ingekleur
The following prayer was sent to Archbishop Martin by someone who suffered abuse
so that it could be shared in our parishes.
Lord, we are so sorry for what some of us did
to your children: treated them so cruelly,
especially in their hour of need.
We have left them with a lifelong suffering.
This was not your plan for them or us.
Please help us to help them.
Guide us, Lord, Amen.
Some sample prayers of intercession –
[Include two or three of the following in your Prayer of the Faithful:]
Introduction: In humility of heart, let us pray to God,
whose love and faithfulness endures forever.
1. We pray for all who have been abused
whether physically, mentally, emotionally or sexually:
that the Lord of all tenderness and compassion
will restore them and give them peace.
2. We pray that we may become more and more
a community that actively cares for and protects
the most vulnerable sections of our society,
particularly our children.
3. We pray for the Spirit of wisdom: that it will enlighten the minds of all people and lead to a growth in awareness and a determination to put an end to all acts of violence and abuse.
4. We pray for all in the healing professions who minister to those who suffer as a result of violence or abuse: that God will give them an abundance of love, compassion and wisdom.
God our rock and our strength on whom we lean,
help us to create an atmosphere of trust
which allows the unspeakable to be said.
Help us to live with our painful memories.
May we support each other and be safe places for each other.
We pray this in the name of Jesus, your compassion made flesh, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.
A Dhia, ta aiféal orainn as ucht na rudaí a rinne cuid dúinn do'd phaistí: gur caitheadh leo chomh chrualach, in am a gátar ach go hairithe. D'fhagamar iad le cruatan saoil. Níorbh e seo do scéim dóibh súid ná dúinne. Cabhraigh linn le cabhair a thabhairt doibh súid. Treoraí sinn, A Thiarna, Amen.
Le humhail croí, guímis do Dia, maireann a ghrá agus dilseacht go buan.
1. Guimís ar son gach duine gur baineadh mí-usáid asta bíodh sin go fisiciúil, go hintinneach, go maoithneach nó gréasach: go ndéanfadh an Tiarna atá lan de cineáltacht agus trua athneartú orthú and síocháni a thabhairt dóibh.
2. Guimís go mbéimid ina phobal ata gríomhach ag tabhairt aire agus cosaint don cuid dár sochaí atá gan chosaint, ár bpáistí ach go háirithe.
3. Guimís ar son spiorad na crionnachta; go dtabharfar leargas d'intinn gach duine agus go dtreoraí se d'fhás in eolas agus diongbháilteacht le deireadh a chuir le gníomhartha d'fhoreigean agus mí-úsáid
4. Guimís ar son na gairme cneasú a thugann fóirithint dóibh súid atá ag fulaingt de thoradh ar fhoreigean nó mí-úsáid go dtabharfaidh Dia flúirse grá, trua agus críonnacht dóibh.
Dia ár gcarraig agus ár neart ar a gclaonaimid
cabhraigh linn atmaisféar de mhuinín a chruthú
ina gceadaitear an doluaite a lua.
Cabhraigh linn maireachtan lenár gcuimhní pianmhar
Go dtugaimid tacaíocht dá chéile agus bheith mar áit slán da chéile. Guimis in ainm Íosa, do trua, a mhaireann agus a rialaíonn trí shaol na saol.
The senior cleric said he was distressed and bewildered that those in such a sacred position could be responsible for the heinous crimes.
The frail 83-year-old, who was among four archbishops criticised for not handing over information to authorities on abusers, said the abuse of children was an unspeakable crime.
"Although I am all too aware that such apologies and expressions of regret can never be adequate as a response to so much hurt and violation, and, in any case, lose value through repetition, I apologise again now from my heart," he said.
The cardinal said, from the time he became aware of this history, he had experienced distress and bewilderment that those placed in a position of sacred trust could be guilty of such heinous offences and caused such appalling harm to vulnerable young people.
"The abuse of children is an unspeakable crime," he said.
Although critical of the cardinal, the report gave him credit for instigating two secret canon law trials, despite strong opposition from one of the most powerful canonists in the archdiocese, Monsignor Sheehy.
They led to two priests being defrocked.
In 1995, he also handed over files on 17 suspect priests to gardaí, although it was later revealed he was aware of at least 28 at the time.
vrijdag, november 27, 2009
Van mij mag een aartsbisschop trouwen als hij daar zin is heeft, zijn sexuele geaardheid is mijn zorg ook bepaald niet, maar ....
wat zegt deze Ier in vredesnaam in Prime Time Special RTÉ op 34, o5
blablablah thirties, fourties, sixties, something happened in the sixties when this ...????? .... .
problem (???) began to rise
Sinterklaas zegt niets
maar lacht en lacht
om alles wat Piet heeft bedacht
een mooie badmuts heeft hij gekocht
o, o o, die baard van sinterklaas.
dat is zo'n zorg voor zwarte Piet
dat geloof je maar of geloof je niet
iedere dag gaat Sint in bad
en dan wordt zijn baard
Een moeilijk intervieuw. Zoals Thomas Doyle me nog steeds redelijk op mijn kop weet te zetten met zijn uitspraken, dat gister dus ook braaf weer deed, dank U Father Doyle, dank je RTE, is het verdomd lastig om iemand als Mary Rafferty zonder enig knipperen te horen, nu ook zien - en dat voegt toch weer een paar borrels aan die slok toe - zeggen dat die kerels, haar beschaafde term kan ik zo snel niet vinden, niet wisten wat goed en kwaad is.
Het eind van mijn aandeel in klerikalisme?
En Diarmuid Martin.
Is het omdat hij zijn zijn mensen dermate goed voorbereidde op wat er komen zou en werd een anker van integriteit kon worden in een walgelijk schaakspel die het gisteren temidden van de schokken niet haalde maar in dat intervieuw iets liet zien waarop zelfs hij niet voor kon bereiden maar in dat gesprek op RTE zo uitgebreid kon worden getoond?
Zijn antwoord op de vragen of de nog - nu elders - in functie zijnde bischoppen niet terug diende te treden na dit onderzoek.
Is het de machteloosheid tegenover de leugen, Herr Dr. Jahn?
U kunt niet anders dan mij tot de dood veroordelen, maar voor U dat doet....
Wat zou er daarna in vredesnaam met ons aller Pontius gebeurd zijn?
Misschien is die Diarmuid Martin inderdaad wel een verdomd goede aartsbisschop, Thomas. Het enig mogelijk doende, de slachtoffers teruggeven wat ontstolen werd.
Bishops lied and covered upFriday, November 27, 2009
The Irish Times
The report shows that what lies at the heart of the Catholic Church in Ireland is a profound and widespread corruption, perpetrated by liars, child sex abusers and those at the very top who covered up their crimes, writes MARY RAFTERY
THERE IS one searing, indelible image to be found in the pages of the Dublin diocesan report on clerical child abuse. It is of Fr Noel Reynolds, who admitted sexually abusing dozens of children, towering over a small girl as he brutally inserts an object into her vagina and then her back passage.
That object is his crucifix.
The report details how this man was left as parish priest of Glendalough (and in charge of the local primary school) for almost three years after parents had complained about him to former archbishop of Dublin Desmond Connell during the 1990s.
In 1997, he was finally moved and appointed as chaplain to the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dún Laoghaire.
The report helpfully informs us that there were 94 children aged 18 or under as inpatients here. The hospital authorities were told nothing of Reynolds’s past or of suspicions that he was a child abuser.
This kind of callous disregard for the safety of children is found over and over again in the report. Bishops lied, cheated and covered up, almost as a matter of course, in a display of relentless cynicism spanning decades. Children were blithely sacrificed to protect priests, the institution and its assets. It is, consequently, difficult to avoid the conclusion that what lies at the heart of the Catholic Church (at least in Ireland) is a profound and widespread corruption.
The Dublin report divides the bulk of its analysis into chapters devoted to individual priest abusers. But reading through the stomach-churning details of their crimes, another parallel reality appears.
Behind almost each one of these paedophiles was at least one bishop (often more) who knew of the abuse, but failed to protect children.
Some of them, Pontius Pilate-like, washed their hands, merely reporting it up the line. Others actively protected the criminals in their midst by destroying files and withholding information. Their handling of complaints is variously described as “particularly bad”, “disastrous” and “catastrophic”.
Dermot Ryan stands out as the most callous of the Dublin archbishops. He failed properly to investigate complaints against at least six of the worst offending priests.
Kevin MacNamara was little better, but his tenure was considerably briefer, limiting some of the damage he did.
John Charles McQuaid is severely criticised in one case, but it was not within the commission’s remit to examine his reign in any significant detail. His response to the pornographic photos of two children taken by one of his priests is a damning indictment of the impact of priestly celibacy. He viewed the criminal act as an expression of “wonderment” by the priest at the nature of the female body.
And what of Desmond Connell, perhaps the most reviled of them all? A complex picture emerges of a man unsuited to the task facing him, attempting to deal with the enormous scale of abuse in the archdiocese, and ultimately failing. While he did, for instance, engage with the civil authorities, unlike his predecessors, he, nonetheless, continued to maintain secrecy over much of what the diocese knew of their child-abusing priests.
As for the many Dublin auxiliary bishops, two stand out as being particularly awful. There is arguably enough evidence in this report to send bishops James Kavanagh (now deceased) and Donal O’Mahony (retired) to prison for failing to report crimes. Or at least, there would be if there existed such an offence. Incredibly, there is none.
We certainly used to have one; called misprision of felony, it was conveniently dropped from the statute books in 1998 when the felony laws changed. The effect was that no priest, bishop, or indeed lay person, could be charged with failing to report criminal activity of which they were aware.
What a sigh of relief the bishops of Ireland must have breathed.
The report describes Bishop O’Mahony’s involvement in the cases of 13 priests from its sample of 46 under investigation. It mentions that he was aware of allegations against several more. His cover-up over his 21 years in office was extensive.
Bishop Kavanagh directly attempted to pervert the course of justice by seeking to influence one Garda investigation and by convincing a family to drop a complaint against another priest. He appears at various stages in a number of other cases, always failing to act to protect children.
Bishop Donal Murray of Limerick is also indicted as having handled a number of complaints badly. He will have very serious questions to answer over the coming days.
Recently retired bishop of Ossory Laurence Forristal equally stands condemned, which is all the more egregious as he was in charge of the archdiocese’s efforts during the 1990s to respond to the crisis and draw up child protection guidelines.
Bishops James Moriarty of Kildare and Leighlin, retired Bishop Brendan Comiskey and Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin Eamon Walsh also all knew of complaints of abuse at various stages.
A week before the broadcast in 2002 of RTÉ television’s Prime Time Cardinal Secrets (which led to the establishment of the Dublin commission), Cardinal Connell engaged in a pre-emptive strike. He had refused to appear on the programme. He chose instead to circulate each of his 200 parishes with a letter read out at every Mass that Sunday. In it, he apologised for the failures of the past, but blamed them on a lack of understanding within the church of paedophilia.
The commission is categorical in its refusal to accept this plea of ignorance as an excuse. It refers bluntly to the inconsistency between such claims and the decision in 1986 to take out an insurance policy to protect church assets from abuse victims.
At that time, we are told that the archdiocese knew of allegations of child sex abuse against 20 of its priests.
The report further notes the documented history of the church’s detailed awareness of paedophilia as both crime and sin spanning the past 2,000 years. The first reference dates from AD 153.
Finally, the report refers to the fact that archbishop Ryan displayed as early as 1981 a complete understanding of both the recidivist nature of paedophilia and of the devastating damage it caused to child victims.
There had been a consistent denial from church authorities that anyone knew anything about either of these key factors until very recently.
Perhaps most damning of all is the report’s findings as to the general body of priests in Dublin. While it gives credit to a small few who courageously pursued complaints, it adds that “the vast majority simply chose to turn a blind eye”.
What emerges most clearly from the report is that priests, bishops, archbishops and cardinals had the greatest difficulty in telling right from wrong, and crucially that their determination of what constituted wrongdoing was vastly different from that of the population at large.
This fact is worthy of reflection on the part of all those who remain connected to the church through its continuing and often central involvement in the provision of services such as education and health throughout the country.
In 2003, ex-governor of Oklahoma Frank Keating drew parallels between the behaviour of some US Catholic bishops and the Cosa Nostra. It drew a storm of protest, and he resigned from his position as chairman of the church-appointed oversight committee on child abuse.
However, it is not too far-fetched a comparison to the Irish church in the light of the three investigations into its behaviour we have had to date.
The organised, premeditated pattern of secrecy and concealment of crime is worthy of the world’s most notorious criminal fraternity.
Mary Raftery is a freelance journalist who, with reporter Mick Peelo, produced and directed the documentary Cardinal Secrets
donderdag, november 26, 2009
En ook Pelé zette handtekeningen, deelde aaien op koppen en dromen uit -ook in het ziekenhuis - aan snotneussies!
linken naar (en over achtergrond van) Onderzoeksrapport misbruik kinderen aartsbisdom Dublin
ARCHBISHOP DIARMUID MARTIN
[...]The sexual abuse of a child is and always was a crime in civil law; it is and always was a crime canon law; it is and always was grievously sinful.
One of the most heartbreaking aspects of the Report is that while Church leaders – Bishops and religious superiors - failed, almost every parent who came to the diocese to report abuse clearly understood the awfulness of what has involved.
Almost exclusively their primary motivation was to try to ensure that what happened to their child, or in some case to themselves, did not happen to other children.
Their motivation was not about money or revenge; it was quite simply about that most basic human sense of right and wrong and that basic Christian motivation of concern for others. The survivors of abuse who courageously remained determined to have the full truth heard by all deserve our recognition and admiration.
The hurt done to a child through sexual abuse is horrific. Betrayal of
trust is compounded by the theft of self esteem. The horror can last a
Today, it must be unequivocally recalled that the Archdiocese of
Dublin failed to recognise the theft of childhood which survivors endured
and the diocese failed in its responses to them when they had the courage to
come forward, compounding the damage done to their innocence.
For that no words of apology will ever be sufficient.
on the occasion of the publication of the
Commission of Investigation in the sexual abuse of children by priests
in the Archdiocese of Dublin
26th November 2009
THE DUBLIN Archdiocese Commission of Investigation has expressed regret that “due to circumstances outside its control” its report will not be published in full today.
Acknowledging the disappointment this would cause, it said this would also mean that “a full picture is not available” where the actions of some people in church and State authorities were concerned. It also described as “a cause of great regret” the leaking of the report, or parts of it, to a newspaper last weekend.
The report into how allegations of clerical child sex abuse were handled by church and State authorities in Dublin’s Catholic Archdiocese will be published this afternoon by Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern and Minister of State for Children Barry Andrews.
In its statement last night, the commission said “as is clear from the judgment . . . issued on November 19th, decisions were made by the DPP after the report was delivered to the Minister and those decisions could not have been taken into account by the commission in its report”.
It realised this would mean that some people “will be disappointed to discover that, because of recent directions of the High Court, the parts of the report relating to them are not being published”. However, it wished to assure those people “such publication will eventually occur as this is a requirement of the legislation” governing all commissions of investigation.
It recognised that complainants concerned “are likely to suffer the greatest disappointment” but went on to note that “there are also people in church and State authorities about whose actions a full picture is not available because of present exclusions”.
Referring to media leaks, the commission pointed out that for three and a half years it had been “in possession of extremely sensitive information which it had guarded well”. It was “a cause of great regret” to it, therefore, that the report, or parts of it, were leaked last weekend.
It said those responsible for the leak clearly took no account of the distress that its partial publication could cause to the complainants and to those whose actions were subjected to scrutiny in the report.
The commission was chaired by Ms Justice Yvonne Murphy and included barrister Ita Mangan and solicitor Hugh O’Neill. Their report is believed to be over 700 pages long and deals with a sample of 46 priests against whom allegations were made.
The commission was set up in March 2006 and its completed report was presented to the Minister for Justice on July 21st. Its investigation covered the period from January 1st, 1975, to April 30th, 2004, though some earlier allegations re-emerged in that period.
It addressed how allegations were dealt with by four archbishops, including the Most Rev John Charles McQuaid, the Most Rev Dermot Ryan, the Most Rev Kevin McNamara and Cardinal Desmond Connell, all of whom were auxiliary bishops of Dublin over the period as well as chancellors of the archdiocese.
woensdag, november 25, 2009
By Juno McEnroe
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
ABUSE victim support services will join forces this week to respond to the massive outpouring expected from the publication of the Dublin Archdiocese report.
Five support services will run one helpline in a bid to enhance the provision of assistance for victims of clerical sexual abuse.
One central phone line will be manned from dawn until the late hours seven days a week, it was confirmed last night.
The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) said it had specifically trained support staff to help run the line.
Chief executive of the DRCC, Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, said: "We’ve been working on this over the last couple of months... Victims will be referred to what services suits them best."
The helpline initiative involves support teams from the DRCC, One in Four, the Faoiseamh helpline run by the religious orders, the HSE’s National Counselling Service as well as the support service Connect.
The number 1800 670 700 will be manned from Monday to Friday from 8am to 2am, and from Saturday to Sunday, 11am to 2am.
The service will operate as of tomorrow.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Groups representing survivors of clerical child sex abuse in the Dublin Catholic archdiocese will be briefed on the the report into the church's handling of abuse allegations prior to its publication tomorrow.
Wednesday November 25 2009By John Cooney
The Vatican has never accepted financial liability towards victims of clerical child sex abuse.
Rome's policy is to devolve responsibility for compensation claims to individual priests, their diocesan bishops and religious orders, Martin Long, the head of the Irish Conference of Bishops said.
"Issues arising in relation to supporting victims of clerical abuse, including financial compensation, are dealt with by individual priests, the diocese or religious orders." Mr Long said.
"This responsibility is devolved by Rome to the local church," he added.
Mr Long said he did not know of any request from diocesan bishops of heads of religious orders to Pope Benedict XVI for the setting up by the Vatican of a special aid fund to top up payments to victims.
Many dioceses in the United States have gone bankrupt as a result of the heavy toll on their budgets from payouts to victims of paedophile priests.
Not only is the Pope the supreme spiritual leader of the worldwide Catholic communion, he is also the Head of the Vatican City State.
The Holy See acts as the Pope's foreign civil service through its embassies around the world credited to individual States.
Pope Benedict's representative in Ireland -- known as the Apostolic Nuncio -- is Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza. He ranks as the dean of the diplomatic corps accredited in Ireland.
As diplomats, papal nuncios enjoy immunity from prosecution in Irish courts.
An attempt by victims of abuse to seek legal redress against a previous Apostolic Nuncio was ruled inadmissible in court, an outcome that was accepted as normal protocol by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
- John Cooney
Christian Brothers: “We understand and regret that nothing we say or do can turn back the clock for those affected by abuse”.
By John Walshe
Wednesday November 25 2009
In their statement last night, they said they proposed to:
* Make a donation of €30m to an independent trust established by the Government to respond to the direct educational, welfare and medical needs of former residents.
* Contribute €4m over the next five years to support counsellor and therapeutic services such as Faoiseamh.
* Transfer €127m worth of playing fields and lands to a separate independent trust.
“Our fervent hope is that the initiatives proposed will assist in the provision of support services to former residents of the institutions as well as the facilities, resources and scope to protect, cherish and educate present and future generations of children,” they said on their website www.christianbrothers.eu, which also gives details of their assets and liabilities.
It shows assets at the end of June of €240.9m — this includes €51.7m in investment assets and €10m in bank accounts.
It is proposed to transfer 67pc of this total into independent trusts. The remain 23pc of their assets are accounted for by liabilities (€8.1m); continuation of services such as teacher education in Marino College, Dublin, (€29.7m) and the living, welfare and care of members (€22.9m). There are 250 brothers in the country with an average of 74 years — only 62 are under 65 years of age. Many of them need healthcare.
The latest proposed transfer follows last year’s handing over of schools and associated properties by the brothers to the Edmund Rice Schools Trust (ERST), an independent body. The transfer value, inclusive of funding and establishment costs, was €435m. The Christian Brothers added: “We understand and regret that nothing we say or do can turn back the clock for those affected by abuse”.
Dinsdag 24 november 2009
De federale gerechtelijke politie heeft vandaag pastoor Bart Aben, pastoor-moderator van de Overpeltse parochiefederatie, opgepakt.
Hij wordt verdacht van pedofiele praktijken tijdens zijn ambtsperiode in Bocholt.
De pastoor zit in de politiecel in Bree en wordt morgen/woensdag voorgeleid bij de onderzoeksrechter. Tegen hem lopen twee klachten.
Het bisdom Hasselt heeft de pastoor inmiddels geschorst, nadat hij zelf via een vertrouwenspersoon een gesprek met bisschop Hoogmartens had aangevraagd.
De bisschop heeft vandaag een gesprek gehad met de gerechtelijke politie teneinde de zaak helemaal uit te klaren. Het bisdom zegt ook begaan te zijn met de slachtoffers.
Pedofiele pastoor in de cel di 24/11/2009 -
De pastoor van Overpelt zit sinds vandaag in de cel op beschuldiging van pedofilie. Er zijn twee klachten tegen hem ingediend, die dateren uit de periode dat hij nog pastoor was in Bocholt.
Kort nadien, in februari van dit jaar, werd hij overgeplaatst naar Overpelt, nadat was uitgekomen dat iemand van de kerkfabriek 400.000 euro van de kerk had gebruikt om gokschulden te betalen. De pastoor zei toen niets met de verduistering te maken hebben. Tegen de penningmeester loopt een gerechtelijk onderzoek.
Gisteren heeft de pastoor een gesprek gehad met de bisschop van Hasselt, die heeft hem onmiddellijk geschorst en van alle taken ontheven. Naar verluidt zou de pastoor bekend hebben. Het bisdom wil dat de zaak volledig uitgeklaard wordt en "is bekommerd om de slachtoffers".
Morgen zou hij voor de onderzoeksrechter moeten verschijnen.
Pastoor Bart Aben van Bocholt verhuist naar Overpelt. Hij zal worden vervangen door Willy Smeets, deken in Hamont. Pastoor Aben heeft zijn vertrek vorig weekend aangekondigd tijdens de misvieringen.
Volgens het bisdom heeft de overplaatsing niets te maken met het onderzoek naar de verduistering van 400.000 euro bij de kerkfabriek en de vzw Parochiehuis.
“Het is een bijzonder ongelukkig toeval. Het bisdom had me al gevraagd om naar Overpelt te gaan nog voordat de onregelmatigheden bij de kerkfabriek en de vzw Parochiehuis aan het licht kwamen”, zegt Bart Aben. De pastoor wordt niet in verdenking gesteld. Bart Aben is als pastoor louter lid van de kerkraad, maar hij is niet stemgerechtigd.
Tegen de voormalige penningmeester van de kerkfabriek en de vzw Parochiehuis - Jan Arits - loopt een gerechtelijk onderzoek. Hij zou grote sommen gemeenschapsgeld hebben vergokt in Nederlandse casino’s. “Pastoor Bart Aben wordt nergens van verdacht. Wel is hij in het verleden een keertje met een grote groep Bocholtenaren in een casino een pintje gaan drinken. Maar er werd toen niet gegokt”, zegt Clem Vande Broek, woordvoerder van het bisdom Hasselt.
“De nieuwe benoeming van Bart Aben in Overpelt heeft hier dus ook niets mee te maken”, stelt Clem Vande Broek.
In Overpelt is er een grote nood aan een priester omdat een pastoor ziek is, een ander gaat op rust. Pastoor Bart Aben is niet gelukkig met de samenloop van omstandigheden.
“Ik heb even getwijfeld om op het aanbod in te gaan omdat ik de kerkfabriek en de vzw Parochiehuis graag had geholpen bij hun groei naar een nieuwe toekomst”, zegt Bart Aben. Hij is al zo’n 17 jaar actief in Bocholt. De parochianen reageren met verbazing op zijn vertrek.
“We hebben het nieuws pas bekendgemaakt nadat er een opvolger voor mij was. Het bisdom wil in deze omstandigheden zeker niet de indruk wekken dat Bocholt alleen gelaten wordt”, besluit Bart Aben. Ten vroegste rond Pinksteren verlaat Bart Aben de parochie.
dinsdag, november 24, 2009
Monday November 23 2009
Let's not underestimate the importance of Judge Yvonne Murphy's report into clerical child abuse in the Dublin archdiocese, due to be published this week.
Survivors of abuse will be disappointed that legal reasons prevent the naming of priests who committed crimes against children.
They will also be disappointed certain sections of the report will not be published because to do so could jeopardise ongoing or forthcoming prosecutions.
What's really important, though, is the impact the report will have on the behaviour of the Church in the future -- and also on the behaviour of other big organisations that affect the lives of vulnerable people.
That's more important than whether we will be shocked by the contents of the report or whether we will be disappointed by what is left out of this week's publication.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has assured us that we will be shocked by what we read.
Will we though? I doubt it. We have known for a long time that such abuse happened and was covered up.
We have known for a long time that every legalistic obstacle was put in the way of survivors' attempts to get justice.
And we have known for a long time that it was only relentless work by survivors, often with a sympathetic media behind them, that brought us to this point.
Judge Yvonne Murphy's report brings all of this together in a way that will make it impossible for the Church to deny the gravity of what happened.
There is no doubting Archbishop Martin's good will in all this but the church is a big organisation and we know from Ferns and other situations that it is highly resistant to anything it sees as contrary to its own interests.
Big organisations in general, as we know, tend to put their own interests before those of the people they are there to serve. That is why we need constant vigilance.
That, unfortunately, is why the Murphy Report is so important. Without inquiries like this, big organisations go on getting away with bad behaviour and will do it again and again.
And big organisations are very good at concealing what is going on.
They have many hiding places and they can put up many barriers, almost impenetrable to attempts by the media, by survivors and by others to expose what is going on.
The Catholic Church is the biggest and oldest of them all. It acted with a cavalier disregard for the children who were being sexually abused by a small number of rogue priests.
Like other big organisations, this one used to be trusted implicitly by its members. Unlike other big organisations, this one made a major point of attempting to suppress sexual activity by its members and by society in general.
For centuries, school children were warned by this Church that even to enjoy a "bad thought" was enough to get you thrown into hellfire after your death.
This makes it all the more outrageous that the Church was prepared to cover sexual misbehaviour (and that is putting it very mildly indeed) by that small number of rogue priests.
We know all about that breathtaking disregard for duty. What we don't know is what the future holds. But unless we learn the lessons of the past, the sins of the past will be repeated. That's as true of the Catholic Church as it is of any other big organisation.
The Murphy Report is not really about the past. It is really about ensuring those lessons are learned and that vigilance against sexual abuse by trusted people becomes a core and continuing part of how it does its business.
Despite the suppression of chapters and of names for legal reasons, this report will contribute hugely to that. Let us hope we have seen an end to obstacles to its publication.
- Padraig O'Morain
By Michael O'Brien
Monday November 23 2009
It was a cover-up, plain and simple.
Although we don't know exactly what the report has said because we are still waiting for it to be published in its entirety, all indications are that successive archbishops knew about the abuse.
And not only were they aware of it, they knew the extent of it.
They knew which priests were involved, the parishes they served in, and the children who they took advantage of in the most horrific way.
And then they did the only thing which was worse than ignoring it -- they tried to cover it up.
Instead of protecting the children, they tried to protect the Church's good name.
This is despite the fact that these people -- people we looked up to -- were passing on child after child to each other to be abused.
It is time for the Church and State to carry out an investigation in every diocese across the country. If it was being covered up in one diocese, we can be sure it was happening in every other one.
The question is, how can we save vulnerable children from being abused if it is continuously being swept under the carpet?
No young girl should be allowed to be raped, or young boy buggered, because someone in authority doesn't want the truth to be revealed.
Now that this report will be out in the public domain and people realise the full extent of what was going on, we can hope that something is going to happen, something will change.
But even now things are too slow.
Last May a group of victims, including myself, met with the Taoiseach, Brian Cowen. We wanted him to go to the religious orders, to talk to them on our behalf. But we haven't heard a single word since.
We're also waiting to hear back from the bishops about a committee they've set up to meet with victims and their support groups.
We want them to subscribe to the redress of all people who have been abused in institutions but we're still being kept away.
The fact of the matter is that even now a child could go into a home at the age of six and be there until they're 16.
But if you commit a crime, a stabbing, or sell drugs, you could be out in six years or even six months. Where's the justice in that?
Right now we have Archbishop Diarmuid Martin at the helm and he seems to be the first one to have grasped things by the mettle and to have done a good job.
But it's time that happened all over Ireland, in every diocese and every parish. As an abuse victim my heart goes out to all those who have been abused and who are reading now that this was covered up by so many for so long.
I can't ask them to get over it but I'm with them in spirit. There should be no more talk of indemnity -- we must never hear that word again. And we must collectively say: Never again on our watch.
Michael O'Brien is a survivor of clerical abuse and a member of the group Right to Peace.
- Michael O'Brien
Paedophile priests can't be named and shamed
Irish IndependantBy Fionnan Sheahan, Edel Kennedy and John Cooney
Monday November 23 2009
MOST clerical abusers in the Dublin archdiocese will not be named in the damning report of the expert group investigating child abuse, the Irish Independent has learned.
The report, due to be published on Thursday, has found that four Catholic archbishops of Dublin were aware of complaints of child sex abuse involving priests in the diocese.
But a desire to protect the Church meant a horrific litany of crimes was not reported to gardai, the Child Abuse Commission Report will reveal.
The majority of clerical child sex abusers will not be identified by their real names and instead will be given aliases in the report for legal reasons.
As directed by the High Court, parts of the shocking report will also be withheld to avoid jeopardising any prosecutions or ongoing investigations.
The long-awaited publication of what is now an interim report is not expected to lead to a greater number of prosecutions.
Gardai and the Director of Public Prosecutions are already largely aware of its contents and are pursuing cases against identified offenders.
"A lot of it is already under investigation or the subject of criminal charges or previous convictions," a source told the Irish Independent.
The report found that the four archbishops of Dublin who preceded Dr Diarmuid Martin were aware of complaints against priests for sexually abusing children over 35 years.
The report leaked to the 'Sunday Independent' finds there was little or no concern for the welfare of children who might have come into contact with clerical abusers.
It did not find any evidence of a paedophile ring operating in Dublin, but it did find some connections between more than 40 priests in the archdiocese.
The report finds that four archbishops -- John Charles McQuaid, Dermot Ryan, Kevin McNamara and Desmond Connell -- who presided over the Dublin diocese from the 1960s did not reveal their knowledge of abuse to the gardai.
The commission says Cardinal Connell was shocked at the extent of the abuse but he was slow to recognise the seriousness of the situation, took bad advice from legal and medical counsel and failed to realise that clerical sex abusers could not be dealt with in secret.
The report also finds he was kind and sympathetic to some of those who complained to him, but he appeared not to grasp the suffering of victims. It says his dealings with complaints were legally acceptable, but added to the trauma and grief of abused children.
Victims and support groups last night expressed their shock at the leaked findings.
One in Four director Maeve Lewis said the public was unlikely to be surprised by the cover up. But she said some may be surprised to read that members of the gardai often dismissed abuse claims.
Andrew Madden, who was abused by Fr Ivan Payne, last night warned that what was happening in the Dublin diocese could also be occurring across the country.
Dr Martin reacted angrily to the leaking of the report last night. He called for sensitivity to be shown to victims while they waited for its release.
In a statement, Dr Martin said he had constantly stressed the report, based on a representative sample of 46 priests from 1975 to mid-2004, had "its own particular unity and integrity".
"The High Court has given detailed directions, in recent days, on its publication and it is hoped it will be published without delay," Dr Martin added.
"It is regrettable that several months after the completion of the report, selected sections of it, or a draft thereof, have been published. However, all involved should be mindful of those most in need of help."
The report of the commission set up in 2006 under the chair of Circuit Court Judge Yvonne Murphy will map out what happened in the Dublin Archdiocese and the response of the health services and gardai.
Justice Minister Dermot Ahern will bring the report to Cabinet tomorrow for final approval for publication.
The minister's department will today finalise its work on the edited version of the report. The High Court signed off on the sections to be redacted last Friday.
Fine Gael spokesman on children Alan Shatter called for the immediate publication of the report.
"The report's release to the media should not be given a priority over its availability to victims of clerical abuse or the availability to them of support services."
maandag, november 23, 2009
- Appointed Bishop Jose Ignacio Munilla Aguirre of Palencia, Spain as bishop of San Sebastian (area 1,977, population 694,944, Catholics 641,515, priests 523, religious 2,136), Spain. He succeeds Bishop Juan Maria Uriarte Goiricelaya, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Bishop Brian Joseph Dunn, auxiliary of Sault Sainte Marie, Canada, as bishop of Antigonish (area 18,800, population 226,000, Catholics 130,600, priests 124, permanent deacons 1, religious 279), Canada.
NER:RE:NA/.../... VIS 091123 (170)
Hij volgt Raymond Lahey op, die, op de vlucht, zijn direct door B XVI geaccepeerde ontslag indiende na door de douane te zijn aangehouden als kinderporno-smokkelaar.
Een vent die al tientallen jaren zijn gang bijkt te hebben kunnen gaan, gelovigen en vroegere slachtoffers van kerkelijk institutioneel seksueel misbruik hernieuwd misbruikte door zijn rol in een vergeldingsproces, en demonstreerde religiewaanzinnige geilheid te hebben.
en nu dus demonstreert hoe het Vaticaan aan het voor kinderen, samenleving en Kerk noodzakelijk inzicht en voorlichting inzake seksueel misbruik en de noodzakelijke bescherming geen enkele boodschap heeft.
Het woord van haar groep.
Dagenlang telefoontjes van een bejaarde dame.
Lachende verhalen die mij doen krimpen.
De panische zoektocht van een kind voor Zuster Lamberta met haar zachte borsten.
Een bejaarde dame die mij verzekert dat zij straf had verdient schildert het kind dat na haar emmer warm sopje, verboden gebod, kiest voor vegen.
De zinloosheid van het gevormd geweten dat de herfst nodig had voor haar boetedoening toegestaan door de blote oren van de zachte borst van de zwijgende smid.
Sofie die wroeging kreeg het mensbaksel in het pomphok te hebben opgesloten.
Weer speelplaats makend kan ze horen.
In haar niet meer te stuitende verhalen wordt een grootmoeder één van de vele groene zwanen zwarte zwanen zonder enig verhaal in een taal en woordkeus zelfs melodie die ik kende.
En weet ik dat wat ik wist waar is.
Een giebelend grietje van nog geen 1 1/2 minuten: "oh, en ze heette trouwens E... B..., doei", laat mij grootmoeder worden zonder dat mijn kinderen daarvan op de hoogte zijn.
De hare ook niet.
De periodieke onthouding van de GVR.
Sofie vertelt van het zelfde ei als Roosje, dat ze niet kent.
Als ik haar Roosjes ei voorlees, vult ze het zalig Pasen aan met witlof en bij gebrek aan tafeldame haar en mijn schortzakken: gedeelde overlevingskennis over tafelmanieren, koestering van nekwervels.
Ze heeft, nog steeds vertelde ze, schoenmaatje 35.
Zuster Maxima Culpa waarschijnlijk een paar maten meer, realiseer ik mij als ik een paar bladeren uit mijn tuin opraap besluit dat mijn buurman zich uit mag leven met zijn bladblazer. Ik veeg niks dit jaar.
Zijn vrouw wist van niks.
Ze spreken een andere taal wanneer zij het hebben over haar nachtsloten op hun deur. De drie woorden waar zat je waren genoeg voor het verhaal van nachten bij de broeders in Rotterdam.
Sofie had er minder problemen mee dan de nonnen zelf wanneer zij haar na 2 dagen en een nacht ontdekten te hebben vergeten in haar isolatie. "Er lag altijd wasgoed, dus ik kon eindelijk goed slapen. Je werd heel moe van altijd al die kinderen om je heen".
Mijn leraren waren impel stimpel simpel jehova's in een ezelsproces.
En besloot de was buiten te hangen.
Over de ziekte van Ménière .
Een paar dagen voor haar dood werd mamma woedend.uit: Roosje, Gerard van Westerloo.
Waarover precies, dat konden we niet volgen. Ze sprak
geen taal meer. Ze gromden klanken zonder klinkers die als
bwggtsss of als wwwrkkl klonken.
We zaten naast haar bed. We streelden haar hand. Soms
liet ze dat toe, soms niet. Dan probeerde ze zich om te
draaien en begon ze weer te grommen. Ze had zich
teruggetrokken. Maar waarin?
zondag, november 22, 2009
zaterdag, november 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Patsy McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent
The costs of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse could be as much as 60 times the original Department of Education estimate, it was disclosed at a hearing of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday.
Department secretary general Brigid McManus agreed the original €2 – €2.5 million estimate was “somewhat wide of the mark”. She told committee members that as of April this year, €71 million in costs had been paid.
This was expected to rise to €126 – €136 million when all third-party and other costs were covered, based on information available, she said.
The work of the commission would not be completed before the end of 2010, as preparation of its report for the deaf and visually impaired was ongoing, as was that on third-party costs and the cataloguing of documents, she said.
Commending the work of the commission, Labour Party TD Roisín Shortall recalled that originally it was expected to have completed its work within two years, at costs ranging between €2 million and €2.5 million.
“It’s now likely to last 10 years at a cost of about €130 million. This is completely out of line. Why was it that the department got it so wrong on both counts?” she asked.
Ms McManus replied that a simpler process had been envisaged than was the case, with legal representation rising and individual hearings becoming like court cases, though not on the scale of a court.
Unforeseen judicial reviews had also been initiated. At the outset people “underestimated the scale of what was being embarked on,” she said.
Ms Shortall further pointed out that the original estimated cost of redress for former residents of institutions had been put by the department at €250 million.
“It is now at € 1 billion plus,” she said.
Ms McManus said the scale and number of complainants who wished to give evidence (to the Redress Board) had been underestimated.
Ms Shortall said that, given the time and costs involved, it was “a matter of great disappointment” that no perpetrators were named.
Ms McManus pointed out that this followed court action by the Christian Brothers congregation following which “the commission decided not to name perpetrators to allow its work continue”.
She said a total of 10 administrative staff continued to work at the commission, with Justice Seán Ryan and commission members available as necessary. The latter were being paid per day at assistant secretary rates while Justice Ryan was paid as a judge.
Double-jobbing: two jobs, two pensions
A third-level lecturer held two jobs simultaneously at NUI Galway and Athlone Institute of Technology from 1999 until 2007, the Public Accounts Committee was told yesterday.
When it was discovered, the man was on paid sabbatical leave from NUIG. He had also been paying into separate pension plans at both third-level institutions, as had both employers, and he has retained both pensions – although he has resigned both posts.
PAC chairman Bernard Allen (FG) requested that the president of NUIG be called before the committee on the matter.
The Athlone president Ciarán Ó Catháin told the committee he had first been alerted when contacted by HR at NUIG on November 27th, 2007. By November 29th, he had confirmed the situation. The lecturer resigned on November 30th.
Seán Fleming (FF) was told the man had not been asked to pay back his second salary.
Meanwhile, Brigid McManus of the Department of Education said that of the properties religious congregations had agreed to transfer to State ownership under the 2002 indemnity deal, 31 had been fully transferred, with 32 more being transferred.
Nee, dank U, zei de rest van W. Europa en de Rooms Katholieke Kerk,
wij spreken geen Verwegistaans.
Is die Beneinung tegenover Bejahung het geweld van de geinfantiliseerde onschuldsclaim, Wiesel?
Het zwaaien naar de 3e generatie kinderen van foute ouders in Bosbeeks tuinen van dat grappig-mannetje-met-kalotje op zijn kopvel , pervers, Antjie?
vrijdag, november 20, 2009
University of Melbourne takes the occasion to express its deep regret for the part played by researchers using children in orphanages as "subjects"
This recognition of injustice is long overdue.
It is also appropriate the University - a community that aspires to serve the public good in every field of knowledge including medical research - takes this occasion to express its deep regret for the part played by researchers linked to its community in vaccination research trials conducted after World War II using children in orphanages as ‘subjects.’
As the Senate inquiry into the Forgotten Australians recorded in 2004, in the years after this War children were repeatedly struck down by outbreaks of polio, influenza, whooping cough and other diseases. Many died or were left disabled. In response, medical research institutions including the University of Melbourne worked urgently to develop vaccines.
The report states: "These vaccines needed trialling and children in orphanages were used as the ‘subjects’ for a range of speculated reasons, including that they were often the most susceptible to disease as an epidemic could sweep through an orphanage."
The University of Melbourne Council and the University community join with other Australians in saying a heartfelt ‘sorry’ to those children whose personal rights were infringed by these experiments, and to all the Forgotten Australians for the suffering their institutionalisation has caused.
woensdag, november 18, 2009
Die vlogen kennelijk via Noordwijkerhout.
dinsdag, november 17, 2009
The Australian Government has assembled a comprehensive response to recommendations contained in the two Senate reports – "Lost Innocence" and "Forgotten Australians revisited".
This response will be tabled in the Parliament in the coming days.
The overwhelming message I have received and Minister Macklin has been receiving has been the need to be heard, the need to be acknowledged and the need for the nation to apologise.
It is important however, that this not be regarded as a single point in history. Our view is that it would be helpful for the nation, however painful, to properly record your experiences, where you deem that to be appropriate This can assist the nation to learn from your experiences.
As a result, the Australian Government is supporting projects with both the National Library and the National Museum which will provide future generations with a solemn reminder of the past.
To ensure not only that your experiences are heard, but also that they will never ever be forgotten.
And in doing so we must always remember the advice of the sages – that a nation that forgets its past is condemned to relive it.
Second, we also know that you are deeply concerned about practical support to help survivors and their families negotiate what can still so often be damaged lives. For example, I know many of you are concerned about living in aged care facilities as you grow older and the need for access to proper aged care.
The Government will identify care leavers as a special-needs group for aged-case purposes, to ensure that providers are assisted to provide care that is appropriate and responsive, and provide a range of further counselling and support services.
Third, many Forgotten Australians and child migrants continue to need help in tracing their families. That is why we'll be providing a National Find and Connect Service that will provide Australia-wide coordinated family tracing and support services for care leavers to locate personal and family history files and the reunite with members of their families, where that is possible.
The service will provide a national database that will collate and index existing state identified records into a national searchable data base, accessible to state and other care leaver services and also directly to care leavers themselves.
Fourth, to make sure you are well represented, we have provided and continue to provide funding to advocacy groups such as the Child Migrant Trust, the Alliance for Forgotten Australians and Care Leavers of Australia Network, as these organisations continue to work hard to put your concerns front and centre.
Finally, governments must continue to commit to the systematic auditing, inspection and quality assurance of the child protection services they administer today.
Some 28,000 – 30,000 children are currently in the care of State and Territory Governments around Australia. Governments must put in place every protection possible to reduce the risk of mistreatment in the future.
And, as Andrew Murray reminded me recently,
"if you hurt a child, a harmed adult will often result...aggregate those adults who were harmed in care and the social, the economic, the personal cost is huge".
In Andrew's words, we must do everything possible to break the cycle.
I recognise this is a difficult, complex and sensitive area of policy. But the nation must continue to lift its game in doing whatever practicably can be done to provide for the proper protection of little ones, of children.
Let us, therefore today in this Great Hall of this great Australian Parliament, seize this day and see this national apology to our Forgotten Australians and our Child Migrants as a turning point for the future.
For child migrants, for many of you, your mothers and fathers were alive and were made to relinquish their right to be your parents and to watch you grow into adulthood.
Some of you have said you would like to place the apology on the graves of your mothers and fathers back in England and on their graves here in this country as well. Today we dedicate this apology to them as well.
For the Australian-born care leavers, or 'Homies' or 'State Wards' or the 'Foster kids', the Senate named you the 'Forgotten Australians'.
Today, and from this day forward, it is my hope that you will be called the 'Remembered Australians'.
However, whatever I might say today, the truth is, I cannot give you back your childhood. I cannot rewind the clock on your suffering. Nor can I erase the past.
But what I can do with you is celebrate the spirit that has lived within you over the decades. A spirit that has stubbornly refused to be beaten.
A spirit that has turned you into the survivors that you are. The spirit that has enabled you to serve your country in times of war, even if you had been deserted by your country.
The spirit that enabled you to bring up families, despite the broken families from which you came. The spirit that enabled you to work and to make your own contribution to this, our land Australia.
And the spirit that caused you to hold fast that one day you would be heard, one day you would be believed, one day you would be acknowledged.
And that, one day, Australia's sense of a fair-go would finally prevail. That our fair go would be extended to you, and that the nation would offer you the public apology that you deserve.
My message to you today is that that day has finally come.
Let me also say this.
You were in no way to blame for what happened to you because it was the nation who failed you.
The institutions the nation created for your care, failed you.
To all of you here today in this Great Hall. To all of you watching around the nation.
Today is your day. Today is your special day. Today is your achievement.
This morning, I spoke to a 98 year old lady in my electorate in Brisbane.
Her name is Vera. If Vera is watching, 'hi Vera'.
I'm sorry that Vera can't be with us in Canberra today.
She said that the pain that she suffered having spent five years in a Queensland orphanage was pain suffered a lifetime ago.
But her hope that today, as a 98 year old lady is that finally this day could herald a closing of the book on the past.
Today is for people just like Vera.
And today let us now go forward together, go forward with confidence, go forward with confidence into the future – as equal, as valued and as precious members of this one great family that we call Australia.
Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull's apology to the Forgotten Australians and former child migrants.
November 17, 2009 - 12:00AM
Well thank you very much Mr Speaker and Prime Minister thank you for your speech. The motion has the unqualified support of the Opposition.
Now the Prime Minister recognised my fellow Members of Parliament and diplomats and other members of the great and the good but I just want to say today I'm talking to all of us, to all of you, the good, to whom so much wrong was done.
Today is your day. You are here today in your hundreds, representing hundreds of thousands of survivors of childhoods stolen and abused.
You were abandoned and betrayed by governments, churches and charities.
Thousands of children, some of you taken from the other end of the world, were placed in institutions – with many names; orphanages, farms, training schools, gaols – called “homes” although most were as far from “home” as one could ever imagine.
Those of you who were child migrants were part of a deliberate and calculating policy of many governments to bring children from Britain and Malta to populate the Empire with “good white stock”.
Arthur Calwell, the Australian Immigration Minister at the end of the Second World War, planned to bring 50,000 orphans to Australia – mercifully his target was never reached.
Churches and charities competed to gather up orphans of their own denomination.
And as government ministers and bishops and chairmen of charity committees congratulated themselves on their generosity and kindness, too many of you were left in the care of people who abused you, who beat you, who raped you, who neglected you cruelly.
And as we have seen from your own testimony, too often if you dared to complain, you would just be beaten again.
Some of you were lied to, told you had no family. That your mother was dead when she lived. That you had no brothers and sisters when you did.
Already stripped of your own sense of identity, your own childhood, many of you were just given a number.
What a cruel and bitter absurdity it is, that this system of “homes” reinforced and made worse every vulnerability and frailty of its inmates.
Today we acknowledge that, already feeling alone, abandoned, and left without love, many of you were beaten and abused, physically, sexually, mentally – treated like objects not people – leaving you to feel of even less worth.
Today we acknowledge that with broken hearts and breaking spirits you were left in the custody – we can hardly call it “care” – of too many people whose abuse and neglect of you, whose exploitation of you, made a mockery of their claim that you were taken from your own family “for your own good”.
Today we acknowledge that your parents who, ground down by poverty, surrendered you into the hands of those who claimed, and your parents believed, to be able to give you a better life, but instead exposed you to horrors no child should ever have to endure.
It is no wonder, so many of you say that when you went into the “home” you felt you were going out of the frying pan into the fire.
Today I want you to know we admire you, we believe you, we love you.
You experienced so many horrors it would be natural to bury their memory, too painful to recall.
But bravely you have climbed down that dark well of bitter memory and brought back into the light the stories of your life – stories that must be told and re-told and never ever forgotten.
And by having the courage to do this, having the courage to stand up and tell your stories, you have done more than paint a picture of an era of neglect, exploitation, cruelty and abuse.
You have, as Joanna Penglase reminds us, also set up a window through which we can see things far off and very close.
Through your story we look straight into our own hearts as well.
At the beginning of the Senate Committee's “Forgotten Children” Report there is a quotation of Nelson Mandela.
“Any nation that does not care for and protect all of its children does not deserve to be called a nation.”
And this nation did not care enough for you. It did not protect you as it should. And that is why we are apologising today.
Through your story we see our own failings as a nation – our own failings as people.
Mandela calls on us to care and protect all of our nation's children. Not just our own children, not just children we find agreeable or talented or well behaved – but all of our nation's children.
And just as we ask ourselves whether in different circumstances we too could have spent our childhood in a “home”, as you did, so we should ask ourselves whether we too could have neglected you and abused you as others did.
Or could we have been a Minister, a Bishop or a member of a
worthy charity committee that presided over these homes, but did not know, or perhaps did not want to know of the neglect and the abuse that you were suffering.
Those homes are long closed and they will never re-open. But when we hear a child scream in pain in the next apartment, or we see a little boy at school with bruises, or a little girl who seems sleepless and withdrawn – do we say: it's none of our business?
Only a few weeks ago I met the chief executive of NAPCAN, the National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.
NAPCAN is campaigning to raise awareness of, and therefore prevent, child abuse and neglect. We met at the Benevolent Society's Scarba House, at Bondi, in my electorate.
There are a group of dedicated workers there supporting families where children are at risk of neglect, supporting families so that they can stay together.
They are doing their utmost to keep children together with their mothers and their fathers – helping to support some of the 30,000 children who are currently today subject to child protection orders.
It is great work they are doing – but Scarba House has another story to tell.
Fifty two years ago there was no support for single mothers deserted, abused by their husbands and so often abandoned by their husbands and by society, those mothers lost their children.
One of those children was Pippa Corbett – she was eight. She had a little sister and a little brother. She told her story to the Senate Inquiry.
Pipa wrote: “We were put into Scarba House in Wellington Street, Bondi. It was a hellhole. My brother – he was two months old – was put into a separate area away from us. I could only watch him from behind a glass window lying in a cot. He was never held or picked up and I used to yell “give me my brother” constantly and they belted me with a switch...”
But the walls of these places have neither ears nor mouths. Only people can speak, and you have done so, courageously and especially through the work of your advocacy associations, including: the Care Leavers Australia Network; the International Association of Former Child Migrant and Their Families; the Alliance for Forgotten Australians – without your tenacity and persistence there would have been no Senate Inquiry and certainly no apology today – and can I add to the Prime Minister's thanks to those members of the Senate Inquiry, but in particular to you Senator Murray.
Last week, I visited the museum at CLAN's office in Sydney and I saw there a little suitcase, it belonged to a boy called Peter Hicks.
The inside lid of the suitcase was plastered with the marks of old sticky tape Peter had used to attach, very carefully, the lists of the contents of his suitcase – a pair of socks, a pair of underpants, a pair of shorts, a shirt – this was all his worldly possessions.
Peter had been given the suitcase when he was four years old. Each year he would pack his belongings excitedly at the Melbourne City Mission in Brunswick and later the Gordon Home for Boys, and he would be escorted outside the gates of the home, where he would make the trip to High Street, Thornbury, to spend four or five weeks over Christmas with his “holiday parents”, Mr and Mrs Wright.
This was the one special opportunity to sample, if only briefly, the family life he imagined other kids might enjoy.
The suitcase, this little battered suitcase, was Peter's one passport to a life beyond the grim orphanage in which he had found himself at only 14 months of age.
Fortunately for Peter, his holiday parents, Mr and Mrs Wright, were the same parents every summer. Even attending Peter's marriage to Carol, standing in the place of parents Peter would never really know.
Like so many care leavers and child migrants, there is much about his childhood Peter cannot forget or forgive from his time at the Gordon Boys Home: the violent assaults; the degrading abuses; the loss of innocence – where marginalised children like Peter were brutalised, and used as child labour, under the guise of safeguarding their faith, or protecting them from “moral danger”.
Peter writes “you taught me nothing about love as a child only cruelty and low self esteem”.
In these institutions, children were not allowed to talk during meal times, or allowed to sustain each other through friendship, but especially they were denied the friendship of kinship.
Peter, bearing the tragedy of not knowing his parents, was then split apart from his own brothers – a story that is as you know as cruel as it was common.
But, perhaps most of all, the greatest tragedy was never really knowing his mother. A tragedy faced by so many of you the former child migrants and children who grew up in these homes.
With no belongings, nowhere to sleep, and completely cut off from his family, Peter tried to find the one person whose love and affection all children desire – that of their mother.
He wrote away, seeking answers, but he received an abrupt and business like response from the Police saying "they didn't do that sort of thing".
At the age of 40, he received a call out of the blue. A woman was in hospital, and had requested he come. He wasn't told why. Peter's mother was on her deathbed. Six weeks later, she died of cancer. For only six weeks out of his 56 years, Peter got to know his mum. Peter is with us here today.
Stories like Peter's are a savage indictment on our society. But we must tell them.
And here in Australia's Parliament House, we stand before you, the Forgotten but now Remembered Australians and the former child migrants to say on behalf of all Australians that we as a nation are sorry.
I hope, as do we all, that this apology helps restore dignity and respect. We are apologising for failing to believe you, for failing to protect you.
To those children whose brutal experiences in out of home care has irreparably damaged you – we apologise, and we are sorry.
To the former child migrants, who came to Australia from a home far away, lead to believe this land would be a new beginning, when only to find it was not a beginning, but an end, an end of innocence – we apologise and we are sorry.
To the mothers who lost the maternal right to love and care for their child – we apologise, and we are sorry.
To those who died hearts broken from a life of pain and hurt all too often in despair taking their own life – we apologise, and we are sorry.
To the families whose lives have been impacted by the failure to properly protect and care for your parents, grandparents, husbands and wives, when they were just little children – we apologise and we are sorry.
We are sorry because none of us can give back what was taken. We are sorry because not one of us here today has the power to undo the damage done. We are sorry because we cannot restore to you the one thing to which all children should be entitled as a basic right – a safe and beloved childhood. We are sorry because, across the generations, the system failed you; the nation failed you, by looking the other way.
As custodians of your interests, this Parliament, and other parliaments around the country and indeed across the world, allowed some of the youngest and most vulnerable of our citizens to be exposed to dangers and hardships to which no child should ever be exposed.
Through our failure to be more vigilant, to be more caring, we burdened young lives with fear and anguish – and in the worst cases, with the misery and the torment of physical, sexual and mental abuse.
Now we recognise the different experiences of each and every single child growing up in institutionalised care. Each of you has a story to tell of your own personal experiences and each story has enormous value and I welcome the initiatives the Prime Minister has announced today, all of them, but let me particularly note the support he has given to you to tell your story so that just as you will no longer be forgotten, you will be remembered and your stories will be remembered and never forgotten.
We know you tried to run away, all those years ago, and we apologise for never stopping to ask the question – why?
Thank you, all of you who have been able to share your memories, however painful to ensure this part of our nation's story is told and remembered. We acknowledge, we admire your courage and your honesty. We know that for many of you this was the first time these awful events had been discussed with your own families and your own children. Know this: we believe you.
You were failed by the system of care. For far too long, your stories were not believed, when they should have been and for that too, we apologise and we are sorry.
They are the stories we need to tell today, to help others to understand that journey because each and every one of you here today are survivors.
We recognise those "survivors" who have had happy adult lives, have raised their own families, and have succeeded in overcoming their painful pasts.
Yet as much as we admire the resilience and the bravery of those who have managed so well, to put it behind them, we must also be unstinting in our profound sympathy, compassion, respect and understanding for those for whom the scars inflicted by years of trauma may never heal.
For those who have suffered decades of grief, haunted by your childhood – emotionally paralysed and unable to move forward, today I hope you can take the first step forward because you are not to blame. It was governments, churches and charities that failed you – and for this, we are truly sorry.
I hope that this apology, too late in coming, helps you to find peace.
And more than that, let us resolve that here today we will be forever vigilant in the protection of our nation's children – our children, your children, all of Australia's children.
Thank you very much.
November 16, 2009
THE Government will set up a national service to help the forgotten Australians find their families and launch projects to record and preserve their stories, the Prime Minister said.
Kevin Rudd announced the plan yesterday as he apologised to more than 500,000 Australians who were raised in church or state care.
He said a ''find and connect service'' would help people locate their personal and family history files, through a searchable national database that would collate and index existing state records.
The resources of the National Library and the National Museum of Australia will be deployed to provide future generations with a reminder of the ''ugly chapter'' of the nation's history. ''This can assist the nation to learn from your experiences … to ensure not only that your experiences are heard, but also that they will never ever be forgotten,'' Mr Rudd said.
He said the Government would also identify ''care leavers'' as a special needs group for aged-care purposes. This means aged-care providers will receive assistance to provide appropriate care, including counselling and support services, to people who have been separated from their families.
The announcements yesterday will form part of a comprehensive government response to three Senate inquiries on the issue, which is expected to be tabled in coming days.
But despite the calls of some in the audience for the national apology yesterday, the Government has ruled out compensation, arguing it is the responsibility of state governments, the churches and the charities that provided care.
Mr Rudd said he hoped the apology would become ''a turning point in out nation's story, a turning point for shattered lives''.
''A turning point for governments at all levels and of every political hue and colour to do all in our power
..... rest You were abondoned and betrayed
The Opposition's spokesman on families, Tony Abbott, said the apology was no grounds for ''self-congratulation''.
''There are as many children in care as ever,'' he said. ''Today, thankfully, little of it is institutionalised care, but that does not mean that every child's needs are being fully met.
''Today … should be an occasion to renew our commitment to all children in care. We can never do enough for them, but we should always be looking for ways to do more.''
The Liberal MP Steve Irons, a former state ward in Victoria, said ''we must not forget reparation''.
''I call on the governments, churches and charities to deal with this now, not later,'' he said. ''We can now only be judged as a nation by our ability to repair and rebuild these Australian lives, because we have failed these children in the construction of them.''
A former Democrats senator, Andrew Murray, who was a child migrant, said the apology would restore a sense of self-worth to people who had been separated from their families and give them a sense of belonging in the Australian community. ''One of the worst things is that their plight was not known, their suffering was hidden and that they were never believed as children and never treated with respect.''
The president and co-founder of the Care Leavers Australia Network, Leonie Sheedy, who has worked for the apology for almost a decade, said she was ''overwhelmed''.
''The Government worked hard to get it right,'' she said.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald