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Author Peter Fox acknowledges in his book ‘Walking Towards Thunder’  that so many people supported  him, and joined with him, to pressure the then prime minister Julia Gillard to set  up the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses  into Child Sexual Abuse, but there is no doubt that Fox’s  fight to put children’s safety  ahead of the reputation of the Catholic  Church was the catalyst. As has often been stated since, only an atheist, female prime minister would have listened and acted; whatever the truth, the timing was crucial.

What is truly appalling is that a corrupt NSW Police Force destroyed Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox’s exemplary career in order to protect the Catholic Church, its wealth and power in Australia. It’s difficult to fathom that this corruption could even take hold and destroy hundreds of children’s lives in a modern secular country like Australia.

Fox’s empathy for the children abused by Catholic clergy and their distraught families shines through the pages of this book.  The heart wrenching stories are even more soul destroying when no matter what Fox did, there was nowhere to turn to get help for these suffering children, while paedophile priests were shifted around from parish to parish, supported by bishops and archbishops. We now know that paedophile priests passed around the names of children they had abused to other priests so that some children were raped repeatedly by more than one priest and yet the NSW Police and the Church continued to attack Peter Fox and deny this was happening.

Fox’s attention to detail in writing reports and conducting interviews showed him to be an outstanding detective, but this did not save him from the endemic corruption within the NSW police force which allowed the Catholic Church to hide the crimes of its clergy for decades.  Peter Fox writes about the similar ‘brotherhoods’ operating within the Church and police force and how they close ranks to protect reputations at all costs, but these costs were too high for child victims, and for Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox and his family.

The chapter on the NSW commission of inquiry into police corruption with Margaret Cunneen appointed as chief commissioner, will leave readers wondering just how deep corruption is within our justice system. The days of tortuous, seemingly aimless questioning  of Fox, whose health was visibly deteriorating;  a detective  who was doing his job and doing it diligently, is particularly harrowing to read. The intimidation of Fox’s wife in the courtroom during his interrogation is unsettling to say the least; it was devastating for Fox who was well aware of what was happening while he was being interrogated in the dock.

When the Child Abuse Royal Commission was finally announced many had expected the then NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell would abandon the planned  Cunneen NSW Police Inquiry as being a smaller inquiry covering the same matters.  However, the Police Inquiry proceeded.

Around the time the Cunneen Inquiry’s report was being  completed, and the Child Sexual Abuse  Royal Commission was about to begin, George Pell was promoted to cardinal by his Church and a “discreet farewell’ for him was attended by, among other dignitaries, NSW  Attorney General Greg Smith and NSW Premiere O’Farrell, who expressed the “greatest respect” for George Pell and his Church.  One can only imagine how this made the victims and their families feel.  And  then O’Farrell made a statement that surely will go down in history as an indictment on the NSW state government which must have been  well aware of the children reportedly raped by Catholic clergy at the time, and in light of Pell’s later conviction for child sexual abuse: “In Australian society the [Catholic] Church always gets priority and central position.”

In my view, after reading ‘Walking Towards Thunder’ the Cunneen Inquiry appears to have been set up solely to destroy Peter Fox, along with the rape victims’ statements he recorded and other documented evidence he had collected.  Documents and statements mysteriously disappeared and police officers giving evidence at the Cunneen Inquiry claimed that those documents and statements never existed, even though victims, journalists and family members all confirmed Fox’s evidence which he gave under cross examination, which I have already noted was brutal.

These are my own assessments after reading ‘Walking Towards Thunder’ and I have no doubt that history will hold the NSW Police Inquiry up for what it was; a sham! The ABC later reported that the four-volume report, three volumes of which had been released by Commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC, uncovered no evidence to show that senior police ever tried to ensure child abuse offences were not properly investigated. History will not be kind to Commissioner Cunneen. We now know that Police did conceal evidence, destroyed or ‘lost’ statements by victims and witnesses, and police had evidence that the Catholic Church was intimidating witnesses and victims so they would not go to the police with their claims.  These matters were all later revealed during the Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission.

It seems during the time covered in Peter Fox’s book, good priests who tried to expose child sexual abuse by fellow clergy were ostracised in their parishes, honest police were leaving the police force and school principals were driven out of their jobs for trying to protect children under their care. Every one of them paid a heavy price, some tragically more than others.

This is a well written book which may have been enhanced with a reference index notating names, important events and dates to enable the reader to traverse the wealth of information contained in the book.

‘Walking Towards Thunder’ will give readers a close up look at how a hard-working, honest police officer fought the powerful Catholic Church and the NSW police force to protect victims of clergy sexual abuse from further abuse and to stop more children being abused in the future. He and his family have paid a huge price. I have no doubt he will be vindicated. It is also a must read for all victims and survivors of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. Simply by victims revealing what had happened to them, meant they were vilified by people in their own parishes for tarnishing the reputation of their beloved church.  Most of the books about Catholic paedophilia I have read and reviewed, were written by victims and survivors or their families. Peter Fox’s book gives us a clear view of this Catholic scourge from a different angle, thereby revealing just how the Church hierarchy in Australia was able to coverup the rapes of hundreds of innocent children for decades.

-Anne Frandi-Coory 24 September 2019

 

CARDINAL

In June of 2017, the best-selling book Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell

 written by investigative journalist, Louise Milligan, was withdrawn from sale in bookshops across Victoria. Cardinal George Pell had just been charged with multiple historical sexual offences against children. The publisher, Melbourne University Press was concerned that the book could prejudice the case and be in contempt of court.

George Pell has since been convicted of child sexual abuse and is currently in custody awaiting sentencing on the 13 March 2019. Pell continues to maintain his innocence on all charges. His appeal hearing has been set for June 7-8, which critics claim is unfair as most inmates usually have to wait a year or longer before their challenging of a court verdict is heard.

Now that CARDINAL is available for sale again, I can finally post my review. This is a book that is even more relevant then ever, because Pell is now a convicted paedophile. His crimes are no longer just allegations.

One of the complainants Milligan interviewed for the book, whose criminal trial was recently dropped by prosecutors (due to insufficient evidence) has now elected to take the matter forward, via a personal civil action against Pell and other church and state entities, including the trustees of the Sisters of Nazareth (formerly St Joseph’s), the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and the State of Victoria.

In another associated case, the father of one of two St Patrick’s Cathedral choir boys sexually assaulted by Pell, has announced that he intends to sue Pell and the Church following the death of his son due to an accidental drug overdose.

These victims’ accusations, along with many more against Pell and other Catholic clergy, and the resultant cover-ups, are also detailed by Milligan and her research is thorough; searching and reading through hundreds of documents, tracking down and interviewing victims and their families, Catholic clergy, teachers and principals.

So much of what Milligan writes about in CARDINAL is heart-breaking. e.g. Several generations of children abused by the same paedophile priest, children raped by priests at their school.  Pell’s Melbourne Response, which he established to compensate victims of Catholic clergy abuse is heavily criticised and considered dangerous. In one case, the victim was forced to confront her abuser, alone with him in a room with the door closed, before the Church would even consider compensation. And most critics say that compensation is woefully inadequate to pay for psychologists, psychiatrists, medication, etc.

It is very interesting to read about Pell’s rising authoritarianism and adherence to strict orthodoxy which enabled him to make the changes he carried out at Corpus Christi seminary in Clayton. When he was first appointed as rector, he sacked all the staff, and dismantled the strict screening processes for those young men wishing to join the priesthood. Vocations for the priesthood were plummeting so there was a worldwide shortage of parish priests.  All who wished to enter the seminary in Victoria were from then onwards accepted at face value! Someone who spoke to Milligan stated that Pell’s ‘exercise of power was ruthlessly destructive.’ The ‘veritable tsunami of child sexual abuse claims coming at the nation’s Catholic Church’ revealed that Victoria had more paedophile Catholic clergy, and victims, than in any other place in the country, and most of the paedophiles operated during Pell’s time as priest or bishop.

Yet Pell is persistent in his claims that his Melbourne Response procedures were the first to respond to help victims of clerical paedophilia, but this is hotly disputed by several critics of Melbourne Response in the book. The percentage of Catholic clergy in Australia, including Christian brothers and priests, accused of sexually abusing children, as revealed by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse, is staggering.

Another aspect of Pell’s governance of the Church which Milligan explores is Pell’s obsession that the Australian Catholic Church would disappear into obscurity because of its ‘egalitarian nature’ and he agreed with Pope John Paul ll that this egalitarian nature would undermine the authority of the clergy! Pope John Paul ll, Pope Benedict  XVl and George Pell,  are now suspected of having covered up thousands of cases of sexual abuse of children by paedophile Catholic clergy worldwide. None-the-less, by the year 2002, Pell had become a true Catholic celebrity; wined and dined by media and politicians, including Liberal prime ministers, by which time he had gained the epithet ‘a brilliant conversationalist’. But so rigid was Pell in his determination to keep the Australian Church within his parameters of strict orthodoxy, that many priests called him ‘Captain Catholic’; the Church’s reputation always came first above all else, including the safety of children. Pell had finally succeeded in making ‘his’ Australian Catholic Church in his own image. Meanwhile, hundreds of children around Australia had been raped and brutally abused by Catholic clergy, indeed were still being abused, and the Church was by this time well skilled in covering up that abuse.

Then in 2013 the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was established. The worm was turning.

During Cardinal Pell’s testimony at the Royal Commission, he repeatedly denied that he knew about paedophilia in his Church. The Commission’s Chair, Justice McClellan interrupted; ‘We have heard from others that paedophilia has been understood by some in the Church as sexual activity with prepubescent children but not adolescent children’. Pell said he was aware of the distinction.

‘It is not unknown, of course for priests to have engaged in sexual activity with adolescent boys, is it?’ McClellan asked. Pell replied that that was correct. So, although a priest having sex with prepubescent children was a sin and a crime of paedophilia, a priest having sex with adolescent boys was merely homosexuality? The people in the courtroom were reported to have responded with horror at this revelation. ‘So’, Milligan writes:

‘the Catholic Church that lectured to people that sexual intercourse was not permitted outside the bounds of marriage, that had railed against the contraceptive pill and condoms, this same Church had made granular distinctions between how it viewed sexual relations of whatever complexion, between adult priests and boys, depending on their age? Well, yes, it seems that it did.’ This is so very disturbing and goes some way in explaining how the Church has managed to trivialise and cover up the abuse and rape of children across the world, for decades.

The pomposity and arrogance of Pell is evident for all to see. His answers to questions during the Royal Commission, and at other public hearings, were evasive, with deliberate obfuscation and ‘I don’t recall’ replies. This can be attributed to a form of ‘mental reservation’ or ‘mentalis restrictio’ in the Latin; essentially a Catholic loophole in the truth. Many of Pell’s victims are convinced this is how he evades answering questions truthfully, even under oath. It is a theological strategy dating back centuries which involves the idea of truths ‘expressed partly in speech and partly in the mind’. Lying is considered a sin but it is a Christian’s ethical duty to tell god the truth …restricting part of that truth from human ears is okay if it serves the greater good i.e. protecting the Catholic Church’s wealth and its reputation.

The book also focuses on Pell’s propensity to blame others for the Church’s failings in protecting children from paedophile clergy. He appears to readily blame other bishops and priests, whenever he is questioned too closely. Although he often uses the phrase ‘I can’t recall’ when reminded of some particular episode or answer he has given in the past, he always has rapid recall of a name he can use to accuse another bishop or priest of negligence in using their powers to protect children e.g. bishop Mulkearns, who it is alleged frequently asked for Pell’s assistance to deal with serial paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale from ‘Catholic Ballarat’. Mulkearns even travelled to the Vatican to consult with Pope Benedict XVl. When Mulkearns sat down with the pope, Mulkearns asked him for help to deal with Ridsdale. The pope stood up, turned his back on the bishop, and walked out of the room. That’s strict Catholic orthodoxy in practice!

Could Pell have devised and upheld the strict orthodoxy of the Australian Catholic Church in order, not only to augment his own power to protect the Church and its wealth and assets, but also to keep hidden his own dark secrets?

Reading this book shines a bright light on the extreme suffering of the child victims of clerical abuse, and the breach of trust; absolutely no empathy for victims is displayed by the Catholic Church’s hierarchy. There are many people within the Church who do not believe that Pell is guilty of paedophilia, and are certain that the victims are lying and are intent only on destroying the Church. Do these supporters of Pell not realise that they are enabling paedophiles?

In May 2015, child psychiatrist and associate professor from the University of New South Wales, Carolyn Quadrio, gave evidence at the Royal Commission. She is arguably Australia’s most experienced practitioner on the impact of childhood sexual abuse throughout a victim’s life. Milligan writes that the Commission had such confidence in Quadrio’s expertise that it devoted an entire day to her evidence.

Quadrio tells Milligan during an interview that ‘when a member of the clergy abuses a child it can be more profoundly unsettling for the victim than when it is an ordinary member of the community.’ She goes on to say that the ‘trauma of betrayal itself can be more traumatic than the memory of the physical act of sexual abuse.’ Quadrio explains at length in CARDINAL, the reasons for this.

Through her many years of practice, and intense study of local and international research, Quadrio has discovered that there is a distinct difference between the way that boys respond to abuse, compared to that of girls. As Quadrio states in her evidence to the Royal Commission: ‘There needs to be a huge amount of awareness that children who are troubled, are troubled for a reason.’

I recommend this book to all parents and families, whether Catholic, or any other faith, or indeed atheists, because it will not only instruct readers on the evil of paedophilia within the Catholic Church, but it will ensure that sexual abuse of children on this scale, never happens again. That children will be safe at school and families will be more aware of the signs that their child is being sexually abused.

– Anne Frandi-Coory 12 March 2019

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Update 13 March 2019: Today, Cardinal George Pell was sentenced by Judge Kidd to six years in prison with a non-parole period of three years and eight months for historical sex offences against two choirboys. His name has been added to the Sex Offenders’ Register.

Update 21 August 2019:  On this date, Cardinal George Pell’s Appeal was dismissed by two of the three Court of Appeal Judges. 

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Tony Abbott

 

Dear Mr Tony Abbott,

former prime minister of Australia (2013 – 2015) you’re also a former Catholic priest,  who is still a devout Catholic, who has defended Catholic paedophile clergy, and who has not once stood up and denounced the Catholic Church for its failure to protect children! Shame on you, you hypocrite!

You have stated that “we store up trouble for ourselves by letting in people [Africans] who are difficult to integrate.” It takes at least three generations for immigrants to truly assimilate in my experience and in the meantime we should give them all the help they need to settle in!

I put it to you Mr Abbott, that if African Australians had raped and destroyed as many children as your Catholic clergy have done in Australia, you’d be out there with the rest of your Catholic controlled LNP government either locking them up or deporting them asap! But instead your own government even refuses to deport an Irish paedophile priest because he might get a hard time back in Ireland.

Irish-born Catholic priest Finian Egan was transferred to Australia in 1959, and he soon began committing sexual crimes against Australian children. The Catholic Church protected him in Australia for the next five decades until some of his victims (with help from Broken Rites) succeeded in getting him convicted. A Sydney court sentenced Egan to a minimum of four years in jail, and this sentence expired on 19 December 2017, when Egan was released, aged 82. According to church law, Father Egan still retains his priestly status (but is retired from parish work). In 2018, the Australian immigration authorities tried to deport Father Egan back to Ireland but Egan is contesting this order with support from church sources, including support from his previous superior in Sydney, Bishop Peter Comensoli. In 2018, Bishop Comensoli has become the new archbishop of Melbourne. – Broken Rites.

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Saying sorry to all those thousands of Australian children raped by paedophile Catholic priests and brothers just does not cut it prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

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Malcolm Turnbull, current prime minister of Australia

It is Catholic clergy who find it so difficult to integrate into normal Australian society; who instead have been sexually abusing Australian children unabated for decades. Catholic dogma decrees that once a child is baptised a Catholic it is owned by the Church, to do with as it wishes! And for centuries the Catholic Church has ripped babies from mothers’ arms, sold babies, kidnapped children from native families whose countries they have invaded, forbidden  “fallen women” (unwed mothers) to have any contact with their children! Give me African immigrants any day over Catholic clergy, Mr Abbott.

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UPDATE: As of the 24 August 2018 Scott Morrison deposed Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister of Australia in a coup led by the far right faction of the LNPGovt  which includes Tony Abbott, , Peter Dutton, Kevin Andrews, and Eric Abetz. Time now for Tony Abbott to resign from Parliament, or better still, for him to lose his seat at the next election in 2019.

Guido Cagnacci: Allegory of Human Life (1601-1663)

*Updated 6 March 2019*

The Italian painter Guido Cagnacci encompasses it all in his beautiful painting which depicts the “cyclical regeneration of life out of death”.  He knew the realities of life and death.  His nude woman was the personification of beauty and fecundity, fundamental to the eternal  cycle of life and  the antithesis  of patriarchal  Catholicism. The Church created the dichotomy of the female; the virginal mother vs the whore.  Easy to commit ‘sins’ against the worthless latter and be forgiven in the confessional.  Within the flawed doctrine of Catholicism this is implicit.

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See posts: Are We But  a Flock of  Sheep? & Saint?  Pope?

& Australian Royal Commision into The Institutional Sexual Abuse of Children

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The power brokers behind the Vatican machine are very astute.  Every so often they target some obscure person for beatification; the penultimate  stage before sainthood.  They don’t have to pay millions of dollars for publicity and enhancement of Catholicism because it is all free once this ‘news’ is released to the Global Media.  But the global congregation is growing weary of the sheer numbers of abused children.  The Dead Sea Scrolls have revealed that so much of Christianity is based on fantasy. The canonisation  into sainthood scams regarding the 19th Century cardinal John Henry Newman and Sister Mary MacKillop are nothing but pathetic attempts at diversion from the sexual abuse of thousands of children by Catholic clergy around the world and especially recent revelations in Belgium, Ireland and Australia.  This has been going on for centuries but in the past the Church always covered it up.  Priests’ sexual gratification and its secrecy was paramount;  children’s welfare wasn’t an issue.  The Church just ignored the abuse and shifted the offending priests around the parishes where they carried on with their proclivities.   Perhaps The Church’s fantastical teachings made it easy for priests to delude themselves into believing that they weren’t really having sex with their child victims.  It was ‘fallen’ women, those evil temptresses, that they had to avoid.  I cannot believe that this vast Catholic scourge can simply be labelled ‘paedophilia’.  It is much more psychologically complicated than that. Catholic seminaries are not suitable ‘educational’ and religious institutions for teenage boys and young men, where only males of all ages reside in monk-like living conditions, and where apparently acts of ‘homosexuality’ are rife.

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Sexually abused children suffer and grow into adults who continue to suffer for the rest of their lives, that is if they haven’t committed suicide; and by the way, suicide is another sin in the eyes of the Church so the victims are condemned to “go to hell” as if they haven’t already been there. In some cases priests refuse to bury them!   Little Boys are as fair game as little girls; in the latest investigations into the Belgium abuse cases involving Catholic clergy,  girls and boys from two years of age were repeatedly raped.  Celibacy is a joke and the Vatican’s continued stance on celibacy, that Jesus (if he existed at all) was celibate,  is rubbish; it is written that he married twice and fathered children.  His second wife was called Lydia, but Mary Magdalene, his first wife, was always labelled by The Church as a prostitute and Mary, mother of Jesus, was promoted to the pedestal of sainthood and mother of God because, The Church’s doctrine would have us believe,   hers  was an Immaculate Conception.  Some parts of Catholicism were taken from paganism so they had to have a replacement for the ancient  mother goddess such as the Babylonian Ishtar.  In the grottos around the Middle East whatever figurine of a goddess was in residence,  was removed and replaced with a statue of the Virgin Mary.

In Australia in 2013, the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, began. One of the most disturbing conclusions to come out of the hearings, was that the Catholic Church hierarchy, in Australia,  believed the sexual abuse of prepubescent children was paedophilia, but that the sexual abuse of adolescent boys was homosexuality, which was a sin, and that priests could be forgiven after prayers and penance. Even allowing for this very Catholic distinction, no action was taken against offending clergy between 1950 and up to the time of the Royal Commission. In fact, the Royal Commission exposed gross failings by Catholic priests, bishops and archbishops to place the welfare and safety of children before the protection of its paedophile clergy.

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(See my book ‘Whatever Happened to Ishtar? – A Passionate Quest To Find Answers For Generations Of Defeated Mothers‘).

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Previous Post: Scandal in the ADF

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7 News Item: Pregnant Nun Image Sparks Outrage:

pregnant nun

Pregnant nun advertisement sparks outrage!

An ice cream advertisement featuring a pregnant nun has been banned in the UK, media reports say. The Italian ice cream brand Antonio Federici launched the magazine campaign with the attached tagline text: “Immaculately conceived … Ice cream is our religion.” According to the British Advertising Standards Authority it reportedly received 10 (is that all?) complaints from magazine readers who said the ad was offensive to Christians, especially those who practice Catholicism. “We concluded that to use such an image in a light hearted way to advertise ice-cream was likely to cause serious offence to readers, particularly those who practised the Roman Catholic faith.” an official statement from the ASA says. A UK advertising watchdog says the imagery used to illustrate Immaculate Conception was likely to be seen as mocking Catholic beliefs. The Italian company said the ad, featuring in The Lady and Grazia magazines, aimed to gently satirise religion and that the notion of conception represented the creation of their ice cream product. Where’s the outrage about predatory priests? one person asks in the comments section of the news item.

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