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BEAUTY Beyond Darkness

by Lilla Benigno

 

Lilla Benigno

 

 

 

Lilla's Art 2

Author and artist Lilla Benigno

 

 

 

When I had discovered my mother was Italian, I was excited because I had heard and read so much about the wonderful large Italian families where everyone loved everyone, where there was always plenty of food and laughter at big long tables. My illusions were all too soon shattered.

So when I began reading this book, I was prepared for the worst. I’d already read some of the author’s posts on Twitter and Facebook, but nothing could have prepared me for what I read within those pages.

Lilla Benigno was born in Sicily; her mother gave birth to 15 children in total, three of whom died. The family was poor, but they managed to eat fairly well. Lilla contracted polio when she was six months old. She only had one arm she could use, and she suffered muscle atrophy in both of her legs. Her lungs were also affected. She pulled herself around on the floor with her good arm. Although her parents did what they could, it was eventually decided it was in her best interests to take Lilla to a Catholic home for disabled children in Milan. She was well cared for, and for the most part, was very happy there. There was good medical care by the nuns and qualified doctors. But she rarely saw her parents; Milan was just too far away for family visits.

Lilla’s true nightmare began when the family emigrated from Sicily to Melbourne, Australia in 1970 when Lilla was 12 years old. Lilla was very happy in the care of the nuns, and she had friends there whom she loved dearly. She had her own bed and there was plenty of food. She didn’t want to leave.

 

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Lilla Benigno at 12 years old

Life was very hard in Melbourne where her father worked long hours to pay the bills and for basic food for such a large family. Her parents were exhausted caring for 12 children on little money. The boys shared one double bed and the girls another, sleeping top and tail. Lilla bore the brunt of her father’s rages and endured sexual abuse by a family member. It finally came to a point when she could no longer stomach her father’s violence and the humiliating verbal abuse he meted out to her. Lilla was lonely and she missed her friends at the Catholic home in Milan. She eventually ran away from home to live on the streets of Melbourne. She was fifteen years old. There she descends into a world of drugs, casual sex, prostitution, and rapes. All this while wearing heavy  iron callipers on her deformed legs. She couldn’t walk far let alone run. The abuse hurled at her for being a “cripple” is heartbreaking.

In my wildest dreams, I had no idea there was an undercurrent  of rape, violence and sexual slavery right in the heart of Melbourne, namely St Kilda and Fitzroy Street at that time.

Lilla endures many months in various rehabilitation centres over her years on the streets, to combat her drug and alcohol addictions. Whenever she drank heavily, she wanted sex, and this invariably led her into very dangerous situations, many of which ended in gang rapes and sexual slavery. Through all of this, Lilla never forgets her mother and her younger siblings. Whenever she made a lot of money, she would take a taxi to her parents’ house and give most of it to her mother. The family was struggling and desperate for decent food and clothing. They had to be careful that Lilla’s father didn’t find out or come home while Lilla was there.

Lilla does meet people over time who genuinely care about her and who help her, but mostly the men who helped her wanted sex, and nothing less. Even a priest who had helped her and in whom she trusted, sexually assaulted her. It is no surprise that she ends up hating the Catholic Church and its god. She used to pray to god, but she realises her prayers don’t achieve anything, and she gives up.

Lilla gets the opportunity to move to Cairns and her life changes for the better. Her mother encourages her in the move and when she falls pregnant with her daughter, Caroline, her mother gives her the strength and support to keep her, albeit over the telephone. During these troubled times in Cairns, her mother is her lifeline. Lilla needs plenty of help to care for her baby, and she does find this in Cairns. She still suffers some dark episodes, but she ultimately finds peace and happiness with her beautiful daughter. During her former drug and alcohol haze in Melbourne she is compelled to give up a daughter and a son, whom she has never forgotten. Her mother has since died, but after growing closer to her while living on the streets of Melbourne, she believes her mother’s spirit is always with her.

Lilla Benigno is a remarkable woman. A woman who has survived so much tragedy, violence and sexual abuse to become the mother she always wanted to be, and a talented artist of some repute. And now she has published a book. I urge you to read it. You will be horrified, overwhelmed, but at the end, inspired.

BEAUTYBeyondDarkness has since been translated into Italian.

-Anne Frandi-Coory 2 May 2016

Lilla's Art

 

Visit Lilla’s Blog here:

 

 

email received by Anne Frandi-Coory 8 June 2012:
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Jason Frandi

Jason Frandi (alleged murderer of Czech tourist)

I know that Jason lived with Arthur [his father] in Waimate and attended his funeral along with his brother or half brother as ———– (my husband) went with them.  After he died Jason purchased his father’s Smith St home in 2005.

Police search Jason Frandi’s house in Waimate NZ

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Jason worked in forestry first and set the standard, he was such a hard worker that no one could come close to what he could do in a day.  After that he drove the Waimate rubbish truck and like everything for him,  that was also a piece of cake and he put everything he had into it.  He also worked for Smiths in Timaru driving a digger which was his passion, he would be miles ahead of what anyone else would do and they had trouble keeping up with him.  After that he decided to work closer to home and went to Leethwick’s driving a digger. He was offered a brand new one but Jase being Jase said he didn’t want a new one, what he had was perfectly fine and he would stay on that.  ———- knows what he did between the rubbish truck and Smiths but  I’m not sure.
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When we built our house Jason came up and cut down the retaining walls, then leveled the dirt for the lawn later.  If he didnt get it finished that day he would say, ‘dont worry I’ll be back tomorrow’.  He would sit on the digger all day and refuse to stop and eat lunch or have a break and when it broke he would calmly sort out how to fix it and sort it out without a fuss.
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He carried a photo of his son ——— in his wallet; when he was up this way he would stop in but after a while would say he had to get going because the wee fella would be awake soon and he wanted to go and visit him.  Jason was so proud but as time went on he saw less and less of his son with his ex partner making excuses. But he would always say calmly with never a bad word, ‘that’s how she wants it then I can’t do anything about it. No point causing trouble and she just makes it harder for me’.  His ex said she [was] allergic to Latex, while they were together she became very moody and difficult so Jase decided to end it later finding out that she was pregnant but I think they had burned their bridges by then and she had decided to make it very hard for Jase to be part of his son’s life.  Jason saw him when he could and was always talking about new things he was looking to buy for him for birthdays and at christmas time.  It was very sad, he just wanted to be a good dad to his son and not miss out.
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He was an incredible guy with the kindest heart, respect for everyone and was so much more talented than he would ever give himself credit for.  We’re so extremely gutted we know what we [would] do now and think there are so many things we could have said and done to at least try and help him through his dark patch. I’m sure just knowing there were people that really loved and cared about him, that he could rely on to talk to about absolutely anything without feeling ashamed or embarrassed, and to help, may have stopped him from ever getting to the point he did.  We both agreed today if he was still alive now after what happened we would both still be here for him because the real Jase was just lonely, very troubled and dying for someone to help him with the issues he carried around for so long.
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He should have been given help when he was in prison in 2001, he admitted then he was crying out for someone to help him and it went completely ignored.  We never asked exactly what happened and I dont know if anyone ever did; we thought we would be prying and it was just a minor offence until they plastered it all through the newspaper, internet and television recently last month.  It was a secret until it was too late.  I’m angry about the stupid way that makes no sense, its too late now so people don’t need to know things with some of it being fabricated anyway.  Your life’s only private until you’re dead and it’s too late.
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Something that I’ve never forgotten is how everytime he was here he would put his hand on the window to leave a handprint in the kitchen or dining room and jokingly say, ‘thats in case I ever go missing, people will know I was here’. Was that his way of asking for help?
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I just want to know that he has been put to rest with the respect he still deserved and if it is somewhere public [to enable us to go] and make peace, and to know he is somewhere safe.  It looks as though someone has started or may have finished clearing his house out but apart from that I have nothing.  If you do ever find or hear from anyone can you please let me know or pass on my details so they can contact me; I would be eternally grateful. I really can’t let this go until I know, he meant too much to me to just let it slide.
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Thank you very much, Im glad I found your blog and was able to talk to you. x
A friend of Jason’s
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Updated 6 February 2017 – From today and over the next three weeks archbishops from every state (except Tasmania) will take the stand. 

Some statistics from the Royal Commission on first day of proceedings involving archbishops of Australia,  in just 5 Dioceses here in Australia:

Figures much worse for religious orders: 20.4% Marist Brothers, 21.9% Salesians, 22% Christian Brothers 40.4%, St John of God.

“The following five archdioceses or dioceses with priest members which had
the highest overall proportion of priests who ministered in the period 1950
to 2010 and who were alleged perpetrators: 


a. 11.7% of priests from the Diocese of Wollongong were alleged
perpetrators
b. 13.9% of priests from the Diocese of Lismore were alleged
perpetrators
c. 14.1% of priests from the Diocese of Port Pirie were alleged
perpetrators
d. 14.7% of priests from the Diocese of Sandhurst were alleged
perpetrators
e. 15.1% of priests from the Diocese of Sale were alleged
perpetrators”.

The disturbing figures were revealed by senior counsel assisting, Gail Furness, SC. She also revealed that the Holy See had refused to hand over documents involving Australian priests accused of abuse.

“The royal commission hoped to gain an understanding of the action taken in each case,” Furness said. “The Holy See responded, on 1 July 2014, that it was ‘neither possible nor appropriate to provide the information requested’,” she said

“Children were ignored or worse, punished. Allegations were not investigated. Priests and religious [brothers] were moved. The parishes or communities to which they were moved knew nothing of their past,” she said. “Documents were not kept or they were destroyed. Secrecy prevailed as did cover-ups.”

Read more here: Clerical Paedophilia; Centuries-Old Timebomb

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The Inquiry into the sexual abuse of children by Catholic and other religious clerics is now underway in Australia.

‘Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses Into Sexual Abuse Of Children’ will carry out its investigations throughout Australia. The Chairman at the Inquiry is Justice Peter McClellan.

Thanks to the courageous work of PM Julia Gillard’s team, the Inquiry began its work in April 2013.

On 7 May 2013 Cardinal George Pell admitted that the Catholic Church covered up hundreds of cases of sexual abuse of children. The Church did this to protect the reputation of the Church, its wealth, and its priests.  Since he made that statement, Pell has been given refuge at the Vatican so that he has not taken the stand in these proceedings, which to many victims, is a travesty of justice!

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Below is a book which is a must read for anyone interested in the proceedings of the Inquiry:

‘Hell On The Way To Heaven’ is written by Chrissie Foster, mother of two daughters who were raped by a 70+ year old Catholic Priest, Father Kevin O’Donnell. He died before justice prevailed. It’s a heartbreaking story. Chrissy Foster tells us that she was so indoctrinated by Catholic dogma she couldn’t see the signs that her daughters were at risk of sexual abuse by this paedophile. Father O’Donnell had total power over his diocese and the Catholic school the girls attended. He was free to wander among the children at any time and free to take them out of classes when he chose.

It is believed that this paedophile sexually molested and raped hundreds of boys and girls. The Catholic Church did not warn the community that there had been complaints against Kevin O’Donnell spanning 50 years.  O’Donnell was eventually defrocked by the Catholic Church but boys continued to visit him at his unit. When George Pell was informed by parishioners about O’Donnell’s continued association with children, he replied that it was no longer anything to do with the Catholic Church!

For everyone’s sake in our community, so this never happens again, please take the time to read this book.

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An Inquiry into the sexual abuse of children within the Catholic Church is long overdue in Australia.

The stress and heartbreak that the victims of sexual abuse, and their families, go through is horrendous. I do not believe that the Catholic Church even comes close to understanding this. If it did, would the Vatican have allowed this abuse to go on for centuries? Perhaps it’s not a question of understanding and empathy. It’s most likely all about power, wealth and status. I believe that the number of reported abuses is just the tip of the iceberg, because research has shown that is the tendency with all forms of sexual abuse. It can take half of a victim’s lifetime, or more, to just gain the strength to talk about the abuse. To quote Chrissie Foster: “It takes 40 or 50 years for children to talk about what has happened to them, and it just never stops”.

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For more details see: How Catholic Dogma Aided Paedophile priests

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Chrissie & Anthony Foster

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It one such case, two of Chrissie and Anthony Fosters’ daughters were raped by a Catholic Priest. In an article about the Fosters in Catholica, March 2011, the writer refers to the abuser as “A Holy Roman Catholic Priest”.  I think this is indicative of the mentality of the Catholic hierarchy, in that they choose this highly inflated title to describe a paedophile. It sends a message that this rapist continues to be treated with respect by his peers and the Vatican!

Chrissie and Anthony Foster are the parents of three daughters, two of whom were raped as little girls by a paedophile priest, Kevin O’Donnell. One of the daughters eventually took her own life in despair after a long period of self harm. The second daughter who was raped, after a similarly long period of self harm, walked in front of a speeding car while intoxicated and today requires round the clock nursing care that will continue for the rest of her life.

Mrs Foster has written a book ‘Hell on the Way to Heaven‘ in which she cites six bishops who failed to take decisive action following several parents’ complaints regarding Kevin O’Donnell. It is difficult to comprehend why Cardinal Pell is still in Office given what has been presented in Mrs Foster’s book. “Cardinal Pell has more front than Myers Department Store and it will probably wash over him like water off a duck’s back”.  Read Mrs Foster’s book and judge for yourself, the failure of these six bishops to protect children from sexual abuse by Kevin O’Donnell.  Cardinal Pell appears to bury his head in the sand over this issue, and still there has been no effective inquiry.

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The Fosters are driving the push for an inquiry into sexual abuse by clergy in Victoria.  As quoted in the Waverley Leader September 13, “Two signatures stand between an inquiry into the alleged sexual abuse of two Oakleigh girls, and other alleged victims by Victorian clergy”.  Labour MP, Anne Barker handed the proposed terms of reference for an inquiry to Attorney-General Robert Clark, recently. If Mr Clark and Premier Ted Baillieu, sign  the four page document, a Royal Commission of Inquiry will be launched.  The Terms of Reference state that: “Since 1993, more than 65 clergy who have served in Victoria, have been convicted of abuse”. These figures are staggering. But the Catholic hierarchy have stipulated that they will not deviate from its ‘Melbourne Response Programme’ which was implemented 15 years ago. However, going on past experience of the way the Catholic Church has protected its paedophile priests, we must have nothing less than a Royal Commission of Inquiry, which would be  totally outside the influence of the Vatican. Mr Foster believes A  Royal Commission is the only way to expose the secretive behaviour of the Church, and bring it under full scrutiny. A decision is pending. Let’s hope that in the event of a Royal Commission of Inquiry in Victoria, other states will follow suit.

-Anne Frandi-Coory 20 December 2011

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See  previous posts:  Clerical Paedophilia         /    Irish PM Blasts Vatican

Let’s face it, Strauss-Kahn is a sleaze.  He lies, forces himself on women, and acts “like a rutting chimpanzee”.  Yet he gets away with it time and again.  He even gets nominated as France’s next President when all around him know of his salacious proclivities.

American prosecutors have dropped all charges against Strauss-Kahn because, they say, his victim lied to the Grand Jury. She also lied about being raped as a refugee, desperate to flee her war-torn country. Well, so did Strauss-Kahn lie, desperate to save face and to save his status in French politics. 

As the old saying goes, “There is the Law, and then there’s Justice”.  There will be no justice in this case; Money and Power win again.  Strauss-Kahn may not now get to be president of France, but rest assured, his political buddies will rally round and find him some other top position on the world stage.
See Post: The Strauss-Kahn Principle & the wealth & power behind him.
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Dominique Strauss-Kahn

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Meanwhile, the hotel maid,  Nafissatou Diallo, has lost her ‘cushy’ job in a plush Manhattan hotel, and will find it difficult to gain similar employment in another top hotel. 
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The victim, Nafissatou Diallo

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US prosecutors have asked a judge to dismiss all criminal charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former International Monetary Fund chief accused of sexual assaulting Ms Diallo.

“The nature and number of the complainant’s falsehoods leave us unable to credit her version of events beyond a reasonable doubt, whatever the truth may be about the encounter between the complainant and the defendant,’’ the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a filing today. ‘‘If we do not believe her beyond a reasonable doubt, we cannot ask a jury to do so.’’

What he really means is: the team of powerful lawyers Mr Strauss-Kahn’s wealthy wife has procured for him, will tear our case to pieces!  Let alone the victim!

After today’s meeting with prosecutors, Ms Diallo’s lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, said that ‘‘Cyrus Vance has denied the right of a woman to get justice in a rape case. He has not only turned his back on this innocent victim, but he has also turned his back on the forensic, medical and other physical evidence in this case’’.

But, prosecutors argue: ‘Although the physical scientific and other evidence establishes that the defendant engaged in a hurried sexual encounter with the complainant,  it does not independently establish her claim of a forcible, non-consenual encounter.’

DNA testing “established that several stains located on the upper portion of the complainant’s hotel uniform dress contained semen that yielded the defendant’s DNA”, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said in the motion. Evidence was “consistent with a non-consensual encounter”.

However,  the DA’s office stated that  the physical evidence, while showing a sexual encounter, did not conclusively prove the maid’s assertion that she was assaulted and forced to perform oral sex.

Ms Diallo showed no injuries strongly indicating attempted rape, and slight damage to her undergarments could have occurred from normal wear and tear, the DA’s motion read.

However, other factors, such as the hurried nature of the sex act that resulted in Strauss-Kahn’s semen landing on the maid’s clothing, pointed to a forced encounter. “The encounter between the complainant and the defendant was brief, suggesting that the sexual act was not likely a product of a consensual encounter”.

Another important piece of evidence was the discovery of Strauss-Kahn’s DNA “on both the interior and exterior waistband” of the tights worn by the maid, “as well as on the waistband of the panties”.

The motion said: “These findings suggest that the defendant touched the complainant’s undergarments, but they do not controvert or confirm the complainant’s account that the defendant placed his hand inside her underwear and groped her genitals directly.” A speck of blood found on the bed was from Strauss-Kahn who was suffering a skin condition on his hands and was not thought to be evidence of a struggle, the motion said.

Although prosecutors and police found Ms Diallo’s story entirely credible, she quickly undermined her case by lying to investigators and to the grand jury that indicted Strauss-Kahn, the motion said.

But Mr Strauss-Kahn lied to police and initially stated he was not even in the hotel room at the time of the incident. It was only when DNA evidence showed the semen was from him, did Strauss-Kahn say that the sex was consensual.

Another issue was the prosecuters claim that the victim constantly changed her story about what she did immediately after the alleged attack, ranging from hiding fearfully in a corridor to returning to the room to clean after Strauss-Kahn left. Most seriously, Miss Diallo admitted that she had entirely made up a story during her asylum application to the United States about being gang raped in Guinea.

During one session with prosecutors, Ms Diallo repeated the story with so much emotion that “she cried, spoke hesitatingly, and… even laid her head face down on a table in front of her”. Later, she said “she had entirely fabricated the Guinea attack”.

This lie, prosecutors said, made her fatally vulnerable to cross-examination in court, because Strauss-Kahn’s attorneys would be able to argue to the jury that she had a history of successfully making up sex attacks. “Most significant is her ability to recount that fiction as a fact with complete conviction,” the motion said.

“That she has previously persuaded seasoned prosecutors and investigators that she was the victim of another serious and violent – but false – sexual assault, with the same demeanour that she would likely exhibit at trial, is fatal.”

But, I have to ask, what of Strauss-Kahn’s repeated lying to the Grand Jury, that sex with the maid was consensual, even though evidence proves otherwise?

Ms Diallo’s civil case is still pending against Strauss-Kahn in New York state court in the Bronx. In the suit, which alleges ‘‘violent and deplorable acts’’ occurred in the suite in the hotel, Ms Diallo is seeking unspecified monetary damages.

Sources: AAP & Bloomberg

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See Posts:  Strauss-Kahn & his forgotten victims
&   Strauss Kahn & Sarkozy

Updated 6 February 2017 – Today, every Catholic archbishop from around Australia (apart from Tasmania) will be giving evidence at the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Former Australian archbishop George Pell who is alleged to have covered up multiple cases of child sexual abuse by his priests, now resides at the Vatican.  

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DYSFUNCTIONAL. Disconnected. Elitist. Narcissistic. The leadership of the Roman Catholic Church downplayed the torture and rape of children or ”managed” it to uphold the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and reputation.

The above damning indictment of the culture at the heart of the Vatican came not from a communist demagogue or a firebrand ayatollah but from Enda Kenny, the Prime Minister of Ireland, one of the most Catholic countries in the world. This Irish PM is a true hero. As the saying goes, it only takes one good man…

The Irish government has also warned the Church it can no longer even consider the seal of the confessional to be sacrosanct, promising to impose a five-year jail sentence for anyone found guilty of not passing information on child sexual abuse to state authorities.

Source-Douglas Dalby, a Dublin based journalist.

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Pacific Daily News reporting on Guam clergy abuse trials: Noted canon lawyer Patrick J. Wall said, “Compiling and keeping records of various crimes by clerics, including childhood sexual abuse, is required by the Church’s own rules.” Wall is a former Catholic priest and Benedictine monk who left the ministry in 1998 after it became apparent he was being used to cover up the sexual abuses of other priests.

Wall is helping dissect defenses that dioceses mount during trial. He co-authored “Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes,” a leading book on the 2,000-year history of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

See previous posts:

  Australian Royal Commission into Sexual Abuse of Children

&   Irish Prime Minister Blasts The Vatican

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People world-wide must be growing weary by now of the endless cases of child sex abuse which is endemic within the Catholic Church. No other organisation has been so infiltrated by the sheer numbers of clerical paedophiles.  It’s no wonder that the Vatican has been labelled ‘the gay men’s club’ and the largest paedophile ring in the world’. The abuse has been going on for hundreds of years because the great power and wealth of this establishment has been able to cover it up.  It has blatantly ignored the damage done to children to protect its image of Godliness and purity. I would love to know what numbers of the congregation have left the church because of the ongoing revelations. I believe that it is not merely a case of an organisation of celibates attracting paedophiles, as some would have us believe.  There appears to be a deep psychological flaw in the Church’s teachings and if you read enough about convicted priests, there is this view that it is ‘ok’ to rape little boys, girls, and ‘fallen’ women, as long as you leave the ‘sacred image of Mary’  alone ie in the form of ‘saintly’ mothers here on earth. These paedophiles show little remorse and their colleagues pity them their “sins of affliction” as though they are the sole victims. Canon Law allows Catholic clergy a loophole in the truth; it’s called ‘Mental Reservation’ which has allowed them to rape children with impunity for centuries!

 

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How corrupt is the Vatican?

><>< >< Two other major reports published since 2005 also breached the iron walls of Vatican silence, but the Cloyne Report is different because it found systematic sexual abuse of children was still a reality as recently as 2008 and the church had been paying lip service to its own 1996 guidelines on child protection, which include the mandatory reporting of suspected abuse to state authorities. However, it was implicit that the ‘mandatory reporting’ was at the discretion of  local Bishops. In fact. Bishops reported abuse cases to the Vatican heirarchy which enabled  it to cover up the abuse and to move  the paedophile elsewhere. The Vatican effectively encouraged bishops to ignore its own guidelines by dismissing them as “merely a discussion document”. PM Kenny’s confrontational address to the Irish parliament last month reflected the collective mood and tapped the raw pain and sense of betrayal felt by people across Ireland after the recent publication of the Cloyne Report.  The state-funded independent report detailed numerous allegations of abuse by priests and a failure to report them in the rural diocese of Cloyne from 1996 to 2009. Pointedly, the local Catholic bishops didn’t rate a mention in PM Kenny’s speech; he saved his ire for their bosses in Rome. PM Kenny’s speech revealed that the Cloyne Report brought the government, Irish Catholics and the Vatican to an “unprecedented juncture”. The Cloyne Report exposed a more serious issue than previous reports. Because for the first time in Ireland, a report into child sexual abuse proved an attempt by the Holy See to frustrate an inquiry in a sovereign democratic republic as little as three years ago, not three decades ago. ><>< ><

Formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger-Currently Pope Benedict XVl

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See post   ‘The Case of the Pope’  by Geoffrey Robertson, in which he examines,  from a legal perspective, the Vatican as a sovereign state and its handling of paedophile priests and their victims

><>< The tide appears to be changing in Ireland. Most people still profess faith in God but church doctrine no longer governs personal spirituality. Indeed, there are now calls to remove Catholicism  from every aspect of public life. Some Catholic parents are even doing the unthinkable and choosing not to baptise their children. While they may still regard themselves as Catholic, albeit with a small ”c”, contrary to stereotypes, this is no priest-ridden, theocratic backwater. The Catholic Church may continue to supervise the education system and control many hospitals, but for the most part, this is a cosmopolitan, urbanised, and secular, society. Increasingly, people in Ireland confine their church attendance to life changing events – christenings, weddings and funerals. Indeed, churches are more like mausoleums to past glories, with pews mostly empty or dotted with a few pensioners. The drift away from Catholicism has been gathering pace for some time, but revelations of the devious deceit and persistent cover-up of child abuse detailed since 2005 in the Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne Reports have transformed passive indifference into white-hot rage. ><>< In many ways the Catholic Church in Ireland is being devastated by a catastrophe of its own making. Its abuse of power also extends back  to its role in the so-called industrial schools and Magdalene laundries, places of institutionalised slavery where children and young women were routinely, physically, sexually, and emotionally assaulted. The Magdalene laundries, which operated before the formation of the state in 1922 until 1996, were effectively church businesses where women and girls were imprisoned and forced to work in appalling conditions for little or no pay. Many of them suffered a lifetime of physical and psychological abuse at the hands of the nuns in charge. In many cases their ”crime” was to be a single mother. Only now are their stories being widely circulated and their campaign for redress gathering pace. ><

See post  Banished Babies

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So far, 18 religious orders have agreed to pay €600 million ($A783 million) in compensation to industrial school victims. The state has agreed to pay €1.3 billion for effectively allowing the church to run riot with its most vulnerable citizens.  American Catholic Churches have already paid compensation in the millions of dollars and incidents of the cover-up of sexual abuse by priests are still being currently exposed.

Source: Douglas Dalby, Dublin Journalist. _______________________________________________  

Riccardo Seppia on the left

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Christopher Jarvis: Child Protection Chief for the Catholic Church

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One wonders if the Catholic Church can sink any lower.

Christopher Jarvis is headed to jail for a long stint,  following his conviction for making, possessing, and distributing, child pornography, of which images were found on his home computer and work laptop.  The laptop in question was provided to him to aid in his duties as a Catholic Church Child Protection Chief. The Catholic Church is the largest employer of sex offenders and pedophiles on the planet.

The Child Protection Chief’s  job was to monitor church groups to ensure paedophiles did not gain access to children in the Church’s congregations.  But Jarvis was caught by police in March with more than 4,000 child porn images on both his personal and work computers. He admitted 12 counts of making, ­possessing and distributing indecent ­images when he appeared before ­magistrates in Plymouth and is likely to face jail when he returns to court for sentencing next month. Jarvis worked the Diocese of ­Plymouth for nine years.

A Vatican spokesperson claims that the church removed him from his position as soon as his sex predator status was discerned. Who can possibly believe any statements issued by the  Vatican in light of its record to date. 

In yet another shocking case:  Father Riccardo Seppia, a 51-year-old parish priest in the village of Sastri Ponente, near Genoa, was arrested on pedophilia and drug charges. Investigators say that in tapped mobile-phone conversations, Seppia asked a Moroccan drug dealer to arrange sexual encounters with young and vulnerable boys. Seppia makes his request to the drug dealer clear: “I do not want 16-year-old boys but younger. Fourteen-year-olds are O.K. Look for needy boys who have family issues”.  Now, priests would know all about families with problem children, wouldn’t they?

According to investigators, Seppia told his friend, a former seminarian and barman who is currently under investigation himself, that the town’s malls were the best places to entice minors. In tapped phone conversations the two cursed and swore against God. The priest is charged with having attempted to kiss and touch an underage altar boy and of having exchanged cocaine for sexual intercourse with boys over 18. Seppia’s defense lawyers are expected to argue that the monitored conversations,  “were just words, sex games that were played by adults”. It was just a game even when he claimed to have “kissed on the mouth” a 15-year-old altar boy, according to the defense.  The altar boy in question confirmed that the kisses did in fact happen. These are games played by supposedly celibate priests? It beggars belief! Seppia also served as Pope Benedict’s official advisor on pedophilia; a child-raping pedophile himself?

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In Australia it seems, the Catholic Church hierarchy is no more keen on investigating sex abuse by priests, than anywhere else:

AN inquiry into suicides among victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and brothers in Victoria would achieve little, a Catholic bishop says.

Australian police investigating the case of convicted pedophile Christian Brother Robert Best, believe at least 26 victims of sexual abuse at schools in which he taught have committed suicide. One of the investigating officers wants a parliamentary inquiry to investigate the deaths.

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Christian Brother Robert Best

><>< “If it helps the victims I’d be more than happy for it to go ahead,” Bishop of Ballarat Peter Connors told AAP.  “I don’t think they’ll learn very much more … I’m convinced we’ve done the best we can in more recent years.” Best, who taught at schools throughout Victoria, including Ballarat, will be sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty to 27 charges of abusing 11 boys between 1969 and 1988. Best was principal at St Alipius primary school in Ballarat at the same time convicted serial paedophile and priest Gerald Ridsdale was the school chaplain. But Bishop Connors said not even revelations from Detective Sergeant Kevin Carson that 26 young men had killed themselves after being abused by priests and brothers in Ballarat convinced him that more would be learnt from an inquiry. “I think we’ve learnt a lot of things about what is appropriate behaviour and what’s not appropriate behaviour,” Bishop Connors said.  “I think people are very well informed nowadays as to what’s inappropriate approaches from a male”,  the Bishop contnued. But I would ask, what have these lame statements got to do with opening an inquiry in to the abuse? While conceding the abuse of children was wrong, he said that in the past it had not always been clear to everyone what was appropriate and inappropriate behaviour.  I don’t believe he could make such a claim. Surely grown men in the priesthood, one would assume, should have known what was appropriate behaviour? Bishop Connor’s ramblings don’t make sense. “In the past a lot of ignorance was there on the part of lots of people. Parents didn’t understand, sometimes bishops didn’t understand. We have no excuse now.” As to whether there was an excuse when Ridsdale and Best were abusing boys, Bishop Connors said he did not know. Among the charges laid against Best in Victoria’s County Court last month were details of him raping a nine-year-old boy in his office. The court heard that after Best raped him, the boy thought he was going to die and blacked out. Bishop Connors said in the past 14 years he had spoken to more than 30 victims of Ridsdale and other priests in the Ballarat diocese. But he said none had told him they were also abused by Best. “I can’t remember them saying they were victims of Brother Best as well,” he said. The bishop said he had no reason to meet Best’s victims “because he being a Christian Brother, I’m not responsible for him.” Another stupid answer. Yet he conceded that some of Ridsdale’s victims he had met could also have been abused by Best, because  both men were there at the same time. Bishop Connors says the church has paid some victims far more than the $70,000 the Archdiocese of Melbourne says should be paid for the worst cases of child assault. Others have been paid less but overall victims had received “a considerable amount”. He is now waiting to see if any of those victims will come forward in two civil compensation cases set to be mounted against Best and whether the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat will be named in the actions. The statements made by Bishop Connors tells me that the Vatican does not employ the right sort of specialists to deal with sexual abuse cases. This is part of the problem.  Bishop Connors, like other priest and Bishops, is trained to minister to the spritual needs of their congregations, not to deal with thousands of sexual abuse victims. ><><

ABC News Update on Brother Best 8/08/2011:

Christian Brother Robert Best jailed for sex abuse of Victorian school boys.

Robert Best has been sentenced by the Court to 14 years imprisonment  for abusing 11 boys, mainly aged between eight and 11, but will probably serve a minimum term of 11 years. Seventy-year-old Robert Best taught at schools in Ballarat, Box Hill and Geelong between the 1960s and the 1980s.  During the sentencing, Best stood in the dock without emotion. His many victims were in court and shouted at Best as he was led away.

Civil claims lawyer Dr Vivian Waller:  The Catholic Church, and particularly Christian Brothers, who supported Brother Best throughout, now need to take the next step on the road to recovery for these victims and assist them with their treatment and education. We’ll be claiming damages for pain and suffering and for the cost of medical treatment, and other special damages that will assist these victims to recover from what they’ve been through.

Victims believe Best is unrepentant. “He doesn’t show any remorse.”

See relevant posts:

Celibacy & Sexual Abuse

& Catholic Dichotomy of the Female & Abuse of Children

(Reuters) – Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest on sexual assault charges removes the toughest rival to French President Nicolas Sarkozy for the 2012 presidential race, bumping up his chances of re-election to a second term.

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Strauss-Kahn greets Sarkozy

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By Liliana Franco, from Washington DC:
‘I admit I’m surprised since within the Fund’s board there are some members that pretend to be more Catholic than the pope by taking a fundamentalist position’, the head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn said during his first conversation with the press since the beginning of the IMF’s Spring Assembly. Why does this happen? he wondered. ‘For decades this organization said that capital control was like the devil. We don’t want this. We’re fighting against it’.
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The IMF currently admits the existence of some capital controls, even though it staunchly rejected them in the past.

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As acknowledged by the Argentine delegation, countries should take advantage of Strauss-Kahn’s time in office, since there are changes currently taking place within the organization that suggest that the IMF really is interested in working alongside member countries instead of just imposing its own recipes. Of course, Strauss-Khan’s changes are not happening because of personal beliefs. Long ago, he conducted a survey in countries at odds with the IMF in order to listen to their complaints and hear their suggestions. Many people in the organization believe that the recent changes within the IMF have taken place due to the confidential report redacted after the survey.

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“Power Corrupts – Total Power Corrupts Totally”  Do these aging politicians think they are bullet proof?

World News Item:

On 14 May 2011, NY police removed Strauss-Kahn from an Air France  flight to Paris at JFK Airport  moments before takeoff, and arrested him for allegedly sodomising a hotel maid in his room at the midtown Sofitel NY hotel shortly before leaving for the airport. He was held at a police precinct overnight and charged with “a criminal sexual act, attempted rape, and unlawful imprisonment”. The maid is reported to be a single mother from Ghana who has worked at the hotel for four years and is said to be well liked.Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer said he will plead ‘not guilty’.

Kurt Taylor Gaubatz, an associate professor at Old Dominion University wrote that the IMF’s limited form of diplomatic immunity known as ‘acts immunity,’ probably doesn’t apply inasmuch as it ‘only covers actions taken in the course of his duties.’

NOT THE FIRST ALLEGATIONS:

In 2007, 22 yr old  Tristane Banon accused Strauss-Kahn of having attempted to rape her in 2002. Banon, a French journalist and writer, did not press charges.  (However, an older Ms Banon is now pressing attempted rape charges against DSK in 2011)

In 2008 Strauss-Kahn was involved in a scandal at the IMF over his affair with a subordinate, economist Piroska Nagy, who was married at the time.   Wikipedia.

World News 17 May 2011:

In February 2007, Tristane Banon was a guest on a television chat show and recounted how a senior politician had lured her to a virtually empty apartment in the guise of agreeing to give an interview and then assaulted her.

In the broadcast version of her comments the name of the politician, whom she branded a “rutting chimpanzee”, was bleeped out, but a year later Banon confirmed to the AgoraVox website that she was referring to Strauss-Kahn.

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn, often referred to in the popular press as DSK, is  a French economist, lawyer and politician, and is a member of the Socialist Party of France.  He became the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in September 2007, with the backing of his country’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy.  Dominique Gaston André Strauss-Kahn  was born 25 April 1949 in the wealthy Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine. He is the son of Gilbert Strauss-Kahn, a legal and tax advisor and Russian/Tunisian journalist Jacqueline Fellus. His family is of mixed Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jewish origin.

He is full professor of economics at the Paris Institute of Political Studies.

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Official portrait of Dominique Strauss-Kahn

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Radio Islam:

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a leading French Jew that sees the building of Israel in his political actions as proven in his own statement above, has both had positions of influence in France – taking part in the contest to be the new French President – but has since risen to the absolute highest of positions that are attainable; since 2007  this man is Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Getting such a devout Zionist in such a sensitive top position must surely have generated celebrations with champagne in crystal glasses among the Zionist circles in Israel and elsewhere. In 1987 Dominique Strauss-Kahn led a delegation of the Socialist Party to Jerusalem, the city he considers is the capital of the Jewish state. And in 1991 he was part of solidarity delegation to Israel, organized by the Conseil représentatif des institutions juives de France (CRIF), in the middle of the First Gulf War on Iraq.

Among his later acts of support of the Jewish state we can note that Strauss-Kahn, among  others, was a speaker at the Annual Meeting of the American Jewish Committee (April 29-May 3, 2008). And when Israel celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2008, Strauss-Kahn was one of the dignitaries invited to celebrate the Jewish state.

Political outcomes in France

Strauss-Kahn has a long history of engagement in French politics, he has for instance been Minister of Finance and Economy.

In 2007 Strauss-Kahn mounted an unsuccessful political campaign to secure the presidential socialist nomination ahead of the general election of this year. His challengers were former Prime Minister,  Laurent Fabius and Ségolène Royal. Strauss-Kahn finished second, behind Royal. Here it is interesting to note that Ségolène Royal was married to the Secretary General of the Socialist Party, François Hollande.

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See Sarkozy is a Gaul

Catholic Dichotomy of Women

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The cover of Panorama: “The Wild Nights Of Gay Priests”.

Is it any wonder that the Vatican, in light of its failure to immediately report sexual abuse by Catholic clergy to criminal investigators, is known as ‘The Gay Men’s Club’?
Apparently, Cardinal Sean O’Malley has a list of suspected paedophile priests in Boston which he refuses to release. The unreleased list, possibly 40 names of  offending priests, is included in a record of the minutes from a March 2010 meeting of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council.How can the Vatican  therefore, allow these men to continue working around vulnerable children in  positions of trust?   It also means these men are not receiving help for their predilections.

Anne Barrett Doyle of Bishop-Accountability.org called the number of undisclosed priests “staggering.” She accused O’Malley of purposely delaying to protect church officials responsible for monitoring the priests.  And also, if past actions by Bishops are anything to go by, so the accused can be sent on safely to another parish in Africa somewhere.  The church has said compiling the list is a complex task. It cited concerns about due process for accused priests.  What I would like to know is:  what about the children?

Many gay priests have been exposed by Panorama magazine frequenting gay clubs and actually having sex with gay partners.  Being gay is not the issue here.  It is the hypocrisy of supposed men of God, claiming they are celibate.  If there is so much opportunity around for gay sex, one has to wonder why these men have joined the priesthood.  It may be that the Catholic religion allows them to believe that if they are not having sex with women, then they are not having sex.  Perhaps it is as simple or as psychologically complex as that.

Panorama magazine is owned by Catholic Prime Minister and media baron, Silvio Berlusconi.  Its reporters have film of priests attending gay clubs and having gay sex.  One of the priests  is later filmed saying Mass!  http://italia.panorama.it/Le-notti-brave-dei-preti-gay  – can be translated into English via Google

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See previous posts:

Celibacy and Sexual Abuse

Last Judgment and Babies

Paedophilia in Italy

Kiss of Betrayal

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