see "to Peter O'Callaghan 10/08/2006"
PEDOPHILE CAPITAL ANDREW THOMSON
September 13, 2006
The Warrnambool Standard
I would like to respond to the Bishops statements from a victims perspective.
Bishop of Ballarat Peter Connors yesterday agreed that, compared to other diocese, there was a high rate of offending in the region.
He said, however, there had been no complaints to the church's administration in the past nine years.
Bishop Connors said that cases going before the court, including Paul Ryan's, dated back to 1990 or before. ``We are now more aware of the problem and now know the appropriate response,'' Bishop Connors said.
``We are a lot more content that everyone knows the nature of the problems.''
Bishop Connors said that previously church administrators did not understand the nature of the problems or how to deal with those situations.
Now allegations with foundation demanded that a priest was stood down, he said. Bishop Connors said all priests had read and understood Integrity In Ministry which was basically a code of conduct.
He said while he was unsure if all offending had come to light, the church was working towards such an end."
I note that there is no mention here of the victims of these abusers, however there is comment about how the Church attempts to deal with pedophile priests within its ranks. Victims are familiar with this stance as it is presented to them at a very early stage in the process of attempting to obtain a just outcome and closure via the differing systems setup up by the different diocese of the Catholic Church in Australia. In particular the brochure provided by the "Independent" Commission into Sexual Abuse on contacting them provides a brochure to victims which details the efforts to be put into the rehabilitation of offending priests, however it fails to make the same points in regards the victims of these pedophiles.
`We are now more aware of the problem and now know the appropriate response,''. These are fine sounding words and they indeed carry great weight, however they again do not say a thing about the manner in which victims are treated throughout the processes setup by the different areas of the Church. What is the appropriate response? Where in the millions of pages in Catholic websites is the appropriate response? If this exists; why is it not included in the literature provided? Where can I obtain a copy of that?
``We are a lot more content that everyone knows the nature of the problems.''. I personally was offended by this statement. As an individual who has been dealing with the Church for the past 3 years when I read a statement like that and I look at the actual experience of dealing with the systems setup then I can only say that my answer to this statement is "Yes. I, like many others are aware of the nature of the problem as evidenced by the reality of the repeated abuses which have been perpetrated against those victims who have sought justice via the Churchs' systems". I see the problem as being within the Church and that provides no contentment for myself and for the many thousands of victims of clergy abuse.
I was amazed that with so many recent headlines in our daily papers regarding the failings of the Church in regards its "inadequate compassion" to victims, the criticisms levelled at the Church from Survivor organisations, the Press, Television, Judges, Magistrates, Members of Parliament, Heads of State, Victims and thousands upon thousands of their parishioners, yet, amazingly yet the Bishop had no words for those people most adversely affected by these abuses.
As an individual who is attempting to obtain justice from a system which has the appearances of absolute injustice and planned repeat abuse of victims is from a victims perspective tantamount to or even beyond the extremes of torture, they see and feel about it in the same manner as many Jews feel about Hitler and the holocaust. They feel rejected from their Church and their religion, they know the feeling of being bullied and pressured and despite their pleas and protestations they simply cannot understand why it is that they read the words of men like yourself in newspapers around the world and yet when they look at their own situation they know that you are not talking about them in any way, let alone in any beneficial way.
In the past several weeks I have made repeated attempts to communicate with the Archbishop of Melbourne in regards these matters. Attempts have also been made directly to him from members of the Church. I refer to these as attempts as to this date as I have been unsuccessful in obtaining an avenue for communication.
I feel it is time, in fact way past time that the Church actually heard how victims feel, how they fare through the process, how they fare after the process. The Church appears ignorant of the documented need of victims, it appears to be ignorant of the documented research and the documented outcomes for victims.
I would like to make this an opportunity for you sir to open up an avenue of communication with the Church, one that is not bound up in secrecy clauses or via systems which cannot show a well balanced and non harmful means of dealing with those victims of clergy abuse. It is shameful that to bring a communique such as this has to resort to a public forum in an attempt to catch the attention of the Church in this regard.
Some victims have been so daring as to laughingly says that they wish the Church would actually listen to them and that perhaps it would one day treat them in the manner in which it preaches.
I believe sir that that is what my communication is about. It is an open invitation to begin the process of reforming the current systems employed by the Church and an opportunity for the Church to apply its teachings to a justly deserving group of individuals.
We understand that the Church has many avenues and access to copious resources, however we would be pleased to provide quotes from the many hundreds of web sites and literature produced for and on behalf of the Church and to show how victims of clergy abuse are not afforded those stated aims or goals.
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.Pedophilia and sexual abuse of children in Australia