Where was Jesus when these terrible things were done to kids?
He claims to have a special interest in children. (Matthew19:13-15)
If he exists, how could he shut his ears and heart to their heart-rending cries?
How can any organisation that covers up such crimes be considered as having any humanitarian value:
These news reports that tell of these degrading activities, are the latest to be revealed in the Australian commission.
Priests 'raped and beat' children, Royal Commission told
- DAN BOX
- THE AUSTRALIAN
- NOVEMBER 19, 2013 12:00AM
Richard "Tommy" Campion refused a settlement over the abuse he suffered at the North Coast Children's Home.
A "PEDOPHILE ring" among priests at a children's home in northern NSW performed "cleansing" rituals that involved licking naked boys, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was told yesterday.
The Anglican Church spent years attempting to deny responsibility for the North Coast Children's Home in Lismore in which dozens of children were raped, beaten and sexually abused by priests, before finally apologising this year for what took place. The royal commission heard shocking evidence yesterday about the treatment of former residents, some of whom were aged two or three when they entered the home.
One of these men, who cannot be named, broke down describing "a pedophile ring" operating among priests at the home, which was established under licence by the church and whose managers included senior church officials.
"I remember going to the rectory and I would be made to lie naked on the floor and the minister would put this stuff on my chest like a cross and then he would lick it off, right down to my genitals," the man told the commission.
"That was called a cleansing process," and he himself subsequently did the same to other, younger boys, thinking they too needed to be "cleansed".
The man said on Sundays, after services at the nearby church, he was taken into the sacristy where "he would touch my body where I shouldn't have been ... this went on for a number of years".
Children were also raped by priests, the commission heard, and over several decades until 1985 suffered violent beatings and other brutal treatment that included being forced on to their hands and knees to lick food from the floor.
From 2005, the commission heard, the Anglican Diocese of Grafton fought attempts by the victims of this abuse to seek compensation and an apology, specifically by denying an association between its church and the home.
Robert "Tommy" Campion told the commission that after initially seeming to have accepted responsibility for the home, the diocese retreated from this position after realising there were dozens of potential victims.
After several years, almost 40 other victims accepted a settlement with the diocese that left them with up to $10,000 each, after legal costs.
Mr Campion refused this and continued to campaign for reparation and an apology, despite being told by the then bishop Keith Slater that his actions would be seen as "a betrayal" of the other victims.
In 2010, bishop Slater, who will give evidence later in the hearing, wrote Mr Campion a private apology, stating "that children at the home were abused by clergy engaged and licensed by the church", he told the commission. Two years later, the head of the Anglican Church in Australia, Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, also privately apologised and the church made a full public apology in September, the commission heard.
Despite this, the commission heard, many former children at the home continued to suffer due to their abuse, with a number committing suicide over the years, including the brother of the first, unnamed, witness to give evidence yesterday.
His own recent diagnosis as having pancreatic cancer was "the best news I've heard in my whole life", he told the commission. "The pain will stop."