The Australian Commission of Inquiry. More evidence on church abuse

by fulltimestudent 3 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • fulltimestudent

    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

    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."

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  • fulltimestudent


    Harrowing evidence against Anglican Diocese in Grafton given at royal commission into child sexual abuse

    YOUNG children would chant prayers in their dark church dormitory while an Anglican Minister fondled one of them under their bed clothes, the royal commission into child sexual abuse heard today.

    One of the victims from the former North Coast Children's Home in Lismore wrote a harrowing letter, years later, to the Anglican Diocese in Grafton to tell how children would say special prayers "and then have a Minister fondle your little body."

    "He would hear our prayers in the dark dormitory at the end of the home. A chair pulled to the chosen child's bed and as all chanted the prayers his hands would wander over the small budding body," wrote the victim, who can only be identified as CA.

    "His mouth on lips that had never known a gentle human touch whilst the tongue explored a mouth that needed to scream," wrote the female victim, now aged 58.

    "Is it any wonder in later years we never knew what to do when someone reached out to us?"

    Brutal assaults at a NSW orphanage, royal commission hears

    CA also told how her severely asthmatic brother was whipped after refusing to say the Apostles' Creed. It was the beating that finally broke him.

    "He was beaten until his back was laid open and bleeding, not once but over and over, the scars to heal in welts to this day visible and a constant reminder of the sheer brutality we lived under.

    "No one soothed his open wounds. No one helped him up from the floor," she wrote.

    In a statement read by counsel assisting the Royal Commission, Simon Beckett, CA said she was bitterly disappointed at the response to her letter, particularly as more victims from the home came forward to claim compensation.

    "To me it seemed that the Anglican Church began denying what had happened and I felt that I was being accused of lying about my experiences in the home."

    She blamed a subsequent stroke on the stress brought on by her ongoing battle for compensation.

    The royal commission is examining the response of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton to the claims of child abuse at the Lismore home. One of its executives appeared before the commission yesterday.

    Former Acting Registrar Anne Hywood said a letter from CA was among files she found in the office of Bishop Keith Slater, who had not replied to her personally.

    "She received a letter from the diocesan solicitor that said 'our file on you is closed'," said Ms Hywood. "I think it was an appalling pastoral response."

    Almost 40 victims eventually settled with the church but Ms Hywood said that should not have meant other victims "had missed the boat" and had only one chance to claim compensation.

    She was also concerned to find an unanswered 18 month old letter from another victim alleging sexual abuse among confidential files in Bishop Slater's office.

    YMCA defends handling of paedophile at Royal Commission

    She arranged for the files on the victims to be boxed up and personally drove them to the Professional Standards Director in Newcastle, who was furious protocols had been ignored and letters from claimants alleging abuse had not been forwarded to him.

    Ms Hywood was also concerned that the diocese only employed the Professional Standards Director on a part time basis. "What it demonstrated to me is that the Diocese had not made a full commitment to the professional standards process," she said.

    It was crucial the Professional Standard Director receive all correspondence to corroborate other stories and provide counselling and support for victims, she said.

    Yesterday the Diocese issued a press release apparently distancing itself from the four former executives listed to appear before the commission. "All four former executives have ceased their professional ties with the Diocese," it said.

    "We wish to make it very clear, that whatever shortcomings and failures there may have been dealing with these issues in the past we have made major changes in attitude, protocol and response.

    "The Diocese now is totally committed to facing its responsibilities and introducing a new and wholly appropriate attitude and response to any form of abuse experienced by persons for whom we have responsibility and duty of care."

  • fulltimestudent

    And some Christians complain when others see through this monstrous organisation.

  • zeb

    or that of the wts!

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