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  1. #16
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    From the Guardian: "Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic and the third-ranking official in the Vatican, has been charged with multiple sexual offences by police."

    How convenient that we already have a specific thread for this.

  2. #17
    Batoutahelius road runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Byrom View Post
    From the Guardian: "Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic and the third-ranking official in the Vatican, has been charged with multiple sexual offences by police."

    How convenient that we already have a specific thread for this.
    I didn't realize he was personally accused, I thought it was more him turning a blind eye.
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  3. #18
    CC Grandmaster Ian Murray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Byrom View Post
    From the Guardian: "Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic and the third-ranking official in the Vatican, has been charged with multiple sexual offences by police."
    Victoria Police and the Victorian Government are to be commended for prosecuting the case. A decade or two ago pursuing the Church would have been politically suicidal.

  4. #19
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Murray View Post
    Victoria Police and the Victorian Government are to be commended for prosecuting the case. A decade or two ago pursuing the Church would have been politically suicidal.
    Are they? If there were actual evidence, then indeed no one should be above the law, but by the same token, no one should be denied due process. Pell is returning to Australia to try to clear his name, although he could have stayed at the Vatican.

    Anyway, this looks like just a vexatious prosecution by a government that has proven its hatred of Christians, so you're naturally a fan. It seems to be based on the word of a couple of guys about events that allegedly happened almost 40 years ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Murray View Post
    A decade or two ago pursuing the Church would have been politically suicidal.
    Apparently it still is politically suicidal to point out that the rate of sexual abuse in government schools is about a hundred times worse than that in the Catholic Church (at least in the USA).
    Last edited by Capablanca-Fan; 30-06-2017 at 01:35 AM.
    “If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.” — Abba Eban on the UN general assembly

    “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi on the UN kakistocracy

  5. #20
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by road runner View Post
    I didn't realize he was personally accused, I thought it was more him turning a blind eye.
    That's the usual accusation, and it was a real problem. But they were following the secular advice of the day:

    When the Church was sending accused priests to psychological treatment, "the criminal justice system was doing the very same thing with convicted offenders—sending them to treatment instead of prison."

    "From the 1950's to the 1980's, these treatment-based interventions for sexual criminals were not only enormously prevalent in the United States, but surveys of ordinary citizens showed that they were enormously popular …
    "[T]he science of human sexuality and sexual offending is extraordinarily young. Virtually all of the information we utilize today regarding the treatment and supervision of sexual offenders has been discovered since 1985."
    – Dr. Monica Applewhite, Ph.D.

    Yet in almost every media account, the media has failed to provide this important historical context that the Church was following the then-reigning advice of experts in the field to send accused priests to treatment.
    “If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.” — Abba Eban on the UN general assembly

    “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi on the UN kakistocracy

  6. #21
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    How serious is the 'predator priest' problem?
    Philip Jenkins (author of Pedophiles and Priests and Jesus Wars), USA Today, 6 June 2016

    Institutional memory

    The next time you read an account of an abuse scandal affecting priests, note the time frame in which the acts allegedly occurred. Almost certainly, it will date from long ago, probably 30 years or more. Why is that? Typically, an individual sues a church over abuse that he suffered in his childhood, and in the Catholic context, he might well find written evidence to confirm his charges of misconduct long ago. He is, after all, dealing with an institution that prizes its collective memory and preserves records dating back centuries. The victim can not only find embarrassing information about Father John Doe, but his lawyers also then can force a diocese to disclose ever more information about ancient charges against other priests, which can lead into other jurisdictions. One case thus becomes the basis for a whole network of interlocking investigations. Perhaps it's good that such older abuse cases are still coming to light, but the long passage of time makes it very unlikely that the charges can be investigated in a fair or reliable way.

    Nor does the plaintiff in a civil case have to meet the high standards of a criminal case, of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. He just has to convince a jury that his allegations are more probably true than not. Most civil cases involving priestly abuse go forward on the basis of evidence that would not stand up in a criminal court. Often, dioceses settle dubious cases to avoid expensive legal proceedings, but such closure can be a mixed blessing. Whatever the merits of the particular case, critics take the fact of settling to suggest that the church is paying blood money to conceal its crimes. That's not just a church problem. Celebrities and corporations face the same problem, that the public does not understand the workings of litigation.

    As the resulting Catholic horror stories accumulate, so many media organizations develop a ready-made format for reporting them, a familiar mythology of specifically Catholic malpractice. Saying that does not mean charging any particular news outlet with deliberate religious prejudice: Some go to great lengths to be fair to accused clergy. But when we approach the issue as a specifically Catholic one, we inevitably cast the church as villain, to the exclusion of other interpretations. The more firmly the public accepts the image of the sinister priest, the harder it becomes to find juries who will disbelieve abuse allegations. The more cases are reported, the more people come forward to publicize their own complaints. Most plaintiffs are reporting genuine victimization, but some are not.

    Abuse in public schools

    Few institutions, secular or religious, offer anything like the same advantages for plaintiffs. The internal records of other bodies are rarely as thorough as those kept by the Catholic Church, and they lack the elaborate organizational framework. It's simply not as easy to dredge up old cases. And specific legal oddities mean that it's much harder to sue other institutions. As public entities, public schools, for instance, operate under governmental or sovereign immunity. While schools can be sued, plaintiffs face restrictions that don't apply to Catholic dioceses. Financial liability is limited, and complaints have to be brought within a set time, using rigid administrative procedures. As a result, at least until recently, it just was not possible to pursue cases from long ago.

    The sexual exploitation of children is a heinous offense with lifelong consequences, and the trauma is all the greater when the offender is a trusted mentor, a pastor, priest, or teacher. It is profoundly unjust to focus all our attention on the victims of one type of perpetrator to the exclusion of others.
    Last edited by Capablanca-Fan; 30-06-2017 at 01:56 AM.
    “If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.” — Abba Eban on the UN general assembly

    “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi on the UN kakistocracy

  7. #22
    Batoutahelius road runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Are they? If there were actual evidence, then indeed no one should be above the law, but by the same token, no one should be denied due process. Pell is returning to Australia to try to clear his name, although he could have stayed at the Vatican.

    Anyway, this looks like just a vexatious prosecution by a government that has proven its hatred of Christians, so you're naturally a fan. It seems to be based on the word of a couple of guys about events that allegedly happened almost 40 years ago.
    Falling into the same trap as the likes Bolt, Miranda Devine, and Abbott - saying to let the process happen and then giving a judgement before it does.
    meep meep

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Are they? If there were actual evidence, then indeed no one should be above the law, but by the same token, no one should be denied due process. Pell is returning to Australia to try to clear his name, although he could have stayed at the Vatican.
    Are you implying there's no "actual evidence"? On what basis?

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Anyway, this looks like just a vexatious prosecution by a government that has proven its hatred of Christians, so you're naturally a fan. It seems to be based on the word of a couple of guys about events that allegedly happened almost 40 years ago.
    Which is the case for many allegations of sexual abuse. Rolf Harris was convicted based on events from several decades ago. Are you suggesting that his conviction was unsafe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Apparently it still is politically suicidal to point out that the rate of sexual abuse in government schools is about a hundred times worse than that in the Catholic Church (at least in the USA).
    Based on a ridiculous extrapolation. But the Royal Commission established by the Gillard government was into all areas of institutional sexual abuse, not just by the Catholic Church.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    That's the usual accusation, and it was a real problem. But they were following the secular advice of the day: ...
    Except that Pell, and others in the Church, didn't send the abusers for treatment - they just ignored the problem.

  10. #25
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    Christophobic trial by media, just like Lindy Chamberlain

    The Persecution of Cardinal George Pell
    GEORGE WEIGEL, 29 June 2017

    The Victoria police in his native Australia have now announced that they are filing “multiple charges in respect to historic sexual offenses” against Pell. This has come as no surprise to those familiar with the fantastic campaign of false allegations of sexual abuse that has been conducted against the cardinal: allegations of which he has been consistently exonerated. But despite that fact — or perhaps because of it — the campaign has recently intensified Down Under, creating a thoroughly poisonous public climate exacerbated by poorly sourced but widely disseminated allegations, no respect for elementary fairness, and a curious relationship between elements of the Australian media and the Victoria police during the two years the investigation leading to the current changes has been underway. So it may be worthwhile, before offering a few of my own thoughts on another angle in this tawdry business, to note several recent comments from Australians who have not been caught up in an atmosphere of hysteria and persecution that inevitably invites comparison to Salem, Mass., in the 17th century.

    Earlier this week, in the June 26 issue of The Australian, Robin Speed, president of the Australian Rule of Law Institute, a non-partisan and nonprofit organization whose name indicates its purpose, cautioned against prosecutors acting against Cardinal Pell “in response to the baying of a section of the mob.” Speed, himself an attorney, also warned that if the cardinal were charged (as he now has been) and found innocent (as his friends believe he will be), the long, drawn-out conduct of the two-year investigation could well warrant a judicial inquiry.

    Two weeks before, in the same newspaper, an op-ed columnist, Angela Shanahan, had some sharp words for the public atmosphere that has gripped Australia like a bad fever: “Conspiracy and rumour reign, logic and fact have gone out the window in the case of Pell. … In all this sound and fury, the cardinal has acted impeccably. He has said nothing except to state his innocence. He waits, prays, and gets on with the job. Pity more people didn’t do the same.”

    And in mid May, Andrew Halphen, co-chairman of the criminal-law section of the Law Institute of Victoria, described the inappropriate leaking of information about the investigation against Pell in the Sydney Morning Herald as exhibiting a “lack of regard” for the cardinal’s rights and a “startling affront” to the legal system. Halphen also expressed “grave concerns” about whether Pell could receive a “fair trial” if charges were brought, and noted that he could not think of any “other matter in recent memory where a DPP’s [director of public prosecution’s] advice to the police in respect of whether or not to charge a person finds its way to the front page of a major news publication before a person is actually charged.”

    However that plays out — and investigative reporters looking for a really good story should be digging into the possibility of an Italian–Australian connection or connections in this affair — George Pell will have his day in court. He will not be the only one on trial as he faces his accusers in a court of law, however. The reputation for fairness and probity of the Australian police and judicial systems will be on trial with him, as will the Australian media and those in Australian politics who have directly or indirectly encouraged — or at the very least failed to stand up against — the relentless and brutal attack that has been underway against one of Australia’s most accomplished sons for years.
    “If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.” — Abba Eban on the UN general assembly

    “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi on the UN kakistocracy

  11. #26
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Byrom View Post
    Are you implying there's no "actual evidence"? On what basis?
    Why wait so long to come forward? Anything more than mere accusations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Byrom View Post
    Which is the case for many allegations of sexual abuse.
    So was false memory syndrome, which resulted in many innocents going to jail.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Byrom View Post
    Based on a ridiculous extrapolation.
    More likely, the Catholic Church makes a much easier target than the educracy and its powerful unions. See for example Teachers who sexually abuse students still find classroom jobs: DESPITE DECADES OF SCANDALS, AMERICA’S SCHOOLS STILL HIDE ACTIONS OF DANGEROUS EDUCATORS, from USA Today last year, hardly a right-wing rag.
    “If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.” — Abba Eban on the UN general assembly

    “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi on the UN kakistocracy

  12. #27
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Moderation notice - thread reopened and renamed

    This general discussion thread concerning sexual allegations involving the clergy is reopened for business. Some posts (mostly specific to the Pell case) are still under review and may be restored but it will probably be to a different thread if so in most cases.

    There is to be as little direct discussion as possible of the current Pell case on this thread until a verdict is reached, although passing mentions are probably OK. Any post (original or cut and paste) that discusses whether Pell is guilty or innocent of the allegations against him is very likely to be removed, as is any post that directly attacks or praises Pell's character or those of his opponents in strong terms or claims the case represents any kind of pattern. If in doubt feel free to post comments in the Coffee Lounge instead.

    Anyone who wishes to discuss the moderation of the Pell issues may do so in the Help and Feedback section only.

    [update 28/2/2019: This post is now out of date.]
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 28-02-2019 at 04:16 PM.

  13. #28
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    Vatican arrests former diplomat after child pornography inquiry
    8 April 2018

    Vatican City: The Vatican said on Saturday its police had arrested a monsignor who worked as a diplomat at its embassy in Washington and is suspected of possessing child pornography in the United States and Canada.
    A statement identified the accused as Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella and said he was arrested earlier on Saturday in the Vatican after a warrant was issued by the Holy See's chief magistrate at the end of an investigation.

    The Vatican statement said Capella, who was recalled from the Vatican embassy in Washington last August, was arrested according to articles of a 2013 law signed by Pope Francis. The articles cited by the statement related to child pornography.
    If indicted, the monsignor will have to stand trial in the Vatican and faces up to 12 years in jail.
    The scandal is the latest blow to the Catholic Church as it struggles to overcome repeated sex abuse cases among its clergy.

    ...
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  14. #29
    Batoutahelius road runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Given that sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic church was always very rare, much rarer than in government schools, ...

    Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse - Findings - Schools
    ...

    Australian schools fall under two broad sectors: government and non-government. In 2016, 70.5 per cent (6,634) of Australian schools were government schools and 29.5 per cent of schools (2,780) were non-government schools. Non-government schools are divided into either Catholic or Independent schools. In 2016, 18.5 per cent of all schools were Catholic schools and 11.0 per cent were Independent schools. Almost two-thirds (65.4 per cent) of students in Australia attend government schools.

    ...

    Almost one in three of all survivors we heard about in private sessions (2,186 survivors or 31.8 per cent) told us they were sexually abused in a school setting as a child. Of these survivors:

    • three-quarters (75.9 per cent) said they were abused in non-government schools, of which 73.8 per cent identified a Catholic school and 26.4 per cent identified an Independent school
    • one-quarter (24.9 per cent) said they were abused in government schools
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  15. #30
    Batoutahelius road runner's Avatar
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    Chile’s bishops resign en masse over sex abuse cover-up

    ...
    It marked the first known time that an entire national bishops conference had offered to step down over a scandal, and laid bare the devastation the abuse crisis has caused the Catholic Church in Chile and beyond.

    “They didn’t know how to protect the weakest, exposed them to abuse and then impeded justice,” said Jose Andres Murillo, one of those abused and one of the main whistleblowers in the case. “For this, they deserve only to go.”

    Calls for mass resignations had mounted after details emerged of the contents of a 2,300-page Vatican report into the Chilean scandal leaked early Friday. Francis had cited the report in footnotes of a 10-page document that he handed over to each Chilean bishop at the start of the summit.

    In those footnotes, Francis accused the bishops of destroying evidence of sex crimes, pressuring church investigators to minimize abuse accusations and showing “grave negligence” in protecting children from pedophile priests.
    ...
    He [Pope Francis] said the problem can be traced to the training Chilean priests receive in seminary.
    ...
    meep meep

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