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Capablanca-Fan
04-04-2015, 12:27 AM
George Pell recently took on Twitter over a tweet by Catherine Deveny that took a gaffe by Pell during his generally awful performance in his debate with Dawkins out of context.

Pell had said:

"When in England, we were preparing some young English boys..[long pause]..for Holy Communion."

The audience cracked up during the pause.

Deveny was one of many to reproduce Pell's quote minus the Holy Communion bit.

According to Pell's claim:

"The publication ridicules Cardinal Pell and conveys to Australian readers the false and seriously defamatory imputation that Cardinal Pell is associated with the sexual abuse of young boys"

Given that sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic church was always very rare, much rarer than in government schools (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/has-media-ignored-sex-abuse-in-school/), and even the worst cover-ups were following the accepted practice of the day to treat it as a psychological rather than criminal activity (http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/change_in_vatican_culture/), the accusations is tiresome. Then Dawkins himself says that he was mildly sexually abused, and caused outrage by claiming that such mild abuse did no lasting harm (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/09/richard-dawkins-pedophilia_n_3895514.html).

Redmond Barry
04-04-2015, 12:45 AM
Given that sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic church was always very rare, much rarer than in government schools (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/has-media-ignored-sex-abuse-in-school/), and even the worst cover-ups were following the accepted practice of the day to treat it as a psychological rather than criminal activity (http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/change_in_vatican_culture/), the accusations is tiresome. Then Dawkins himself says that he was mildly sexually abused, and caused outrage by claiming that such mild abuse did no lasting harm (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/09/richard-dawkins-pedophilia_n_3895514.html).

"and even the worst cover-ups were following the accepted practice of the day to treat it as a psychological rather than criminal activity ?"

That is some brilliant kind of bullshit excuse you've concocted there gormless wonder.

Redmond Barry
04-04-2015, 12:55 AM
Hoorah for sexual assault victims !!!!! :confused:

Now they dont have to feel as much anguish against the catholic church because resident halfwit capablanca-fan has stated that the crime perpetrated on them was conducted in an environment which considered this activity to ONLY be a psychological activity. I guess that somehow exonerates the church to some degree in the mind of extremely heartless sociopaths.

Thank goodness we have been able to clarify this matter.

Redmond Barry
04-04-2015, 01:14 AM
Just a few questions for capablancafan because we all enjoy his usual salient input ..............

Which particular individuals do you believe considered sexual assault to be a psychological activity only ?
Which period in time do you consider sexual assault changed from being a psychological activity to a criminal activity ?
Do you believe that the impact on the victim was immediately intensified simply because it was deemed criminal ?
Why did the church bother "covering up" sexual assault cases if like you say they were ONLY perpetrated in an environment that deemed them psychological ? Why did it matter for the catholic church to conceal an activity that was not considered criminal ?

Capablanca-Fan
07-04-2015, 04:29 AM
Bubblebrain manages to confuse himself but I trust not others. One of the cited articles includes:


What criticisms remain regarding the Church’s handling of these cases?

Much of the public criticism of the Church’s early handling of cases stems from a lack of knowledge about the historical context of this phenomenon.

I have seen newspaper articles criticizing officials for not reporting acts of abuse to the civil authorities during years when there were no child protective services and the particular behaviors involved were not criminalized yet. It is fair for criticism of decisions made in the ’60s and ’70s to focus on interpretation of moral behavior, weakness in the resolve of leaders or even the disregard of procedures set out in canon law. By the same token, it is essential to separate this from expectations that are based on the laws and standards of today.

We began studying sexual abuse in the 1970s, discovered it caused real harm in 1978, and realized perpetrators were difficult to rehabilitate in the 1990s. During the ’70s when we were sending offenders to treatment, the criminal justice system was doing the very same thing with convicted offenders — sending them to treatment instead of prison.

At the time, it was believed they could be cured with relative ease. This is a very young body of knowledge, and as we sort through both valid and questionable criticisms, we must consider the historical context of any given episode.

Regarding the work that remains to be done, the most pressing concern for me is the lack of protocols to guide the supervision and accountability for priests and religious who have been accused or found to have sexually offended in the past or who have completed their obligations to the criminal justice system.

There continues to be a belief that aging and the passing of time will render these men safe. I understand we cannot supervise them if they are no longer a priest or religious, but as long as they are, we should strive to know how they spend their time and whether they are upholding the limits that have been placed on them.


And of course, he is still fixated on the errors in the Roman Catholic Church of decades ago, which were far less prevalent than in the government schools he loves. And your hero Dawkins has rightly been under fire for underplaying the evil of sexual abuse of children.

Redmond Barry
07-04-2015, 05:22 AM
Resident sociopath apologist Capablanca-fan still has not been able to grasp the concept that describing the media coverage of Catholic Church sexual assault cases as simply "tiresome", due to the act being performed in an environment that had not fully developed legislation to criminalise this activity, is extremely demeaning to those victims who were affected by the churches actions.

When will the scarecrow ever receive a brain ?
When will the tin man ever find a heart ?

Capablanca-Fan
07-04-2015, 06:03 AM
Resident atheopathic hypocrite Bubblebrain can't grasp the fact that it's hypocritical to cover abuse that is mostly decades old while ignoring the far greater incidences of abuse in the government schools now. Nor has he grasped the problem with dealing with abusers decades ago was not confined to the Catholic Church, but was unfortunately the practice of the secular justice system at the time. Thus abuse victims within and without the Church were dealt a severe double injustice: first of being abused, and second that their abusers were not punished as they deserved. Some of its victims, like Bubblebrain's hero Dawkins, have adopted a Stockholm Syndrome attitude that it really wasn't so bad.

Redmond Barry
07-04-2015, 06:50 AM
Resident atheopathic hypocrite Bubblebrain can't grasp the fact that it's hypocritical to cover abuse that is mostly decades old while ignoring the far greater incidences of abuse in the government schools now. Nor has he grasped the problem with dealing with abusers decades ago was not confined to the Catholic Church, but was unfortunately the practice of the secular justice system at the time.

Not once have I mentioned that that the Catholic Church is more culpable than any other institution in relation to sexual abuse occurrences. You were the one who decided to defend them. I am only arguing against your willingness to defend them, not because its a church, but because your excuses are designed to diminish responsibility thus insulting and demeaning those who fell victim. Try not to make the incorrect assumption that simply because I am disagreeing with your argument relating to the Catholic Church, I am defending secular institutions. You seem to have a habit of jumping to conclusions without the necessary facts. You are clearly lazy, stupid, heartless and dishonest.


Thus abuse victims within and without the Church were dealt a severe double injustice: first of being abused, and second that their abusers were not punished as they deserved. Some of its victims, like Bubblebrain's hero Dawkins, have adopted a Stockholm Syndrome attitude that it really wasn't so bad.

Not once have I ever mentioned that I like Richard Dawkins. In fact I have categorically stated previously that I have never been impressed with his verve to argue against religion. I know this may shock you, but once again, just because I disagree with you does not mean that all your mortal enemies are my heroes. Again, try not to make foolish assumptions. It makes you look like even more of an idiot than you usually are (although you really cant plumb the depth of stupidity much lower).

You really are the most unscrupulous charlatan Yosemite Sam. Sociopath apologist Capablanca-fan is truly hypocritical to finally decide to feign concern for Catholic church victims having previously decried the poor treatment that the church had supposedly received.

Capablanca-Fan
07-04-2015, 08:06 AM
More nonsense as usual from Bubblebrain. I leave it to Dawkins to deny that sexual abuse victims really are victims. Despite Bubblebrain's mendacity, the main problem I had was the Leftmedia and atheopaths for singling out the Catholic Church while ignoring the far greater abuse at government schools, and the double standards of attacking the Church for treating the abuse as a psychological problem when this was the norm in the secular world as well at the time. As the christophobic rag Newsweek admits in Priests Commit No More Abuse Than Other Males (http://www.newsweek.com/priests-commit-no-more-abuse-other-males-70625) (7 April 2010):


The Catholic sex-abuse stories emerging every day suggest that Catholics have a much bigger problem with child molestation than other denominations and the general population. Many point to peculiarities of the Catholic Church (its celibacy rules for priests, its insular hierarchy, its exclusion of women) to infer that there's something particularly pernicious about Catholic clerics that predisposes them to these horrific acts. It's no wonder that, back in 2002—when the last Catholic sex-abuse scandal was making headlines—a Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll found that 64 percent of those queried thought Catholic priests "frequently'' abused children.

Yet experts say there's simply no data to support the claim at all.

Since the mid-1980s, insurance companies have offered sexual misconduct coverage as a rider on liability insurance, and their own studies indicate that Catholic churches are not higher risk than other congregations. Insurance companies that cover all denominations, such as Guide One Center for Risk Management, which has more than 40,000 church clients, does not charge Catholic churches higher premiums.

The only hard data that has been made public by any denomination comes from John Jay College's study of Catholic priests, which was authorized and is being paid for by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops following the public outcry over the 2002 scandals. Limiting their study to plausible accusations made between 1950 and 1992, John Jay researchers reported that about 4 percent of the 110,000 priests active during those years had been accused of sexual misconduct involving children. Specifically, 4,392 complaints (ranging from "sexual talk" to rape) were made against priests by 10,667 victims.

Experts disagree on the rate of sexual abuse among the general American male population, but Allen says a conservative estimate is one in 10. Margaret Leland Smith, a researcher at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, says her review of the numbers indicates it's closer to one in 5. But in either case, the rate of abuse by Catholic priests is not higher than these national estimates. The public also doesn't realize how "profoundly prevalent" child sexual abuse is, adds Smith.

"The fundamental premise here is that those who abuse children overwhelmingly seek out situations where they have easy and legitimate access to children," he said. "These kinds of positions offer a kind of cover for these offenders."

A single predator priest with ongoing access to children might be responsible for an immense raft of abuse cases. (Marie Fortune of the Faith Trust Institute, which focuses on clerical-abuse issues, says Roman Catholics tend "to have many more schools and other programs that involve children." "Plenty of other congregations have these problems, for instance, if they have a youth ministry.") That helps explain the 200 children who were abused at a school for the deaf. It didn't happen because the school was full of rapists; it happened because one man was never stopped. Overall, the John Jay study found that 149 priests were responsible for more than 25,000 cases of abuse over the 52-year period studied.

Obviously, that is 25,000 cases too many. No one doubts that, but it suits Bubblebrain to claim otherwise.

It also fails to help past and future victims by singling out an organization that has largely repented of its failures in that area and reformed its approach.

Redmond Barry
07-04-2015, 09:22 AM
More nonsense as usual from Bubblebrain. I leave it to Dawkins to deny that sexual abuse victims really are victims. Despite Bubblebrain's mendacity, the main problem I had was the Leftmedia and atheopaths for singling out the Catholic Church while ignoring the far greater abuse at government schools, and the double standards of attacking the Church for treating the abuse as a psychological problem when this was the norm in the secular world as well at the time. As the christophobic rag Newsweek admits in Priests Commit No More Abuse Than Other Males (http://www.newsweek.com/priests-commit-no-more-abuse-other-males-70625) (7 April 2010):

Your initial argument was that the Catholic Church should receive leniency in media reporting due to the fact that treating sexual abuse as a psychological problem was normal practice in ye olden days. But if this was the prevailing environment for the entire community including secular institutions, why then are you relaying to us all this aspect of history for the Catholic church's defence ? You are clearly not differentiating between secular and religious institutions if the practice of treating sexual assault as a psychological problem was universal.

Oh, again with the Dawkins obsession. You really are a hopeless case.



{Prodigious bullshit snipped} ...........................

A single predator priest with ongoing access to children might be responsible for an immense raft of abuse cases. (Marie Fortune of the Faith Trust Institute, which focuses on clerical-abuse issues, says Roman Catholics tend "to have many more schools and other programs that involve children." "Plenty of other congregations have these problems, for instance, if they have a youth ministry.") That helps explain the 200 children who were abused at a school for the deaf. It didn't happen because the school was full of rapists; it happened because one man was never stopped. Overall, the John Jay study found that 149 priests were responsible for more than 25,000 cases of abuse over the 52-year period studied.

Obviously, that is 25,000 cases too many. No one doubts that, but it suits Bubblebrain to claim otherwise.

Where have I claimed otherwise you moron ? Direct us all to this elusive information !! :rolleyes:

You really are a dishonest clown.
Maybe one day scientists will study the scant matter inside your cranium to finally understand how simple folk function. ;)

Capablanca-Fan
12-04-2015, 06:56 AM
Your initial argument was that the Catholic Church should receive leniency in media reporting due to the fact that treating sexual abuse as a psychological problem was normal practice in ye olden days. But if this was the prevailing environment for the entire community including secular institutions, why then are you relaying to us all this aspect of history for the Catholic church's defence ? You are clearly not differentiating between secular and religious institutions if the practice of treating sexual assault as a psychological problem was universal.
No, they should receive fairness, not singling out for a crime that was never as prevalent as in the secular schools, and was largely eradicated decades ago. It is also evidently pointless reminding the low-information atheopathic bigots like you that much of the (rightly) attacked cover-ups were following the practice of secular psychology and jurisprudence of the time, which should also be just as attacked.


Oh, again with the Dawkins obsession. You really are a hopeless case.
Hardly my fault that you share his warped world view.


Maybe one day scientists will study the scant matter inside your cranium to finally understand how simple folk function. ;)
Simplicity is often a virtue when it comes to science, finding "natural laws" that explain a multitude of apparently complex phenomena. But I don't expect low-IQ folk like Bubblebrain to understand.

antichrist
12-04-2015, 10:23 AM
It is reported in today's Sun Herald that the RCC knew years before admitting of the paedophilia. It took out a lot of extra insurance, yet Pell may have been denying knowledge of such at the same time. He did not comment when asked about it.

Jono, For years I taught chess in secular schools and every year I had to let them do a FOI on me checking me out. If the same had been done in private schools there would not have been so many scandals.

Desmond
12-04-2015, 12:42 PM
ajWT4BERoHc

Desmond
01-03-2016, 08:44 PM
I must admit that I haven't really kept up with the latest in video conferencing technology. Are remote shankings possible?

Patrick Byrom
02-03-2016, 09:21 PM
Given that sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic church was always very rare, much rarer than in government schools (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/has-media-ignored-sex-abuse-in-school/), and even the worst cover-ups were following the accepted practice of the day to treat it as a psychological rather than criminal activity (http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/change_in_vatican_culture/), the accusations is tiresome.
The claim that sexual abuse in Catholic schools is rarer than in government schools seems to be derived from one estimate of the rate in government schools, and doesn't (of course) excuse sexual (or other) abuse in Catholic schools.

But based on the recent evidence from the Royal Commission, Pell and the Church hierarchy didn't treat the problems as psychological - they simply ignored them (http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/mar/02/was-george-pell-now-scourge-of-the-vatican-once-hoodwinked-by-all-around-him):


We already knew Searson had been reported to church authorities for toting a gun, bashing kids across the face with clipboards, sending little girls screaming from the confessional, showing the kids at Holy Family primary a body in a coffin and one day stabbing a bird to death in front of them with a screwdriver.
...
But now we know that Searson had little girls kneel between his legs at confession. We know of many more complaints of touching. And we know that none of these complaints provoked action by the church. After futile delegations of teachers and parents had gone to Pell begging him to get rid of the priest and the Catholic Education Office had sent fruitless complaints to the hierarchy for a decade, the office sent the bishops awful testimony of Doveton children in their own words.

Patrick Byrom
29-06-2017, 03:49 PM
From the Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jun/29/cardinal-george-pell-charged-with-multiple-sexual-offences): "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.

Desmond
29-06-2017, 04:07 PM
From the Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jun/29/cardinal-george-pell-charged-with-multiple-sexual-offences): "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.

Ian Murray
29-06-2017, 09:38 PM
From the Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jun/29/cardinal-george-pell-charged-with-multiple-sexual-offences): "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.

Capablanca-Fan
30-06-2017, 01:29 AM
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.


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 (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/has-media-ignored-sex-abuse-in-school/) (at least in the USA).

Capablanca-Fan
30-06-2017, 01:34 AM
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 (http://www.themediareport.com/fast-facts/):


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 (http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/change_in_vatican_culture/)."


"From the 1950's to the 1980's, these treatment-based interventions for sexual criminals were not only enormously prevalent in the United States (http://www.themediareport.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Applewhite-Ireland-Address-Bishops-2009.pdf), 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.

Capablanca-Fan
30-06-2017, 01:42 AM
How serious is the 'predator priest' problem? (http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-06-07-column07_ST_N.htm)
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.

Desmond
30-06-2017, 11:24 AM
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.

Patrick Byrom
30-06-2017, 03:02 PM
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?


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?


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 (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/has-media-ignored-sex-abuse-in-school/) (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.

Patrick Byrom
30-06-2017, 03:05 PM
That's the usual accusation, and it was a real problem. But they were following the secular advice of the day (http://www.themediareport.com/fast-facts/): ... Except that Pell, and others in the Church, didn't send the abusers for treatment - they just ignored the problem.

Capablanca-Fan
01-07-2017, 10:50 AM
The Persecution of Cardinal George Pell (http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449086/cardinal-george-pell-sydney-australia-police-charges-allegations-vatican-bank-reform)
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.

Capablanca-Fan
01-07-2017, 11:44 AM
Are you implying there's no "actual evidence"? On what basis?
Why wait so long to come forward? Anything more than mere accusations?


Which is the case for many allegations of sexual abuse.
So was false memory syndrome (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2009/apr/07/sexual-abuse-false-memory-syndrome), which resulted in many innocents going to jail (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2010/nov/24/false-memories-abuse-convict-innocent).


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 (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/12/22/teachers-who-sexually-abuse-students-still-find-classroom-jobs/95346790/), from USA Today last year, hardly a right-wing rag.

Kevin Bonham
01-07-2017, 04:51 PM
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.]

Desmond
08-04-2018, 08:26 PM
Vatican arrests former diplomat after child pornography inquiry (https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/vatican-arrests-former-diplomat-after-child-pornography-inquiry-20180408-p4z8eh.html)
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.

...

Desmond
08-04-2018, 08:38 PM
Given that sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic church was always very rare, much rarer than in government schools (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/has-media-ignored-sex-abuse-in-school/), ...


Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse - Findings - Schools (https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/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

Desmond
24-05-2018, 07:42 AM
Chile’s bishops resign en masse over sex abuse cover-up (https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/pope-accuses-chile-bishops-of-destroying-sex-abuse-evidence/2018/05/18/ee86b0f4-5a64-11e8-9889-07bcc1327f4b_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.1227175e4626)

...
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.
...

Desmond
24-02-2019, 09:39 AM
Cardinal says Catholic Church 'destroyed' documentation of sex abuse (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/cardinal-says-catholic-church-destroyed-documentation-sex-abuse-n974941)
Feb. 24, 2019

German Roman Catholic cardinal claims the church "destroyed" documents in an effort to cover up sexual abuse that has engulfed the institution in scandal.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx spoke at a Vatican summit on Saturday, telling 190 church leaders that the harms inflicted on children in youth were the result of "abuse of power in the area of administration."

The four-day summit convened by Pope Francis aims to address the worldwide issue of sex abuse within the church. Saturday's discussions were dedicated to issues of transparency and breaking the code of silence that has kept abuse hidden.

"Files that could have documented the terrible deeds and named those responsible were destroyed, or not even created," Marx said. "Instead of the perpetrators, the victims were regulated and silence imposed on them. The stipulated procedures and processes for the prosecution of offences were deliberately not complied with, but instead cancelled or overridden. The rights of victims were effectively trampled underfoot, and left to the whims of individuals."

...

Desmond
13-04-2019, 06:30 PM
Ex-pope Benedict XVI blames sexual abuse on swinging sixties (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/11/ex-pope-benedict-xvi-blames-sexual-abuse-on-swinging-sixties)

Retired pope Benedict XVI has ventured out of retirement to publish an essay blaming the Catholic church’s sexual abuse scandals on the sexual revolution of the 1960s and “homosexual cliques” among priests. The analysis by Benedict, who abdicated as pontiff in 2013, was immediately criticised as “catastrophically irresponsible” and in conflict with efforts by his successor, Pope Francis, to lead the church out of its crisis.

“Why did paedophilia reach such proportions? Ultimately, the reason is the absence of God,” Benedict wrote in the 6,000-word essay published on Thursday in the German monthly Klerusblatt, the Catholic News Agency and other conservative media. Benedict traced the start of the crisis to the 1960s, citing the appearance of sex in films in his native Bavaria and the formation of “homosexual cliques” in seminaries, “which acted more or less openly and significantly changed the climate”. He also attributed it to failures in moral theology in that era. ...

Church historian Christopher Bellitto questioned if Benedict, who turns 92 next week, was being manipulated by others. He said the essay omitted the critical conclusions that arose from the pope’s February sexual abuse summit in Rome, including that “abusers were priests along the ideological spectrum, that the abuse predated the 1960s, that it is a global and not simply western problem, that homosexuality is not the issue in pedophilia”.

“It is catastrophically irresponsible, because it creates a counter-narrative to how Francis is trying to move ahead based on the 2019 summit,” he told Associated Press in an email. “The essay essentially ignores what we learned there.”

MichaelBaron
15-04-2019, 10:51 AM
Ex-pope Benedict XVI blames sexual abuse on swinging sixties (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/11/ex-pope-benedict-xvi-blames-sexual-abuse-on-swinging-sixties)

Retired pope Benedict XVI has ventured out of retirement to publish an essay blaming the Catholic church’s sexual abuse scandals on the sexual revolution of the 1960s and “homosexual cliques” among priests. The analysis by Benedict, who abdicated as pontiff in 2013, was immediately criticised as “catastrophically irresponsible” and in conflict with efforts by his successor, Pope Francis, to lead the church out of its crisis.

“Why did paedophilia reach such proportions? Ultimately, the reason is the absence of God,” Benedict wrote in the 6,000-word essay published on Thursday in the German monthly Klerusblatt, the Catholic News Agency and other conservative media. Benedict traced the start of the crisis to the 1960s, citing the appearance of sex in films in his native Bavaria and the formation of “homosexual cliques” in seminaries, “which acted more or less openly and significantly changed the climate”. He also attributed it to failures in moral theology in that era. ...

Church historian Christopher Bellitto questioned if Benedict, who turns 92 next week, was being manipulated by others. He said the essay omitted the critical conclusions that arose from the pope’s February sexual abuse summit in Rome, including that “abusers were priests along the ideological spectrum, that the abuse predated the 1960s, that it is a global and not simply western problem, that homosexuality is not the issue in pedophilia”.

“It is catastrophically irresponsible, because it creates a counter-narrative to how Francis is trying to move ahead based on the 2019 summit,” he told Associated Press in an email. “The essay essentially ignores what we learned there.”

Well, nothing can serve as an excuse for sexual abuse (in my view - it is one of the most horrible crimes of all) but on the other note - its hard to deny that ''swinging 60s'' did have an impact on morality of many. Needless to say that arguments such as ''I was part of the hippy culture'' etc should not be used as excuses in court in an effort to lighter up sentences.

Desmond
15-04-2019, 11:34 AM
Well, nothing can serve as an excuse for sexual abuse (in my view - it is one of the most horrible crimes of all) but on the other note - its hard to deny that ''swinging 60s'' did have an impact on morality of many. That is probably true but also probably irrelevant. It was before my time, but as I understand it, a large driving force of the sexual proclivity of the 1960s was the availability of the pill. This freed women to engage without the risk of pregnancy. Such consideration is not relevant to paedophile clergymen, obviously.

I think we're passed the point of looking for excuses - there is no excuse, as you note. But we are meant to be looking for causes, to fix the problems. And ex-Pope Benedict completely avoids doing that, as noted in the final 2 paragraphs of the article I quoted.

Patrick Byrom
15-04-2019, 06:07 PM
That is probably true but also probably irrelevant. It was before my time, but as I understand it, a large driving force of the sexual proclivity of the 1960s was the availability of the pill. This freed women to engage without the risk of pregnancy. Such consideration is not relevant to paedophile clergymen, obviously.The idea that convicted pedophile George Pell was a product of the 'swinging sixties' is ludicrous.


I think we're passed the point of looking for excuses - there is no excuse, as you note. But we are meant to be looking for causes, to fix the problems. And ex-Pope Benedict completely avoids doing that, as noted in the final 2 paragraphs of the article I quoted.I think the problem was actually caused by the opposite of liberalism. The Catholic Church, in particular, was very authoritarian, which made it much easier for those with power over young children to take advantage of them (the abuse wasn't just sexual). Society, including the Church, is much more liberal now, so the problem should start to fade.

Desmond
15-04-2019, 07:21 PM
The idea that convicted pedophile George Pell was a product of the 'swinging sixties' is ludicrous.

I think the problem was actually caused by the opposite of liberalism. The Catholic Church, in particular, was very authoritarian, which made it much easier for those with power over young children to take advantage of them (the abuse wasn't just sexual). Society, including the Church, is much more liberal now, so the problem should start to fade.

Yes certainly in the case of Pell, he built a career on publicly upholding traditional sex values, as pointed out by David Marr - Brutal and dogmatic, George Pell waged war on sex – even as he abused children (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/26/brutal-and-dogmatic-george-pell-waged-war-on-sex-even-as-he-abused-children) (think I may have linked this before).

Benedict's article certainly does have a 'ridiculous old fossil' ring to it, but who knows how many still weigh his words.

Personally I don't think it is sufficient to assume the church will change with the times; the church has to be dragged kicking and screaming to moral positions, usually.

Patrick Byrom
15-04-2019, 07:38 PM
Personally I don't think it is sufficient to assume the church will change with the times; the church has to be dragged kicking and screaming to moral positions, usually.The Catholic Church has changed, although slowly. However the main change has occurred in lay Catholics. They are much less willing to accept the authority of priests now - the Pill being one of the causes of that, ironically.

Desmond
23-04-2019, 01:16 PM
Still abusing. Still hiding it.

Pope Francis confirms disbanded nun congregation treated as 'sex slaves' by priests, bishops (https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2019/02/pope-francis-confirms-disbanded-nun-congregation-treated-as-sex-slaves-by-priests-bishops.html)
08/02/2019

Pope Francis has confirmed that a congregation of nuns in France was dissolved after reports they were being used as 'sexual slaves'.

On Tuesday Pope Francis told CBS News US that nuns had been, and are still subject to, sexual abuse from Catholic priests and bishops. In the worst cases, have been treated as slaves by clergy.

He said, in one case, nuns at the French Community of St. Jean were abused so badly that the entire congregation was dissolved by his predecessor, Pope Benedict.

The order was dissolved in 2005, but the reason for this was never made public. ...

Desmond
22-01-2020, 06:51 AM
Historic Christian Brothers sexual abuse case receives letter admitting repeated rape of orphan (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-21/letter-admits-christian-brothers-sexual-abuse-on-eve-of-trial/11887018)

In an open letter, delivered on the eve of a WA trial, the Christian Brothers have admitted several brothers sexually abused child migrant John Thomas Lawrence for years from the age of nine in two Perth boys' homes.

WARNING: This story contains material that some readers may find upsetting

But a lawyer for the organisation has argued he deserves a lower compensation payout than what his lawyers have sought because his poor upbringing meant he had a low earning capacity, regardless of the abuse

Key points:
Mr Lawrence says he was sexually abused by four people while in two orphanages
The abusers included three Christian Brothers and a lay teacher
Mr Lawrence says he was left suicidal and is seeking compensation

...The court heard after Mr Lawrence wet the bed, Brother Murphy ordered him to take off his clothes.

Mr Hammond said Brother Murphy then raped him as Mr Lawrence cried and screamed.

It was the first of six rapes Brother Murphy perpetrated against Mr Lawrence. ...

Capablanca-Fan
22-01-2020, 08:49 AM
However the main change has occurred in lay Catholics. They are much less willing to accept the authority of priests now - the Pill being one of the causes of that, ironically.

Or is that an effect rather than a cause?

Capablanca-Fan
22-01-2020, 08:51 AM
Yes certainly in the case of Pell, he built a career on publicly upholding traditional sex values, as pointed out by David Marr - Brutal and dogmatic, George Pell waged war on sex – even as he abused children (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/26/brutal-and-dogmatic-george-pell-waged-war-on-sex-even-as-he-abused-children) (think I may have linked this before).
Yet there is no evidence that he abused children (plural). He was convicted of abusing one teenager, based solely on he-said, he-said from events allegedly decades previously. I think no one from any media-hated institution is safe if that is now the standard of evidence needed for conviction.

Desmond
22-01-2020, 08:56 AM
Yet there is no evidence that he abused children (plural). He was convicted of abusing one teenager, based solely on he-said, he-said from events allegedly decades previously. I think no one from any media-hated institution is safe if that is now the standard of evidence needed for conviction.

There is the evidence of those he abused, and of witnesses (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?16891-George-Pell-convicted-of-historic-sex-abuse-(conditional-appeal-pending)&p=454882&viewfull=1#post454882).

Also bear in mind that most victims of sexual abuse don't report it.

Patrick Byrom
22-01-2020, 08:09 PM
Or is that an effect rather than a cause?I'm not sure exactly what you mean, but this article supports my position (https://catholicherald.co.uk/issues/catholic-herald-app-2018-07-20/how-humanae-vitae-changed-the-church/): "Yet Pope Paul’s encyclical, and its aftermath, was certainly a major factor in a very significant change over the past 50 years: Catholics’ much-attenuated sense of sin, its life-or-death consequences and its sacramental remedies."

Capablanca-Fan
24-01-2020, 08:16 AM
There is the evidence of those he abused, and of witnesses (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?16891-George-Pell-convicted-of-historic-sex-abuse-(conditional-appeal-pending)&p=454882&viewfull=1#post454882).
Evidence that was not tried, so doesn't count. If these claims were actually cross-examined in a proper law court, they may have proved just as flimsy.

The trial was entirely based on he-said, he-said. Such claims should be thrown out, but the jury just wanted to get a high-profile Catholic, because Catholics are evil (although at least in American government schools, abuse is 100 times more likely than in a Catholic church (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/has-media-ignored-sex-abuse-in-school/)):


Hofstra University researcher Charol Shakeshaft looked into the problem, and the first thing that came to her mind when Education Week reported on the study were the daily headlines about the Catholic Church.

"[T]hink the Catholic Church has a problem?" she said. "The physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests."

So, in order to better protect children, did media outlets start hounding the worse menace of the school systems, with headlines about a "Nationwide Teacher Molestation Cover-up" and by asking "Are Ed Schools Producing Pedophiles?"

No, they didn't. That treatment was reserved for the Catholic Church, while the greater problem in the schools was ignored altogether.


Also bear in mind that most victims of sexual abuse don't report it.
You are likely right. This doesn't mean that a particular accused person should be found guilty based on what one person said happened decades previously. If the standards of evidence are that low, no man is safe. It is almost impossible to disprove claims about what happened decades ago, and until the Pell case, this is why there used to be the presumption of innocence: the accused didn't have to prove that he didn't do it; the other side had to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he did do it. The Pell case allowed presumption of guilt and anti-catholic animus to trump presumption of innocence.

Desmond
24-01-2020, 11:30 AM
Evidence that was not tried, so doesn't count. It's evidence."it doesn't count" sounds rather infantile.


If these claims were actually cross-examined in a proper law court, they may have proved just as flimsy.
If by "just as flimsy" you mean, sufficient for police to investigate, DPP to bring to trial, jury to convict, and appeal court to uphold the conviction, then yes perhaps they are just as flimsy.


You are likely right. This doesn't mean that a particular accused person should be found guilty based on what one person said happened decades previously.
What it does mean is that if we have evidence that a man has abused say 5 boys, that the actual number of boys may be much higher due to non-reporting.

Before Ivan Milat died it was hoped by many that he would confess and reveal many other cases that were unsolved/unknown. Unfortunately he didn't.

Patrick Byrom
24-01-2020, 11:37 AM
Evidence that was not tried, so doesn't count. If these claims were actually cross-examined in a proper law court, they may have proved just as flimsy.But you said that there was "no evidence". Those claims count as evidence, even if they haven't been proven in a court of law.


... because Catholics are evil (although at least in American government schools, abuse is 100 times more likely than in a Catholic church (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/has-media-ignored-sex-abuse-in-school/)): ... Perhaps you need better evidence than a claim from 15 years ago, based on dubious statistics :)

Capablanca-Fan
29-01-2020, 04:05 AM
But you said that there was "no evidence". Those claims count as evidence, even if they haven't been proven in a court of law.
I meant, no evidence that stood up to proper scrutiny—this wasn't even tested.


Perhaps you need better evidence than a claim from 15 years ago, based on dubious statistics :)
If anything, the claim is even stronger now. The claims against Catholic priests are from longer ago than that, while claims against teachers are still rife.

Desmond
29-01-2020, 06:13 AM
I meant, no evidence that stood up to proper scrutiny—this wasn't even tested.It was going to trial, the same as the case for which Pell has now been convicted. One of the victims died, which weakened the case and ultimately Pell's gold-plated legal team got the case dismissed.

It is certainly incorrect to say that there was no evidence, and it is incorrect to say that there was no evidence of other victims.

If all you're trying to say is that there was no other convictions, well that should be pretty obvious. But 1 conviction is enough.

Capablanca-Fan
31-01-2020, 03:50 AM
It was going to trial, the same as the case for which Pell has now been convicted. One of the victims died, which weakened the case and ultimately Pell's gold-plated legal team got the case dismissed.
One of the alleged victims.


If all you're trying to say is that there was no other convictions, well that should be pretty obvious. But 1 conviction is enough.
The one conviction was totally he-said he-said, with a jury out to get someone from the Catholic church that had recently been vilified by the Leftmedia (which ignores the far greater problem in government schools).

Desmond
31-01-2020, 09:30 AM
One of the alleged victims. One of the evidence-giving complainants, then.



The one conviction was totally he-said he-said, with a jury out to get someone from the Catholic church that had recently been vilified by the Leftmedia (which ignores the far greater problem in government schools).
I submit that your language is far more charged than, for example, the language of the appeal court in their judgement. Who has the axe to grind here?
The judge specifically and very clearly instructed the jury that Pell was standing trial only for the crimes on the rap sheet and was not to be scapegoated.

Desmond
05-05-2020, 08:25 PM
Coronavirus pandemic saves convicted paedophile from prison (https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/coronavirus-pandemic-saves-convicted-pedophile-from-prison-20200428-p54nzr.html?btis&fbclid=IwAR3lRw4CIqu6T6yc_1R23SbEoVcYQpy1ajxzXUkNz gkKCDP7rL7OMP76_Zs)

A grandfather convicted of molesting his grandson the day before his sixth birthday will not be sent to prison because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 76-year-old man, given the pseudonym of RC to protect the identity of his victim, was convicted in the District Court in July last year of twice digitally penetrating the five-year-old's bottom.

RC, a former public servant who also trained for five years as a priest, was then sentenced to an 18-month community order for sexual intercourse with a child under 10 years.

The Court of Criminal Appeal unanimously found this week that the sentence imposed by Justice Justin Smith SC was "manifestly inadequate". ...

Scott Colliver
05-05-2020, 11:33 PM
Surely the better solution would be to put him in solitary to protect his health