Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Pope's Secret meeting with victims insults the other victims

The Pope held a private mass attended by four victims of s*xual abuse. Trouble is these hand-picked people were all compliant, and had been appeased by the processes of the Church.
What does that say to the hundred and thousands of others, whose complaints have not been addressed by the Church, or worse, whose legal claims have been defended on narrow legalistic bases? What about them?

"The church's NSW director of professional standards, Michael Salmon, said he had chosen them after a request "a number of weeks ago" because they had been through the church's internal processes, had achieved a level of healing, and would be comfortable attending Mass.

None had pursued civil legal actions but one had pursued criminal charges. All were abused as minors - one by a lay person in a school context and the rest by priests."

Source: news.com.au

As Greg Barnes in crikey.com.au says today:

As Andrew Morrison SC, who acted for Ellis, told the High Court, in effect the Catholic Church "in New South Wales and the ACT has so structured itself as to be immune from suit other than in respect of strictly property matters for all claims of abuse, neglect or negligence, including claims against teachers in parochial schools at least prior to 1986. That immunity, they say, extends to the present day in respect of the parochial duties of priests. We say that such immunity would be an outrage to any reasonable sense of justice and we say it is wrong in law."

Barnes continues:

"But the issue here is should the Church and Cardinal Pell have played legal hardball with a s-x abuse victim in the first place, and having been successful in their legal strategy, will they do the same thing again?

"If Pope Benedict’s apology is to mean something more than platitudes, then Cardinal Pell and the Catholic Church should stop hiding behind their expensive lawyers’ tactics and immediately apologise and compensate John Ellis for the abuse he suffered at the hands of the Church."

In the opinion of this blogger, the manner of the selection of appeased victims says it all - it is not designed to solve anything (for arguably the people who were invited have already been "healed" (supposedly). The problem for the Church is precisely with the people whose wounds have not been healed.

Clearly active, articulate persons like the Foster family were deliberately excluded, because the Church recognised it could not handle them. So, the mass, as a healing process, was a sham.

As the final act of World Youth Day, this act debases and demeans any achievements of the whole WYD process. It confirms WYD to be nothing more than a Tourist Promotion exercise for Sydney and a shallow and meaningless PR Stunt for the Catholic Church.

Nothing more, nothing less.

1 comment:

Gouldiae said...

G'day Denis,
I just love that penultimate paragraph - spot on!