Tag Archives: abuse

Bishop accused of distancing himself from information of abuse to ‘protect church’

Posted December 14, 2015 19:06:20

A Catholic bishop has been accused of attempting to protect himself and the church although giving proof at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Kid Sexual Abuse.

Bishop Brian Finnigan was among a group of priests who handled complaints of paedophilia amongst priests in the Ballarat Diocese in the 1980s.

Counsel Assisting the Commission Angus Stewart SC asked the bishop why his evidence in a private hearing earlier this year differed from his evidence in public hearings right now and last Friday.

“The evidence that you have given for the royal commission on Friday and indeed this morning has not been given in such a way that you have sought to help the royal commission and the public to recognize the history of Gerald Ridsdale in the Diocese of Ballarat,” he put to Bishop Finnigan.

Bishop Finnigan replied that his intention was “certainly not to create confusion”.

Bishop Finnigan: “If I have designed confusion due to the fact of my numerous methods of expressing things all I can say is ‘I’m sorry’.”

Angus Stewart SC: “I say to you bishop that in your evidence in this public hearing you have consistently distanced yourself from any expertise of youngster sexual assault by priests of the dioceses to protect your self and to defend the church – is not that right?”

Bishop Finnigan: I wouldn’t agree with that.

Earlier, Mr Stewart read from a transcript of an interview Bishop Finnigan gave in 1993 to the Catholic Church’s insurers, asking the bishop to confirm the truth of his answers.

Each Mr Stewart and the commission chair Justice Peter McLellan expressed aggravation with the bishop’s inability to do so.

Justice McLellan: “You told me the other day that you answered truthfully, did not you?”

Bishop Finnigan: “Yes I did answer truthfully. I wasn’t producing up stories, but at the exact same time I didn’t think about [the church insurance coverage interview] a formal interview beneath oath or something like that.”

Justice McLellan: “You wouldn’t see the obligation to tell the truth to a CCI [Catholic Church Insurance coverage] investigator in the exact same light.”

Bishop Finnigan: “I would envision that I was attempting to tell the truth of what I knew at the time but I’m happy to acknowledge now the really loose statements that I created.”

Priests’ celibacy led to immaturity

In other proof, a Catholic priest said the require to stay celibate led to a level of immaturity inside the priesthood and contributed to the church’s inability to recognise paedophilia within its ranks.

Father John McKinnon acknowledged he failed victims by not questioning why numerous colleagues were moved about the Ballarat Diocese throughout the 1970s and 80s.

I occasionally wonder no matter whether the fact that we are celibate signifies that we miss out on that standard incentive to grow.

Father John McKinnon

Father McKinnon stated he was not conscious of the paedophilia issue until the late 1980s and did not question choices made by Bishop Ronald Mulkearns.

He mentioned a cultural immaturity within the priesthood meant priests advising the bishop were not sensitive to the possibility youngster abuse was the cause some colleagues have been becoming moved.

He believes immaturity stemmed from the truth several priests went straight from college to a secluded life in the seminary, a extremely diverse life to young men their age.

“Most fellows would have had the opportunity to cope with falling in adore and negotiating relationships and some would have grown and had their personal households and so on and once again creating that capacity, that sensitivity to a youngster and that sense of sacredness of the child,” Father McKinnon said.

“I at times wonder whether the fact that we are celibate signifies that we miss out on that standard incentive to grow.

“I consider it would be greater if there had been ladies among the consulters and women in positions of leadership since I think they would be instinctively sensitive to these issues when we weren’t.”

The hearing continues.

Topics: royal-commissions, law-crime-and-justice, youngster-abuse, neighborhood-and-society, religion-and-beliefs, catholic, melbourne-3000, ballarat-3350, mortlake-3272

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George Pell as well unwell to give evidence at youngster sex abuse inquiry

Updated December 11, 2015 15:37:38

Cardinal George Pell is unable to make his anticipated appearance at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Kid Sexual Abuse next week due to ill wellness, his lawyer has said.

Cardinal Pell’s counsel, Allan Myers QC, told the hearing on Friday that Cardinal Pell, who is base in Rome, had “severe overall health conditions”.

Mr Myers QC applied for his client to give his testimony by means of videolink as an alternative.

But royal commission chair Justice Peter McClellan said it was preferable for Pell, who is Australia’s most senior Catholic, to seem in person and that he would be named once again in February.

Much more to come.

Subjects: royal-commissions, catholic

Initial posted December 11, 2015 15:31:26

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Principal’s name removed from school developing more than sexual abuse

Updated December 11, 2015 14:31:33

The name of former Brisbane Grammar School principal Max Howell has been removed from the BGS sports centre as an apology to former students who have been sexually abused.

Dr Howell led the school from 1964 to 1989, throughout which time college counsellor Kevin Lynch molested scores of boys.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard in November that parents had gone to Dr Howell for support and the former principal had even walked into Lynch’s office throughout the abuse.

Dr Howell, who died in 2011, denied realizing about the abuse.

Numerous of Lynch’s victims approached the college to say emblazoning the indoor sports centre with Dr Howells name triggered them offence.

The school’s board of trustees discussed this situation with the Howell family, and they supported the decision to take it down.

The family mentioned in a statement it hoped the selection would support the healing approach for these abused by Lynch.

“He would have acknowledged the fact that the appalling abuse committed by Kevin Lynch occurred for the duration of his tenure as headmaster and would have apologised to the victims,” the household stated in a statement.

Apology to Brisbane Grammar School's child sex victims Photo: Dr Howell’s name as it was on the indoor sports centre at Brisbane Grammar School. (ABC News)

“He would have accepted that as the headmaster he was in the end accountable for the disgraceful actions of one particular of his employees.”

Board chair Howard Stack stated removing Dr Howell’s name was suitable.

“From our discussions with victims, we think the removal of the name is basic to the school’s apology to them,” he mentioned.

The board said the college was continuing to engage with victims with a individual apology, counselling and compensation.

Because 2000 it had reached agreements with 72 guys, with payments on typical in line with the royal commission’s recommendations.

“We are now operating with those who have recently come forward and we will meet our obligations to them,” the board’s statement said.

Topics: child-abuse, neighborhood-education, activism-and-lobbying

Initial posted December 11, 2015 14:27:13

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Abuse of Clementine Ford highlights how bullying can expense you your job

By Hayley Gleeson

Posted December 03, 2015 16:26:09

Ever considering that a man lost his job due to the fact Clementine Ford reported his on the web abuse to his employer, flame-throwers have accused her, amongst other items, of being a man-hating whore.

The respected writer and commentator was referred to as a bitch, a dumb c**t, and was told she deserved “to be gang raped by a pack of AIDS infested n*****s”.

On top of this, conservative commentators like Tim Blair accused her of hypocrisy because of her own tendency to not shy away from using powerful language.

The complete episode has been painted as one particular bold lady against a horde of angry critics.

But now hordes of other bold ladies are eager to demonstrate Ford is not alone, and that they also are angry about on the web abuse, and a lot more outing of trolls appears likely to stick to.

I am sick and tired of ladies being held responsible for the actions men decide on to take.

Writer and on-line abuse victim Clementine Ford

The events unfolded right after Michael Nolan, a supervisor at Meriton Apartments, commented on 1 of Ford’s Facebook posts with the word “slut”.

Ford later posted screenshots of Mr Nolan’s abuse to her web page, linking in Meriton Group and asking if they had been aware of their employee’s behaviour.

“There are essentially no consequences for men who behave like this, so we have to begin generating consequences for them,” Ford wrote.

On Monday, Ford shared a message she had received from Meriton Group informing her that Mr Nolan had been sacked.

What occurred to Mr Nolan is about a lot more than Ms Ford and feminism, it is about workplace conduct and the enormous shift in the requirements employers expect of their employees.

A lot more and more, abuse of any sort in a public forum is regarded unacceptable, and grounds for dismissal.

Josh Bornstein, a principal at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers in Melbourne, says that even though there is no legal obligation for employers to sack staff who engage in threatening or harassing behaviour outdoors the workplace, a lot more are increasingly prepared to do so.

“There have been numerous instances of individuals becoming sacked for their participation in social media, even when their comments are apparently unrelated to their function,” Mr Bernstein told the ABC.

“Employers are increasingly resorting to disciplinary action against personnel more than a variety of conduct outside the workplace and especially if that conduct gets public exposure.

“Employers frequently argue that such conduct could adversely effect their brand.”

Such conduct, lately labelled by the United Nations as on the web violence against ladies, could also adversely influence the girls it is targeted at.

Doing nothing at all is acquiescing. It really is handing the internet more than to the bullies and the misogynists and the rapists.

Dr Emma A Jane, Senior Analysis Fellow at the University of New South Wales

Dr Emma A Jane, a senior analysis fellow at the University of New South Wales, says there is a tendency for some individuals to downplay on the web abuse and rape threats since it is “just words” or “just the net”.

But her years of study on on the web harassment of women show it can have serious effects on women’s wellness.

“Although some of these females are in a position to shrug it off or laugh it off at least some of the time, others have suffered periods of intense depression and anxiety in the course of which they have withdrawn not only from the cybersphere but from other aspects of life as properly,” Dr Jane said.

Dr Jane, who is no stranger to online abuse herself, says Meriton Group’s selection to hold Mr Nolan to account for his actions should be applauded, and urges other employers to take a stand against gender-based harassment.

“Unfortunately, numerous numbers of other males engage in the identical behaviour on the web with impunity,” Dr Jane stated.

“I would like to see far more of these guys exposed and far more of them held to account, but this needs to take place alongside substantial institutional interventions.

“The responsibility for solving the problem of gendered cyber-hate must not lie with female targets alone,” she said.

Ms Ford says she spoke out about Mr Nolan’s abuse since she was “sick and tired” of men “obtaining away with” intimidating females online, adding that girls have been typically attacked additional for standing up for themselves.

Ms Ford claims that no matter how females respond, they just can not win.

“As well several females are harassed into silence by males who flounce about the place doing and saying whatever they like,” Ms Ford stated.

“I am sick and tired of girls being held responsible for the actions men select to take.”

Her comments echo numerous other individuals produced by girls from all sides of the political spectrum, popular faces and remain-at-house mums, baking enthusiasts and gamers, who have had adequate of feeling bullied, belittled and afraid.

And a view is growing that until a lot more workplaces and governments take a stand against men’s harassment of ladies on the internet, we need as a lot of voices like Ford’s as we can get.

As Dr Jane says: “Not everyone is going to have the strength or sources to fight this battle but those of us who do … need to have to fight.”

“Carrying out absolutely nothing is acquiescing. It’s handing the internet over the bullies and the misogynists and the rapists.”

Subjects: social-media, web-culture, discrimination, feminism, ladies, bullying, australia

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‘I was chosen’: Youngster adopted by alleged paedophile tells of abuse

Posted December 02, 2015 19:42:36

Dorm room at Retta Dixon Photo: Several kids of the Stolen Generations had been taken to Darwin’s Retta Dixon house from the 1940s until it closed. (Supplied)

“All I keep in mind was him becoming on top of me saying ‘don’t tell anyone, this is our secret’, and all I wanted to do was scream, but no one could hear me.”

John Gordon is haunted by the sexual assaults and beatings he says he suffered as a youngster at the Retta Dixon Home, a Commonwealth-funded, religious institution in Darwin.

This is the initial time he has spoken about the abuse he mentioned was committed by the man he came to regard as his father.

The Northern Territory hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Kid Sexual Abuse heard harrowing allegations against that man, Donald Henderson.

All I bear in mind is when I was 10 years old I was one particular of the special ones, I was selected.

John Gordon

Mr Henderson and his wife lived at the Retta Dixon home from 1964 till 1975, operating as “cottage parents” whose job was to raise the Aboriginal kids who had been brought there by the Commonwealth.

Mr Gordon had lived at the house since he was taken from his family members as a baby.

He stated when he was 10 years old, the Hendersons decided to adopt him.

It was most probably an informal adoption as John has no paperwork.

“All I don’t forget is when I was 10 years old I was one particular of the particular ones, I was selected,” he stated.

Mr Gordon stated his adoptive father would beat and molest him.

“I nonetheless have dreams about it. The final time I had dreams like that I woke up the entire house screaming,” he mentioned.

“I sometimes feel like it really is my fault, I never know why.

“Did we do anything to turn the old bastard on? What’s his fetish? What did we do to deserve it? We need to have accomplished one thing to deserve it, done anything incorrect, otherwise it wouldn’t happen.”

Mr Gordon was going to give evidence at the royal commission but he had a heart attack as the hearings were about to begin.

Outside Retta Dixon home Photo: The Retta Dixon residence in Darwin. (Supplied)

In the 1980s, Mr Henderson was convicted of indecently assaulting two children who have been not from Retta Dixon and was offered a two-year great behaviour bond.

Mr Henderson was named at the royal commission as a single of Retta Dixon’s worst offenders, accused of beatings, molestation and rape.

Jarrell Kunoth is an additional alleged victim, breaking his silence for the initial time.

He said Mr Henderson sexually assaulted him when he was nine.

“He grabbed my foot and rubbed it on his private and I could not pull away because I was only young then and he was a massive robust man,” he said.

“Little factors like that plays on your mind, due to the fact it makes you really feel dirty.”

Dorm room at Retta Dixon Photo: A quantity of children from the Retta Dixon house claim they had been abused. (Supplied)

Alleged abuser living in gated community on Sunshine Coast

The Retta Dixon property was levelled by Cyclone Tracy in 1974 and the internet site where the facility as soon as stood is now a fairly barren public park.

Lateline tracked Mr Henderson down to a gated community on the Sunshine Coast, exactly where he lives with his wife and one more now grown-up kid — a girl who was adopted from Retta Dixon.

No-1 answered the door and neighbours said Mr Henderson had been in and out of hospital.

Donald Bruce Henderson, who worked as a house parent at the Retta Dixon home in the Northern Territory. Photo: Donald Henderson now lives on the Sunshine Coast. (Supplied)

Mr Henderson has been charged with sex crimes against youngsters at Retta Dixon twice, but each instances have been dropped.

He was admitted to a mental well being institution shortly prior to the royal commission and did not appear to give proof.

Now he is one of the subjects of a class action, with 12 individuals claiming damages for sexual assaults he is alleged to have committed against them.

They want to take the Sunshine Coast house from him as compensation.

The other defendants are the Commonwealth and the religious organisation that ran the home.

There are a lot more than 80 claimants altogether who say they have been let down by the institution that was supposed to protect them.

Children board a bus at Retta Dixon Photo: Youngsters board a bus at the Retta Dixon house in the Northern Territory. Undated. (Supplied)

The man who became his son, John Gordon, desires far more than money.

“Justice would appear like that man behind bars and the Government, someone be made accountable and created certain that they say yes, we are to blame,” he said.

“Someone has take the blame to be created accountable and a person has to spend.”

Children at the Retta Dixon home Photo: The Retta Dixon residence was levelled by Cyclone Tracey in 1974. (Supplied)

Watch the complete story tonight on Lateline at 9.30pm (AEDT) on ABC News 24 or 10.30pm on ABC Television.

Subjects: youngster-abuse, law-crime-and-justice, royal-commissions, darwin-0800, nt, qld, maroochydore-4558

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