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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Current Events > East Asia and the Pacific

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East Asia and the Pacific China - Japan - Australia and challenges throughout East Asia.

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  #1  
Old 12 Nov 12, 05:15
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Gillard launches royal commission into child abuse

Quote:
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced the creation of a national royal commission into institutional responses to instances of child sexual abuse.

The decision was taken at a meeting of federal cabinet this afternoon.

Ms Gillard had been under pressure to act following growing calls for a national inquiry into explosive allegations by a senior New South Wales police investigator that the Catholic Church covered up evidence involving paedophile priests.

A number of senior Labor MPs, as well as key independents, had already voiced their support for action on a national scale.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott also declared his support for a "wide-ranging" royal commission into child sex abuse but said it should not just focus on claims involving the Catholic Church.

Ms Gillard said the Government would take the coming weeks to consult stakeholders before announcing the terms of reference.

The Prime Minister said the commission would look at all religious organisations, state care providers, not-for-profit bodies as well as the responses of child service agencies and the police.
Good. Long overdue but better late than never. Now to get at all of them. Not just the abusers, but those that covered it up and the organisations that felt their name was more important than the welfare of a child.
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Old 12 Nov 12, 06:40
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Yes, about time - do you think they will carry enough weight to get all those involved at all these levels(Of cover up, etc)?
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Old 12 Nov 12, 07:04
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Originally Posted by Selous View Post
Yes, about time - do you think they will carry enough weight to get all those involved at all these levels(Of cover up, etc)?
Some few might escape but it will be because of luck rather than design. The hardest part is getting a Royal Commission announced, after that the thing seems to take on a life of its own - that's probably why politicians won't start one without a lot of provocation. Anyone that has been involved in any of this (even only at the fringes) over the last 50 years would be very, very nervous tonight. Good.

I can't tell you how much pleasure it will give me watching organised religion on trial, especially those black crows of the Catholic Church.
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Old 24 Nov 12, 18:02
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I'm sure it gives our atheist PM a lot of pleasure to announce this.

Now, If we can only have a Royal Commission into politicians breaking promises.

Quote:
"there will be no carbon TAX under a government I lead"...
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Old 24 Nov 12, 20:09
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Originally Posted by Selous View Post
Yes, about time - do you think they will carry enough weight to get all those involved at all these levels(Of cover up, etc)?
I think it is inevitable that people will be disssappointed by this process. It will be lengthy - years and years; it will be incomplete - the terms have had to be broad to limit the backlash from the Catholic Church (which is still playing victim) so there is just too much ground to cover; and it is uncertain just what legal outcomes there will be - it will be up to State governments to charge & convict and these cases are always tough.

That is the bad news, but the 'bad' is more to do with expectations than what the Royal Commission might uncover. Given its powers I expect a great deal to be uncovered about what happened in various religious institutions (especially the Catholic Church) and other institutions - including state run ones. Hopefully the commission can get to documents the Catholic Church has been hiding before the Bishops et.al. shred them. What this might also do is both embolden & provide ammunition for more state-based inquiries into abuse. There is a fairly weak one in my state at the moment into the Church which has nonetheless produced some fascinating stuff (including a scathing police submission on the behaviour of the police hierarchy). The danger is that this all takes so long that poiticians loose the taste for the fight - and the Catholic Church & some bureacrats WILL fight to cover their arses.

So, great to have all this aired, but it will never achieve all that people might hope for.
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Old 24 Nov 12, 20:17
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Originally Posted by At ease View Post
I'm sure it gives our atheist PM a lot of pleasure to announce this.
It wouldn't give any PM pleasure to have to announce an inquiry into something as horrendous as this. That you think it would reflects much more on you than it does on her.

Quote:
Now, If we can only have a Royal Commission into politicians breaking promises.
Looks like somebody is desperate for a distraction from a close examination of why the Catholic Church produced so many child molesters & was so keen to cover up for them.
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Old 24 Nov 12, 22:43
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Originally Posted by At ease View Post
Now, If we can only have a Royal Commission into politicians breaking promises.
Such a task would keep the Commission staff so fully occupied, for so long, that nothing else would ever be investigated.
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Old 25 Nov 12, 05:32
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Originally Posted by BF69 View Post

1. It wouldn't give any PM pleasure to have to announce an inquiry into something as horrendous as this. That you think it would reflects much more on you than it does on her.

2. Looks like somebody is desperate for a distraction from a close examination of why the Catholic Church produced so many child molesters & was so keen to cover up for them.
Oh dear.

One of the reasons I imposed a forced "hiatus" upon myself was because I was sick of reading, and making replies to, such rubbish from people such as yourself.

First day back after just over a year and you have lived up to expectations. sigh

1. This Royal Commission is a "godsend" so to speak, for a PM and a political party lurching from crisis to crisis.

2. The numbers affected are extremely small compared with the total number of students who have received and benefited from a Catholic school education - myself included, especially when compared with the number of people suffering from the treacherous imposition of the Carbon Tax - which includes all Australians.

Please, get your priorities in order.

Now see what you have done......due to my absence I have become unfamiliar with "quote" formatting, hence the poorly presented layout above.

It will take me some time before it all comes back to me.
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Old 25 Nov 12, 16:03
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Originally Posted by At ease View Post
Oh dear.

One of the reasons I imposed a forced "hiatus" upon myself was because I was sick of reading, and making replies to, such rubbish from people such as yourself.

First day back after just over a year and you have lived up to expectations. sigh

1. This Royal Commission is a "godsend" so to speak, for a PM and a political party lurching from crisis to crisis.

2. The numbers affected are extremely small compared with the total number of students who have received and benefited from a Catholic school education - myself included, especially when compared with the number of people suffering from the treacherous imposition of the Carbon Tax - which includes all Australians.

Please, get your priorities in order.

Now see what you have done......due to my absence I have become unfamiliar with "quote" formatting, hence the poorly presented layout above.

It will take me some time before it all comes back to me.
Well, I'm glad you put that in perspective for me. What is the raping of hundreds or thousands of children & the devastation of lives that followed when compared to a carbon tax? Silly me. You are a tribute to a good Catholic education and this post simply proves it. I'll be certain to reference it again.
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Old 25 Nov 12, 21:50
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Do you personally know anyone who has been victimised in such a manner?

I went to Catholic schools in Sydney for 12 years in the 60's/70's and also knew many students from other such schools and I never heard even a whisper of such behaviour.

Your axe has been ground so hard and for such a long time that your fingers are now in danger of making contact with the abrasive wheel.
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Old 25 Nov 12, 22:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by At ease View Post
Do you personally know anyone who has been victimised in such a manner?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by At ease View Post

One of the reasons I imposed a forced "hiatus" upon myself was because I was sick of reading, and making replies to, such rubbish from people such as yourself.
You mean people that don't still live in the 1950's?
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Old 26 Nov 12, 05:04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by At ease View Post
Do you personally know anyone who has been victimised in such a manner?
Not remotely relevant, but no. I do know people who were taught by Brothers who were later convicted of multiple case of child abuse, so there is nothing abstract about this.

Quote:
I went to Catholic schools in Sydney for 12 years in the 60's/70's and also knew many students from other such schools and I never heard even a whisper of such behaviour.

Your axe has been ground so hard and for such a long time that your fingers are now in danger of making contact with the abrasive wheel.
It is clear from your posts on this thread that you want to talk about everything BUT the subject of the thread. You'd rather use the topic of child abuse to take potshots at the PM & rant about the Carbon tax. Can't say I'm surprised. I could keep stringing you along just to see how much further you are prepared to humiliate yourself, but the issue is too important. Instead I'm just going to keep this thread alive by posting some of the facts that have come to light & those that come to light during the current inquiry.
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Old 26 Nov 12, 06:27
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Back on topic:

My take is that the Catholic Church, and any other organizations that are investigated, should welcome the Commission. True offenders should be identfied and dealt with; surely a welcome development, while those who are not guilty of any such acts - the vast majority I am sure - should be able to continue their good work with the dignity and pride they rightfully deserve, untainted by the acts of a degenerate but tiny minority.

If it was my organization I would say, "Bring it on!"
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Old 26 Nov 12, 06:40
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For those not in the know, the Victorian Government currently has an inquiry running into abuse in the Catholic Church. While the inquiry has been rightly criticized for a lack of vigour, it has produced some interesting and awful. No one who has followed this sort of thing in the US and Ireland will be much surprised, unfortunately.

The following are quotes from a submission to the inquiry by the Victoria Police.

This is actually a quote from the Catholic Church itself about the extent of abuse uncovered. No one familiar withe the topic believes that this is more than a fraction of cases in this Archdiocese alone.

Quote:
In the past 14 years, about 300 people have been compensated as victims of sexual abuse within the Archdiocese. Most of the complaints relate to incidents from thirty and up to eighty years ago. We receive few complaints of abuse that has taken place since the 1970s. Eighty-six offenders have been identified over an eighty year period, of whom sixty were priests of the Archdiocese.
In the 1990s the melbourne Archdiocese (headed by now Cardinal George Pell) finally caved in to pressure & set up the 'Melbourne response' which it now holds up as some sort of model. The police describe it as follows:

Quote:
Outcomes vary and can include the provision of an apology on behalf of the Church, counseling services or the payment of counseling costs. Each process provides for compensation to be made in the form of ex gratia financial payments. Some of the offenders may be laicized, however this is rare. In many cases offenders are moved to other positions within the church which have a limited opportunity for offending or provided with counseling.

Victoria Police has serious concerns regarding the terms of this inquiry process and its appearance as a de facto substitute for criminal justice. As noted on its website, the Melbourne Response has made a number of ex gratia payments to victims. In spite of this, it has not referred a single complaint to Victoria Police.
Here are some concerns about the way that process is conducted. I'll try to dig up a quote, but I also recall mention somewhere that private discussions between victims & 'counsellors' under the Melbourne Response have been disclosed to alleged abusers & used as part of thei defence at trial.

Quote:
we are aware of circumstances where victims have been
required to confront alleged offenders where they have been required to repeat allegations in the presence of those alleged offenders. Victoria Police has offered to provide this briefing to the Catholic Church on two occasions but these offers have not been accepted to date.
This is a polite reference to the Church leaning on victim not to involve the police. Keep in mind this is the behaviour of the body that is supposed to help victims.

Quote:
In addition to concerns that this inquiry process is being used as a substitute for criminal investigation, Victoria Police is concerned that the inquiry process may be providing inappropriate and perhaps incorrect advice to complainants. For example, in one publicised case in 2010, the Independent Commissioner made statements regarding the potential success of a criminal allegation such as this kind of conduct you described would be unlikely to be held by a Court as criminal conduct. Notwithstanding the fact that members from Victoria Police disagree, it is concerning that an Independent Commissioner, appointed under Canon Law, is providing authoritative advice to persons on the potential success of a criminal allegation against a member of the Church.
Quote:
Over time, Victoria Police has observed a number of letters from the Independent Commissioner which purport to encourage reporting to the police, while at the same time effectively dissuade reporting by restricting or delaying compensation until litigation is resolved.
Quote:
Victoria Police is concerned that, while publicly encouraging victims to seek redress through the criminal justice system, The Catholic Church is providing a financial incentive to use its Inquiry processes instead of State mechanisms. To obtain an ex gratia payment for compensation, victims must enter into an agreement discharging the Church from any further liability. Some of these deeds include confidentiality clauses agreeing not to disclose or discuss the circumstances of the complaint. Despite indicating that there is an unfettered right to complain to police in letters and public statements, the signatories of such deeds enter into a broad confidentiality clause agreeing to not discuss or disclose the facts and circumstances incidental to any of the complaints he/she has or could have made.
The deed represents a legally binding agreement between the church and the
victim in respect of the ex gratia payment. A breach of contract gives rise to a liability to be sued. In the context of a criminal investigation, criminal law does not necessarily override the civil law. If a signatory discusses or discloses the information, even to police, the church retains the option to sue regarding the breach.
...and something even more serious. Moving offenders around & shifting them out of jurisdiction to escape justice is not unique to Victoria or even Australia, but it is no less confronting for that fact.

Quote:
In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s a number of alleged offenders were moved to different parishes after complaints were made to the church. The most obvious example of this being xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx who was moved to a number of locations within the Ballarat Diocese in addition to several short periods in Melbourne and Sydney. It is believed that he had contact with children in a number of these parishes. Much of this movement was prior to xxxxxxxx coming to the attention of Victoria Police. In more recent examples, it is apparent that the church has assisted offenders
who are known to police in moving overseas. An example of this is the movement of a priest, to Samoa in 1998. At the time of his relocation the priest had been convicted of indecent assault and another police investigation was underway. Samoa does not have an extradition treaty with Australia. In Samoa, the priest worked closely with the church and local schools. Authorities were not made aware of any previous conviction, nor was it declared on his visa application. The Samoan authorities deported the priest to Australia in 2004. Regardless of whether there was any intent to evade criminal proceedings, the reality is that his relocation, without disclosure regarding his criminal history, put that community at risk. In similar circumstances, other alleged offenders have been relocated to the
United States of America, Peru and Papua New Guinea where they are understood to be working with children. A particularly disconcerting element of this relocation is that the offenders are often moved to vulnerable communities which do not have the same regulations regarding contact with children. Seeking extradition can be a lengthy process, and can be adversely affected by a lack of information, lack of extradition treaty or the age or infirmity of the alleged offender which may impact their ability to travel.
Here we have Church officials eihtr refusing to assist or even actively hindering police investigations.

Quote:
In some circumstances the Church has been reluctant to provide information under warrant to Victoria Police. This has included seeking injunctions to delay or stop the processing of warrants and creating separate files and moving them, making it hard for police members to identify and seek access to appropriate information. In some circumstances, the Church has alerted the alleged offender to a police investigation. One instance of this occurred as recently as 2009. In this instance it was evident that by the time police had arrived potential evidence was removed or destroyed. Other members have reported similar issues to varying degrees. These are of concern to Victoria Police, primarily because it is expected that the Melbourne Response and Towards Healing should be held to a higher standard than that of the general population, given their mandate to promote healing.
All in all pretty damning stuff.
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Old 26 Nov 12, 06:41
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Pruitt has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Pruitt has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Pruitt has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Pruitt has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Pruitt has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Pruitt has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Pruitt has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Pruitt has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Pruitt has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Pruitt has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Pruitt has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
The problem is it is a no-win situation for the Catholic Church. They prefer to deal with this problem themselves. Trouble is it has not worked out so well. The first instinct by most large organizations is to cover up scandal. The sex problem has been the 300 pound Gorilla in the living room for 100's of years now. You might have to break tradition to root it out.

Pruitt
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Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"
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