The Catholic Church in Australia

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Onyx
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The Catholic Church in Australia

Post by Onyx » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:00 am

Not sure if you guys hear about this, or if you care much. But the Catholic Church in Australia is under massive pressure. The Prime Minister this week announced a royal commission (the highest level of government sponsored enquiry) into sexual abuses and institutional cover-ups, etc. It is not limited to the Catholic Church (which is political speak for "this is about the Catholic Church"). This was prompted by a senior police inspector who has spoken out about continuing coverups and even forces within the police protecting offenders within the Catholic clergy.

This has been all over the news. The Cardinal George Pell (most senior Catholic in Australia) has spoken on TV exhibiting such callous misunderstanding of the gravity of the situation that even the other Catholic bishops have publicly said they are embarrassed by the cardinal. I can't begin to tell you the derision he has brought upon himself in the broader community.

Here is a taste of the feeling in the country right now.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-16/v ... ys/4377316

Further to this, the lawyer contracted years ago by the Catholic Church to review their processes has himself spoken publicly this week saying that the Catholic Church is still covering up abuses and protecting abusers to this day. This is the very man that Cardinal George Pell cited this week as an independent auditor of their processes. What a heaving mess.

FWIW, I work in a building with another office of salt-of-the-Earth women who are preparing to open a new Catholic school next academic year. These are the sort of people who embody the humble service and honest character which we used to call "Christian". I pity them. They are good, yet they carry baggage they don't deserve.

Oh well. I don't know what to say. Except I must tell my friends on CPS. I don't know what I expect of you. All I can say is that this stuff matters more than whether the bread becomes the body, or why the Republicans didn't get elected, or why CPS moderators moderated a post. This matters.

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Post by jo533281 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:54 am

Sorry for derailing this straightaway but...

Hey Onyx, how have you been? Up until a few days ago, I hadnt seen you in a while. I hope things are well.
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Re: The Catholic Church in Australia

Post by wosbald » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:16 am

+JMJ+
Onyx wrote:All I can say is that this stuff matters more than whether the bread becomes the body, or why the Republicans didn't get elected, or why CPS moderators moderated a post. This matters.
Then again, it may not matter and you'd never know.
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Post by DepartedLight » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:32 am

Hey Onnie - yes it does matter. It's very sad. You can expect prayers from the CPSers, I am most sure.
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Re: The Catholic Church in Australia

Post by Del » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:45 am

Onyx wrote:Oh well. I don't know what to say. Except I must tell my friends on CPS. I don't know what I expect of you. All I can say is that this stuff matters more than whether the bread becomes the body, or why the Republicans didn't get elected, or why CPS moderators moderated a post. This matters.
Thanks, Onyx.

Yes, this opens up a whole world of pain.

Faithful Catholics, non-Catholics -- and even those who hate the Catholic Church and delight in Her embarrassment -- are all going to suffer some loss. And the poor people who will not be helped, as charitable resources are diverted toward legal defense and compensation to victims.

Help us out: Is this a matter of new allegations? Or is this continuing back-lash from past abuse?

In America, the lawyer who made millions by suing the Church for decades-old abuse is still trolling about, looking for more victims to "come forward."

Can we hope that this investigation will discover that the abuse has ended, the perps have been removed from ministry, and the bishops are not "covering up" abusers who should be exposed?
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Re: The Catholic Church in Australia

Post by Del » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:46 am

wosbald wrote:+JMJ+
Onyx wrote:All I can say is that this stuff matters more than whether the bread becomes the body, or why the Republicans didn't get elected, or why CPS moderators moderated a post. This matters.
Then again, it may not matter and you'd never know.
Wosbald -- at what point does habitual orneryness become a vice?
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Re: The Catholic Church in Australia

Post by wosbald » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:51 am

+JMJ+
Del wrote:
wosbald wrote:
Onyx wrote:All I can say is that this stuff matters more than whether the bread becomes the body, or why the Republicans didn't get elected, or why CPS moderators moderated a post. This matters.
Then again, it may not matter and you'd never know.
Wosbald -- at what point does habitual orneryness become a vice?
:rotfl:
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Post by Brigid » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:34 am

Wos, that was out of line.

Onyx, thank you. As DL said, of course we'll be praying. Let us know if there's any other way we can help--words of encouragement towards the women opening the school, anything you see.

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Post by Del » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:12 am

Brigid wrote:Wos, that was out of line.

Onyx, thank you. As DL said, of course we'll be praying. Let us know if there's any other way we can help--words of encouragement towards the women opening the school, anything you see.
Yes.... some home-schooling families opened a faithful Catholic high school in Madison -- started in Fall 2002, right in the teeth of the crisis in America. The school managed to grow and thrive, even as the news unfolded and got ever worse.

Pipeson graduated from this school. We have five young men who entered seminary, a few young women aspiring to religious life, a couple of Christian soldiers in military service, a fireman, and one joyful genius who still reads Aquinas in Latin while working toward a Ph.D. in theoretical physics. The rest will make awesome husbands and wives and parents.

My boasting has a point: Even when our leaders and pastors fail, Catholicism still offers a culture that inspires and guides young people to lives of heroic service and virtue.

There is a greater need for light as the darkness grows. Urge your friends to carry on with their good work, and be a light against the darkness. When there is no hope, be hope.
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Re: The Catholic Church in Australia

Post by Onyx » Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:10 pm

Del wrote:
Onyx wrote:Oh well. I don't know what to say. Except I must tell my friends on CPS. I don't know what I expect of you. All I can say is that this stuff matters more than whether the bread becomes the body, or why the Republicans didn't get elected, or why CPS moderators moderated a post. This matters.
Thanks, Onyx.

Yes, this opens up a whole world of pain.

Faithful Catholics, non-Catholics -- and even those who hate the Catholic Church and delight in Her embarrassment -- are all going to suffer some loss. And the poor people who will not be helped, as charitable resources are diverted toward legal defense and compensation to victims.
When crimes have been committed, it's not reasonable for the defendant to blame the plaintiff for the cost of legal defence. Please note, victims are not asking for charitable resources of the church to be deployed for them. They just want the criminality to stop, and to be properly uncovered and prosecuted. The church makes a mistake when it takes a stance suggesting that it offers healing on this. Abused people don't need counselling from their abusers.

It's not about "those who hate the Catholic Church". I suggest you stop imagining that the church is the victim. We're talking about an organized ring of hundreds of child rapists protecting each other over decades while raping thousands of children. If a motorcycle gang did this, we might see it for what it is more clearly. There's been too much "respect of persons" (to borrow the KJV phrase).
Del wrote:
Help us out: Is this a matter of new allegations? Or is this continuing back-lash from past abuse?
It's both. There is an overwhelming tide of new revelations about old and new abuses. In the Australian context, the Catholic Church developed a "Towards Healing" protocol for handling this stuff in the late 90s. So recent breaches of it's own protocol (which imply putting children at risk such that they continued to be subject to rapists, etc.), continued cover-ups of crime by hiding and protecting known offenders... since the late 90s is now being called "recent".

But also, any time this subject is mentioned, floods of new people come forward. Every time a new child-rapist is identified, more victims come forward speaking of the guilt they have carried for decades. Usually from several different states as clergy were moved around each time their violence was re-discovered. Those who tried to bring it to authorities at the time almost unanimously speak of the further abuses upon them as they were personally condemned again for having been abused the first time.

It seems that every time someone touches the surface, a huge new groundswell of pain emerges. It seems we're not even close to identifying the true scale of this thing.

The Royal Commission is NOT about the child abuse. (Those incidents are a matter of criminal investigation). The Royal Commission is an enquiry into the institutional cover-up of crime, the organized sexual crime rings within church orders receiving support and protection from church hierarchy, the suppression of victims, and the subsequent systematic abuse and ill treatment of those who tried to speak out.
Del wrote:
In America, the lawyer who made millions by suing the Church for decades-old abuse is still trolling about, looking for more victims to "come forward."
I don't know that chap. But what you describe is not trolling. Victims of these crimes have the right to legal representation. If you listen to the interview I linked in the opening post you'll get a taste of how difficult it is for victims to come forward on this.
Del wrote: Can we hope that this investigation will discover that the abuse has ended, the perps have been removed from ministry, and the bishops are not "covering up" abusers who should be exposed?
That has been the official position of the church since the late 90s. It is the revelation from police investigators that the coverup continues, the revelation from the independent legal consultants hired by the church itself that the coverup continues, and the continuing evidence from victims that the crimes continue.

Again, if you listen to the interview in the OP, you'll see abusers have not reliably been removed from ministry. In cases like this, they've been shuffled around to other parishes, protected by lies of the hierarchy, and then honoured in their old age.

I know why you hope that the investigation is discover abuse has ended. You are not only optimistic in this, you are (I suggest) unable to fathom the magnitude and the implications of this. There is no other organization in this country which is responsible for this much violent crime. From time-to-time a 'reformed' motorbike gang (my comparison returns) of ageing bikers tells us how they've cleaned up their ways, and their rough days are behind them. I'm sure it's partly true, but we're still not ready to have them baby sit our kids. And yet no bikie gang has ever been accused of a half of crime (against children!) which is being uncovered daily in this.

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Post by Del » Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:39 pm

Thanks again, Onyx.

Another question: What portion of the perpetrators and complicit bishops were Irish? Any noticeable trends?
"Utter frogshit from start to finish." - Onyx

"I shall not wear a crown of gold where my Master wore a crown of thorns." - Godfrey de Bouillon

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Post by Onyx » Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:51 pm

Del wrote:Thanks again, Onyx.

Another question: What portion of the perpetrators and complicit bishops were Irish? Any noticeable trends?
I don't know.

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Post by dasmokeryaget » Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:58 pm

Brigid wrote:Wos, that was out of line.

Doh!
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Re: The Catholic Church in Australia

Post by dasmokeryaget » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:08 pm

Del wrote:
Onyx wrote:Oh well. I don't know what to say. Except I must tell my friends on CPS. I don't know what I expect of you. All I can say is that this stuff matters more than whether the bread becomes the body, or why the Republicans didn't get elected, or why CPS moderators moderated a post. This matters.
Thanks, Onyx.

Yes, this opens up a whole world of pain.

Faithful Catholics, non-Catholics -- and even those who hate the Catholic Church and delight in Her embarrassment -- are all going to suffer some loss. And the poor people who will not be helped, as charitable resources are diverted toward legal defense and compensation to victims.

I think Thus hurts Jesus Christ and his testimony also.

If other religious groups would like to point an accusing finger, they should remember that the only difference between their sin and the church's sin is that thiers hasn't been revealed......yet.

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Post by Joshoowah » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:57 pm

Thanks for this, Onyx. I shall lift it up tonight during my devotions.
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Post by wosbald » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:39 pm

+JMJ+

Prayer for Priests

Sanctify to Thyself, O my Lord, the hearts of Thy priests, that by the merits of Thy sacred humanity, they may become living images of Thee, children of Mary, and full of the fire of the Holy Ghost, that they may guard Thy house and defend Thy glory, and that through their ministry, the face of the earth may be renewed, and they may save those souls which have cost Thee all Thy Blood. Amen.

Queen of Apostles, pray thy Son, the Lord of the Harvest, to send laborers into His harvest, and to spare His people.
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Post by Onyx » Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:20 am

Wosbald, for about four years I have jousted with you on various things. I remain unsure whether you are deliberately provocative, or oblivious to your offensive brand of religion. And yet, I think you are representative of your faith in its extreme form.

Praying for the priests in response to this situation is strangely passive-aggressive given the staggering accumulation of their victims. And yet perhaps it's likely that many of them were abused themselves by the previous generation of religious authority. So perhaps they are among the abused. Yet it remains hard to understand what motivates you to pray for the priests rather than the abused. Is it like Jesus' admonition to pray for them that persecute you?

While on the face of it, a prayer for the priests seems above reproach, but we are knee deep in testimonials of priestly abuse out here. It looks like the Catholic Church cares primarily about the Catholic Church. That sucks badly. That has caused untold extension and protection of abusers and perpetuation of the abuses. I call it respect of persons. I learned this from Christian teaching. We should respect no man's person. Whether he be priest or plumber's son, he is no more important, and no more valued than another. A priest does not deserve protection when he exploits others. It's a hard lesson - in practice - when you're committed to an institution. The Catholic Church has been slow learning this - in Australia.

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Post by Rusty » Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:05 am

I think Wos is exhibiting the same strange behaviour as the Catholic Church in Australia. They're understandably defensive. But if they had any advisers worth their salt Pell would be saying different things and they would have initiated and driven this process years ago. In some important ways they are victimizing themselves and their mission with their behaviour. Plus they leave their victims to suffer longer. It's incredibly short sighted. Nice to see that some, including Del, are not playing that bad hand. Wos is not doing Catholicism any good in this thread.

There are well defined principles for crisis management in public relations. And they continue to violate them with real damage to the mission that is very dear to church. How bad does it have to get before they learn? They're going to pay dearly for this in Australia. Yet they should have been the ones leading this years before and benefiting for their forthrightness. This happened in the US, in Canada, and more countries. Why would they wait for it to happen again in Australia? This was predictable. And they're still not facing it and failing to help victims and help themselves.

It's terrible.
Last edited by Rusty on Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Onyx » Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:21 am

George Pell has a reputation for not listening to his advisors. (Ironic - since as a Cardinal, he is an advisor of the Pope.) The other bishops in Australia are losing patience with this narcissist*.

On the one hand I want the good Catholic people (like those in my office building) to be unencumbered by this awfulness. Yet on the other hand, I want them to know that this is the system they support by lending their own personal goodness and integrity. This is where their money goes.

*Beware of amateur diagnosis.

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Post by Rusty » Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:35 am

Onyx wrote:George Pell has a reputation for not listening to his advisors. (Ironic - since as a Cardinal, he is an advisor of the Pope.) The other bishops in Australia are losing patience with this narcissist*.

On the one hand I want the good Catholic people (like those in my office building) to be unencumbered by this awfulness. Yet on the other hand, I want them to know that this is the system they support by lending their own personal goodness and integrity. This is where their money goes.

*Beware of amateur diagnosis.
Right. And the church and the people in the church who do so much good are going to carry this too. It's not their fault but yet their mission is impacted. It's very bad management. This has been like a bomb. The fuse was lit a long time ago. They knew this but they're in denial even still. Yet even if they failed to proactively initiate and solve it on their timetable (much earlier) Pell could have embraced it once it broke in the media. But no, they're going to do more damage instead. The Vatican must be having kittens over this. Surely they know how bad this is.

If there is a God he should take over management and that would start with a message for the people and victims of Australia. Pell would be part of a larger manufacturer recall.

Corporations have failed when they failed to learn these things. The authorities in public relations and marketing are probably going to get another case for teaching MBA's about crisis mgmt and the principles of surviving and growing through it.
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