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Priests brace for report on child abuse

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    Originally posted by B.A. View Post
    No more deluded than the morons who are launching a campaign against this because of something they read on facebook and all doctors are out to give us autism or something something something
    He may be only equally as deluded - however, before speaking out publicly, and given his position, it might have been expected that he would have informed himself better. And his attempts to equate giving a vaccination at age 12 to encouraging promiscuity is a separate delusion to the "unwanted side effects" attitude.


      It's likely in a highly ironic way that his ignorant comments and subsequent grovelling back tracking will help the roll out of the vaccination. In the rush to correct his stupid comments more media attention is given to the benefits of the vaccine silencing the tinfoil hat brigade for the moment


        I don't know. I've read some comments online and some people are really convinced by the story's. Some of the radio reports aren't even clear that 75% was wrong. Statistics and explanation don't seem to matter that correlation is not causation. That's not to say some people can't be affected by it. Any vaccine or medication can have adverse affect but from what I believe it's not the case in a vast majority of reported cases.
        "Some people don't know their easy lives... I wouldn't be so ungrateful" - Fiacre Ryan - #AutismAndMe


          The third most powerful cleric in the catholic church, the Australian cardinal George Pell, has been found guilty of five counts of child sexual abuse. He remains a cardinal pending the outcome of an appeal.
          Tis but a scratch.


            Vatican to await George Pell appeal before taking any action

            The Catholic church’s already shaky credibility on sexual abuse was dealt another hammer blow on Tuesday, with its third most powerful figure and a close associate of Pope Francis facing a jail sentence for crimes committed against two choirboys in the 1990s.

            The news that Cardinal George Pell – who until the weekend was in charge of the Holy See’s finances and of rooting out corruption at the heart of the church – had been found guilty on five charges of sexual abuse was painful and shocking, said the Vatican. But survivors and activists were enraged at the church’s decision not to strip Pell of his position as a cardinal, at least until the judicial process was exhausted.

            Pell, 77, has said he will appeal against the conviction, for which he will be sentenced on Wednesday. He is expected to face a prison term. The Vatican said the disgraced prelate had “reiterated his innocence and has the right to defend himself to the last degree”. In the meantime, a ban on Pell exercising ministry or having contact with minors would remain in place.

            The cardinal’s five-year term as Vatican treasurer expired on Sunday, and Pope Francis – who previously praised Pell for his honesty and response to child sexual abuse – removed him from his inner council of advisers in December. The outcome of the trial, which was subject to a gagging order until this week, was “painful news that, we are well aware, has shocked many people, not only in Australia,” said Alessandro Gisotti, the Vatican press spokesman.

            He added: “While waiting for the final judgment, we join the Australian bishops in praying for all the victims of abuse, reaffirming our commitment to do everything possible so that the church is a safe house for everyone, especially for children and the most vulnerable.”

            The father of one of the boys assaulted by Pell said the cardinal had “blood on his hands”. The man’s son died of a heroin overdose 17 years after being molested by Pell as a 13-year-old chorister at Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral. The man said he planned to sue Pell or the church.

            A mother of another clerical abuse victim, who died of an overdose at the age of 26, said: “The priesthood must stand condemned for what they have done to children.”

            Chrissie Foster’s daughter Emma disclosed her abuse to Pell when he was archbishop of Melbourne. Pell “had absolutely no sympathy or understanding or anything. He just was angry and jumping down our throats, telling us to prove it in court,” Foster told ABC. “Now I look at it under this verdict that he’s received, and I think oh my goodness, he had a vested interest in shutting us up because he himself was a paedophile as well.”

            Francesco Zanardi, who set up Rete l’Abuso, an Italian network of clerical abuse survivors, said: “A strong signal would have been completely removing Pell two years ago [when he first faced charges].”

            Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean survivor of clerical sexual abuse, said the outcome of the trial ought to “put bishops and cardinals around the world on notice”.

            The news of the guilty verdict, which was reached unanimously by a jury in December, came less than 48 hours after an unprecedented summit at the Vatican on clerical sexual abuse that was intended to signal a turning point on an issue that has gravely damaged the church and imperilled Pope Francis.

            Although the outcome of the trial was already known by senior figures at the Vatican, the verdict is likely to reverberate across the 1.2 billion-strong global church.

            Pell’s disgrace had caused a “deep, deep wound to the entire Catholic church”, said Robert Mickens, the Rome-based editor of the English-language edition of the Catholic daily newspaper La Croix.

            “It has to be stated that the hierarchy has never done anything on its own,” he added. “People are still wondering – is [the church] being totally honest about what has happened and the culpability, especially of bishops?”

            Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, said: “Like most Australians, I am deeply shocked at the crimes of which George Pell has been convicted. I respect the fact that this case is under appeal, but it is the victims and their families I am thinking of today, and all who have suffered from sexual abuse by those they should have been able to trust, but couldn’t.”

            Prof Des Cahill, a former Catholic priest who has become an advocate for survivors of child abuse, said: “This is is a momentous event, as part of the continuing drama of the Catholic catastrophe.”

            If his conviction is upheld, Pell will face a canonical trial, at the end of which he could be removed from the priesthood. Less than two weeks ago, another prominent figure in the church, the former cardinal and archbishop Theodore McCarrick, was defrocked after the Vatican found him guilty of sexual abuse.

            Tis but a scratch.


              Only good can come from demolishing the authority of the Catholic hierarchy. Though worse (if possible) has gone on before with married popes, mad wars, genocidal programs. In fairness, none of this was taught by the founder, human nature can and will corrupt anything.
              Stand up for the Ulcer men


                I do not like thee, Cardinal Pell

                "There are a lot of points that we’ve left behind and this is with a young group. That probably tells you what they’re capable of and that they’re a very good side.

                Probably next year or the year after next they will take some stopping"

                Anthony Foley, May 2016. Axel RIP


                  This is beyond words ... George Pell's lawyer says child abuse was 'plain vanilla' sex as cardinal heads to jail

                  Cardinal George Pell has been taken in custody following a sentencing hearing in which his lawyer, Robert Richter, described one of Pell’s offences as a “plain vanilla sexual penetration case where the child is not actively participating”.

                  After the hearing, with Pell’s lawyer having withdrawn his application for bail, the chief judge, Peter Kidd, said: “Take him away, please.” Pell will be sentenced on 13 March after his conviction for sexually assaulting two 13-year-old boys.

                  The former prime minister John Howard was among those who provided character references for Pell as the cardinal’s legal team tried to argue for a lower-end sentence in Melbourne’s county court on Wednesday morning.

                  That claim was rejected by the chief judge, Peter Kidd, who said he saw Pell’s behaviour as “callous, brazen offending” and “shocking conduct”.

                  “He did have in his mind some sense of impunity. How else did he think he would get away with this? There was an element of force here ... this is not anywhere near the lower end of offending.”

                  Richter’s renowned defence style was on full display, as he tried to argue with Kidd that there were “no aggravating circumstances” to one of Pell’s offences.

                  It was “no more than a plain vanilla sexual penetration case where the child is not actively participating”, Richter said.

                  Kidd responded: “It must be clear to you by now I’m struggling with that submission. Looking at your points here – so what?”

                  Richter also tried to suggest that an incident in which Pell grabbed one of the boys by the genitals in an attack that lasted seconds was “fleeting” and not worthy of a jail sentence. Kidd disagreed.

                  “That wasn’t just a trifling sexual assault,” he said.

                  “Nothing is to be gained here by comparing different forms of sexual abuse of children. Of course I need to make a judgement of the overall gravity of this. But there is a limit to these kinds of comparisons.”

                  Abuse survivors and advocates present in the court gasped as Richter made his arguments for a lower-end sentence. He said at one point that if Pell’s victims were “truly distressed” after being abused, they would have returned to their homes exhibiting that distress.

                  Richter said he was in a difficult position because he could only propose a sentence based on the jury’s finding of guilt, not on the basis that Pell maintained his innocence. He said Pell did not have a pattern of offending and had not planned the attack, and so would have been “seized by some irresistible impulse”.

                  Kidd responded: “You put to the jury only a madman would commit these offences. The jury rejected that. There are no medical records suggesting he is mad. The only inference I can make is that he thought he could get away with it. People don’t go ahead and do what he did without thinking about it. People make choices.”

                  Prosecutors described Pell as having “a degree of callous indifference” as he “humiliated, degraded” and sexually abused the boys. This offending, prosecutors said, should attract a significant sentence.
                  Prosecutor Mark Gibson said the offending of Pell was serious, especially given his position of authority at the time.

                  “These acts … were in our submission humiliating and degrading towards each boy and gave rise to distress in each boy as referred to in the evidence [the complainant] gave. [The victim] recalled voicing objection.”

                  He said Pell’s offending implied “a degree of callous indifference in relation to those objections”.

                  “His state of mind suggests he had some degree of confidence as to the unlikelihood that these two boys would complain,” he said.

                  In response, Richter submitted a book of sentencing arguments to Kidd, which included medical records and character references from high-profile figures including Howard and the president of the Australian Catholic University, Greg Craven. Richter said he could have provided the court with “hundreds” of character references for Pell, but had narrowed the list down. All those who gave references knew of Pell’s conviction, he said.

                  The character references spoke of Pell’s kindness and generosity “above and beyond that of a priest”, of “a man who has a great sense of humour” who relates “to everyone “from prime ministers to street cleaners”, Richter said.
                  The hearing was attended by dozens of abuse survivors and advocates, as well as supporters of Pell. The survivors wore badges emblazoned with quotes about child abuse from Pell over the years; “it was not of much interest to me” and “it’s all gossip until it’s proven in a court”.

                  Pell was found guilty in December of one count of sexual penetration of a child under the age of 16 and four counts of an indecent act with a child under the age of 16.

                  Each conviction carries a maximum jail term of 10 years.

                  At the trial the complainant, now 35, said he and the other choirboy had separated from the choir procession as it exited the church building. He and the other boy sneaked back into the church corridors and entered the priest’s sacristy, a place they knew they should not be. There they found some sacramental wine and began to drink. The complainant alleged that Pell had walked in on them.

                  Pell then manoeuvred his robes to expose his penis. He stepped forward, grabbed the other boy by the back of his head, and forced the boy’s head on to his penis, the complainant told the court. Pell then did the same thing to the complainant, orally raping him. Once he had finished, he ordered the complainant to remove his pants, before fondling the complainant’s penis and masturbating himself.

                  A few weeks later Pell attacked the complainant again as he passed him in the church corridor, pushing him against the wall and squeezing his genitals hard through his choir robes, before walking off.

                  A victim impact statement from the complainant was submitted by prosecutors at the sentencing hearing. A second impact statement was submitted from the father of the second boy Pell abused. That victim died in 2014 of a drug overdose, when he was 30.

                  There was some argument from Richter as to whether the entirety of the father’s victim impact statement should be submitted, given his statement made in February was “so lacking in proximate impact” to the offending.

                  Kidd said he would not be swayed by the argument.

                  “I think a parent where a child is a victim of a crime … the impact of the fact of that crime and the distress that would cause to a parent is self-evident and almost inevitable,” Kidd said. “My view is the parent can stand in as victim in those circumstances.”

                  On Wednesday afternoon Pell’s solicitor Paul Galbally issued a statement saying the bail application had been withdrawn because Pell “believes it is appropriate for him to await sentencing”.

                  “An appeal has already been lodged to be pursued following sentencing,” the statement said. “Despite the unprecedented media coverage, Cardinal Pell has always and continues to maintain his innocence.”
                  Tis but a scratch.