Unholy Silence – The book that launched a Royal Commission, even before it was published by Father Kevin Lee
Unholy Silence –
The book that launched a Royal Commission, even before it was published
by Father Kevin Lee
From the link: http://unholysilence.com/
A Catholic priest exposes systematic cover-ups of pedophilia and predatory homosexuality in his own Church
Father Kevin’s claim to have forced a Royal Commission into sexual abuse of children in Australia is not without foundation. He had been agitating about it for over a decade. And if you analyse the chronology of events, Father Kevin’s admission on Channel 7’s 6pm news on April 31st was the catalyst that sparked media interest into why a successful priest would commit sacerdotal suicide by telling everyone he had been living a lie for over a year.
As Father Kevin told the journalists who were sent into a feeding frenzy over the discovery that a proclaimed celibate priest was actually married, he did it because of his frustration that his constant complaints of pedophilia and sexual abuse among members of the Church were being continually denied or concealed by both police and Church hierarchy. “It is not possible to live a double life” he was told by his Bishop, “there is too much scrutiny of priests”. So he set out to show how it is done.
He wanted to prove how priests can appear to be living celibately but can actually be living a total lie.
This book will explain how, after six years of preparation and twenty years of ordained ministry, Father Kevin Lee gradually came to realize that the Church he was born into, was not as it appeared.
It took him a while to recognise that the reason the church expects total loyalty and intellectual ascent to all its dogmas and practices is not entirely altruistic.
The justification for its demand of abstemious living was to keep the church cheap to run and its workers totally obedient.
For many years Fr Kevin was happy to make the total sacrifice of his sexuality “for the sake of the Kingdom” but events that he witnessed caused him to question the institution that he had blindly promised obedience to for all his adult life.
His decision to record these events and eventually allow their publication takes great courage and resulted in his expulsion from the Church he had served diligently for almost a quarter of a century. The termination of his priestly ministry sparked a wave of allegations of abuses and cover ups that eventuated in Prime Minister Gillard issuing the call for a full Royal Commission into sexual abuse in Australia which began on 13th February 2012 and is expected to continue for at least three years.
Father Kevin had intimate knowledge of fellow priests who were living a celibate lie.
But everywhere he turned within the Church and outside it, he was being told to “keep quiet” and “don’t create a scandal”.
No one wanted to know.
Fr Kevin comes to appreciate that the unholy silence which muzzles the priests from revealing the depraved actions of fellow priests can have a detrimental effect on the whole church. The fear of ‘causing scandal’ is less damaging than the emotional and psychological destruction these abuses were causing in the lives of the trusting young people who oftentimes came to priests for help.
The Church would have you believe that the number of offending clerics is small and not out of proportion with other professions but these stories and Fr Kevin’s personal testimony will challenge that blanket statement and as a result, question the relevance of priestly celibacy.
This book will unsettle your own religious convictions as you read the painfully recorded details of the many incidents of abuse and attempts by the hierarchy to cover up or compensate the abused victims of pretend priests.
As the Catholic hierarchy flounders with diminishing numbers of priests and depleting income sources it wrestles to retain the respect and reverence that it once demanded of its adherents.
Fr Kevin Lee hopes this book will force the Catholic Church members to readdress the issue of mandatory priestly celibacy by calling the Church to greater accountability and openness into the secret lives of priests..
To buy the book Unholy Silence click on the following link:
Ex-priest claims Australian Church hid sex abuse
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 by
A Maltese man has blown the lid on the Australian Church by quitting the priesthood and claiming the Victorian Archdiocese has been deleting child sex abuse records.
Victor Buhagiar claims he “saw and heard” the Archbishop of Victoria order a secretary to turn off a recorder before discussing clerical sex abuse during a Church council meeting in April 2012.
He bowed out as a priest last January, saying his subsequent enquiries into the matter had led him to a metaphorical dead end.
“I believe there’s a devil in the hierarchy,” Mr Buhagiar has now told Australian investigative TV show Today Tonight.
“I suspect the recorder was turned off to create a black hole, so that investigators will…find nothing. Certain data is not being recorded in any way, shape or form.”
He accused the Archdiocese of operating a ‘no names’ policy in cases related to sexual abuse, saying Church superiors had turned down a request to alert nearby parishes to the presence of a suspected sexual offender.
“The secretary told me we cannot do that because we have a policy of no names. If I don’t put the name of the person, how are the other priests going to know who I’m talking about?” he said.
Pope Francis has called for the Vatican’s prosecutorial arm, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to act decisively in cases of sexual abuse and promote measures to protect minors.
While Victorian Archbishop Denis Hart has issued a statement contesting Mr Buhagiar’s claims, he has done little to directly deny them. In a statement, the Archbishop noted that, while the Archdiocese complied with privacy principles, “it is wrong to describe that as a ‘no names’ policy”.
Archbishop Hart also admitted that tape recorders were sometimes switched off during council meetings, justifying this by arguing that some discussions were either “in a preparatory stage or otherwise confidential”.
“On such occasions, the Council may elect to discuss matters that are not minuted. This allows an open discussion in advance of a formal decision or final position being reached,” the Archbishop wrote.
Mr Buhagiar’s resignation caught his former Gladstone Park congregation by surprise. Reactions to his sudden departure have been mixed: while over 300 locals have written to the Archdiocese in his support, others have said that the parish is being better run without him.
Second ‘Runaway Priest’ found by Dallas News sent back to Australia to face sex-abuse charges
Another priest from our landmark 2004-2005 series on the Catholic Church’s international transfers of sex abusers has been arrested.
Australian authorities charged the Rev. Julian Fox, pictured, after he returned from his religious order’s headquarters in Rome. He faces 10 counts of sexually and physically abusing boys at a Melbourne-area boarding school, according to press reports.
In our series, I reported that Fox was moved to Fiji after an abuse complaint in the late 1990s was made to his order, the Salesians of Don Bosco. The Salesians also paid his accuser a settlement, officials acknowledged to me.
When I talked to Fox by phone in 2004, he said a church review had exonerated him. He declined to further discuss the allegations.
“That’s in the past,” he said. “I’m not keen to be trolling through all of that again.”
Fox was also the Salesians’ South Pacific leader during the 1990s. In that role, he received allegations that the Rev. Frank Klep had previously abused boys. As you may recall, Klep is the fugitive priest we found on another Pacific island, Samoa, handing out candy to children at a church.
Fox told me that he had investigated the Klep complaint. But he couldn’t remember what he had found because the case was “history under a bridge,” he said.
The recent interest in Fox is two-fold:
First, an Australian government inquiry spawned a widening criminal investigation that has produced multiple arrests. Second, a leading investigative news program there, Four Corners, examined the Fox case last year.
Calling for inquiry to focus in on courts
- The Daily Telegraph
- April 26, 2013
From the link: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/calling-for-inquiry-to-focus-in-on-courts/story-e6freuy9-1226629596902
CHILDREN will remain at risk unless the royal commission into institutionalised child sex abuse includes the Family Court in its investigations, Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston has warned.
Ms Johnston said it would be a missed opportunity if the court was not included.
“Thousands of children and their families are depending on it,” she said yesterday.
In a submission sent by Bravehearts to the royal commission, the organisation said improvements to practices, policies and procedures within the court would have a positive impact on a “large number of Australian abuse survivors”.
Ms Johnston said it was a “no-brainer” that the court came under the commission’s terms of reference.
“As an institution, the Family Court deals extensively with child sexual assault,” Ms Johnston said, adding it was critical that the commission did its “job properly”.
Ms Johnston said Bravehearts was aware of instances where the court’s practices were deficient and had led to children being placed at serious risk of sexual harm.
The Family Court has hit back, saying Bravehearts had misunderstood what an “institution” is in the context of the royal commission.
“The abuse being investigated by the royal commission specifically ‘does not include the family’,” a spokesperson for the Family Court said.
“There are other obvious reasons why courts do not fall within the remit of the royal commission and to suggest they do is to fundamentally misunderstand the role of courts.”
She said there were many courts where the issue of child sexual assault and the contact children should have with parents arose, not only in family law proceedings.
She said the reasons for every decision made by the court were published and the reasons behind every decision were open to scrutiny.
The royal commission has made a point of not commenting outside public hearings.
Churches to count the cost of abuse – 100,000 victims to sue
- The Daily Telegraph
- April 12, 2013
UP to 100,000 people will make claims for compensation in the wake of the royal commission into institutionalised abuse, according to a leading lawyer.
They are pinning their hopes on the commission recommending that a “redress fund” be set up, into which institutions at blame would pay commensurate sums of money.
Lawyer Peter Kelso said the Catholic Church may be forced to sell some of its multi-million dollars worth of land and property holdings to pay its fair share of a fund.
While the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will not be able to make awards of compensation, its terms of reference call on it to find ways so that victims can get redress from institutions.
“The words ‘by institutions’ send the clear message that Australian taxpayers will not be paying a cent,” Mr Kelso said.
He has based his estimate on a figure out of the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sexual abuse which has been told there are 10,000 victims in that state alone.
In Ireland, a Redress Board set up following a nine-year inquiry into Catholic Church abuse received more than 16,000 claims.
Mr Kelso said that if that figure was extrapolated to the Australian population, there would be between 70,000 and 100,000 people who would be seeking compensation.
In Ireland, the average award was $82,190. The largest award was $392,704.
Mr Kelso said that it was something that had to be faced.
“It will be an enormous amount of money but my attitude is that the days of token payments of $50,000 have gone. Some clients have been offered as little as $5000 to go away.”
Mr Kelso said compensation was a punishment but also a way to restore the victim to the position they would have been in had their lives not been torn apart by abuse as a child.
He said that he had hundreds of clients who wanted to give evidence to the royal commission, which has foreshadowed hearing from at least 5000 people.
The Irish compensation scheme took into account the severity of the abuse and injury with an additional loading of up to 20 per cent for exceptional cases. It also paid medical expenses and all costs reasonably incurred in making an application.
Mr Kelso said that the Catholic Church was found to be the main perpetrator.
The church’s initial contribution only covered 10 per cent of the total payout and it now has to sell property in the financial crisis that is still going on in Ireland.
“There are lessons to be learned from Ireland and the Australian royal commission will hopefully be looking at these. I expect public pressure in Australia will force the Catholic Church to liquidate a large slice of its substantial real estate holdings,” Mr Kelso said.
The royal commission has said it will be not commenting on public speculation.
The unholy conspiracy
Will an inquiry into decades of child sex abuse in Australia and alleged cover-ups by the Catholic Church serve justice?
In late 2012, Australia was rocked by fresh allegations of Catholic clergy child sex abuse by whistleblower, New South Wales Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox.
Fox has pursued allegations of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy for more than a decade, and he claims that as his investigations continued, a frightening picture emerged of a widespread cover-up by the Catholic Church of the child sex crimes committed by its clergy.
Fox repeated those claims publicly, and also accused the Catholic Church of deliberately obstructing police investigations, destroying evidence, and protecting paedophile priests, sparking calls for a national inquiry.
At the same time as Fox’s investigation, The Newcastle Herald’s senior journalist Joanne McCarthy, had also picked up the scent of a wider conspiracy by senior church officials to conceal sex abuse by its clergy.
Searching for clues – Joanne delved into the case of Father Vincent Ryan – a paedophile priest convicted in 1996.
Her first discovery was a police record of interview with Monsignor Patrick Cotter, who was Maitland’s acting Bishop in the 1970s.
She was stunned to learn Cotter had known for 20 years that Ryan was a paedophile, and that when it was first reported to him by parents of a victim – he had simply shunted the priest interstate – concealing the issue, rather than reporting it to the police.
She then discovered another bishop’s letter, outlining a plan to cover-up the crimes of one of the most dangerous paedophile priests in the Maitland-Newcastle area, Father Denis McAlinden.
Bishop Leo Clarke wrote to McAlinden with an offer – if he agreed to be laicised or, defrocked as a priest, the church would protect him: “Your good name will be protected by the confidential nature of this process.”
At the end of his letter, Bishop Clark urged McAlinden to agree to be defrocked because “some people are threatening seriously to take this whole matter to the police”.
The offer to conceal McAlinden’s crimes was proof of the church’s veil of secrecy and soon Joanne ascertained that the clergy members involved were amongst the most senior in the Australian Catholic church.
Now, a special commission of inquiry has been set-up by the New South Wales state government to determine whether their actions amounted to criminal conduct. The special government-appointed inquiry, known in Australia as a Royal Commission, has also been charged with investigating how the NSW police force handled the complaints.
The trigger for the Royal Commission came in July last year, when John Pirona, a 45-year-old firefighter in the city of Newcastle, ended his life after years of mental torment stemming from the sex abuse that he suffered as a child at the hands of a paedophile priest.
The abuse occurred at St Pius X High School, a Catholic boys’ school in Newcastle. Pirona’s suicide followed about a dozen suicides and many more attempted suicides by former students at the school. Shockingly, many people reported the abuse to the school principal who kept silent, punishing children who dared to complain.
As the impact of John Pirona’s suicide reverberated throughout the community, demands for a Royal Commission gained new impetus and in Newcastle, a public rally was held to boost the campaign.
Detective Peter Fox was at the rally and felt inspired to speak out about his struggle to expose crimes concealed by the church. Emboldened by speaking at the rally, he repeated his claims two months later on national television.
Four days later, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the establishment of a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. This historic judicial inquiry will be the biggest in Australia’s history.
It will hear testimonies, not only about the original sex crimes, but also the subsequent crimes of concealment by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, and other organisations.
The Australian inquiry goes way beyond the brief of any such inquiry anywhere in the world by promising to follow up with prosecuting sex offenders, and those guilty of concealing or covering up their crimes. A special investigation unit has been established to gather further evidence and prepare briefs for the police.
Although the commission itself cannot prosecute, the early establishment of these units means this important work in bringing about accountability can commence quite soon.
The effects of the royal commission could have widespread and unforeseen outcomes – such has been the force of religion in Australia, threatening to shake Australia’s social and political life when its findings are published.
Priest accused of child abuse ‘sent to Australia’
- Charles Miranda in London
- From: News Limited Network
- March 04, 2013 12:00AM
TWO priests are under investigation by church authorities both in Australia and the UK amid allegations they sexually abused at least two boys in the 1960s and 1980s.
News Limited can reveal one of the priests, Father Gordon Bennett, died in 2011 but not before the church had been told the priest, who was sent to Australia in September 1985, was being accused of child sex offences.
The victim, who asked not to be named, had been writing to the church in the UK and later Australia with his claims for more than five years prior to Fr Bennett dying at the age of 90.
The victim, now aged in his 60s, last month retained legal counsel and is to pursue a claim of damages against the Catholic Church in Australia or in London where last Friday the UK’s highest court ruled clerics were akin to being “employees” of the church and thus diocese are liable.
In a second unrelated case, a Queensland man now aged in his 40s is also seeking legal redress after being allegedly abused by Jesuit priest Father James Chaning-Pearce who in 1997 pleaded guilty and was jailed in England for three years for abusing another three boys aged 12, 13 and 15.
The Australian man was allegedly abused in the mid-1980s in Zimbabwe – where his parents had been posted – and he met the priest who was working at a school.
He approached authorities including the police in the UK after he realised the man who had allegedly abused him was back working at a prestigious Catholic boys’ college in the UK.
It was his information that then sparked the police probe which led to Chaning-Pearce’s prosecution for the UK abuse.It is understood the priest, having served his time, is now at a monastery in Wales. No charges have been brought against him in relation to these latest allegations.
Legal sources close to both investigations said material gathered so far including letters written to the church authorities would be made available to the landmark royal commission announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard last November.
The commission, with its wide-ranging powers, was created after NSW police claimed the Catholic Church covered up evidence of pedophile priests.
Since then the church has created the Truth, Justice and Healing Council to work with the commission on claims.
Truth, Justice and Healing Council CEO Francis Sullivan said yesterday his group would look at the latest claims and was committed in supplying whatever evidence to get the truth out.
“The suffering of victims and those damaged from the abuse scandals remains the number one issue to be addressed and that our church, like other institutions, must keep up with best practice process to protect children and prevent any sexual or other abuse,” he said.