When will the Catholic Church learn?

Another story about secrecy and coverups in the Catholic Church has broken in Australia. The culture of secrecy and coverups needs to be broken and the Catholic Church needs to confront its sordid past.

That is certainly far more important than opposing Marriage Equality.

A senior Catholic official has been called on to stand aside from the board of Daramalan College after revelations he did not report a paedophile priest to law enforcement.

Father Jim Littleton, who sits on the board of Daramalan College, failed to alert police to child abuse allegations involving Melbourne parish priest Peter Chalk in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Fairfax has uncovered evidence that police conducted a secret bugging operation of a meeting between Chalk’s victims and Father Brian Gallagher from Chalk’s order, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) in 1994.

During the meeting, victims learned that Father Littleton and other senior figures in the order were aware of the allegations for years but did not tell police.


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  • Rebecca

    OK, here are some provable statistics:

    1) Most child abuse takes place within the home. Not just in NZ, this is true elsewhere too.
    2) Unfortunately child abuse is prevalent in all areas of society: schools, youth organizations… but in NZ, it’s dads, step-dads and boyfriends we need to worry about, along with the enabler family members and neighbors.
    3) Unfortunately all religious groups have pedophile scandals. The Catholics
    are more numerous, but they’re actually bottom of the list statistically. There aren’t enough cases for a reasonable statistical sample in NZ so that’s a US finding.

    4) Doctors, farmers and teachers are the professions most
    likely to abuse children–not clergy.5) In case it was missed: Doctors, farmers and teachers are the professions most
    likely to abuse children–not clergy. That’s a US figure again, because in NZ most of the cases are in the home.
    6) Of professional groups, Christian clergy are amongst the least
    likely to offend. and amongst clergy offenders, Catholic priests are least likely to offend. (US figure).

    Now to address this this specific issue:
    1) Catholic cases of pedophilia still make more headlines for some reason, and are much more likely to appear in certain blogs. Why?

    2) Many of the so-called pedophile cases involve boys of an age at which heterosexual sex is normalized and commonplace in NZ society in 2012. I’m talking 11-13 at which age girls are getting pregnant in Godzone. Seems to me that whether it involves boys or girls, at this age it’s Rape. Shouldn’t matter whether it’s a homosexual or a heterosexual rapist, it’s still rape. I wonder why nobody says there is a “coverup” because Uncle Rapist doesn’t get charged or slung in jail. Maybe in 30 years the police or hospital authorities will find themselves in court for systematically covering up for Rapists.

    • kowtow

      Why the constant headlines?
      Because there’s a huge anti Catholic bigotry out there.

      • Gazzaw

        You are quite correct Kowtow. I am a non-believer so it does not affect me personally but I have always held the firm belief that to have a religious belief is an absolute & very personal right and it is utterly despicable for anyone to attack that belief. It becomes a personal and often very hurtful attack and is not to be condoned in our society. I well recall at school in the 50s the taunting of the RC kids, why God only knows, I guess that it was a hangover from a prejudiced past.

        I had hoped that NZ was above this anti-Catholic bigotry by now but it appears not. IT IS SO STUPID & FUTILE and I can best evidence it by the almost sainthood status granted to Sir John Kirwan by posters on this site for his great work – how do they feel about his devout Catholic upbringing and membership of the church?

        • landly

          Is that that bloke who goes on telly about depression? What rubbish. What great work?

          • Gazzaw

            I guess landly that you would have to ask WO what John Kirwan has done for those who suffer from depression. You show deep ignorance.

      • landly

        Now I wonder why that is.

      • Ronnie Chow

        No Bro , it’s because the Catholic hierarchy are hiding something bigger .
        Witness the fact that all allegations of sex abuse are to be sent to the
        Vatican rather than the civil authorities, and that “a secret church
        decree called ‘Crimen sollicitationis’
        … imposes the strictest oath of secrecy on the child victim, the
        priest dealing with the allegation, and any witnesses. Breaking that
        oath means instant banishment from the Catholic Church –
        excommunication.”[205] This is quoted in the 2005 Ferns Report:
        “A culture of secrecy and fear of scandal that led bishops to place the
        interests of the Catholic Church ahead of the safety of children”. Bastards .

        • Ronnie,

          You really need to stop reading that wikipedia article, it’s full of crap!

          There is NO STRICT OATH OF SECRECY on the child victim!

          Please read Smearing the Pope and A Response to Christopher Hitchens’ ‘The Great Catholic Coverup’ (with references) which covers that lie.

        • Rebecca

          Ronnie, even if it’s true, why would you get so worked up about a 1962 document (were you even born?) when western societies have developed and changed so much since then. Sheesh, those were the days when Russians could blackmail businessmen with homosexual photos and politicians who had an affair ended their careers forever and… need I go on? It’s no more sensible to dredge back that far about the papists than it is to try to attack anybody else.

    • nasska

      …”Many of the so-called pedophile cases involve boys of an age at which
      heterosexual sex is normalized and commonplace in NZ society in 2012″…..

      What a load of bollocks! If kids of that age, of either sex, are sexually active it will be ‘experimenting’ with others of their age group…..not seeking out dirty old men who use their positions of trust to satisfy their urges.

      • Rebecca

        That may be the case in your nice street. In other parts of NZ there is an underage prostitution problem (think that through: who are the patrons?) and disgraceful child abuse statistics. They also have health professionals who regularly see pregnant 13-year-old girls with an STD. I suppose you’ll insist it was given to her by one of your innocent experimenting schoolboys- or maybe that was done by the dreadful papists as well. fact is that NZ has a MAJOR problem with child abuse, but some people are more interested in homosexual rapists 30 years ago than the dozens of bashings and rapings going on every day in our communities.

        • nasska

          Once again we have the spectacle of a Catholic acolyte pushing the now familiar line…..yes we may have done wrong BUT, look over there….some one else did something bad too! Breaking news….that doesn’t deflect nor excuse.

          No one, including myself, believes that NZ doesn’t have a child abuse problem. It’s just that most of us think that it should be brought into the open & dealt with through the courts…..not brushed under the carpet with the perpetrators wet bus ticketed, moved on & counselled.

          Anyone acting ‘in loco parentis’ or in a position of trust with children deserves zero tolerance if they abuse the trust placed in them….even Catholic priests.

          • Rebecca

            But you’ve invented this “spectacle” straw man yourself. Show me one post where somebody condones homosexual raping by priests or anybody else. Of course you cannot. Why not focus on the real issue, which is that you and yours are so fascinated by homosexual priest rapists that you’re “straining at gnats but swallowing a camel” where the camel is of course the appalling child abuse problem.
            As for brushing under the carpet: again, an invented concept if you’re talking about abuser priests in NZ. The main abuser had vanished into the 3rd world and was only found with assistance from an order of nuns. If you do have evidence of a cover up, produce it. We both know you can’t.
            Seems to me that people enjoy a particular fable and get cross if somebody points out the inconsistencies in it. Well, sorry: I’m convinced that NZ has more problems than bad rapist priests 30 years ago and bigots who like the sound of that. Do some homework and check out today’s stats and you’ll quickly see there are more abuse cases EVERY DAY than can be attributed to raping priests in the last 30 years. Now, tell me again why you’re more interested in the priests?

          • landly

            This is the catholic claptrap they have been putting out for decades, in fact centuries. Look how good at it “Rebecca” is. These arguments are cunningly qualified. Look at phrases like “can be attributed to”.

            And not a word about the catholic church simultaneously doing this stuff and claiming moral superiority. While also working ruthlessly on each victim to belittle them and call them disgraceful liars … Just in case they complain or talk about it (despite the threats that their family will be harmed if this occurs).

          • landly

            Oh, I forgot to mention, they do this while stuffing the civil service with incompetent Catholics (to keep a hold on this situation, one presumes, just in case — as well as to favour Catholics in departmental and police decisions).

            And while sucking up funds from welfare, because they are such holy people. Another reason why they need a huge social welfare budget, so they can thieve from it. All true.

          • You would have an argument if we were defending acts of molestation on children – but we are not defending them. Of course the Church is not free from people who committed monstrous acts as there is no test of sainthood when you enter. The ultimate punishments occur after death – not before.

          • Lion_ess

            What punishments might they be?

          • Lion_ess

            Hi Lucia, was wondering whether you will be providing your insight on this question?

          • nasska

            To get this into some sort of order:
            1) Whale posts about a Catholic priest being asked to stand down from the board of a school
            2) You launch into a 400 word diatribe deflecting blame & accusing everyone from farmers to fathers of being kiddy fiddlers.
            3) I call you (twice) for bullshit.

            I will repeat that I acknowledge that people other than Catholic clergy abuse kids. What makes abuse by priests far, far worse than any others (with exception of the kids own parents which is rare) is that these same creeps are promoted as being God’s agents & beyond reproach. For a child brought up in the Catholic faith it is a double whammy for him/her to front their abuser……effectively they have to denounce everything they have been taught, risk being disbelieved by their families & possibly ostracised by their communities.

            This is why the scum get away with it for so long.

            If you think that the problem is historical & has disappeared because of good church management I wish you luck. I feel that you’ll be in need of it.

          • Nasska,

            Let’s start with your number 1:

            “Whale posts about a Catholic priest being asked to stand down from the board of a school” … because of something that occurred nearly 20 years ago!

            I suppose we can be thankful that the crimes that are being dredged up aren’t any older than that, but from a Church that has a 2000 year history with over a billion members as of now, it’s not hard to find people who have done bad things.

            I’ll be amazed if the same scrutiny is ever applied to any other group.

          • Rebecca

            Do you have any facts? Ad hominem slurs and rude posts are not arguments.
            If the stats say that doctors, farmers and teachers are the main child abusers, this is important. You may prefer priests, but unless you have facts to justify this prejudice, you characterize yourself.
            As for fathers: in New Zealand, official stats confirm that abuse occurs overwhelmingly in the home with the vast majority involving parents and partners. You cannot simply sweep this under the carpet because you don’t like it. Nor will blaming me make it go away.
            We all agree that priests, like doctors, have a special status and it’s particularly reprehensible if they abuse it. However, you’re steamed up about offenses that occurred 20 or 30 years ago that you want to believe are going on every day. You need to consider the facts: in this nation there are more abuse cases every day than can be attributed to your preferred target in over 30 years! If you have any interest at all in “fixing the problem not the blame” then that’s what you need to start with. If you’re only interested in slinging off then go to it.

          • nasska

            While we’re on the subject of facts, you quote American “facts” & then refute them because they don’t apply in NZ. You then accuse “fathers” although we’ve been told that natural fathers are the best defence a female child has against predators.

            I’ll concede that male “partners” of women present a high risk of abuse to her kids.

            I’ll also concede that I can’t produce studies or statistics of this so perhaps you can oblige. It will make a change for you from dragging red herrings across the board in a vain attempt at deflection.

          • rebecca

            I told you why I used US facts- because cases in New Zealand are mostly in the home and it’s not easy to find a representative sample of professionals. There you go, trying to blame me for scientific method again.
            Yes there is good evidence that fathers make a big difference to female kids. However, if you want to paraphrase you might try to be a little more accurate. The official figures describe offending by parents and partners, and say that offenders are mostly male. Male parents and partners are dads, step-dads and boyfriends: which is exactly what I said. You then snipped out “fathers” because it is easier to attack.
            As for finding the stats: easily available via Google.

    • Ronnie Chow

      Poor Rebecca . Can’t you see the disconnect between kiddie fiddlers and those with knowledge of it (all Priests) lecturing morality from the pulpit , forcing ignorant people into their God fearing way of life , whilst behind the scenes having immoral ‘fun’ . The priesthood occupies the high moral ground . That’s why they are in the crosshairs .
      Ordinary kiddie fiddlers don’t stand up in in public telling others how to live their lives .
      Perhaps you could answer this question .

      What percent of the current Catholic Clergy have known of an abuse incident and not reported it to the police , when that abuse was known to be a crime ?

      • Ronnie,

        I don’t know how many sermons you’ve heard from the pulpit recently, but just about every single one that I’ve listened to over the last six years (except for sermons from Opus Dei priests) are completely devoid of morality, except for caring for the poor (very big on that here in NZ), and recently that letter on marriage from the Bishops.

        I think it’s easy to assume that there are really bad priests out there saying one thing and doing another, but from my reading of the really bad ones, they’re too busy sinning to be doing much in the way of preaching.

      • Rebecca

        Ronnie, you can be as rude and disparaging as you like, but facts will always trump your sort of behavior.
        Yes, you paint a terrible picture. But the stats say that of professionals, christian priests are the lowest abusers and Catholic priests lowest of all. Yet you insist on targeting Catholic priests. And your pretext? Facts? No, just your undoubted ability to paint a nasty picture. I suppose I too could paint a horrid picture of doctors since the stats would agree with that… but that’s just prurient and unhelpful if you don’t also address the primary offenders who are much closer to home.
        You ask me a specific question about kiddie fiddlers telling others how to live their lives. Fair enough. Name the priest kiddle fiddler who has done this in New Zealand within the last (say) 10 years and I will answer your question. Otherwise it’s just a kiddle fiddling variant of the old “have you stopped beating your wife” nastiness.

  • Lion_ess

    A fish rots from the head down, as the saying goes – when somethink stinks, look to the leadership.

  • Most of these “cover ups” are old cases, where standard procedure in many countries was to refer the offender to counseling. The police were rarely involved, but if there was a prosecution, most often the punishment was, you guessed it! Counseling!

    It’s political motivation that is behind getting old cases like this into the media as a means of destroying the effectiveness of the Catholic Church from countering same-sex marriage.

    • Andrei

      And abortion, a holy sacrament to Liberals

      • Yep, though I think the SSM thing is more topical. There is going to be a debate on it at the federal level (either today or next Monday, the news item I read wasn’t clear). So, I can imagine these abuse stories are going to be milked for all they are worth.

        • landly

          The Australians have had great courage and strength in bringing issues about Catholic abuse of children, including in some nun-run orphanages, forward. I commend them for their strong work.

    • Rebecca

      Is that why people insist on calling these priests pedophiles rather than homosexual rapists which is a better label since almost all of the victims were post-pubescent?

      • That would be a big part of it!

      • Lion_ess

        Homosexual Rapist Priest is much nicer – thanks for the clarification

      • Ronnie Chow

        Really ?

        The Catholic sex abuse cases are a series of convictions, trials and investigations into allegations of child sexual abuse crimes committed by Catholic priests and members of Roman Catholic orders against children as young as 3 years old with the majority between the ages of 11 and 14

    • Ronnie Chow

      Really ?

      “the Archdiocese of Boston secretly settled child sexual abuse claims against at least 70 priests from 1992 to 2002.[184]”

      • How does that dispute what I was saying?

        • Ronnie Chow

          By pointing out a recent well known case , it could also draw your attention to the fact that you are trying to forgive a cluster of pedophiles who are still covering up their dirty practices with your assistance .
          Most of the cover-ups are ongoing , yet to be discovered . This story is only going to get bigger while the Vatican refuses to open the books . Many at the top are involved in this . Disagree ?

  • Whafe

    An intertesting topic, I don’t really care if there is stats on where more of this is prevalent.
    You cannot deny the facts that there is a good number of these Homosexual Rapist Priest’s out there… All of you defending the church from these Homosexual Rapist Priest’s should be ashamed….

    • Rebecca

      >>An intertesting topic, I don’t really care if there is stats on where more of this is prevalent.

      Yes, but it’s as if you’re focused on a tiny little leak in the dam while a huge torrent is demolishing it across the other side. And if anybody dares suggest the torrent needs attention too, you accuse them of being pro-leak or trying to destroy the dam.

      cannot deny the facts that there is a good number of these Homosexual
      Rapist Priest’s out there…

      That’s an assertion from the person who says they don’t care about facts. Certainly if there is a good number of homosexual rapist priests out there, I’ll be amongst those approving of their being charged and jailed. But you can’t just burn them at the stake because they’re Catholic.

      >>All of you defending the church from these
      Homosexual Rapist Priest’s should be ashamed….

      Absolutely. As should bigots who insist that two wrongs can make a right.

      • Whafe

        Rebecca, in a nut shell I agree with you for sure…. The whole topic is one that is most sad for sure…. I am not burning all Catholic Priests at all, for sure they are all not bad, that is a given, however even if 10% of what came out about Catholic Priests, it is shocking… All I am saying is that anyone in the Catholic Church whom hides info etc is just as bad as Homosexual
        Rapist Priest’s…
        And please, enlighten me to any other church sect that has publicity / cases of Homosexual Rapist Priest’s. Am yet to hear of any to the extent we hear of the Catholic Church..

      • Ronnie Chow

        You may be among those approving of their being charged and jailed , but these guys aren’t ;

        In 2001, sex abuse cases were first required to be reported to Rome.[9] The Dallas Morning News did a year-long investigation, after the 2002 revelation that cases of abuse were widespread in the Church.[1]
        The results made public in 2004 showed that even after the public
        outcry, priests were moved out of the countries where they had been
        accused and were still in “settings that bring them into contact with
        children, despite church claims to the contrary.”[1] Among the investigation’s findings is that nearly half of 200 cases “involved clergy who tried to elude law enforcement.”[1]

        • Rebecca

          Ronnie, selective quotation from a generic Wiki article about the US experience, does not justify what has been said here. Can I just say that nobody condones homosexual priests raping males or females and that if you continue to scroll down in the wiki article you quote, you’ll see this. My concern is different: evidence clearly shows that Catholic priests are not the primary offenders. If they were, then fair enough, they deserve to be pilloried. But they’re not. I posted some of the demonstrable facts in this matter and for my trouble i’m told that it doesn’t matter what the stats say, everybody knows the truth. I am appalled at that. The fact is that NZ seems to have more of a problem with comedians than priests, and with judges who say comedians make us laugh so should be allowed to interfere with 4-year-old girls, but you don’t see comedians systematically pilloried. Why not? It’s difficult to escape the impression that this prurient interest is because it involves Catholics. I’ve even been called a Catholic acolyte for daring to point out this elephant in the room.

  • Brian Smaller

    Whale is a born again. They hate the Catholic church with a religious zeal unmatched by any other group I have ever heard of. Even though I am now an atheist I was brought up a Catholic and went to church, Sunday school, to music lessons with the local priest and at the convent etc. The only perverts I encountered as a boy and teen were in the Scouts. But I guess they don’t have a big wedge of money to hand out.

    • Whafe

      Turn it up Brian, doesn’t really matter what Cam (Whale) is, this is a topic that is covered up constantly. You are making the asumption that these cases only come to the floor because the Catholic Church has a big wedge of money…. What a crock of shit….
      For sure there will be a number of false claims, but what about all the true claims, where by these Homosexual Rapist Priest’s are found guilty…
      Any adult whom interferes with a child should be dealt with

      • Brian Smaller

        Course it is about money. If it weren’t, then no one would be seeking anything other than apologies and convictions of rapists.

    • landly

      C’mon Gazzaw. Where are your statements about the absolute and personal right to hold a belief, and how it is utterly despicable for anyone to attack that belief…? Only there to speak out on pro-Catholic issues? C’mon. Waiting.

      • Gazzaw

        Mate, some of us have other things in their lives other than to sit around waiting for you to blather on. If you had read my post you would have noted that I am not a Christian never mind a Catholic. Doesn’t stop me holding the opinion that everyone has the unalienable right to hold their own personal beliefs even a dickhead like you.

  • Mr_Blobby

    “When will the Catholic Church learn?”
    Stupid question. They won’t.
    In the Infinite battle between the forces of good and the forces of Evil. Given that good men will not stand by whilst Evil is about. If I was an Evil entity, I would want conduct my Evil doings in secret and hide away from those who would want to stop me. A Religion that required absolute unquestioning faith would be the perfect place to hide. Who would dare question Gods representative.

    • Rodger T

      It is called faith because it is not knowledge.
      The arrant nonsense peddled by any religious organisation is about power and money,nothing more nothing less.
      If the deluded could keep their afterlife insurance to themselves it would save them a world of butthurt.

  • nasska

    This didn’t happen in NZ so the Catholics could quite justifiably say that it doesn’t count.

    Ref: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/15/father-angel-armando-perez-chasing-boy_n_1784538.html?ir=Religion