A ‘pastoral’ approach?

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Well, it’s not looking good for Church officials over in Australia, particularly those in NSW, and it certainly looks like the latest breaking news provides some form of corroboration to whistle-blowing Chief Inspector Peter Fox’s allegations of cover-up involving Church officials and police.

Here is the latest, with two video clips which are well worth the time to watch:

03 & 04 October 2013:  “FOI reveals church attempt to conceal crimes” & VIDEOS & related articles

I post this on the heels of last evening’s posting of the following submission of “Leaders of the Catholic Church” to the Royal Commission into Institutional response to Child Sexual Abuse:

 

30 September 2013:  Leaders of the Catholic Church in Australia submission: ” Truth Justice Healing Council” (Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse:  Issues Paper No. 2 – Towards Healing)

The “Royal Commission into Institutional responses to Child Sexual Abuse.”  It sounds so very “Cornwall” does it not?  Barring inclusion of the word “sexual” – omitted from the Cornwall Public Inquiry mandate – it just sounds so very Cornwall, and with it’s broad mandate seems to moving in that direction.

Anyway, I posted the pdf document last evening – read through it both last evening and this morning, and planned today to blog a few notes regarding the content.  I have a raft of excerpts which I planned to refer to, and then wanted to encourage one and all to read as much of the 207 page tome as you can and blog your thoughts and observations, pro and con.

Then came news of the Memorandum of Understanding. . .

A few quotes from the coverage to date:

(1) Police records obtained under Freedom of Information laws have revealed that the Catholic Church was trying to strike an illegal agreement with the New South Wales Police, damaging to investigations of child sex abuse.

(2) DAVID SHOEBRIDGE, NSW GREENS MP: Well it appears that the police didn’t sign the MOU, but that’s only one very small part of it. It’s clear from these documents that the Church believed it was in force, at least until the middle of 2003, and its very clear that the police were aware of its existence for that entire period and either knew or would have been culpable in not knowing that the Church were operating under the terms of this MOU. And let’s be clear about it: the MOU said that the Church would not provide crucial documents to the police.

(3)  DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: We don’t know how many sanitised complaints were made by the police under the terms of this MOU and we don’t know the extent to which police were involved in that process for the better part of the decade. But it’s likely that hundreds, if not more than that, cases were processed through this MOU and processed in a way that didn’t protect victims, didn’t assist the police in prosecuting for crimes, but protected the good name of the Church and effectively prevented the police from getting the key evidence to prosecute any accused priest.

(4)  STEVE CANNANE: In 2004 another agreement between the police and the Church was drafted, despite previous advice from police that it would breach the Crimes Act. If signed, this agreement would have given even more protection to accused clergy.

 

DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: And in that MOU, the Church wanted to effectively give the accused priest a veto power about whether or not to provide crucial information to the police. Utterly extraordinary when you think that that’s less than a decade ago.

STEVE CANNANE: This agreement was prepared by NSW Police, but a police spokesman says it was never considered a workable document and never endorsed.

Watch the two videos.  Read the articles.  It smells to high Heaven.

And all this going on behind closed doors while victims were being encouraged to participate in Truth Justice Healing Council?

A “pastoral” approach?

I don’t know.

I don’t know who was involved in this ‘deal’ with NSW police.  Nor do I know if there were other such ‘deals’ or attempts to orchestrate such deals in other corners of Australia.

It’s food for thought, is it not?  If it happened in NSW, is it not possible that Bishops/officials in other diocese tried the same thing?

And sounds as though perhaps the police were not squeaky clean in this either?

We shall see.

It’s really too bad this didn’t come out during the special Commission of Inquiry into matters relating to the Police investigation of certain child sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.  But, at least the lid is now off this particular garbage can, and those who publicly called Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox a lying zealot may be obliged to apologize.

No matter.  Slowly but surely the truth will out.  Everywhere.

Meanwhile, watch for the circling of the wagons 🙂

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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