[This is an apology from a mother to her son, Robert Lipari. Robert was sexually abused by Mr. Thomas Keady, a lay teacher and previously convicted molester at St Patrick’s College, at Sutherland in Sydney, Australia. The school was operated by the Christian Brothers. Keady had spent three years in jail before he began teaching at St. Patrick’s. When Brother Anthony Whelan, the Principal at the school learned he was molesting students, Keady was quietly dismissed. Police were not notified. Keady moved on and found new victims elsewhere. In response to Robert’s attempts to have Whelan face justice the Director Public Prosecutions has said it is “not be in the public interest.”
A Mother’s Apology
My darling son, I am writing this to apologise for the horror I put you through by sending you to be educated at a Catholic High School. In 1974 you became a pupil at the Christian Brother’s College at Sutherland. My reasons for choosing a Catholic school for you were my belief that you would have a better education in the Catholic system, as I had when I received my education. This not only involved the academic side of your learning, but also the belief that you would receive a moral education, with all care for your safety and that you would be taught to live a Christian life and to learn to treat others with care and compassion as I had been to endeavouring to teach you at home.
How wrong I was !!
This choice of a Catholic education for you, and for your two brothers and sister, was not without sacrifices on our part, with one income in the family, I often struggled to pay the high fees, but put my trust in your educators to accept their duty of care for your welfare. They willingly put their hands out for the fees but failed in their side of the contract.
Only about two years ago I learnt from you what you had suffered at the hands of a Lay teacher at the school, Mr Keady, who molested you. You told me you reported the incidents to your class master, Brother Roberts, who did nothing to protect you. I believe Brother Roberts was later charged with the same offences himself, no wonder he did not want it reported. In frustration you went to the school Headmaster, Brother Whalan, who also did nothing to report this crime against you, either to me, your mother, or to the police. This made him just as guilty as the perpetrator by concealing a crime, and not protecting the children in his care. If I concealed a crime, I would be in gaol by now!
I also fail to understand why this Mr Keady was employed at the Christian Brother’s College at Sutherland, as he had previously been convicted of the same crimes in Victoria and spent three years in gaol there. Did the Brothers at Sutherland not look into the previous employment of someone they were putting into a position of teacher to the boys they were obliged to care for?
Yes, my son, I still believe in God, and I am thankful that you do also, but this has destroyed my faith in the Catholic Church, when I see the suffering you have been through, and how acts such as these have destroyed so many lives and so many families, because it is not only the child that suffers, but their whole families also, and all who know them.
Maybe these monsters will never be brought to justice in this life, but I am sure that when they meet their Maker, He will send them where they deserve! Mr Keady is now dead and suffered from Algiers and cannot destroy another child’s life, and also cannot be charged with his crime because of his condition.
I cannot understand how the Church leaders, and everyone involved in the cover up of these crimes can live with their consciences, as they are just as guilty as the perpetrators, and continue to be, as long as nothing is done to put a stop to this happening to our innocent children. Jesus said “suffer the little children to come to me” and suffer they did!
I want to tell you, my son, how proud I am of you. Proud of the man you have grown to be, despite this horrible ordeal you suffered affecting your life, your marriage, and the mental agony this has put you through. I am proud of the fact that because of your eloquence you have been able to speak up and let this horror be known so something can finally be done to stop it, as many have been unable to do. If they only knew how I, and every other mother of a victim, feels about what they have been through, they would know that they are not alone in their suffering. I believe the leaders of the Church’s attitude of burying their heads in the sand when they knew exactly what was happening, has only helped to let these crimes go on for years. Is it because they feared the damage it would do to the Church if they acted to stop it? I can tell you that they have done more damage to the Church now, and for the future, by failing to stop this horrendous crime on our innocent children. Who can put their trust in these people we are supposed to look up to for moral guidance?
I can see that because the leaders of our Church continue to fail to act, the only way is for the Government to appoint a Royal Commission to investigate this crime. This cannot be done by Church officials, as they will only continue the cover up, but by an independent Commission of investigation.
Your loving Mother,
Mother of Robert