Sunday, May 10, 2020

Cardinal Pell and Royal Commission Report: Myself and Ryan Commission Report [3]


"Abuse Survivor" John Kelly reading Ryan Commission Report May 2009



[1] Cardinal Pell - Acquitted by High Court, Denounced by Royal Commission

As per the Wikipedia article on Cardinal George Pell, on 7 April 2020, the High Court of Australia  on a unanimous verdict of 7 to 0, quashed Cardinal Pell's convictions for the sexual abuse of two boys and determined that judgments of acquittal be entered in their place. The court found that the jury, "acting rationally on the whole of the evidence, ought to have entertained a doubt as to the applicant's guilt with respect to each of the offences for which he was convicted".The court agreed with the minority judgment in the Court of Appeal, finding that the majority might have effectively reversed the burden of proof; the majority had been so impressed with the accuser's evidence that it had gone on to ask only whether, despite the testimonies of the "opportunity witnesses", there was a "possibility" that the alleged assaults had taken place and not, as was required by the test of reasonable doubt, whether there was a reasonable "possibility" that they had not. In their judgment, the judges said with respect to all five charges that, “Making full allowance for the advantages enjoyed by the jury, there is a significant possibility ... that an innocent person has been convicted.”

However on 7 May 2020 Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse revealed its findings on Cardinal  Pell concluding that he knew of child sexual abuse by clergy by the 1970s, but did not take adequate action to address it. The Cardinal responded that the commission's views "are not supported by evidence".

There seems to be a strong resemblance between the behaviour and attitude of Australia's Royal Commission and the Irish Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse ("Ryan Commission") that produced its report in May 2009. Both appear to have accepted as true any allegation that accused parties could not prove false and largely ignored the issue of false allegations. In Ireland these included claims of child murder made against the Christian Brothers and Sisters of Mercy - many relating to periods when no child died of any cause. (Accordingly I coined the phrases "Murder of the Undead" and "Victimless Murders"). Leaders of four "Victims'" Groups made the child-killing claims, all of which have long been discredited but the Report of the Ryan Commission drew no conclusions regarding the credibility of these leaders! 

Australia seems to have avoided the Blood Libel aspect of child abuse hysteria!  However as per Andrew Bolt: 
Bear this in mind, police have tried 26 times to jail George Pell using nine different alleged victims that it advertised for to come forward, a process that is highly suspect in itself. Every single one of those cases failed. And not because the organs of the state were defending Pell, they were against him, but because those allegations turned out to be so ludicrous, so poorly investigated, so weak that every one of them crumbled in the police’s hands.

As in Ireland, the Australian Royal Commission draws no conclusions from this farrago of anti-clerical lies!

The following are two letters published in the Irish Examiner in November 2011 regarding the Ryan Commission and the omission of many clearly false stories from its final Report. (Tom Hayes was then Secretary of the Alliance Victim Support Group).

[2a] Ryan Report Did Not Deal With False Allegations

Irish Examiner Monday, November 07, 2011

I REFER to the letter from Mr Tom Hayes published on November 2 regarding the Ryan Report on child abuse, and in particular the following:

Referring to “victims having been portrayed as guilty of exaggeration”, surely Mr Justice Ryan does not include those who gave evidence to the investigative part of the Child Abuse Commission and whose well-publicised, loud and exaggerated claims (so exaggerated as not to have been suitable for inclusion in his final report) were not proven when challenged under oath?

“What are we to make of these claims and those who made them? Can all survivors claim that ‘Ryan vindicated them’?... [Authorities] must be prepared to separate childhood abuse experiences, given confidentially and recorded within Mr Justice Ryan’s report, from some of the many clearly false stories that were omitted and which were challenged in the investigative part of the report.”

In the period 1996 to 2003, leading members of four victims’ groups made allegations that the Christian Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy were responsible for the deaths of children in their care. Some of these claims relate to periods when no child died of any cause.

Accordingly I coined the phrases “murder of the undead” and “victimless murders” to describe them.

I made representations to the Ryan Commission both personally and as a member of a delegation from Let Our Voices Emerge — a group representing those falsely accused of child abuse — during an official meeting with representatives of the Commission.

We requested them to investigate those allegations.

The report of the Ryan Commission published in May 2009 makes no reference to these claims of unlawful killing. Originally I thought that the commission had ignored them completely. It now appears that the commission did investigate the allegations in private session, found no evidence to support them and took a deliberate decision to omit them from its published report. I find this reprehensible.

Allegations of child abuse, made decades after the alleged events, cannot be properly investigated. Claims of unlawful killing can be investigated and their truth or falsehood determined. This is especially true when no child actually died at the time the accusation refers to.

When the people who made those claims also allege that they were sexually abused, then we can also judge the credibility of the latter allegations.

The Ryan Report is gravely deficient by failing to include the results of the Commission’s investigation of these claims.


Rory Connor
11 Lohunda Grove
Clonsilla
Dublin 15



[2b] Ryan Report Must Be Put to Real World Test

Irish Examiner, Wednesday, November 02, 2011

IN Mr Justice Sean Ryan’s address in Cork about the ‘Protection of Children Post-Ryan Report’, he talks about "knowledge of abuse". We have such knowledge of abuse again, this time in relation to HSE childcare.

What effective action is being taken? Having been subjected to all of the failures that brought about Mr Justice Ryan’s report, many of us today cannot be confident that the State, and its many agencies working in support of children, has fully grasped its responsibilities. Children are suffering, and will continue to suffer. A third generation of children from the institutions in all of the major cities, both here and in the UK and further afield, are subject to social services monitoring.

Our voluntary efforts working for survivors and our experiences within the institutions count for nothing among the professional bodies who regard academic qualifications as more important than life experiences.

Referring to "victims having been portrayed as guilty of exaggeration," surely Mr Justice Ryan does not include those who gave evidence to the investigative part of the Child Abuse Commission and whose well-publicised, loud and exaggerated claims (so exaggerated as not to have been suitable for inclusion in his final report) were not proven when challenged under oath?

What are we to make of these claims and those who made them? Can all survivors claim that "Ryan vindicated them"?

The Ryan Report has yet to be fully understood. Government, and other professional bodies, have yet to implement its main recommendations. Social scientists, religious scholars and other professionals and learned persons must be prepared to separate childhood abuse experiences, given confidentially and recorded within Mr Justice’s Ryan Report, from some of the many clearly false stories that were omitted and which were challenged in the investigative part of the report.

There is a need to challenge the Ryan Report if we are to fully benefit from its findings.

Tom Hayes
Richhill, Co Armagh


[3] Royal Commission and Journalist/Pell Critic Paul Bongiorno

In 2015 high profile  journalist Paul Bongiorno spoke to ABC Radio National presenter Fran Kelly about the Royal Commission in an interview published in The Standard on 22 May 2015 

Bongiorno related his shock and disgust over the actions of disgraced priest Gerald Ridsdale, whom he worked alongside in Warrnambool in the diocese of Ballarat . The Channel Ten personality served as a Catholic minister in Warrnambool during the early 1970s before leaving the priesthood to pursue a career in journalism.
 

Bongiorno outlined his memories of Ridsdale, who was moved to Warrnambool by then Ballarat Catholic bishop Ronald Mulkearns in the early 1970s.

 “
I know Gerald Ridsdale, I lived in a presbytery with him in Warrnambool,” he said. “I’ve had the victims approach me to appear for them in court cases. Let me tell you this Fran, I had no idea what he (Ridsdale) was up to. And when people look at me quizzically, I say ‘let me tell you this — there are married men and women now that sleep with their husbands and wives that don’t know their husband or wife is having an affair’. Let me tell you that Ridsdale never came into the presbytery in Warrnambool and said: ‘guess how many boys I’ve raped today.’ They (paedophiles) hide it, it was certainly hidden from me and when it came out after I left the priesthood, I was shocked and I was ashamed."

The Royal Commission found that Cardinal Pell was aware of general allegations that children were being abused in the Ballarat diocese from 1973. It also found that he was told that paedophile priest Gerard Ridsdale was being moved because of his alleged sexual abuse of children at a meeting with then Bishop Ronald Mulkearns in 1982 when Pell was one of the Bishop's advisors ("consultors"). The Cardinal denied that he was told any such thing and the other then advisors told the Commission the same. Nevertheless Paul Bongiorno has no problem in accepting the damning findings of the Royal Commission!



Witness to Royal Commission Said He Told Bongiorno about Ridsdale


On 10 May Andrew Bolt commented in an article in The Herald Sun If Pell knew, why not Paul?
 No one could understand better than Paul Bongiorno this blindness and culture of silence. That’s because he, as a priest, once shared a house with this same Gerald Ridsdale. What’s more, a witness to the royal commission claimed he’d told Father Bongiorno in 1970 or 1971 that Ridsdale had offered to watch him masturbating, but he’d done nothing. To be fair, Bongiorno said this alleged conversation did not happen because he’d have remembered it......"

Bolt goes on to say: Let me be clear: I believe Bongiorno. The royal commission believed Bongiorno. The ABC believes him. The media also believes he knew nothing. But why won’t they also believe George Pell? Is it because Bongiorno is of the Left and Pell of the Right? Because Bongiorno left the church, but Pell became a symbol of it?  

Bolt gave a more detailed account of this episode in a article in The Herald Sun 4 years ago (27 May 2016) entitled Why is Bongiorno not vilified as was Pell? Why is Pell the scapegoat?

Gerard Henderson and I accept the word of both Pell and Bongiorno that they had no idea of what Ridsdale was up to. Now, what I've said so far has been reported before, including on this blog. But now Henderson has uncovered an even more incredible example of double standards - of Pell being hounded for what seems excused in Bongiorno, and, moreover, not even reported.

Henderson: It’s a matter of record that the media has not reported some statements made to the Royal Commission with respect to Paul Bongiorno while, at the same time, covering George Pell’s appearances in extraordinary detail. 


On 29 October 2015 an anonymous victim of Ridsdale – given the title “BPL” by the Royal Commission – made a statement to the Royal Commission. It reads in part: 

9. I first came into contact with RIDSDALE on three or four occasions in 1970 and 1971 in or around Warrnambool. 
10.  I was sexually abused by RIDSDALE on three or four occasions in 1970 and 1971 in or around Warrnambool. 
11. Around the time of the abuse I went on a boys’ camp just outside of Warrnambool, to a little place I think was called Crossley. I went with some other boys from my class. It was organised though the school, I think as a sort of sex-education camp. They showed us a film about the birds and the bees. 
12. Father BONGIORNO, who was a priest in the parish at the time, came on the camp. There were also a couple of Christian Brothers at the camp, but I can’t remember which ones. 
13. When we were at the camp, I talked to Father BONGIORNO. It was only a brief conversation. I told him how RIDSDALE had approached me one afternoon in the bathroom of the presbytery after I had served at a wedding service. RIDSDALE had asked me how much I ejaculated and had said that he would get a teaspoon to measure it and check if it was “normal”. 
14. I also told Father BONGIORNO that I believed that similar things had happened with my younger brother Michael, who was also an altar server. Father BONGIORNO said, “Look, it’s a real problem. Me and Father BORPHY have talked to Monsignor FISCALINI about it and he is sorting it out with the Bishop”. Father BONGIORNO said he couldn’t do anything further and told me to talk to Monsignor FISCALINI about it. 
15. Father BONGIORNO was the first person I told about the abuse. He left the priesthood shortly after that camp…. 

On 24 November 2015, Paul Bongiorno made a statement to the Royal Commission.... Paul Bongiorno stated that he lived in the Warrnambool Presbytery with four other priests – one of whom was Ridsdale... Paul Bongiorno’s statement reads in parts: 

15. I have a vivid recollection of how shocked I was when I learned that Father Ridsdale had appeared in court and what he had been charged with. I had had no idea... 
19. I have been shown a statement made by BPL identified by the number [STAT.0738.001.0001">. The BPL name is vaguely familiar to me. There were BPLs in Warrnambool, however I cannot put a face to that name. 
20. At paragraphs 11-15 of that statement, Mr BPL sets out a conversation that he alleges he had with me in 1970 or 1971. The conversation did not happen with me. I would remember it. I would have been deeply shocked by the alleged substance of that conversation… 
26. At no time during my two years at Warrnambool did Monsignor FISCALINI discuss any allegations of RIDSDALE’s sexual abuse with me, and I never raised any issues of this nature with him... 
27. At no time during my three and a half years serving as a priest in the Ballarat Diocese did anyone make any report or complaint to me about the sexual abuse of minors by any priest or brother, and I was not in any other way made aware of these matters. I had no knowledge that these things were happening in the diocese at this time in my life...

Again, Henderson accepts Bongirono's word, as do I. Maybe BPL mistook him for another priest. Maybe he misremembered completely. Who knows? But why has one young priest of that time (Pell) been disbelieved, vilified and cross examined endlessly and denied - while another young priest of that time (Bongiorno) was not even required to appear as a witness to the royal commission, and has not had these claims against him reported? Different rules for conservatives?



ANNEX: 
STATEMENT  FROM  CARDINAL GEORGE PELL 
7 May 2020

Cardinal Pell said he was surprised by some of the views of the Royal Commission about his actions. These views are not supported by the evidence.

He is especially surprised by the statements in the report about the earlier transfers of Gerald Ridsdale discussed by the Ballarat Diocesan Consultors in 1977 and 1982.

The Consultors who gave evidence on the meetings in 1977 and 1982 either said they did not learn about Ridsdale's offending against children until much later or they had no recollection of what was discussed. None said they were made aware of Ridsdale's offending at these meetings. 

The then Fr Pell left the Diocese of Ballarat and therefore his position as a consultor at the end of 1984.

As an Auxiliary Bishop in Melbourne 1987-1996, Bishop Bell met with a delegation from Doveton Parish in 1989 which did not mention sexual assaults and did not ask for Searson's removal. 

Appointed Archbishop of Melbourne on 16 August 1996, Archbishop Pell placed Fr Searson on administrative leave in March 1997 and removed him from the parish on 15 May 1997.


ENDS.

quoted in George Pell 'surprised' by royal commission finding he was told of Ridsdale abuse ABC News


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Cardinal George Pell - Acquittal and Continued Hysteria [2]

Cardinal George Pell during his interview with Andrew Bolt after Acquittal


This is a follow up to my article "Cardinal George Pell and His Accusers [1]"


[1] Andrew Bolt and Cardinal Pell

Andrew Bolt is described on Wikipedia as an Australian conservative social and political commentator and "a controversial public figure, who has frequently been criticised for his alleged abrasive demeanour and accused of inappropriate remarks on various political and social issues". 

In 2019, Bolt defended Cardinal George Pell, who had been convicted of child sexual abuse, saying that "I am not a Catholic or even a Christian. He is a scapegoat, not a child abuser." He also stated that "In my opinion, this is our own OJ Simpson case, but in reverse. A man was found guilty not on the facts but on prejudice. ... Cardinal George Pell has been falsely convicted of sexually abusing two boys in their early teens. That's my opinion, based on the evidence." He went on to say that the successful prosecutions case was "flimsy" and that the conviction was the result of a "vicious" smear that formed part of a "sinister" campaign against the cardinal, adding that Pell was being made to "pay for the sins made by his church". Bolt reiterated his support for Pell when the appeal against Pell's conviction was dismissed in Victoria's Court of Appeal. 

According to the Wikipedia article "Bolt was ultimately correct in his assessment of Pell's case; on 7 April 2020, the High Court of Australia quashed Pell's convictions and determined that verdicts of acquittal be entered in place of all previous verdicts. On 14 April 2020, Bolt exclusively interviewed Cardinal George Pell following his unanimous acquittal."

On 8 April 2020, the Herald Sun (Melbourne) published an article by Andrew Bolt: "When will this mob mentality end for George Pell?" with subheading: Many still refuse to accept the High Court’s ruling that cleared Cardinal George Pell of raping two boys in an open room in his busy cathedral, but a long list of previous allegations against Pell that painted him as evil were plainly false or incredible 

Bolt asks "How many claims against Cardinal George Pell must collapse before people realise a Salem-like group hysteria may be at work? Many still refuse to accept the High Court’s ruling on Tuesday that cleared Pell of raping two boys at once in a room in his busy cathedral. Never mind that one boy, now dead, said he wasn’t raped. Never mind that Pell couldn’t have got to the room at the only time it was empty."

He provides a list of previous allegations against Pell that were plainly false or incredible.

“A”
Police charged Pell with repeatedly raping A when the boy was at the St Joseph’s Children’s Home. A said Pell raped him during a screening of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and no one in the cinema noticed when he screamed. He claimed Pell also took him from the home and raped him at a playground, on the altar of the school’s chapel and at Mt Buninyong. Pell allegedly caused bleeding which A’s foster mother had checked out by a GP.
In fact, records show A didn’t live at the home in one of the years relating to the allegations. The film had screened in September and October the year before, and his foster mother and GP remembered no blood or suggestion of rape. And Pell was not on the staff of the home. The charges were dismissed at the committal hearing.

“B”
B claimed Pell molested him at a Ballarat pool while throwing him from his shoulders. Milligan* devoted an entire 7.30 program to them. In a committal hearing, B said “I don’t remember saying that” when asked why Milligan recorded him saying Pell had touched his genitals when drying him, and also getting him to touch Pell’s. He agreed this would be a “lie”, but he might have said it because he’d had “massive mental health issues”, being “in the middle of a complete meltdown” involving “drink, drugs”. Prosecutors dropped the case before trial.

*[Louise Milligan investigative reporter for the ABC TV Four Corners program; covered the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse. Won awards for her exclusive stories for the ABC TV 7.30 program on the allegations against George Pell and for her 2017 book "Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell". "Milligan is Irish-born and was raised a devoted Catholic" ! 

On 30 June 2017 her publisher Melbourne University Press (MUP) issued a statement: MUP is taking all reasonable measures to withdraw Cardinal: the Rise and Fall of George Pell by Louise Milligan from sale in Victoria now that Cardinal Pell has been chargedThe book had only been launched on 17 May 2017 by Martin Foley MP Minister for Housing in the Victorian Legislative Assembly who  "gave a passionate, heartfelt speech about the culture of the Catholic Church and the stories of human suffering and endurance in the book."  ]

“C”
C saw Milligan’s report on B and then said Pell also molested him at the pool. But when asked in court to explain what happened, C offered answers such as “whatever you think works” or “no comment”. The magistrate called C an “unsatisfactory witness” and dismissed the case.

“D”
A witness told the royal commission on child sex abuse he’d warned Pell in Ballarat of an abusive priest. Pell’s passport showed he was actually living and studying in Europe.

DAVID RIDSDALE
David Ridsdale, later revealed as a past child abuser himself, claimed Pell had tried to bribe him to stop him telling police he’d been abused by his uncle, notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale.
But counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse said it was “not likely” Pell would have thought it necessary to bribe Ridsdale to shut up since Ridsdale had already said he wanted a private process. Besides, Pell knew Ridsdale had already spoken to police.

“E”
One man claimed he’d been an altar boy at a funeral mass in Ballarat and overheard Pell joke about Gerald Ridsdale to a fellow priest: “Haha, I think Gerry’s been r..ting boys again.
Counsel assisting the royal commission agreed there’d actually been no such Mass then, and the second priest, who denied all this happened, had been living in Horsham at the time.

“F”
F claimed Pell abused him while regularly supervising showers at Ballarat’s Nazareth House, where Pell also took religious services.
But Pell’s defence team told a committal hearing Pell was a chaplain at another home. The current regional superior of the Sisters of Nazareth says Pell had never been to that home at the time.

[2] New George Pell Child Abuse Allegations  'Stink to High Heaven' 

 Just before his interview with the Cardinal on 14 April  Sky News host Andrew Bolt said fresh allegations of sexual abuse levelled against Cardinal George Pell “stink to high heaven” as he called for an inquiry into Victoria Police. Victoria Police has launched a new investigation into child abuse allegations against Cardinal Pell dating back to the 1970s. Mr Bolt said police had tried to jail Cardinal Pell dozens of times in the past and failed because the allegations were “ludicrous” and “poorly investigated”. “Bear this in mind, police have tried 26 times to jail George Pell using nine different alleged victims that it advertised for to come forward, a process that is highly suspect in itself,” he said. “Every single one of those cases failed. “And not because the organs of the state were defending Pell, they were against him, but because those allegations turned out to be so ludicrous, so poorly investigated, so weak that every one of them crumbled in the police’s hands.” 

Mr Bolt said revelations of the fresh allegations were a “
leak” from a police force under scrutiny for its failings. “This stinks to high heaven – there has to be an inquiry into Victoria police,” he said. “This was one of the most incredible witch hunts we’ve ever seen. “This is one of the great disgraces, great misjustices in our history and a moment of shame for many journalists who joined the pack, ignored the evidence, let their prejudice dictate their fidelity to the truth and were found wanting.” 

During the interview Cardinal Pell said. 'I believe in free speech. I acknowledge the right of those who differ from me to just state their views. But in a national broadcaster, to have an overwhelming presentation of one view and only one view, that's a betrayal of the national interest.

[3] George Pell: Fairness Trampled by Media Mob

The article by Gerald Henderson in the Weekend Australian (11 April 2020) is actually entitled Fairness Trampled by Social Media Mob However the term "social media"does not adequately describe the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and numerous main-stream journalists [AND famous Australian author (of Schindler's List) Thomas Keneally ]

Henderson writes:
The fact is that no defendant in modern Australia has been subjected to such a media pile-on as Pell. The attack included journalists, commentators and entertainers who were, in fact, Pell antagonists. The list includes (in alphabetical order) Richard Ackland, Paul Bongiorno, Barrie Cassidy, Richard Carleton, Peter FitzSimons, Ray Hadley, Derryn Hinch, David Marr, Louise Milligan, Tim Minchin, Lucie Morris-Marr, Jack Waterford and more besides.

The ABC led the campaign in programs such as 7.30, Four Corners, Lateline (as it then was), Q&A, News Breakfast and Radio National Breakfast.

There was also Nine’s 60 Minutes, Ten’s The Project, and Nine Entertainment newspapers The Age, and The Sydney Morning Herald, plus Guardian Australia, The New Daily and The Saturday Paper. Some of the papers occasionally contained articles by disinterested commentators.

There have been other media campaigns in contentious criminal cases, most notably in the case of Colin Campbell Ross, who was hanged in Melbourne Gaol in 1922 after he was found guilty of the rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl. He was pardoned posthumously in 2008. Then there is the trial and conviction in 1982 of Lindy Chamberlain for the murder of her baby daughter. Her conviction was quashed in 1988.

And then there’s the Pell case. The crusade against Australia’s most senior Catholic was accentuated by the fact his trial took place when media reportage and commentary had been amplified by social media. Jurors are no longer locked up during trials and they are allowed to retain their phones. No court can guarantee jurors will not follow a case online...

In view of this, there is a responsibility on the media to behave professionally while providing information to the public.

This did not happen with respect to Pell. In fact, Melbourne University Press brought forward the planned publication of ABC journalist Milligan’s book Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of ­George Pell to before his trial first began in June 2017Milligan led the “Get Pell” cause when, in July 2016, 7.30 devoted an entire program to the issue. Today, the ABC is standing by Milligan and Milligan is standing by her book.

This despite the fact it essentially accuses Pell of two sets of offences that have never been established.

The first, concerning crimes that allegedly took place in Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996, was the subject of the High Court’s decision to free Pell on Tuesday. The court found that “there is a significant possibility … that an innocent person has been convicted”.

Milligan’s second essential claim, that Pell assaulted two boys in Ballarat’s Eureka Swimming Pool in the early 1970s, was withdrawn by the Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions. Yet Milligan’s book is essentially a case for the prosecution which, in the final analysis, failed.

The lesson seems to be: once a Pell antagonist, always a Pell ­antagonist. Some ABC operatives who attacked Pell before and after his trial appear determined not to change their minds after the High Court decision. On Tuesday, ABC One Plus One presenter Cassidy tweeted about Pell that “the High Court has found there was not enough evidence to convict; it did not find him innocent”.

In fact, ­appellant courts do not find individuals innocent. An acquittal is as far as the High Court goes in such cases......

Then there is the wider problem of media-inspired collective guilt. In his foreword to Cardinal, author Tom Keneally focused on Pell’s (alleged) responsibility for “the victims of churchmen

Now, none of Pell’s supporters deny the crimes of some priests and brothers, especially since Pell was one of the first church leaders to take action against clerical child sexual abuse. The point is that Pell was not charged with the crimes of churchmen. He was charged with respect to two specific matters — and was acquitted by the highest court in the land.

The reality of the media pile-on and the concept of collective guilt threatens the criminal justice system, especially in Victoria where there is no right to trial by judge alone.

[4] Pell Conviction a Blow to Conservatives, says Thomas Keneally [of Schindler's List fame]

In March 2019, the UK  Anglican "Church Times" published an article regarding Australian author (and former seminarian) Tom Keneally's attitude to the conviction of Cardinal Pell, the previous December . The title is highly significant "Pell conviction a blow to conservatives, says Keneally"

The Roman Catholic Church in Australia will have to change in the wake of Cardinal George Pell’s conviction for child sexual abuse Thomas Keneally said. He questioned, however, whether its bishops are capable of initiating the change. Mr Keneally expressed doubt whether the Church was capable of empowering the “good men”, whom he defined as priests who were close to the people and who knew what to do.

The Church can’t get by on the letter of the law any more — the idea that the Church is a fortress to be defended by warriors who have, at best, enabled [abuse], and, at worst, themselves abused children,” he said. The bishops “have to free up the good men, or else, because we can’t be peasants any more, bowing down to bishops”.

[Mr Keneally’s 2016 novel Crimes of the Father dealt with clerical abuse, its effects, and its subsequent cover-up and the Church Times article referred to their Interview with him on 16 June 2017 and their review of the book 23 June 2017].
He described Cardinal Pell as an arrogant and narcissistic warrior who had not evinced any sympathy for survivors of clergy sexual abuse, and spoke of being “
profoundly shocked” by the Cardinal’s conviction on five counts of abusing two choirboys in the 1990s while holding office as Archbishop of Melbourne. 

Interestingly the article also quotes the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Revd Anthony Fisher who urged the faithful not to be too quick to judge Cardinal Pell. “If we are too quick to judge, we can end up joining the demonisers or the apologists, those baying for blood or those in denial,” he said.

Mr Keneally remarks: “None of us knows enough to know whether he is actually guilty or innocent — but he did have the best trial that money could buy.” Mr Keneally was “amused” that “neo-conservatives are speaking as if this court decision is only temporary, and that the appeal will be the real trial.” These conservative commentators, “people who see mortal sins everywhere”, are “unwilling to move on what is a huge crime both in legal and theological terms”, he said.

If Cardinal Pell’s conviction is a blow for the conservative wing of the RC Church, it is also a blow for political and cultural conservatives in Australia, Mr Keneally said. “He has been a leading figure for the commentariat in the Murdoch press, at a time when neo-conservatism is going out of fashion in Australia, thank goodness.
He “
stood against gays, stem-cell research, the ordination of women, and divorcees”, and raised only a “muted” response to the Australian Government’s “heinous” asylum-seeker policies, besides supporting climate-change denial, Mr Keneally said.

Among the evidence presented to the court during the pre-sentence hearing were character references from two former Australian Liberal Party Prime Ministers, John Howard and Tony Abbott, both conservatives. In his reference, Mr Howard said that Cardinal Pell had “frequently displayed much courage, and held to his values and beliefs, irrespective of the prevailing wisdom of the time”. In his view, the Cardinal had “dedicated his life to his nation and his Church”. This reference, which has attracted much public criticism, showed that the Cardinal was seen by conservative forces as a national political figure, Mr Keneally said.

MY Comment: 
I note from the Church Times book review of "Crimes of the Father" that Thomas Keneally is  "of Irish-Australian Roman Catholic stock" and allegedly "is still a hard-hitting opponent of powerful systems, this time the Roman Catholic Church". Like Louise Milligan then! Both are  "opponents of powerful systems" in much the same way that critics of German Jews were, during the Weimar Republic!

Or alternatively this is Victor Serge in "Memoirs of a Revolutionary" describing his failed attempt to get the League for the Rights of Man to condemn Stalin's Show Trials in the 1930s:

And in every country of the civilized world, learned and “progressive” jurists were to be found who thought these proceedings to be correct and convincing.  It was turning into a tragic lapse of the whole modern conscience.  In France the League for the Rights of Man, with a reputation going back to Dreyfus, had a jurist of this variety in its midst.  The League’s executive was divided into a majority that opposed any investigation, and an outraged minority that eventually resigned.  The argument generally put forward amounted to:  “Russia is our ally…”  It was imbecilic reasoning – there is more than a hint of suicide about an international alliance that turns into moral and political servility – but it worked powerfully.


[5] Conclusion and Similarities with Ireland (& Dreyfus!)

In my previous article "Cardinal George Pell and His Accusers" I noted similarities between the witch-hunt against Cardinal Pell and the case of former Irish Sister of Mercy Nora Wall (and her co-accused Pablo McCabe) in Ireland. 

Nora Wall was accused of child rape in 1996 shortly after Irish State broadcast company RTE transmitted the bogus "documentary" Dear Daughter  containing the allegations of Christine Buckley against the Sisters. [UK cultural historian Richard Webster wrote about it here ]. Nora was convicted in 1999 shortly after RTE broadcast an equally bogus three-part documentary series produced by Mary Raftery that attacked Irish religious orders in general. [My 2005 correspondence with Irish Times editor Geraldine Kennedy regarding Mary Raftery is here ]. 

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) played a similar role in the witch-hunt against Cardinal Pell. Louise Milligan and Thomas Keneally could be regarded as the Australian equivalents of Christine Buckley and Mary Raftery! 

In December 2018 Cardinal Pell was convicted of sexually abusing two boys, one of whom had died in 2014, had never made a complaint of abuse and had specifically told his mother that the Cardinal had not abused him. Cardinal Pell was convicted on the word of the other boy who said both were abused together in St Patrick's Cathedral Melbourne in 1996. This ludicrous verdict mirrored that against Nora Wall and Pablo McCabe who faced two separate rape allegations at their 1999 trial. In relation to the first charge, the Defense were able to prove that McCabe could not have been there on the date in question - the 12th birthday of the accuser on 8 January 1990. Nothing deterred, the jury found the two accused Not Guilty on that count but Guilty on the second rape charge for which neither day nor year was specified (thus making an alibi impossible).

In both Ireland and Australia, politicians took the side of the false accusers - BUT the behaviour of the Australians was somewhat less vile than their Irish counterparts. As per a Daily Mail article on 7 April titled 'I believe you': Premier Dan Andrews issues a cutting statement after George Pell is acquitted of sexually assaulting two choirboys 
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has issued a cutting statement after the High Court quashed Cardinal George Pell's conviction for sexually abusing two choirboys. ... Mr Andrews released his statement a short time later, it read: 'I make no comment about today's High Court decision. But I have a message for every single victim and survivor of child sex abuse: 'I see you. I hear you. I believe you.'   [ But last year:
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said Cardinal George Pell had received a fair trial and questioned media commentators who said the jury had made an error in its decision. “The notion that if you don’t like a verdict, you can just say they got it wrong, that’s not how ours system works,” the Premier said. “What’s happened here … is that a victim has been believed. And that’s thrown a whole lot of people into absolute disarray,” he told ABC Melbourne’s Jon Faine.]

In Ireland the man who is currently Minister for Justice and Equality used Parliamentary Privilege in 2009 to again denounce Nora Wall - specifically by repeating a libel for which she had received an apology and damages from the Sunday World in 2002. She had also received a Certificate of Miscarriage of Justice from the Court of Criminal Appeal in December 2005 - but Charlie Flanagan knew he could not be sued for what he said in the Dail (Irish Parliament). I have written about Charlie Flanagan here. (He became Minister for Justice in June 2017. I don't think anyone actually believed his lies about Nora Wall but - as in Australia - Irish political culture is infinitely forgiving of politicians who libel the Catholic Church!)


The Dreyfus Affair

In section 4, I mentioned Victor Serge and his reference to the "Dreyfus Affair" - a famous late 19th century political and anti-Semitic scandal in France. I'm pleased to see that George Weigel makes a similar comparison in relation to Cardinal Pell (article "Justice, finally" in Catholic World Report:

As I have written before, the vicious public atmosphere surrounding Cardinal Pell, especially in his native State of Victoria, was analogous to the poisonous atmosphere that surrounded the Dreyfus Affair in late-nineteenth century France. In 1894, raw politics and ancient score-settling, corrupt officials, a rabid media, and gross religious prejudice combined to cashier an innocent French army officer of Jewish heritage, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, for treason, after which he was condemned to the hell of Devil’s Island.
The Melbourne Assessment Prison and Her Majesty’s Prison Barwon, the two facilities in which George Pell has been incarcerated, are not Devil’s Island, to be sure. But many of the same factors that led to the false conviction of Alfred Dreyfus were at play in the putrid public atmosphere of the State of Victoria during the past four years of the Pell witchhunt. The Victoria police, already under scrutiny for incompetence and corruption, conducted a fishing expedition that sought “evidence” for crimes that no one had previously alleged to have been committed; and by some accounts, the police saw the persecution of George Pell as a useful way to deflect attention from their own (to put it gently) problems.
With a few honorable exceptions, the local and national press bayed for Cardinal Pell’s blood. Someone paid for the professionally printed anti-Pell placards carried by the mob that surrounded the courthouse where the trials were conducted. And the Australian Broadcasting Corporation—a taxpayer-funded public institution—engaged in the crudest anti-Catholic propaganda and broadcast a stream of defamations of Cardinal Pell’s character (most recently in a series coinciding with the deliberations of the High Court).
And finally I'm going to repeat what Victor Serge wrote in "Memoirs of a Revolutionary" describing his failed attempt to get the League for the Rights of Man to condemn Stalin's Show Trials:

And in every country of the civilized world, learned and “progressive” jurists were to be found who thought these proceedings to be correct and convincing.  It was turning into a tragic lapse of the whole modern conscience.  In France the League for the Rights of Man, with a reputation going back to Dreyfus, had a jurist of this variety in its midst.  The League’s executive was divided into a majority that opposed any investigation, and an outraged minority that eventually resigned.  The argument generally put forward amounted to:  “Russia is our ally…”  It was imbecilic reasoning – there is more than a hint of suicide about an international alliance that turns into moral and political servility – but it worked powerfully.












Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Berlin To Compensate Victims of Paedophile Foster Scheme


Berlin To Compensate Victims of Paedophile Foster Scheme

The Times, Wednesday March 4, 2020 by Oliver Moody, Berlin

[ This is not a unique aberration. In the 1960s, 70s and indeed much later there were many "experiments" of this type by people so enamored of "liberation" and so devoured by hatred of "reactionaries" that they threw all caution to the winds. The liberal Establishment today are their lineal descendants and not very keen to expose the misdeeds of their own kind. I note without surprise that
 "Four years ago the Berlin Senate commissioned an inquiry into the scandal from experts at Göttingen University. Their final report has yet to be published."]



The social scientist Helmut Kentler argued that paedophilia could have “positive consequences”
Two victims of a bizarre social experiment in which Berlin’s city hall deliberately placed troubled children in the care of paedophiles are on the brink of winning compensation.

From 1969 to 2003 the authorities put at least nine boys in the hands of convicted sex offenders on the advice of a disgraced social scientist. The idea behind the Kentler experiment — named after Helmut Kentler, an academic who argued that paedophilia could have “positive consequences” — was that unruly and “feeble-minded” children would benefit from adult sexual attention. 

In the late 1960s Kentler persuaded West Berlin’s ruling Senate that the homeless boys would jump at the opportunity to be fostered by paedophiles and would be “head over heels in love” with their new father figures.

One of the boys, referred to in legal proceedings as Marco, had been taken into care after suffering physical abuse at the hands of his father. In 1989, aged six, he was placed with a convicted child abuser. A year later this foster father, Fritz H, began going into Marco’s room for a “cuddle”. Marco has claimed in an interview with Der Spiegel, a weekly news magazine, that for ten years he was repeatedly beaten and raped by Fritz H, until he reached the threshold of adulthood and fought back.

Another of Fritz H’s victims, given the cover name Sven, was abandoned by his parents at the age of seven and contracted hepatitis B on the streets of Berlin. In 1990 he was entrusted to the paedophile and suffered repeated sexual assaults.

Fritz H is alleged to have recorded the abuses on a video camera and kept the boys isolated from the outside world in his flat. From 1974 Fritz H, who has since died, fostered four other boys. One of them, who is referred to as Sascha, lived in the flat at the same time as Sven and Marco. Sascha was allegedly neglected and denied medical care, leading to his death in 2003 from pneumonia.

It is not known how many children were subjected to the Kentler experiment. Four years ago the Berlin Senate commissioned an inquiry into the scandal from experts at Göttingen University. Their final report has yet to be published. At the beginning of the experiment, Kentler, who died in 2008, was regarded as one of Germany’s foremost sexologists and often appeared as an expert witness in court cases. He boasted of having secured the acquittal of several alleged paedophiles.

In 1970 he urged the Bundestag to decriminalise sex between adults and children in West Germany, arguing that teenagers were “almost always more seriously damaged” by the prosecution of their abusers than by the abuse itself. Nine years later he published a book in which it was claimed that numerous scientific studies had produced no evidence of paedophilia’s negative effects.

Marco and Sven were so badly scarred by their ordeal that they have been unable to work. In 2016 they brought a formal complaint to the city authorities.The Senate has now agreed in principle to pay them compensation as part of an out-of-court settlement, according to Der Tagesspiegel, a daily newspaper, but there is a dispute over the extent of the damages.

One of the victims’ lawyers is said to have pressed for a lump sum of €100,000 and a monthly pension of €2,500, backdated to the end of the fostering arrangement in 2001. The city of Berlin has said that it is working on a “solution that would satisfy the interests of those affected”.


And this is a German report from 2016 when the Inquiry by the Berlin Senate commenced


Child Abuse Head of German 'Pedophilia Project' Believed Sex Was Beneficial for Street Kids

 16.12.2016  Sputnik Germany

The scandal surrounding the Berlin Senate's project, in which homeless teens were deliberately sent to pedophile men who were employed as their foster fathers and took care of them, is gaining more and more attention across Germany.

A study by the Institute for Democratic Research at the University of Göttingen is supposed to reveal further details about the scandal.In this regard, Sputnik Germany discussed the issue with the head member of the investigation team, Teresa Nentwig, who revealed shocking details about the project.
"Men who had been convicted of sexual contact with minors were appointed by the Berlin leadership as guardians. Children and young people, who lived on the street before that, had to "pay" for a warm bed, good food and clean clothes, engaging in sexual relationships with their caregivers," Nentwig said.
The initiator of this project was Helmut Kentler, psychologist and professor at the University of Hannover. His idea was that the sexual intercourse should have had a positive impact on the personal development of the neglected boys.

The project was aimed at the so-called "children of the Zoo station," involved in drug trafficking and prostitution. At that time, Nentwig said, the Berlin authorities were helpless and didn't know how they should behave toward these young people, and so were ready to carry out even such "experiments".

Such willingness can be "partly explained by the historical context," Nentvig stated.
"There are many things that must be considered as a complex issue. The 1960s were a time of sexual liberalization and educational breakthrough […]. There was also a striving for a full legalization of sexual relations between adolescents and adults, and Helmut Kentler was one of those who promoted this initiative in a special committee of the Bundestag," the expert said.
In 2013, the Senate started investigations into this experiment. However, according to Nentwig, a full-scale investigation proved to be impossible because not all relevant documents could be declassified.
"The fact is that access to them can be granted only after a certain period of time. There have been initiatives to reduce this period: some of the applications were approved, but others were rejected for reasons connected with the protection of personal information," the expert said.
Communication with the victims has also proven problematic. According to Nentwig, they do not want to describe their experiences and recall their terrible past.

However, the expert believes that it is necessary to continue the investigation and, in particular, examine the case of the Odenwald School, a boarding school where the Berlin Senate sent underage boys, many of whom are assumed to have later become subject to sexual abuse.




Thursday, February 20, 2020

The Decadence of the Sisters of Mercy

 

Catherine McAuley - founded Sisters of Mercy 1831


AND Sister Helena O'Donoghue (Alpha and Omega)

"Hitler's Table TalkChristianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure. (Adolf Hitler, 10 October 1941) 

And in fact Hitler had a point. Christian Churches have often been accused of being tools of the ruling class, "The Conservative Party at prayer" in the UK, preaching "Pie in the Sky when you die" to fool the lower classes and keep them in their place. Unfortunately there is a more dangerous and repulsive heresy i.e. The Culture of Victimhood which does indeed have roots in the Gospel.
 "Christianity, according to Nietzsche, exalted the weakling, the underling, the mediocre man, over against this magnificent man. It caused the slave to resent his superior, to envy him, and to wish to overthrow him with his own inferiority. Christianity exalted the sniveling victim, and gave honor to criminals, prostitutes, beggars, and worthless throw-aways ..."  

I take the above to be a perversion of Christianity but it appears to be the ideology practiced by the leaders of the Sisters of Mercy today when they endorse false allegations of child rape and murder against their own innocent colleagues! They appear to believe that even when accusers tell transparent lies (up to and including Blood Libel), those unfortunate "victims"  must have suffered at the hands of the Patriarchal Church to make them behave in such a way. Blaming the "Patriarchy" or "Clericalism" is a bit like like blaming Nietzsche's "magnificent man".  It's true our male clergy and bishops repudiated Nietzsche and his Ubermensch. However they did see themselves as a type of spiritual aristocracy  and Nietzsche would appreciate how their authority has been undermined by victim-mongering mediocre nuns!

Rory Connor
20 February 2020

The Reasons for "The Apologies of the Sisters of Mercy"

This is a follow-up to my article "The Apologies of the Sisters of Mercy". Before I wrote the former article I attempted to contact the Sisters of Mercy in Ireland (where they currently lead The Association of Missionaries and Religious - AMRI) and then in the USA.  I didn't want people hostile to the Catholic Church to take comfort from what I proposed to write. Of course I was unsuccessful in contacting the Sisters but the problem with giving aid and comfort to anti-clerics doesn't  arise for a curious reason. The Irish journalists and broadcasters who published obscene lies about Sister Xavieria and Nora Wall (formerly Sister Dominic) have no wish to revisit their long since discredited libels. They cannot denounce the Sisters' betrayal of innocent nuns without calling attention to their own vicious behaviour! 

(A) The Death of Baby Marian Howe in 1955

In 1996 the producer and director, Louis Lentin, made a television documentary about abuse in children’s homes which was shown by RTE, the main public service broadcasting station in Ireland. It focused on the brutal regime which was said to have been operating during the 1950s at the Sisters of Mercy industrial school at Goldenbridge, Dublin. The documentary told the supposed life story of Christine Buckley and featured her allegations against one Mercy nun in particular, Sister Xavieria Lally. Her claims were transparently false. On one occasion, she said she had been caned by Sister Xavieria so severely that the entire side of her leg was split open from her hip to her knee. She says she was treated in the casualty department of the local hospital and believes that she received 80 to 120 stitches. "No medical evidence has ever been produced to substantiate this bizarre claim" (Richard Webster in "States of Fear, the Redress Board and Ireland’s Folly" )

 After the broadcast of ‘Dear Daughter’, the Sisters of Mercy issued their first public apology, in February 1996. This stated:

In the light of recent revelations regarding the mistreatment of children in our institutions
we the Mercy Sisters wish to take this opportunity to sincerely and unreservedly express
our deep regret to those men and women who at any time or place in our care were hurt
or harshly treated. The fact that most complaints relate to many years ago is not offered as
an excuse. As a Congregation we fully acknowledge our failures and ask for forgiveness.

Aware of the painful and lasting effect of such experiences we would like to hear from
those who have suffered and we are putting in place an independent and confidential help
line. This help line will be staffed by competent and professional counsellors who will
listen sympathetically and who will be in the position to offer further help if required. In
this way we would hope to redress the pain insofar as that is possible so that those who
have suffered might experience some peace, healing and dignity.

Life in Ireland in the 40s and 50s was in general harsh for many people. This was reflected
in orphanages, which were under funded, under staffed and under resourced. It was in
this climate that many Sisters gave years of generous service to the education and care
of children. However, we made mistakes and irrespective of the passage of time as a
Congregation we now openly acknowledge our failures and ask for forgiveness.

Regretfully we cannot change the past. As we continue our work of caring and education
today we will constantly review and monitor our procedures, our personnel and our
facilities. Working in close cooperation with other voluntary and statutory agencies we are
committed to doing all in our power to ensure that people in our care have a protective
and supportive environment.

We were founded to alleviate pain, want and misery. We have tried to do this through our
work in health care, education, child care, social and pastoral work. Despite our evident
failures which we deeply regret we are committed to continuing that work in partnership
with many others in the years ahead.

Richard Webster commented "In the wake of the broadcast, atrocity stories about Goldenbridge and other industrial schools began to proliferate." It would have been more correct if he had written "In the wake of the Apology by the leaders of the Sisters of Mercy that failed to refer to the obvious falsehoods in the documentary or to defend their own innocent colleagues". 

The main atrocity story to emerge was that Sister Xavieria had been responsible for the death of an infant child Marian Howe in 1955. When it became evident that the Sisters were not prepared to defend Xavieria against THAT lie, the accusation quickly escalated to one of deliberate murder!

HOWEVER in the beginning some journalists and broadcasters who recognised the absurdity of the claims, were prepared to say so:


One of the more chilling allegations to surface was that an 11-month-old baby died four days after she was put into Goldenbridge. When the infant's father, Myles Howe. returned from England and went to St Ultan's hospital, he was told by a nurse that his baby had burns on her knees but the staff had got her too late to save her. The postmortem said the child died of dysentery.

The Howes have never been satisfied by the official response.

[Doctor] Prendiville [1] recalls that St Ultan's was established largely for dealing with bowel complaints such as dysentery or gastroenteritis, a common illness among children which at that time could reach epidemic proportions in Dublin. He speculated that Marian Howe was more than likely admitted to St Ultan's with a bowel complaint. "I wouldn't say that burns of that size on a child's legs would have been the cause of death. They didn't treat burns in St Ultan's. If the baby died from a burn, there would have to be an inquest. But failure to communicate information is a defect in many hospitals," he said.

But if the burns were not the cause of Marian's death, asks Howe, why was he told by Xavieria that it was an "accident" and not dysentery that killed his child? Why, on his arrival at St Ultan's to see his dead child, did a nurse indicate to him that his daughter had died of burns? And why could nobody explain to him the large burn marks on the sides of her knees?

The outrage that followed the Prime Time programme [2] was directed as much at Xavieria's denials of abuse as at an apparently "soft" line of questioning. The allegation that a baby in her charge died of burns was not put to her on the programme. The reason was that after researching the allegation, the Prime Time team could find no evidence to support it. according to an RTE source. [my emphasis] The reporter did ask Xavieria about the incident, he said, but her response was edited out of the programme.

Both Buckley and Dear Daughter producer Louis Lentin, regard the Prime Time report as an effort by RTE to undermine the documentary. "Sister Xavieria is perfectly entitled to any right of reply, but this programme bent over backwards to be reverential," said Lentin. "The facts were not put to her in a strong, investigative manner."

References:
[1] Doctor J. B. Prendiville was a senior surgeon who worked at the hospital where children from Goldenbridge  were treated during the 1950s.

[2]  A Prime Time special broadcast by RTE in April 1996 highlighted some discrepancies in the tale of horror

When the Sisters paid £20,000 and made a "qualified apology" to the Howe family who accused them of being responsible for the death of baby Howe, 42 years before, it was a game changer - and the media responded accordingly.


Irish Times, Saturday, 11 October, 1997 

The fate of baby Marion Howe in Goldenbridge orphanage 42 years ago will have disturbed many people in the past two days. Some of these people are members of the Sisters of Mercy order. They will wonder what happened to transform a healthy, 11 month-old baby, within a few days of her arrival at Goldenbridge, to a child dying of dysentery and with an unexplained burn on her leg.

It would appear that this week's settlement by the Mercy order has done nothing to reduce the pain of the Howe family - at least in the short term. In the settlement, the order agreed to pay £20,000 to the family but without admission of liability. The order also issued a qualified apology in which it said it was sorry "if there was any lack of courtesy and compassion at that time."

It is hardly surprising that this statement has brought little relief to the Howes or to others who suffered in Goldenbridge and elsewhere. Indeed, it is quite breathtaking that what happened to baby Howe could be equated with a "lack of courtesy and compassion." It is breathtaking that the acts of cruelty and bullying recounted by many former inmates of Sisters of Mercy orphanages, here and abroad, could be explained away by a phrase - which has about it the ring of the public relations agency.

But what really hurts those who suffered at the hands of some of the Mercy nuns is the inclusion in the statement of the word `if'. Is the order saying that it does not believe what the Howes have told them? Is it saying that it does not believe the Irish women who told their stories in Louis Lentin's Dear Daughter documentary last year? Is it saying that it does not believe the men and women in Australia who have recounted similar experiences at the hands of members of the order there?

Why then has the order issued qualified apologies? Why has it paid compensation to the Howes, albeit a relatively meagre sum? Is there not a tacit admission here that what these people say happened did happen? Or are we to believe that the Sisters of Mercy have taken to paying compensation and issuing apologies for things that didn't happen at all?  [My emphasis] .............

An escalation of the allegation to one of child murder was a natural follow up to the decadent behaviour of the leaders of the Sisters of Mercy. The allegation that Sister Xavieria had used a hot poker to burn holes in the baby's two legs was highly libelous but Mirror editors correctly believed that Mercy leaders would do nothing and would allow their colleague's reputation to be trashed. 

The headline 
appeared in the tabloid newspaper The Mirror on 11 October 1997 under the byline of Neil Leslie.

The article began:

The elderly mother of tragic Goldenbridge baby Marion Howe claims her daughter's death at the hands of nuns was "nothing short of murder". Distraught Christina Howe has revealed for the first time that she believes her 11-month-old toddler was assaulted with a hot poker.

She was speaking after receiving a pounds 20,000 payout from the Sisters of Mercy and an apology over the death of baby Marion. But she said the payout was no substitute for an explanation of her child's mystery death. It is 42 years since Marion died but pensioner Mrs Howe sobbed: "I just can't forgive them."

Speaking at her home in Dublin last night, she said: "What they did was murder, that's my view of it anyhow. I am still very angry and I still don't know the truth. That was all I wanted to know, the truth. Money didn't matter. But now we will never know because there are no witnesses. It's an awful burden. I will never get over it."

She revealed that the nuns had initially offered pounds 7,500 for her and her husband Myles to drop court action against them. "They offered us that money a few months ago. It was an insult really. But we didn't want the money, we just wanted to know what happened to our lovely little girl. She was such a beautiful baby. I had 16 children and 10 are alive and I just look at them now and wonder which one would she have been like. It's heartbreaking. We will try to put it behind us now. My husband is still too upset to speak to anyone about it."

Christina wept again as she recalled why her little girl was taken from her all those years ago. She said: "I was sick. She was only supposed to be there for two weeks but she was dead in four days. Some of my older daughters remember. Mary, who was around four or five, recalls her being taken away in the pram and saying 'Day Day'. Little did we know it would be the last 'Day Day' we ever saw her alive.

"We are still angry. The nuns never even told me what happened at the time. They rang my husband who was in England and told him not to bother coming home, that they would look after everything. They wondered why we were so upset and told us: 'It's only a baby'. But our little girl was lucky because she had parents. What about all the little ones that didn't. How many more have been buried like that?"

Christina believes horrendous burns to her baby's legs were caused with a hot poker. "I always said it was a poker because of the shape of the holes. She was only 11 months old. It's really awful what they did. Marion had burns on both her legs, not just one which was reported. You could place your fingers right through the hole in her little leg. How could anybody do that to an 11-month-old baby. It is frightening to think such things could have happened to a little infant. And these people had the cheek to say they would bury our baby. They were covering up. Do they think we are fools?"

Mrs Howe and her husband visited the orphanage near Dublin three weeks after Marion was buried in an attempt to find out what happened. She recalled: "The nun who answered the door shut it in our face. We were devastated. There was no any investigation, yet we told the Guards. We were left thinking, year after year, day after day, what ever happened to our little Marion. We never got the truth. No money will ever replace her. When my husband reported it to the police they should have looked into it. Think what we could have done to save other orphans from torture?"

The court victory has opened the door for a flood of similar settlements against the Sisters of Mercy who ran a cruel regime in Goldenbridge 40 years ago. The scandal was uncovered after orphan Christine Buckley exposed the brutal life in her television documentary Dear Daughter last year. Christine told of the reign of terror in which kids were beaten, placed in tumble dryers and forced to sit on potties for hours. Christina Howe saw the moving film and was horrified."It was then we realised that if all this had happened to this woman, what had happened to our little girl," she said.

Christine Buckley last night offered her sympathy to the Howes. She said: "It must have been like burying their baby again. If they had got a million pounds it would have been nothing because they did not get an honest explanation as to what happened."

She said it was time for an independent public inquiry. "The state has let us down badly. Had one of us been the daughter of a VIP this would never have gone so far. The Howes have waited 42 years for the truth. Someone knows the answer to their question."


"Christina Howe saw the moving film [Dear Daughter] and was horrified."It was then we realised that if all this had happened to this woman, what had happened to our little girl," she said." 
So the Sisters paid her €20,000 and she promptly accused them of deliberately murdering her baby - AND she was supported by Christine Buckley the star of "Dear Daughter".  It should have been a moment of revelation for the Sisters but not at all!


 Dail Eireann – Volume 481 – 21 October, 1997

Mr. Neville [Dan Neville, Fine Gael TD for Limerick West]
Mr. Neville asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will have investigations made into the alleged abuse of a child at Goldenbridge Orphanage which may have resulted in her death.

 Minister of State at the Department of Justice,  Equality and Law Reform (Miss M. Wallace):
The Minister has been informed by the Garda authorities that a comprehensive investigation was carried out into allegations of child abuse at Goldenbridge Orphanage and the death of a child there. A file in the matter was forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions who directed that there should not be a prosecution against any person mentioned in the file.


The Gardai (Irish police) will not have appreciated having their time wasted on carrying out a ludicrous inquiry. This should mean that their interests would align with those of the Sisters in ensuring that these vile claims be discredited  and not repeated. In fact the Sisters' continued for years and decades with apologies and payouts and made themselves ridiculous in the eyes of the authorities and fake victims alike!

(B) Nora Wall and Pablo McCabe


There is a Wikipedia article on former Sister of Mercy Nora Wall and an article by Breda O'Brien in the Jesuit quarterly review "Studies" (Winter 2006)  entitled:Miscarriage of Justice: Paul McCabe and Nora Wall

Paul (Pablo) McCabe was a homeless schizophrenic man who was targeted by two false accusers - women in their twenties -  because prior to 1999, no woman had been convicted of rape in Ireland. The two sociopaths Regina Walsh and her "witness" Patricia Phelan hence claimed that McCabe was the main rapist of Regina Walsh while Nora Wall (then Sister Dominic) held her down. He was the ultimate victim - targeted not in his own right but as a means of extracting money from the Sisters of Mercy. And they were to betray him in a repulsive fashion. 

There were two rape allegations. In relation to the first that was alleged to have occurred on "victim" Regina Walsh's 12th birthday party, the defense showed that McCabe could not possibly have been there on the date in question - 8 January 1990. No problem for the jury! It acquitted both accused on that count, and convicted them on the second rape charge for which no exact date or even year was specified. As per Wikipedia 
"Like Nora Wall, [Pablo McCabe] was never questioned on the second allegation that he had also raped Regina Walsh two years previously in 1987 or 1988, again with Wall present. In fact, neither McCabe’s nor Wall’s defense teams received notification of this second charge until 28 May 1999, only six days before hearings began, and two years after they were initially charged."

It is reasonably clear that the second rape charge was cooked up (and no exact date specified) because the Prosecution became aware that McCabe had a cast iron alibi for the date of Regina Walsh's 12th birthday. It is also notable that Nora and Pablo were first arrested in 1996 just a few months after the broadcast of "Dear Daughter" and the first apology by the  Sisters of Mercy. Their trial in June 1999 took place just after RTE broadcast Mary Raftery's 3-part documentary "States of Fear" that demonised the religious congregations. I was told by one of their defence team that they were convicted in a "climate of hysteria" created by States of Fear - and Nora Wall herself said this to Breda O'Brien. 

Nora Wall's family in Co. Waterford stood by her after the conviction - but not, of course the leaders of the Sisters of Mercy.  The fact that one of the two allegations was clearly a lie did not bother them in the slightest. As per Wikipedia
Reaction of Sisters of Mercy
After their conviction, the Sisters of Mercy issued a statement, which read:
We are all devastated by the revolting crimes which resulted in these verdicts. Our hearts go out to this young woman who, as a child, was placed in our care. Her courage in coming forward was heroic. We beg anyone who was abused whilst in our care to go to the Gardaí.
Even after the collapse of the case against the two accused, the Sisters of Mercy made no effort to apologise to Wall or to withdraw their statement of support for Walsh. One commentator remarked: "The young woman their hearts were going out to, was the false accuser, not their own innocent nun. Our absolutist system had seduced them into identifying with the accuser and betraying their own sister."
On 23 July 1999 Judge Paul Carney sentenced Nora Wall to life imprisonment and Pablo McCabe to 12 years. Having been the first woman to be convicted of rape in the history of the Irish State, Nora now became the first person to receive a sentence of life imprisonment for that crime. The Wikipedia article also records that
The director of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, Olive Braiden, welcomed the imposition of a maximum sentence, and said it would ensure that Nora Wall would be monitored for the rest of her life to prevent recurrence.
 There was no comment from Olive Braiden after the collapse of the rape convictions. Coming from a feminist, her silence doesn't surprise me. But why did the Sisters of Mercy say nothing? Why didn't they withdraw their apology to the sociopath Regina Walsh who was prepared to wreck the lives of two innocent people so that she could sue the Sisters of Mercy for "compensation"? If they were not prepared to go that far, why couldn't they at least express sympathy for their former colleague AND for Pablo McCabe whom they had glorified when he could be depicted as a victim of the Patriarchy?

Regarding Pablo, Breda O'Brien's article in Studies Review in Winter 2006 focuses on him and indicates how the very Merciful Sisters originally favoured him:
Paul McCabe addressed a Diocesan Gathering of Mercy Sisters in Gracedieu in Waterford in 1988. His account tells of being born in Dublin in 1949 to a single mother. She struggled on until Paul was three, but she ‘had great difficulty in working, paying for accommodation and paying someone to look after me.” Thus he came to live in what was to become known as the “ old St. Michael’s”, a junior industrial school run by the Sisters of Mercy in Cappoquin. His memories of that time are “very happy ones of caring and interested women.” He then went to the Industrial School at Artane, Dublin, which he found traumatic, as it had “over nine hundred boys in a very strict set-up.”.....
So when Pablo could be presented as a symbolic victim of the Patriarchy, the Sisters allowed him to  address one of their annual meetings. But when he fell victim  to anti-clerical fanatics and feminists, they threw him to the wolves!


(C) Sisters of Mercy in the USA

When Catholic teenage boys from Covington High School, Kentucky  were savagely slandered by the US media in January 2019, The US Sisters of Mercy were quick to comment - on the side of the slanderers of course!

https://twitter.com/sistersofmercy/status/1086689015334617088

Sisters of Mercy  @SistersofMercy  Jan 19, 2019
Racism and intolerance in all forms go directly against Catholic social teaching.

The disturbing videos being shared of this incident showcase a bigoted disrespect of indigenous peoples and remind us how urgent our work for racial justice remains.

Covington Catholic faces backlash


Their denunciation of innocent boys who were being subjected to vile media abuse was repeated 888 times and got 2.9 thousand 'Likes' and 392 Replies.  I replied myself quoting Andrew Sullivan

Rory Connor @hallisseypat Jan 26, 2019
Replying to @SistersofMercy

Andrew Sullivan "The same liberals who fret about “micro-aggressions” for 20-somethings were able to see 16-year-olds subjected to worst racist garbage from [black] religious bigots & then express  desire to punch the kids in the face"
The Abyss of Hate Versus Hate by Andrew Sullivan




Any apology Sisters?

plus a second tweet from me

Rory Connor @hallisseypat Jan 25, 2019
Replying to @SistersofMercy

You approved a media lynch mob attack on Catholic students, without bothering to check the evidence. Your IRISH colleagues did the same when they endorsed false allegations of child abuse AND murder! See "The Apologies of the Sisters of Mercy" 
and a third

Rory Connor
@hallisseypat Jan 27, 2019
Replying to @SistersofMercy

Near 1000 Retweets; 3000+ Likes. One retweeter said he was "amused by the irony of nuns joining a twitter mob dogpile". You know u have  a duty to the Catholic schoolboys u slandered & your social justice campaigns are worthless if u can't see this?
@JamesMartinSJ @RuthDE

No reply from the Merciful Sisters. I think it is significant that the Bishop of Covington Roger Joseph Foys and the very liberal Fr James Martin SJ did apologise for originally joining in the media condemnation of the boys. To a significant extent, this is  a problem with members of female Religious Congregations - although male clergy and Religious have not covered themselves with glory either! 


(D) The Sisters of Mercy and Their Accusers - Eloi and Morlocks

[ The Irish Sisters of Mercy currently lead the Association of Missionaries and Religious in Ireland (AMRI). A few years ago I asked former colleagues of mine in De La Salle Brothers if they could approach the Sisters and tell them they had a moral obligation to withdraw their apologies to the accusers of Nora Wall and Sister Xavieria. I was told it is futile and the nuns are beyond redemption!  I also spoke to the retired world-wide head of a male religious order who felt that the Sisters were originally naive, and later became terrified of the malignant accusers and the media that broadcast their fantasies. No doubt there is something to this explanation. However I note that from the very beginning, the nuns' "naivety" consisted of bowing down before the powers-that-be and sacrificing their own innocent colleagues who had no power. That form of "naivety" is unfamiliar to me - and probably to most other members of the human race. Decadence is probably a better description - which is why I think of H.G. Wells and his picture of a dystopian future in The Time Machine ! ]


In 1895, H.G. Wells’ published The Time Machine a science fiction novel that presents a very interesting look at what our future could be (and arguably has become). The time-traveler jumps many thousands of years into the future to find two types of beings roaming the Earth, the Eloi and the Morlocks.  While the time-traveler aligns himself with the Eloi, especially through his relationship with Weena, an Eloi he rescues from drowning, his attitude to them is ambivalent.

The Eloi are happy, carefree people who live above the earth’s surface, eating fruit and basking in the sun, while the Morlocks lurk in the underground and shadows, hiding from light and only venturing out of their dark habitats to capture and feed on the Eloi race.

The time-traveler’s describes saving Weena from drowning.  “The main current ran rather swiftly, but not too strongly for even a moderate swimmer.  It will give you an idea, therefore, of the strange deficiency in these creatures, when I tell you that none made the slightest attempt to rescue the weakly crying little thing which was drowning before their eyes” 

In her essay "The Eloi and the Morlocks" part of a Georgetown University blog  "The Other Victorians" English Literature student Mary Burgoyne writes: The dependency of the Eloi frustrates me as these people seem to do nothing to fight against the Morlocks.  In this state, they appear more like animals, and thus, position themselves as prey in the predator/prey relationship the time-traveler ultimately discovers to exist within this environment. 

The time-traveler also goes on to explain, “The Upper-world people might once have been the favoured aristocracy, and the Morlocks their mechanical servants: but that had long since passed away.  The two species that had resulted from the evolution of man were sliding down towards, or had already arrived at, an altogether new relationship.” 

Like the relationship between the Sisters of Mercy and the sociopaths before whom they abase themselves, and whom they try to appease by sacrificing their own innocent colleagues! [Mary Burgoyne concludes that "as a reader, I feel more inclined to sympathize or at least try to understand the Morlock’s cruel point of view because of the action and strategies they employ in their daily lives where I think the Eloi exercise none." ]