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Top Catholic angers abuse victims

Top Catholic angers abuse victims

Leading Catholic cleric George Pell drew fire at the weekend after drawing an outrageous analogy between a paedophile priest and an abusive employee of trucking company.

Cardinal Pell – a former archbishop of both Melbourne and Sydney before taking up a high-powered job this year as head of a new Vatican finance ministry – made the comments when he was giving evidence via a video link from Rome to a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Melbourne.

He acknowledged that the Church had a “moral obligation” to the victims of pedophile priests, but suggested that it should not be legally responsible in the same way as the “ownership or leadership” of a trucking company is not responsible if one of its drivers picks up a hitchhiker and molests her.

The comments outraged support groups, who said Pell was displaying a lack of compassion for victims of abuse.

Adults Surviving Child Abuse President Cathy Kezelman said:

His comments were outrageous. He continues to duck and weave.

Nicky Davis, from the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, told ABC radio it showed Pell was out of touch.

He shows that he really has absolutely no conception of what is appropriate or inappropriate behavior and what are appropriate or inappropriate things to say to survivors.

It was a highly offensive comparison and showed that, at the end of the day, all he was concerned with was protecting himself and making excuses for behavior that is inexcusable.

Writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, Keitan Tapsell said:

Pell’s analogy revealed the fatal flaw in his own argument the moment he used the word “company”. If a trucking company had been remiss as he described, and people were injured as a result, the trucking company would be liable. Those injured would have access to the company’s assets to meet any judgment, even if its directors or officials were dead or had no assets.

Pell spent over $750,000 on lawyers in the Ellis case to prove that the Catholic Church was not like his trucking company, but is an unincorporated association that could not be sued. All of its billions are tucked away in a corporate trust that does nothing else than hold property. The only person who could be sued in that case was Cardinal Freeman, who had been warned about John Ellis’s abuser, and yet let him continue as a priest.

Cardinal Freeman was incapable of being sued because he was resting in peace in the crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral.

The Ellis case, which went to the High Court in 2007, has been a curse for victims seeking to sue the Catholic Church because it established in case law, in effect, that the trustees that hold the assets of a church diocese cannot be sued because they are not responsible for the diocese’s activities.

The Ellis Defence was most recently invoked by the Catholic Church in the case of Jennifer Herrick.

10 responses to “Top Catholic angers abuse victims”

  1. John Coffin says:

    Mmm. more like a bus company, contracted to ferry children to school, whose supposedly vetted and licensed drivers collaborated and conspired to molest scores of children every year….

  2. RussellW says:

    A partial solution to this problem is for the government to incorporate the Catholic Church and treat it as the corporation that it really is.

  3. Trevor Blake says:

    Rapist clergy have claimed and been granted diplomatic immunity as ambassadors to the nation of the Holy See. When it gets clergy out of trouble the Vatican will spread it’s leather wings. When the trouble starts crawling toward the Vatican they snap shut. The Vatican will play it both ways as long as millions of Catholics and dozens of nations turn a blind eye to the international child rape ring that is the Roman Catholic Church.

  4. Paul Cook says:

    An unincorporated association is a lose knit ‘community’ of like minded people. E.g. the local sports club or tennis club, a group of friends who come together to carry out a hobby or function as an organisation, take subs, rent a premises and hold meetings or events or whatever, but not as a legal entity with a legal personality capable of being sued like a company. All the members together own it, and it has no legal personality like a company does.

    In an incorporated association it would be the ‘officers’ who could be sued for negligence, or under vicarious responsibility (as in this case cardinal – but of course he was dead). So there is no other legal person (directors for example) or legal personality to sue. It seems a very clever way of getting around the property ownership issue (litigation for compensation) and the legal (abuse) issue. Australia is like the USA and Ireland known to have some of the worst and numerous child abuse cases. And the rcc have known this for years.

    It is believed that some 6-9% or more % of priests ARE child abusers. Not 1-2% which is the statistic for a ‘normal’ society. Some commentators believe the figure is higher, and the fact that abusing priests have been sent to Africa (where the chance to abuse is greater, the getting caught much lower) the figure may become much higher. And it is a FACT that pope john Paul and Ratzinazi both under their watch actively covered up the abuse, protected the church and the priests with their mendacious secrecy ‘hearing’s’ under Canon Law whereby the priests were never ever handed over to the Police and were removed from the due process under National Laws. This is the very crux of what is a very serious problem. The rcc thinks child abuse carried out on their premises is their right to ‘try’, but not with due process, all of it is carried out in secrecy.

    The RCC, for abuse carried out by it’s priests, under human rights laws should be sued in an International Tribunal. However, that is not easy. Not least because these scheming despicable creatures plead that even as a ‘State’ they don’t have to bow down to such international ‘justice’.

    The Irish Govt. Hearings into child abuse, and the US legal cases too, lists quite disturbing evidence (once they eventually got it from the rcc and the Irish Govt hearings comments how the rcc did not help at all!) how the RCC ignored abuse complaints, how priests were helped, and how they were removed to different parishes to abuse again and again and again. This is a fact. It is indisputable.

    In recent times, the person most responsible for this was Ratzinazi. As he was responsible for the holy see’s internal control ‘system’ to over see the problem. He/the rcc prevaricated, helped priests ‘get away with it’, and covered up systematic child abuse. Priests were never ever defrocked even when they admitted abuse! They were sent away to ‘holiday camps’ to be rehabilitated by prayer or through saying hail mary’s. The priests were alkwasy forgiven. The victims – left be ……..

    The rcc is the problem. It wants to be a State yet consistently absolves itself from it’s responsibilities as a State for the abuse carried out by what are in reality it’s world wide employees. Ratzinazi issued letters saying cardinals do NOT have to inform police when they know of abuse. They are in short to ignore local laws. Some cardinals have been thanked by the pope publicly for not letting Police know of child abuse crimes by priests. These are not isolated incidents these are systematic and many. Not once have I read where ONE victim was helped in the way the abusing priests were. Only after litigation, as in the USA did the rcc do something – and that was to pay compensation, because it was forced by court so to do. Using an unincorporated association gets around this ‘problem’.

    What is unbelievable is that the RCC hierarchy in these so called hearings under canon law, have for some time, allowed priests to state that pedophilia is a defence to child abuse. And senior figures in the rcc have been saying this too. If these people make this type of uniformed comment, the defence from Pell is to be expected, because he is not just protecting the RCC – he is reaffirming and stating what is “Party-Policy” : We aren’t to blame and we aren’t responsible.

  5. Broga says:

    What is so appalling is that when Frankie appears smirking on his balcony thousands will gather to give him the ego massage the Popes have come to take for granted. The RC Church doesn’t care about the victims. It is a business keeping destructive men is their careers and using the fictions of religion to keep them in the style to which they are accustomed.

  6. Robster says:

    Isn’t the difference really the fact that the Catholic corp. hierarchy hid their rather large and ever increasing collection of paedo priests in other places when word got out about their disgusting behaviour? A trucking company would have no need to keep a molester on the books and would, unlike the RCC probably act on and sort out the problem as they don’t sell themselves as moral arbiters with a barrow to push. That Pell is such an idiot, now they’ve got him controlling their finances, they’d have more luck getting their holy Ghost to cook the books. I recon Pell would have difficulty with a calculator.

  7. sailor1031 says:

    Had Pell ever worked an honest day in his life he’d know his trucking company analogy is total bullshit. On the other hand this little scrote, with so little knowledge of even basic business law, seems an apt choice to head the vatican finance “ministry” (as if the vatican were a country or something) – a worthy heir to the incredibly evil archbishop Marcinkus (so well-portrayed in Godfather III).