Public Forum: The Need for a Royal Commission into Sexual Abuse

Posted on April 29, 2013



Speakers at the Meeting: (left to right) Joanne McCarthy, Newcastle Herald; Chrissie Foster, author of Hell on the Way to Heaven; Judy Courtin, lawyer and PhD student at Monash University Faculty of Law; Anthony Foster; Dr Jodi Death, lecturer in the School of Justice, Faculty of Law, QUT; Nikki Wells, Survivor of Finian Egan @RazingHell

Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead.


Speakers at the Meeting: (left to right) Anthony Foster; Dr Jodi Death, lecturer in the School of Justice, Faculty of Law, QUT; Judy Courtin, lawyer and PhD student at Monash University Faculty of Law; Chrissie Foster, author of Hell on the Way to Heaven; Joanne McCarthy, Newcastle Herald; David Shoebridge MLC, Greens Member of the NSW Upper House.

For the record.

Saturday 27 October 2012
3pm – 5pm

Sydney Mechanics School of Arts
280 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Judy Courtin

Victims and their families want THE TRUTH TO BE TOLD, they want TO BE HEARD.

If there were 620 cases of abuse the Victorian church knew about, the Vic law reform commission says max. 10% report to police, so min. 6200.

Of 620 cases of abuse the Victorian church knew of not one was reported to police.

Our governments must stop being beholden to the powerful Catholic Church.

Victims want to tell the truth, they want a Royal Commission. Wrong-doers don’t want a legalistic Royal Commission.

We need *accountability* *criminal prosecutions* and a forensic well-resourced Royal Commission.

The arrogant modus operandi of the Catholic Church’s crimes are being exposed. Vic police have been condemning, damning and scathing.

The Catholic Church has perverted the course of justice, destroying evidence. One police raid found documents hid in rafters of roof.

Joanne McCarthy

Journalist at Newcastle Herald, raised Catholic, eldest of 11.

Cases with police are ticking away like time bombs.

“Individual police are incredibly committed to a Royal Commission. People want to speak now.”

“These are CRIMES against children. The church hierarchy have concealed crimes. That is a crime in itself.”

If you have a case, or are a journalist, please contact Broken Rites. “Bernard falls over himself to help you.”

Chrissie Foster

Author of Hell on the Way to Heaven, spoke about her daughters who were abused by priests. Emma suicided in 2008.

Chrissie and Anthony Foster have been public in the media for years. Incredible sadness. “Don’t call for anything less than a #RoyalComm

Chrissie and Anthony Foster met with Cardinal George Pell. “He was so arrogant and a bully it was unbelievable.”

The Catholic Church have been able to maintain their power and wealth.

Anthony Foster

“Victims must be able to access the wealth now and retrospectively so that the Catholic Church changes its ways.”

Incredible personal stories of the Catholic Church attempting every possible legal loophole to stop sex offenders being charged.

Silence maintained control. The Internet means they cannot control any longer.

Governments have and continue to placate the wealthy Catholic Church rather than ensuring the safety of our children.

@4Q2x yes it sounds like Vic police and NSW police have had a gut-full, they are the ones most keen for a #RoyalComm

@4Q2x That’s what they said today, retraumatisation. Most survivors take over 20 years to speak about it, they don’t feel safe.

People who went through the Catholic church’s program’s still feel profoundly unheard. They want to be heard.

Our governments should feel ashamed and embarrassed that our children have not been protected from these sex offenders.

Robert Lipari, sexually abused at St Patrick’s College Christian Brothers Sutherland, said the Catholic Church has a centre called Encompass at Kincumber.

Encompass treated 1100 Catholic clergy for psychosexual and issues … In 2005 there were 4205 clergy in Aust.

Tim O’Hearn in the Catholic Weekly described it as a treatment centre for Catholic paedophiles.

An interesting defamation case, a lot going on behind the scenes of those in power.

Speakers at the #RoyalComm public forum

The Catholic church seems to be a law into itself and it’s just amazing what you hear …

The cost of a #RoyalComm will be worth every cent. Consider the costs of mental health and suicide. Being heard is a very big part of recovery.

Today’s meeting was about all churches and organisations, but all people spoke about the Catholic Church.


@CDUlawschool Thank you. Such pain in the people there. One father described hearing about his son telling him he’d been sexually abused Then the perpetrator(s) standing there laughing after physically beating him. Cruelty. He cried. He’s a pilot, he’s going to fly a plane and do sky writing across the beaches. A #royalcomm is only solution for organisations with such disregard for the law. Ironically I was in Darwin for the wedding of beautiful Catholic friends and family at the Cathedral.

Chrissie & Anthony Foster telling of the tragic impact of Church abuse on their family. #royalcomm Their story here: 

A call for a federal #royalcomm

Who knows what is still going on now? If the church never reported them to police, they’re not registered sex offenders.

How many people’s lives have been destroyed and have suicided as a result of CSA?

I consider myself one of the lucky ones and those of us who are, need to stand up for survivors.

True, examples of good people did – Whitlam with single mother’s pension, Keating with Mabo. Leadership, vision. Doing what’s right.

There are many ‘shoulds’ but not a lot of action yet. Stagnation on criminal matters.

Reminds me of a woman who worked at A-G’s Dept in Canberra. Left because of managers. Boys club, including Rudd & co.

John Howard could have joined the call for a #royalcomm in 2003 but stopped it … @hettyjohnston

Perhaps they think and are told it is God’s will. Conservative in name and conservative in nature.

Are they the ones protecting paedophiles?

The Catholic church actively and publicly tell parishioners not to vote green, for obvious reasons @ShoebridgeMLC

Nikki Wells @RazingHellFilm said that in 1998 a person had made allegations against Father Finian Egan.

Nikki Wells said NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith and his Chief-of-Staff Damien Tudehope in 1998 were at St Gerard’s Carlingford ranting and raving and telling parishioners that if anyone spoke out against their friend Egan, that they would take legal action for slander. Wells is interested in hearing from people who were there on the day. Is this perverting the course of justice?

NSW political connections to priest Finian Egan:

Who gives Tony Abbott SPIRITUAL and MORAL guidance?

TONY ABBOTT: Well, Tony, I may well have been going to confession to Cardinal Pell, I may well have been seeking pastoral counselling from Cardinal Pell.

What’s so sinister about that?

Cardinal Pell is one of the greatest churchmen that Australia has seen.

I am a very imperfect Catholic.

Why shouldn’t I go and seek counsel?

Why shouldn’t I go and trespass on the time occasionally of someone like Cardinal Pell.

If you spent more time with Cardinal Pell, your life might be more interesting.

TONY JONES: I haven’t spent any time at all with Cardinal Pell as it turns out, but that’s beside the point.

You’re a political operative and the question is not whether he gave you counselling but whether you gave him counselling because only a short time after your visit out came this letter signed by two Archbishops condemning Labor’s education policy?

TONY ABBOTT: So you think that I put words into the mouth not only of Cardinal Pell but of Archbishop Jensen?

TONY JONES: I’m simply asking whether that was a matter of your conversations which a moment ago you didn’t recall?”

Don’t forget they’ve got Gina backing them. Mining tax etc …

So what he’s saying is that abuse is fine. Not surprising. Our alternative PM. Boys club mentality.

Thankfully we have the police force, many of whom want a #RoyalComm That is what was said yesterday by people who’ve been working closely with detectives for years. Time bombs.

Perpetrators can and have destroyed lives and evidence, but they can never destroy the truth.

That depends on people power and the police. Did you hear what Vic police said at the inquiry? Damning.

One advantage is that these people have lost everything already, so they’re not afraid to say it as it is.

Australian Story episode on DCI @Peter_Fox59

Robert Lipari on Lateline about Brother Anthony Whelan: