The Jesuits: animated by a deep personal love of Jesus Christ.

    Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not money, I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not money, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not money, it profiteth me nothing. Money suffereth long, and is kind; money envieth not; money vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. . . . And now abideth faith, hope, money, these three; but the greatest of these is money.

    ~ I Corinthians xiii (adapted)

    REPORTER: But the victims’ report card for the Melbourne and Jesuit procedures suggests there’s little of value to learn. Both have lawyers as gatekeepers, and if anything are more hard-nosed than Towards Healing. No-one from the Archdiocese or the Jesuits would speak with us. A disturbing example of how many in the church still respond to allegations of sexual abuse occurred in a recent Brisbane court case in which a priest was charged with raping a teenage girl. In sentencing him, the judge lashed out at the Catholic Church and in particular one of its bishops. The judge accused them of blinding hypocrisy and corruption.

    REPORTER: In September, Judge Warren Howell sentenced 83-year-old Father Reg Durham to jail for raping a 14-year-old girl at the Neerkol Orphanage in 1966. The judge condemned the church’s response to the woman’s complaint when it finally emerged three years ago.

    JUDGE’S COMMENTS READ: The reprehensible attitude of the church to date in trying to squash the complaint and to cover it up, does not bode well for an honest, compassionate and meaningful approach by the church in the future to go some way to compensating her.

    ~ Bad Habits: Sex and the Catholic Church, Sunday, November 21, 1999 (Reporter: Paul Ransley)

In response to scores of claims by abused children formerly in their care, Jesuits in the northwestern United States have filed for bankruptcy (see below). The province of the Roman Catholic order listed assets of less than $5 million and liabilities of almost $62 million; an attorney representing Native American victims said he believes the Oregon Jesuit province has assets of “more than a billion dollars.”

In Chicago:

Man files abuse suit against Chicago Jesuits
February 23, 2009

A 32-year-old California man claimed he was yet another victim of sexual abuse by defrocked priest Donald McGuire in a lawsuit filed today against the Chicago Order of Jesuits.

The suit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court under the name “John Doe 130,” says that McGuire repeatedly abused the plaintiff in the early 1990s, when the man was as young as 14. The abuse took place in Evanston, California and other locations on retreats organized by McGuire.

The plaintiff was unaware of Jesuit efforts to hide McGuire’s prior abuse of children until recently, the suit said. McGuire has been convicted on sex charges in Wisconsin and Illinois, and he was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a federal judge in Chicago earlier this month.

In a recent address — to the Caritas Parliamentary Luncheon at Parliament House, Sydney on February 23 — Frank Brennan (‘The Meddling Priest’) stated: “We are most truly Australian, most truly Christian, and most truly Catholic when we reach out across borders of nation states and churches, opening our hands and reaching out, deep, giving of ourselves whatever we are able” (People of hope, not hate, Eureka Street, February 24, 2009).

According to the blog justice4luke, in Melbourne, Jesuit Social Services last year sacked one of its youth workers, a union and prize-winning OH&S delegate, allegedly as a result of his activism. Despite being a public voice of opposition to HoWARd’s WorkChoices legislation, JSS happily employed this same legislation against both the sacked worker and a number of its other workers — the first time such legislation had been used in the ‘social and community sector’. (Such action presumably in keeping with their as-yet unreleased policy document ‘Towards a more business friendly Victoria’.)

Next month, on Saturday March 28, JSS is holding its annual fundraising dinner (tickets $150 per head), at which numerous local Catholic worthies will be in attendance. The featured speaker is Waleed Aly. In May 2007, Aly wrote with passion and humility:

…that language can be manipulated to prevent us from thinking outside orthodoxy [“was the very premise of Orwell’s Newspeak“.] Words are politics. The Federal Government called its industrial relations laws “Work Choices”. Such choices as it provides are, of course, far from universally available. For this reason it is unpopular, and the term has acquired a negative electoral meaning. Now staff at the relevant department refer not to “Work Choices” but more blandly to “workplace relations”. The latter phrase simply washes over us, leaving minimal residue. These are words that convey nothing, and numb us into acquiescence. Rudyard Kipling was indeed correct to describe words as “the most powerful drug used by mankind”. But not all drugs entrance us. Some are sedatives. They are designed to render us dead to reality. ~ Writing with passion and humility, The Age, May 26, 2007

Of course, Orwell’s own writing was motivated by his confrontations with the reality of the poor, The Condition of the Working Class in England, France, and later Spain, where his passion for socialism was confirmed.

Northwest Jesuits file for bankruptcy protection
Steven Dubois
February 8, 2009

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Confronted by scores of lawsuits alleging sex abuse by priests, the Jesuits of the Oregon Province have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The petition was filed Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland. The province of the Roman Catholic order listed assets of less than $5 million and liabilities of almost $62 million.

“Our decision to file Chapter 11 was not an easy one, but with approximately 200 additional claims pending or threatened, it is the only way we believe that all claimants can be offered a fair financial settlement within the limited resources of the Province,” The Rev. Patrick J. Lee, the current provincial, said in a statement late Tuesday.

The religious order — officially The Society of Jesus — has 10 provinces in the United States. The Oregon Province covers Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho and Montana.

Many of the lawsuits involve Alaska Natives who say they were sexually abused as children while living in remote villages.

Ken Roosa, an Anchorage-based attorney who has filed claims on behalf of more than 60 Alaska Natives, said Tuesday night the Oregon Province is vastly underestimating its assets. Roosa said he believes the Oregon Jesuit province has assets of “more than a billion dollars.”

The Portland-based province contends it has worked “diligently” to resolve claims of misconduct, saying it has settled more than 200 claims and paid more than $25 million to victims since 2001. That amount does not include payments made by insurers.

“Our hope is that by filing Chapter 11, we can begin to bring this sad chapter in our Province’s history to an end,” Lee said. “We continue to pray for all those who have been hurt by the actions of a few men, so that they can receive the healing and reconciliation that they deserve.”

Here are some more facts.

Each year, the Catholic Church turns over more than $15 billion. If it was a corporation it would rank in Australia’s top 10.

The church is not required to file income tax returns, nor pay tax on commercial businesses, nor pay capital gains tax on the sale of assets, nor pay land tax, nor local government rates on school property.

The church owns an insurance company, a mortgage broking business, a multi-storey car park in Melbourne’s CBD, a vineyard and also controls more than $4 billion in superannuation funds.

The church holds in excess of $100 billion in property and other assets…

The church law clearly states that when transferring or selling church property to someone else, “The church’s social mission must be taken into account … so that it furthers the work of charity within society”.

Recently, in some countries, the church has found it necessary to sell off property to settle a string of claims that priests sexually abused children. Is this a charitable function? For that matter, is acting as a property developer a charitable function?

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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10 Responses to The Jesuits: animated by a deep personal love of Jesus Christ.

  1. Jamie R says:

    Recently, in some countries, the church has found it necessary to sell off property to settle a string of claims that priests sexually abused children. Is this a charitable function? For that matter, is acting as a property developer a charitable function?

    Is government confiscating wealth and spreading it to the poor a charitable function? Accusing the Catholic Church of sex abuse is a gravy train, it does two things A) Opens up the Church coffers and B) Allows the devolution of its influence on public policy. Teacher sex abuse cases in public schools are happening just like the Catholic Church scandals, there are plenty on both sides that never make it to the light of day, but more so in the public schools, and why don’t they find themselves in large settlements often? Government runs them. And let’s not create a social crisis by hammering away and questioning the public confidence of our teachers, that’s too important, but the priests? Fuck the priests.

    When you have the power, justice is for you to decide. All kneel before the State, our true master.

  2. @ndy says:


    “Accusing the Catholic Church of sex abuse is a gravy train”?

    Really? For whom?

    Are you aware that many of these ‘accusations’ are not merely ‘accusations’, but statements of fact? That the abuse is extensive, and systematic? That the Church has actively supported abusers, while denying liability, and actively seeking to suppress such accounts? That the ‘scandal’ of church abuse is not simply concerned with the facts of widespread abuse, but the church’s response to such abuse?

    Research by Broken Rites Australia has demonstrated that:

    * Too often, sexually-abusive personnel survived in the church while their colleagues and superiors looked the other way. The apathy or negligence of these colleagues and superiors encouraged the offenders to continue offending. The offenders hoped that their religious status would protect them from exposure.

    * If complaints arose, offenders were often transferred to a new parish or a new school, where they were inflicted on additional victims.

    * Too often, pressure was put on church victims to keep quiet about the offences. Many victims have to wait until they reach adulthood — or until their parents have died — before they can reveal that they were abused by an institution that their parents trusted.

    * In many cases, the secretive sexual abuse has disrupted a victim’s schooling or personal development, perhaps resulting eventually in sexual problems or marital breakdown or psychological problems or substance abuse or unemployment.

    * This culture of church sexual abuse was successfully concealed from the public — until Broken Rites Australia began removing this cover-up in 1993. A similar exposure developed in the United States, especially after the year 2000, but Broken Rites Australia was already a pioneer in this field…

    In the photo, Catholic priest Gerald Ridsdale (left) walks to court, accompanied by his support person (Bishop George Pell, then an auxiliary bishop in Melbourne), when Father Ridsdale was pleading guilty to his first batch of criminal charges in May 1993. But no bishop accompanied the victims, who felt deserted by the church hierarchy…

    On 10 August 2006, Ridsdale was given a jail sentence for the third time. He had already been jailed in 1993 and 1994. In each court case, he pleaded guilty.

    By the year 2006, the conviction offences involved a total of 40 children (comprising 39 boys and one girl), aged between six and 16, who were sexually assaulted between 1961 and 1987. These are not Ridsdale’s only victims — they are merely those who eventually contacted the police. In addition, other Ridsdale victims have contacted Broken Rites or psychiatrists or solicitors or the Catholic Church without contacting the police. Countless more victims still remain silent. The total number of Ridsdale victims may amount to hundreds…

    Father Gerald Ridsdale belonged to the vast Ballarat Diocese, which covers the western half of the state of Victoria. According to court evidence, his superiors knew as early as 1971 (and possibly in the 1960s) that he was a danger to boys. Nevertheless, the church kept using Ridsdale as a priest for a further three decades, putting more boys at risk. The diocese shifted the Ridsdale problem from parish to parish but it never warned parishioners that their children were in danger. In some parishes, Ridsdale lasted only months or weeks before he lost credibility. Whenever he fled or got transferred, parishioners told the next priest what Ridsdale had done to boys. But those “in the know” remained silent…

  3. @ndy says:

    Oh yeah.

    Re ‘charity’. The point is that religious institutions receive tax-exempt status. The rationale for this is that they are not businesses driven by the profit motive but instead civic bodies dedicated to promoting religious values.

    The state claims the right to tax its citizens on the basis that it provides essential social services — to which citizens are legally entitled. Further, in states with democratic structures, citizens have the right to participate in the decision-making processes which allocate these resources — through participation in elections, political parties, and public advocacy.

    This is not the case with most religious bodies, and is certainly not the case with the Catholic church.

    ‘Accusing’ individual priests and other religious functionaries of abuse is frequently a legal process, and results in the allegations being tested in a court of law. Some are found guilty, and sentenced. Civil remedies are also available to victims of abuse — it’s in these circumstances that damages can be awarded against church institutions. Why you appear to believe that this option should not be made available for this particular group I don’t know; nor why you believe that this process is subject to abuse by victims.

    “And let’s not create a social crisis by hammering away and questioning the public confidence of our teachers, that’s too important, but the priests? Fuck the priests.”

    An unfortunate turn of phrase.

    If you believe that there is or have been systematic attempts by those in the public school system to cover-up crimes of sexual abuse of a similar nature to, say, the Catholic church, feel free to provide references.

  4. @ndy says:

    No retrial for pedophile
    Sarah-Jane Collins
    The Age
    February 26, 2009

    NOTORIOUS pedophile and former Catholic priest Michael Charles Glennon has been granted a permanent stay on a retrial for charges relating to the sexual abuse of a 12-year-old boy.

    Glennon is currently serving a minimum 10-year sentence after being convicted of the rape and sexual abuse of a number of other young boys. His original conviction in relation to the alleged victim, known as JC, was overturned by the Court of Appeal in 2005.

    His retrial on charges of rape and indecent assault relating to the alleged incidents with JC was due to start in the County Court this week, but on Tuesday Judge Geoff Chettle granted a permanent stay in the matter.

    Judge Chettle granted the stay for a variety of reasons, including the delay in prosecuting the matter, the previous number of times the complainant has been forced to give evidence and concerns that Glennon would not receive a fair trial because of media attention.

    In 1985, Derryn Hinch was jailed for 12 days and fined $15,000 for contempt of court after he named Glennon on radio as a convicted pedophile in the lead-up to a further trial.

    Since the mid-’70s, Glennon has been convicted of several sexual offences relating to dozens of children.

    Most of Glennon’s offences were committed at a children’s camp near Lancefield in the Macedon Ranges. Some took place in the 1980s, while he was on bail awaiting trial.

    His numerous court hearings were the subject of numerous suppression orders that were finally lifted in 2003 at the conclusion of three trials. Glennon will not be eligible for parole for at least another four years.

  5. Jamie R says:

    Jumped straight out the blocks!

    Really? For whom?

    Are you aware that many of these ‘accusations’ are not merely ‘accusations’, but statements of fact? That the abuse is extensive, and systematic? That the Church has actively supported abusers, while denying liability, and actively seeking to suppress such accounts? That the ’scandal’ of church abuse is not simply concerned with the facts of widespread abuse, but the church’s response to such abuse?

    Do you seriously think that such a wealthy and easy target is not subject to excessive abuse in claims? I mean really, you cite how rich the Catholic Church is and forget that people don’t see it is making payments? A lot of this is so far in the past it makes for a payday with very little proof. What sort of proof in today’s world do you have from the 60s and 70s and 80s apart from a priest’s own admitted pedophilia or consistent group testimony? Have you ever heard of such people out there who do it for… gasp… money?

    And should I not question a possible systematic abuse and sexual abuse of children in public schools? As the Broken Rites site puts it:

    As explained on the main page, the Catholic Church in Australia established a new process in 1996 to handle sex-abuse complaints. Unfortunately, the committee structure is overwhelmingly “in-house”.

    In-house? So… how do you break through that wall of public school abuse? Who do you call, a government hotline? Even if it was a private organisation, what happens when you go against the government? They have very good lawyers, can even stop the media.

    I’ve heard plenty of stories some as far in the past as the Catholic Church claims, they can’t outright prove it, but would you hear their story @ndy? If it was reported like the Catholic Church, what do you think would happen? Julia Gillard cry? Schools close to sell the land to make payments? No. Much like public hospital incompetence that leads to death it can be covered up by government.

    Instead of showing bias for the church, where you can dig up a bunch of articles proving sex abuse by priests, and ask me to demonstrate proof that it is happening in schools because you can’t for Australian teachers… really? Off the top of my head I can recall a female teacher in Melbourne who had sex with a pupil who loved it and didn’t think it was bad at all, even after his mother reported it (parents don’t seem to like these things), obviously in the USA, the stories of teacher sex abuse are absolutely rife, but hey if we can talk about priests over there too… There was that tennis coach who had his way with a girl or girls (not sure he was a school sports teacher but he was entrusted to children). And I’ll cite a personal story from my own high school, an art teacher, once again teenage boys and I can tell you right now, it wasn’t reported, but if the mothers of the children had found out, yeah, they would have hit the roof. Also, there were two male teachers at my high school that used to eye off the young girls and some did get favourable treatment from them.

    But back to my main point. There is reported abuse by priests entrusted to children as mentors, but, what makes you think teachers in government schools are not capable of endemic abuse too? What if it happens more than church abuse, today, and it won’t make the headlines? What to make of that? Because there are vested interests not just from the school’s reputations but the government backing them? Why is such a protective power structure hard to grok for an anarchist?

    Seriously, question your biases, the Soviets tried to assassinate the Pope, true-believing leftists can’t see how Christians can see a targeted bias, because a lot of them tend to be right wingers and there are plenty on the left who don’t like them, but not even someone like John Howard would attempt to tarnish the public school reputation by creating a perception of teachers as pedophiles. The media who did it would not last. They’d get buried so quick.

    ‘Priests are pedophiles’, this is a modern perception. Of course the majority are not. Why not do that for teachers? ‘Teachers are pedophiles’. Of course the majority are not. It’s a good question to think about, hit a bong or a joint and think think think, outside your own beliefs and leftwingerdom. Then maybe one day you’ll go to a site like Worldnetdaily, full of crazies you wouldn’t be caught dead with, and see all the reports of teacher sex abuse, lefties’ reports on priests, righties’ reports on teachers, the only problem is that (Worldnutdaily) righties don’t get as much media attention for their groundbreaking work.

    For a libertarian like me it’s a very simple reason: in the end, governments have a lot more power than churches.

  6. Jamie R says:

    Just a quick note: As a result of its work on breaking the sex scandals in the US, Worldnetdaily has received much feedback on parents pulling their kids out of schools and homeschooling them. Statistics are backing these stories up. The Catholic Church is being abandoned by some because of these scandals, it should not be a surprise to see that happen to schools, if it was reported with as much fervour.

    Food for thought.

  7. Dr. Cam says:

    It seems like you’ve had enough hits off the bong for all of us, Jamie.

  8. Jamie R says:

    I come from Adelaide, if you’ve heard of The Family, well… you’ll know we know a thing or two about pedophiles with power backing them covering their tracks. Never did find out who they were. And Von Einem won’t talk.

    The experience of Independent MP Peter Lewis suggests I’m not high. Especially when he accused a high-ranking police-officer and the ‘jeopardising public-confidence in our police force’ thing was used by our current state government – too bad the Catholic Church can’t use that one!

    Although if I do get high, I won’t debate politics and culture, I’ll watch Pineapple Express. Again.

  9. @ndy says:


    You make a comparison between child sex abuse within Catholic and State institutions. Specifically, you assert that “[a]ccusing the Catholic Church of sex abuse is a gravy train”, whereas to accuse Government schools is a largely fruitless pursuit: “why don’t they find themselves in large settlements often? Government runs them.” Apparently, Catholic institutions are especially vulnerable to legal processes. You then proceed to outline some recent cases of abusive relationships within Government schools:

    1 “a female teacher in Melbourne who had sex with a pupil who loved it and didn’t think it was bad at all”;
    2. “that tennis coach who had his way with a girl or girls” and;
    3. “a personal story from my own high school, an art teacher, once again teenage boys… Also, there were two male teachers at my high school that used to eye off the young girls and some did get favourable treatment from them”.

    You also refer to WorldNetDaily — Barack Obama, Soviet mole!



    Teacher cleared of student sex claim
    The Age
    February 18, 2009

    A Melbourne high school teacher has been found guilty of committing an indecent act on a child under 16 but has been cleared of a charge that she had sex with the student. Nazira Rafei, 26, sobbed as the verdict was delivered today after prosecutors had alleged she struck up a friendship with the 15-year-old boy outside school. It was claimed the pair had sex, hugged and kissed. The jury also found Rafei not guilty of a second charge of committing an indecent act with a child under 16…


    Teacher jailed for sex with student
    ABC Melbourne
    February 18, 2009

    A Geelong teacher has been sentenced to four years and six months in jail for having sex with a 15-year-old student. In sentencing at the County Court in Melbourne, Judge Hampel said Andrew Beaumont, 31, had taken advantage of a besotted child. She said his offending was predatory, manipulative and selfish. The court heard Beaumont’s victim had developed a crush on him last year, while he was helping her with her maths, and the pair had sex at her house during the school holidays. Beaumont pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual penetration of a child under 16, two counts of committing an indecent act on a child under 16, and one count of possessing child pornography. He will serve a non-parole period of three years.


    Abuse teacher not sorry, court told
    The Age
    September 19, 2008

    A Melbourne teacher who had sex with a student in a school darkroom during three years of abuse which began when she was 14 had shown no remorse, a court heard today. Paul Anthony Segar, 50, of Mt Waverley, subjected the student to painful sex during the 1990s when he was a teacher at a secondary school in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, the County Court heard. A jury found him guilty on two counts of performing an indecent act with a child under 16, two counts of sexual penetration of a child under 16 and four counts of sexual penetration of a child aged 16 or 17. He was cleared on a further two counts of sexual penetration of a child under 16…


    Teacher admits sex with student
    Sydney Morning Herald
    May 18, 2005

    A Melbourne teacher, who had an affair with a 16-year-old student, later told the girl he knew he had crossed the line. Travis Glenn Robertson, 27, of Nunawading, pleaded guilty today to eight charges relating to a sexual relationship he had with a student while he was a teacher at Templestowe College. In a phone conversation this year – taped by police and released today by the Melbourne Magistrates Court – Robertson told the girl he did not mean to hurt her…


    Female teacher jailed over affair
    May 5, 2005

    SYDNEY, Australia (Reuters) — An Australian female teacher has been jailed for six months for having sex with a teenage student, with a warning from the judge that future offenders could not expect such “lenient” treatment.

    Karen Louise Ellis, a 37-year-old physical education teacher, had earlier received a suspended sentence of 22 months after she pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual penetration with a boy aged under 16.

    But the Supreme Court of Victoria’s Court of Appeal in Melbourne upheld an appeal by prosecutors against the leniency of that sentence, saying that mother-of-three Ellis should have been sentenced to two years’ jail on each of the counts.

    Justice Frank Callaway instead imposed a new sentence of two years and eight months. He sent Ellis to jail for six months and suspended the balance of the new sentence for three years.

    “This was not a foolish lapse on one occasion that was not repeated. There were six counts and two distinct periods of offending,” Callaway said in a written judgment.

    He said that “a like offender in the future could not expect the same leniency.”

    “Men and women are to be treated on their merits and not according to their sex and … the law is concerned to protect all children from abuse, especially from those in a position of power, authority or trust,” Callaway said.

    Local media reported that Ellis burst into tears as she was led from the court.

    “She’s pretty devastated, we’re all devastated,” Ellis’s lawyer Chester Metcalfe told reporters outside the court. “She’s taking it pretty hard at the moment, as you can expect.”

    The original trial had heard that Ellis, then 36, began seeing the boy, identified only as Benjamin, in late 2003.

    She first had sex with him in her suburban Melbourne home on October 10 of that year, after which she drove Benjamin, then 15, to a nearby railway station.

    A similar pattern was repeated another five times in October and November of that year until the boy’s mother saw him getting out of Ellis’ car on November 23 and became suspicious.

    The court heard the boy had failed school that year and had since become estranged from his family.

    I pursued teacher, says boy
    Farrah Tomazin
    The Age
    September 1, 2004

    A teenage boy who last year had a sexual affair with his high school teacher said he pursued the 36-year-old woman because he thought she was “a bit of all right”, despite her initial reluctance. Speaking for the first time last night on Channel Seven’s Today Tonight, the 16-year-old said he became attracted to Karen Louise Ellis, who was then a physical education teacher at his northern suburban school…


    Hopper found guilty of sex charges
    The Age
    August 2, 2004

    International tennis coach Gavin Hopper faces jail after he was today found guilty of child sex charges. A Victorian County Court jury found Gavin Maxwell Hopper guilty of nine counts stemming from a sexual relationship with a teenage girl in the mid-1980s…

    Hopper, 48, of Hope Island, Queensland, began the affair with the girl when she was 14 in January 1985.

    Now 33, she was a student at Melbourne’s Wesley College, where Hopper was a maths and physical education teacher when the affair began. The relationship continued until 1988…

    Hopper loses appeal over schoolgirl sex sentence
    Daniella Miletic
    The Age
    September 1, 2005

    …Hopper was sentenced to a maximum of three-and-a-half years’ jail with a non-parole period of 27 months for sexually abusing his student when she was aged 14 and 15. He has already served more than a year of the sentence…

    Wesley, incidentally, is a private, religious school, run by the Uniting Church.

    Church defends $100,000 payment over Hopper claim
    Chee Chee Leung
    The Age
    August 4, 2004

    The Uniting Church yesterday defended a confidential payment made by one of its schools to a former student involving convicted sex offender and tennis coach Gavin Hopper.

    Hopper, 48, was this week found guilty of nine charges over a sexual affair he started in 1985 with a 14-year-old schoolgirl while he was a physical education teacher at Wesley College in Prahran.

    It was reported yesterday that another girl at Wesley had an affair with Hopper and received a payment of more than $100,000 in 1988 after taking legal action against the school and the former teacher.

    Wesley College is one of 14 Uniting Church schools in Melbourne. The general secretary of the church in Victoria, the Reverend Robert Johnson, said it was the woman involved who asked for the case to be kept confidential. “I don’t think it’s despicable at all… it’s not hush money,” he said.

    “Someone came to them who was damaged by them and they dealt with that appropriately.”

    Dr Johnson said the Uniting Church learnt about the payment within the “last year or two” and understood it was a payout from the school’s insurers. He said the church had confidence in Wesley’s procedures to deal with such complaints, and said he had found no instances of it or any other Uniting Church college making similar payments…


    The personal story I’ll leave to one side; we all have stories.

    The point being: none of the above cases actually constitute evidence of the covering-up of systematic abuse in Government schools by ‘Government’ as a whole. Further, these cases do not demonstrate your original point, which is that “[a]ccusing the Catholic Church of sex abuse is a gravy train”. In reality, obtaining compensation from the Church for abusive crimes committed by clergymen, especially in Melbourne, is notoriously difficult.

    Broken Rites on Towards Healing:

    Despite its charitable-sounding name, Towards Healing is really a business procedure, designed to protect the church from the legal liability of compensating a victim or, at least, to limit any liability.

    If a victim’s life has been damaged by church-abuse, the church is not prepared to pay the full and reasonable compensation that would be payable by any other business corporation. Through the Towards Healing system, the church seeks to evade compensation completely, although sometimes the church offers a small discounted settlement if the victim agrees not to pursue litigation for the full amount to which he/she would normally be entitled.

    A further case study:

    Penny-pinching justice
    Ean Higgins
    The Australian
    August 14, 2007

    LIKE many victims of child sexual abuse, James Setches kept the horrific memories bottled up inside for decades. But when his brother, the famous jockey Ray Setches, committed suicide eight years ago, he decided to act.

    Ray had only told James he had been abused as a boy at a Christian Brothers school in Melbourne.

    “People always wondered why such a famous and successful person would kill himself,” Setches says. “Sure he lost some money, his relationships broke up, and he suffered depression. But the root cause of all that was the sexual abuse he’d suffered when he was young.

    “When I saw him in the coffin, it was almost like he was talking to me, saying, ‘James, do something’.”

    That was the catalyst for a long and now public fight Setches is waging against the Catholic orders whose friars and religious brothers he claims abused him at orphanages and other institutions: the Order of Saint Francis of Assisi, and the Christian Brothers.

    Setches left his home in Perth to go to Sydney, where he is living in a hostel, to mount what he says will be increasingly spectacular protests. On Sunday, he was protesting at the Franciscan church in Sydney’s Paddington, handing out pamphlets about his cause and talking to anyone who would listen.

    While he has received a total of $41,000 from the two orders, Setches believes this is not enough to compensate for a life he says has been ruined by sexual abuse. He is seeking another $160,000.

    He has had a marriage break up, has worked in odd jobs ranging from acting to chauffeuring, and been in and out of psychiatric institutions for depression.

    Setches, 61, says he was emotionally weak when he accepted an initial payout from the two orders, and signed a release agreeing to make no further claims. He did make further claims – each time receiving sums between $5,000 and $10,000.

    But now the Brothers and the Franciscans have drawn the line: they commissioned a retired ombudsman to review his case and concluded that Setches has received enough.

    “Like any allegation that comes forward, it is taken very seriously,” says Stephen Bliss, the provincial head of the Franciscans in Australia. “We have followed all the protocols for the Catholic Church. You can review the review of the review, but somewhere along the line there has to be finality.”

    Setches says his fight is not against Catholicism – he remains a believer and church goer. Rather, it is against the orders he claims still do not fully accept responsibility for past child sexual abuse in their ranks.

    “It’s all about protecting their assets and limiting their liability; compassion does not come into it at all,” Setches says.

    He is not alone in his criticism. The protocols Bliss speaks of are known as Towards Healing, a process launched by the Catholic Church in 1996 to deal with a flood of claims of past sexual abuse.

    Towards Healing was supposed to be a recognition by the church of the problem and a protocol for negotiating a settlement away from the courts that may involve financial restitution, but also counselling and other measures.

    But Towards Healing’s critics say it exists to contain the church’s financial exposure.

    The average payout – which always involves a release from making further claims – is about $35,000, while court settlements can yield up to 10 times that amount.

    Payouts from court settlements for serious sexual abuse are in the order of $200,000 to $300,000 and can occasionally be higher, lawyers say…

    Some “gravy train”. In August 2007, James Setches had received $41,000 for the abuse he experienced; “Pacific Brands chief executive Sue Morphet was paid $1.86 million last year… Her predecessor as chief executive, Peter Moore, received a $3.4 million retirement payment that took his total package for 2008 to $5.8 million. Overall, the 13 executives of 2008 received $15.4 million between them, including Mr Moore’s payout. In 2007, 10 executives received a total of $7 million.”

    It seems to me — but certainly not only me — that in responding to instances of child sex abuse committed by its members, the Catholic Church is behaving precisely as one would expect a corporation to act. That is, its main concern is to limit damages, both financial and political, to its operations. Beyond this, the Church and Church-affiliated orders have actively denied the occurrence of abuse, sought to protect perpetrators of abuse, and in doing so spectacularly failed to exhibit compassion or understanding. In addition, Church agencies sought to ‘manage’ the abuse by instituting practices which ensured its continuation.

    Finally, you make so many unsupported assertions in your commentary that replying to all of them would take a very long time. Instead, here are a few comments:

    1. “Have you ever heard of such people out there who do it for… gasp… money?”

    No, I have not. Nor am I aware of any person being showered with money as a result of making false claims of abuse against the Church. In other words, if you have some evidence of this occurring, feel free to provide it.

    2. “…how do you break through that wall of public school abuse?”

    By reporting it to the police. You appear to believe that ‘Government’ is a vast conspiracy; it is not. The police have little, if anything, to gain in covering-up child sex abuse committed by teachers.

    3. “…what makes you think teachers in government schools are not capable of endemic abuse too?”

    I’m perfectly well aware that teachers in government schools are capable of abusing their students, which is why I’ve never claimed otherwise. What I have outlined is the inadequacy — at best — of the response of the Catholic church to the recent exposure of such crimes. At worst, these ‘inadequacies’ amount to active collaboration in the furtherance of abuse. Further, I am able to make a distinction between members of the Catholic hierarchy, and particular institutions within it, and the broad mass of Catholics, who have generally responded with outrage at such crimes.

    4. “‘Priests are pedophiles’, this is a modern perception. Of course the majority are not.”

    I’ve not suggested otherwise. If there is a perception that Catholic priests are pedophiles, I would suggest that this has as much, if not more, to do with not only the exposure of such criminal behaviour as it does the complicity of the Church in attempting to cover it up.

    Deliver Us From Evil:

    Christy Moore : ‘The Magdalene Laundry’

  10. @ndy says:

    More superb analysis from WorldNetDaily…

    Leftists worship at altar of death cult, says book
    ‘United in Hate’ author explains alliance between jihadists, self-hating Americans
    Posted: March 01, 2009
    11:32 pm Eastern

    © 2009 WorldNetDaily

    It’s a book that will make so-called “progressives” see red.

    In “United in Hate: The Left’s Romance With Tyranny and Terror,” author Jamie Glazov says there’s an unholy alliance between jihadists and people like Michael Moore, Sean Penn, Ted Turner and Noam Chomsky, and, at the heart of the mutual admiration is a willingness to accept massive numbers of deaths to achieve their objectives…

      “United in Hate” analyzes the Left’s contemporary romance with militant Islam as a continuation of the Left’s love affair with communist totalitarianism in the 20th Century. Just as the Left was drawn to the communist killing machines of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and Castro, so too it is now attracted to radical Islam. Both the radical Left and radical Islam possess a profound hatred for Western culture, for a capitalist economic structure that recognizes individual achievement, and for the Judeo-Christian heritage of the United States. Both seek to establish a new world order, leftists in the form of a classless communist society, and Islamists in the form of a caliphate ruled by Sharia law. To achieve these goals, both are willing to ‘wipe the slate clean’ by means of limitless carnage, with the ultimate goal of erecting their utopia upon the ruins of the system they have destroyed. One of the foundations of the Left’s romance with militant Islam, as with communism, is the lust for death – for others.

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