The Curious Case of Occupy Melbourne concluded on Friday, May 4, with Justice North reserving his decision ’til laters. Will North agree with Merkel that #omel had the right to public protest, or will he concur with Doyle & Co. that the “self-righteous, narcissistic, self-indulgent rabble” deserved everything it got? Inquiring minds demand to know!
The Strange Trial of the Boycott Israel 19 commenced on May Day. One of the defendants, Jerome Small, read a statement outside court on behalf of the 19. In his statement, Jerome makes reference to Palestinian hunger strikers: “Today, at least 8 Palestinian hunger strikers lie in Israeli prison hospitals, including some in Ramleh prison hospital where, according to reports, hunger strikers lie chained to their hospital beds.”
Speaking of hunger strikes, it was the 31st anniversary of Bobby Sands‘ death yesterday (May 5).
(Is Thatcher Dead Yet? No… not yet.)
The day after May Day, “Eleven Victorians abused by a jailed paedophile Christian Brother… lodged joint claims in the Victorian County Court in the first of several looming and large legal actions aimed at forcing the Catholic Church to compensate victims”. The claims come several weeks after it was reported that at least 40 former victims of Catholic clergy in Victoria have committed suicide following their rape and abuse. The Victorian Government has responded by authorising a public inquiry into the manner in which Church and other authorities have handled child sex abuse cases. Today, it was revealed that the relevant parliamentary committee “has had its funding cut in the state budget, renewing concerns that it has been set up to fail”.
The government’s announcement [of an inquiry] was undermined even further when the committee’s deputy chairman, Labor MP Frank McGuire, admitted it was not the right body for the task. Four of its six members have only been in politics for 18 months, and the government has given them only one year to conclude the review while conducting two others.
”The forensic side of this is going to be very demanding. If they haven’t got the money for these things, it’s just fairyland,” said Broken Rites spokesman Wayne Chamley.
Shadow treasurer Tim Holding agreed. ”It’s impossible to expect the committee to conduct this controversial and sensitive inquiry when its funding has been cut,” he said.
The Attorney-General, Robert Clark (a Catholic) reckons s’all good. His Archbishop, Denis Hart, agrees that the Church has been fair and just, and that the welfare of victims has been at the heart of the Church’s response; which fact — translated into English — suggests that the Church will continue to fight rape victims tooth-and-nail in the courts. Elsewhere in the world, the Church has run into slightly more serious problems than a token parliamentary inquiry…
In Ireland, for example, Ireland’s top Roman Catholic cleric, Cardinal Sean Brady, is under pressure to resign, following exposure of the tricksy way he and other Church hierarchs have handled the abuse, described as “endemic” in several Catholic institutions in one independent report. Brady has told critics he was also heaps fair in his dealings with both paedophile priests and their victims, specifically in relation to his “role in a Church Inquiry in 1975 into allegations against the Norbertine priest Fr Brendan Smyth”.
Tonight, the ABC broadcast the US documentary Deliver Us From Evil. It rather undermines claims by Church authorities that it has not engaged in cover-ups and thereby assisted in the perpetuation of the rape and sexual assault of Catholic children.
Deliver Us From Evil is the story of Father Oliver O’Grady, the most notorious pedophile in the history of the modern Catholic Church. A remorseless, and compulsive, sexual predator, O’Grady used his charm and authority as a religious leader to exploit Catholic families and rape dozens of children across Northern California – both physically and spiritually – over the course of twenty years. His victims ranged from a nine month-old infant to the middle-aged mother of an adolescent victim.
Despite early warning signs and complaints from several parishes, the Church, in an elaborate shell game designed to avoid liability and deflect criticism, lied to parishioners and local law enforcement while continuing to move O’Grady from parish to parish. Yet internal Church documents prove that since 1973, O’Grady raped and sodomised with the full knowledge of his Catholic superiors.
Finally, in Philadelphia, the Church has taken the (seemingly) unprecedented step of actually removing from the ministry five priests accused of child sex offences. “The five priests will be under permanent supervision from now on, [Archbishop Charles J. Chaput] said. “Minimally, it would require a process of monitoring for the rest of their lives.” The five will not face criminal charges, said Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, because the statute of limitations had run out by the time of the [February 2011] grand jury report.”
In which case, the five share the same terrible fate as convicted child rapist and abuser Robert Best, who remains a Christian Brother in good standing.
As executed nineteenth century anarchist August Spies allegedly stated: “Laws are cobwebs for the rich, and chains of steel for the poor”.