Wednesday, 5 August 2015

TAKE CHURCHES OUT OF SCHOOLS

TAKE CHURCHES OUT OF SCHOOLS


I BELIEVE THAT ALL SCHOOLS SHOULD BE STATE SCHOOLS AND THAT GOVERNMENT AND TAX PAYERS MONEY SHOULD NOT BE USED TO TEACH AND SPREAD RELIGION AND DENOMINATIONALISM.

I have always believed this but was reminded of it again when I read in today's IRISH TIMES that the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, is defending the policy of giving first place to children who are baptised Roman Catholics. 

Diarmuid Martin
Over 90% of schools in the Republic of Ireland is run by the Roman Catholic Church - in spite of the fact that the vast majority of the population no longer practises the Roman Catholic religion. 

Diarmuid Martin himself commented on the failure of these schools to impose Roman Catholic dogma on the people they educate when over 62% of the Irish electorate voted to allow Gay Marriage in Ireland against the wishes and instructions of the RC hierarchy. So these schools are even failing to achieve the RC agenda.

The fact is that Ireland is fast becoming a modern, European, secular and pluralist democracy in which, thank God, the churches have less and less influence. It is a contradiction for such a democracy to allow any church to have a monopoly in schools. 

If the Roman Catholic Church wants to have its own schools they should have to pay 100% of the costs for them like they have to do in the USA.

All schools should be state schools and should be run by the government and by the parents of the children attending the schools. When it comes to awarding places to children in those schools things like a religious baptism should play no role whatsoever. Particular schools in particular areas should be there to serve the children and parents of that area. 

This would also remove the control of children, parents and teachers from the local parish priest or clergy. 

When I was a curate in Kilkeel in County Down I served as the secretary of five primary schools. When I took over the task I was totally shocked at the nepotism that operated within the Roman Catholic school system in Northern Ireland. 

Normally the parish priest was the chairperson of the management committee and many of those parish priests were bullies and practised nepotism and favouritism. 

Teachers who were related to clergy or teachers who "licked up" to the clergy were given first preference when it came to appointments and promotions. 

There was even among the clergy a known but unwritten "black list" of teachers who were wasting their time applying for jobs and promotions. 

This system ensured that the clergy favourites - whether they were competent or not - rose to the top and very often the best and most competent of teachers were left behind. It was down right unjust and corrupt. 

I do not believe that there has been much change in this area and I still hear horror stories from parents and teachers about some of the things that go on in the RC school system.

We need a total revolution in schooling in Ireland - North and South - and a large part of that revolution will involve telling the clerics who control education to get on their bikes!





Tuesday, 4 August 2015

PRIEST WHO BLEST BOMB REPENTS

 

  • A girl prays after releasing a paper lantern Aug. 6, 2012, on the Motoyasu River facing the gutted Atomic Bomb Dome on the 67th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. More than 75,000 people were killed in Hiroshima when the United States dropped the bomb near the end of World War II. (CNS photo/Kyodo, Reuters)



 |  a
 Difference




Seventy years ago, in Aug. 1945, the single most destructive weapon ever unleashed upon human beings and the environment -- the atomic bomb -- was dropped by an American B-29 bomber on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing approximately 80,000 people instantly.
Three days later, a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, immediately killing an estimated 40,000 people, with tens of thousands dying later from the bombings because of radiation poisoning.
Blessing the crews and their two missions was Fr. George Zabelka, the Catholic chaplain to the 509th Composite Group -- the atomic bomb group.


In a 1980 interview with theologian, peace advocate and later Catholic priest Charles McCarthy in Sojourners magazine, a Christian social justice and peace publication, Zabelka said during war, the destruction of civilians was always forbidden by the church.
"If a soldier came to me and asked if he could put a bullet through a child's head, I would have told him absolutely not. That would be mortally sinful," he said.

But in 1945 on Tinian Island in the South Pacific, where the atomic bomb group was based, three planes every minute would take off around the clock, Zabelka said.
From the interview:
"Many of these planes went to Japan with the express purpose of killing not one child or one civilian but of slaughtering hundreds and thousands of children and civilians -- and I said nothing. ...
As a chaplain I often had to enter the world of the boys who were losing their minds because of something they did in war. I remember one young man who was engaged in the bombings of the cities of Japan. He was in the hospital on Tinian Island on the verge of a complete mental collapse.
He told me that he had been on a low-level bombing mission, flying right down one of the main streets of the city, when straight ahead of him appeared a little boy, in the middle of the street, looking up at the plane in childlike wonder. The man knew that in a few seconds the child would be burned to death by napalm which had already been released.
Yes, I knew civilians were being destroyed ... Yet I never preached a single sermon against killing civilians to the men who were doing it. ...
I was "brainwashed"! It never entered my mind to publicly protest the consequences of these massive air raids.
I was told the raids was necessary; told openly by the military and told implicitly by my Church's leadership. To the best of my knowledge no American cardinals or bishops were opposing these mass air raids. Silence in such matters, especially by a public body like the American bishops, is a stamp of approval. ...
Look, I am a Catholic priest. In August of 1945, I did not say to the boys on Tinian, "You cannot follow Christ and drop those bombs." But this same failure on the part of priests, pastors and bishops over the past 1700 years is, I believe, what is significantly responsible for Hiroshima and Nagasaki and for the seemingly unceasing "Christian" blood-letting around the globe.
It seems to me that Christians have been slaughtering each other, as well as non-Christians, for the past 1700 years, in large part because their priests, pastors and bishops have simply not told them that violence and homicide are incompatible with the teachings of Jesus."
Zabelka said that 75,000 people were burned to death in one night of fire bombing over Tokyo. And hundreds of thousands were killed in Dresden and Hamburg, Germany, and Coventry, England, by aerial bombing.
"The fact that 45,000 human beings were killed by one bomb over Nagasaki was new only to the extent that it was one bomb that did it," Zabelka said.
Whether it's from one nuclear bomb or conventional bombs, bombs kill. Jesus did not teach us to kill, but to love everyone unconditionally -- even our enemies.
After years of soul-searching, Zabelka's complete conversion from a strong proponent of the "just war theory" to a total pacifist was announced in a 1975 Christmas letter to friends, stating, "I must do an about face. ... I have come to the conclusion that the truth of the Gospel is that Jesus was nonviolent and taught nonviolence as his way."
Zabelka dedicated the rest of his life to teaching, preaching and witnessing to Gospel nonviolence. He died in 1992.
In 1983, he and a Jesuit priest, Fr. Jack Morris, organized and participated in the Bethlehem Peace Pilgrimage starting at the nuclear submarine base in Bangor, Wash., and ending on Christmas Eve in 1984 in Bethlehem.
When Zabelka reached Maryland, I had the good fortune of hearing him personally share his inspiring story of conversion.
I strongly recommend reading Zabelka's entire Sojourners magazine interview and ordering from the Center for Christian Nonviolence the excellent DVD "Fr. George Zabelka: The Reluctant Prophet."
Love is the only remedy to the world's violent ills. In the end, the God of love, the God who is love, will unfold the fullness of his kingdom where all violence, all war, all injustice, and all sin have been conquered.
But for us here and now, we can either choose to rationalize and condone violence and war, or we can help God build his kingdom of life and love.
In the biblical book of Deuteronomy, the author lays out a divine ultimatum for humanity: "I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord, your God, obeying his voice, and holding fast to him."
May we always choose life!

PAT SAYS:

Once again we see the evil that comes from BLIND OBEDIENCE to STATE and CHURCH. 

God gave us a CONSCIENCE.

We need to use it !

Sunday, 2 August 2015

UNEASE IN COLERAINE PARISH

UNEASE IN COLERAINE PARISH

Father Brendan Mulhall
I have been made aware of unease among some of the parishioners of Coleraine parish with their temporary priest - Father Brendan Mulhall. I have obviously passed these expressions of unease to the bishop - Noel Treanor in Belfast. Bishop Treanor has acknowledged my communications and the parishioner's correspondence I have forwarded to him.

Bishop Treanor


Father Mulhall, a former Redemptorist priest from Clonard Monastery in Belfast is administering Coleraine parish while its parish priest, Father Gregory Cormican is away on sick leave.

Father Mulhall had been a curate in Downpatrick and in September 2012 he was made administrator ad interim (temporary administrator) at Holy Trinity Parish in Belfast after the parish priest there Father Matt Wallace had tragically ended his own life.

Father Matt Wallace RIP
Noel Treanor seems to like the term ad interim. Must be a European thing ?

CLERGY COMPLAINTS IN DOWN AND CONNOR:

Many ordinary Catholics in the Diocese of Down and Connor are very frustrated by the fact that when they have a complaint about a priest or another diocesan official or agency they find it very difficult to get Bishop Treanor to take any action.

For some reason it seems that Bishop Treanor is finding it impossible to take decisive action on complaints.

This was highlighted in the recent complaint by "Donna" against Father Ciaran Dallat of St Peter's Cathedral who had had an affair with Donna and made her pregnant.

With my help she went to see Bishop Treanor but got nowhere and was forced to go public in the Sunday Life newspaper before any action was taken. 



In the Church there should be an effective and transparent method of having complaints against clergy processed.

In fact I had suggested that the Church should appoint an independent ombudsman (woman) to independently process complaints. 

However nothing has happened! 

In the meantime people are still welcome to forward complaints to here for referral to those whose duty it is to investigate. Our contact details are 02828 260137 (if office not open please leave name and number we can get back to). Or: bishoppatbuckley@hotmail.com  It is far more preferable and fair and just to all involved if correspondents at least, privately, identify themselves. I know people can feel hurt and afraid but unfortunately anonymous communications lack credibility. 






Saturday, 1 August 2015

AN AUSTRALIAN ABUSE STORY

The priest and the schoolgirl: A cover-up is revealed

By a Broken Rites researcher
Cox on way to court with Bishop (now cardinal) Pell


A Sydney woman (who will be referred to by Broken Rites as "Mandy") has revealed that a Catholic priest (Father Kevin Cox) sexually abused her for six years from the age of eleven. Furthermore, the sexual abuse resulted in a pregnancy at age 17 — and then the priest paid for an abortion.
After these six years, Father Cox reluctantly apologised to the family for his sexual abuse of the girl. He also reluctantly admitted the sexual abuse to his bishop. However, the diocese granted him a transfer to another parish and allowed him to continue working as a priest for the next 15 years, until Mandy finally reported the sexual abuse to the police when she was nearly 32.
After the police charged Father Cox in court with his earliest sexual crimes against the child (at the age of 11 to 13), his supporters in the church sprang to his defence. After a jury convicted him of these crimes, church leaders and priests wrote "good-character" references for him, asking the court for a lenient sentence. A judge gave Cox a part-time jail sentence but church lawyers appealed to a higher court against the criminal conviction and won an acquittal for the priest.
Privately, a church leader apologised to Mandy's mother, acknowledging that the priest had broken his priestly vows in doing what he did to Mandy.
And, to cap it all off, when Father Kevin Cox died in 2008, the Catholic Church gave him a grand funeral service, jointly conducted by three bishops and more than fifty priests. He went to his grave as a church hero.

The priest's background

Broken Rites has ascertained that Father Kevin Nicholas Cox was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1930, of an Irish father and Australian mother. Immediately after leaving school, he entered the Catholic order of Cistercian monks (also known as the Trappist order) at Roscrea, County Offaly, Ireland, to train for the Catholic priesthood.
He was transferred to Australia, when the Cistercians established a monastery at Yarra Glen, near Melbourne, in 1954. A year later, aged 25, he was ordained in Melbourne as a Cistercian priest, with Melbourne's Irish-born Archbishop Daniel Mannix performing the ordination ceremony. Cox adopted the "religious" name Father "Dominic" Cox, after the medieval monk Saint Dominic.
After 20 years in the Melbourne monastery, Father Cox transferred from the Cistercians, on loan, to the Sydney archdiocese, changing his name back to Kevin. The Sydney diocese used him as a relief priest at Kogarah (St Patrick's parish) in 1974-75 andCaringbah (Our Lady of Fatima parish) from 1975 to 1982.

Here is Mandy's story

Mandy's life has been shattered by Cox's sexual abuse, the breach of trust, the loss of faith, her disrupted adolescence, the pregnancy, the abortion and the church's hypocrisy and cover-up.
Broken Rites has digested the following account from typed, sworn statements, made by Mandy, her mother Beryl and other family members, and witnessed by a police officer. The statements were later submitted in the preliminary court proceedings.
Mandy, born in mid-1964, is from a large, devout Sydney Catholic family in Caringbah (in Sydney's south), where the family's life revolved around the "Our Lady of Fatima" parish.
When Father Kevin Cox (then aged 45) joined their parish in 1975 as an assistant priest, he began visiting this family. He eventually took a particular interest in "helping" Mandy, aged 11, who was then a pupil at Father Cox's parish school.
The family trusted Father Cox with Mandy "because he was a Catholic priest". He began meeting Mandy for an early-morning jog at an oval near the Caringbah parish school. After one of these jogs, he jokingly put his hand inside Mandy's shorts and underpants for the first time.
He began spending more time alone with Mandy than the family was aware of — almost daily, either before school or after school or at weekends.
He molested her regularly in the Sacristy (a room near the church altar), telling her that, if anybody knocked on the door of this room, she was to hide. Later, other offences occurred regularly in a spare room at the school, in the presbytery, and in a parked car (sometimes after Saturday evening Mass),
At first, the abuse consisted of Father Cox fingering Mandy's genital area. At first, innocent Mandy did not realise that this was "sex", especially because he was a Catholic priest. On later occasions, the priest made Mandy touch his genitals, and he would ejaculate on her naked body. He told her: "If you tell anybody about this, it will cause a scandal for you."
This forced Mandy to bear the burden of secrecy and deception. She was prevented from telling her parents about the abuse.
Meanwhile, during the years of abuse, Father Cox continued to be a "friend" of Mandy's gullible family. He conducted a wedding ceremony for one of Mandy's sisters and baptised one of Mandy's nephews.

Pregnancy and abortion

Until Mandy was 16, the abuse always stopped short of sexual penetration but, at age 16, it progressed to full sexual intercourse. The intercourse continued for about a year and, at 17, Mandy became pregnant. Around this time, she was finishing Year Eleven at high school.
Father Cox then told Mandy to have an abortion. One of her sisters has made a sworn statement that the priest handed cash to the sister for the abortion, which was performed (after her 17th birthday) at a clinic in Surry Hills in inner-Sydney.
After the abortion, Mandy's mother Beryl was told about it. She was devastated because abortion was contrary to Catholic Church teachings and she was doubly shocked to learn that her daughter had been sexually abused by Father Cox. This undermined the whole basis of the family's Catholicism. At this stage (with Mandy aged 17) her mother presumed that the sexual abuse was relatively recent (perhaps for a year), not realising that it had been going on for six years.
The mother told the police in her sworn statement:
  • 'I was very shocked, and upset... I remember he [Fr Cox] picked me up in his car and drove to the Camelia Garden, Caringbah. We sat in the car and talked. I said to him something like, "You were a friend of all of us, I don't know how I'm going to tell [my husband], he'll want to kill you."
    'I don't remember what he [Cox] said exactly, he was making excuses. He said, "I'm sorry, it's a terrible thing."
After Cox mumbled his apology, the mother demanded that he tell his bishop about the sexual abuse, which he did. She also demanded that he leave this parish. The mother's statement says: "Father Cox must have spoken to the bishop because he left the parish very soon afterwards. I believe he went to the Pyrmont area [in inner-Sydney]."

Cover-up

The Caringbah parish gave Fr Cox a farewell party but the parishioners were not told the real reason why he was leaving.
The sex abuse did not affect Father Cox's career. Indeed, at his later parishes, he was rewarded with a promotion from "Assistant Priest" (at Caringbah) to "Administrator" or "Parish Priest" (that is, in charge) of Sydney parishes. Broken Rites has found him listed at:
  • Pyrmont (St Bede's), 1982-87;
  • Auburn (St John of God), 1988;
  • Woollahra (Holy Cross parish), 1989-91, acting as the parish administrator on behalf of retired archbishop James Carroll; and
  • Enmore-Tempe (St Pius V parish), as the Parish Priest in charge, 1992-96.
The congregations in these parishes were not told the reason why Father Cox had been rescued out of the Caringbah parish.

The impact on Mandy

Because of the priest's sexual abuse, Mandy's personal development was crippled. For example, when assaulting Mandy, the priest used to tell her: "Look what you are making me do — you naughty girl, you!" This blaming of Mandy convinced her that she is a "bad" person, and she is still suffering from the effects of this guilt.
Mandy's mother still did not realise that the sexual abuse began at the age of 11, not just 17. The mother had been puzzled for years why Mandy developed into such a disturbed and "naughty" girl from about age 11 onwards.
Another impact was that the priest monopolised Mandy's adolescent years, so she did not develop proper relationships with boys and girls her own age. And because her first "sexual" experience was with a Catholic priest, this damaged the way in which she would later be expected to develop a sexual relationship with an appropriate person of her own choosing.
She married in 1986 (aged 22) but the marriage broke up. One problem was that the trauma about the priest haunted Mandy's mind and it hindered her sexual relationship with her husband.
Mandy was now living in poverty with her two children, whereas the church was still providing accommodation and income for the priest. Depressed, Mandy tried to take her own life.

The church shuns Mandy

For many years after the abortion, Mandy remained silent about what Father Kevin Cox and the Catholic Church had done to her life. Like many church-abuse victims, she felt powerless to tackle the Catholic Church.
Early in 1996, Mandy began having counselling with a Sydney nun (Sister "Mary") but Mandy's emotional health was deteriorating. After consulting Mandy's family, Sister Mary notified the Sydney archdiocese about what Father Cox had done to Mandy and her family. Around Easter 1996, the archdiocese withdrew Fr Cox from the Enmore-Tempe parish, announcing that he was going "on leave".
To help her healing, Mandy wished to have a meeting with church officials, with Fr Cox present, so that Cox would offer her an apology in person. However, no such a meeting or apology was granted.
During 1996, the Australian bishops announced a new strategy on managing church sexual-abuse complaints (the "Towards Healing" project). On 26 November 1996, one of Mandy's close relatives (let us call her "Abbie") wrote (in confidence) to a leading spokesman for "Towards Healing", pleading for help for Mandy through "Towards Healing". This letter (and Broken Rites has examined a copy) explained how Mandy's life had been disrupted by Cox (damaging her faith and leaving her in poverty) and asking the church to help her to achieve "healing".
However, the archdiocese failed to help Mandy. This neglect was contrary to the "Towards Healing" document, which had promised (in paragraph 17 on page 4 of the 1996 edition): "The church authority shall immediately enter into dialogue with victims concerning their needs and ensure they are given such assistance as is demanded by justice and compassion."

Police charges

From this time on, Broken Rites received an occasional phone call from one or other of Mandy's relatives, reporting on developments and discussing strategies for obtaining justice.
Rejected by the archdiocese, Mandy no longer felt any obligation to maintain the church's code of silence about its sexual abuse. Therefore, she contacted Sydney's Petersham police station and was interviewed by Detective Stephen Rae. In May 1997 (aged 31) she made a sworn, signed police statement, outlining her encounters with Father Cox from the age of eleven onwards.
Following a police investigation, prosecutors selected three of the many incidents in Mandy's statement. The prosecution charged Father Cox with indecent assault (i.e., non-penetrative sexual activity) involving a child under 16. From the numerous encounters between Cox and Mandy, the prosecution charged Cox regarding three incidents:
  1. the first jogging incident at the Caringbah oval (when Mandy was aged 11);
  2. the first incident in the church sacristy (aged 11); and
  3. one of the early car-parking incidents (at Wanda Beach, aged 13).
The prosecution alleged that these assaults up to age 13 included Cox fingering the girl's genitals and also him rubbing his own genitals against her until he ejaculated on the outside of her body.
The prosecutors confined the charges to these early incidents because the penetrative sex after the age of 16 is more difficult to prosecute if the defendant claims to have had the 16-year-old victim's consent (whereas "consent" is not allowable as a defence if the victim is a child under 16). Nor was it a criminal offence for a priest to pay for an abortion.
When Mandy's mother Beryl (at the age of 71) learned the details of these charges, she realised for the first time that the priest's sexual abuse of Mandy began at age 11, not 17.

Preliminary court hearing

Late in 1997, preliminary proceedings were held before a magistrate at Sutherland Local Court.
Cox's defence was arranged by the legal firm Carroll and O'Dea, who were the solicitors for the Sydney Catholic archdiocese. He was represented in court by a senior (and up-and-coming) barrister, whose sibling was a very senior priest in the Sydney archdiocese.
Cox was driven to court every day by a fellow priest, who sat in the courtroom as Cox's personal support person.
The clergy, however, did not comfort Mandy or her mother or sisters. In fact, in court the church's legal team was clearly trying to defeat Mandy.
In court, armed by the church's legal team, Father Cox entered a plea of "not guilty".
Journalists knew that the charged priest was named Father Kevin Cox, but during these preliminary proceedings, the magistrate imposed a media-suppression order, prohibiting media outlets from naming the priest or the parish. A barrister from News Limited (publishers of the Sydney Daily Telegraph) went to the court, applying for the suppression order to be lifted, but the magistrate refused.
The intercourse, the pregnancy and the abortion at age 17 were mentioned at the magistrate's hearing, and this information helped to demonstrate Father Cox's propensity for sexual abuse.
Following normal practice in a contested case, the magistrate then "committed" Cox (that is, he scheduled him) to undergo a jury trial in a higher court, the New South Wales District Court.

Jury trial

The jury trial was held, chaired by a judge (not a magistrate), in the District Court at Campbelltown (in Sydney's south-west) in October 1998. For jury purposes, the prosecutors again confined the charges to the three incidents that had been selected for the 1997 preliminary hearing.
Before the jury was selected, the judge made rulings about the trial procedure. The judge ruled that the jury must not be allowed to know about the intercourse and the pregnancy, both of which occurred after Mandy's 16th birthday. The judge's reason for this is that the three charged incidents were confined to Mandy's earlier years (at the age of 11 to 13) — well before the pregnancy and the abortion. In any sexual assault case, the victim's 16th birthday is an important cut-off date, because after this birthday a defendant can try claiming that he had the victim's consent, which is not possible to claim under the age of 16.
The judge refused to let the jury hear evidence from Mandy's mother or two sisters.
He allowed the church lawyers to ask Mandy very personal questions about when she entered puberty.
The church lawyers tabled a letter (mentioned earlier in this article) which "Abbie" (a relative of Mandy) had written in confidence to "Towards Healing" about Father Cox's abuse of Mandy and the effects on Mandy's subsequent life. In court, the church lawyers used this letter in an attempt to discredit Mandy, claiming that Mandy's allegations must have been merely a trick to obtain "compensation".

Guilty verdict

In October 1998, the District Court jury found Cox guilty on the first two incidents and it let him off on the third.
The judge heard submissions from the prosecution and from the defence regarding what sort of sentence should be imposed.
Ms Robyn Denes, who appeared in court representing the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions, told court that the seriousness of Father Cox's offences could not be under-estimated.
She said: "The breach of trust is all the more stunning because of the awe and respect the children [in the parish] held him in. He was a priest in a parish who committed offences against a young girl who was part of the parish. The evidence discloses a systematic abuse of a young child. She was eleven years old when it happened."
Ms Denes said that there had been no evidence of contrition or remorse from Father Cox.
The church's legal team had assembled a thick file of "character" references from bishops and priests, all urging a lenient sentence for the priest. This file was submitted in court by the church's defence lawyer Paul Byrne, Senior Counsel. Byrne, who was hired for this trial (though not for the previous preliminary prodeedings), was one of the most prominent criminal lawyers in Sydney.

A part-time sentence

Instead of sentencing Cox to a normal jail term, the judge gave him two years of periodic detention — that is, part-time jail, which could be served (for example) at weekends.
The state prosecutor then asked the judge to lift the media-suppression order on the publication of Cox's name but the judge refused, thereby protecting the priest and the church. At this stage, therefore, Father Cox's name (and his conviction) could not appear in the media. The sentence was reported in the Sydney Daily Telegraph on 31 October 1998, page 15, with the priest not named.

Appeal

The NSW Director of Public Prosecutions appealed to a higher court about the leniency of Cox's sentence, while the church lawyers appealed against the conviction.
Three judges heard the appeal. This was not a re-trial and there was therefore no jury. The three judges reviewed the transcript of the jury trial and based their decision on this reading, plus legal submissions by the prosecutors and the church lawyers.
The appeal judges delivered their written judgement on 31 March 1999. The appeal judges noted that, although Cox was charged with three incidents, Mandy had difficulty in distinguishing each of the three charged incidents from the numerous other similaruncharged occasions.
The judges allowed Cox's appeal on the ground of the complainant's inability in evidence to state precise dates and times of the three charged offences.
They also decided that the two convictions were unreasonable because they were "inconsistent" with the acquittal on the third charge. Therefore, to achieve "consistency", the judges overturned the convictions on the first two charges.
One of the appeal judges, in his written judgement, made several puzzling statements, including:
  • This judge rejected the allegation that Cox's sexual assaults occurred almost daily. He wrote: "While this intensity of sexual activity is, of course, possible, to my mind it is improbable." (Really?)
  • This judge mistakenly referred to the jogging incident taking place at the "Canterbury" oval instead of the Caringbah oval. (How carefully did His Honour read the trial transcript?)

Media reports

At the appeal hearing, the church lawyers neglected to seek an extension of the media-suppression order. Therefore the appeal result was reported in Sydney newspapers, which published Father Kevin Cox's name for the first time. The Daily Telegraph named Cox on (1 April 1999, p. 15.
Later, Mandy's family was keen for the church's behaviour to receive more detailed media exposure. Mandy gave an interview to the Sunday edition of the Sydney Morning Herald (the Sun-Herald), which published a feature article by senior journalist Alex Mitchell. This article, too, named Cox.
Thus, the cover-up was exposed.
Despite Cox "getting off" in the criminal courts, the church hierarchy acknowledged privately that Father Cox did indeed break his priestly vows in his sexual abuse of Mandy. According to the church's "Towards Healing" document, the breaking of priestly vows constitutes sexual abuse.
A senior member of the Sydney archdiocese hierarchy later visited Mandy's mother and apologised on behalf of the church for what Father Cox had done to Mandy and to the family.

Still a priest

From the time he was charged by police in 1997 until the appeal court result in 1999, Father Kevin Cox was listed in the annual Australian Catholic Directory as "on leave", although still living in church premises. Mandy's family members believe that, during his court proceedings, Cox was residing in the Leichhardt parish (in Sydney's inner-west), where a friend of Cox was working as a priest.
After his successful appeal, the Sun-Herald reported that Cox would continue as a priest, possibly overseas. (This indicated that Cox still had the blessing of the Catholic hierarchy in Sydney and elsewhere.)
The Sun-Herald article about Cox alarmed many readers, who were concerned about the issue of child protection, especially as some of the Catholic Church's abuse victims were starting to report these crimes to the police, instead of just reporting them to a church official. This public exposure of Father Cox (and the church's cover-up) embarrassed the church, which issued a written statement a week later at the Caringbah parish, acknowledging the Cox court case but declaring the matter "closed".

Another victim

The Sun-Herald article about Mandy prompted an anonymous woman to write to her after tracing Mandy's family through the telephone directory. This letter provided proof that Mandy was not the only person who was sexually abused by Father Cox. The letter, received by Mandy on 26 May 1999, said:
  • "I was saddened and a little distressed to read of your recent experience with the law and the church. Not only because of the apparent injustice of the situation, but because I believed that you were most likely to be telling the truth.
    "And the reason for this belief is that I, too, had a liaison with the person in question [that is, Father Cox]. However, since I was married, in my early twenties, at the time, I've always thought that it was my responsibility and my fault. I did not realise that I had other feelings about it all until I read of your experiences. Perhaps I could have expected to be protected from such an experience. Perhaps I could have expected better behaviour from a priest, maybe that he would protect me from my own self-destructiveness, not collude with me in it. Maybe it wasn't ALL my fault.
    "I'm really not too sure of the purpose of this letter, except to tell you that I support you and feel for you. I can't imagine what it must be like to have gone through all that, and then have it turned back on you. I only hope that, in some way, you can now put it behind you, and become the woman you were meant to be, unfettered by memories of the past, and strengthened by the courage and conviction you demonstrated in telling your story.
    "I have this vision of you receiving great bags of mail, just like this one, from all the women who most likely have a similar story to tell. Perhaps they, too, will in some way be freed by your story, and now be able to recognise that it was not their fault. They did not, and do not, deserve to be treated in this manner. My hope is that the burden you have carried will be lifted from you, and that you will now be free to achieve your potential.
    "No-one can really understand what you have endured, but in sending you these thoughts of love, and encouragement, and thanks, perhaps I can return a little of what you have given to me
    "P.S. Because I lack your courage, I will remain anonymous."
Broken Rites is wondering: How many other victims did Father Kevin Cox have?

No more parishes

After the publication of Cox's name in the Sydney newspapers, the church did not appoint him to any more parishes in Sydney. Every year since 1999, Broken Rites has checked Fr Kevin Cox's listing in the annual edition of the Australian Catholic directories. From 2000 to 2008, these volumes continued to list Fr Kevin Cox as a priest of the Sydney archdiocese. His address was listed as "retired, care of the Sydney archdiocesan office".
The Catholic Church continued to look after Father Cox. About 2002, when he was aged 72, the church provided accommodation for him in a residence for retired priests at Culburra, a popular holiday destination on the New South Wales south coast.

A grand farewell for a church hero

In 2008, Reverend Father Kevin Cox (still a priest and still "reverend") died, aged 78. His funeral took place in one of his former Sydney parishes — at St Pius' Church, Enmore — on Thursday, 4 December 2008. A glowing obituary of Father Cox appeared in the Sydney Catholic Weekly, 21 December, 2008.
Cox's Requiem Mass was concelebrated (that is, jointly conducted) by three of Sydney's auxiliary bishops (Bishops David Cremin,Julian Porteous and Terry Brady) and more than fifty priests.


Bishop Cremin, who was one of Sydney's three auxiliary bishops at the time of Mandy's pregnancy, was born in Ireland (the same country as Kevin Cox) in 1930 (the same year as Cox). Cremin retired in 2005.

Bishop Julian Porteous

Auxiliary Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, who retired in 2004 (and who often has expressed sympathy for church victims), is not mentioned in the report of the funeral. Presumably he did not attend.

Bishop Terry Brady

The Catholic Weekly obituary stated: "His [Fr Cox's] requiem was a prime example of good liturgy. It was free-flowing and personal, like Fr Cox himself. "
The obituary said: "The Mass, led by Bishop David Cremin, from the placing of symbols to the final commendation, led by Fr Tom Feunell, was personal, reverent and prayerful. Bishop David let it flow and proceed without in any way interfering with the harmonious liturgy arranged by Fr John Ford and colleagues."
According to the 2010 edition of the annual Australian Catholic Directory, the above-mentioned Father John G. Ford has retired from parish work. His former Sydney parishes include Pyrmont, Stanmore and Leichhardt.
At the requiem, a homily was delivered by Fr Kevin O'Grady (a Sydney priest for more than fifty years), who told those present: "Kevin Cox was my friend. You are here today because he was your friend also."
Summing up Father Cox's life, Fr O'Grady told the congregation: "What a wonderful mixture of a life so joyful."
Broken Rites is wondering what Mandy and her mother and sisters would make of this final day of cover-up.

Cardinal Pell

Friday, 31 July 2015

US SCOUTS ALLOW GAY LEADERS



A boy scout carried a rainbow flag during a gay pride parade in San Francisco last year. The group on Monday ended its nationwide ban on openly gay adult

The Boy Scouts of America on Monday ended its ban on openly gay adult leaders.
But the new policy allows church-sponsored units to choose local unit leaders who share their precepts, even if that means restricting such positions to heterosexual men.
Despite this compromise, the Mormon Church said it might leave the organization anyway. Its stance surprised many and raised questions about whether other conservative sponsors, including the Roman Catholic Church, might follow suit.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply troubled by today’s vote,” said a statement issued by the church moments after the Scouts announced the new policy. “When the leadership of the church resumes its regular schedule of meetings in August, the century-long association with scouting will need to be examined.”
Only two weeks ago, the Mormon Church hinted that it could remain in the fold so long as its units could pick their own leaders.

The top Boy Scouts leaders, including Robert M. Gates, the current president and a former defense secretary who pushed for the new policy, did not immediately respond to the Mormon declaration. In previous statements, Mr. Gates expressed the hope that with the exemption for religious groups, the Boy Scouts might avoid a devastating splintering.
Many scouting leaders said they had not expected the Mormon Church’s sharp response and threat to leave.
“My assumption was that the concept voted on today had been fully vetted so as to avoid any unnecessary surprises,” said Jay Lenrow, a longtime volunteer scout leader in Baltimore who is on the executive committee of the Scouts’ northeast region and serves on the organization’s national religious relationships committee.
“I can only say that I’m hopeful that when the leadership of the L.D.S. Church meets and discusses the issue, that they will find a way to continue to support scouting,” Mr. Lenrow added.
Mormons use the Boy Scouts as their main nonreligious activity for boys, and the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts units they sponsor accounted for 17 percent of all youths in scouting in 2013, the last year for which data have been published.
Under the policy adopted Monday, discrimination based on sexual orientation will also be barred in all Boy Scouts offices and for all paid jobs — a step that could head off looming lawsuits in New York, Colorado and other states that prohibit such discrimination in employment.
One legal threat was immediately averted. In response to the change, the New York State attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, announced on Monday that his office was ending its investigation of the Scouts for violating state anti-discrimination laws.
The Boy Scouts’ national executive board, composed of 71 civic, corporate and church leaders, adopted the changes with 79 percent of those who participated in a telephone meeting voting in favor, according to an announcement issued by the Scouts. The announcement did not say how many board members were not present.
The policy change, which was expected, was widely seen as a watershed for an institution that has faced growing turmoil over its stance toward gay people, even as it struggles to halt a long-term decline in members. It was praised by gay-rights organizations as a major if incomplete step toward ending discrimination.
In 2013, facing growing public and internal pressure, the Scouts decided that openly gay youths could participate, but not adults. That approach satisfied no one, forcing the ejection of gay Eagle Scouts when they turned 18 but still causing some conservatives to quit.
Mr. Gates gave an urgent warning in May that because of cascading social and legal changes, the organization had no choice but to end its ban on gay leaders.
In a statement on July 13, the Mormon Church seemed to suggest that it could accept the compromise adopted on Monday. The statement said that any new leadership standard must preserve for its churches “the right to select Scout leaders who adhere to moral and religious principles that are consistent with our doctrines and beliefs.”
But the tone of Monday’s statement from the Mormons, after the formal announcement of the new Boy Scouts policy, was markedly more negative.
“The church has always welcomed all boys to its scouting units regardless of sexual orientation,” the statement by the Mormon Church headquarters said. “However, the admission of openly gay leaders is inconsistent with the doctrines of the church and what have traditionally been the values of the Boy Scouts of America.”
The statement also suggested another reason the Mormons are considering withdrawing from the Boy Scouts: the possible creation of its own boys’ organization to serve its worldwide membership.
“As a global organization with members in 170 countries, the Church has long been evaluating the limitations that fully one-half of its youth face where Scouting is not available,” the statement said.
Some conservative evangelical churches ended ties with the Boy Scouts after the 2013 decision to admit openly gay youths. Total national enrollment of youths, which had declined by a few percentage points in many prior years, fell by 6 percent in 2013 and by 7 percent in 2014, to 2.4 million.
More departures by religious conservatives are likely, said Russell D. Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Mr. Moore expressed skepticism about the Scouts’ promise to let church-sponsored units exclude gay leaders on religious grounds.
”After the Scouts’ shift on membership, they told religious groups this wouldn’t affect leadership,” he said. “Now churches are told that these changes will not affect faith-based groups. Churches know that this is the final word only until the next evolution.”
But scouting executives hope that with Monday’s change they can renew ties with corporate donors, schools and public agencies and attract parents who had steered their children away from scouting because of the policy.
“Moving forward, we will continue to focus on reaching and serving youth, helping them to grow into good, strong citizens,” said the statement Monday from the Boy Scouts.

The toughest challenge, Scout leaders say, may be to capture the time and enthusiasm of today’s increasingly urban, diverse and over-scheduled youths. To increase their appeal, the Boy Scouts have built new adventure camps with mountain biking and zip lines, and have created new merit badges in fields like robotics and animation.

PAT SAYS:

The move by the US Boy Scouts is an excellent move and another step in the furtherance of equality.

It means that any boy or teenager in the USA who is gay will feel deliberately welcomed by the Scouting community.

It also means that scout leaders who happen to be gay will not feel like second class citizens or leaders under some kind of suspicion.

Anybody and everybody wishing to be a scout leader realises that there is a code of conduct required of all who are involved, particularly in the area of child protection.

The new decision takes away that irrational cloud of suspicion over leaders who happen to be gay.

Anybody working with young people, regardless of their own situation, is called to the same standard. 

Once again, of course, the stone age attitudes of the so called Christian churches are shown up.

But gradually these churches, thankfully, are losing their influence.