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Premier John Brumby Urges Sorry

THE Pope should apologise to the parents of two Australian girls who were sexually abused by a priest when they were children, Premier John Brumby says.
Mr Brumby said it was not his job to tell the Pope what to do, but believed an apology would be appropriate if it helped Anthony and Christine Foster deal with their daughters' fate.
"There's been a lot of debate, a lot of controversy and a lot of hurt around this issue," he said.
"If an apology would reduce that hurt and relieve the suffering of families then I think it would be a very positive thing."
The Fosters arrived in Australia yesterday from Britain and were seeking an audience with the Pope to discuss the Catholic Church's handling of priest Kevin O'Donnell's rape of their daughters.
O'Donnell died in prison about 10 years ago.

Herald Sun (18-7-2008)

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Pope to Apologise For Clergy Abuse

POPE Benedict XVI has revealed he will use his visit to Australia to apologise for sexual abuse by priests and talk about how the Church can "prevent, heal and reconcile".
"We have to consider what was insufficient in our behaviour and how we can prevent, heal, reconcile. This is the essential content of what we will say as we apologise,'' Benedict said aboard his plane as he headed to Sydney to lead the Catholic Church's World Youth Day celebrations.
There has been growing speculation the Pope will apologise during his visit to Australian victims of abuse by the clergy, as he did earlier this year to American victims while on a US trip.
The issue of clergy abuse returned to the headlines this week over Sydney Archbishop George Pell's handling of sex abuse allegations.
ABC TV's Lateline program late on Monday night reported the archbishop had dismissed a claim of indecent assault against a priest who was later convicted of the crime.
Pell had dismissed the complaint against Father Terrence Goodall in 2003 after giving weight to the priest's claim the encounter was consensual.
The victim, Anthony Jones, consistently claimed otherwise, and in police wire tap evidence given to church investigators three years ago, Goodall admits to forcing himself on Jones.
Pell said this week that while he had no knowledge of the taped conversations, he would now seek legal advice on reopening the investigation.
Earlier, he admitted he was mistaken when he wrote to Jones in 2003 saying no one else had contacted the church with complaints about Goodall.
It has been revealed he wrote to another man the same day, stating a church investigation confirmed he was sexually abused by Goodall.
Meanwhile, support group Broken Rites held a vigil in Melbourne today calling on the church to apologise to sex abuse victims.
Spokeswoman Chris MacIsaac said: "We want him (the Pope) to know what this is all about, how serious the issue is in Australia and we want an apology that is meaningful.''
Members of Broken Rites plan to visit Sydney to continue to call on the Pope to apologise, Ms MacIsaac said.

AAP (12-7-2008)

Mass Protest Anger at Cathedral

ARCHBISHOP of Melbourne Denis Hart yesterday stopped saying mass and called police to deal with about 200 noisy protesters.
They joined about 20 who regularly protest outside the archbishop's masses calling for him to discuss clergy sexual abuse with them.
The groups chanted so loudly the archbishop stopped his sermon and police were called.
In Good Faith and Associates spokeswoman Helen Last said victims of sexual assault and their representatives had been protesting every Sunday for three weeks because the archbishop refused to deal with clergy sexual assault properly.
The rally was timely, Ms Last said, as the Pope prepares to visit Sydney for World Youth Day.
"We're very concerned about World Youth Day . . . there will be a large number of children gathered there with clergy and no proper procedures in place," she said.
"The problem has not been dealt with properly . . . It is happening now and we are very concerned with the lack of safety."
But she said Archbishop Hart had refused any form of meeting.
"He came out last week and turned his back on us. He said he would pray for us but it's too late for prayers, it's time for proper protective action for children," she said.
"He's not willing to face the human side of this problem and really listen to these people."
The protesters plan to return to the cathedral every Sunday and go to Sydney to protest when the Pope arrives, she said.
"We are prepared to do a very long protest, as long as it takes. We will not go away until we get a meeting."
A police spokesman said the protesters had been very noisy but there were no arrests or injuries.
A spokesman for Archbishop Hart said he had no plans to meet victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Herald Sun (7-1-2008)
Anne Wright

Abuse Victims Protest Outside Cathedral

Protest groups disrupted mass at St Patrick's Cathedral on Sunday morning, calling for a meeting with the Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart.
About 15 victims and representatives of victims of clergy sexual abuse protested outside the cathedral as well as around 100 members of a Campbellfield church demanding the reinstatement of their former priest.
The rallies come as Pope Benedict XVI prepares to visit Sydney during celebrations to mark World Youth Day.
In Good Faith and Associates (IGFA) spokeswoman Helen Last said victims want restorative meetings.
"The Pope has promised there will be a big pastoral engagement and we're not seeing any of it and haven't seen any of it for 10 years," Ms Last said.
Members of the group will head to Sydney during the Pope's visit, but are concerned about "draconian" laws introduced by the NSW government which have been criticised for impinging on free speech.
Ms Last met with NSW police to discuss the laws last week and was informed any clothing or banners needed to be approved.
The group has produced t-shirts saying "bloody angry Aussies against clergy sexual abuse".
"These are the most draconian laws that have ever been brought in and I think they say something about the unsavoury and unhappy relationship between the church and the state and that needs to be sorted out," Ms Last said.
A spokesman for Archbishop Hart said he had no plans to meet victims of clergy sexual abuse.
Members the Our Lady Guardian of Plants church in Campbellfield in Melbourne's north east demanded their former priest Father Khalid Marogi be reinstated at the parish.
About 50 protesters stormed St Patrick's for about 15 minutes, disrupting mass with loud chanting, until police asked them to leave.
Spokesman Robert Yacoub said Fr Marogi was removed from the church without any warning.
The church is of the Chaldean arm of the faith with 10,000 Iraqi parishoners.

AAP (6-7-2008)

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