These are the sorts of truths you don’t even want to write about. These are the stories you take in, you put your head in your hands, and you want to forget you ever heard them.
And I might just pass on all of it, the Catholic church’s child sex abuse scandal being so planet-encompassing and seemingly unending. But for the damningly black-hearted carelessness of the Ballarat Bishop, Peter Connors, I might have. But I can hardly tell you how angry I got reading his careless opinions. This is a person too irresponsible to have ever been properly put in charge of anything.
This is the latest reminder that the Catholic church hasn’t come close to realizing what, perhaps for centuries, it had become: a cabal that conspired to molest and rape children. It is only now — now that they can no longer get away with it — that they’re pretending to give a damn about addressing the crimes they’ve perpetrated.
Infuriatingly, in this case, pretending is all they’re prepared to do:
Church sex abuse inquiry ‘not needed’
Kellee Nolan | Herald Sun | August 3, 2011
An inquiry into suicides among victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and brothers in Victoria would achieve little, a Catholic bishop says.
Police investigating the case of convicted pedophile Brother Robert Best believe at least 26 victims of sexual abuse at schools in which he taught have committed suicide.
So, let us get this straight: 26 dead bodies, but no wider investigation? And you’re not stonewalling anything, Bishop? If 26 nuns had been raped and later killed themselves, wouldn’t you want to know how such an immense tragedy came to be?
“I don’t think they’ll learn very much more … I’m convinced we’ve done the best we can in more recent years.”
Best, who taught at schools throughout Victoria, including Ballarat, will be sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty to 27 charges of abusing 11 boys between 1969 and 1988.
. . and that’s the end of the story? That’s the beginning, Bishop Connors. How is it Best managed to get away with it for so long? Who else knew about it? Somebody knew about it, that’s guaranteed. When kids were killing themselves, no one thought twice about it?
But Bishop Connors on Tuesday said not even revelations from Detective Sergeant Kevin Carson that 26 young men had killed themselves after being abused by priests and brothers in Ballarat convinced him that more would be learnt from an inquiry.
“I think we’ve learnt a lot of things about what is appropriate behaviour and what’s not appropriate behaviour,” Bishop Connors said.
“I think people are very well informed nowadays as to what’s inappropriate approaches from a male.”
What the FUCK does THAT mean? This Connors guy might be the single most ill-equipped individual to deal with these horrific issues. Sadly, one of Best’s fellow pedophiles (there were more, of course) would be better suited to respond with a mote’s bit of compassion.
While conceding the abuse of children was wrong, he said that in the past it had not always been clear to everyone what was appropriate and inappropriate behaviour.
“In the past a lot of ignorance was there on the part of lots of people. Parents didn’t understand, sometimes bishops didn’t understand. We have no excuse now.”
It’s like the darkest bit of sketch comedy ever staged. Except it keeps going on and on.
Among the charges laid against Best in Victoria’s County Court last month were details of him raping a nine-year-old boy in his office.
The court heard that after Best raped him, the boy thought he was going to die and blacked out.
Bishop Connors said in the past 14 years he had spoken to more than 30 victims of [convicted child molester Father Gerald] Ridsdale and other priests in the Ballarat diocese.
But he said none had told him they were also abused by Best.
“I can’t remember them saying they were victims of Brother Best as well,” he said.
The bishop said he had no reason to meet Best’s victims “because he being a Christian Brother, I’m not responsible for him.”
Unbelievable. Just unbelievable.