Monicks: Unleashed

Thinking Critically

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Atheism: My journey.

This is a recurring question I get asked by friends, theists and atheists alike. “What’s your de-conversion story?” Well, I don’t have one, I was never a believer, but I was a kid with catholic parents, so I do have a story to tell, plus this question appeals to me now for a reason that will be clear if you keep reading. Not that mine is more exciting or interesting than anyone else’s story, it’s just, you know, mine.

Throughout all these years that I have been making public statements about my lack of belief, I have, in  many places, let everyone know that had it been my choice, I would have chosen to believe. I spent most of my childhood making honest efforts Read More

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Priest blames girl for abuse

AN Ipswich priest who claimed he sexually abused a 12-year-old girl because she encouraged him has been sentenced to three months in jail.
SHAMED: Murray Alexander Moffat at court.

Rob Williams

AN Ipswich priest will spend the next three months in jail after admitting abusing a young girl.

Murray Alexander Moffat was an assistant priest at Sacred Heart Church at Booval when he sexually abused the girl from 1978 to 1980 – when she was aged between 12 and 15.

Ipswich District Court heard the victim, now aged 43, confronted Moffat last year while wearing a police wire and he admitted the abuse.

But he claimed she encouraged it and kissed him first.

“I made a mistake – you invited me,” Moffat told his victim in the taped conversation.

“I should’ve said no but I didn’t. I thought you wanted me to do that.”

Moffat, 64, apologised for any pain the abuse caused her.

“You were special to me,” he told the girl.

Crown Prosecutor Sarah Farnden said the priest told the girl she instigated the behaviour and it was “his mistake to allow her to do that”.

Ms Farnden said the priest was regularly allowed to spend time with the girl in her bedroom where he kissed and touched her.

In about 1980 the girl remembered her dad driving her to see an industrial fire at Bundamba with Moffat sitting in the front passenger seat and her behind him when the priest reached back and molested her.

The court heard Moffat gave the girl gifts including a pushbike and an Easter egg and said he loved her and wanted to marry her.

The girl approached the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane in 1995 to complain and it was referred to Queensland Police, but she did not take the case further.

The church sent Moffat on a “retreat” and he had five counselling sessions with a psychiatrist before returning to work a few months later.

Moffat pleaded guilty to three charges of indecent treatment of a child aged under 16.

He was sentenced to 18 months jail which will be suspended after he serves three months for an operational period of three years.

Defence barrister Gary Long said his client had no prior criminal history and was held in high regard by his parish, friends and members of the clergy.

Mr Long said Moffat now suffered a range of health complaints, including heart problems and diabetes.

The Archbishop of Brisbane, on behalf of the Archdiocese of Brisbane expressed deep remorse for the pain and suffering experienced by the victim.

The Most Reverend John Bathersby said he was deeply saddened by the grave abuse of trust and breach of pastoral care in the case.

“The Archdiocese offers a sincere apology to the victim,” the Archbishop said. “We credit greatly her courage in coming forward to speak with the police so that justice might be achieved.”

The Archdiocese confirmed Moffat had not been involved in any public priestly ministry since June last year and the Archbishop will initiate processes under church law to see if other penalties are called for.

Moffat’s authorisation to minister publicly or privately was revoked upon his conviction.

When asked why Moffat was not stood down in the mid-90s, an Archdiocesan spokesman said the matter was referred to police in 1995 and investigated but the victim chose not to proceed.

“In the absence of charges being laid but to ensure that Fr Moffat posed no risk in continuing to undertake his priestly duties, the Archdiocese had Fr Moffat professionally assessed by a psychologist,” the spokesman said.

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US Catholic Church tarred with new child sex abuse scandal

Not that this is extremely surprising, is it.

LOS ANGELES — The Roman Catholic Church in the United States has become embroiled in a new pedophilia scandal with six women and one man alleging sexual abuse by a priest over three decades.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Oakland, California accused Father Stephen Kiesle of acts of sexual abuse between 1972 and 2001, and alleged that Catholic Church officials knew of the crimes but did not stop them.

Pedophile priest scandals and allegations of high-level cover-ups that swept Australia and the United States in 2004 have surged again since last year and rocked the Catholic Church in Europe and the United States.

“The Catholic bishops in the United States of America and the Holy See have long facilitated the sexual molestation of children by engaging in the harboring and protection of known child molesting priests,” read a copy of the latest lawsuit obtained by AFP.

“The bishops and Catholic hierarchs have done so to prevent the priests from being prosecuted and to avoid scandal,” the lawsuit read.

It said church figures “have subjected Catholic families and children in these communities to known pedophiles, counting on the devotion and reverence in the communities to keep any further abuse by the priests secret.”

The plaintiffs, six women and one man, said they were abused by Kiesle throughout childhood and adolescence, although one alleged victim, Teresa Rosson, 48, said she suffered abuse at the hand of the cleric until about a decade ago.

The lawsuit is the latest of several to embroil the US Roman Catholic church, which has been repeatedly accused of closing its eyes to the sexual and physical abuse of children by priests and church officials.

In response, the Vatican last month issued new rules against pedophile priests and promised an acceleration of internal investigations and extension by a decade of the statute of limitations in abuse cases.

The church paid out 436 million dollars in 2008 for sex abuse cases involving clergy members, according to an official report last year.

The bulk of that money — more than 374 million dollars — was paid out in settlements to victims, according to the report that tracks how well the church is implementing a charter to protect children.

The US Catholic Church was plunged into crisis in 2002 after the Archbishop of Boston admitted he protected a priest he knew had sexually abused young members of his church.

During a trip to the United States in 2008, Pope Benedict XVI, the leader of the world’s 1.1 billion Roman Catholics, sought pardon from victims, saying he felt deeply ashamed by the sex scandals.

The pope himself has faced allegations that, as archbishop of Munich helped to protect predator priests.

Source google.com
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