Tuesday, September 13, 2011

As a young priest he was abused - now forty years later he is breaking his silence...

A story from Australia:  As a young priest he was subjected to years of sexual abuse by other senior clerics.

Archbishop John Hepworth has broken his silence. The Church of England primate of  the traditional Anglican Communion, a breakaway faction that is seeking unity with Rome, has broken his forty year silence after the Catholic church apologised to him for the abuse he suffered as a youth. He said that four decades on, he was still scared of going near a Catholic church. He said he had fled the church in fear, and was still afraid. He was irrational, scared of the hurt and scared of the organisation.

As a 15 year old student  at the St Francis Xavier Seminary in Adelaide, South Australia, his abuse began in 1960 and for the next decade he was raped repeatedly and regularly by three men. Two of these are now dead, but the third  still runs a parish in South Australia. He had been at the Seminary for only a month before being taken by a prefect to the rooms of an older seminarian, John Stockdale.

Stockdale, now dead, had plied him with wine before  forcing painful and vigorous anal sex on the 15 year old boy. The abuse continued for two years before he was 'passed on'  to Ronald Pickering, a  British priest who had moved to Melbourne and was visiting Adelaide. When father Pickering had later died, it was discovered that he had abused hundreds of boys over a 20 year period.

He remembers comments made at St Francis Xavier that such and such a priest had been sent back to Ireland because he was at the 'alter boys'.

Archbishop Hepworth  spoke of the ruthless, cruel and effective way to ensure a victim's silence. After the abusive priest had repeatedly raped and subjected a teenage boy to years of abuse, the aging priest returned to his victim, by then an ordained priest himself, and admitted his crimes - in the confessional box itself.
The rapist priest knew as well as his victim that under the law of the Confessional  Seal this meant he could never be exposed.  But forty years later the victim is breaking his silence!

An Australian politician announces he will name and shame too!


Aussie politician to name and shame.   http://au.news.yahoo.com/sa/latest/a/-/article/10246093/church-implores-senator-not-to-name-priest/
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