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Never Again just got real

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"How can anyone believe in a God whose servants abuse children and whose hierarchy protects the abuser?"
More by JohnB - Living the final years of the Catholic Cover up

Angies story I NEED YOUR HELP
Bookmark and Share      Created: 2010-04-12 00:02:25   Last updated : 2010-04-21 13:33:05


I am a single Mother of 6 beautiful children. I am a member of the Catholic Church community in Healesville. My eldest son, who was just 14 at the time, was devoted to his faith and participated in the mass as an altar boy of the St Brigid’s Parish, He had worked under several priests before Fr Pavlou was introduced to our parish.

Fr Pavlou became infatuated with my son to the point he couldn’t go a day without seeing him. Even when I set boundaries on their interaction he continually broke them and encouraged my son to lie to me and teachers.

So he could see him, there would always be one excuse or another to draw my son to meet him without my consent, the texting by phone became a daily event and he often told my son he was his best bud. I was very anxious and spoke to my son over my concerns, but at the start my son was blinded with the offers that Pavlou had offered; endless time on the Internet, Xbox games, and movies to keep drawing my son’s attention to the priest’s place.

I believe it’s every mother’s right to protect her children to the best of her ability. So I became involved, making sure I was there to oversee their interaction on a couple of occasions to ease my mind, but instead certain things this priest did hit a lot of alarm bells for me. Dismayed and bewildered at the fight I had in trying to get my son home safely, without Pavlou luring my son to his place kept failing no matter what I did. Pavlou always found a way to see my son.

As I was on full alert, the minute my son was late home from school, I would tell all the children to get in the car and have to go to the presbytery and tell my son to leave Pavlou’s home and get in the car! He should be home with his family and not hanging out with a priest who was considerably older than him.

Pavlou became aware that I was forbidding my son spend time with him. To me, his obsession with my son was way off beam. I had many confrontations telling Pavlou to leave my son alone, but he arrogantly persisted in his behaviour and continued to see my son. Even when I contacted the police there was no help forthcoming from that quarter. At this stage I was at my wits’ end!

Eventually, Pavlou promised he would leave my son alone, but unknown to me he started ringing my son at school and made my son promise to keep their meetings secret from me. He even had the audacity to collect my son and took him home to his house instead of taking him home. Deviously, he began to tell my son to pay no heed to me as I was too stressed to be rational. He knew my son’s timetable and even had my child travel to his house in the morning and if he missed the bus Pavlou would take him to school. This was all done without my knowledge.

I was aware that nothing I did would stop this man. To be forced into a position that I had no choice, but to send my son away for there are ‘NO Laws ’forbidding the grooming of a young child, or a man having an obsession in getting to a child and being alone with him. I had 5 other children that needed security and protection too.


I told my son that I was sending him away to stay at his grand mother’s so he could have the remainder of the school year in safety and to have a holiday. My son welcomed this offer as he started to notice the odd behaviour of Pavlou himself (but did not tell me this as my son knew I was against him visiting the priest). As a mother with no evidence you can’t condemn a man and tell your child you fear he is a Paedophile. My child couldn’t tell me because he trusted the priest and listened to him, instead of his mother. My son tried to withdraw from Pavlou’s attention and demands but the priest wouldn’t let go without a fight.

In passing conversation my son told the priest he was leaving for a holiday; this didn’t stop the priest telling my son if he left and listened to me, he would be a quitter for the rest of his life. He also threatened that if he did go he would fail his VCE!

If he went the priest claimed he wouldn’t be able to cope with the parish without my son’s support. If he was my son’s teacher, he would fail him, and so on into all hours of the night. The amount of pressure this placed on my 14 year old child was immeasurable.Unaware that this priest was trying to blackmail my son, I entered the lounge of my home and asked my son to go to bed, and asked the priest to leave my home. After my son went to bed the priest then started to blackmail me saying that I was a questionable parent in neglecting my son’s education. He had the arrogance to threaten me with the Dept of Human Services! He was going to say that I was providing my son with no discipline and no responsibilities. Pavlou then told me he wouldn’t and couldn’t cope without my son and would go on sick leave till he got back.

When I challenged the priest with his infatuation for my son his response to me was; ‘Yes, he is so great to talk to, I have never met a child like him. He is so mature and I like his company. I can’t help myself I need his support’.

After he had left I went to check on my son and say goodnight and I found him in crying in bed. I was immediately concerned for him asked what was wrong he then told me of the priest’s threats and asked me would he fail his VCE if he went away on a holiday? I reassured him the school fully supported him in having a holiday and that he had nothing to worry about. I had already spoken to the co-ordinator and the Dean; they had no concerns for him going on to year 10. I told him not to worry about it that Pavlou had no right to say that to him. I promised him I’d deal with Pavlou and he was no longer to be worried. He was a lot less stressed after our conversation.

After hearing this I spoke to two parishioners of my fears. I told them that I was sending my son away for his safety, to stop the priest contacting him and give him time to breathe. The thought of Pavlou ‘claiming’ he was unwell, and telling parishioners this at mass this, to enable him to go on sick leave concerned me greatly. The devious manipulations of this man beggars belief and I was frightened that he would follow my son, so he could continue seeing him. I felt there was no one I could turn to given the power of the church here in Australia. I sent my son away and told him to leave his mobile with me so Pavlou couldn’t contact him.

My worst fears were confirmed when Pavlou took to the pulpit and cried that he was not coping and the congregation fell for it hook, line and sinker! I wanted to shout to them that he was making fools of them all. They all rallied around him and hugged him and reassured him he had their full support; I have witnessed first hand what it must feel like to be a victim of this church. I was left both stunned and speechless.

How do I voice the TRUTH? I am an adult so can you begin to imagine what it would do to a child to witness this? No-one listened to me. The congregation all supported him. I had no one to turn to. I was all ALONE.

Would you believe that after all this support from the parishioners, the first thing he did when they had all left was to TEXT MY SON ‘Hi Bud, still not coping, promise we SMS everyday?’

When Pavlou didn’t get a reply from my son, he then rang me to find out where my son was as he needed to talk to him; I lied and told him that my son was visiting a friend. I didn’t want him to know I sent him away immediately after his threats. I told my brother to look after him and filled him in on all the details so he could understand the mental state my son was in and to tread carefully.
After this, I became so angry and I approached the primary school principal and gave him seven pages off my list of grievances that I had with this priest and begged and pleaded with him to listen to me. I felt strongly that the truth had to be told. I had no where to turn and needed help in finding someone to hear my story. The Principal then referred me onto the Melbourne Response Team.

I was of the impression that this system was set up to help the victims and get support and advice in going to the legal system. To my astonishment they were more concerned in letting me hand over all the details to them and to keep it quiet as the ‘parish didn’t need to know’ they told me. At no time was I advised to go to the Police about this matter.

Pavlou was allowed to leave the parish on sick leave with no supervision which was a major concern as other children could have fallen prey to this man and his perversions. I kept lobbying the Melbourne Response Team to be more proactive in their response to this issue. Little did I know that behind the scenes the information was being relayed to Pavlou via O’Callaghan who was the intermediary between the team and the victims? He is the Independent Commissioner of Clergy Misconduct and Prevention of Child Sex Abuse.

Meanwhile, Pavlou had been writing to members of the congregation telling them I had put my son up to it and I was only after money and was a woman of low calibre.

Maria Kirkwood held a secret meeting with a certain few of the parishioners in the local parish hall, discussing topics of clerical misconduct and victims’ compensation. Two parishioners stood up at the meeting and voiced their own personal concerns over Pavlou whilst Maria Kirkwood was focusing on the financial aspect of compensation for the victims. This is the same person along with Susan Sharkey who withheld information from me that my son who was a minor at the time had told them about a crime that had been committed against him. Neither of them saw fit to report it to the police either!

I had remained silent whilst all of this was taking place. Firstly, because the MRT had asked me to and secondly I believed I would get a fair hearing for what had happened. No support was given to me throughout this horrendous ordeal. I was trying to cope with six children on my own.

Despite my persistent requests for support programs be put in place for the students and that parents had to be made aware of the pitfalls my pleas fell on deaf ears.

Till one day a child from the school pointed at Fr Julian and said ‘he is one of those’. So then a letter was sent home to parents via the principal to come and talk, as the children were expressing; their parents concerns at school; that the situation needed to be dealt with delicately.

There was I fighting a battle single handed and no one showed any concern for my family and me. Only because Fr. Julian was singled out was there any action from the school! To this day I find the community; the school and the church have been reprehensible in their treatment of me and mine.

The Response Team neglected my child; they withheld information from me the parent of that child and were unprofessional and inappropriate in their behaviour. They took an inordinately long time to deal with the situation surrounding a child’s safety which doesn’t bode well for the future of our children or their safety!

It is compulsory for social workers, teachers and other professions to report any abuse as soon as the information is made public but O’Callaghan neglected to do this, citing that no law had been infringed in a news report. He was appointed by Archbishop Pell to handle complaints and make decisions on these matters. Clearly, he is not fit for the position.

Had this been handed to the authorities, I wouldn’t have had to live with the stress and anxiety for the four years it took to resolve this case. Pavlou had deleted the pornographic evidence off his computer and used O’Callaghan’s information to damage my family and our reputation in the community; and also to protect himself by tampering with the law by hiding evidence.

By Sharkey and Kirkwood withholding information, I had doubts as to the degree of criminality of the case and when I discovered the information they had sat upon my anger flared and I knew the police had to be called. I did not want to be part of any secret deals and wanted a court of law to be the final judge in the case. O’Callaghan had offered counselling for Pavlou, that he would leave the priesthood if he refused the counselling. Obviously, they did not see nor understand that he would be free to re-offend and damage other young children’s lives for ever.

 H.E.A.R. - Healesville Education and Awareness Raising, is who I turned to for help once I became aware of the information my son disclosed to Susan Sharkey and Maria Kirkwood from the Archdiocese which was withheld, from me.

H.E.A.R founders, Ian Lawther and Pam Krstic were the only ones that supported me through this battle in my local community along with one close friend from the parish. Ian and Pam redirected me to a distinguished reputable legal firm.

The Police, once they knew the full extent of the crime acted immediately. The case was successful and Pavlou was convicted in 2009 and he is now on the Sex Offenders Register. He was convicted of two offences.

However, this was not the end of the saga for me and my family. The local priest of our community Father Julian had selected Barry Robinson (he had run away from Boston to hide from possible charges being brought against him there) from a supply list knowing that this man had a history of having sex with a sixteen year old boy! He was to help in the Easter masses in Healesville. Pell, O’Callaghan and Les Tomlinson had cleared this man for local parish work being in full and glaring knowledge of his predatory nature!

Barry was offered accommodation at the Presbytery over the Easter period. Julian asked the parishioners on a number of occasions to make Barry feel welcome  to welcome him into their homes!

Fr Julian was informed, by a parishioner that HEAR knew of whom the priest was, even though they reassured the priest, via the parishioner, that they would not protest on such a holy day, they also felt that the parishioners had the right to know that the person saying the Easter Liturgies was not a person of high moral standards as the church insists upon.

Fr Julian cancelled the masses and cancelled the priest’s visit on Holy Thursday morning. It was a last minute decision he acknowledged because people knew of Barry’s past and asked the congregation to attend at Lilydale parish instead.Had the parishioner not apprised Julian of the knowledge of Barry’s past, the masses would have been heard by him.

Having gathered a number of email addresses for members of the parish, I contacted them to let them know how hurt and betrayed I felt over the insults hurled at me and of the abuse they had heaped on me and my family in the four years it took for my case to come to a successful ending.

A copy of this letter is attached (see below).

Please help me in the fight to protect children worldwide!!!!.

My recommendations after this damning indictment against the church and Healesville community would be that;

  1. O’Callaghan is immediately removed from office
  2. A replacement for him is found immediately
  3. Kirkwood and Sharkey have to be replaced, for their unprofessional and inappropriate conduct
  4. The Australian Government has to lead the way forward in this fight
  5. A meeting with Kevin Rudd to be established immediately
  6. An investigation into the Melbourne Response Team
  7. An open investigation into Cardinal George Pell

As a parent on my own reaching out to groups supported by the government and told ‘sorry we can’t help’ WHAT DO YOU DO?

I ask you to hear my full story there is so much more.

You Say YOU ARE THERE TO REPRESENT THE PEOPLE. I AM TELLING YOU I AM HERE TO REPRESENT THE VICTIMS, please listen to my life and my trials, of trying to protect children in all communities.

Angie Boede


When a Catholic priest began preying on her son [PDF]


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"How can anyone believe in a God whose servants abuse children and whose hierarchy protects the abuser?"

Myth #2 - Most sexual abuse of boys is perpetrated by homosexual males.

Pedophiles who molest boys are not expressing a homosexual orientation any more than pedophiles who molest girls are practicing heterosexual behaviors. While many child molesters have gender and/or age preferences, of those who seek out boys, the vast majority are not homosexual. They are pedophiles.

#Anglican #SalvationArmy #ChildAbuse #CatholicChurch #alwayscatholic #catholic #catholics #catholicedchat #catholicism #catholictravel faithfulcatholics #FantasyFree #RoyalCommission

Check these other related sites: Keep the evidence alive | Molested Catholic | xt3 Molested Catholic | September 1 2009 | TFYQA | My Broken Society