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More by JohnB - Living the final years of the Catholic Cover up

JohnB IGFA In Good Faith & Associates - a pox for clergy abuse survivors
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IGFA In Good Faith & Associates - a pox for clergy abuse survivors


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: re: The upcoming MVC meeting and the presence of a catholic priest or other religious representative.
Date: Sat, 15 May 2010 11:11:35 +1000
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
re: The upcoming MVC meeting and the presence of a catholic priest or other religious representative.

Recent conversations and the inability to obtain clear information in regards the legality, the criminality, the veracity and the medical veracity of activities of IGFA through simply being brushed aside have resulted in my withdrawing any support for the current program. Whilst many points can be raised in regards this the most important and the most urgent is the issue of the immediate reintroduction of clergy and church into the healing environment of survivors of clergy sexual and other abuses. This is recognized and clearly understood to be highly dangerous and shows a cavalier approach to the well being of those said to be supported. It is of the utmost importance that you ensure you are at a suitable stage in your recovery before you undertake such a huge step. The risks of being re-triggered and re-thrust back into your abuse or extremely high for the most recovered among us. The risk for those who have not had a healthy support is far higher.

Survivor advocates across the globe openly scorn and denounce this as deliberate endangerment and they clearly state that such encounters at any early stage of recovery should be completely avoided as further harm to the victim is the only possible outcome. There is a high risk of bringing on serious psychosis and mental trauma in some survivors. I am not aware of any screening having taken place or of any information showing how this is a part of a planned healing process. There is no information informing victims of the personal risks they take in such an encounter. This quite clearly is not in the best interests of a collective of victims (I have to admit to a desire to throw up at being named a victim once again here) let alone any individual. The best interest of victims and survivors is not being served nor are proper procedures in place to ensure no harm comes to 'victims' else they will have been used once again to serve some other purpose.

>From a support and advocacy perspective this is the most unprofessional and potentially the most damaging in a healing sense that could be thrust upon a survivor of clergy sexual or other abuses. This is not only unprofessional it clearly steps across the ethical boundaries in regards the psychological repair of human beings who have been exposed to almost total abandonment by both their state and their religion. To bring a representative of the organization into this upcoming meeting of a body who has failed and does not yet have any answers is simply yet another comprehensive abuse of trust is clearly and simply unethical and will be psychologically detrimental to the majority of those seeking to overcome the problems brought about by their sexual abuse.

The healing the Catholic church offers is one of re-embracing the church and to offer them forgiveness for our sin of being an available and vulnerable child. Each of us experiences the lifelong harm and the destruction of our relationships, the failure of business ventures and failure in almost all areas of life due to the corrupt practices of the catholic church and those who helped build and maintain the systems which barred us in so many areas of our life along with forcing us to live entirely against our natural instincts of self preservation and in regards bringing up our children safely. Apparently it is assumed that this particular cleric has all the answers and his presence makes you impervious to any further injury.

We each have endured family destruction and the personal agony of having to come to terms with the reality of our lives of the fraud and the deceptions repeatedly used against us and here members are being asked to quickly re-embrace 

At this stage in the church's enlightenment in regards its complicity in the wholesale sexual abuse of children whose psychological well being is cast aside in the most cavalier and improper way to serve some purpose other than the protection, the support and the best interest of each individual victim appears to have been resolved sufficiently well in both this clerics mind and the management of IGFA that this poses no danger to those victims present at the meeting.

The Church currently has not acknowledged its role, priest, bishops,cardinals, laity groups, vested interest groups within the church are still all guessing and pointing simply because they do not understand the problem or how to treat victims. None has provided a clear blue-print of recovery as none has defined it beyond this immediate return to your abuser mentality. They do not know what the true step sto a successful journey through the healing process is. All they can offer is to bring you back into the same thing that abused you and your parents and your brothers and sisters and your friends and made them suffer along with all of us. Immoral, unethical and diabolical in the insistence that this can in any way be in the best interest of the victims. There may well be pressing needs at the moment, however risking each and every victims life and their mental condition is not a medically sound or medically appropriate step.

The best interest of survivors is not served through an immediate re-introduction back into the environs of the church and its practices.It is medically and psychologically unsound to expect that a victim in this environment will not encounter psychological triggers or feel intimidated or feel unable to express freely and fully their fears and concerns  whilst a member of the clergy sits in the same room. There is no proper plan beyond that in this purported healing process. If this is the healing process on offer by IGFA I strongly recommend that you discuss with your counselor before participating. We all know what the experience of being re-abused and re-dumped back into our abuse is like and how that affects us for months and sometimes years and how it goes on to destroy another part of our lives each time. Ask your counselor if you are ready for this experience and ask them if it is in your best interest to participate at this stage in your recovery.

My own recent experience of that put me off my feet for more than a fortnight. As a result of many past attempts at discussions and understandings and my attempts to obtain answers and information as to the veracity of some circumstances I found myself facing another round of days reeling from the abandonment and the cavalier approach. I disabled the internet service I had been providing to IGFA and informed them that I was out. My reason for doing this is that IGFA are fully aware that I will not support in any manner whatsoever the immediate re-introduction of victims into a religious environment until those victims have traveled sufficiently through the healing journey of their sexual abuse and that this should be done under the advisement of the counselor. The literature and the professionals who hold the best interests of the victim as the first priority state clearly that this type of encounter should be well planned and may need many months and perhaps years of intensive counseling and repair before such encounters are introduced into the healing process. This point is often not reached until most aspects of the secular world and the crimes have been resolved according to the law and their natural feelings. None of us are at this point. Many of us are a long way from that. The encounter will be medically harmful to most who attend.

The provided process is both medically unsound and unethical. The current method is toxic.

I am offended that I have assisted in this toxicity and I unreservedly apologize to any individual whom I have encouraged to involve themselves with these toxic and inhumane practices until it can be clinically shown to be in the best interests of the victim at this point in time.

I strongly recommend that no religious representatives be permitted a place or a voice at the upcoming MVC meeting and that all further attempts to do so should be denied until it can be clinically shown to be in the best interests of the victims.  I strongly urge those who hold their own best interest and their own well being to be paramount to voice their opinion on this to IGFA.

I can be contacted on 0756412311


Subject: Collective Meeting
Date: Tue, 11 May 2010 16:03:51 +1000

Dear Friends,


Melbourne Victims Collective Meeting

10 am -12:30 pm 

Friday 28thMay 2010

Lewis Holdway

20 Queen St, Melbourne


(Please register your arrival with Karen at ground floor reception and she will direct you.)


The MCV continues to be a very unique and historical initiative which is making its presence felt through many social and Church channels for the betterment of survivors. Our charter continues its mission and is educating politicians, clergy and parishioners, the media, police and lawyers. This is a powerful mission to be engaged in. It has been some time since we have been able to convene a formal meeting and we wish to apologise for this. 


In Good Faith and Associates has been under enormous advocacy pressure with broad demands and very little financial and assistance resources. Helen has been unwell from November last year but is regaining her momentum. IGFA’s lack of financial resources to cover its extensive workload has necessarily placed restraints on Helen’s availability to consult with all members of the Melbourne Victims Collective. She apologises for any stress that this might have placed on members.


Strategies for finding necessary resources to continue supporting the MVC are underway. Helen will discuss this at the next meeting.

Further points for discussion include...


·        welcome to five new members

·        scheduling regular Collective meetings to enhance MVC relationships, improve communication and encourage further joint and individual actions in the Collective’s political, pastoral, education and media strategies;

·        exploration of potential further legal action for the MCV and its individual members e.g. potential for individual writs;

·        report back from members working with the media requests ;

·        outline of world clergy abuse situation and the MVC position in this;

·        outline of current Melbourne Archdiocese changes and our contribution to this;

·        ideas for implementing future political initiatives of the MVC.

·        Other issues from members


Fr Kevin Dillon has also been invited to attend this meeting, as he has been providing pastoral advocacy, welfare and acting as spiritual adviser to many members of the MVC.


Please RSVP to Pam Krstic or IGFA as soon as possible and let us know if you will be present

or, for those interstate, if you need a conference call booked for you to participate.


Please  phone or email Pam Krstic or Helen Last,  prior to the meeting, with any items or issues you may wish to discuss or have raised at this meeting.


We look forward to seeing (and hearing) you there!


Pam Krstic

Tel 0410 859


The Melbourne Victims Collective



Helen Last


In Good Faith and Associates

PO Box 38, North Melbourne, 3051

Phone: 03 9326 5991

Fax:     03 9329 6517



-------- Original Message --------
Subject: re: MVC - IGFA - Melbourne Victims Collective Your Ref:RCB:MA:17697
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2010 20:11:58 +1000
From: Sept1 @ YMail <>
To:,,,,,Barbara Blaine <>,
CC: BBarret,"" <>,, "" <>,,,,"Robert K. Colling" <>,,,,,,,,,,,Khaja Nazimuddeen <>,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,CC&PSU-CCM-CCP-MGR <>,CEIS SAPOL <>,,,,

For immediate global redistribution

Date: 20 June 2010

Location: Melbourne Australia

Topic: Matters resultant from the failed Towards Healing process and the 'Melbourne process'

Issue: The safety and the well being of survivors of sexual and other abuses carried out by Catholic clergy and and subsequent obstruction of justice and reckless endangerment of vulnerable people in a purported environment of care.

Re: Letter in regards attempts to raise safety and well being issue Melbourne Victims Collective

Dear Paul,

re the attached - please see below


Our Ref: RCB:MA:17697

31 May 2010

Private & Confidential
Please refer to previous correspondence
(several) in this regard where privacy and confidentiality has been waived and rejected.

Mr John Brown
12 Carlton Street

By Email

Dear Sir

Melbourne Victims Collective

Isn't that a terrible name, Sigmund Freud must be rolling in his grave over that er slip of tongue.

We are the Lawyers to the Melbourne Victims Collective. We have seen the emails
which you have recently sent to the Collective email list dating back to 15 May 2010.
We are concerned at some of the content contained in these emails, and that this
information has been spread far and wide without consent.

Paul,these are both obvious statements of fact. You received copies as your office was included on the email list. This should be obvious to all and really should not be necessary to be stated here. Re information being spread far and wide - that too should be obvious if 'far and wide' can be taken to encompass the English speaking world along with some Spanish, French and Italian speaking regions of the world. As to requiring consent none was sought as none was required.

You are entitled to your opinion and the writer is happy for you to continue to send
your emails to him.

Thanks for that,it is truly appreciated to see that I can contribute towards your happiness through a simple email although the circumstances of placing survivors at such a high risk does make this a more serious issue than just your happiness.

However, you have not obtained the permission of Collective members to send these
emails and risk them being illegal as Spam under Federal Law. You therefore should
desist from sending any further emails to any Collective related email address
without the express permission of each recipient.

Re the 'risk' mentioned here. Please refer to previous correspondence where you will find that these emails are specifically exempted from the SPAM Act under Federal law therefore I see no purpose in your statement after that erroneous point save perhaps for some attempt at legalistic wording and the erroneous assumption that express permission is required to alert individuals of an imminent risk to their personal safety. It was appreciated that you did not make any attempt to imply that these email addresses had been stolen or illegally obtained as we both understand that the legal obligation in that regard sits squarely with IGFA. No doubt the transgressor will be publicly humiliated and admonished in the usual practiced manner of the church and its adherents which really will do nothing towards the legal obligation in regards that. Naturally one would expect the usual that no responsibility will be taken there and that further disinformation in that regard will follow as has been the previous religious practice in similar circumstances where much ado and flapping can made in regards this which usually only goes to further waste the resources of our police services and others with important duties to perform due to the provision of further false and misleading information to the uninformed as another means of digressing further from the important aspects of duty of care, moral, ethical and legal responsibility towards the safety and well being of survivors of clergy abuse and other religiously motivated or engendered crimes.

We note that some people have expressly asked you to cease emailing them. This
worsens your situation in terms of Spam.

Noted, see above.

We have also been informed that you taped a conversation with a person from
Geoffrey Robertson Q.C's office. While our understanding is that it is not illegal to
tape a telephone conversation between two people without permission,there are
extremely strict rules surrounding publication of such information to a third party
contained in the Surveillance Devices Act (Cth). We caution you to be careful to
comply with the provisions of this Act.

Your caution is unnecessary in this instance as a reading of the relevant acts will provide you with suitable references.

We also ask you to respect the rights of In Good Faith and Associates,who report
that their website has been disrupted, and that your emails and the information in
them make disparaging comments about them.

re:The IGF A website. As you no doubt are aware this service was provided as a service to IGFA in good faith by myself under an arrangement which required their veracity, honesty and the protection of the well being and the welfare of survivors at both a professional and medically sound level. Since the breach of that good faith due to disinformation and other dubious and questionable activities by IGFA and due to the cavalier actions which placed survivors of clergy sexual abuse at a known and recognized risk through the actions of IGFA and after a number of attempts to address this issue failed to illicit a mature and considered response the services were terminated according to my original agreement with IGFA. One can imagine the hubris and indignation at coming attempts to publicly distort these facts and the moral indignation and attempts to minimize or digress from the safety issues at the core of this matter. I whole heartedly agree that no respect was shown in regards these despicable actions which have a known history of triggering a great deal of distress and more among survivors of trauma. No respect was implied or attempted after repeated attempts to raise this safety issue with IGFA were repeatedly and unprofessionally cast aside with seemingly no regard for the welfare and the well being of survivors.

We urge you to have regard to the laws that apply to publication of information about
people so that your important message is not disregarded by people who become
offended at your publications.

Thank you for your acknowledgment that the personal safety and well being of survivors and their treatment in line with sound medical practice is an important message; a message which isat the core of and on point in this matter. This should assist IGFA to acknowledge that aspect else they may be tempted to fall back into old habits of deeming insanity, claiming medically unsound etc as has occurred in the past else they may been seen to be conducting themselves in the same cavalier and inhumane manner as the catholic church in this regard. Unfortunately all too often today we understand that anyone with any level of education can hang a shingle to promote themselves as an advocate, however as you would be well aware this does not exonerate them from the responsibilities of a duty of care towards those they may conduct business with.

Finally, we suspect that you had a role in forwarding on the Notice of the Collective
meeting and perhaps adding some material by way of attachment referring to the

To assist in regards confirming or alleviating your suspicions it would be helpful if a copy of the material referred to was provided else we are both left with mere speculations which may lead to theories of conspiracy or even idle gossip. I am sure this will  at some point in the future take up some considerable time and most likely will be just one of the many points raised to engender mock outrage, diversion and digression as a means of evading the issues once again in regards the tardy and dangerous activity of placing survivors in a known dangerous and high risk situation. This usually works for the deceived and assist in keeping them compliant for a while as it seemingly helps to deceptively place the perpetrator of these high risk breaches as the victim of some obscure conspiracy or personal conflict when the issue is and remains the matter of the responsibility and obligation to ensure the personal safety and the personal protection of the well being of survivors of sexual and other abuses by clergy through the application of sound practices in such circumstances.    

Please be aware that such actions caused the Commissioner to engage Lawyers to
write a letter to some Collective Representatives and ourselves demanding retraction
of defamatory statements published. You might have intended such a response, but
we request that you withdraw any such publication you might have made and desist
from linking the Collective or our office with such actions in the future as we have
had to bear the cost of responding to the Lawyers' demands.

Is this reference to 'the commissioner' here a reference to Peter O'Callaghan who fraudulently represents himself as an independent commissioner and his publicly questioned activity of advising known sexually abusive priests of police investigations? A reference or citation here may help to identify what you are referring to here and may also bring some clarity in regards your statement re intent. re linking 'the Collective' to your office:this is information that is freely available in the public domain therefore I see no reason why it should be necessary in some manner to deny what is after all public knowledge. 

We understand that you are in no position to donate money to pay for the legal work
needed for the Collective in this situation.

Paul, I made no request for you to conduct legal work in regards this matter and I can confirm that I would under no circumstance consider a donation towards any work for the Collective. IGFA or any associated organizations whilst survivors are placed at such a high risk of re-traumatizing as this is not only a morally and ethically unsound practice it is also a legally unsound practice as many previous legal actions and findings show.

If you wish to discuss any of these matters, please contact Paul Holdway.

Yours faithfully


per Paul Holdway

Released in interest of the safety, care and protection of children and in the interests of the human community and of all peoples of the globe apposed to the denial of justice to those sexually abused and in the interests of survivors of crime carried out against those of belief and non belief in the religious systems which have and continue to abuse and to deny justice to the millions of its victims.

The safety and the well being of all must be of the first priority.There can be no safe path towards healing whilst human safety is cast aside. Healing cannot begin in an unsafe and unsound toxic environment where survivor safety and well being is secondary or non existent.

Released by John Brown Toowoomba Australia.

Telephone: +61 075 64 123 11


Distribution: Please forward to your mail lists and publishers







(In person) Mark, Catherine, Joan, Jim, Noreen, Helen, Paul, Ruth (By Phone) Shelley, Jill, Frances, Emma, David, MoniqueApologies: Pam, Michael, Michael B, Carmel, Mary-Jo, Paula, Cate, Joe, Angela, Fr Kevin

1. Welcome to New Members
Mark, Noreen and Frances were welcomed to the Collective.

2. Confidentiality
Paul emphasised that all discussions and written information relating to the Melbourne
Victims Collective (MVC) must be kept strictly confidential.

Members were advised that the recent notice of the MVC meeting was sent to
Commissioner Peter O'Callaghan together with defamatory material attached to it. Such
actions have been unhelpful. This information was also sent on to the National Bishop's
Commission and to Archbishop Hart.

Lewis Holdway has spent significant time the last couple of days answering a letter from
Mr O'Callaghan's Lawyer. We have advised them that we had nothing to do with the
defamatory material or with calling Mr O'Callaghan corrupt and informed them that we
would advise the MVC of this fact.

In these circumstances we encourage people to keep their discussions confidential given
that the work of the Collective is much more effective if the information is kept to

Paul's comments were endorsed by Catherine who noted that any such breaches of
confidentiality cause confusion and pain to others. These comments were endorsed by
other members.

3. Collective Values & Principles
Jim noted that this group is a Collective and as such, has a greater impact than the sum of
the individuals within it. Acting as a collective keeps the issues in the public eye as is
evidenced by the recent newspaper articles, and segments of programs such as the 7.30
Report and Lateline. These types of activities are only possible when we work together
as a group and do not disclose our actions freely to the outside world.

Therefore, on behalf of the Collective Jim asked for members to be discreet when sharing
Collective material. Jim also noted that there are leaders within the Collective who direct
the policy, strategy and tactics involved. Any concerns in relation to these issues should
be discussed with the leadership directly and not with one another as members putting
forward other policies and directives can put the unity of the group at risk. Members to


discuss such issues with Helen, Pam and Ruth. Jim then thanked all Collective members
for their support and especially the new members.

Helen added that the observation of boundaries in our context is extremely important.
We operate within a boundary which has taken two years to develop, is very delicate and
survives on high levels of trust that there is goodwill between the members. If there is no
goodwill, it can quickly become a toxic environment.

Trust is the boundary and the core as is respect for each other. Helen encouraged
members to think in terms of goodwill for each other and that this is how we will create
and ensure safety for members. Jim added a request that members please understand and
be extremely careful of respecting the privacy of each other's situations.

Paul added that from a legal point of view, Lawyers are bound by Client Communication
Privilege and cannot disclose any information to others without each member's
permission. Paul noted that in this forum we do not discuss details of individual cases
and that our role is simply to assist the Collective in its functioning.

Shelley commented on the recent barrage of emails and advised that she had sent a
response requesting that these emails stop. Shelley noted that the person involved was
struggling with illness presently.

4. Discussion
Helen advised that the person responsible for the recent spate of emails was an MVC
member but now no longer is. Helen has spoken to the police about this person's stalking
and harassing behaviour toward her and will be following this up further with the police.
Helen apologised for the inadvertent disclosure of members' email addresses which was
sent out due to an administrative mistake. Helen intends to pursue the issue of ongoing
emails with the police because it is only by doing so that the person involved will respect
any boundaries. The individual has advised that he refuses to erase the email addresses
therefore Helen will be having the police address this issue with him direct.

Joan advised that two weeks ago she was contacted by this person who asked her about
her children and Helen advised that another Collective member has also been approached
by this person. It was noted that while this person is unwell, illnesses can lead to criminal
behaviour such as what has occurred in this instance.

Paul added that the actions have been deliberate and have undermined and sabotaged the
goals of the MVC. Paul cautioned about spending further time on this issue and moving
on with the business of the meeting. It was noted that Pam has apologised on several
occasions for the administrative error and it is now hoped that the matter can be put to

5. MVC - Achievements
. Global Context - Helen and Jim advised that there is a great deal of material being
published all over the world.

Jim has a distribution list where he sends out interesting articles on the issues. If you
would like to be included in this list, please email Jim at
Catherine advised that she has spoken to Billy Cantwell of the Irish Echo who advised
that Paddy Maye has threatened to sue the Irish Independent and the Irish Times and
the Melbourne Age. Paddy Maye is saying that the rape case did not occur and that


the other cases were greatly exaggerated. Catherine suggested that the victims
consider writing to Billy Cantwell as she feels there needs to be a response to Paddy
Maye's reaction.

Helen advised that there was a rumour that Cardinal Pell may be going to Ireland as
he has been quoted as saying that the Melbourne Response is the best response to
complainants in the world. There is also a rumour that Cardinal Pell is being
promoted to Prefect for the Congregation of Bishops.

There is action in Germany, particularly in relation to the Pope when he was Cardinal
Ratzinger regarding cover-ups. There has also been a document from the US Bishops
detailing 14 points but omitting the fact that Bishops need to be truthful.

In England a Papal visit is due to take place later on this year and Christopher
Hitchens is mounting an action to have the Pope arrested for crimes against humanity.
Helen noted that Towards Healing has been revised and there are a couple of points
which appear to be steps backwards rather than forward.

. Media - David congratulated MVC members who have helped with media articles
and have made themselves available to the media when asked. David noted that Nick
McKenzie has been a champion for the victims and the media strategy has developed
from being a focus on individual cases through to a focus on the Church's actions in
terms of cover-up and protection of their own. This started in Boston, moved to
Ireland and then to Australia. In Australia, what has been achieved through the media
is very, very significant and highlights two particular points:

1. The MVC as a Collective is the only group of victims worldwide to highlight
injustices; and

2. The MVC have uncovered some serious issues and brought them to the media, for
example, the relationship between Mr O'Callaghan and the police. While this has
been a local Melbourne issue it is now a known international issue.

The work of Nick McKenzie, Rafael Epstein and Barney Schwartz who are the three
independent journalists, and who have had the hard task of reporting the truth, has
been very significant.

These three have faced massive battles behind the scenes and have been threatened
with litigation and defamation action that has been a baptism of fire for all three, who
all now understand better the issues facing victims. The impact has been that they
feel emboldened to come forward and there are more media articles to come in the
next few months.

Also in Melbourne it has been a major change from reporting individuals to the
Church being under media scrutiny for their structural and human rights abuses. The
Church is no longer able to control or put a positive spin on reported abuse and the
media have run with this fact. David again thanked in particular, Helen's efforts and
members of the MVC, as these efforts have helped in achieving a global shift to
highlight the issues. David believes that the MVC is right at the cutting edge and is a
major threat to the Catholic Church in Australia.

Catherine suggested that we write to the journalists and thank them on behalf of the
Collective, and Jim also felt the Editor of The Age should be included. Both Paul and
David suggested that any such letters (including letters to the Editor) should be
written as individuals but not a letter from the Collective as a group.


Shelley noted that she had a letter published in The Age three or four months ago
congratulating Nick McKenzie on raising the issues.

Jim referred to a paper by Mark Colleridge in the US Catholic News.
Helen commented that she is very grateful to those who have undergone stressful and
lengthy media interviews for articles which have not yet appeared. Helen
acknowledged the stress these individuals have gone through and expressed her
heartfelt concern for them, particularly when the articles have not yet been published.
Helen noted that the decision for publication is up to the editors. David agreed with
this point and also noted that the Lawyers for the newspapers have a say in what gets
printed. David noted that two thirds to one half of material prepared is not printed
and that is just the way the media works. Recent media articles have come about after
hours and hours of work and there are more articles to come. This is an ongoing
action and there are many different leads currently. The impact made by the MVC is
significant and the group should be proud of what has been achieved.

Helen noted that at times, journalists share information with her that she is unable to
pass it on and needs to keep it confidential. Helen noted she does this to respect the
working relationship she has with the journalists and not because she is trying to keep
information from Collective members. It is a difficult balancing act for her at times.
Paul thanked David on behalf of the group for his ongoing efforts and guidance with
regard to media strategies.

. Government and Police - Helen advised that she is currently focusing on lobbying
the Federal and Victorian governments with the assistance of a PhD student, Judy
Courtin who is completing a PhD on the Church and the Law. Judy has met with
Helen and Ruth and is also volunteering to assist Helen with her work. Judy has
drafted a letter to Rob Hulls (Victorian Attorney-General) which has not yet been sent
(on Peter Condliffe's advice), and we are waiting to see how the human rights issues

. On a national level, Helen may approach Independent Senator Nick Xenophon for
further lobbying. We are also aware that Angela has been writing to her local MPs
and has had some good responses to date. The push behind these actions is to seek for
the government to set up a commission of investigation into the Melbourne Response.
In relation to the police, the MVC has been vindicated in the media as police have
now fully investigated Mr O'Callaghan's procedures, the use of the name
"Commissioner", the potential contamination of evidence, the tipping off of police
and there has been reference to establishment of a police liaison officer when a priest
or religious is reported for criminal offences. In addition, Paul and Ruth met with the
head of SOCA (Sexual Offences Child Abuse Unit), Glen Davies some time ago who
has taken our concerns very seriously.

Shelley asked why Mr O'Callaghan hasn't been charged with perverting the course of
justice. Paul responded that in a general sense, Mr O'Callaghan has an eminent role in
society being a QC, and also has power within the Catholic Church. He also
vehemently defends his actions.

Helen added that three quarters of police are Catholic in background and some are
reluctant to take statements against the clergy. We are currently waiting on further
information about the protocol between Mr O'Callaghan and the police. Helen
commented that more advocates are needed to attend police interviews with victims as


required. Paul suggested that individuals could check in with the three journalists to
enquire of the progress in relation to the protocols of Mr O'Callaghan. This would
have the effect of keeping the pressure on Mr O'Callaghan at present.

Mark raised the issue of the role of the Ombudsman in Victoria. It was explained that
the Ombudsman is more powerful in New South Wales. Furthermore, the
Ombudsman has no jurisdiction over the Catholic Church in Victoria, only over
police and other public service activity.

. Legal Processes - Ruth reported on her recent meeting with Susan Sharkey (Director
of Carelink) and Richard Leder (Lawyer for the Melbourne Catholic Archdiocese) in
early April. During this meeting Sue Sharkey confirmed with Ruth the kinds of costs
covered by Carelink which are as follows:

o Counselling
o Medication
o Paying the gap of hospitalisation
o Psychiatric treatment
o Hospital benefits cover
o Food vouchers/taxi vouchers
o Other medical needs

All of these requests should be made to Sue Sharkey. Any other requests should be
made either to Mr O'Callaghan or to Mr Richard Leder. A social worker has been
appointed who will be conducting work on a contractual basis as needed with Sue
Sharkey. It is expected the social worker will conduct assessments and assist with the
increasing welfare requests.

Ruth was advised that Carelink are updating their brochure. We are yet to receive
one. We were also advised that Mr O'Callaghan will now have a protocol with the
police. Again, we asked for a copy of this document but have not yet received it.
Amidst all of the political action, Ruth has been pushing through individual cases as
instructed. Progress has been steady but slow. Of the approximately 20 victims
whose cases we are pushing forward at present, we have 11 primary victims and 9
secondary victims. Three have been settled, three have been made offers, but have
placed their case on hold. One alleged perpetrator is currently under police
investigation. In addition, we have been successful in having two secondary victim
claims accepted by Mr O'Callaghan's process. This has been most encouraging as
historically the Melbourne Archdiocese do not accept claims from secondary victims.
We have also had another case which does not fall naturally within the Melbourne
process accepted by Mr O'Callaghan.

In addition, Ruth has recently met with Angela Sdrinis (Lawyer) and hopes to meet
with other Plaintiff Lawyers later on this year to discuss strategies and share

There was some discussion about the sending of bills to Carelink and some
individuals will be addressing this themselves.

Jim asked if there was a new Director of Carelink. Ruth advised that Dr Sue Brann
has taken over from Dr Michelle Pathe but she appears to be brought in as a
consultant as needed and not in the role of director.


Paul talked about the tension between the MVC action and individual cases. Paul
emphasised that we highly respect each individual case and the position of each client
and that there are necessarily tensions to juggle at times.

Ruth also advised that we have tried a Restorative Justice option and invited
Archbishop Hart to a Restorative Justice conference, to which he has not replied.
Helen added that Barrister Peter Condliffe remains the Collective's advisor in relation
to Restorative Justice options, and expressed her thanks to Peter for his ongoing
support of our work.

. Pastoral Welfare - Helen advised that a number of MVC members are struggling day
to day with meeting the bills for food, heating and rent. This is a shocking situation,
clients sometimes have received support from Anglicare but many have to return to
Carelink to make requests.

Some of our members are suffering significantly. It was noted that while many
people do send bills into Carelink, it is often the case that the same bills get sent back.
This is an issue which may have further media attention into the future.
Helen noted her concern at the serious issue of poverty amongst Collective members
and that she has given money herself on several occasions to assist others. Many
people have not accepted the offers from the Church and, in doing so, are making a
huge sacrifice.

Fr Dillon has been to St Vincent De Paul to ask them to set up a special fund for
clergy abuse victims, however, he was asked if he had the Archbishop's permission to
do so and this appears to have gone no further. Helen thanked those people who have
sent in food vouchers to support other members. It was noted that the Salvation Army
and Camcare are also very generous. Noreen suggested that members struggling
should approach the social worker and Ruth agreed with this approach.
6. Melbourne Victims Collective - Ways Forward:

. Human Rights Framework - Paul advised that last Tuesday 25 May 2010, Helen,
Paul and Peter Condliffe had a one hour phone conference with an assistant to
Geoffrey Robertson QC in London.

Geoffrey Robertson's office has been inundated with requests for help since the story
about arresting the Pope was leaked. The MVC is of interest to Geoffrey Roberston's
office. We provided them with much information but did not provide any individual
names. They are interested in working with us and it would be helpful to get some
publicity about the fact that his office is working with the MVC in Melbourne.

The woman spoken to was a Rhodes Scholar. A copy of the Charter has been sent to
them. She will look at it, and it is expected there will be a follow up conference at
some point. They are currently looking at a brief to the International Court regarding
evidence of systematic worldwide cover up by the Pope, as well as the possibility of
approaching the European Court of Human Rights. The issue of the diplomatic
immunity of the Pope is ongoing. Given these significant actions, it was decided that
the MVC will wait on approaching Rob Hulls until these issues are further clarified.
Shelley advised that she had rung the Queensland Human Rights Commission 12
months ago regarding the plight of victims of clergy assault, she was referred to the
Victorian equivalent (Equal Opportunity Commission) and although she wished to
make a complaint, they did not want to take it.


Shelley suggested that each individual in the group make complaints directly to the
EOC to see whether or not the simultaneous timing of such complaints could force the
issue and get them to engage with it. She intends to do so herself, taking the angle
that the Melbourne Response was set up as a different entity within Australia and she
has therefore been discriminated against by having to deal with Melbourne response.
Catherine congratulated Helen and the work of IGFA in making the connection with
Geoffrey Robertson.

Spiritual and Emotional Support - Catherine advised that there were three main
issues of concern:
1. To do something about having the Priest offenders being laicized;
2. That Fr Dillon be asked formally to be the Vicar for victims; and
3. Whether the spiritual group will continue and in what form.

Helen noted that the spiritual group is separate to the MVC and was set up by and is
convened by IGFA. It is an auxiliary group to IGFA and it is not for the MVC to
decide on the activities of this spiritual group. The spiritual group is held in Parkville
where between 14 and 18 people attend. It has a loose agenda and is very therapeutic
for all attendees. Political matters are not discussed there and the focus is on spiritual
life and sustainability. Helen expects that the group will resume soon.

Paul asked whether there are any objections to Fr Kevin being put forward as the
vicar for victims. No objections were noted. Helen discussed the issue that having a
priest present is very difficult for some members. Helen noted that Kevin is a priest
of integrity and has previously been a great support. Shelley noted that whilst she has
nothing against Kevin Dillon personally, she is anti-catholic and personally, does not
agree with having a priest involved. However, she respects the journeys and
viewpoints of other MVC members.

. Building Bridges with Clergy - Helen referred to Restorative Justice processes and
having difficult conversations with priests and trying to find common ground. She
spoke of the need to talk and to be with such people and that there is a small group of
up to five clergy she speaks with on a regular basis. These priests have advised Helen
that they are kept in the dark with regard to Archdiocese processes and information
and they want to be involved with victim's needs.

Helen suggests that this relationship be engaged with. These priests do not have to
attend meetings, but it is possible to have meetings with them to keep them updated
and advise them of how they can assist. Helen noted that recently Kevin Dillon took
a client to meet the Papal Nuncio and how supportive this was.

Emma commented that the issue is wider than just clergy abuse and referred to
discrimination against women and the Catholic Church. Helen responded that this
was a separate issue and that the priests she is referring to have integrity and
demonstrate it. IGFA is formalising this relationship with the clergy and will hold
meetings which will be safe meetings and that there will be debriefing provided
afterwards. A psychologist will be present and an education programme will
hopefully become a regular occurrence.

Catherine revisited the issue laicizing offending priests. Ruth stated her
understanding that this needs to be done by the Vatican. Paul noted that this issue is
being specifically reviewed right now and we will keep pushing these issues forward.


Forward Meeting Dates - Paul advised that the aim is that for a further MVC
meeting to be held in late August and one in late November of 2010. Specific dates
will be sent out closer to the time. Paul noted that the Collective cannot meet too
often as it is difficult to gather everybody together, but it is important to do so as
literally, a Collective mind is greater than the sum of the individuals. Collective
meetings will be reviewed further in 2011. In the event that there is significant media
campaigning on a specific issue, further meetings can be called around those issues.
IGFA - Helen advised that IGFA is struggling significantly in terms of resources and
finances. She has had two generous donations which are very much appreciated and
is in the process of sending a letter out to contacts to seek weekly, monthly or one off
donations so that the work can continue. Helen noted that Robert Last has been
supporting this work for the past 14 years but that the Last family is unable to
continue to do so.

Helen is setting up a foundation and Lewis Holdway Lawyers are assisting with the
legal work to establish the foundation. She will need a name and a patron and will
then be in a position to seek grants so that hopefully the work can continue on the
various projects. The MVC is one of the projects IGFA works on. Catherine noted
that the Melbourne Women's Trust may be able to assist Helen's work. Jill expressed
sincere thanks to Helen, Paul and to Ruth for the work being done.

Paul expressed a final thank you to all members for their participation and their
efforts. Helen reminded people to keep these discussions confidential.

Mark noted his concern over the issue that there are a number of priestly perpetrators
who remain out in the community. He would like to see the MVC have a focus on
this work and to work on the specific issues. He is also aware of the human rights
work in the UK and will keep an email contact with IGFA to keep updated of this.
Helen will provide monthly email reports on this issue.
The meeting closed at 12.30pm.

Add your comment below.

"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