Dutch clerical child abuse survivor interviewed


Marcel Roomans, on the left, with two brothers

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

“I will not let the perpetrators silence me again”

Today, 07:14

The 73-year-old Marcel Roomans was sexually abused in his boyhood at a Roman Catholic boys’ school in Maastricht. Roomans reached a settlement with the Friars of the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Virgin Mary in Maastricht, a congregation that had schools and boarding schools. He was at the Aloysius School in Maastricht.

When Roomans was in the third grade, a friar rubbed his genitals with ointment. Later he was abused by another friar in a pitch-dark closet at school. After ten minutes it was over. “He got an orgasm, I suppose,” Roomans said to NRC Handelsblad daily, which pays attention to all the secret settlements in cases of sexual abuse within the church.

“I was lured to the school with a gift. Often on Saturdays because the school then was practically empty. It was nasty, mean and devoid of humanity.”

The Deetman commission received sixty reports of sexual abuse by friars of that congregation. The Maastricht friars have arranged a total of 63 settlements. Of those abuse cases it is not known what exactly happened.

Roomans himself chose mediation. “I wanted to look the one who was responsible for the friars who had abused me in the eyes.”

Fellow victims did sign such [secret] agreements. Roomans: “Ah, how does that happen? You get four A4 pages in your hands and you want it to be finished. Then you might not read everything accurately.” Roomans received 37,000 euros.

Dutch Roman Catholic clerical child abuse cover-up


This 29 October 2015 video from the USA says about itself:

Spotlight: On The Reporters Behind The Film

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Many secret settlements on sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church

Today, 07:19

The Roman Catholic Church has settled a third of all known cases of child sexual abuse by church officials secretly under conditions of confidentiality. That happened against the explicit advice of the Deetman committee, which investigated the sexual abuse within the church.

Research by NRC Handelsblad daily found this out. The newspaper has read internal documents by ecclesiastical authorities.

Mediation

In total, until the beginning of this year 342 cases have been settled outside the formal complaint procedure and are subject to confidentiality. In all these cases of sexual abuse therefore it remains unclear what exactly happened and what compensation victims have been awarded.

In 210 of these abuse cases the arrangement was made with the aid of a mediator. In the remaining cases it happened directly between the victims and the church. In total, according to NRC Handelsblad in the 342 secret settlements 10.6 million euros was paid in compensation.

Spotlight

In the two Oscars-winning movie Spotlight on the research of journalists from The Boston Globe about sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in Boston, there is a key scene in which this mechanism is explained.

The church’s lawyer who arranged the secret settlements with victims tells the journalists that there is no paper trail of these settlements, because the settlements were established through mediation.

Deetman

The Deetman committee, which was established by the church itself to investigate the sexual abuse, advocated in its final report to deal with the abuse cases “based on transparency.” A complaint procedure was set up to be carried out by the Foundation for Management & Supervision, established in 2011.

The Foundation has settled until January 1 this year, 703 abuse cases whose nature and scope were published anonymously. In total religious institutions paid 21.3 million for these cases. About two hundred abuse cases have yet to be settled.

Rapes

In many cases severe forms of sexual abuse were involved. 146 children were raped, sometimes often. The youngest known victim was from four years old on raped by the director, deputy director and two supervisors of the Don Bosco orphanage in Rotterdam of the Company of St John’s Crusaders. That continued from 1959 to 1966.

Most abuse took place at boarding schools and other schools. The oldest rape victim was 26. The rape victims were together paid a sum of eight million euros. The individual compensations were between 12,500 and 100,000 euros.

Silent again

In the agreements which were presented to the victims arranged by the various ecclesiastical authorities there was in many cases a provision on strict confidentiality. “Parties commit themselves again now and in the future to third parties to not comment negatively on each other as regards the development of this settlement, and the events which caused it.”

So, again victims have to be silent about the abuse, about which already the perpetrators ordered them to be silent when it was committed.

Disclose

Such formulation was used in contracts in which mediators of Bureau Drieluik were involved: they concluded secret agreements involving the Maastricht Friars of the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Virgin Mary, the Salesians, the friars in Utrecht and Tilburg, the Brothers of the Christian Schools and the Brothers of Charity. Those orders had schools and boarding schools.

Both the victims’ organization KLOKK and the Foundation for Management & Supervision stress to NRC Handelsblad the importance of disclosing the secret settlements now. Those cases could include supporting evidence for proceedings that are ongoing.

There are 250 victims with a believable story, but lack of evidence.

Total costs

According to NRC Handelsblad, the total cost to the church for the handling of the abuse has increased to nearly 60 million. In this, the legal costs, office costs and potential lost collections revenue are not included.

The Hotline on Sexual Abuse, which falls under the church’s Independent Foundation for Management & Supervision of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands, will in its annual report for 2015 report on the complaints processed and granted compensation, mediation and settlements. The annual report will be ready in the first week of April and will be published on their website.

British sexually abusive spy now trains police in Australia


This video from Britain says about itself:

Environmental and social justice campaigner Helen Steel talks about being spied on by undercover police officer John Dines.

Campaign Opposing Police surveillance meeting, London Metropolitan University, 12 November 2014.

By Conrad Landin in Britain:

Spy Cop ‘Training Police Abroad’

Thursday 10th March 2016

Undercover officer who deceived campaigner into relationship now working with Australian police

POLICE chiefs must give up hiding the identities of undercover coppers, campaigners said yesterday as an officer who deceived a woman into a long-term relationship was revealed to be training police abroad.

John Dines, a member of the Metropolitan Police’s elite Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), was found to be directing police training courses at Charles Sturt University in Sydney.

The explosive revelation came as a whistleblower undercover officer called on the upcoming undercover policing inquiry to rule out the Met’s petition for secrecy.

Mr Dines disappeared 24 years ago, after a career infiltrating protest groups.

As “John Barker,’ an identity stolen from a dead child, he had a two-year relationship with environmental activist and McLibel defendant Helen Steel.

Ms Steel was one of seven women given substantial payouts by the Met in November — when the force issued an “unreserved” apology for forming “abusive and manipulative” relationships.

The Met continues to “neither confirm nor deny” the identities of individual police officers involved in these covert operations.

Campaigners, who gathered outside New Scotland Yard yesterday evening, hope the inquiry, which is currently holding preliminary hearings before full sessions begin in the summer, could force chiefs to change this policy.

Protesters said that only 10 per cent of undercover officers’ “cover names” were known.

Reclaim the Streets activist Carolyn, who is a core participant in the inquiry, said she believed that her group was spied on by other coppers.

“No-one knows for sure if they were spied on,” she told the Star. “We’re asking for all the cover names to be made available — we’re not asking for their real names, it doesn’t affect their own security.”

But the Met has petitioned inquiry chairman Christopher Pitchford to maintain officers’ anonymity and sit in secret when discussing covert operations.

Now lawyers acting for Peter Francis, the ex-officer who revealed that the SDS had spied on trade unions, have urged Mr Pitchford to rule out this request.

They say that the Met’s argument that disclosure would contravene its promise to officers that their identities would be protected for life did not stack up.

Lawyers also say there are “no real national security considerations” in disclosing information on the targeting of activist groups — unlike undercover cops “used in relation to serious crime and to counter terrorism.”

Mr Francis previously issued a statement saying he had spied on members of five trade unions. The undercover inquiry is also examining evidence that police colluded in the blacklisting of construction workers.

GMB national officer Justin Bowden, who has been key to the anti-blacklisting campaign, said: “There is an obvious need for complete transparency on this very emotive issue.

“For there to be any kind of reconciliation and closure for people harmed by police activities, the truth has to come out.

“The police can either continue to be part of the cover-up, or be part of the clean-up.”

Ms Steel flew to Australia after discovering her ex-boyfriend’s new career, and confronted him at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith airport — where he was greeting a party of Indian police officers due to be trained at Charles Sturt.

She said Mr Dines apologised but added that when he had been sent in to infiltrate groups in north London it was to look out for “extremists.”

Ms Steel fears what his role might be with the Indian police training programme. New South Wales legislative council member David Shoebridge yesterday called for the state government to investigate whether local officers had been trained by disgraced SDS veterans.

Mr Dines was listed as a staff member on the course for Indian officers in university literature and as a “professor” in another academic document. But the university said his role was “solely administrative.”

UK plans to track all internet connections could cost £1bn, campaigners warn: here.

Sexual abuse by soldiers, report


This video says about itself:

French, Georgian peacekeepers accused of sex abuse in Central African Republic

30 January 2016

Senior UN officials disclosed names of the countries whose peacekeepers are accused of sexually abusing and exploiting children in the war-torn Central African Republic. The victims were aged from 7 to 16 at the time of the alleged abuse.

The shocking issue surfaced after the UN human rights staff in the Central African Republic (CAR) interviewed several girls who said they were raped, abused or paid for sex by United Nations and EU peacekeepers since 2014.

A girl and a boy aged seven and nine, interviewed by the UN staff, were allegedly abused by French troops taking part in Operation Sangaris. The seven-year-old girl said she had sex with the French soldiers in exchange for a bottle of water and a sachet of cookies, according to the UN press release.

Both she and the nine-year-old boy said that other children were abused in a similar way repeatedly by the French soldiers.

From AFP news agency in France:

United Nations peacekeepers from 21 countries accused of sexual abuse

03 Mar 2016 at 21:55 ET

The United Nations is reporting a “deeply concerning” increase in allegations of sex abuse by its peacekeepers, with 69 claims last year against troops from 21 countries.

A much-awaited report by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon obtained by AFP on Thursday provides, for the first time, the nationalities of the troops facing the allegations.

First on the “name and shame” list was the Democratic Republic of Congo, whose troops faced seven allegations, followed by Morocco and South Africa, each hit with four accusations. …

Peacekeeping police from Canada and Germany as well as soldiers from Moldova and Slovakia were also accused of sexual abuse or exploitation while serving as UN peacekeepers.

Two UN missions accounted for the majority of claims: the MINUSCA force in the Central African Republic and MINUSCO in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but there were also cases in Ivory Coast and Mali. …

At least 22 children were sexually abused by peacekeepers, according to the report, but that figure may be higher as the age of the victims was not always determined.

– No prosecution –

None of last year’s cases have yet resulted in criminal prosecution, though a Canadian police officer who served in Haiti was given a nine-day suspension.

The AFP report does not mention the child sexual abuse by French soldiers in the Central African Republic, formerly a French colony.

Cardinall Pell ‘uninterested’ in child sexual abuse scandal


This satirical music video from Australia says about itself:

Come Home (Cardinal Pell) – Tim Minchin

16 February 2016

Hi, I do hope you enjoy my new song.

Proceeds from its sale will go into this fund.

You can buy it here on iTunes; or Google Play.

You can also purchase the video here.

You can stream it here on Apple Music; or on Spotify.

It’s available worldwide and will soon be up on various other digital music outlets.

It might be rather confusing for non-Australians so I’ve put some background info for yez here; and my follow up statement is here.

From the BBC in Britain:

Vatican finance boss George Pell taunted over ‘cowardice’

18 February 2016

A provocative song and a public drive to raise funds to send child sex abuse victims to the Vatican have sparked fresh controversy around Australia’s most senior Catholic, writes Trevor Marshallsea.

In 2014, Cardinal George Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, was summoned to Rome to become chief of the Vatican’s finances, a new position created by Pope Francis in the wake of scandals at the Vatican Bank.

But Cardinal Pell left another scandal behind him, and the anger over widespread sexual abuse of children by members of the Catholic clergy continues to rage in Australia.

The cardinal was once again under fire this week over his refusal, on medical grounds, to return home to front the Royal Commission which is investigating how various institutions responded to the child abuse allegations.

‘Come home, Cardinal Pell’

Tall and imperious, seen as aloof and arrogant by detractors, the 74-year-old has repeatedly faced allegations from abuse victims of a cover-up.

These include that he was involved in moving notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale around parishes rather than reporting him, and that he attempted to bribe one of the victims of the now jailed priest to keep quiet.

Australia’s worst paedophile priest, Father Gerald Ridsdale, once lived with a young clergyman who is now Cardinal George Pell. As the Cardinal prepares to give evidence to the child abuse royal commission, two women break decades of silence to tell Debi Marshall about their ordeal in Ridsdale’s care – and their disappointment with Pell: here.

From the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia:

Cardinal George Pell uninterested in Ridsdale sex claims, Royal Commission hears

March 1, 2016 – 10:41AM

By Rachel Browne

Complaints about a paedophile priest were “common knowledge” in the Catholic community and among two senior clergy members but Cardinal George Pell did not have “much interest” in them, he told a royal commission.

In his second day of questioning about what he knew of sexual offending by priests when he was in Victoria, Cardinal Pell’s admission drew an audible gasp from those listening to his testimony.

Giving his evidence via video-link from Rome, Australia’s most senior Catholic agreed that some people knew there had been complaints about Gerald Ridsdale in the 1970s, a former priest now serving a prison sentence for multiple child sex offences.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard a police investigation into Ridsdale found his alleged offending at Victorian parishes was “common knowledge” among the Catholic congregation.

“I didn’t know whether it was common knowledge or whether it wasn’t,” [Cardinal Pell] said. “It’s a sad story and it wasn’t of much interest to me.”

Child sex abuse survivors say they’ve ‘watched a performance’ rather than seen Cardinal George Pell give credible evidence to a royal commission: here.

Catholic clergy (including George Pell) looked the other way while Father Ridsdale continued committing more crimes against more children in more parishes: here.

George Pell: Father of abuse victims says he has given up hope Cardinal will help fix things: here.

Abuse royal commission: George Pell must have known, says Ridsdale victim: here.

‘Women refugees sexually harassed by Cologne ‘security’ mercenaries’


This video says about itself:

Freedom from Violence for Refugee Women | Women’s Refugee Commission

1 May 2015

Violence against women and girls doesn’t end when they stop running. But refugee women have a right to live free from violence. For more than 25 years, we’ve listened. We’ve been their advocates. So their voices are heard. So they can rebuild their lives

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Women refugees in Cologne harassed sexually’

Today, 13:01

Female refugees in a camp in Cologne say that women are sexually harassed by the security guards. Yesterday fifty refugee women talked about this with the police after a demonstration. An open letter by the women raising the alarm was put by several German media on the Internet.

According to the women they are filmed when they are showering or when they are breastfeeding. They also say that some women were forced violently into sexual intercourse.

Too scared

In the letter the refugee women said that they can hardly estimate how many women are victims of the practices. “Many of us are too scared to talk about it”, it says. According to the women, there is a team of security officers consisting of nine men.

Cologne police are investigating the allegations.

Some of the abused persons are said to be minor girls.

From The Local in Germany today about this, mentioning the guards are not government employees, but private mercenary employees, like many prisons etc. are privatized:

Refugee women ‘abused by camp security guards

The women meanwhile accuse employees at the security firm which runs the emergency shelter of filming or photographing them while they shower or while they breastfeed.

The security personnel ambush the women and try and convince them to have sex with them, the letter claims.

One young Syrian woman, who has been living in the sports hall for slightly more than a month, told the Kölnische Stadt Anzeiger “one asked me if I’d go with him, saying he wanted to be alone with me. When I told him I was taken and I wasn’t interested, he told me I’d soon be kicked out.”

The woman was one of around 70 asylum seekers who showed up in front of the Office for Migration and Refugees to hand in two letters of complaint.

The mercenary corporation at this refugee camp is called Adlerwache, ‘Eagle Guard’. Eagles are beautiful birds. However, humans often use them as metaphors for predatory and violent behaviour.

Somehow, I am reminded of the abuse of eagle images in Adolf Hitler’s nazi party.

Nazi coin with eagle

The headline about this Cologne issue in German weekly Der Spiegel is: Frauen werfen Sicherheitsdienst sexuelle Belästigung vor. ‘Sicherheitsdienst’ means literally ‘[so called] security service.’ ‘Sicherheitsdienst’, often abbreviated as SD, was also the name of the ‘security’ service of Hitler’s SS.

This 2014 German video from the Cologne region is about private ‘security’ employees abusing refugees then.

What will all those racists who suddenly, after New Year’s Eve in Cologne, discovered that they oppose sexual harassment of women, say now about this? Will all white ‘security’ guards now be banned from swimming pools, like happened to refugees in Germany, in Austria and almost in Belgium? Though it turned out that the Cologne crimes were overwhelmingly by non-refugees? And that Syrian refugees present there had helped to stop the crimes?

My guess is these extremely recent opponents of crimes against women will be extremely silent on this. Like they are extremely silent about the recent sexual harassment of Belgian TV reporter Esmeralda Labye by white German men during the Cologne carnival.

The numerous sexual assaults against women on the night of New Year’s Eve in Cologne and other German cities have sparked a big debate in the last months. Unfortunately the argument has been hijacked by the far-right, distorted and used to justify the anti-immigration agenda. The discussion revolves around hatefully attacking immigrants and European muslims rather than the effective measures for the victims of sexual assault. Let’s refocus the discussion: here.

Bishops allowed to cover up child abuse by Vatican


This video from the USA says about itself:

Catholic bishop indicted for unreported child abuse

14 October 2011

American Catholic bishop Robert Finn, of the Kansas City, Mo., diocese, has been indicted for failing to report suspected child abuse. Michelle Miller reports on the significant charge – unprecedented in the history of the Catholic Church in the United States.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Bishops do not have to report child abuse, Vatican says

The document emphasises that bishops’ only duty is to address such allegations internally

Samuel Osborne

Wednesday 10 February 2016 21:01 BST

The Catholic Church is telling newly appointed bishops it is “not necessarily” their duty to report accusations of clerical child abuse to authorities.

A document explaining how senior clergy members ought to deal with allegations of abuse suggests only victims or their families should make the decision to report abuse to police.

The victims are often too young or too scared to go to the police. And their families may be scared of reporting ‘a man of God’, and of maybe the church accusing them of being anti-God.

The document, recently released by the Vatican, emphasises that bishops’ only duty is to address such allegations internally

Address them in what way? With a slap on the wrist for the priestly perpetrator? By transferring him to another parish where the child abuse may start all over again; like has happened often so far?

though it says they must be aware of local laws.

Details were reported by John Allen, associate editor of the Catholic News Site Cruxnow.com.

“According to the state of civil laws of each country where reporting is obligatory, it is not necessarily the duty of the bishop to report suspects to authorities, the police or state prosecutors in the moment when they are made aware of crimes or sinful deeds,” the document states.

The guidelines were written by the controversial monsignor and psychotherapist Tony Anatrella, who is serving as consultant to the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Monsignor Anatrella has been accused of sexual abuse himself.

Although the guide acknowledges “the church has been particularly affected by sexual crimes committed against children,” it emphasises statistics showing the vast majority of sexual assaults against children are committed within the family and by friends and neighbours, The Guardian reports.

It is true that the overwhelming majority of child abuse is not by the stereotypical men supposedly in ambush waiting for children unknown to them to pass. However, much of the abuse is by men (less often: women) in positions of authority whom the children do know and, wrongly, trust, like teachers, bosses and Roman Catholic, or other, religious authorities.

That people who are not priests commit child abuse as well can never be any excuse for covering it up in cases where perpetrators are priests.

Pope Francis previously declared a “zero tolerance” policy for members of the clergy who abuse children.