Monday, 30 September 2013

Two Australian Prime Ministers and two attitudes to child abuse within religious organizations

This is Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's last letter before leaving office on 26 June 2013:
This is an excerpt from the 1997 evidence given by Australian Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott, when he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs, in support of an alleged paedophile priest later forcefully laicized by the Vatican:

Q. You kept up your friendship with the defendant?
A. From time to time, yes.
Q. And you saw him?
A. From time to time, perhaps once or twice every twelve months.
Q. And you've kept up that friendship until this day?
A. That's correct....
Q. First of all, how would you describe him as a man?
A. An extremely upright and virtuous man. I guess one of things that I liked very much about John when I first him, was his maturity, intellectual, social, emotional he was, to that extent I guess, a beacon of humanity at the Seminary
Q. How did he appear to get on with his peers at the at Manly?
A. Obviously we have different relations with different people. John got on extremely well with some, less well with others. I guess one of the things that marked John out from his peers at the seminary was he was a man with high expectations of himself and others and I can recall on occasions being more than a little annoyed with him, because, you know, he would want to bring me up to the mark, bring me back to the path of virtue from time to time and this didn't always go over too well with me. And I guess it could annoy others as well.
Q. But as far as his own conduct was concerned, did you ever become aware of anything which would in any way question his beliefs and his dedication as a priest?
A. Never.
Q. And you've come all the way from Sydney today to give this evidence?
A. I have indeed.
Q. You do have other duties to perform? A. I have an electorate to represent and a ministry to assist.


1 comment:

John Fraser said...

And here's the article from the Sydney Morning Herald dated February 17 2013 :