This book represents the thousands of us abused on board the ARK, who have been or are going through the trauma of clergy child abuse. By stepping out from the shadows and giving light to the truth, on what has been kept buried for too long, our collective voices will be heard. The longer the Catholic church remains in denial the more damning is their guilt.
If you are interested, watch a film called Spotlight. This film is based on actual events relating to the magnitude of child abuse and the part the Catholic Church have played in suppressing the truth, some of which I quote.
In 1985, Father Tom Doyle wrote a report on paedophile priests, saying that it would be a billion-dollar liability. Doyle tried to introduce this report at the National conference of Catholic Bishops, who promptly shelved it.
Richard Sipe, an ex-priest who’s a psychotherapist has spent over thirty years studying abusive priests and their victims, says that only fifty per cent of the clergy are celibate and six per cent of all priests around the world are paedophiles. Added to this percentage are the number of nuns who also abuse children. He went public with his findings and the Catholic Church went to enormous efforts to discredit him through smear campaigns and public statements by prominent bishops denying the truth of this recognisable psychiatric phenomenon.
We look out into the world and see that justice is not being served. Those who commit crimes against children and the many who protect them and cover up their crimes, must be highlighted and stopped from causing further harm.
It took ten years and ten months to finally receive acknowledgement from the Catholic Church, by way of an out of court settlement for the crimes that were perpetrated against me as a child. Over those years, the Catholic Church went out of its way and spent vast sums on delaying tactics to avoid responsibility for their guilty nuns and priests. Their only concern to protect and keep hidden these dark secrets of truth at any cost, even when that cost is the health, wellbeing and lives of those who have been abused.
Time and again the Catholic Church will do all it can to protract its denial of the truth in the hope that those who have abused may pass away or those who have been abused will be so fatigued by the process that they will relent under the sheer weight of process that rains down on anyone who steps forward to be heard.
The criminals remain free to roam amongst us; predators and their entourage who prey on children are protectors of evil. Some of these false prophets preach to you, a friend, relative or neighbour, on Sundays, having us believe it’s our closest link to God, when in fact all we have to do is look within ourselves to find that bond to divine source. Even Jesus spoke the words, “The kingdom of God is within”. Faithful congregations and the public remain unaware of the dark evil that lurks behind closed doors of the Catholic Church, going all the way up the ranks to the Vatican.
This is not just historical child abuse being bought to light, there is no doubt that the abuse continues today. Until the Catholic Church is heard, loud and clear, that it recognises its own failings, accepts responsibility for placing and keeping abusers in positions of care of our most vulnerable, then no child should be considered safe around them.
With greater awareness of this crisis, I continue to hope the wheels of justice, public support and our governments can turn the tide in favour of those who deserve and need it most, victims and survivors of abuse.