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Thread: Child pornography: Why?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Child pornography: Why?

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    I cant begin to comprehend the mental processes of people that commit these offenses, a complete betrayal of trust involving the most vulnerable in our society.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-...-porn/10870566

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    Makes no sense to me either - truly sick.

    Z...

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    If it helps, this is Geoffrey Robertson, post Pell's conviction, in the SMH a few days ago.
    The reality is that priests abuse small boys not because they are gay but because they have the opportunity. Most are not even paedophiles, but rather sexually maladjusted, immature and lonely individuals unable to resist the temptation to exploit their power over children who are taught to revere them as the agents of God
    Caveat: Robertson is a lawyer, not a psychologist. While he refers explicitly to priests, there is possible relevance for others as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    I cant begin to comprehend the mental processes of people that commit these offenses, a complete betrayal of trust involving the most vulnerable in our society.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-...-porn/10870566
    Why?
    We find ourselves at this point because evolution is not a process that inexorably leads to perfection.
    Maybe we should be asking, what are we able and willing to do about it?
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    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Another interesting Q&A on ABC last night raised questions about the role of celibacy in the priesthood as a possible causal factor in child abuse.
    For me this raised other (maybe more interesting?) questions about the reasons that child abuse is very prevalent in the church and it's institutions.
    For example, are pedophiles attracted to the church or does the celibate priesthood tend to produce child abusers (pedophiles?) ?
    Would there be the same level of child abuse if the priesthood was not celibate? So in other words, what is the impact of celibacy in the child abuse scenario? Significant or not?
    Clearly, you don't need to join the church as a priest to engage in child abuse, there would seem to be other ways/means available to pedophiles that would be easier than this (or maybe not?)
    The church DOES have a reputation for protecting child-abusers, and the role of the priest also carries with it positional POWER which I imagine would be an advantage.
    I was particularly interested in the insights from Francis Sullivan, a representative of the Catholic Churches 'Truth, Justice and Healing Council'.

    As to why child pornography/pedophilia/child abuse - you may as well ask why humans have such a capacity to be so cruel to other humans (Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Serbia etc. plenty of individual examples (crime) as well .)
    One would have to conclude that within the broad spread of humanity there is an enduring capacity for cruelty (deviance) that will never be eliminated by evolution.
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    When it comes to abhorrent, deviant behaviour in any guise, I think it is impossible for any of us to be able to answer "Why?". Within our terms of reference the actual reasoning just doesn't exist, it just is. Once such behaviour is identified in an individual or group, it is up to the rest of us to do what ever we can to put a stop to it and utilise the full extent of what is possible in law, to try and make other would be offenders think twice about acting on their urges.

    Mal.
    Last edited by Dimal; 5th March 2019 at 11:38 PM.
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    I've always felt that celibacy is a factor in child abuse among the clergy, we also regularly hear of people who have taken vows of celibacy being involved in relationships with adult members of the congregation, perhaps celibacy as a non negotiable aspect of being ordained into some religions needs to be looked at.

    Of course it not just members of the church that are involved in these activities, we also see predators who actively seek positions (youth groups etc) that will allow them access to vulnerable young people.

    What is the solution? no idea, I doubt there is one, it seems punishment when detected is no deterrent, we see offenders jailed for long periods only to immediately re offend when released.

    It's easy to blame the internet, however it's not the cause of the problem, it only makes it easier for these people to access the material they are interested in, having said that, I imagine many of the perpetrators are loners with limited social skills who probably spend vast amounts of time viewing this stuff working themselves up to a point where they decide to act out their fantasies in any way and by any means that they can.

    Incarceration in mental facilities and treatment with drugs or chemicals to modify or remove the urges is deemed by many to be an infringement of rights/liberties, however it seems when these same people find the have a convicted pedophile living in their area they are outraged.

    As I said earlier I have no idea of what the solution may be, sadly I suspect that as the world population increases the problem will only become worse.
    Last edited by Yelta; 6th March 2019 at 09:27 AM.
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    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    For example, are pedophiles attracted to the church or does the celibate priesthood tend to produce child abusers (pedophiles?)?
    With the sheer number accused as well as charged worldwide, I would suggest the former. In an environment where these evil deeds occurr with no significant threat of punishment and also having a great deal of insulation from law enforcement, it's like moths to a flame. Covering up these evil deeds and stone walling law enforcement just exacerbates this issue and I would include these conspirators on par alongside the pedophiles. The overall count is huge and in their own terms suggests that the devil and his/her minions thrive within the power structures of the Catholic Church.

    I really feel for the true believers and honorable servants of the Church, past and present, like our own Father Bob Maguire. It's heartbreaking to imagine what they would be going through and hard to imagine the depth of belief required to continue serving such an institution.
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 6th March 2019 at 10:21 AM.
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CafeLotta View Post
    I really feel for the true believers and honorable servants of the Church
    It certainly is a sad situation, I'm sure the vast majority in the church must feel terribly let down by the actions of an immoral minority.

    I've always had a problem with religion, intolerance and hypocrisy.

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    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    It certainly is a sad situation, I'm sure the vast majority in the church must feel terribly let down by the actions of an immoral minority.
    When you look at the numbers, the immoral minority has severly impacted thousands of lives. The Church tries to diminish the impact on communities worldwide by using the minority line but the number negatively impacted is horrendously significant.
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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    I'm still trying to make up my mind which is worse: the offenders or the powers that be that covered up the abuse. I am leaning towards the latter.

    A few years ago I was stopped in the street by some (presumably) Christian organisation for a recorded interview. I was asked two questions, as paraphrased below along with my brief answers.
    1. What is the best evidence of the existence of God. I answered that life is too complex to be an accident.
    2. What is the best evidence of the non-existence of God. I answered that there is no physical manifestation.

    In hindsight, my answer to the second question would have been how could a just god allow such evil as child abuse to continue.

    I'm not intending for this thread to diverge into a religious discussion. I often wonder about the future of organised religion when the ones entrusted to guide its followers are guilty of such heinous behavior but denied or covered up by the authorities.
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CafeLotta View Post
    When you look at the numbers, the immoral minority has severly impacted thousands of lives.
    The number adversely affected by or because of religion over the last two millennia would more than likely run in to tens of millions, the Nazi holocaust alone accounted for around 6 million Jewish men women and children.

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnaus View Post

    I'm not intending for this thread to diverge into a religious discussion.
    Inevitable given recent events.

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    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Well maybe not, Yelta. It's not like either child pornography or pedophilia is the exclusive preserve of religion/the church.
    We have seen cases of both from all areas of society. The church has tended to be singled out as the worst example because of the inherent hypocrisy involved in an institution whose fundamental values should be the total opposite of what we have seen and where anyone even suspected of being involved in this behaviour would be expected to be subjected to the most rigorous scrutiny and dealt with very severely if there was any suggestion that they were guilty.
    In many ways, it is the 'religious framework' that has failed to provide the desired level of scrutiny and prevented the appropriate responses that is really the core of the problem, rather than 'religion' itself.
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    Interesting discussion on does the church/celibacy/availability cause someone to become a paedophile. There isn't much doubt the Catholic Church has a higher incidence than most institutions. In the movie 'Spotlight' which was a dramatisation/documentary about the Boston Globe newspapers year or two investigation into the problem in Boston, the estimate was that 9% were paedophiles. It would be hard to imagine that another group had that high an incidence - at least I hope not. Interestingly the real life end to the movie was the top Cardinal/Bishop (cant remember which) was recalled to the Vatican just before the Police were going to lay charges. Almost sounds familiar.

    I agree with Mal, people have to be aware there are some urges society will not allow to be explored or tolerated and the repercussions should be very serious. They sure are for their victims. A society should be measured on how they protect their most vulnerable.
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    The Spotlight is an incredible movie covering such topic. Highly recommended!
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    Hi all

    This appalling and difficult to understand behaviour has now been found to be rife in Boston and Washington in the US and in Ireland and Scotland. The later have also has royal commissions that uncovered wide spread and endemic abuse and cover ups. Other organisations have similar problems but the Catholics and Marist Brothers top the lot. Yes, I also read that in some dioceses it's been estimated at perhaps 10%.

    It's time for another King Henry VIII solution. Shut them down. Read up on the "Dissolution of the Monasteries". Just replace "Monasteries" by "Catholic Churches" :-) Henry appointed Oliver Cromwell to oversee the process. Cromwell started by sending royal commissioners to all monasteries during 1535 to 1536 to find out how much money and property they owned, where their money was coming from (selling indulgences), and what was happening inside the monasteries. The royal commissioners report found the monks were breaking the very rules they should be living by. Henry took ownership of all their assets.

    Rather than allow the churches to run the redress schemes, just shut them down, seize their assets, and have an independent body as auditors to recoup money for the redress and compensation scheme. Churches are wonderful historic buildings which could be better used as community centres, child minding centres, libraries, meeting rooms for clubs and societies, market stalls etc. Many country towns have churches so an extra community centre for them would be appreciated.

    What's astounding is that in Tasmania the Church is selling off small churches (nearly 100 on the hit list) to pay for the redress scheme, and so their own parishioners have had to raise money to prevent the selloff of their own country church. So their own parishioners are paying for the scheme and not the church! Are the Church administrators just smart ar**holes or are their parishioners really that gullible?

    Catholics don't need the Church. They can still pray and believe in God if they wish. The Church though can't survive without their flock. That is where the real power lies - in the thousands of individual Catholics. They need to wake up, display some action, stop supporting the Church, and stop going to Mass.

    Mike

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    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Jeez Mike, that's an interesting plan.

    Francis Sullivan of the Catholic 'Truth, Justice and Healing Council' had some positive suggestions (well, I thought they were positive) expressed on the Q&A program aired on Monday, that were a bit less radical than that, but were along the lines that the Catholic laity need to take control of the outfit and tell the priesthood (bottom to top) that they are the employees, not the boss, and if they misbehave then they will be fired (or jailed) or possibly both.

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    Senior Member speleomike's Avatar
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    Yes, I saw Q&A. I thought Kristina Keneally's comment that women need to withdraw their voluntary support of the Catholic Church was the only grass roots action that I had even heard. Also the American lay church person spoke well also, very on-the-mark and perceptive. Was not impressed at all by the Liberal.

    Mike

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    Mike I read about similar sell offs in NSW and it is disgusting, the parishioners at smaller rural churches paying for the misdeeds of their clergy.

    There actually has been a grass roots backlash in the US with large donors withholding their donations.

    It isn't just the Catholic Church, at the recent Royal Commission the Scouts offered an apology and a phone number for a counselling service - which wasn't even theirs but a free service! Thanks for nothing.
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    They take our money, molest our kids, promise us a fools paradise and we just take it. Reminds me of a movie I once saw about Morlocks and Elois - but not as entertaining.

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    Senior Member Erimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCD View Post
    They take our money, molest our kids, promise us a fools paradise and we just take it. Reminds me of a movie I once saw about Morlocks and Elois - but not as entertaining.
    They still have tax exempt status. While the government continues to shaft the working classes with high indirect taxes.

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    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    This is such a difficult and heartbreaking thread that I’m torn about whether I even want to contribute, as I know where these threads can end up — vilification, personal attack and witch-hunts.
    But I thought it important to raise a few points for further consideration.

    • Any form of abuse — sexual or otherwise — of anyone — at any age — is vile and evil.
    • But it can occur anywhere, anytime to anyone —*hospitals, age care facilities, sporting clubs, schools, emergency services, home daycare, parks, shopping centres, pubs, beaches, camping, in the home, in the workplace. Churches are certainly not immune – nor alone.
    • Abusers will look for anywhere they can gain access to the vulnerable, and churches do bear a particularly large burden as they are so often willing to accept & support the young, the aged & vulnerable, and so often attract abusers.
    • Corruption in any of these organisations leads to cover-up. Those who genuinely want the best for others in any of these organisations weep when this abuse is discovered, seek to prevent it ever happening again, and try and support those who have been impacted by it.

    One of the greater issues I believe is that our society has a growing culture of violence, abuse, selfishness & immorality, caused in-part by the “it’s all about what I want” attitude. The human psyche can be a dark place when left to celebrate and encourage it’s own devices & desires – just look at the news feed every morning if you don’t believe that. And it comes out wherever people are — even the internet and social media, believe it or not.

    As we have seen in past years, many people have been deeply damaged within a church environment. I don’t contest that — and it breaks my heart as each new case surfaces. But as a christian myself and an involved member of a small, local church, it tears me up to see the vast damage that a small minority of abusers wielding power have done, when the vast majority of people within all the various churches have dedicated their lives to loving & serving their community — even those who many others would rather wash their hands of.

    Get rid of the church? Maybe. But will that rid the world of abusers? Won’t they just move on? And what about all those other service based organisations? Government services? Even the nuclear family? Will they all have to go too?

    The problem in the end is not the organisation, the building or even the religion – but the human heart. And maybe, just maybe, it’s the small local church that might just offer some clarity on that. It certainly has for me.

    Just saying…
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
    ...torn about whether I even want to contribute, as I know where these threads can end up — vilification, personal attack and witch-hunts...
    The church claims the moral high ground and so should rightfully be held to a higher standard.
    At this eleventh hour, a Christ like cleansing of the temple would have to be more self-healing than playing the victim.

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
    This is such a difficult and heartbreaking thread that I’m torn about whether I even want to contribute, as I know where these threads can end up — vilification, personal attack and witch-hunts.
    But I thought it important to raise a few points for further consideration.

    • Any form of abuse — sexual or otherwise — of anyone — at any age — is vile and evil.
    • But it can occur anywhere, anytime to anyone —*hospitals, age care facilities, sporting clubs, schools, emergency services, home daycare, parks, shopping centres, pubs, beaches, camping, in the home, in the workplace. Churches are certainly not immune – nor alone.
    • Abusers will look for anywhere they can gain access to the vulnerable, and churches do bear a particularly large burden as they are so often willing to accept & support the young, the aged & vulnerable, and so often attract abusers.
    • Corruption in any of these organisations leads to cover-up. Those who genuinely want the best for others in any of these organisations weep when this abuse is discovered, seek to prevent it ever happening again, and try and support those who have been impacted by it.

    One of the greater issues I believe is that our society has a growing culture of violence, abuse, selfishness & immorality, caused in-part by the “it’s all about what I want” attitude. The human psyche can be a dark place when left to celebrate and encourage it’s own devices & desires – just look at the news feed every morning if you don’t believe that. And it comes out wherever people are — even the internet and social media, believe it or not.

    As we have seen in past years, many people have been deeply damaged within a church environment. I don’t contest that — and it breaks my heart as each new case surfaces. But as a christian myself and an involved member of a small, local church, it tears me up to see the vast damage that a small minority of abusers wielding power have done, when the vast majority of people within all the various churches have dedicated their lives to loving & serving their community — even those who many others would rather wash their hands of.

    Get rid of the church? Maybe. But will that rid the world of abusers? Won’t they just move on? And what about all those other service based organisations? Government services? Even the nuclear family? Will they all have to go too?

    The problem in the end is not the organisation, the building or even the religion – but the human heart. And maybe, just maybe, it’s the small local church that might just offer some clarity on that. It certainly has for me.

    Just saying…
    Excellent post DBC, not even sure that liking it is appropriate, I most certainly don't like the subject matter.

    It must be heart breaking as well as confusing for the vast majority of church members to be continually confronted with new allegations.

    This type of behaviour is certainly nothing new, its always been around, just that in this day and age we are so much more aware of it, in previous generations it was never discussed, usually swept under the rug.

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    Senior Member speleomike's Avatar
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    In my earlier post I mentioned that "the church" was selling off properties in Tassie. From further reading it is the Anglican Church that has the selloff. The Catholics I gather are keeping theirs?

    From: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-...hurch/10878502
    "It has been three months since the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania announced plans to sell off 73 properties to help fund its contribution to the National Redress Scheme for sexual abuse survivors — since then, just one church property has sold.
    .......
    Six church properties were sold prior to the announcement of the National Redress Scheme, leaving 66 still for sale."

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    Senior Member Erimus's Avatar
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    Pell still has a lot of support. It won't surprise me if he gets off on appeal.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-47449933

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    It must be heart breaking as well as confusing for the vast majority of church members to be continually confronted with new allegations.
    This type of behaviour is certainly nothing new, its always been around, just that in this day and age we are so much more aware of it, in previous generations it was never discussed, usually swept under the rug.
    Quote Originally Posted by OCD View Post
    The church claims the moral high ground and so should rightfully be held to a higher standard.
    At this eleventh hour, a Christ like cleansing of the temple would have to be more self-healing than playing the victim.
    I couldn't agree more. Unfortunately there are (and always have been) wolves-dressed-in-wool within the church, and they certainly deserve greater condemnation.
    I can say from personal experience that there has been, and continues to be, plenty of soul-searching in the church community both for ridding the evil that exists and seeking to prevent it from happening again in the future.
    But once again, it is the human heart that is the weakness – and as history shows us again and again, you seek to destroy evil in one place (the abolition of slavery in the early 1800's for example) it won't be long before it pops up in another form in a different time a place – the scourge of human sex trafficking being a sickeningly current example.
    If it wasn't for the bedrock on my own personal faith, I'd probably spiral into deep depression when these sorts of topics arise… but I do have hope for the future.

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    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    As an Atheist, I carry no brief for the church or Pell but I do have concerns about the "beyond reasonable doubt" requirement of the judgment.
    I acknowledge that the public should not express any opinions at all given that we only hear what is presented in the media, however the details of time, place and manner of the offence do raise questions in my mind about the likelihood of the offence having been perpetrated as described. For e.g. there is the matter of the nature/arrangement of the vestments (priestly garments) which would appear to be inconsistent with what was described by the prosecution. Regardless of what other transgressions Pell might have committed, I think we have to await the outcome of the appeal which ultimately tells us what we have to think about the matter.

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    We do not have too long to wait for the appeal, in the scheme of things (these tend to be slow). It is set for early June.

    However, regarding the occasion, the attack of which Pell was convicted is not at all atypical even though not the other common form, grooming. It is called a situational attack. You will find it discussed in psychological literature. It tends to flow from a feeling of power or invulnerability as well as the perversion.

    The jury were given the robes to see for themselves so I am satisfied with their finding of fact on that count. I have seen detailed pictures of the robes and it certainly looks easy to me to manoeuvre them.

    Although Pell did not take the stand (most defendants don't) the prosecution was able to produce witnesses and cross-examine others, demonstrating that Pell lied in his video police statement. A portion of that was shown on 4 Corners.

    One might also wonder why a person would raise such an accusation to no personal benefit (shortly after they learned of the other victim's overdose death) then endure days of cross-examination by one of Australia's leading legal attack dogs, such that the jury found it beyond reasonable doubt to accept their testimony?

    I will wait for the appeal outcome, and reasoning in the appeal. For now, Pell remains a convicted paedophile.
    Last edited by beensean; 8th March 2019 at 04:52 PM. Reason: clarity; and a correction
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    I, like most, have personal opinions about individual cases, I don't feel its right to voice them on a public forum when I'm not aware of anything other than the emotive rubbish published by our gossip mongering media.

    Particularly where religious beliefs are being attacked, like Rocky I'm an atheist, however I feel strongly that others should be able to hold views/beliefs and not be victimised or held up to ridicule or subjected to attack because of them.

    Church wealth or the lack of it is an entirely different issue to the subject we are discussing.
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    Rocky I genuinely don't know about Victorian law, but I wonder if the media reported the only term they know - probably from TV. I would have guessed the standard of proof would be "on balance of probabilities" rather than "beyond reasonable doubt". I hope a Victorian lawyer could chime in here with some clarification.

    Beensean, I agree with you with the robes. People have to remember this was a historical offence, purportedly performed by a large man who had only a few years earlier been chosen to play AFL for Richmond. It was not performed by the frail old man before us today. I can't believe a large, tall man who had been selected to play professional AFL couldn't move a few robes. Those same robes are worn by the frail old man we see today and he can still move around.
    Last edited by 338; 8th March 2019 at 05:24 PM. Reason: clarity
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    I've had my say, will now withdraw from the topic, I dislike the direction in which it is heading.

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    338, it is a criminal offence that was tried. The burden is "beyond reasonable doubt", which the jury found unanimously. You will find it in s141 of the Evidence Act 1995. A jury makes findings of fact (e.g. on the robes) so the appeal (first ground) is essentially that the totality of evidence should not be considered sufficient for a safe conviction. Individual points (using the robes as an example again) will not be re-argued nor does balance of probabilities enter the equation at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
    I couldn't agree more. Unfortunately there are (and always have been) wolves-dressed-in-wool within the church, and they certainly deserve greater condemnation.
    I can say from personal experience that there has been, and continues to be, plenty of soul-searching in the church community both for ridding the evil that exists and seeking to prevent it from happening again in the future...
    Apologies. I tend to forget that good people, such as yourself, have also been betrayed. Not your fault though. These perpetrators have had over two millennia to hone their skills. When it comes to fleecing their flocks (yes, that's what they call us) they could put a whole pub full of gun shearers to shame.

    Ps enough soul-searching already - time for some action.

    Ps 2 can't help but wonder why an all knowing, all powerful and all loving God didn't see fit to intervene. Maybe the Greeks were right - we are the playthings of the Gods.

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    Thanks for the clarification Beensean

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    I've had my say, will now withdraw from the topic, I dislike the direction in which it is heading.
    I too find the subject matter uncomfortable, distressing even. Maybe if I tune out it'll just go away. Surely someone will eventually sort it out - won't they? But then I think "what about the kids?"

    Ps I've been aware of this problem since my incarceration in Saint Augustine's Orphanage in the early sixties.

    Ps 2 the paedophilia rate amongst the brothers was closer to 80%, the rest just tuned out.

    Ps 3 last night I watched 'The Good Cop' S1, Ep6. Maria James. An eye opener and on topic. One to watch - if you haven't tuned out yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCD View Post
    I too find the subject matter uncomfortable, distressing even. Maybe if I tune out it'll just go away. Surely someone will eventually sort it out - won't they? But then I think "what about the kids?"
    Well said OCD, the reality is while we all find it abhorrent, it is also up to us all to say something, ask questions, etc.
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