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Post by TomTerrific0420 Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:09 pm

Poster's Note: I place this story here as St. Mary of the Cross is credited with bringing child abuse within the Church out in the open and could be called a Patron Saint for the Abused.


Australia got its first Catholic saint Sunday, a feisty 19th-century nun who was briefly excommunicated when her colleagues exposed an abusive priest. Mary MacKillop co-founded the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart in 1867, and gained a reputation as the first Australian nun to leave the cities and minister to the rural poor. Nuns in her order got evidence that a priest was engaged in "scandalous behavior," according to the Rev. Paul Gardiner, who has spent decades researching MacKillop's life. The nuns reported it to the Rev. Julian Woods, MacKillop's first spiritual mentor who co-founded the Sisters of St. Joseph. Woods in turn reported the abuse to church authorities, resulting in the Rev. Ambrose Patrick Keating being sent back to Ireland from Kapunda, Australia. But Keating's friends "were really upset with Father Woods and thought they could best get at him by getting at Mary," said Claire Larkin, the chair of the Mary MacKillop Centre in Penola, Australia. "They told a lot of lies to the bishop," who excommunicated MacKillop and the entire order in 1871, she said. Bishop James Quinn revoked the excommunication five months later, on his deathbed, the order says in its biography of Mary MacKillop. But she still had to spend decades fighting local Catholic leaders for control of the order she founded. Her familiarity with church politics may have played a role in the instructions she issued to her nuns when women got the vote in Australia. "It is the duty on us all to vote ... Get advice from some leading man in whom you have confidence or from the priest, but keep your voting secret," she wrote in 1903. The order grew to include 300 nuns in Australia and New Zealand by 1891, its website says, and now has about 1,200 members. She died in 1909 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1995. The Catholic Church credits her with miraculously helping to cure a woman named Kathleen Evans of cancer. She took to wearing a piece of MacKillop's clothing pinned to her nightgown and asked her family and friends to pray for MacKillop to intervene with God on her behalf. Her cancer disappeared, Evans said in a statement. Pope Benedict XVI recognized the cure as a miracle in December 2009, and announced two months later that MacKillop would be canonized. He praised her "courageous and saintly example of zeal, perseverance and prayer" on Sunday in canonizing her as St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop. Some 4,000 people attended an outdoor mass Sunday to celebrate the canonization in Penola, where she started her ministry in a disused stable. "It's so exciting, we've had a marvelous day," Larkin said from Penola.
"It's been a long journey" to sainthood, she said. "Her dream started in a little country outback town, to think that she's gotten that recognition."
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Job/hobbies : Searching for Truth and Justice

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Post by shelby Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:01 am

Sterilise child-abusing parents, says former ombudsman
PARENTS with a history of child abuse should be forced to have sterilisations, a former Victorian ombudsman says.
Norman Geschke, who wrote several scathing reports on child-protection services between 1980 and 1994, said constant state care failings in Victoria compelled him to push the idea of baby bans.

Victoria's Child Safety Commissioner Bernie Geary has savaged the concept as inhumane, but another child protection advocate has said we must look at harsher rules for parents who habitually neglect children.

Mr Geschke told the Herald Sun that parents with a history of abuse should be stopped from having more children, to stop the parents "sentencing" vulnerable kids to a life without proper care.

A model where drug addicts are paid to have a vasectomy or hysterectomy - being used by a US charity in Britain - should be considered, he said.

But more extreme options should be considered too, including setting up a state-sanctioned committee to decide whether parents should be stopped from procreating.

"It is not unreasonable to do so when (a parent's) track record is that bad," he said.

"My concern is that I think children, when they are born, should expect to get tender loving care. I just think it's wrong to treat kids badly the way that is being done and no one is really doing anything about it."

Mr Geschke said cases he had investigated during his 14 years as Ombudsman that warranted extreme measures included habitual sexual abusers and a mother of nine who kept giving her newborns to foster care because she couldn't look after them.

"It's got to be an option that's available somewhere down the track," he said.

"Some authority's got to be able to look and have the proper tools of investigation to say 'Look, in our view, this person should not have any more children'."

Child Safety Commissioner Bernie Geary said, "I am appalled that someone of Mr Geschke's experience and background would harbour that sort of opinion."

Australian Childhood Foundation chief executive Joe Tucci said society should not impose sterilisations. But he said harsher rules for parents who have a history of abuse should be considered to protect more vulnerable children.

"You can still achieve some of those outcomes by being clearer about when we terminate parental rights," Dr Tucci said.

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Post by shelby Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:10 am

AUSTRAILIA NEWS 972027-children

Snipping child abuse in the bud

OH, it was easy to mock former Ombudsman Norm Geschke yesterday, and to even draw a swastika on his arm.
Just think of the evil suggestion he'd made to the Herald Sun.

Maybe, just maybe, he said, we should pay drug addicts to get themselves sterilised, as is being done by one charity in the United States.

Maybe we should get even tougher on parents who keep bashing their kids.

"Some authority's got to be able to say, 'Look, in our view, this person should not have any more children'."

Cue outrage.

Child Safety Commissioner Bernie Geary said he was "appalled" by Geschke's views, which he called "Hitleresque".

?Dr Kathy Kezelman, the equally offended chairman of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse, said what we really needed was to fix "a history of poor communication between various departments" charged with protecting the increasing number of children being battered, starved or dumped.

Oops. I must interrupt this column for a news flash.

"Department of Human Services figures ... show 231 children-protection workers either resigned or had their contracts terminated in 2009, out of a workforce of just over 1000."

Oh, dear. Seems that trying to save thousands of children from depraved or drugged parents is burning out the young idealists plucked out of uni, paid peanuts, confronted with horror and flogged with overwork. Who'd have thought?

Still we know the answer: Better communication!

Another news flash:

"More than 400 vulnerable Victorian children were sexually and physical abused within three months of their cases being closed by bungling child protection bureaucrats."

Goodness, our communication skills really do need work, don't they? But back to my column - and Geschke.

Yes, Geschke, that "Hitleresque" man. Huh, what would he know - I mean, apart from what he learned writing one angry report after another on our child protection services from 1980 to 1994? Must be out of touch.

Which brings me to another news item - not from Geschke's ancient files but from the papers just a few months ago:

"A mother prostituted her 12-year-old daughter so she could pay off her home loan and buy a couple of Commodores, a court has heard.

"The girl and another younger sister were under protective orders ...

"The mother ... bought two packets of condoms for her daughter to use during her two-day dealing in the hotel where she was sold for $100 for half an hour and an extra $50 for men who did not want to use a condom ...

"The mother had redrawn on (her home) loan about five years earlier during a period of heavy drug use, to complete renovations on her home. However, the money was instead used to buy drugs ...

"The money made through the prostitution was split between (the woman's boyfriend), the woman and the girl, who spent her share on drugs."

A mother who blows the family cash on drugs, then prostitutes her daughter to more than 100 men, and gives that abused daughter cash for drugs.

Obviously another case of "poor communication between government departments". Fix that, and we're laughing.

Yeah, right. In 2007, Lorraine Rowe, a foster mum for 24 years, told a federal parliamentary inquiry into drug use in Australian families about the kind of children she looked after - and had to give back:

"In WA we had a 14-year-old girl stay with us for two weeks who was responsible for her 11-year-old brother with ADHD and her seven-year-old sister with an intellectual disability.

"Her mother was 28 and a heroin addict.

"This girl was hiding clothes and hiding food on her way to school so that she would be able to feed her siblings when she got home. She would scab bottles, cans, anything, to get money to take her brother and sister for a hot meal.

"She used to have to wag school and come home to clean up her mum and her mum's friends so that the kids did not walk into syringes and bongs and things lying around."

Yes, another case of us just needing to fix "poor communication between government departments". But, to tell the truth, I'm now sick of my joke, too.

That inquiry, chaired by Bronwyn Bishop, heard many such stories. There was the heroin addict who had six children to five fathers. There was the prostitute who shot up in the morning with her boyfriend and had her two-year-old drown in Lake Burley Griffin as they spaced on its banks.

There was the couple whose six-year-old died after being fed methadone stored in a bottle of cough mixture.

And there were the statistics. You know the kind - that mothers using heroin, methadone or marijuana are twice more likely to have babies of lower birth weight. That amphetamines users are much more likely to belt their children. That drug-using parents are much more likely to have children who use drugs too, and are much less likely to look after them.

No wonder that the shocked inquiry recommended that all children up to the age of five whose parents were drug addicts be adopted out, "with the onus on child protection authorities to demonstrate that other care options would result in superior outcomes for the child".

How "Hitleresque". Steal the babies of drug addicts?

Fat chance. Not in this country, with its delicate concern for the rights of parents who show near zero concern for the rights of their children.

And so foster parents I know - people too scared to speak up for fear of being banned by authorities from helping - must to this day hand back desperately unsettled children again and again to the care of druggie parents who mumble that this time they'll take care, honest. God spare those babies.

Another foster mum had once such story:

"I actually wasn't planning on adopting any children, I just wanted to get a little girl because I had all boys.

"So, I decided to be a foster parent because I thought I could have little girls and dress them up and fix their hair and play with them and give them back ...

"The first baby that was placed with us was D. She was eight months old. I found out when we got her that she had four older sisters.

"She was the fifth baby born to the same drug addict. When D was born, she tested positive for crack, PCP and heroin. That was actually the first time I ever realised that babies were born addicted to drugs ...

"D was eight months old, so I didn't have to see her withdrawing from drugs. That was something I didn't experience until four months later when her brother was born.

"We got a phone call from the social worker telling us that we had gotten another baby boy and the mother didn't want him ...

"It wasn't until I picked I up from the hospital and saw how he suffered that it had the full impact on me. He was just miserable for months. He couldn't sleep, he couldn't keep food down, his eyes were like they'd pop out of his head ...

"I started to get very angry at the fact that the mother was allowed to do this. Not once, twice, but six times.

"That's when I got angry, because I talked to other foster parents and found out that there were lots of addicted women out there having babies every year."

And so Harris, who adopted four children from the same addled mother, formed Project Prevention, a non-profit outfit in North Carolina that offers addicts $300 to sterilise themselves.

Using slogans such as "Don't let a pregnancy get in the way of your crack habit", it's since persuaded 1319 women to have their tubes tied, and another 2100 to take long-term contraception. More than 50 men have been bribed to have vasectomies.

Harris has now extended her operations to Britain, creating a hurricane of publicity these past weeks - most of it damning - that's now drawn the attention of Geschke.

And, yes, any suggestion of compulsory sterilisation does indeed strike me as "Hitleresque".

Nor can I help but flinch even at Harris's method, to leave it to the addicts to decide whether to spay themselves for cash.

I agree with the critics who say this is preying on people at their most vulnerable, tempting them with cash they're desperate to blow on drugs.

But I can afford to be squeamish. I never have to see the babies born screaming for mum's drugs, or the ones left unfed while mum and dad get high.

I don't foster the children whose mum is too drug-blasted to look after them, and nor must I patch up the ones belted bloody by a step-dad amped up on amphetamines.

Easy for me to be moral, see?

So I must force myself to face this issue squarely: if a drug addict would sell even their fertility for just $300, what might they sell their children for?

If they're so desperate for cash for drugs, what would they do with the grocery money for their family?

And how sinful is it really to offer them $300 to do what you'd desperately hope they'd do just out of pity for their yet-unconceived child?

So, no. I don't see Geschke as "Hitleresque" but desperate - beside himself with worry for children beyond our urgent help, no matter how brightly we vow to fix our "poor communication between departments".

And I'll go further. Ask what is most truly insane and even evil: to pay addicts $300 not to have a child, or have our Government pay them the $5294 "baby bonus" if they do?

Join Andrew on MTR 1377 each weekday at 8am.

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Post by shelby Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:30 pm

I have to have a vent.....
My oldest daughter volunteers for a local charity here in melb who run a food van that deliver sandwiches ,soup ect..what ever is donated they serve out to the homeless.
She came home last night from volunteering and told me of children as young as six ( homeless or parents are passed out from drugs or working as prostitutes) roaming the streets begging for food ,dirty ,no appropiate clothing ,just waiting on the sides of roads playing .This was at nine oclock at night.They hand out as much as they are able to but she said its never enough.
This just crushes me to pieces .
I just want to get in my car and drive around untill i have picked every single child living on the street or in the parks up and bring them home.
I get so angry with our qovernment with all the money spent on housing and new roads an giving laptops to schools .ect...

Sorry about that but it is an issue very close to my heart.
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