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Our Compelling Witness!

Thousands upon thousands of Survivors of childhood sexual abuse could have written this brief article.

Their experiences may differ from mine in detail. But what we all have in common together is that we are living proof of the negative legacy that our experiences of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church has had upon the course of our whole lives. We are the most compelling of witnesses where the highlighting of this type of heinous crime is concerned.

Across all legal cases where witness is borne against the Catholic Church, and other institutions, there exists an echo of commonality.

From 1957 through to 1964 I experienced much abuse including being physically assaulted and sodomised by a Catholic Priest in the Church Sacristy of St. Vincent’s Orphanage, Nudgee, near Brisbane. That rape experience was not one of a kind. I was subject to far more than that over an interminable period of time.

There were no ‘dissenting’ witnesses to my experiences, there were no ‘witnesses of opportunity’ rounded up to oppose my case and support the Church. Yet my case was so easily minimised and pushed aside by the power of the Catholic Church – I was brow beaten into accepting a minor settlement and I did not even receive the pretence of an apology.

How many other Survivors of childhood sexual abuse have also been terrorised down that path by the Catholic Church?

Today, a judgement was handed down in the highest Court in this country. One man had his day in court. Some people are concerned that from now on Survivors will be reluctant to come forward. Some may be, but many of us will not be dissuaded from our efforts to achieve real and lasting justice.

I will re-pursue the Catholic Church. Many other Survivors will pursue or re-persue the Catholic Church.

We are the most Compelling of Witnesses!

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30 comments

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  1. Jack Cade

    This matter just reinforces the impression that most thinking people have about our governance, justice system, law enforcement, religious houses, infrastructure.
    Rotten to the core.

  2. Isabella

    Thanks Keith for telling your story. Thanks for continuing the fight for justice, both for yourself and everyone else!

  3. Isabella

    There’ll be no peace for George Pell.
    He now faces a number of fresh civil cases, prepared by Vivian Waller and ready to go.
    Sarah Ferguson / ABC series : Revelation Episode 3

  4. wam

    I am sorry to say I can see these lie-induced lawyers turned judges saying he has suffered enough.
    Too many of your contemporaries had reached the ‘had enough’ stage and killed themselves.
    As long as the church harbours a god given right to absolve such men there will always e the chance of a child being abused and an abuser being forgiven.

  5. Uta Hannemann

    Yes, it is a heinous crime!
    Why was there nobody these children could have talked to?
    And why were they not believed when they were able to talk to someone?
    Shame, shame, shame

  6. Vikingduk

    Go hard, Keith, these rotten to the core, traitorous bastards deserve, at the very least, complete contempt. They have absolutely failed one of the prime directives given us humans by betraying those in their care. They no longer have the right to be recognised as humans nor their institution the respect some still give this fucking hypocritical “church”. A further reflection of this sick, perverted, corrupt construct we live by.

    Go well, Keith, may you and all victims receive the justice you and they deserve and I hope you can achieve a semblance of peace and contentment. Love to you, Keith, from us here at chez duk.

  7. Ross

    Don’t despair Keith, the ABC seems keen to keep the pressure on the Catholic Church over child sex offences.
    If the ABC is right George Pell’s troubles are a long way from over. The police may yet get a warrant to stop him leaving the country and may wish a further interview on several matters regarding his time in several parishes. Who knows George Pell may get his old cell back.

  8. Keitha Granville

    I cry for you.

    But I fervently support your choice to keep on keeping on, you need to know that majority of decent fair minded people everywhere are in YOUR side.

    George Pell may have been acquitted by a higher version of the old boys club, but he will never be freed from the condemnation of many. And if there is a god, he can never be forgiven.

    Power to you all.

  9. Baby Jewels

    “I will re-pursue the Catholic Church. Many other Survivors will pursue or re-persue the Catholic Church.” That’s what I was wanting to read. You must receive your justice, every one of you. You all matter, if not to the Catholic Church, but to all those of us to whom justice is vitally important.

  10. Hotspringer

    Friends in high (court) polaces, how good is that!

  11. pierre wilkinson

    and once again justice is thwarted
    a judge and jury found against Pell
    a majority 2 of 3 judges found Pell guilty but the High Court suggests that errors were made
    because although the accusations were believable and compelling
    there was sufficient wriggle room to consider that he might be innocent after all
    despite all the other circumstantial evidence
    a sad day for our country and justice system
    Be brave Keith, you have more support than any old paedophile priest

  12. TuffGuy

    As was probably expected we continue to see the rich and powerful looking out for each other. Personally I fail to see how there can be a trial won, an appeal won, then 7 so-called judges sit down with the paperwork from both and summarily dismiss everything. WTF???

  13. Keith Davis

    Good comments. Good people. When I posted the above I was not feeling angry, upset, devastated, or gutted. I was simply not at all surprised. Maybe the last few years of pursuing action against the Catholic Church have hardened me up. I observed today’s result with a quiet resolve … and I am sitting here with a steely determination to bring the Church to account.

    I feel for every Survivor of childhood sexual abuse who was never seriously listened to, and who is now contemplating standing up and taking on the behemoth called the Catholic Church.

  14. Rene Bosshard

    The Devil looks after his Own!

  15. Lambchop Simnel

    Thing is, even if he didn’t molest anyone himself he is still an accessory, right throughout his decades in authority.

  16. New England Cocky

    Go Hard Keith Davis, Nil Bastardo Carborundum!!

    A quick look at the politicians of all parties suggests that there are many alleged Christians owing allegiance to Rome and ensuring that religious crimes are protected from scrutiny. Sadly, Joanne McCarthy has hung up her typewriter after exposing the priestly pederasty of poor parishioners progeny in Newcastle Maitland Roman Diocese. Unfortunately, the continuing funding of private schools, especially the child minding Roman parochial schools, will only extend these disgusting practices. The “good Christian politicians” refuse to take proper action like immediately stop school and all other government funding to any diocese where a conviction against a priest abusing a professional position of authority occurs.

  17. Anne Byam

    Yes Ross, ” If the ABC is right George Pell’s troubles are a long way from over”…. I would think that his troubles are only just beginning. I think he would be of the mind to scarper back to the Vatican and hide. But with others coming forward, a stop well could be put to that. I sure hope so. There must have been a lot of vile behaviour in the diocese he ‘led’.

    He and his ilk will get their punishment somehow. These creeps often want to be thought of as powerful and attractive people – and there could be no greater smack in the face, than for a large portion of the populace, to disown him, despise him – and his grandiose, filthily wealthy church.

    I hope those continuing ( you Keith ) and re-continuing their pursuits of justice are 100% successful.

    You have my support.

  18. Terence Mills

    Prof Greg Craven, the president and vice-chancellor of the Australian Catholic University was interviewed by the ABC today and he said the following :

    the Victorian justice system got it hopelessly wrong and [the High Court] restored a person who has been consistently referred to by a variety of media, including leading members of the ABC, as a convicted paedophile, which is not nor can it now be said. That is the news of the day. It is astonishing an organisation like the ABC, which places so much emphasis on its trust, is now rapidly trying to divert attention from the fundamental fact.

    It is strange that Craven, a law academic, and other supporters of Pell object to him having been called a convicted paedophile when that is precisely what he was until the High Court today found that the original Jury and the Victorian Court of Appeal had not recognised that there could have been a reasonable doubt based on the evidence.

    Tragically and ironically, had the other alleged victim – who committed suicide – have lived and corroborated the evidence of the surviving victim, this would probably have been considered as beyond a reasonable doubt.

  19. Kaye Lee

    That interview with Craven was disgusting. Craven by name….

    Keith, I cannot imagine how you and too many others are feeling tonight. I find it difficult to discuss what you and too many others went through. Thank you for your bravery in speaking out.

    As I said on another post, I don’t believe that Pell’s legal woes are over. At least some of the redacted stuff in the RC had already been reported before the suppression order was enforced.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-20/cardinal-george-pell-tried-to-bribe-paedophile-victim-inquiry/6484420

    Stay strong and know that we see you, we hear you, and we believe you.

  20. Keith Davis

    Thank you Kaye Lee.

  21. perthjohny

    I wonder how many of these high court judges are Catholics??
    Also, this ruling is nothing but an insult to the juries!!
    So much for the high court being “independent!!??”

  22. johno

    This is such a dreadful saga. Well done Keith.

  23. Kathryn

    I think it is an absolute APPALLING travesty of justice that the charged and CONVICTED recidivist paedophile, PELL FROM HELL, has been exonerated by a group of deluded High Court judges and set free!
    DESPITE the fact that Pell was convicted by a JURY who had all the facts and proof of his crimes at their finger tips;
    DESPITE the fact that this repugnant, arrogant individual lived with one of Australia’s most notorious and rampant paedophiles, the errant priest Gerald Ridsdale, for FOUR long years then ended up supporting him (instead of supporting one of Ridsdale’s countless victims of child abuse – including Ridsdale’s own nephew);
    DESPITE the fact that George Pell was a leading member of a misogynistic woman-hating “boys club” of rancid paedophile priests, who tried to hide their vile crimes behind a starched white clerical collar, and moved them from one parish to another to go on and on re-offending;
    DESPITE the fact that Pell, himself, was accused by many young boys of molesting them – not only in swimming pools but in a church sacristy (supposed to be the holiest of places in Catholicism);
    DESPITE the fact that so many of these innocent, vulnerable little boys directly molested by Pell (or caused to be molested by paedophiles under Pell’s protection) ended up committing suicide ….
    DESPITE ALL OF THIS, a handful of disgraceful, paedophile-protecting and dangerously deluded High Court judges, set this unmitigated monster free to walk among us again … and WHY?

    Because the TWO worst, most inept, callously inhumane and monstrous Crime Ministers in Australian history – the self-obsessed, xenophobic war criminal, John Howard and the swaggering, self-promoting, onion-eating idiot, Tony Abbott, did EVERYTHING they could to protect, support and favour Pell over the desperate, unfair and sickening treatment of his many victims. Howard and Abbott had undue influence over the appalling and unjust decision made by a handful of judges who had ZERO good judgement!

    This TRAVESTY of justice, favouring the powerful and the elite, is to be expected under the horrendous, self-serving and totally corrupt mismanagement of the bible-thumping hypocrites in the federal LNP! Ever since 2013, when this nauseating pack of cruel, ultra-conservative grubs crawled into power, the once fine international reputation that Australia enjoyed as being a compassionate, caring and just nation has DROPPED like a stone into the gutter – this country is now considered the “Pariah of the Pacific” and one of the most corrupt nations in the OECD!

    This is a country – the ONLY country in the world – that continues to INCARCERATE innocent asylum seekers INDEFINITELY – in appalling, callously inhumane conditions – in off-shore concentration camps YET – at the insistence and underhanded influence of two of the worst politicians in our nation’s history – sets FREE a charged and CONVICTED notorious, arrogant and cruel paedophile who just happens to be the highest ranking Catholic in the nation! WOW, what have we become?

    So ashamed of Australia right now. This is MORE proof that whatever the LNP says or does – it turns to SHIT in record time!

  24. Kathryn

    Interesting to note that SO MANY judges and high court judges themselves have been accused, charged and/or convicted of paedophilia!! Is it a coincidence? ONLY if you believe in coincidences – I don’t !!

    http://www.alecomm.com/paedophilia/paedophile-judges

  25. Terence Mills

    One interesting aside on the Pell judgement is the corporate animosity and hostility unleashed by the Murdoch media outlets, both print and Murdoch television (Sky) not against the justice system but against their nemesis, the ABC.

    The charge has been led by Bolt but clearly everybody at Sky-after-Dark got the memo to attack their main media adversary, the ABC, at every opportunity.

    And what have the ABC done to deserve this vicious, unrelenting attack ? Well, the central issue seems to be that they have provided incisive journalism and impartial coverage but what gets up Newscorp’s nose is that the ABC get public funding and that is really what this flurry of ‘kill the messenger’ is all about.

  26. Matters Not

    Guess some don’t understand what the High Court decision – re legal principle – was all about. Which doesn’t mean that the principle itself doesn’t bear re-examination.

  27. calculus witherspoon.

    Yes, am afraid this gets a lot closer to the realities than the effort from Ozfenric.

  28. Kathryn

    Watch all THREE episodes of REVELATION revealing the sordid, disturbing, long-term history of brutal sexual child abuse against vulnerable children (some of whom are disabled orphans) by an ARMY of unconscionable, truly evil predatory paedophile priests!

    The Catholic Church is literally a toxic, perverted BOYS’ CLUB of disgusting paedophiles who hate and fear women and, under the paedophile-protecting support of Pell (himself a CONVICTED paedophile by a JURY of twelve who had all the facts at their finger tips) but, now, freed by a handful of perverted high court judges DESPITE the fact that this monstrous aberration was not only guilty of abusing children himself but allowed to go on and on supporting and protecting perverted priests in destroying lives and murdering the childhood of countless victims with impunity!

    This eye-opening three-part series is presented by the credible Sarah Ferguson – it makes heart-stopping and disturbing viewing! It is worth noting that the unscrupulous bastard, Pell, did everything in his power to stop the release of this series. The ONLY reason why this predatory grub was freed by a handful of unconscionable, depraved high court judges is because they (the so-called judges) were unduly influenced by two of the worst, most corrupt, elitist political PARASITES in our history: John Howard and Tony Abbott.

    One of these episodes is completely DEVOTED to the appalling, criminal perversion of Pell who not only committed depraved sexual abuse of boys in swimming pools and within a church sacrisy but was personally responsible for moving notorious predatory priests from one parish to another to go on and on preying upon innocent little boys, many of whom later committed suicide. Their deaths is DOWN to the Catholic Church heirarchy, Pell and the rest of these sanctimonious, judgemental hypocrites who don’t give a rat’s arse about the countless victims (and their families) whose lives they have destroyed! The sheer pompous arrogance of Pell is enough to make you BELIEVE that the catholic church is a HAVEN for unspeakably evil devils!

    https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/abc-news-specials/episode-3/12114314

  29. Kaye Lee

    From Witness J:

    “I would like to reassure child sexual abuse survivors that most people recognise the truth when they hear it.

    “They know the truth when they look it in the face. I am content with that.”

    “I have my ups and downs. The darkness is never far away. I am OK. I hope that everyone who has followed this case is OK.

    “This case does not define me. I am not the abuse I suffered as a child.”

  30. Jaq

    We believe you
    We see you
    We hear you

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