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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 08:29 PM
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(Australian Senator) Xenophon threatens to name abuse priest
Independent Senator Nick Xenophon has called on the Federal Government to reconsider the appointment of Monsignor David Cappo as chairman of its new Mental Health Commission.

Senator Xenophon claimed in Parliament last night that Monsignor Cappo has failed to investigate allegations of sexual abuse in the South Australian Catholic Church in a timely manner.

And he says if one of the priests who was allegedly involved in the sexual abuse is not relieved of his duties by noon today, he will name him in the Senate.

Nick Xenophon has threatened to name the priest if the Church doesn't act by 12.00 today - that's less than an hour away as I write.

Under our laws governing parliamentary privilege, any MP can name anyone, accuse anyone of anything and not be held to account under defamation laws, provided he speaks in the chamber. You will sometimes hear an MP challenge another to "repeat that outside", where defamation laws apply. So Xenophon - something of a crusading character in the Senate - can name the priest without fear of legal retribution as long as he's in the Senate.

But it shows that it's still the same old, same old, with the Catholic Church and abusive priests. Their hearts and minds haven't changed.
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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 08:22 PM
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1. Xenophon has been true to his word,
and named the priest in the Senate last night.

Although the victim wasn't happy to have the priest publicly named, Nick Xenophon acted as he did because the priest, Monsignor Ian Dempsey, has just been appointed by the Government as the Chairman of the new Mental Health Commission. I quite see the point, that if the man has issues that would lead him to rape a child, the Commission isn't the place for him. The Government is sticking by Msgr. Dempsey for now, but I think his position is now untenable, even though he has not been found guilty yet.

On a side issue, I've also heard that the real reason for the sacking of Bishop Morris of Toowoomba was that he had accepted full liability, on behalf of the diocese, for the abuse of a child carried out by a priest under his jurisdiction, although he had been instructed by Rome not to do so. His reason was that he wanted to spare the family involved the pain and expense of a lengthy court case. I obviously don't know how true this is, but I have a feeling it could be. While the charge of hinting at the possibility of female ordination was always a weak one, to sack a bishop for doing something that was demonstrably right and just would have left the Vatican looking even more draconian and hypocritical than it already does.
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-14-11 12:53 PM
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2. Thanks for the update, Matilda - I've seen nothing of this here in the States.
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