Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Down and Under Priest reveals system of child sexual abuse and cover-up

A former priest in Australia has come forward with information about a "system of cover-ups" within the Catholic Church to hide the sexual abuse of children.

Former priest Kevin Lee appeared on the Australian news program Lateline on Friday, November 9. On the program, Lee said he “saw a system of cover-ups, a system of blind-eye turning and just ignorance of the fact that it (the sexual abuse of children) was happening.”

Lee said: “"I became aware that some of the other priests were actually paedophiles and were not necessarily becoming priests because they wanted to help people, but because they were paedophiles who wanted the opportunity."

On Thursday, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox told Lateline that the Catholic Church in Australia is involved in cover-ups and pedophile priests have destroyed evidence to avoid prosecution. Fox claims that his investigations into the sexual abuse of children by clergy had been hampered by interference from within the police force and by the Catholic Church.

In response to the recent allegations concerning the rape and sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy, and the cover-up of those crimes, on Saturday, November 10, New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell ordered a special commission of inquiry into claims of a police cover-up of church sex abuse.


Australia to launch national investigation of child sex abuse - More Catholic Priests Down & Under!

Australia is launching a federal investigation into sexual abuse of children, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced Monday. The decision came after a string of accusations surrounding the Roman Catholic Church outraged Australians and spurred regional inquiries.

The royal commission will center on institutional responses to allegations of such “insidious, evil acts,” Gillard said, scrutinizing religious and government institutions, schools and other organizations.

“I believe we must do everything we can to make sure that what has happened in the past is never allowed to happen again,” the prime minister said.

Government officials had faced growing pressure to take action after a veteran police detective in the state of New South Wales wrote a public letter accusing the church of covering up abuse, silencing victims and thwarting police investigations.

“Many police are frustrated by this sinister behavior, which will continue until someone stops it. You have the power to do that, Mr. Premier,” Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox wrote in his open letter to the leader of New South Wales. “The whole system needs to be exposed; the clergy covering up these crimes must to be brought to justice and the network protecting pedophile priests dismantled.”

Responding to his plea, New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell earlier announced a special commission to delve into the issue, but only in the Newcastle area. Similar allegations are also being investigated in neighboring Victoria state, where the church recently revealed at least 620 children had been abused by clergy since the 1930s.

Fox argued local investigations weren’t enough because alleged abusers were often moved. Gillard showed “intestinal fortitude” by deciding to investigate nationally, he told the Australian newspaper.

"For a prime minister to come out and say, 'We believe you, there is something very wrong out there, we are going to sit up and listen,' it's just amazing," he said.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said it welcomed the investigation and was horrified by such crimes but said “talk of a systemic problem of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is ill-founded and inconsistent with the facts.” Major changes have been made since “failures” decades earlier, it said.

"Public opinion remains unconvinced that the Catholic Church has dealt adequately with sexual abuse. Ongoing and at times one-sided media coverage has deepened this uncertainty. … I believe the air should be cleared and the truth uncovered,” Sydney Archbishop Cardinal George Pell said in a statement released Monday.

Gillard said more details of the royal commission would be determined in the following weeks.



Cuomo resign! said...


Gov. Cuomo charged into New York’s public utilities this week & none has his knickers twisted tighter than the hapless Long Island Power Authority.

He even threatened to lift LIPA’s franchise, complaining 200,000 customers remained without power 2 weeks after Superstorm Sandy.

“We gave them a franchise because they represented themselves as experts. They failed.”

Well, indeed.

And it was a failure years in the making.

Now Cuomo’s searching out guilty parties — but he would do well to look in the mirror.

Then he needs to call in state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who yesterday was in blame-deflecting mode, too — demanding Washington initiate a more aggressive response to “a Katrina-style disaster.”

First, LIPA.

A state-authorized independent analysis after Hurricane Irene found LIPA to be an outdated, barely competent organization.

The agency ignored a 2006 recommendation that it update its system, which runs on obsolete 25-year-old computer language.

During Sandy, LIPA used memo pads & dial-up Internet — rather than smartphones & tablet computers — to track power outages.

For years, the agency neglected such critical tasks as maintaining rotting poles & trimming trees around power lines.

Moreover, LIPA ignored criticisms.

So where do Cuomo & Skelos come in?

Unlike Con Ed, LIPA is not an operating authority; it contracts operations to a company National Grid.

Calling the policy shots is LIPA’s 15-member board of directors — who are all non-utility professionals named by the governor & 2 legislative leaders.

But a third of the board seats are currently vacant. Other members are serving even though their terms are expired — having been appointed by Cuomo predecessors.

In fact, the governor — who controls 9 seats — made just 1 appointment to LIPA’s board; 5 of his 6 current appointees are holdovers.

Skelos has yet to fill the vacancy in 1 of his 3 slots.

And LIPA has been without a Senate-confirmed CEO since the Paterson administration.

Cuomo’s spokesman says its “preposterous” to suggest new appointees would have mattered.

That’s patent nonsense.

If Hurricane Irene & subsequent operational analysis didn’t move the governor to any governance whatsoever at LIPA, the only reasonable conclusion is that he just didn’t care.

Cuomo can point all the fingers he wants. But some of them are pointing right back.

Cuomo resign! said...


November 11, 2012

He can start with his own father, then-Gov. Mario Cuomo, who created LIPA in the mid-’80s.

Over the years, LIPA raised billions in debt to bail out shareholders & bondholders of the for-profit Long Island Lighting Company (Lilco).

Why did Lilco need rescuing? Because it had built a nuclear plant the state wouldn’t turn on, for fear of turning off Long Islanders.

The pols wanted it both ways: Keep voters happy, but keep Lilco’s investors happy, too.

They even promised that their idea would save money. A “report given to Gov. Mario Cuomo said a state takeover of financially troubled Lilco would cost $7 billion but save customers 9%,” wire services reported in 1986.

That worked out ... not so well. But people had fair notice. Warned The New York Times back then, “The only effect is to postpone the day of reckoning.”

If LIPA weren’t still struggling to pay off bailout debt, it could have invested in computers & made itself better prepared for Sandy.

Another big problem: accountability. Con Ed, which handles NYC & Westchester, is a private company, so at least we know who to blame if it does a poor job.

State regulators can cut Con Ed’s profit — and yank its franchise.

With LIPA, the blame game is theater. Cuomo’s been playing his part, reminding reporters “really the provider on Long Island is National Grid.”

Yes, LIPA contracts with this private firm — but National Grid does what LIPA tells it. Why not cut out the middle man? Cuomo & lawmakers could shut down LIPA & sell the power grid to a private company, regulating it like Con Ed. No extra layer of hacks needed to keep warm. And unlike another monopoly, public transit, power doesn’t normally need government subsidies.

Of course, no company would ever take on LIPA’s legacy of debt — and the state would never let bondholders take the hit. So, we’ll keep paying for decades of political cowardliness.

Meanwhile, Cuomo is adding to the bad decisions. Thursday, he made a big deal of asking the Feds to pay 100% of the cost of getting the grid up & running, instead of 75%, to avoid having to raise rates. “I think 100% reimbursement is what we deserve,” he said.

But if Con Ed & LIPA know cleaning up after a mess is free, they have less incentive to prevent the mess in the first place.

There is no free way out of a disaster. That goes for ratepayers, too: If they don’t pay for a better system, they pay too frequently with no system.

Anonymous said...

YTT boy


Nursing Home Faulted Over Care After Storm

Hurricane Sandy announced itself by tossing a section of Boardwalk against the Promenade nursing home in Rockaway Park, Queens, blowing out its windows & sending waves through the 1st floor.

On the 6th floor, Kevin Johnson who has crippling brain disease thought the backup generator will kick in.

It did not. Promenade’s generator quickly filled with swirling brine. As waves slammed the building for hours, patients remained in the dark, steadily hungry & cold.

The kitchen flooded & owners had not stocked enough food.

Amid the worst hurricane in 80 years, Promenade Rehab & Health Care Center, failed to provide the most basic care to patients, according to interviews with 5 employees, Federal, City & hospital officials, and shelter directors.

The State Health Department has opened an investigation into Promenade.

Cold, thirst, fear: The situation grew so dire that as vestiges of the storm blew across, ambulances arrived, evacuated the 200 patients & deposited them in shelters.

In most cases, no Promenade staff accompanied & patients traveled without medical records. Both are violations of state regulations.

Family members are still desperately searching for loved ones, with no help from Promenade. The patients now live in emergency shelters or landed in cots in hospitals & nursing homes across the region.

“We watched television: rain, fire, it seemed everything was burning in the Rockaways,” said Ken Johnson, who is the guardian for his sick brother. “We called & called, but no one at Promenade picked up or ever called back.”

Promenade failed to carry out basic responsibilities, including adding staff for the storm as required by the state, stocking medicine & flashlights, and preparing patient records. The administrator, who runs the home day to day, left the city - on a “personal matter” - as the hurricane approached. The nursing director left next to check on her husband; she did not return until after the storm had blown over.

“My only priority is patient safety & everything about Promenade flies in the face of that,” said state health commissioner, Dr. Nirav Shah. “We are investigating aggressively.”

“It was absolute chaos; everyone was crying,” said Dionne Vanable, a nurse.

As the storm approached, the State Health Department ordered all nursing homes to stay at 150% of normal staff levels, to stock 3 days worth of food & medicine, and make sure to have a working generator.

Promenade’s owners — Moses Vogel, his son Solomon Vogel & at least one other partner — have run the home since the 1970s.

Promenade nurses said the home was short of medication & food. Nurses began to list relatives to contact, but an owner told them over a loudspeaker to stop, as he intended to ride out the storm.

Edwin Delgado, facilities director at the neighboring Nursing Center, recalled Solomon Vogel came running over the day of the storm.

“He demanded we give him flashlights & batteries,” Delgado said.

“We never have extra staff — storm or no storm,” Ms. Vanable said.

She described the scene in the building as the hurricane hit, water rose & fell dark. Emergency lights never came on.

“We were petrified”.

Federal emergency workers grew so concerned that they conducted finger-stick & blood tests on some patients, they said.

Promenade staff appeared at the shelter, greeting patients with great hugs & care. Within 5 days however, Promenade had withdrawn these familiar faces from the shelters, saying it was too expensive to pay them.

Lillian DiViesti searched more than a week for her mother, Marie Salatino, 93, who is blind & has dementia.

Promenade called the day of the storm & said they were not evacuating. “We haven’t heard from them since.” The family dialed the police & 311.

Mrs. Salatino remains lost

Margo Jr said...

These Vogels are Frankels shul chevra & have close relatives in the shul who were in jail