Catholic Church needs to beg for our forgiveness and Cardinal George Pell should be first in line says Angela Mollard
THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH AUGUST 30, 2014
SOME stories never leave you. They settle in your bones and you revisit them, year after year, as if time might bring fresh insight or healing.
Such is the case with B’s story. I was lying on her bedroom floor when she told me, feet propped on her bed.
She took a deep breath. During her teenage years, she told me, someone close to her family had sexually abused her. She’d kept it secret but the perpetrator was about to get married. She was concerned: what if he went on to have a daughter?
My friend didn’t want to confide in her parents, to destroy their lives. As a practising Catholic she’d decided to tell the priest at the church she attended.
Priests were dependable, she reasoned. Problem solvers. Conduits to God and wisdom.
The priest said he’d think about how best to handle it. And so she waited. And waited.
“Has he done anything?” I’d ask as we drank tea. She’d shake her head.
What we didn’t know was that the priest had a secret of his own. At the same time he was sexually assaulting a teenager, a girl he’d groomed from the age of 12 and who he’d continue to abuse for six years.
In 1994, seven years after my friend had confided in him, the priest was found guilty of sexual assault and jailed for four years.
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