Catholic Church abuse survivors describe ‘horrific’ experiences, trauma to Royal Commission


November 30, 2020

By Michael Morrah

Warning: This article discusses sexual abuse.

Survivors of abuse at the hands of Catholic clergymen have spoken of their shame, trauma and the struggle to get redress from New Zealand church leaders.

The first of 25 witnesses told the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State Care that after making a complaint, she was offered money rather than a meaningful apology – which she rejected.

Frances Tagaloa was abused as a five-year-old Auckland school student and had kept it a secret until Monday’s hearing.

The abuser was Bede Fitton, who worked at Marist Brothers Intermediate school near Tagaloa’s primary school in Ponsonby in the 1970s.

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