Many of my readers will be quick to see certain striking parallels between, respectively, core powerholders in the Roman Catholic Church and in the International Sathya Sai Organization. In the Australian Broadcasting Corporation report, I have highlighted in red some salient points.
Sathya Sai Baba (says he's God) and Pope Benedict (Christ's 'Vicar').
As development continues in the Australian story about the Foster family’s years’-long fight for justice and the end of ecclesiastical cover up and denial, in the aftermath of the Catholic Church’s evidently dreadful treatment of the family – and of so many thousands of others around the world – I intend to blog further.
- In regard to the profound institutional desertion of accountability and duty of care, the similarities between these powerful and wealthy ‘religious’ organizations, are quite chilling.
In the meantime, I refer readers to a few of my related articles:
Pope’s US Visit. Is US to blame for abuse crisis?
Cost Of Cover Ups Can Far Exceed Hoped-for Benefits
Cult Exposure. By Their Documents Ye Shall Know Them
Fighting Multi Billion Corruption Takes Longer
The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision
Parents of assault victims plea for response
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 17/07/2008 Reporter: Conor Duffy
While the Pope may have praised the Federal Government’s apology there is growing uncertainty about whether he will say sorry to the victims of sexual assault by Catholic clergy.
LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Today, the Foster family arrived in Sydney to seek an audience with the Pope and force the Church to reform the way it deals with complaints of sexual abuse.
On Tuesday night, Lateline revealed how Church lawyers fought for eight years to limit a compensation payout to the Fosters, whose two daughters were raped by an abusive priest in Melbourne.
So far, the Church has remained silent on whether it will meet the Fosters, but tonight there was some support from within the Church.
Conor Duffy reports.
CONOR DUFFY, REPORTER: As World Youth Day delegates continue to pour into Sydney, the Fosters were on a different pilgrimage: cutting short a European holiday to ask the Pope to take action which goes beyond an apology for Church abuse victims.
ANTHONY FOSTER, FATHER: An apology is not enough. Limited compensation is not enough. Limited help is not enough. We wish to meet with the Pope to help formulate the way forward.
CONOR DUFFY: Two of Anthony and Christine Foster’s daughters were raped by their parish priest while they were in primary school. For their oldest child Emma, it sparked a damaging spiral.
CHRISTINE FOSTER, MOTHER: We’ve had 13 years of trauma and disasters.CONOR DUFFY: In January, Emma Foster committed suicide. The Fosters believe her will to live was sapped by an eight year legal battle with the Church for compensation and they’ve condemned comments by bishop Anthony Fisher that victims are dwelling on old wounds.
ANTHONY FOSTER: I’m disgusted, and I believe that he should not be holding the position of authority that he does either in the Church or in regard to World Youth Day.
CONOR DUFFY: The Church today defended bishop Fisher.
DANNY CASEY, WORLD YOUTH DAY: It just misses the mark in terms of this wonderful man of deep compassion who has great sympathy for victims.
CONOR DUFFY: it’s been widely expected the Pope would apologise to the victims of sexual abuse by clergy while in Sydney. But overnight, the Pope’s spokesman said apology might not be word used.
Today, the Foster family began a vigil outside St Mary’s Cathedral, but there’s still no word as to whether the Church would agree to meet them. They’ll formalise their request for a meeting tomorrow, if there’s still no word from the Church.
Tonight, they got some backing from a Sydney priest, father Chris Riley, who broke ranks with the Church. Father Riley attacked the Church’s system for dealing with abuse towards healing, calling it a joke.
CHRIS RILEY, YOUTH OFF THE STREETS: Let’s get rid of Church investigations. We are not qualified to investigate sexual assault; and all victims should go to the police, and go to court, and then after that, the Church’s place is of healing. But the Church being involved in and having to make decisions around guilt and innocence is just a wrong way to go. All that does – the perpetrator is a winner there.CONOR DUFFY: Father Riley said the system should be more focused on getting justice for victims.
Conor Duffy, Lateline.