Australian victim speaks on pedophile priests issue

Australian victim of sexual abuse says he is fighting for justice of all victims worldwide

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

One victim of sexual abuse Tim Lane explained the extent of his suffering after Australia's most senior Catholic gave evidence from the Vatican on sexual abuse by priests.

Tim Lane, 44, was just four years old when a priest abused him in the Victoria state diocese of Ballarat, Australia.

"I was abused in my own house and my older brothers were abused and other siblings. I had three sisters -- they were all abused," said Lane.

"It is a terrible thing... a terrible thing to live with," he added.

During the 1970s and 1980s, many others were abused by priests in their homes, at churches and religious seminaries in the cities of Ballarat and Melbourne.

Senior Catholic Cardinal George Pell, insisted that he was unaware that such offenders were being moved between parishes to escape prosecution, and to protect the reputation of the church while he was a priest in Ballarat, during a royal inquiry into child sex abuse last Monday.

Of concern to the commission are allegations that Pell sat on a committee that moved notorious pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale from parish to parish across Ballarat as allegations came forth of him raping and abusing children everywhere that he went.

Ridsdale was convicted of more than 140 counts of sexual offences against children between 1993 and 2013. At one school he is reported to have sodomised every boy aged between 10 and 16.

Pell was Ridsdale’s housemate in 1973. The royal commission has called Pell’s repeated insistence that he knew nothing about priests being shielded “implausible.”

Cardinal Pell told the inquiry that the Church had made "enormous mistakes" and "catastrophic" choices by refusing to believe abused children, shifting those accused and over-relying on counselling of priests to solve the issue.

He has dismissed suggestions for him to resign from his position, saying to do so would be "an admission of guilt".

Lane claims that priests are protecting themselves from the Vatican and Rome " because it is such a mess that they don’t want it to come out," adding that “we paid the price here.”

Lane thinks that abusers who are among priests pretend to believe in God and carry on doing evil things while hiding behind God. He says that “institutions keep a lot of secrets” and children are such “easy targets”.

While many people equate pedophilia to mental illness, Lane disagrees, saying that those who abused him made a choice.

"I think it is a personal choice, I don’t think it’s a sickness. I think there is a difference between mad and bad," he says.

"A mad person does not know he is mad, but a bad person does."

Lane spoke outside of Ballarat town hall nearby the grey brick St. Alipius Parish church where many boys have claimed they were abused 40 years ago and the red Nazareth House where many girls were molested.

Video of Pell's testimony was shown live outside of the town hall last week, while multicoloured ribbons tied to the church's cast iron fence fluttered in the breeze alongside banners reading "No More Silence", and "Never Stop Fighting For Justice."

Lane highlighted how “terrible” this experience is by saying that he cannot recover from this because images in his mind do not go away.

He underlined that he believes in God and added “I believe he’ll fix things in time. He will repay each man for his own activity, as he says in proverbs."

He describes his fight for justice as being one for all victims worldwide.

"Whether it’s in Turkey or in Australia, come forward and let somebody know that this is happening to you. It is not your fault, and God is on our side."

TRTWorld and agencies