In response to your article regarding Richard O'Connor ex Woodlawn teacher convicted of sexual assault against children.
Why is it these people are only now being brought to justice? Have victims just decided after 40 years to complain? More to the point why have police and governments alike in this country put so much effort into covering up such offences? I draw reader's attention to the story of NSW Chief Inspector Peter Fox and how he was ordered to cease his inquires into sexual abuse by priests in the Hunter Valley.
Richard O'Connor was not a priest. However, he worked in an environment run by priests. And, according to your story is, only now, being held to account for offences dating back 37years.
One of the major causes of the delay in this case and many other documented cases concerning Catholic institutions is the unabashed practice of the Canon Law; this positivist doctrine of providing absolution from sin and allowing the sinner, and the behaviour, to continue.
Recall the media reaction to a push by certain individuals to recogonise Sharia Law in Australia. In fact in 2005, the Australian Government actually considered it in the name of cultural diversity only to reject the idea of on the grounds of legal pluralism; this at a time when Australia and many other countries were just coming to terms with the damage done by those choosing to abide by religious law and ignoring their responsibilities under the Common Law. And this, despite growing evidence, of the horrific the consequences on God's children.
In the entire debate, including the most recent, 'Reclaim Australia' no one has once mentioned that for decades our Christian society has lived under a burka of legal pluralism propagated by the Catholic Church. Only now is the society coming to terms with the damage caused. And few, if any, are prepared to utter the word 'culture' for fear they may be seen as racist or even intellectually challenged.
Both Canon Law and Sharia Law have good intentions.
Whereas Canon Law forgives us our sins, Sharia Law provides for independence in family matters and states that in such circumstances a family may receive compensation from the offender and avoid punishment (lashes). Both Laws equally ignore victims. You have to ask yourself why the 'get out of jail card' for the offender?
At least now, for better or worse, the media and in particular the social media, has tipped the balance of power in favour of the victims.
Let's hope it stays that way.
* This piece was written by a former student of St John's College at Woodlawn who has asked to remain anonymous.
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