Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott and his friend Cardinal George Pell. Perceived bias for the Royal Commission into child sex abuse

Prime Minister Tony Abbott gave a personal reference in court for the former priest Father John Nester in a child sex abuse case in 1997. Father Nester was later struck off as a clergy by the Vatican. Add this to Tony Abbott’s and the Liberal Party’s extremely close relationship with Cardinal George Pell who has admitted the church covered up sexual abuse and there is a major problem brewing in relation to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The problem we have is that there is instantly perceived bias by the new federal government regarding the future handling of the Royal Commission and any recommendations the Commission may make affecting the Roman Catholic Church.


The links between Tony Abbott, the Liberal party and Cardinal Pell has to leave any fair-minded person greatly disturbed and this post will explore that and some other related matters. What becomes obvious is that Tony Abbott and possibly others in the Liberal Party need to make a public statement that they will stand aside from any involvement in the decision-making process of any matter related to the Royal Commission.

Tony Abbott – reference for accused paedophile Priest Father John Nester

Father John Nestor and Tony Abbott both attended the Sydney’s St Patrick’s Seminary in the 1980s when Mr Abbott was planning on becoming a priest.

Father Nester “was a priest in the Wollongong diocese in NSW when he was charged with the indecent assault of a 15-year-old altar boy in 1991.”

“Father Nestor was convicted in Wollongong Local Court on February 18, 1997, and sentenced to 16 months in jail, with the magistrate describing the case as a ”gross breach of trust”.”

“In court, the priest admitted he had – while dressed in boxer shorts and a singlet – slept on mattresses on a floor in the presbytery with the boy and his younger brother some time between June and September 1991.”

On appeal in October 1997 the conviction was overturned. But Father Nester was never allowed to return as a priest.

“The then-Wollongong Bishop, Philip Wilson, now Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide, advised Fr Nestor in writing ”significant additional material that I have received … has been a cause of worry concerning your suitability for a further pastoral appointment in this diocese or any other”.”

“Fr Nestor appealed to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy, which decreed he be reinstated.”

“But in February 2001, the Wollongong diocese appealed and the decree was overturned.”  (Click here to read more)

During the course of those proceedings Tony Abbott who was then a Federal MP gave a reference in court for Father Nester.

“Tony Abbott insisted on providing a character reference for a Catholic priest later struck off the clergy list by the Vatican following a child abuse case, the former priest says.”

“Mr Nestor told AAP at his home in rural NSW that Mr Abbott agreed to provide the character reference in 1997 after being approached by his barrister.”

“When the lawyer approached Tony Abbott, he said look, I know you’re a parliamentary secretary and you may feel that because of your position you don’t want to get involved in this case’.”

“Tony said, no, I’m coming down,’. He insisted on coming down and giving the reference, because he’s a man of integrity.” (Click here to read more)

Tony Abbott told the court Father Nester was a An extremely upright and virtuous man. I guess one of things that I liked very much about John when I first him, was his maturity, intellectual, social, emotional he was, to that extent I guess, a beacon of humanity at the Seminary” (Click here to read the court transcript)

In an interview in March this year the victim questioned why Tony Abbott gave evidence:

“the alleged victim, who asked not to be named, said Mr Abbott should not have provided a character reference for Mr Nestor.”

”I was not aware of who Tony Abbott was at the time,” he said.

”While I do not necessarily believe that he has done anything wrong, in hindsight it may have been better if he had not involved himself in the matter.”

It is understood Mr Abbott communicated with Mr Nestor twice after the court cases, but has had no contact with him for almost 15 years.

”In 1997, Mr Abbott provided a reference for Mr Nestor in an open court. He was subsequently acquitted by a District Court judge,” a spokesman for Mr Abbott said.

The alleged victim queried why Mr Abbott hadn’t stayed in contact with Mr Nestor.

”If someone was of such good character, why has contact not been kept?” he asked.

He said Mr Abbott’s reference may have been a factor in Mr Nestor’s successful appeal.

”Certainly a character reference from a member of parliament would hold some sway, no doubt about it,” he said.

“It probably did play a big part, but there were other things that played a bigger part. For example, John Nestor never gave evidence at the trial. He was never cross-examined.”

He said his case should be examined by the royal commission into child sex abuse. (Click here to read more)

The Nester case and Tony Abbott’s involvement at the very least show poor judgement by Tony Abbott given Nester was ultimately struck off as a Priest. More importantly though it raises the possibility that Abbott may be called to give evidence at the Royal Commission if the Commission decides to examine the case. If they do not examine the case then there could be perceived bias by the commission or a perception of political interference given that Tony Abbott is now the Prime Minister.

The case has all the variables that demand the Royal Commission do review the case. For starters, what was the further evidence that the church obtained that led to Father Nester being struck off as a priest? Was it evidence of criminal conduct that the Church concealed?

Cardinal George Pell

George Pell has a very close relationship with Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party. He has also had allegations made against him that he abused a child which has never been tested in court. Mr Pell has also attended court supporting paedophile priests but has refused when asked by victims to attend court to support them.

Mr Pell and the paedophile allegations

“A decade ago, a Melbourne man claimed he was sexually molested as a 12-year-old at a Catholic youth camp by a student priest he knew as “big George” and later recognised as the Archbishop of Sydney. After a church-appointed inquiry, Pell said he was grateful to God to have been exonerated.”

“In fact, retired Victorian Supreme Court judge Alec Southwell had said that both Pell and his accuser gave the impression they were speaking the truth. Taking into account questions about the accuser’s credibility (he had a criminal  record) and the fact that the alleged incidents occurred so long ago, Southwell found he was “not satisfied that the complaint had been established”.”

“Tony Abbott hadn’t waited for the judge’s decision. “It should not surprise any Christian that there would be people who want to make unfair, wrong, mischievous, malevolent accusations against the strongest and most public Christian of the time,” the politician said when the allegations were first aired. “I’m more than ready to accept Pell’s testimony.””

The retired Victorian Supreme Court judge Alec Southwell was on the Church’s payroll as it was an internal Church inquiry so he was hardly impartial. The full report was put on the Churches website in 2002 but has since been taken down. Part of it can be read on the Broken Rites Australia website. (Click here to read)

Pell turns a blind eye to paedophiles and caught lying about it

“As archbishop of Melbourne, he allowed a priest found to have sexually abused a  teenager after officiating at his mother’s funeral to continue working in another parish. In Sydney, he said in a letter to a man named Anthony Jones that the priest who sexually assaulted him had been the subject of no other complaints, when in fact Pell had written to another of the priest’s victims that same day. The letter to Jones was “badly worded and a mistake”, he said  later.” (Click here to read more) It was not a mistake, it was clearly a lie and cover-up and Pell was caught out.

George Pell and the Victorian Parliament inquiry

On the 27th of May 2013 George Pell gave evidence to the Victorian Parliament inquiry into child abuse. Mr Pell has been widely criticised for that evidence. I watched part of it on TV and could not believe how much contempt he seemed to have for the inquiry.  Some news reports are below:

CARDINAL George Pell has confessed false documents were created and priests took part in “reprehensible” cover-ups of child sexual abuse.

Cardinal Pell said the fear of scandals drove much of the reaction to rampant abuse in the 1970s and ’80s, but that a concern about money was also involved

In a victory for victims, Cardinal Pell said he would ask the Vatican to send all documents it holds on Victorian sex abuse accusations to the inquiry – a promise he had also made to the federal royal commission into abuse. (Click here to read more)

The question I have is what are the documents doing at the Vatican in the first place and why wouldn’t there be copies or the originals still in Australia. Sounds like further evidence of the cover-up to me.

“VICTIMS and support groups have called for Cardinal George Pell’s resignation following his appearance at yesterday’s parliamentary inquiry into child abuse.”

“Abuse survivor Stephen Woods, 51, who was sexually assaulted and beaten by three priests when he was a student at St Alipius Christian Brothers Primary School in Ballarat, said that Cardinal Pell should stand down.”

“The apology is political. It’s still about saving face, it’s still about saving the political power of the church, and that’s what they are afraid of losing,” he said.

“The little care for the victims that he showed, it shows that they still don’t get it,” he said.”

“Mr Woods slammed Cardinal Pell’s claims that he had always shown support for victims of child abuse.”

“If he had been on the side of victims, how come he admitted that he has never been to court with victims?” he said.

“He’s been to court with paedophiles, but he’s never been to court with victims.

“He has been asked to go to court with victims, but he has always declined,” Mr Woods said. (Click here to read more)

And: “CARDINAL George Pell has conceded it was “a mistake” for him to appear in court during the trial of convicted Victorian paedophile Father Gerard Ridsdale in the 1990s.”

“In 1994, Father Ridsdale was jailed after pleading guilty to numerous charges of sexually abusing children in his care in Victoria.”

“During the trial Cardinal Pell, the Australia’s only Archbishop in the Catholic Church, appeared in court supporting Father Ridsdale.”

“He said he now understood “how upsetting that may be”, saying he did not realise his support for Father Ridsdale would be taken as hostility to the victims.” (Click here to read more) So why does he not show up to court to support victims?


He defended his solidarity towards Ridsdale, who he lived with for 12 months and who he accompanied to court when he pleaded guilty to child sex offences.

Cardinal Pell has been questioned extensively on the issue of compensation for victims of Church abuse and over claims he thought it could “bleed the Church dry”.

But he says he has only tried to be prudent with the Church’s funds.

He was asked how he is able to stay in a $30 million “palace” in Rome, when Australian victims of abuse are limited to just $75,000 in compensation. (Click here to read more)

The $30 million palace was paid for by the Church here in Australia. Money that could have gone to the victims.

George Pell and the Liberal Party connection

On the 31st May 2013, just days after George Pell gave his testimony and made the admissions that he did at the Victorian Parliament Inquiry into child abuse, Mr Pell was training Federal Liberal Party MP’s.

“MAJOR Australian personalities including James Packer, John Howard and Cardinal George Pell – plus a minor British royal – have been giving political pep-talks to Liberal MPs during secret luncheon meetings held across Sydney.”

“The exclusive gatherings, known as the “Chartwell Society”, have seen a cross-factional band of ambitious MPs taking tips from major figures on the world stage during regular, invite-only gatherings.)

“The most recent function was held on Friday at the Australian Hotels Association plush Macquarie St boardroom with Cardinal George Pell attending as the guest of honour at a gathering of 11 Coalition MPs.”

“Separate gatherings have been held at universities, churches and corporate boardrooms.”  (Click here to read more)

The Friday above would have been the 31 May 2013, just days after Pell gave evidence to the Victorian Parliament. What was the Liberal Party thinking. They should have stayed right away from him until the Royal Commission has handed down its recommendations.

The politicians who met Pell are the same people who are going to have input into the governments response to the recommendations that the Royal Commission makes on the abuse of children. The Catholic Church will have adverse findings against them as everyone knows they were involved in a massive cover-up in Australia and  globally for many years. How can any fair-minded person see these politicians as being impartial now. And what did Pell teach them?

George Pell is a very sick and perverted person of no moral fibre whatsoever given the above. The child abuse allegations against him need to be reviewed by the Royal Commission and if they fail to do so one has to wonder why. Will they put it in the too hard basket given Pell’s position in the church and his political connections? Probably.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission can be affected by government decisions in many ways. The government could close it early or the Royal Commission could ask the government for further funding and if the government refuses then there would be a perceived bias by many given the relationship between Tony Abbott, the Liberal’s and George Pell.

Tony Abbott and George Pell have a history of working together in politics. Before the 2004 election Tony Abbott gave an infamous interview on the ABC’s Lateline where he was caught lying and deceiving in relation to a meeting with George Pell. A couple of days after the meeting George Pell was a signatory to a letter criticising the Labor Party. (Click here to read the transcript) or (Click here to watch on YouTube)


There are hundreds if not thousands of victims who have been waiting for justice for a long time and we know the precedent “Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.” R v Sussex Justices, Ex parte McCarthy ([1924] Judges have to stand down from hearing a matter if there is only perceived bias, not actual bias. And so should Tony Abbott stand aside and have nothing to do with the Royal Commission decision making.

The terms of reference for the Royal Commission are fairly narrow given the subject matter and there will no doubt be many who are not satisfied with the outcome and will blame the government for any short comings of the Royal Commission. That is another reason why it is important that Tony Abbott and others who have a close relationship with Cardinal Pell abstain for any decision-making in relation to the Royal Commission.

This site will drive this issue for at least another post or until we get a result. I will send correspondence to the Royal Commission and Tony Abbott and see what we get back.

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76 replies »

    • George Pell off to the Vatican bank. Australia gains Vatican bank loses.
      Convenient timing for the church where Pell will give limited evidence to the royal commission then flee to Rome. Business as usual.

  1. What usually happens is that they find someone low down on the food chain to be the scapegoat for the entire organization and the prominent and powerful people are left untouched.

  2. The Catholic Church and its defenders believe, deep down, that because they are doing God’s work, the Church and its priests are above the law.

    • Its worse than that. They really do believe that their (Canon) Law trumps the laws of mere mortals in whatever country they are active in. The behaviour of these people makes no sense unless it is viewed from this position. They are not so much “above the Law”, they are just above secular law.

      • Not realty Paul, your namesake said,..

        Romans 13:1-2 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

      • Here is a good article that is of relevance to your comment:

        Catholic Church officials have been likened to outlaw motorcycle gangs, drug cartels and people smugglers in an explosive speech delivered at a legal conference in Victoria.

        Lawyer and lobbyist Bryan Keon-Cohen said the church, currently at the centre of a royal commission into the handling of child sex abuse complaints, saw itself as above the law and resisted governmental responses to child sex abuse.

        Dr Keon-Cohen, the president of community lobby group COIN (Commission of Inquiry Now), said the church’s own mechanisms for investigating abuse, such as Towards Healing and the Melbourne Response, were insufficient and objectionable.

        “They seek to replace due process of civil and criminal law, while not being open for public scrutiny and accountability,” he said.

        Read more:

      • Yes acknowledged Shane, and there are many other examples of Church corruption whereby the responsible members did not adhere to the canonical principles of the Church, but the fault lays with human frailties, not the lack of guiding principles.

        As I said in an earlier comment, although there are bad people and systemic corruption in and on many levels within the Church as an institution,,there are nevertheless many more sincere adherents who try to do good. So Shane, please don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

      • Except Ben, my “namesake” wasn’t talking in terms of secular democracy. The Church believes secular Law “stands under” their Law, because their claim to primacy is derived directly from God whereas secular law is derived from them, by mere men, thus they don’t really have to answer to secular authority because they are outside its reach while they are inside the Church. Sorry to drift the thread a bit Shane, but I think that the incompatible nature of these two systems of law and authority are a key to understanding why this issue bubbles along in its current, irreparable state.

    • The Catholic Church along with it’s priests, bishops etc etc, is NOT ‘doing God’s work’! They simply claim that they are doing His work. What they do in the name of God is not scriptural nor biblical, instead it is the result of their man-made laws, made to suit them and them alone.
      Nothing of what the Catholic church does truly reflects scripture. Yes, they DO believe that they are so ‘holy’ that they are above the laws of sovereign nations and peoples. They ARE above all things on this earth as far as they are concerned and take the place of God Himself and speak on His behalf! How’s that for ignorance and arrogance?

  3. Do you think that Abbott knew this creature was a pedophile? As far as I know they don’t go around telling all and sundry that they are. It is probable that Abbott only knew the better side of this lowlife. While I agree with much that you say normally I think that condemning the man through association is lowering yourself to Labor standards. If Abbott only spoke of what he knew about the man then he told the truth to the best of his knowledge and should not be punished for that.. If Abbott is guilty of anything whatsoever they I’m all in favour of throwing the book at him but I think this is below the belt tactics on your behalf.

    • I think you miss the key point of the post. That is Tony Abbott should stand aside from any decision making in relation to the Royal Commission given his friendship with Pell and also the fact that Tony Abbott could possibly be called as a witness if the Royal Commission investigates the John Nestor matter.

      • So, yes he should, but he hasn’t been involved in any of the decision making and he hasn’t been called so this is just lowlife muckraking on your part. Moderator: Rest of comment deleted as it is nothing more than an attack on me and has no relevance to the post.

    • My thoughts exactly. Ask any academic who helps post grad students. It is a character reference based on your limited knowledge. Bob Ellis has been throwing this around for months.

      My point above is addressed to Aussie True Blue.

    • Aussie True Blue:

      …. condemning the man through association is lowering yourself to Labor’s (level) ….

      Or worse, simply demonstrating his own. And/or a bad dose, if not a Perfect Storm of Catholic Church and of Tony Abbott Derangement Syndrome.

      As was America’s George Walker Bush – grievously “misunderestimated” – Mr Abbott is certainly one of if not the most intelligent and competent Australian politician to, in ages, come down the pike and, also a man of impeccable moral integrity has not so much as a stapes (stirrup bone) — let alone a skeleton — in any cupboard, anywhere!

      Attempts to defame him – like this one – speak only to the character of he who perpetrates the defamation.

      • Brian, thank you! I am astounded at the amount of hate shown towards the Catholic Church, George Pell and Tony Abbott that is shown in this article. I had no idea that Kangaroo Court was so bigoted, as Shane seemed to me to be a man searching for justice, and now he is attacking Mr. Abbott unjustly!

    • From some of the material so far some actually do discuss their behaviour and some work in concert, but it is beside the point. Tony should stand aside. He has baggage when it comes to honesty.

      It’s extremely difficult to get these Institutions into the courts and there are plenty of claims of interference in previous cases.

      He should stand well clear.

  4. The PM. George Pell, and probably all practicing Catholics may be considered to be biased in their faith that the Catholic institution as a whole is a good one, but that shouldn’t be a factor to warrant exclusion from productive engagement with the Royal Commission if and where it is relevant.

    • A GOOD institution???? How can you say that? Any institution that moves around priests known to have molested children can never be called good! They do this all the time.

      • I didn’t say it was good, I said that practicing Catholics think it is, else they would not want to be a part of it.

        I would point out that although there are bad people and systemic corruption on many levels within the Church as an institution,,there are nevertheless many more sincere adherents who try to do good. It;s a case of,..”don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”…

      • As an analogy, is the ALP corrupt? Are all ALP supporters therefore culpable?
        Ask yourself the same question about almost all human institutions, boy scouts, police, judicial system, political organisations, multinational corporations, etc.?

        Hey, even a royal Commission will have tainted members!

      • …. An institution that moves around priests known to have molested children ….

        Not quite. Rather an institution infiltrated, hostilely-colonized and corrupted by sexually-deranged persons who then compounded their corruption of the institution by moving one another around within it.

        That is — and in fairness — the Catholic Church might be seen to have been as much the victim of the sexually deranged, evil, “men” who invaded and exploited and corrupted it, as were their other victims, the children.

  5. How can any Catholic stay in such a church beggars belief…..after all the proof and accusations of child molestation.
    Surely to God there can be no justification to do so!

    • So much hype about the Catholic Church helps 90% of pedophiles fly under the radar. Go check the figures, the vast majority of pedophiles are right there in the family home or the extended family.

      The percentage that are priests is relatively tiny and decreasing. Most of the cases being bought before the Royal Commission are more than 15 years old.

      There are more pedophiles in youth groups, teaching, sporting bodies and the entertainment industry, and judging by how many of them are in jail, the Labor party, than in the Church. I’m a Buddhist by the way so am not pro Catholic at all.

      • The reporting rate is increasing for child sexual assaults as mandatory reporting, greater community awareness of the problem kicks in, with better Policing and support services.

        There are still very few trials and convictions. Vic Police figures are that it takes on average 24 years before a child rape victim reports the crimes to Police.

        The vast majority of clergy who raped children in Institutions were Catholic Clergy, and the next largest group were Salvos Officers. They did it because they could get away with it, they were ‘above rebuke’. Both religions saw children as inherently evil, in need of discipline, and that unleashed and condoned brutality. ‘Baby convicts’, child slave labour, was used to build their vain empires, on vast landholdings across Australia, with the financial backing of the Governments of the day. Over 250,000 children in Catholic Institutions, 125,000 in Salvos. There are very few survivors, less than 10%.

        One of the reasons the first round of cases before the RC are older people is that they were given priority, due to their health, and the fact many of them had been asking politicians for an Inquiry and Royal Commission for years. There are families with 5 and 6 generations ‘in care’, especially indigenous families.

        Another reason is that the death rate and incarceration rate of Institutionalised children from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s is astronomical.

        There is a Senate Review at the moment into Residential and Foster Care.
        The safety of children has to come first, and the dignity of an adult, last.

      • Thank you phiston….
        To The climate realist…..ok so there are many organisations that harbour slime like this, but the Catholic Church condones and protects their offenders……and I bet that many of the offenders in other organisations are Catholics!

  6. VERY MUCH doubt Mr. Abbott will be making any decisions into the Royal Commissions. He probably wasn’t even aware of the situation in 1997 – bit sorry you felt the necessity to bring this up

    • As it currently stands Tony Abbott will be making decisions in relation to the Royal Commission as it the role of the Royal Commission to hand the government a report and make recommendations to the government. So at the very least Mr Abbott and the other members of parliament will have to decide on what to do with the recommendations.

      • So are you saying that only atheists and agnostics should deal with any recommendations handed down by the Royal Commission. To suggest that Tony Abbott could in anyway influence or impugn the undertakings of the Commission is a lie. You seem upset that a higher court has found Nestor not guilty. The DPP would have obviously appealed the decision if there was a strong case. They didn’t. As for your unfounded attack on Cardinal Pell – you are a joke. Your refusal to address him by his proper title shows your contempt and bias towards him. You have offered irrational tidbits about past allegations, subsequently found to be lies or mere inusendo. I’m surprised at you – I had a lot of respect for you, up to this article. I’m sorry I donated to you two months ago (check your records – paypal).

      • So why did the church sack Nester. I think we should all know that given the Church’s history of cover-ups. Yes, you are right, I do have contempt for Pell given his actions and lack of actions. And those lies you talk about are all in the mainstream media, so why hasn’t Pell sued for defamation? The Church has deep pockets to do so.

  7. Shane, I tend to agree with “Aussie True Blue” (comment 5) What you say about the Catholic church (and other religious denominations mind you) may well be true and is quite grubby but your last post and your comments about Mr Abbott were challenged by a number of people asking that you give him a chance at least to grow into the job. You seem to be trying to now to justify your comments. This leaves a bad taste in reader’s mouths and makes you appear like a petulant little boy trying to prove your point. This old girl has been following KCA for a good length of time and think that this is beneath you.

    • This post is about abused children who have never had justice and Tony Abbott needs to stand aside to make sure that justice is not only done but it is seen to be done. If Abbott stands aside it is not an admission by him of any wrong doing, but the right thing to do which if he is a genuine person will not have a problem doing so. Judges stand down from hearing cases where there is perceived bias so it should not be a problem for Tony Abbott to do so. All you are doing is shooting the messenger to defend Abbott when he does not need defending.

      • Are you suggesting that Tony Abbott should stand aside, as our elected PM!!! You have lost the plot if this is so. Who is the messenger defending him? Not you Shane, when you accuse him of “poor judgement” in being friendly to Cardinal Pell. If you hate the Catholic Faith that is your choice, but do note that there are Catholic Politicians in both Parties. Cardinal Pell has never been seen as devoted to the Liberal Party, as you state.

  8. Its interesting to note the topics that never come up during supposedly “hard-fought” election campaigns. Some subjects just never stray onto the national radar, regardless of their electoral value to one side or the other.

    • The incessant wars based on lies did no come up either.
      Pedophiles are disgusting examples of base human behaviour. In some societies children are ‘promised off’ to seniors and ‘marry them’.
      Worse than paedophiles are warmonger invading killers who: Orphan children, kill them, maim them, destroy their social infrastructure and education prospects.
      General Wesley Clark reported to Amy Goodman in 2007 that ‘we’ are to take out 7 countries in 5 years, including Syria and Iran.
      Now it would seem that most of the politicians and the Australian ‘righteous’ should consider what we have done to children. Madeline Allbright in a video stated in short; the loss of 500,000 children in Iraq ‘was hard but worth it’,
      We are all responsible and the cover up must end.
      Need I say more?

  9. I agree with your comments Shane. Who gave the Catholic and other churches hierarchy the authority to change a normal, human, natural feeling. Swearing to be celibate to a god does not change basic humans feelings. Paedophilia is a result of some church leaders own inability to curb their sexual urges, and politicians, as servants of the people, should distance themselves from anyone who knowingly allows paedophiles actions to be hidden, to avoid punishment by many country’s justice systems.

  10. I agree with ‘Aussie True Blue’ – I believe that Mr. Abbott is a man of integrity who will do his very best to do that which is right, however it may be perceived by others.

  11. This is something I have feared for some time on Mr Abbott becoming prime minister, it’s his close friendship with George Pell. Pell is right in the centre of this royal commission into the church. Abbott & others in the liberal party must stay right out of the royal commission because it could destroy their new government and it will send a message to the victims of sexual abuse that the Abbott government will not believe the victims and will protect the paedophile priests and the church. Don’t count on Abbott staying out of the royal commission into the church, Shane. Abbott is an ultra-christian who believes priests do no wrong like George Pell. Abbott will protect Mr Pell because Pell is so close to Abbott & the liberal party, Pell will get favors from Abbott over this royal commission no doubt about it. I fear that the royal commission on the church will be severely compromised because of the Abbott government’s likely influence. Abbott will have no credibility as prime minister if he does this. The Australian public will turn on Abbott very quickly over this. It’s things like this that could help Malcolm Turnbull or someone else topple Abbott as prime minister in the future.

  12. For goodness sake! Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone. Paedophilia is conduct only carried out by people with warped values. I’m sure Abbott doesn’t condone such behaviour even if he is a catholic so why do you seem so concentrated on making Abbott a co-conspirator in this horrid matter. I don’t believe he condones paedophilia in any way – be fair please. Don’t let politics get in the way of fair play PLEASE.

    • You might want to actually read the whole post before you comment. You say “I don’t believe he condones paedophilia in any way – be fair please. Don’t let politics get in the way of fair play PLEASE.”
      It is about the victims and their right to justice which you do not seem to care about whatsoever. You are the one letting politics get in the way of fair play for the victims, not me. If only you cared as much about the victims as you do Tony Abbott.

  13. Having been accused of molesting my two year old son ( by my ex whilst at a Family Court party), I know how easy it is to make an accusation.

    And just try, as I had to, to prove you did NOT do something. How can you prove a red car did not drive down the road at midnight?

    Thus when there is money involved, I remain skeptical.

    Abbot was right to give a character reference. He was not saying the guy was or was not a paedophile. I asked, and gained, such a statement from my school vicar. He was commenting on my character at school, so a picture of me could be drawn. I saw him one more time before he died, so was he bad, as you portray Abbot?

    I did not need this reference, as I was able to discredit the accusations. But I have since been very wary in jumping to conclusions

  14. Shane, I have to shake my head in disbelief at some of the comments. Dumb, so many people are with lack of understanding of your articles. Illiteracy comes in many forms, reading too quickly, low understanding of sentence formation, inability to read punctuation, and worst of all is attacking you directly for bringing forth the relevant information which is noted in other forms of media, albeit the twisted media articles need to be straightened out by those, such as yourself, who can tell it ‘the way it is’ in plain English. Even then a lot of people, ‘just don’t get it’.

  15. We only have to look into the history of The Catholic Church to see how corrupt they are, I guess maybe there are some who believe when they enter they will be serving God, I am not catholic so have not met any but the documentary “Silence in the house of God” did it for me, as high as the Pope knew what was happening to these innocent young children and did nothing so in my mind I doubt there is anyone who is a priest would not know of these crimes against children. I would even go so far as to comment Nuns are not all that innocent either. Lets hope you have some pull Shane and get Mr. Abbott to keep his nose out of things or maybe he knows more than we do and that is why he chose not to be a Priest. At the end of the day (did I say that) I only hope if there really is a “God” he will see these victims get their day and court and the child molesters are punished.

  16. Such is the high profile nature of this very public Royal Commission, there is no way that any politician (Federal or State) can influence its outcome; too many eyes and ears are following it. Check out the Commission’s website – and you will understand the openness of its proceedings so that those victims can follow justice being done.
    The Federal government will act on all recommendations of the Commission for to do otherwise would be political suicide.

    Tony Abbott does not personally have the final say on what recommendations are enacted nor can he influence any outcome irrespective of his connection to the Catholic Church. All power is with the Commissioner(s); read the relevant Act – They can instigate criminal charges.

    The Commission’s report is handed to the Governor General who passes it onto the government of the day for tabling in Parliament. All recommendations of the Commission are made public. Any recommendation requiring changes in legislation will be voted on by the Parliament.

    If we follow your argument, Shane, then should all Catholic parliamentarians not participate in the vote or be on a committee that receives the Report, should all parliamentarians who have been involved in the scouting movement not vote etc, should all parliamentarians who have been involved in the surf life saving movement not vote, the local footie club, etc,etc. The Royal Commission is into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Paedophiles wormed their way into so many institutions/organisations that it is impossible to find any politician that does not have some link to an institution/organisation etc.

    This very topic of Tony Abbott and the Royal Commission was discussed in July on
    Posted in Children, Crime, Investigations on 27 July, 2013 3:13 pm

    You guys are looking for a potential conspiracy theory influencing the outcome of the Royal Commission when none exists.

    • Not all politicians are extremely good friends with George Pell like Tony Abbott. You should read the post again. Your argument is extremely weak.

      Remember the AWB – Saddam Hussein – Cole Inquiry where criminal charges were recommended against 11 people. No one was ever charged. Read this post –

      Just for the record, I did not know about Independent Australia post so there are obviously a lot of people thinking the same thing which backs up my argument and is even more reason why Tony Abbott should abstain from any involvement in regards to decision making regarding the royal commission. There is perceived bias by many.

      • The government policy of “internal investigation”, often “at level”, is a conflict of interest. This process allows those at fault to investigate themselves or for work associates to do the task and usually finds no culpability on the part of the “public servant” in question. This, in turn, allows the problems and injustices they inflict to continue unabated. Investigations should always be conducted by an outside third-part that is not linked, in any way, to those involved. The Government should have no influence on findings or decisions.

        Mr Dowling is right. Mr Abbott should not involve himself in this matter. Our society seems to spend its time playing catch-up rather than putting procedures in place to avoid problems, the Lost Generation, Stolen Generation, unwed teenage mothers having their children stolen from them, and now institutional indifference and incompetence regarding child abuse to name just a few. Public servants should take a stand and do what’s right, or get out of the way so someone else can.

  17. Shane,

    I have thought about your post for a few days, but did not like the path you took, of course you are free to write, whatever you like, however, i have decided not to visit your
    site anymore.

  18. I’m surprised that some folk don’t understand how our political system works and have not paid attention to how abuse matters have been dealt with before.

    By limiting the money available to run the Royal Commission, any Government can seriously undermine the thoroughness of that investigation. Already we have seen comments from the WA Premier suggesting it will be too expensive and it doesn’t take much imagination to see that being one angle of approach.

    The Royal Commission was set up with a view to only running for something like 3 years whereas the Irish one ran for 10 so it’s more than likely to require further support from the Federal Government.

    Interestingly, that Irish experience saw the Catholic Church break agreements it made with the Irish Government which led to extraordinary scenes of their PM savaging the Catholic Church when it was discovered.

    When a pollie sees fit to lie about a communication with Cardinal Pell, then gets hostile when exposed, it looks like we have something to be concerned about.

    Why do folk have a problem with Tony standing aside? I should have thought they would regard it as an honorable stance to take and be a measure of his maturity?

  19. The separation of the powers of state and church; the state and the Judiciary; the state and police is a HOAX that’s over 600 years old. It’s a monarchist model of DEMOCRACY were the nepotism/cronyism old boys club RULE, and what happens in this closet, stays in this closet.

  20. And yet when I wrote to Tony Abbott and asked for his help to investigate corruption in the Victorian and Queensland Police force, the former Department of Social Services, Child Safety Services, Crime and Misconduct Commission, and a number of other agencies, not to mention the lack of legal representation for victims of child abuse, elder abuse and other injustices that are clearly discriminatory, several times, that great Christian man didn’t even bother to respond.

    In my case the child abuse dates back forty years and was first reported twenty-five years ago. To this day there has never been an investigation, despite my repeated attempts to get someone to listen, and some of the many victims have since gone on to inflict themselves on others while one of those predators (a former police officer) is running a business that provides him access to young women and children.

    The responses from so-called “public servants” range from “get over it” and “are you sure you’re not the child abuser” to “it sounds like you are just trying to get even with someone for something that never happened”, “there’s not enough evidence to warrant an investigation” and “you should keep quiet about this or you could be sued and imprisoned for defamation”. And yet none of those people bothered to read my statements or request any of the other evidence.

    Unless people are willing to listen, then nobody knows the true extent of what is going on and nothing will ever change. A few years ago George Brandis, then the Shadow Attorney-General, said “unless you have an investigation, how do you know what the evidence is?” and then went on to express concerns about a cover up. It was an unrelated matter, but you get the point. If public servants insist on silencing victims and providing a means to conceal predators from public scrutiny, what hope do we have?

    Good for you, Mr Dowling, for having the guts to speak about things self-centred folk and sociopaths don’t want others to hear. You have just demonstrated the importance of truth (Mark 4: 21-25), equality (Matthew 25: 31-46) and justice (Matthew 7: 7-12). Those passages can be found in the Holy Bible’s Mr Abbott and his mates swore upon when they took office. It’s a shame don’t try to apply all of what Christ said. Oh, and for the record, I wrote to the Royal Commission months ago. Haven’t heard a peep.

    • James, your post is a bit confusing, you seem to blame Abbott for something that may not have even been brought to his attention, and you go on to state that the public servants did not bother to read your statements. you can’t have it both ways.
      My advice to you is to write a comprehensive statement, naming names, send copies to the relevant Govt Departments and individuals. Get your original witnessed by a JP, (with dept of Justice Stamp), and make a statement to the police.

      • Thanks Terry, that is good advice. Have already spoken to police in Victoria and Queensland many, many times over twenty-five years. And Child Safety Services. And Crime and Misconduct. And many lawyers. School teachers and counsellors. And written to many politicians. Public servants that do respond often make the effort to summarise the key points but, when you read through their interpretation of what you sent, they usually miss the point.

        The problem is that others who read what you have written have their own agenda (sometimes they just want to go home and take a break) and make assumptions rather than asking follow-up questions. I am not sure what you are saying when you claim Mr Abbott may not have been aware of the letters he was sent and, because I said public servants often don’t bother reading my report, I can’t have it both ways. If you could clarify your comment it might help me get your point. You said he may not have been aware of the letter (suggesting his staff are either incompetent or complicit in denying citizens access to justice) not me.

        Mr Newman and Mr Sprigborg both managed to respond to the same correspondence before they took office, but since then there has been no further response. Your advice is excellent and faultless, the only problem being that it assumes this will work and, trust me, twenty-five years of doing those very things has proven otherwise, hence the Royal Commission. The only people who have responded as they should, to date, are Bravehearts, and their ability to help is limited.

      • I have done that – however, the friend I tried to achieve for would not go any further releasing documents – it would have been interesting to see if any response was forthcoming –

    • James I feel so sorry for you, it must be so stressful to not have any help in the twenty five years of you trying and the trauma you must have suffered as a child. I don’t know if you have seen the Documentary ‘silence in the house of Gods’ but when one sees this one can realise the enormous fight one has on their hands to bring these monsters to justice, and the cover up in the Catholic Church. Have just seen a Scout Master brought to justice for his evil acts and even the Scouts Heads allowed this monster to resign without conviction and move on to work with and abuse children in other areas. It is uncomprehensible to me that people like this exist and “Normal” people allow it. They are just as much to blame in my eyes.I wish you luck in the near future.

  21. Shane, your whole post is based on the word “perceived”, why? and by whom?

    “The problem we have is that there is instantly “”perceived””bias by the new federal government regarding the future handling of the Royal Commission and any recommendations the Commission may make affecting the Roman Catholic Church.

  22. It is interesting to reflect on the Irish experience.

    There, Commissions of Inquiry which stretched out over many years succeeded in at least exposing the brutality and bestiality of the treatment meted out to children and the vulnerable mostly, but not exclusively, by the Roman Catholic church.

    However because the Catholic church did not have any proper legal status most of the financial liabilities for compensation have been finessed to the taxpayers.

    As in Ireland the Catholic church in Australia has a very dubious legal status ie. no entity that can be sued (apparently). We need to be alert that Australian taxpayers are not saddled with the burden of liability as our counterparts in Ireland have been.

    In this regard the mooted moves by the Abbott government to curtail the activities of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) are alarming.

  23. I firmly believe that if the likes of Rolf Harris and a few other celebrities have been caught out fondling with young children and girls, then it is about time they hit these so called ( In the name of GOD almighty priests )

  24. Those religious & other institutions found to have allowed through inaction or inappropriate action abuse & fail in their duty of care, should be declared ‘toxic’ & their tax free status rescinded.

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