Cardinal George Pell Civil Case Catholic Archdiocese

By Danny Morgan

Posted Thu 4 Aug 2022 at 4:30pmThursday 4 Aug 2022 at 4:30pm, updated Yesterday at 5:58am

A man wearing a black robe holds his fingers to his temple as he speaks.
The father of a former choirboy who died of a drug overdose in 2014 has launched a case against Cardinal George Pell.(AP: Gregorio Borgia)

The Catholic Church is using a controversial legal tactic in a bid to be excused from a civil damages claim lodged in the Victorian Supreme Court involving Cardinal George Pell.

Key points:

  • The man lodging the claim says he suffered nervous shock after learning of allegations his son was abused by Cardinal Pell
  • Cardinal Pell has always maintained his innocence and was acquitted by the High Court of criminal charges in 2020
  • The Archdiocese has asked to be excused from the civil case, claiming the father was not the primary victim of any alleged abuse

A man is suing the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and Cardinal Pell for damages, claiming he suffered nervous shock after learning of allegations Cardinal Pell sexually assaulted his son when he was a choirboy at St Patrick’s Cathedral in East Melbourne in 1996.

In 2018, Cardinal Pell was found guilty of the assault, but the High Court unanimously quashed the conviction in 2020.

The Cardinal has always maintained his innocence.

Church calls upon ‘Ellis defence’

In a preliminary hearing in the Victorian Supreme Court on Thursday, the Archdiocese indicated it wanted to rely on what is known as the ‘Ellis defence’ to be excused from the case.

The Ellis defence emerged out of a 2007 NSW Court of Appeal judgement that prevented an abuse survivor suing the Church because it was not a legal entity.

Survivors have long complained about the Church using the Ellis defence, and in 2018 the Victorian Parliament passed legislation that required unincorporated associations such as the Church to nominate an entity that is capable of being sued.

However, lawyers for the Archdiocese argued that legislation did not apply in this case because the father of the choirboy was not the primary victim of the alleged abuse.

The facade of St Patrick's Cathedral reaches into a cloudy sky.
The civil damages claim relates to allegations of abuse at St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996.(ABC News: Danielle Bonica)

The father’s barrister, Julian Burnside QC, disagreed, arguing the 2018 legislation applied to both primary victims and their families.

“What our learned friends’ submission amounts to is this: If the victim of child abuse dies, then the family has no remedy, they have no-one they can sue,” Mr Burnside said.

“Now that’s plainly wrong in our submission.”

Justice Michael McDonald has reserved his decision on whether to excuse the Archdiocese.

If you or anyone you know needs help:

Archdiocese pledges to pay any potential damages

If the Archdiocese is excused, Cardinal Pell would remain a defendant.

In a letter to the court, solicitors for the Archdiocese indicated that, even if the Church avoided liability, it would still pay any damages should the judge find against Cardinal Pell.

“If the plaintiff is awarded damages against the second defendant [George Pell], the Archdiocese will ensure that the award is paid by indemnifying the second defendant in respect of the award,” the letter said.

The father of the choirboy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, launched his case last month.

His son died of a drug overdose in 2014 and the father only learned of the allegations against Cardinal Pell the following year.

The father is claiming general damages, special damages and seeking compensation for past loss of earning capacity as well as past and future medical expenses.

His solicitor, Lisa Flynn, said the High Court’s decision to quash Cardinal Pell’s conviction would not affect the civil proceedings.

“The High Court made some decisions in relation to the criminal prosecution against [George] Pell. Our case is a civil case against George Pell and the Catholic Archdiocese,” she said.

RETRIEVED

Morgan, Danny. (2022). Cardinal George Pell Civil Case Catholic Archdiocese. Retrieved https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-04/cardinal-george-pell-civil-case-catholic-archdiocese/101301514. ABC News, Australia.

Offending Institution: St Vincent’s Orphanage, Clontarf 


Sexual abuse was rampant at St Joseph’s Orphanage in Clontarf, WA. The Christian Brothers would leer at the boys while they showered, and in the evenings, the Brothers would choose boys to take to their bedrooms. One of the survivors said this was “pretty much a nightly occurrence, or at least it occurred more often than not”…

Discover the horrific history of St Joseph’s Orphanage.
/ / /
RETRIEVED
Kelso Lawyers. (2022). St Vincents Orphanage Clontarf, from https://kelsolawyers.com/au/institutions/st-vincents-orphanage-clontarf/?goal=0_8de5cf57f7-b1db0993e0-26105593
READ MORE

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To all of those who’ve sent in WP Messages to this RoyalCommBBC blog, I am sorry I haven’t responded to your messages. Although I’m now able to partly post new pieces, I’m not able to access your messages. If possible, please COPY + PASTE them into either an eMail OR TXT:

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BadApples

Now realising that I too have been grouped as part of the ‘bad apples’, perhaps if a collective group with other BadApples could be joined-or-started! Through continuing amounts of surviving-victims coming forward, the ‘occasional’ is growing to wider audiences there’ll be less ‘pots calling kettles black’ + more merging of a multi-levelled society.

Pot calling kettle black, Google images.

Now realising that I too have been grouped as one of the ‘bad apples’, perhaps if a collective group with other BadApples could be joined-or-started! Through continuing amounts of surviving-victims coming forward, the ‘occasional’ is growing to wider audiences there’ll be less ‘pots calling kettles black’ + more merging of a multi-levelled sharing. Probably how our nation appears in front of the camera!

Alternative sides of brain, Google images.

Brisbane Boys’ Colleges https://www.bbc.qld.edu.au/life-at-bbc/boarding/

Catholic Schools https://www.cecv.catholic.edu.au/Our-Schools/Child-Safety

Anglican Church Grammar Schools https://www.ascqld.org/programs/child-safety/

Grammar Schools https://www.brisbanegrammar.com/information/policies-procedureshttps://www.ipswichgrammar.com/education/student-wellbeing

Boarding Schools https://www.qld.gov.au/emergency/safety/children

Karma, Google Images.

Cognitive dissonance’, ‘monopolised’, ‘excluded’, ‘negative attitude’ & ‘victim-blaming’ were included in a recent therapy appt. Following which, another surviving-victim began having an early-stage discussion of what was involved in both finding out more + preparing for meets with knowmore! Karma, Murphy’s luck, or pieces of reality fitting together?

Murphy’s luck, Google images.

Child abuse royal commission: Convicted paedophile who denied allegations labelled ‘a disgrace’ 

By Donna FieldPosted Tue 10 Nov 2015 at 2:27pmTuesday 10 Nov 2015 at 2:27pm, updated Tue 10 Nov 2015 at 5:11pmTuesday 10 Nov 2015 at 5:11pm

Gregory Robert Knight
Gregory Knight gave evidence to the child sex abuse royal commission via video link.(AAP Image: Dan Peled)

A convicted paedophile teacher has accused students of making up stories about him after he was convicted of a child sex offence.

Key points:

  • – Convicted paedophile teacher Gregory Knight claims students made up stories
  • – In 1994, Knight was convicted of child sex offences in NT
  • – He taught music at Brisbane’s St Paul’s in the 1980s, 1990s
  • – He was convicted of sexually abusing a St Paul’s student

The conduct of former music teacher Gregory Robert Knight, as well as that of former counsellor Kevin John Lynch, is under scrutiny at the child sexual abuse royal commission underway at the Brisbane Magistrates Court.

Both men worked at Brisbane’s St Paul’s School during the 1980s and 1990s.

Knight later resigned from St Paul’s and moved to the Northern Territory to work at Darwin’s Dripstone High School, where serious allegations of child abuse were made against him in 1993.

The school and the NT Department of Education refused Knight’s offer to resign, with the school sacking him on the spot.

In 1994, Knight was convicted and sentenced to eight years in jail with a three-year non-parole period for child sex offences in the Northern Territory.

In 2005, he was subsequently convicted of sexually abusing a former St Paul’s student, identified at the inquiry as BSG.

He appeared this afternoon at the commission via video link.

“Now in Darwin as I have stated I went off the rails, I behaved badly and I’m not dodging around that one bit,” Knight said.

“It was after that and at the time when compensation was being handed out to students who had been at St Paul’s well after I’d left there that we had BSG come along and start asking ‘Oh, can I put in a bit of a story’ and away it went.”

BSG’s lawyer, Roger Singh, challenged Knight’s statement.

You are a disgrace. It cannot be denied that you are a paedophile.

“You were charged, convicted and sentenced for horrific sexual violation against BSG,” he said.

“There was no successful appeal, and for you to proclaim your innocence is absurd and delusional.

“You are a disgrace. It cannot be denied that you are a paedophile.”

Counsel assisting the inquiry David Lloyd also reminded Knight of his paedophile conviction and suggested: “It’s just delusional isn’t it, your position?”

Knight replied: “No, it isn’t.”

Knight sacked by BBC before being being employed by St Paul’s

Former Brisbane Boys College (BBC) principal Graeme Thomson told the inquiry he sacked Knight after hearing reports of questionable conduct from students in 1980. 

Mr Thomson employed Knight unaware of crimes he had committed in South Australia, but said when boys from BBC came to him about strange behaviour around boarders in the showers, he took action.

I took cognisance and gave pre-eminence to two well-known truths, where’s there’s smoke there’s fire and prevention is better than cure.

He said he subsequently told St Paul’s principal Gilbert Case about the behaviour, yet Knight was still employed by the school.

“He [Knight] made no effort to offer an explanation and did not refute the details,” Mr Thomson said.

“I was confounded by his inability or his unwillingness to make a comment [about the allegations].

“When Knight did not respond with any denial, I took cognisance and gave pre-eminence to two well-known truths, where there’s smoke there’s fire and prevention is better than cure.”

Mr Thomson said he then registered his concern with BBC’s governing body and they agreed Knight had to go.

“I told Knight that his position was summarily terminated and I instructed him to make sure he left the school in the next 24 hours,” Mr Thomson said.

Former SA education minister ‘could have done more’

Earlier today, former South Australia education minister Dr Donald Hopgood said he could have done more to prevent Knight from ever teaching children again.

Knight had worked as a teacher in South Australia, where a 1978 inquiry held by the Education Department found he had engaged in disgraceful conduct towards students.

Dr Hopgood and Knight were in a band together at the time of the abuse.

That inquiry recommended Knight be dismissed from teaching, but Dr Hopgood instead accepted Knight’s resignation and gave him a positive reference “in the way in which he was able to lead a band”.

Knight admitted he had likely used the reference to gain a teaching job in Brisbane. 

“It was a nice reference and it wasn’t drawing him into any conflict,” he said.

Yesterday, the commission heard from BSG, who said he was threatened with the loss of his scholarship at St Paul’s after he raised allegations about Knight in the 1980s.

More on this story:

Dysfunctional family + National Redress

How much of “unfair smear-campaigns that will be initiated at breakneck speed to everyone the parents know,
the lack of compassion,
understanding and support from others,
and the loneliness, confusion and grief to process after we sever ties.” … #dysfunctional family? (1 of 2)

…understanding and support from others,
and the loneliness, confusion and grief to process after we sever ties.” … are experienced by those who’ve withdrawn from a #dysfunctional family? #nationalredress is approaching settlement for 1 CSA surviving-victim: ‘Apologies’ awaited. (2 of 2)

RETRIEVED https://sdbcrc.wordpress.com/2021/09/19/dysfunctional-family-national-redress/

NRS Submission (1st stage)

Although we’re each taught that toddlers-teenagers are to be treated with “purety + innocence”, as ‘children of god’, Institutions of #BaptistChurch, #BrisbaneBoysCollege + #BoysBrigade have had their past behaviours brought into question.
-(twitter)-
#DSS-#NRS will now research their inclusion, in preparation for assessment of these #ChildSexualAbuse impacts. Bless each of you.
Boys Brigade, Brisbane Boy’s College

Podcasts being shared

✔️Podcast Distribution
Being considered …
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There are 3547 people in your team

It’s great to let you all know that our RCbbc Team, has reached 3 1/2 thousand. With our Podcasts also being pieced together, adding in another media.

Statistics retrieved 5 May 21.

Upcoming Podcasts (tweet) …

Preview has launched

In what may be a day to be remembered, our 1st recording of the ‘Problem Solving Radio’ has been shared. Following is a link to where it can be listened to & related APPs should soon be added.

iCloud link (click on image)

Sorry to all the survivours lost, those who are lucky to be alive, their witnesses and family, justice members + even the criminals behind these events.

For those of us who had been denying everything + are slowly realising the past, many decades after is the average until speaking to someone else.

While most previous locations have since been cleaned-up, a fewer amount of Predators are still able to ‘sneak in the shadows’.

One of the aims of this podcast of the RoyalCommBBC Blog, is to allow an audio channel viewers can take with them, share with their family/friends and build up more of a library of resources.

Many of those, who’ve already made text comments, will be asked to add their spoken version.

Another addition, will be Relaxation strategies including suggestions of calming music-scents+interviews.

This initial post is being made to give a Preview of what’s being planned for release, within the next few weeks.

Hopes are to arrange regular events, suggest extra channels and to create a Board of CSA Survivours-Family-Supporters.

You’re not in this alone and there are huge amounts of impacted Child Abuse Survivours, that wont ever enjoy breaking out.