Tag Archives: Kieran-Tapsell

KIERAN TAPSELL. The Royal Commission, Religious Liberty and the Jehovah’s Witnesses

A more difficult issue is the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ practice of “shunning” those who decide to leave the organisation as adults because of sexual abuse. It may be that the Commission is left with no other alternative but to condemn it … Continue reading

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KIERAN TAPSELL. A Response to Francis Sullivan

I agree with what Francis Sullivan has said in the edited version of his speech to Catalyst for Renewal. But there is a recitation of history in the full version that cannot go unchallenged.  

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KIERAN TAPSELL. Vatican Reform on Child Sexual Abuse in Disarray – Does Pope Francis get it?

Zero tolerance in a professional context almost invariably means dismissal, but Pope Francis’s claim that the Church has a “zero tolerance” policy is not borne out by the figures he presented to the United Nations: only one quarter of all … Continue reading

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KIERAN TAPSELL. The Royal Commission and Religious Liberty

  Three law professors, Michael Quinlan and Keith Thompson (Notre Dame) and Frank Brennan (ACU) have criticized any attempt by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to discuss the doctrines and canon law of the Catholic … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell. Cardinal Barbarin and accountability.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon is currently being investigated by French police for failing to report sexual offences against children by some of his priests. It is alleged that he knew about allegations against them in 2007 and 2009. Despite his … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell. Bishop Ronald Mulkearns: Blaming the Foot Soldier

The “Nuremberg defence” takes its name from the claim by Nazi officials at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal that they should be acquitted because they were following “superior orders”. In one of the most significant judgments in international law, the … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell. Cardinal Pell and the Church’s “Omerta”

Cardinal George Pell must now be regretting not having come back to Australia to give his evidence to the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in the relatively small town of Ballarat in the State of … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell. Pope Francis Continues the Policy of Cover Up

In May 2014, my book, Potiphar’s Wife: The Vatican Secret and Child Sexual Abuse was published. It accused six popes from 1922 onwards (Pius XI – Benedict XVI) of establishing, confirming and expanding a system of cover up of child … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell. Finnigan’s Wake

When Dorothy Parker was told that President Calvin Coolidge had just died, she remarked: “How can they tell?” I was reminded of this while watching the moribund memory of Bishop Brian Finnigan when giving evidence to the Royal Commission into … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell. The Royal Commission – Damning with faint understatement.

The reports issued by the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse at times seem quietly understated. The Commission seems to invite readers to draw their own conclusions – damning or otherwise – from the facts the … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell. Keeping the Australian people in the dark.

On 22 April 2013, Francis Sullivan, the CEO of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council (“TJHC”) that represents the Australian Catholic Church at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, said: “The Australian community has been kept … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell. A Clash between Church and State in Australia?

The recent appearance by retired Bishop Geoffrey Robinson at the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has raised the possibility of a clash between Australia and the Vatican along similar lines to what occurred in Ireland … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell: The Problem with Bishop Finn

On 21 April 2015, the Vatican announced that Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas, Missouri, had resigned. The announcement referred to the Code of Canon Law that states that a bishop who “has become less able to fulfil his office because … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell: The Seventh Pope to Require the Cover up of Child Sexual Abuse?

In 2010, Fr Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, announced that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith would instruct bishops to report allegations of clergy sexual abuse of children where there was a local civil law requiring it. The … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell. Two reports from the Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse published two reports on 19 December 2014. The first related to Case No. 11 dealing with four institutions run by the Christian Brothers Congregation in Western Australia from the 1920s … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell: More Cracks in the Church Dyke?

In December 2013, I wrote a piece for this blog entitled, Cracks in the Church Dyke at the Royal Commission, which posed the question: the real issue now is whether the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, (TJHC), representing the Church … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell: The Holy See, Torture and the UN

On 26 September 2014, the Holy See rejected the demand of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child for it to impose through canon law mandatory reporting of all allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy. The … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell: Lawyers under the Spotlight at the Royal Commission

The John Ellis Case Study (No 8) at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse concerned the experience of John Ellis with the Towards Healing protocol in dealing with his complaint about being sexually abused by Fr … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell. George Pell’s logic on child sex abuse is flawed

                                                                                … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell: The Royal Commission on the Melbourne Response

Next Monday, 18 August, 2014, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will commence Case Study No. 16 on the Melbourne Response that operated within the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. In 1994, Bishop Geoffrey Robinson had been … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell. Rolf Harris and the Vatican.

Rolf Harris, aged 84, was found guilty of sexual assaults on children in the long distant past, and was sentenced to 5 years jail. The judge took into account his age in determining the sentence. Many people still thought it … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell: The Nestor Case

The Catholic Church hierarchy has now accepted that its attempts to cover up the sexual abuse of children by clergy facilitated further abuse. But there was a second reason for the increase in the abuse – the canonical disciplinary system … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell. Canon Law and the Truth, Justice and Healing Council.

In his more than 40 blogs posted on the Truth Justice and Healing Council’s web site, Francis Sullivan, its CEO, has never, until last week, mentioned any difficulties that canon law might have posed for bishops in reporting sexual abuse … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell. The Cunneen Report’s Comments on Canon and Civil Law

On 30 May 2014, the Report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into Matters relating to the Police Investigation of Certain Child Sexual Abuse Allegations in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland–Newcastle (“Cunneen Report”) was published by the New South Wales … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell. The Vatican at the UN: Who is fossilised in the Past?

The Holy See has found itself before the United Nations once again, this time in relation to the Treaty on Torture. According to Reuters, Archbishop Tomasi told critics of its sexual abuse record that it had developed model child protection … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell’s “Potiphar’s Wife”

In this book by Kieran Tapsell which is to be launched on May 27 we can learn about canon law and secrecy in the Vatican, particularly in relation to sexual abuse. Kieran Tapsell has been a guest blogger on these … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell. The war on drugs.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez, El Espectador, Colombia, 20 December 2013, http://www.elespectador.com/opinion/esta-babilonia-nuestra-columna-465199 Summary: The so called “War on Drugs” is an American invention from the time of Nixon. It has been a spectacular and costly failure. But the Puritans in the Americas … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell. Things are improving.

Héctor Abad Faciolince, El Espectador, Colombia, 29 December 2013, http://www.elespectador.com/opinion/el-espantoso-mundo-vivimos-columna-466312 Summary: The world we live in is frightening, but it is less frightening than it used to be. One of the best definitions of the word, “intellectual” that I have … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell. Two empires.

Antonio Caballero, Semana, Colombia, 30 March 2014  http://www.semana.com/opinion/articulo/antonio-caballero-dos-imperios/381891-3 Barack Obama is normally very careful in his rhetoric, but some days ago, he said something a little unfortunate. When criticizing Russia’s annexation of the Crimea, he said to the press: “We … Continue reading

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Kieran Tapsell. Pell’s business strategy in tatters.

There was once a rich man in England who became tired of watching his friends’ estates being eaten up by lawyers’ fees in disputes over wills. So, he made a very simple will leaving everything to a friend, and then … Continue reading

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