Abuse in Canadian Residential Schools Identical To Here, Says Clergyman
The Irish Times - Friday, April 16, 2010, by MARIE O'HALLORAN
A CANADIAN clergyman has described the abuse experienced by native children in residential schools in Canada as identical to abuse in Ireland.
“The stories are identical including the extent to which police and government colluded to protect perpetrators” said the Rev Kevin Annett, a former minister of the United Church of Canada.
Mr Annett spoke at a demonstration outside the Dáil yesterday, organised by the Templemore Forgotten Victims group, which has called for a full inquiry into the deaths of children in residential institutions, and a proper burial.
Mr Annett has worked for 20 years with “aboriginal children incarcerated in boarding schools under law by government and churches, both Catholic and Protestant. The parents lost all custody of their children. It went on from 1880 to the 1970s and the last school in Canada only closed down in 1996.”
The Canadian clergyman said he was fired from the United Church for highlighting the abuse and allowing victims speak from the pulpit in his church.
Working with survivors in Canada “you hear the same stories all the time. The same crimes, the same murders and unfortunately the same cover-up.”
He said abuse was an international problem. “People tend to think they’re alone but they’re not.”
There was a need to “unite across borders to let people know they’re not alone”.
He had protested outside the Vatican in Rome and said Pope Benedict was “criminally complicit” in abuse, because of the policy not to inform police when cases were reported.
Survivors presented Mr Annett with children’s shoes, represent- ing young victims of clerical sex abuse.
Rosaleen Rogers, who established the Templemore Forgotten Victims group with her husband Roy, said she wanted the truth about “the harm that was done to me” and redress.
She spent three years in St Luke’s in Clonmel but said psychiatric institutions were excluded from the institutional redress board.
There should be a full inquiry with “evidence given under oath”, she said. She also called for the proper identification of children who died in institutions and were buried in unmarked graves.
That needed to be fully investigated, she said.
Mr Rogers asked why no TD or Minister came out to meet them during their protest.
“Why aren’t they listening to what we’re saying?”
He said Government and the church had “an awful lot to answer for”.
Redress Sought for Abuse Victims
Irish Times, Apr 15, 2010
A Canadian human rights activist and child abuse whistleblower today joined with Irish survivors at a Dáil rally demanding redress for victims.
Kevin Annett, from Vancouver, who was invited to address the rally by the Templemore Forgotten Victims’ Group, said abuse was an international problem and the world should unite to speak out.
Mr Annett was presented with children’s shoes representing the children who suffered at the hands of clerical abusers.
“This is for the children who died, and the children who continue to suffer, so no more will suffer,” he told protesters.
The victims said a brief prayer for those died in the institutions and who suffered abuse from paedophile priests.
“For 20 years now in Canada I’ve been working with the survivors of the Catholic and Protestant boarding schools. And you hear the same stories all the time. The same crimes, the same murders and unfortunately the same cover-up,” Mr Annett said.
“Since we’re facing really the same international problem, you feel the need to unite across borders to let people know that you’re not alone.” Rosaleen Rogers, of the Templemore Forgotten Victims Group, called for a public inquiry into what went on inside institutions.
“The harm that was done to me, I just want to find out the truth of it, and I want some form of redress".
“I want a public inquiry and I think that evidence should be given on oath.”
Her husband Roy said it was disgraceful that TDs would not come out and meet them during the protest.
“Why is there someone from the Government out here, listening to what we’re saying? They’re probably hiding. What are they afraid of?"
“The Church and the Government have an awful lot to answer for.”
Rally Highlights Child Deaths in Church-Run Care
The Irish Times - Saturday, April 3, 2010 by ALISON HEALY
The deaths and disappearances of children and teenagers while in church-run residential care or psychiatric institutions will be highlighted at a rally outside the Dáil later this month.
The Templemore Forgotten Victims Group has asked all abuse survivors to attend the event at noon on April 15th.
Dr Rosaleen Rogers, chairwoman of Templemore Forgotten Victims, said “countless” children had died or disappeared while held in mental hospitals and church facilities, “and survivors want to know their fate and hold those guilty accountable”.
While the Ryan report into institutional abuse has documented a number of deaths in institutional care, there is no overall estimate of the number of deaths.
Dr Rogers said protesters would be demanding prosecution of those responsible for such deaths.