The Pope has spoken out on historic child abuse, maybe something was lost in translation, but other than suggesting a bit more praying, he offered no apologies, nor compensation for lives ruined. Apparently, child pornography etc, was big in the 70's and he reminded us there are of course greater and lesser degrees of evil - I think the implication being that abusing children falls somewhere between missing mass and eating meat on a Friday.
Having lived in a Convent run children's home in the early 1970's, I would strongly suggest that His Holiness delve a little deeper into the meaning of evil, especially, where it concerns small children. Paying particular attention to the whole 'Suffer little children' thingy, unless the clergy interpret that particular phrase as as it being their duty to bring about the actual suffering.
But, I won't mince words. I would like the Judge in my own particular case to contemplate the idea of living a children's home run by a practising (and very skilled) paedophile and sadist and then ask himself on what planet that could be considered as a nurturing environment? I would ask others too, those who might perhaps doubt my story, to ponder on the implications for children reared in such an environment?
That Peter Rands was a paedophile cannot be disputed, the evidence was there within his withheld personnel file. 'Found in bed with a 15 year old' in 1972. Some would find that pretty convincing evidence for preventing such a person from working with children. Not so, the Catholic Church, Rands continued to work with children until the late 1980's.
True, he had his own particular forms of self punishment, and no doubt once he informed his employers that he had given himself a darn good thrashing, they took him back into the fold.
I would urge anyone who was at St. Anne's Convent, Orpington, who suffered abuse either directly, or indirectly, to come forward and speak your truth. Peter Rands was not the only 'Uncle' abusing at that time, there were others and some have since been imprisoned.
In numbers the case cannot fail. The Church will fight individual claims, but class actions allow anonymity and in most cases, no necessity for years of litigation or trials. In Ireland, claimants merely have to prove that they were at an Institution where abuse took place (with the Sisters of Mercy it is a given) and their cases are settled.
Prayers and apologies are not enough. In too many cases practical and financial help is needed. Lets ensure it gets to those who deserve it.