attn @pontifex: calls grow for Royal Commission into Catholic Church #australia harrassment of victims of abuse

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Change.org
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tony —

So far more than 80,000 people have signed this petition asking the Catholic church to stop the 12 years of delays in helping victims of St Ann’s abuse pay for counselling their children now need. The campaign is taking off.

Peter Mitchell’s disabled son was sexually abused at St Ann’s Special School by a known paedophile. Now he and other parents say they’re being "crushed" by the Catholic Church’s lawyers for asking for justice.

Last week’s coverage in the Adelaide Advertiser, ABC’s Lateline is building pressure for the Church to listen, but Peter needs more signatures on his petition this week to help him win his campaign – will you add your name now? Here’s more information below:

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Our children were sexually abused in Catholic Church care, now their lawyers are crushing our families

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By peter mitchell
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Sign Peter’s Petition
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I can’t imagine a worse nightmare for a parent. I still live it everyday.

My son, who is profoundly disabled, was sexually abused at the Catholic Church’s St Ann’s Special School.

For years they covered it up. They knew Brian Perkins, the man they employed as the school’s bus driver was a convicted paedophile. Over five years, it led to more than 30 children being sexually abused, including my son.

They didn’t bother telling us parents until years later.

Now, the Catholic Church have spent the last 12 years using their lawyers to avoid us – and our hope for some sense of justice.

When all the Church offered was an apology and a small "gift payment", a group of us parents decided to sue the Church. We hoped it may bring justice for our kids – and the desperately needed financial security for the counselling and care they’ll need for the rest of their lives.

But while the Church make a big public song and dance of sounding sorry for their history of sexual abuse, away from the public spotlight they’re still using lawyers to crush victims and families.

They’re refusing to acknowledge what went on under their watch. Using their legal and financial power to push back on parents. It’s meant we’ve been waiting 12 years, and we’re not even close to getting to court.

I’m now 60 years old. I can’t take this much longer. I think they’re waiting for people like me to die or just give up.

The Royal Commission is coming to Adelaide in March to investigate what went on behind closed doors at St Ann’s. If the Church is serious about making amends, they’ll stop using legal tactics to put our case off, and settle this now.

This could all be fixed with one phone call from the Archbishop to his lawyers. So far he’s clearly not done that. Can you please help show him that it’s time to show they’re really sorry for this devastating abuse – by making a settlement with us?

After 30 years, we just want justice – and some peace at last.

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Sign Peter’s Petition
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The person (or organisation) who started this petition is not affiliated with Change.org. Change.org did not create this petition and is not responsible for the petition content.

Start a petition on Change.org

Mailing Address: 216 West 104th Street, Suite #130 · New York, NY 10025 · USA

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On #Egypt jailing of AlJazeera news crew, a message form parents of @PeterGreste #freeAJstaff

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Dear Avaaz members,

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My son Peter has spent 50 days in a high security prison in Egypt! His only crime was being a journalist. In days he faces trial, but public support in Australia can set him free. Please support my wife & I and sign this petition now.

SIGN THE PETITION

My name is Juris, I’m from Brisbane. 50 days ago my son was thrown into solitary confinement in an Egyptian jail for spreading “false news.” It’s a nightmare. His mother & I don’t know when we’ll see him again. International pressure has already helped speed up Peter’s case, but we need your help to get him free.

In days Peter will be brought in front of a judge and could be locked up for years. He’s done nothing wrong, but in Egypt this might not be enough. He was simply working for a TV channel the government dislikes – Al Jazeera. Our best chance of seeing him again soon is if thousands of Aussies join us and ask the powerful head of Egypt’s army to show compassion and set Peter free.

There is hope for Peter – if we act fast. We’re hearing that the Egyptian government is feeling the international pressure as a result of their handling of the situation. Please help us and sign this urgent petition supporting our request to have Peter released as soon as possible:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/free_peter_greste_loc/?bUFDKdb&v=35981

Peter was working from a hotel room in Cairo when the police arrested him and two of his colleagues from Al Jazeera. The previous Al Jazeera office had been raided and ransacked weeks earlier. Peter and his colleagues are accused of supporting the opposition in Egypt — which the interim-government calls “terrorists” — for portraying Egypt in a state of ‘‘civil war’’ and ‘‘airing false news’’. I think most people would call it journalism.

My wife & I have been Avaaz members for many years, and supported many campaigns, but never thought our son would be the subject of one of them. We have been reserved in our public pleas before the trial begins. But our feeling is that the time is right to ask for public support against Peter’s wrongful imprisonment and charges. Please help us to send a message to the Egyptian government that Peter’s arrest is unbecoming of a civil society.

We hope that, if many Australians rally together, this nightmare will be over soon and we can bring Peter home and help his colleagues as well. Please sign the petition and share it with all your friends and family to spread the word:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/free_peter_greste_loc/?bUFDKdb&v=35981

While our focus is of course on getting our son home, there’s more than just this at stake. His arrest is a violation of fundamental democratic principles and practices. We very much appreciate the opportunity of engaging all of your help in this (I almost wrote ‘struggle’) campaign.

With your support, we dearly hope that the painstaking days of waiting and hoping for his release come to an end soon.

The Greste family: Juris, Lois, Andrew, Mike and the rest from Brisbane, with the Avaaz team

MORE INFORMATION

Al Jazeera reporter’s father in a plea to Egypt (Al Jazeera)

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/02/al-jazeera-reporter-father-plea-egypt-201421172141690536.html

Egypt sets trial date for Peter Greste and Al Jazeera colleagues (ABC)
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-11/egypt-trial-for-jazeera-journalist-peter-greste-set-for-feb-20/5251012

Australian journalist Peter Greste’s Egyptian trial set for next week (The Guardian)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/11/australian-journalist-peter-grestes-egyptian-trial-next-week
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