Monday, 2 July 2012
Third Annual Gathering os Survivors of catholic clergy sexual abuse Verona 2012
Just back from Verona, where we held the Survivors Voice Europe annual gathering of Survivors of catholic clergy chlid sexual abuse , along with our friends and fellow survivors of the Provolo Institute for the deaf in Verona.
It is rare that we English are amazed at the weather! We spend most of our lives whinging about it! It is a national pastime! And we are no strangers to occasions being cancelled because of it . “Rain stopped play” is a common cry in England the Summer months.
What we did not expect to happen in Verona, however, was that as we marched, the temperature would reach a staggering 40 degrees and it was actually the Sun that stopped many of us in our tracks!
I for one, was quite “overwhelmed” and didn’t think I would last the duration, I managed almost to the end, but then became a bit ill and had to throw in the towel! Disappointing to say the least, because we had planned for this event for so long, and I had planned to speak a little longer at the rally. As it happened, I managed a few garbled words before collapsing, having to be taken home, exhausted, and burned!
I didn’t get the chance to say the words I had planned, the reason why we were so pleased to be all together again, and why annually our gathering would in future be in Verona. (preferably when it is cooler!) We are turning our backs on Rome, pretty much in the same way that Rome (or at least the vatican) turns it’s back on survivors! This is what I had planned to say!
We are so happy to be here in Verona. What a wonderful town, full of history and very ,very, beautiful.
But here , into this beauty, the catholic church has brought ugliness,- ugliness in the shape of their pedophile priests who ran riot for years, appallingly abusing the deaf and speech impaired children who were supposed to be in their care. Ugliness in the shape of the denials ,lies, and cover ups and further abuses of those survivors.
It is the same ugly story everywhere. England, Ireland USA Holland Germany, Colombia, Australia, there isn’t a country that hasn’t been visited by this ugliness.
Everywhere in the world where the church exists, there exists along with it , their pedophile priests and the people who cover up their crimes. Their ugliness has been worldwide, the pollution monumental.
But time is running out for these ugly criminals and the church that spawns them. Brave people are standing together , as we do today ,to say ENOUGH! and at last there is a glimmer of hope that thinking, honourable people are listening!
In America two weeks ago a monsignor has been found guilty of five counts of child endangerment , he was not a perpetrator, but he was responsible for moving known pedophile offending priests from parish to parish, without divulging their activities - he could face twelve years in jail.
In England on Monday there will be a law passed which states that anyone found to cover up or not report any kind of child abuse will be prosecuted,- rightly so, they are equally culpable.
The World is closing in on these criminals and NOT before time.
Today it is wonderful to be with so many brave and dignified survivors, this is why we of Survivors Voice Europe are here, to celebrate our own saved lives, saved despite the church - not because of it. We are here to rejoice in the fact that we have found each other, no longer isolated, and those connections make us strong!
We are determined that bringing our annual gathering here , turning our back on Rome in the same way as the vatican has turned it’s back on us, this beautiful city of Verona will from now on become synonymous with survival of catholic clergy sexual abuse of children, and the spotlight on our cause for the rest of the World.
We will do this to honour of our friends , the brave survivors of the notorious Provolo Institute who have become a beacon for all other survivors worldwide.
Lets get rid of the ugliness and restore some of the beauty.
And we say to Italy , famous for it’s love of children and family, that it is your turn to join with the rest of the world in saying ENOUGH!
BASTA ! Italia BASTA!