Me and the Catholic Church: A Roger and two Franks

Father Frank Flynn (left)

I was deeply disturbed by Monday’s Four Corners program on child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, not because it’s any news as such but because very little seems to have changed despite almost 20 years of similar appalling revelations. I’ve been thinking about it quite a lot since Monday.

Why is the Church seemingly incapable of dealing appropriately with such matters? That’s a question I want to explore in this article, but first I want to traverse my own history with the Church because it partly explains why I find this topic so personally upsetting.  My reaction to the Church has been shaped for the better by getting to know three extraordinary and inspiring priests at different stages of my life, but also for the worse by very negative experiences with the Institutional Church.

I was born into a lapsed Catholic family, at least on my mother’s side.  Our parents made us go along to the local Methodist sunday school with the family across the road, not because my parents were believers but because Dad thought we should learn about Christianity so we could make up our own minds when we were old enough.

It’s an approach with which I still agree, even though I was molested by a music teacher at the age of 13 while taking piano lessons at the local church hall. He was a Methodist so I have personal experience that kiddy-fiddling isn’t confined to Catholics.

I was told at the time that Father Pryke had been removed by the Diocesan Bishop after representations by conservative parishioners upset that he was radicalising their kids.

My first dealings with the Catholic church were much more positive. In Year 11 I became involved with a local Catholic youth group focused significantly on opposing the Vietnam War and run by the activist Harbord (now Freshwater) parish priest Father Roger Pryke.  He was a truly inspiring man with a passionate social conscience. However Father Pryke left the Harbord Parish quite suddenly, in 1971 I think.  It doesn’t mention this in the online material I’ve found but I was told at the time that Father Pryke had been removed by the Diocesan Bishop after representations by conservative parishioners upset that he was radicalising their kids.  Apparently he resigned from the priesthood the next year and married, but remained active in social justice areas for the rest of his life.

A little later when I was studying law at Sydney University the ripples from Father Pryke’s social conscience touched me again when I became part of a group of volunteer students helping to renovate derelict terrace houses in The Block at Redfern for re-occupation by Aboriginal families, a project initially organised in large part by one of Father Pryke’s proteges Father Ted Kennedy. I didn’t really come to know Father Kennedy but a passage from his SMH obituary may be relevant to the current attitude of Cardinal Pell to Monday’s Four Corners program and priestly child abuse in general:

Increasingly, Kennedy came to emphasise a stream of thought that had always been part of his teaching, the importance of the poor. In 1970 he had fashioned a retreat for Queensland seminarians around the notion that the disadvantaged and the down-and-outs are our brothers. At Redfern he developed this into a theology of poverty, saying that the poor had special insights into the meaning of Christianity and their voices should be heard in the councils of the church.

Kennedy’s commitment to the marginalised led him to homosexuals, one of the most marginalised groups in the church. As a confessor, he had encountered their “transparent gentleness and a finely tuned nobility born of pain”; nor could he discern violence or hatred or anger or bitterness or rancour or power or force – surely this must be a sign of grace. They were good people, so why were they deprived of Holy Communion?

Pell had seemed to deny Vatican II’s teaching on the primacy of conscience in religious matters.

Reflections such as this led Kennedy to write his only book, Who is Worthy?, in 2000, a response to a position taken by George Pell in 1988 and persisted in afterwards. Writing as a private theologian, Pell had seemed to deny Vatican II’s teaching on the primacy of conscience in religious matters. Kennedy’s generation [KP: especially including Roger Pryke] had worked hard to establish the doctrine of conscience in Catholic orthodoxy, and he responded to Pell with trenchant argumentation based on classic texts from Newman.

In the early 1980s after admission as a lawyer I moved to Darwin to work with its then largest private firm Mildren Silvester. The next year I married my then partner Jenny back in our previous home town of Manly. Jenny was a strong Catholic and wanted to marry in the Church but we ended up with a civil celebrant wedding instead.  The local Manly parish priest refused to marry us because we had been “living in sin” in Darwin for 12 months.

A couple of years later I started my own legal practice in partnership with a colleague Peter Robinson, by purchasing the practice of old John McCormack.  The practice included much of the work of the Catholic Church in the Northern Territory, most of which involved working with Catholic remote Aboriginal communities. The work wasn’t very remunerative because you were expected to undertake it at charity rates, but it was fascinating and rewarding in a wider sense.

That was how I came to know the next extraordinary Catholic cleric who came to influence my life, Jesuit priest and lawyer Father Frank Brennan.  Frank was already quite a high profile priest and I already knew him quite well when in 1987 we travelled together to the Naiuyu community at Daly River to undertake a range of legal matters. Frank suggested that I should consider being formally received into the Catholic Church. I treated this seriously, mostly because of my inspiring experiences with Father Pryke years before. Nevertheless I explained to Frank that I had pretty serious objections to Papal doctrine on a variety of issues including abortion, birth control and homosexuality. Father Frank knew that my objections were principled rather than practical, because we had already discussed the fact that Jenny and I had been trying unsuccessfully to have a child and had applied for adoption. Frank’s response to my concerns was classically Jesuitical: “You know Ken, this question is analogous to the Australian legal system.  The rule of law is fundamental and in our system that involves binding precedent  and an ultimate court of appeal.  I more or less see his Holiness as the High Court and keep in mind that majorities change in time and erroneous precedents are overruled.”

It may be a comment on my own psyche, as well as my experience of how the Church’s priests acted in the real world, that led me to accept this explanation as quite satisfactory.  Father Frank presided over my reception into the Church, we adopted our daughter Bec and raised her as a practising Catholic.  And only a few years later Father Frank’s Dad delivered the lead judgment in Mabo which did indeed overrule the erroneous terra nullius precedent.

Over the next few years, before a brief excursion into NT politics, my firm became increasingly involved in acting pro bono for Cambodian and Chinese asylum seekers and emigre East Timorese resistance groups, all of them causes that Father Frank was at the forefront of championing.

“You’re probably worried I’m some sort of child molester,” he said. “I’m not. I’m a retired priest. …”

My daugher Bec was the agent of our meeting the third extraordinary Catholic priest who influenced my life.  When she was aged about 4 in 1992 we were having a picnic at the waterfront park across the road from our home at Nightcliff Point, when Bec appeared from the direction of the kids’ playground hand in hand with a very old white-haired man carrying a white cane.  “You’re probably worried I’m some sort of child molester,” he said.  “I’m not. I’m a retired priest.  My name is Frank Flynn and I live at ‘The Ranch’ just across the road there.  I’ve just been getting to know your lovely daughter.”

It was an explanation we probably wouldn’t have found anywhere near as reassuring had the incident occurred only a few years later, but at the time we invited old Father Frank to join us. We talked for ages and he became a close friend and almost a grandfather figure to Bec.  It emerged that Father Flynn was not only a retired priest but an eminent, famous eye doctor, and a seminal influence and guide to the equally famous Dr Fred Hollows, as this brief online biography explains.  The next year Father Flynn was inducted into the highest rank of the Order of Australia, Companion with the General Division (AC), a promotion from Officer of the Order (AO) previously bestowed on him in 1979.

Father Flynn became an invaluable confidant during my rather turbulent time in politics, and especially after a second intended adoption in the Philippines which went traumatically wrong. After I lost my seat in Parliament in 1994 I spent the next few weeks building a garden and paved terrace for Father Flynn outside his apartment at The Ranch. It was a time for reflection about where my life would go from there, and I talked with Father Flynn for hours while building walls and laying pavers. For the next few years I would often see him sitting on the terrace in the late afternoon, feeling rather than seeing the sun set over the Arafura Sea.

I went back into private legal practice, but the next year our lives were turned upside down when Jenny’s mother was killed by her next door neighbour in front of Bec, a few days before her seventh birthday.  The ructions went on for years including a (thankfully unsuccessful) High Court appeal by the perpetrator.

The institutional Catholic Church was not especially supportive of our family through that time when we were hurt and vulnerable, and we also became increasingly aware of media reports of priestly child abuse, church cover-ups and lack of support towards victims.  We attended Mass less and less frequently, I began to decline legal instructions from the Church and refused an informal invitation to join the Catholic Board of Education.

Father Flynn became aware of our increasing disillusionment and began inviting us to attend Mass with him at the private chapel at The Ranch (just across our back fence).  We attended every week for a few months out of respect for Father Flynn. But then he became ill and spent increasing amounts of time “down south” getting treatment.  We stopped attending Mass completely and never resumed.  Father Flynn died in 2000 aged 94.  By that time I had found my own path towards serving the community by becoming a law lecturer at Charles Darwin University (as it now is).

How can an institution filled with extraordinary, truly good men like Fathers Pryke, Kennedy, Brennan and Flynn fail for so long to deal effectively, justly and compassionately with repeated instances of child sexual abuse by a minority of its clergy?

All this accumulated experience raises an obvious question for me in light of this week’s Four Corners program.  How can an institution filled with extraordinary, truly good men like Fathers Pryke, Kennedy, Brennan and Flynn fail for so long to deal effectively, justly and compassionately with repeated instances of child sexual abuse by a minority of its clergy?  I don’t have a definitive answer but I can make a few guesses.

The Church is a male-dominated, disciplined, hierarchical institution not unlike the police or military in some ways.  And like those institutions it breeds an inward-looking culture which automatically protects its own whenever they’re attacked by outsiders. We’ve seen a similar phenomenon in reaction to multiple allegations of sexual abuse by Duntroon cadets over a period of years.

Secondly, the core Catholic principle of confession, penance and forgiveness of sin is a wonderful principle in most circumstances, but works very badly when the sinner being forgiven is a hardened pedophile priest. Serial pedophiles apparently don’t actually believe they are doing anything wrong, they are almost sociopaths who have developed very effective strategies to “groom” their victims and lull their parents into trusting the pedophile. Those strategies work just as well on their brother priests, even after they are caught committing behaviour that just about everyone including those brother priests rightly regards as truly appalling.

Third is the Catholic requirement for priestly celibacy, which I’ve always seen as weird if not downright perverse, and which I’m sure contributes to the persistent nature of child sexual abuse by priests despite arguments to the contrary.

Lastly, I’m equally sure that part of it is explained by a pragmatic but ultimately evil belief on the part of many in the Church hierarchy that its assets must be protected against legal claim by alleged abuse victims, because despite human imperfections on the part of some of its clergy the Church does much more good in the world than it does harm.  I think that’s probably true, although I’m not as sure as Father Flynn was, and in any event ends can never morally justify the means the Church adopts, at least in my personal morality, though Cardinal Pell’s conscience seems to be differently constructed.  Greens MP David Shoebridge recently explained how it all works in a speech to the NSW Parliament:

In 2007 the case of John Ellis set a terrible precedent in this area and this Parliament has a pressing obligation to remedy it. John Ellis was an altar boy at the Bass Hill Parish of the Roman Catholic Church. He claimed that in the period from 1974 to 1979 he was sexually abused by the assistant parish priest. In 2004 the assistant priest died and his estate left no assets against which the plaintiff could recover damages. Also in that year Mr Ellis brought a common law claim against the Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church and against His Eminence Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, in relation to the abuse he had suffered. The trustees were appointed under the Roman Catholic Church Trust Property Act 1936, a New South Wales Act that establishes a trust that holds all the property of the Catholic Church in this State—property that has been estimated to be worth billions of dollars.

The trial judge in the Supreme Court initially found that the trust could by sued by Mr Ellis in relation to the abuse and granted him an extension of time to allow him to pursue his claim. The judge also held that as Cardinal Pell had not been appointed to that position at the time of the abuse he was not responsible for the abuse and therefore not able to be sued. The court dismissed Mr Ellis’ claim against him. Both the trust and Mr Ellis appealed this decision. In its appeal the trust conceded that an arguable case had been established that the abuse had occurred. However, it alleged that the Catholic Church did not exist in New South Wales as a legal entity. The trust told the court that although it holds all of the Church’s property—and had so at the time that Mr Ellis’ alleged he was abused—that it was not responsible for the conduct of any member of the clergy. The trust submitted that, in effect, the church could not be sued as, in law, it did not exist.

Cardinal Pell maintained his position on appeal that he was not appointed at the time of the abuse. The cardinal who had been appointed at the time of the alleged abuse had since died, as had the alleged abusive clergy member. Cardinal Pell claimed Mr Ellis could not hold him responsible for the abuse. The Court of Appeal agreed with both the cardinal and the trust, and Mr Ellis’ case was dismissed entirely. The court also ordered that he pay the legal costs of the church and the archbishop. The Catholic Church has organised its legal affairs so that, in effect, it is almost entirely insulated from legal claims by victims of abuse.

The law now states that the only entities that exist at law and can be sued by a victim are the individual member of the clergy who is alleged to have been the abuser and the archbishop or head of the relevant religious order at the time of the abuse. As the case of Mr Ellis proves, these defendants are often dead or penniless. Meanwhile, the church and all of its property is comfortably sheltered from compensation claims by a New South Wales law that places its property in its property trust. Mr Ellis took his case to the High Court, which refused him special leave. Mr Andrew Morrison, SC, who acted for Mr Ellis, told the High Court that the Catholic Church:

.. has so structured itself as to be immune from suit other than in respect of strictly property matters for all claims of abuse, neglect or negligence, including claims against teachers in parochial schools at least prior to 1986.

The decision continues to have repercussions for survivors of abuse in New South Wales. The outcome is that in respect of child abuse dating back 20 or 30 years the Catholic Church knows when dealing with victims that it has a complete defence. Victims’ lawyers are increasingly being driven to check nursing homes for elderly archbishops and bishops who may still be alive and can be sued, often years after they have left their office.

For those particularly interested, the NSW Court of Appeal’s decision in Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church v Ellis [2007] NSWCA 117 can be found here.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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conrad
conrad
9 years ago

I didn’t see the 4 corners program, so they may have brought it up, but I guess another reason as to why this is so hard to fix is that it’s well known that organizations that allow adults to get in positions of power over children and be almost entirely unaccountable attract serial pedophiles (and not just religious organizations). This is why most organizationst that deal with children have complex procedures when you want to join them (e.g., police checks etc.). It therefore seems likely that there are probably some of these people still in the system and high up the chain of command that might not be active anymore, but obviously don’t want anything done in case it means they themselves would get caught.

Mel
Mel
9 years ago

Nicely written, Ken. Thanks.

Fyodor
9 years ago

Great post, Ken. Thank you.

jennifer
jennifer
9 years ago

Thanks Ken

I think this post has resonance because it is fair minded and as always you make sense. It has added resonance because I’ve been reading about you and your opinions for so damn long.
The best thing tho’ is your conviction it is wrong for children to be abused and your corresponding lack of hysteria.

Katz
Katz
9 years ago

And the Lord said, “You are Peter, but no rock is as solid as a body corporate structure that annuls legal liability at the death of the holder of the corporate seal. Miraculous, hey?” (Matt. 16:18). 

hc
hc
9 years ago

The Pope isn’t like the “High Court”. He is a deluded man who gets it wrong. So too Cardinal Pell.

I wonder how different is bringing your daughter up in the age-old church from bringing her up as a engram-deluded modern Scientologist. In both cases enforced irrational thinking being led by a clergy some of whom prey on young children and all of whom teach young people a pack of lies about life and love and who inflict ongoing neuroses.

jennifer
jennifer
9 years ago
Reply to  hc

“… and keep in mind that majorities change in time and erroneous precedents are overruled.”

You forgot the rest of the sentence and so misunderstood the meaning.

The Catholic Church is always changing and sometimes it changes into something completely different. Vatican II looked to be the beginning of the humanizing of the clergy – but the humanising has ossified and not surprisingly, numbers in the clergy are shrinking. Would this have been the case if the humanising had extended to marrriage for nuns and priests and the ordination of women? Instead the Catholics got a saint, God bless her, in Mary McKillop. Saints preserve us! … or not.

desipis
9 years ago
Reply to  jennifer

The point about capacity to change isn’t the primary reason to support a institution that is the ‘highest court in the land’. When dealing with relationships between people there are clear benefits to having a ‘rule of law’ where the rules governing these relationships are common to all. This necessitates having a institution that can be an independent party to resolve disputes.

However this is not the case when it comes to theology. Where is the need to have a central self-declared authority dictating what God’s rules are to the rest of us? I don’t see a need for another mortal to manage or government the relationship between an individual and their god. Why do good intelligent people choose to outsource their sense of morality to a group of authoritarian politicians from another country? Surely these are the people we want leading the debate on morality, not the ones being the drones of a foreign power.

To me a comparison between the pope and the High Court just serves to highlight the problems I have with the Catholic Church.

derrida derider
derrida derider
9 years ago

Why is the Church seemingly incapable of dealing appropriately with such matters?

Because it is an hierarchic, authoritarian corporation with an hierarchic, authoritarian culture and ideology. It’s no mystery – poor accountability leads to poor results. That’s simply Management 101.

Katz
Katz
9 years ago

KP, all that proves is that sometimes honest, well-intentioned individuals make mistakes.

hc
hc
9 years ago

Ken, You come to the remarkable conclusion that not all priests are evil. Wow Ken that is some sort of insight! Athiesm is a default position which makes more sense than your viewpoint given the insanities taught by the Catholic Church, Jesus was not born of a virgin, he didn’t walk on the water and he did not raise the dead. Sexual desire is not sinful and your choice of gender partner is no-one’s business but your own. Confession is a total con – who is doing the judging? Abortion is an indiividual’s business as is contraception and celibate clergy have no useful role in making moral judgements about such issues.

This is not “hateful prejudice” but the views of the Catholic Church. To say there are good Catholic clergy is to say nothing. They are only men – that is all. It isn’t “simplistic athiest shouting” but asserting what is truthful rather than nonsense.

Pedro
Pedro
9 years ago
Reply to  hc

But are you sure Harry? Isn’t pascal’s wager just a fore runner to the justification for climate change policies that you support?

john r walker
john r walker(@annesanders)
9 years ago

Ken it is moving writing ,thank you.

hc you obviously did not read the article.

Pedro
Pedro
9 years ago

One of the Brothers at my school was a vicious criminal and I was glad to recently learn he’d been jailed. I don’t know if any sexual abuse happened while I was at the school, but there did seem to be a system in place for brothers to be sent to Switzerland or somewhere for spiritual guideance and renewal so perhaps some of those had gotten wonky.

I admired many of the brothers that taught me and thought them truly dedicated and genuine, even the annoying ones, but when the abuse stories came out I had the same thoughts about the institution. Now I think that the RC church is fundamentally corrupt. The good ends do not justify the wrongs.

jennifer
jennifer
9 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

Take heart Pedro – the Catholic Church has been far more corrupt than this. It is improving. There is only one Pope, no-one from the Vatican is declaring war, the wild sex parties stopped with the Reformation, but that was when the killing and torture really got going – and I’m only up to the 17th century.

Cardinal Pell remains prone to blatant and transparent lying, but you must admit things have calmed down a lot.

Pedro
Pedro
9 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

Yes, less corrupt is a step forward, but on the other hand their beliefs are now less true, if you know what I mean.

Patrick
Patrick
9 years ago

In fairness to the Catholic Church,
1) there is almost no discussion of abuse by non-clerical carers/wards/agents, and
2) this abuse continues to this day, whereas in recent times there have been exceedingly few cases involving Catholic clergy (although I stand to be corrected on that point).

None of that is intended to excuse anything. But merely in light of KP’s perhaps ‘internal’ perspectives to offer an ‘external’ one.

As for someone who believes in government action to combat climate change criticising other’s for blind faith, at least believing in God allows one some consort with the heroes of most of the world, the MLKs, the Martin Luthers, the Nelson Mandelas and Desmond Tutus, the Ghandis if you can stomach them, and so forth. I think believing in government action to fight climate change puts you amongst those who might legislate to protect candlemakers, by banning the sun.

Pedro
Pedro
9 years ago
Reply to  Patrick

I think the complaint is the institutional approach and not the fact that abusers find their way into the church. As for levels of abuse, you’d probably have to check the situation in countries where there are still significant numbers of the buggers left.

Mel
Mel
9 years ago

Patrick, you twit, this post has nothing to do with climate change.

Catholic priests have been responsible for “exceedingly few cases” of abuse in recent times because (a) the average age of Australian priests is well over 60 and (b) not even the most delinquent parent has permitted his/her child to be alone with a priest for so much as a single minute over the past two decades.

Finally, your claim that non-Church organisations have been excluded from criticism is dishonest. The Church has received greater criticism because of its sickening behaviour, for example deliberately moving pedophile priests on to new parishes so that they always have a fresh supply of children to molest. No other organisation in living memory has so deliberately and cynically served up children as meals for pedophiles as your beloved Catholic Church.

Shame on you, Patrick.

Mel
Mel
9 years ago

Patrick may also like to explain to us why his American Jesuit and Christian Brother friends have both used Chapter 11 bankruptcy to avoid further payouts to sex abuse victims.

Katz
Katz
9 years ago

Some folks clearly believe that their reservations for a good seat in paradise are worth the risk of their sons’ copping a sacerdotal reaming.

The marginal value of this choice is clear to some. That’s consumer sovereignty for you.

john walker
john walker
9 years ago

Ken I was and still am shocked at the idea that the behavior of church ministers employed by a church could be held to be not the responsibility of that church , by a court.

I looked up the Anglican synod rules on this :

A. Assisting the Minister to comply with the child protection screening legislation.


12. The Minister has a Statutory responsibility to ensure that the screening under the Child Protection (Prohibited Employment) Act 1998 is complied with. The implementation of the compliance can be delegated, but not the Statutory responsibility.

Would that court finding apply if the abuse happened today .What are the current rules in the Catholic church?

AJ
AJ
9 years ago

I agree with the poster that stated that the Catholic Church tends to get the headlines regarding Child abuse cases and that it is pervasive and under reported (especially in the media elsewhere). I have noted in the last 15 years an even more disturbing pattern where therapists who claim to be treating victims have been charged…..a clever moving of professions for those inclined to be abusers perhaps? Some of the blame rests on the fact that you don’t need qualifications to hang out a shingle stating you are a counsellor. It’s an area that needs a spotlight turned on it.

john r walker
john r walker(@annesanders)
9 years ago

Why is the Church seemingly incapable of dealing appropriately with such matters?

Historian Barbara Tuchman’s March of Folly identifies excessive power as the root of institutional folly. Too much power allows the exclusion of reality until the whole edifice collapses.

Persistence in error is the problem. Practitioners of government continue down the wrong road as if in thrall to some Merlin with magic power the direct their steps …Yet to recognise error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government.” P. 383

Jim Belshaw
9 years ago

Ken, I just wanted to thank you for this post. It’s very difficult and incredibly honest. The issues are difficult, you are honest. I will try to write a proper companion post later. Everyone, or so it seems to me, has positions. The real issues are different. No onw tries to disentangle them.

JC
JC
9 years ago

Good thread, Ken. Must have been hard thinking about sharing it. It’s hard to know what to say in situations like this, but it looks like you turned out fine.

Laura
Laura
9 years ago

Plenty of school children were groped but not penetrated by clergy of various denomination without too much harm. In my case it was a couple of Catholic nuns, but as a 10 and then 13 year old I was more sad for these lonely and frustrated Sisters of Mercy than upset for myself.

What did upset me much earlier and throughout my entire 12 years in their institutional custody was the far more harmful abuse inherent in the religious instruction brainwashing of Original Sin etc.

I also came to despise the empty rituals of Catholicism and its spiritual shallowness. My saddest memory of that was observing my uncle, a Catholic priest, saying a final mass for his dying brother, my father.

In these respects I share hc’s perspective and anger. These religions draw good people, innocent people into their web and trash them or mute them and that is an outrage.

Alphonse
Alphonse
9 years ago

An institution where a George Pell can rise to the the rank he holds is fundamentally flawed. That said, in my experience, few outside the church can criticise him with the precision and vehemence of your average churchgoer. Therein lies the paradox.

Mel
Mel
9 years ago

Eek. George Pell and infamous serial molester Father Gerald Risdale were once roomies:

Also note this:

“Early in February 1993, when he was 25, David was considering reporting Gerry Ridsdale to the police. David says he consulted family friend George Pell, who by then had become an auxiliary bishop in Melbourne. There is some dispute about who said what during this alleged conversation. David later claimed (in an interview published in “Outrage” magazine in April 1997) that Pell encouraged David to remain silent about the abuse but Pell denies doing this.”

I’m not inclined to give Georgie Boy the benefit of the doubt.

Frances Jones
9 years ago

Hi Ken,
Interesting to read your thoughts from both personal and legal perspectives. I think that growing up in the church and the thinking associated with it, complicates for a lot of people what is legally a black and white criminal matter.