Abuse survivor's fury at Bishop's comments CLERGY sexual abuse survivor Andrew Collins has called on Ballarat Diocese Bishop Paul Bird to resign after he refuted calls to remove plaques which include the name of disgraced bishop Ronald Mulkearns.
Mr Collins, who went to Rome last year to hear Cardinal George Pell's evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, called on the Vatican to remove Bishop Bird if he would not resign. Bishop Bird told The Standard it was important to accurately record historical events where the community had gathered to celebrate with Bishop Mulkearns. He said each school or church council had to make its own decision in regards to the removal of plaques and called on those making such decisions to also recognise the good work done by Bishop Mulkearns. Bishop Mulkearns, who died last year, was known as the "keeper of secrets" and headed the Ballarat Diocese while paedophile members of the clergy abused children. Mr Collins, who was sexually abused by numerous priests as a boy, said Bishop Bird's comments showed that he did not care. He may have done some good things, but they are well and truly overshadowed by the bad things that he did," he said. "He knew about the abusers and he moved those abusers all around. He didn't report them to the police. As far as we (abuse survivors) are concerned he essentially facilitated the rape and abuse of all those children. "There are so many people that have taken their own lives because of his actions. There are families that don't have sons, brothers, fathers because of him." In an emailed statement, Bishop Bird said: "I appreciate the wish of our school communities to show sensitivity to the ray ban 8301 feelings of victims of abuse. At the same time, I believe it is important to present history as fairly as possible. This means recording the good as well as the bad. "A plaque for the opening of a school building records an occasion when the bishop came to say a prayer and celebrate with the local community to mark the opening of the school. This was a good thing the bishop did. "The bishop's failings have been frequently recorded elsewhere. In my view, the record of something good he did also deserves to be kept intact, namely his visit to celebrate with a local community the opening of their school." Mr Collins said Bishop Bird's comments were insensitive to survivors. "The mere fact that survivors are saying 'this distresses me' should be enough for him to say 'you know what, we will do everything we can because of what the church has done to you, to try and make up for it'," he said. "For him to say that he won't remove or alter those plaques, it's just a slap in the face to survivors and it really does make us worried. If he's coming out as the Bishop of the Ballarat Diocese and he is saying this now while the Royal Commission is still going, what is the church going to be like after the Royal Commission is over?" Mr Collins called on Bishop Bird to stand down. "With everything that he has seen and heard at the Royal Commission hearings, he either real ray ban sunglasses doesn't get it or he just doesn't want to get ray ban prescription glasses it," Mr Collins said. "If he won't stand down, I would call upon the Vatican to remove him, because it really is just so insensitive, in one of the dioceses that is one shop ray ban of the worst in the world in the numbers of victims, this man is not the right man to have here." Mr Collins said there had been "absolute outrage" at Bishop Bird's comments on the Ballarat So Sad Facebook page, which supports survivors of clergy and institutionalised childhood sexual abuse across Australia and worldwide.
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