Ballarat mental health campaigner Clare Linane has filmed a powerful, emotional response to an article today which talked of organised clerical offending in the city.
Ms Linane, the wife of child sexual abuse survivor Peter Blenkiron, wrote an open letter response to the Herald Sun writer Andrew Bolt, after he published a column casting doubt on the guilty verdict of Cardinal George Pell. The post has probably now been read by more than a million people.
In an introduction to her latest video post today, she wrote: So many people have commented on how rational, dignified and evidence based my Bolt response was.
In the interests of authenticity, I want to share with you the other side of me.
In the video, she refers at length to a sentence that appeared in an article in The Age on Thursday, that the Church knew Pell was at the centre of sex abuse claims dating back decades.
Helen Last, the counsellor hired by the Catholic Church in Melbourne to assist victims of clerical abuse, is reporting as saying:
It was alleged to me early that Pell was among a group of offenders from Ballarat to Melbourne. They were part of the Ballarat organised clerical offending, which extended down to Laverton and around Melbourne.
In her video post, Ms Linane wrote:
I am so desensitised to this issue now that articles rarely get to me. But today, this sentence just set off a landslide of emotion.
Please note this was not planned or scripted. This is my personal view only, not a legal view.
This is the raw, emotional side of this tragedy. If tears and raw emotion makes you uncomfortable, please dont watch. I dont want to trigger anyone.
Please share if you think it will help us help our beautiful Ballarat community.
Watch Clare's powerful video here.
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.