Voices that need to be heard
Bishop Paul Bird has not been asked to fund the establishment of another hospital in Ballarat, and for him to suggest so is disingenuous.
He has been asked to match the financial contribution to a holistic Wellness Centre with the amount paid by the diocese of Ballarat for legal fees defending paedophile clerics and fighting each and every claim for compensation made by people who are suffering from the physical, psychological and spiritual damage caused by predatory priests.
The bishop has failed to open his eyes and ears to learn the lessons of the Royal Commission, particularly about the need for honesty, transparency and accountability.
He has failed to disclose the sum paid to legal firms to defend the Church and its personnel.
The offer of the $2,143,986.88 from Bishop Mulkearns’ estate would be a good start, and a clear symbol of the much-needed acceptance of culpability that to date has not been shown by the church hierarchy.
For Bishop Bird to suggest that St John of God Hospital and Centrecare can meet the needs of those many Catholics who are suffering the blackness of despair resulting from having their souls battered and their hearts shattered through the realisation that the faith and religion that was a fundamental part of their identity throughout their lives has caused such irreparable damage in the name of God, is evidence of his callous and wilful blindness to the extent of the harm that has been done.
Spiritual abuse is not something that St John of God’s is equipped to treat.
The hospital does treat the survivors and family members who arrive in the back of an ambulance when the pills, the rope, the knife or the bullet fails to stop the relentless anguish of despair.
It is just that medical intervention that the establishment of a well-resourced Wellness Centre will aim to avoid.
Bishop Bird has yet to feel and hear the force of the white hot rage that is building amongst those who feel betrayed, but it is coming.
The women of the church who have been kept in their place and silenced by the misogyny of Catholic doctrine are slowly rising to their feet.
When they find their voices, they will not be silenced.
The prayers, platitudes and denials of the clergy will only ensure that the Catholic Church continues to slide into irrelevance in Australia.
The coloured ribbons that flutter in the wind on the Cathedral fence signify that it will never again be business as usual.
Denise Rieniets, Adelaide.
I was abused from my fourth birthday until the death of my abuser when I was eleven years old.
I told not one soul until I was fifty one years old.
That was when I moved into a house I rebuilt from a dank, dark dump.
Thank you Clare Linane for explaining so very well that abuse survivors don’t talk about what has happened to them for a very long time, if at all.
Your husband is fortunate to have you by his side.
Andrew Bolt, Tony Abbott, John Howard are ignorant, nuisances who need to shut up and step aside.
Ruby Keeler, Lilyfield, NSW
How refreshing to read the council is greening the outer suburbs.
The old and beautiful canopy which shelters the inner city area is a major contribution to the city’s appeal.
So why would someone enter a private property to drill holes in the trunk and roots of a large and magnificent tree and poison it?
Jean Burt, Wendouree.
Urban Forest Plan is Welcome
The Ballarat council is to be applauded for its Urban Forest plan to more than double the tree canopy of Ballarat.
This is much more than simply beautifying our City.
The agenda papers noted some benefits of trees - particularly the reduction in heat stress.
Many studies have shown that street trees produce significant social impacts by improving human health, reducing crime, increasing community interaction and boosting property values.
They also provide benefits such as energy conservation, stormwater reduction and improved air quality.
Street trees act as visual and physical barriers between motorists and pedestrians and also help motorists assess their speed.
Street trees can be particularly effective at capturing airborne pollutants and by removing carbon dioxide from the air by photosynthesis, trees act as carbon sinks reducing the greenhouse effect.
Street trees provide energy savings through their shading and cooling effects in summer and the wind-chill protection they offer in winter.
The value of trees has also been observed in house prices with one study showing prices to be up to 30% higher in streets with mature street trees.
I hope council will now commit sufficient funding to achieve the goal they have adopted.
Stuart Kelly, Ballarat West.
The Federal Government has been busy doing everything it can to bamboozle the Australian public on climate change. It’s been falsely claiming it has a plan to tackle climate change and that Australia will meet its 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target “in a canter”.
This is despite the most up-to-date emissions data being released last week which confirmed that Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution levels have now risen for several years running.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor has even been out in the media claiming that our emissions are going down, despite federal government data (for the year to September 2018) showing the opposite.
It’s completely unacceptable for our leaders to peddle myths and misinformation in an attempt to fool the Australian public and derail real climate progress.
An urgent intervention to stop misinformation being spread is required.
We’ve assembled 28 of the country’s leading climate and energy experts – including climate scientists, academics and former heads of energy companies, who have over 600 years of collective experience – to sign a joint statement. It stresses that without further action, Australia will not meet its 2030 pollution reduction target.
And this is where you come in. We need as many people to see this statement as possible to make sure they’re not hoodwinked by the Federal Government’s misinformation.
Bev Woodburn, Sebastopol.
From Saturday March 16, men will commit gun violence causing injury, maiming and death to thousands of defenceless, innocent and beautiful water birds.
Violent acts perpetrated in the name of fun and at the expense of our wildlife should not be acceptable in this day and age. This is animal cruelty and inhumanity which inflicts immense suffering on its victims. In their capacity to feel pain and suffering, these animals are the same as us.
It is time the Andrews Government took the kind, compassionate and socially aware decision to end this barbaric slaughter of our native water birds.
Bryn Hills, Alfredton.