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උගත් පාඩම් හා ප්‍රතිසන්ධාන කොමිෂන් සභා වාර්තාව (අවසන් කොටස) සදහා සිහළ බොදු පිළිතුරක්

උගත් පාඩම් හා ප්‍රතිසන්ධාන කොමිෂන් සභා වාර්තාව (අවසන් කොටස) සදහා සිහළ බොදු පිළිතුරක්

ලබාදීමෙන් සටහන් කොට ඇති නිර්දේශ ස්වල්පයක් පහතින් උපුටා දක්වා ඇත. ක්‍රමක් ක්‍රමයෙන් හිණ වී යන සිංහල අයිතිවාසිකම් සහා බොදු උන්නතිය දෙස බැලීමට කාලය පැමිණ ඇතිබව මෙහිලාම තරයේ ප්‍රකාශ කරමු.

පහලින් ඇති යොමුවෙන් සම්පුර්ණ පිළිතුර කියවා ගන්න. අදහස් උදහස් ඇත්නම් අප වෙත ලියාදන්වන ලෙස කරුණාවෙන් දැනුම් දෙමු.

පාලිත ආරියරත්න,ප්‍රචාරක ලේකම්, ජාතික බෞද්ධ බලවේගය:

  1. උතුරු නැගෙනහිර තිබෙන හමුදා මුලස්ථාන දැනට පවතින ස්ථානවලම පවත්වා ගැනීම(පසු බිමට නොයාම )
  2. සිංහල ජනයා උතුරේ පදිංචි කරවීම
  3. සිංහල මහා ජනතාවගේ සුදුසු කම් අණුව තම මවු භූමියේම රැකියා කිරීමට වැඩි අවස්ථා ලබාදීම
  4. මුලික මිනිස් අයිතිවාසිකම් නිත්‍යයානුකුලව නොවිමසා පුරවැසියනට පමණක් ඇති අයිතිවාසිකම් ‘කෙනෙකුට’ ,පිටරටියෙකුට’ ,’තාවකාලික පුරවැසියෙකුට’ , හෝ හොර පදිංචි කරුවෙකුට ලබාදීම විමසා බැලීම
  5. සිංහලයාගේ උතුරු නැගෙනහිර මුල් පදිංචිය තහාවුරු කිරීම
  6. යුද්ධය නිමා කරගැනීමට සැමදා දායක වන්නේ (99.9%) සිංහල බොදුනුවන් බැවින් ඔවුන්ව ජාතික,ආගමික,සංස්කෘතිමය හා ආර්ථිකමය වසයෙන් සුරක්ෂිත කොට තම ජාතියේ අභිමානය ආරක්ෂා කරදීමට විශේෂ වැඩපිළිවෙලවල් රජය මගින් දියත් කිරීම හා ඉදිරියේදීත් ලෝකය තුල (රට තුල) යුධයක් පැතිර ගියහොත් නැවත එම යුද්ධය නතර කරගැනීමට ජිවිත පුජා කරන්නේ සිහල බොදුනුවන් බැවින් ස්ථිර වශයෙන්ම ඔවුන්ව ජාතිකව,ආගමිකව,සුරක්ෂිත කොට, පෝෂණය කොට ආරක්ෂා කිරීම
  7. මුස්ලිම් හා දෙමළ පදිංචිය ලංකාවේ සිදුවූ ආකාරය හදුන්වා දීම, ඔවුන්ව දැනුවත් කිරීම හා ඔවුන්ගේ අයිතිවාසිකම් කෙරෙහි ඇති දැඩි අපේක්ෂාව නිවැරදි නොවන බව හා සිහළ බොදුණුවන්ගේ විස්වාශය හා අනුකම්පාව දිනාගැනීමෙන් ලබාදුන්, ලබාගත්, පදිංචිය නිවැරදි ආකාරයට පාවිචි කරන ලෙස අවධාරණය කිරීම
  8. ඉංග්‍රීසින් විසින් බලහත් කාරයෙන් (සිංහලයගේ අකමැත්ත තිබියදී ) පදිංචි කරවූ ජනයාටද හොදින්ම සලකන ලෝකයේ තිබෙන එකම රට අපරට පවා හදුන්වා දීම
  9. විජාතික නොරටුන්ගේ ආගමික, ජාතික,සාශනික හා දේශපාලනමය කටයුතුවලට පවා කාලය, ධනය, ශ්‍රමය,සම්පත්,භුමිය වැයකරන ලෝකයේ තිබෙන එකම රට අපරට බව තරයේ ප්‍රකාශ කිරීම
  10. ව්‍යස්‌ථාවේන්ම සහතික වන සිහළ බොදු අයිතීන් වඩ වඩාත් සුරක්ෂිත කිරීම ට විදේශක ජනයා ඇතුළුව, අනන්‍යආගමික, අන්‍යය ජාතික මැති සාභා, නිලධාරී මණ්ඩල,සිවිල් මණ්ඩල, පවා කටයුතු කිරීමට පෙලබිය යුතුබව අවධාරණය කිරීම
  11. මුස්ලිම් හා දෙමළ ජනයාගේ පදිංචිය කළමණා කාරිත්වයක් ලක්කිරීම
  12. සුළු ජනයාගෙන් නිතිය ට වන බලපෑම් අවම කිරීම
  13. බලය බෙදා නොදීම හා සක්‍රිය ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍ර වාදයක් පවත්වා ගැනීම
  14. එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. සමාජිකයන් සියල්ලන්ම නිදහස් කොට නිවහල් නොකිරීම හා බරපතල අපරාධ කරුවන් තවදුරත්,ඉදිරියටත් රැදවියන් වශයෙන් තබාගැනීම
  15. සමගිය හා එක මුතු බව පවත්වා ගැනීමට(විදේශ වැසියන් හා සිංහල අප අතර) අනිවාර්යෙන්ම තමන්ට අයත් සම්පත් හා බලය කෙරෙහි ඇති මුලික අයිති වාසිකම් සිමා සහිත බව විදේශ වැසියන් හට අවධාරණය කිරීම
  16. සිංහල භාෂාව පෝෂණය කිරීම,ආරක්ෂා කිරීම හාප්‍රමුකස්ථානයක් ලබාදීම
  17. බුද්ධ ආගමට ප්‍රමුකස්ථානය ලබාදීම හා අනන්‍ය ලබ්දීන් සමග සමාන නොකිරීම
  18. ද්විත්ව පාඨ ශාලා වෙනුවට  පන්සල් පාඨ ශාලා භිහි කිරීම
  19. සිංහල බෞද්ධ යාගේ සාමාජිය අවශ   තාවයන් සපුරා ලීමේදී භික්ෂුත්වයට පළමු තැන ලබාදීම
  20. රටේ ආර්ථිකයට හා භුමි ප්‍රමාණයට  ගැලපෙන ආගමන විගමන නීතිරීති සකස් කිරීම හා විදේශ වැසියන් මත පටවන බදුමුදල් මගින් රාජ්ජ්‍ය ආදායම වැඩිකර ගැනීම
  21. තේස වලාමේ නිතිය හා මුස්ලිම් විවාහ නිතිය ප්‍රති සංසෝධනය කිරීම
  22. ඩයස් පෝරාව යන වචනය කොමිසම විසින් දුන් සමහර නිර්නායකයන් තුල ඇතුලත් වී ඇති බැවින් හා නැති දෙමළ රාජ්ජ්‍ය සංකල්පයක් තිබු හෝ ඇති ආකාරයෙන් ‘ඩයස්පෝරාව’ යන වචනය තුලින් මතුවීම තුලින් එය නිවැරදි සහගත නොවන නිසා කොමිසමේ සියලුම අංග හා නිර්ණායකයන් නිවැරදි නොවන බව ප්‍රකශ කිරීම

A Sinhala Buddhist Reply to the lessons learnt and reconciliation commission (Last Chapter)

මෙතනින් කියවාගන්න(ක්ලික් කරන්න)click here:

www.brllrc.wordpress.com

ථෙරවාද බෞද්ධ ග්‍රන්ථ එකතුව

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Repression of Buddhism in Sri Lanka by the Portuguese (1505 – 1658) By Senaka Weeraratna (June 12, 2005)

ACSLU Essays on Unethical Conversion

Repression of Buddhism in Sri Lanka
by the Portuguese (1505 – 1658)

By Senaka Weeraratna (June 12, 2005)

This essay is based on research and examination of the writings of eminent
historians and commentators, including both Portuguese and Sri Lankan, and
Sinhalese historical chronicles such as the Cūlavamsa and Rājāvaliya.

1. Preface

All three western colonial powers namely the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British that governed Sri Lanka in varying degrees during the period 1505 – 1948, had as the cornerstone of their imperial policy the conversion of the Sinhala Buddhists and the Tamil Hindus into Christianity. This enterprise had the blessings of the highest strata of people of the imperial countries including the Crown, the State and the Church. The avowed political objective in converting the colonized was to transfer their allegiance from the local sovereign to the foreign sovereign, and alienate the converted from identification with their traditional religion, culture, language and sense of self-determination. This diabolical plan invariably required the use of manipulative methods of conversion e.g. force, fraud and allurement, and the repression of indigenous religions i.e. Buddhism and Hinduism, by both overt and covert means.

CONTENTS

  1. Preface
  2. The first phase of western colonialism
  3. Crown patronage of missionary activity
  4. The dark age in Sri Lanka’s history
  5. Methods employed for conversion
  6. The introduction of Christianity to Sri Lanka
  7. Four Missionary Orders
  8. Deceitful strategies in proselytizing Tamil Hindus
  9. Mass conversions
  10. Destruction and plunder of Buddhist Temples
  11. Missionary accompaniment of troops
  12. Execution of Buddhist Monks
  13. Inducements to convert
  14. Bequeathing of the Kingdom of Kotte to the Portuguese Crown
  15. Conversion of Prince Vijaya Pala
  16. Claims for compensation
  17. Conclusion
As this subject is vast and given the constraints of space this paper will examine as illustrative of Western colonial policy on religion, some aspects of the measures adopted during the first phase of Western Colonialism in Sri Lanka i.e. the Portuguese period (1505 – 1658), to forbid the practice of Buddhism in territories under Portuguese control. This paper will make reference to repressive proclamations, decrees and laws enacted by the Portuguese Crown, the Vice-roy at Goa, the Ecclesiastical Council at Goa, the Kingdom of Kotte ruled by Don Juan Dharmapala under the protection of the Portuguese, and the Portuguese authorities in Sri Lanka both before and after claiming title to the Kingdom of Kotte after the death of Don Juan Dharmapala in 1597, and cite as examples various instances of acts of persecution, discrimination, and destruction of places of worship of the Buddhists. The strategies adopted by foreign missionaries to propagate Christianity including extensive use of inducements to entice conversion from Buddhism to Christianity will also be explored.

An underlying theme of this paper is cognizance of the irony that some of the Western countries that champion human rights in the modern era and lecture on religious liberty to descendants of the persecuted victims in the Third World, are the very same countries that had in the past systematically violated the human rights of the colonised in non-Christian societies. In particular the latter’s inalienable rights to freedom of religious worship. At the end of this essay the question is raised whether Sri Lanka has a tenable claim for a public apology, reparations and compensation from the Western colonial powers, particularly Portugal, for crimes against humanity such as mass murder, war crimes, religious and ethnic cleansing, the theft of cultural artifacts, forcible conversion, large – scale destruction and plunder of Buddhist and Hindu Temples and seats of higher learning in the country. It is hoped that the examination of these issues would contribute in some meaningful way to the anticipated public discussion on ‘ Portugal’s role as a colonial power in Sri Lanka ‘ that is likely to be held in year 2005 to mark the 500th anniversary (1505 – 2005) of the arrival of the Portuguese at Colombo.

2. The First Phase of Western Colonialism -The Portuguese Period (1505 -1658)

The European entry into Asia, commencing with the Portuguese in the 16th century, was driven by two principal factors, namely the aim of colonising Asian countries for purpose of trade and exploitation of natural resources, and converting the inhabitants of these lands to Christianity The Portuguese had as one of its primary aims the propagation of the Christian faith in the newly ‘discovered’ lands of Asia, including Sri Lanka (called ‘ Ceilao’ by the Portuguese) and the realisation of this aim was accompanied by steps taken to suppress wherever possible all other religions extant in these lands namely Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam.

3. Crown Patronage of missionary activity in the East

The Portuguese authority to spread Christianity in the East was derived from the Papal Bulls issued by the Popes namely Calixtus III, Nicholas V, Alexander V1 and the Pope’s Treaty of Tordesillas (in 1492), which divided the newly ‘ discovered’ lands between Spain and Portugal, and imposed on the rulers of these countries the duty of propagating the Christian faith. The Western part of the world was allocated to Spain and the Eastern part to Portugal.

To the Portuguese the Christianisation of newly ‘ discovered ‘ lands was a State objective. The Portuguese Crown maintained the entire ecclesiastical establishment in the East. The Doctrine of Padroado (jus patrionatus established by the Papal Bulls of 1514) provided the authority for missionary work to be in the hands of the Portuguese Crown in areas where Portugal claimed political rights. The noted historian C. R. Boxer says ” The conviction that Portugal was the missionary nation above all the others in the Western World – Alferes da Fe, ‘ standard bearer of the faith’ as the poet – playwright Gil Vicente boasted – was widespread and deeply rooted among all classes”.

Further Royal dispatches addressed to Vice-roys, Governors and Bishops began with these words (or words to that effect) in the opening sentence ” Forasmuch as the first and principal obligation of the Kings of Portugal is to forward the work of conversion by all means in their power ” (2)

The Padroado has been loosely defined as a combination of the rights, privileges and duties granted by the Papacy to the Crown of Portugal as patron of the Roman Catholic missions and ecclesiastical establishments in the regions of Africa, Asia and Brazil. (3) The Padroado Real or Royal patronage of the Church overseas was one of the most cherished prerogatives of the Portuguese Crown. It was to become the cause of bitter disputes between Portuguese missionaries and other Roman Catholic powers. (4)

Diogo do Couto, the Portuguese Soldier cum Chronicler says in his sixth book ‘ Decada’ (1612) that ” The Kings of Portugal always aimed in this conquest of the East at so uniting the two powers, spiritual and temporal, that the one should never be exercised without the other ” (5) Father Paulo de Trindade, the Franciscan Chronicler, writing in his ‘ Spiritual Conquest of the East’ at Goa in 1638, says ‘ The two swords of the civil and the ecclesiastical power were always so close together in the conquest of the East that we seldom find one being used without the other: for the weapons only conquered through the right that the preaching of the Gospel gave them, and the preaching was only of some use when it was accompanied and protected by the weapons” (6)

It is in the exercise of the Padroado Real that we see the close collaboration between the Church and the State in the promotion of Christian missionary activity in conquered lands. An important component of this relationship was the doctrinal position of the Papacy, which was vigourously upheld by the Church that ‘ temporal possessions were occupied unlawfully by the infidels’ in conquered lands and that these ‘ should be allotted among the faithful’.(7) There was an inter-locking policy of temporal and spiritual objectives where benefits flowed to both the Vatican and Portugal.

4. The Dark Age in Sri Lanka’s History

The propagation of Christianity commenced with the arrival of the Portuguese in Colombo in 1505, in a fleet of ships commanded by a young sailor named Don Lourenco de Almeida, son of the first Portuguese Viceroy of India. Father S.G. Perera in his book ‘ A History of Ceylon for Schools ‘ divides the Portuguese presence in the island as falling into three distinct stages (8):

a) Portuguese – Sinhalese alliance (1505 – 1551)
b) Portuguese Protectorate of Kotte (1551 – 1597)
c) Portuguese Domination (1597 – 1658)

Learned Historians and commentators now generally regard the arrival of the Portuguese in the year 1505 as the beginning of the Dark Age in the history of Sri Lanka. The Portuguese through a policy of cunning statecraft and ruthless terror were able to govern the coastal areas of the island for most of the next 150 years, until the Dutch replaced them in 1658.

. The Rajavaliya describes the entry of the Portuguese to Sri Lanka thus:- “There is in our harbour of Colombo a race of people, fair of skin and comely withal. They don jackets and hats of iron, rest not a minute in one place but walk here and there. They eat hunks of stone and drink blood.” (9)

Several noted historians and commentators have expressed their indignation over the methods employed by the Portuguese during their period of dominance in the following words:

Sir James Emerson Tennent refers to the Portuguese conduct in Sri Lanka in these terms-

“There is no page in the story of European colonisation more gloomy and repulsive than that which recounts the proceedings of the Portuguese in Ceylon. Astonished at the magnitude of their enterprises, and the glory of their discoveries and conquests in India, the rapidity and success of which secured for Portugal an unprecedented renown, we are ill-prepared to hear of the rapacity, bigotry and cruelty which characterised every stage of their progress in the East. They appeared in the Indian seas in the three-fold character of merchants, missionaries and pirates. Their ostensible motto was amity, commerce and religion. Their expeditions consisted of soldiers as well as adventurers, and included friars and chaplain majors. Their instructions were to begin by preaching, but, that failing, to proceed to the decision of the sword.” (10)

 

The historian Paul E. Peiris observes: ” They found in Ceylon a contented race, and a fairly prosperous country .. and it is melancholy to reflect that they succeeded in producing nothing but chaos. Out of a long list of high – born Hidalgos whom Portugal sent to Ceylon, it is difficult to point to one name as that of an enlightened statesman and high – principled administrator. No stately fabric remains as compensating for that religious fanaticism to which ample witness is borne by the devastated ruins of those lovely structures which the piety of generations had strewn broadcast over the country Their bequest to the Dutch was a colony of half -castes, a failing agriculture, a depopulated country, and a miserable and ill – conditioned people They had in Ceylon an opportunity almost unique in the experience of European nations in the East, but their moral fibre had proved unequal to the occasion”.(11)

G.P. Malalasekera in his Ph.D. dissertation which was later published as a book under the title ‘ The Pali Literature of Ceylon’ makes the following comment in lucid language on the high handed methods employed by the Portuguese in pursuit of their colonial objectives which included conversion of the people of the country into Christianity and the concomitant repression of Buddhism:

,

“Every stage of their progress was marked by a rapacity, bigotry, cruelty and inhumanity unparalleled in the annals of any other European colonial power. Their ferocity and their utter indifference of all suffering increased with the success of their army; their inhuman barbarities were accompanied by callousness which knew no distinction between man, woman and child; no feeling of compassion was strong enough to stay their savage hands in their fell work. To terrify their subjects and bring home to them the might of the Portuguese Power, they committed atrocities which had they not been found recorded in the decads of their friendly historians, seems too revolting to be true. Babes were spitted on the soldier’s pikes and held up that their parents might hear the young cocks crow. Sometimes they were mashed to pulp between millstones, while their mothers were compelled to witness the pitiful sight before they themselves were tortured to death. Men were thrown over bridges for the amusement of the troops to feed the crocodiles in the river, which eventually grew so tame that at whistle they would raise their heads above the water in anticipation of the welcome feast.” (12)

5. Methods employed for conversion and suppression of non-Christian religions

The Portuguese used a number of methods in their pursuit to convert people to Christianity and suppress non – Christian religions prevailing in territories under their control. They can be distinguished as follows:

(i) Carrot and Stick Policy

The Portuguese used a carrot and stick policy in converting people living in the immediate vicinity of Portuguese strongholds particularly along the West Coast of India and in the lowlands of Sri Lanka.(13)

ii) Enactment of harsh and oppressive laws

The Portuguese lawmakers enacted a large number of harsh and oppressive laws with the aim of putting a stop to the public practice of non – Christian religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam in territories controlled by the Portuguese. These laws were followed by a number of other decrees designed to favour converts to Christianity with Portuguese patronage. The Ecclesiastical Councils at Goa laid down rules for missionary work and these rules had a significant bearing on the conduct of Christian missionary work in Sri Lanka, particularly after 1567. The pioneer Ecclesiastical Council of 1567 in adopting a series of decisions were guided by three main considerations, namely:

a) All religions other than orthodox Roman Catholicism were intrinsically wrong and harmful in themselves. b) The Crown of Portugal had a fundamental duty to spread the Christian faith and the power of the State must be utilized to support the work of the Catholic Church c) Conversion of non-Christians into Christianity must not be made by force, for nobody comes to Christ by faith unless he is drawn by the love of God. (14)

The third consideration stated above on non -use of force was negated by several other decisions of the Council which had the sanction of law by virtue of promulgation of a Vice -regal decree at Goa in December 1567. This decree enacted among other things the following decisions of the Ecclesiastical Council: (15)

    .

  • All heathen places of worship in Portuguese controlled areas should be demolished .
  • All non -Christian clergy, teachers and holy men must be expelled .
  • All their sacred texts such as the Koran should be seized and destroyed where ever found .
  • Buddhists and Hindus must be prohibited from visiting their respective temples in the neighbouring provinces under the control of other rulers .
  • The transit passage of Asian pilgrims to these places of worship must be prohibited .
  • The celebration of non – Christian weddings and religious processions must strictly forbidden ..
  • Conversions from either Islam to Buddhism to Hinduism, and vice – versa were not allowed but the conversion to Christianity from other religions should be permitted and encouraged .
  • Every married man should be required to practise monogamy irrespective of his religion ..
  • Non – Christian orphans should be required to be handed over to Christian guardians or foster parents and then baptized by Catholic priests .
  • Christians should be forbidden to live together or lodge with non – Christians (16)

2 In addition the Portuguese authorities are held as responsible for the following repressive practices, which if adopted today would, tantamount to explicit violation of human rights and cultural genocide:

    .

  • In Goa nominal rolls were made of Hindu families and they were forced in groups of fifty to visit local churches and convents and listen to Christian sermons on alternate Sundays (17) .
  • Fines were imposed on a sharply escalating scale on those who made attempts to keep away from complying with these obligations (18) .
  • There was official and legal discrimination against non -Christians who were denied public employment. On the other hand public offices and remunerative posts were reserved for Christian converts only and where there was no such reservation the latter group was favoured (19) ..
  • Buddhist Temples, Hindu Kovils and Muslim Mosques were systematically destroyed by the Portuguese conquistadors and Roman Catholic churches were built on or near the sites of such destruction ..
  • Income drawn from the lands belonging to Buddhist Temples, Hindu Kovils etc. were channeled to support and maintain Roman Catholic Churches and missionary educational institutions.

The penal laws against the public practice of Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam which, were enacted after 1540 in some of Portugal’s eastern possessions were inspired by laws that had been adopted in European countries against the practice of what the then European rulers considered as ‘heretical’ or ‘subversive’ forms of Christianity(20). For example the treatment of the Roman Catholics in England during the period of the Reformation, the exclusion of Jews from public life in many parts of Europe (21), and the torture and burning at the stake of ‘ witches’ were based on such penal laws enacted during the period of the Christian Inquisition.

C.R. Boxer observes: ” It is obvious that these discriminatory and coercive measures, if they did not actually force people to become Christians at the point of the sword, made it very difficult for them to do anything else. Deprived of their priests, teachers, holy men, sacred books and public places of worship, not to mention the free exercise of their respective cults, it was confidently expected by the legislators of 1567 that ‘ the false heathen and Moorish religions’ would wither and die on territory controlled by the Portuguese Crown” (22)

However it must be noted that the application of these laws in Portuguese controlled territories varied significantly according to the time, place and circumstances and more importantly according to the disposition of the arch bishops, vice-roys and Captain – Generals (in Sri Lanka) whose decision making powers were immense(23).

It must be further stated that the great abuses that took place in almost all of the Portuguese overseas mission – fields, including the use of force and farcical baptism of ignorant converts, did not proceed unnoticed and without a protest by some members of the Catholic Clergy living in Portugal. C.R. Boxer refers to a petition to the Portuguese Crown drawn up at Lisbon in February 1567 by the Bishops of Ceuta, Lisbon, Tangier, Angra, Portalegre, Lamego and the Algarve protesting against the use of unsavoury methods by Portuguese missionaries overseas (24). Boxer then adds that it was unlikely that seven leading Portuguese prelates would have made such grave allegations unless they were quite certain of their facts (25).

iii) Strategic conversions

The Portuguese missionaries were aware that some of the methods employed to convert Buddhists and Hindus into Christianity were dubious and indefensible. But nevertheless they still persisted with rough and ready methods of conversion in the knowledge that though the first generation of converts were likely to be superficial Christians, their descendants would become devout Christians in due course of time. The Bishop of Dume, the pioneer prelate of Goa, was aware of these outcomes and he is reported to have said in 1561 that those who remained inside Portuguese territory and accepted baptism rather than be expelled for refusing to become Christians could hardly be expected to become good Christians ‘ yet their children will become so ‘ (26).

C.R. Boxer comments ‘ This is, in fact, exactly what happened ‘ and he compares this position to a similar situation that occurred in Europe where the descendants of the Saxons, Teutons and Slavs, who in many instances were forcibly converted to Christianity, later became ardent Christians (27).

iv) The Ruler and the Ruled must be of the same faith

Both the Catholics and Protestants in Europe readily accepted the principle that the Ruler and the Ruled should belong to the same faith, which is expressed in Latin as follows: ‘ cujus regio illius religio ‘ (28).

Conversion was no longer a question of faith. The conversion of kings was sought because their subjects were expected to follow as a matter of course. The Portuguese wrote to their King in Lisbon as follows: “If the King became a Christian, that would be sufficient for all to become the same: this your Lordship can take as certain, for such is the nature of this people” (29)

The Portuguese missionaries in Sri Lanka launched a concerted campaign to achieve this result when they forced the grandson (Dharmapala) of King Bhuvenaka Bahu to renounce his Buddhist faith and adopt Roman Catholicism as his religion.

The noted historian P. E. Pieris observes that ” The King’s change of religion was a grave political blunder: the social organisation of his people was based on Buddhism, and his defection could not fail to estrange them from him, the more so when the revenues of their most venerated shrines were being diverted towards Christian propaganda. It was not long before the Portuguese priests guided his counsels, Portuguese officers controlled his army, and Portuguese names were the fashion at Court. ” (30)

v) Forcible conversion of orphans

The use of force was permitted in a series of royal and vice – regal decrees in respect to the conversion of Hindu orphans in Goa and Bacalm in India. Legislation enacted both at Lisbon and Goa specifically authorized the use of force in removing orphans from the custody of their relatives, guardians, or friends. They were then taken to the College of Sao Paulo of the Company of Jesus in Goa and baptized, educated and catechized by the Fathers of the College (31).

It is quite possible that similar measures were adopted in respect to Buddhist and Hindu orphans living in Portuguese controlled territories of Sri Lanka.

vi) Gun Boat Policy

The Portuguese used force or the threat of the use of force as a tool in their conversion policy. The writings of Jesuit priests who served in Catholic missions in various parts of Portuguese controlled territories in Asia substantiate the adoption of this practice.

Padre Alexandre Valignano, a well – known Jesuit priest who organized the Jesuit mission in Asia, observes that some of the indigenous people in the East were incapable and primitive in respect to matters concerning God, and consequently reasoning would not make an impression as force (32). He laments that it would be difficult to establish Christian communities ‘ among the Niggers’ and more difficult to preserve such communities except in areas under Portuguese Rule, or in regions where the Portuguese power could be extended such as the sea coast through the use of the Portuguese naval fleet that can ‘ cruise up and down, dealing out favours and punishments according to what the people there deserve’ (33)

Padre Alexandre Valignano adds that the striking success of the missionary work of Francis Xavier on the Fishery Coast was primarily due to the deliberate mixture of threats and blandishments (34) The Portuguese fleet lying off shore had the capacity to deprive people of their fishing and sea borne trade and using this power Xavier influenced a large number of people living in coastal areas to embrace Christianity (35).

C.R. Boxer observes that ‘ gun boat ‘ policy methods were widely prevalent among the Portuguese missionaries in the East and adds that the term ‘ Christian militant’ was no figure of speech (36)

vii) Exploiting Buddhist injunctions against taking away of animal life

The Portuguese were well aware of the Buddhist reverence for all forms of life and the strict injunctions against the taking away of any form of life including animals whatever the need. Kill and eat is not a Buddhist tenet. On the contrary Christianity takes the view that animals and plants were created by God for the benefit of humans and therefore man is free to kill animals and eat their flesh.

Christian missionaries in predominantly Buddhist and Hindu lands achieved their most notable successes among the fisher castes and classes. Those who engage in vocations involving the breeding of animals for slaughter as well as destruction of animals, which are considered as Wrong Livelihoods, attract deep – seated prejudice in conventional Buddhist and Hindu societies. The Portuguese missionaries exploited this position and converted a large mass of fisher folk, ‘who found acceptance and enhanced self – respect in Christianity (37).

viii) Similarities in outward manifestation of the Roman Catholic Church vis-a-vis Buddhism and Hinduism

The use of images, incense, rosaries, orders of monks and nuns, colourful ceremonies and Churches etc. created a superficial similarity in the outward manifestation of Roman Catholicism vis – a -vis Buddhism and Hinduism, and in turn these similarities also contributed towards making the transition from the indigenous religions to the Roman Catholic faith relatively more convenient (38) In contrast the austere practices of the Protestant religions failed to impress the mass of the common folk in territories under Dutch and later British control (39).

6. The Introduction of Christianity to Sri Lanka

The Portuguese landed in Colombo in 1505. Within a few years of their arrival they were able to establish permanent trading settlements and then indulge in a game of intrigue and blackmail with the various rulers and minor chiefs of the country. They harassed Bhuvenakabahu (King of Kotte from 1521 -1551) to a great degree and kept him in a state of dependence on both the military and sea power of the Portuguese. The Portuguese conspired with minor chiefs who owed allegiance to the King of Kotte and offered them various inducements to turn against the lawful sovereign of the country.

The Portuguese imperial agenda was to create discord in the country and then take maximum advantage of the situation for their benefit in terms of siphoning off wealth from Sri Lanka and converting Buddhists into Christianity, who then in their calculation would remain loyal to the Portuguese Crown rather than to the Sinhalese Kings of the land. The Portuguese period particularly from 1540 onwards witnessed a series of military conflicts in its most revolting form that left the maritime provinces of the country devastated and desolate.

Events moved in such a manner that Bhuvaneka Bahu was forced to rely totally on his foreign allies for his survival and that of his Kingdom. In 1543 Bhuvaneka Bahu desiring to make his grandson Dharmapala his successor dispatched a statue of his grandson made of ivory and gold and silver, and carrying on its head a jewelled crown studded with Lanka’s finest gems, to Lisbon, where a ceremony marking the coronation of the effigy by the Portuguese King Dom Joao III, was held.

The Portuguese exacted a heavy toll from the besieged royal house of Kotte. In return for this recognition of Dharmapala as heir to the Kingdom, the Portuguese demanded an open door to preach the Christian gospel anywhere in the dominion of the Sinhalese King. A party of Franciscan monks accompanied the envoys of Bhuvenakabahu on their return from Lisbon to Colombo in 1543. This group was led by friar Joao de Vila de Conde. They immediately set about their task of converting the Sinhalese. They brought undue influence on Dharmapala whom they had tutored in his youth, to renounce Buddhism, hitherto the State religion of Lanka and embrace Christianity. Dharmapala was baptized under the name Don Juan Periya Bandara and his Queen was baptized as Dona Catherina.

With the conversion of Dharmapala in 1557, members of the Sinhalese aristocracy followed suit. Dharmapala became a willing collaborator in the systematic repression of Buddhism. Such conduct generated hostility against Christianity. Rajavaliyarecords:-” King Bhuvaneka Bahu having foolishly lived on terms of close intimacy with the Portuguese entrusted to the King of Portugal the Prince (Dharmapala) whom he had brought up. On account of this foolish act the Portuguese brought harm on the King. It should be noted that the King Bhuvaneka Bahu was the cause of the injustice which his posterity had to suffer; and that the harm done to the cause of Buddhism after this was due to the action of this King.” (40)

Father Fernao de Queyroz, the famed Portuguese Historian says ‘ there were some who refused him ( Dharmapala ) allegiance holding it an insult to them that the heir to the Empire should follow Christ, and that it was harder than death to obey a Christian Prince. Dom Joao (Dharmapala) took little heed of this, punishing some and rewarding others and obliging many by his example to despise idols, and destroying the greater part of the pagodas ” (41).

Queyroz adds that Dharmapala soon after his conversion gave directions to his officials that all Buddhist Temple lands should be seized and diverted to the use of the seminaries and colleges run by the Franciscans (42). This step was taken most likely at the prompting of the Franciscans. There was a protest by Buddhist monks over this issue in front of the King’s Palace at Kotte, which led to the indiscriminate arrest of 30 Buddhist monks from a Temple in Kotte and their immediate execution under the orders of the Portuguese Captain – General. Professor Tennakoon Vimalananda comments ” Thus began the gradual destruction of Buddhism, the only organisation which existed for the spiritual and intellectual education of the people of Ceylon” (43)

7. Four Missionary Orders

The Portuguese era was marked by intense Roman Catholic missionary activity. The missionaries belonged to four different missionary orders – the Franciscans, the Jesuits, the Augustinians and the Dominicans. The Franciscans were the first to arrive (in 1543) and they had a monopoly of missionary activity for about fifty years. Father Paulo Trinidade, a Franciscan monk has left an account of his experiences in Ceylon, in a book written in 1638 called ‘ The Spiritual Conquest of the East’. The Jesuits arrived in 1602. The Augustinians and the Dominicans set foot in Colombo in the same year i.e. 1606. There was also another group of missionaries called the Capuchin monks – they constituted a branch of the Franciscan Order. Intense rivalry between these missionary orders led to demarcation of their spheres of activity by the Vice-roy at Goa pursuant to a request made by the King of Portugal in 1609 (44)

8. Deceitful strategies in proselytizing Tamil Hindus

The Roman Catholic Church divided the country into two main zones for the purpose of proselytizing, There was a marked difference in the methods adopted for missionary work as between different regions. In the north Roman Catholic clergy pretended to be Brahamins from the West. But in the south they employed a different strategy (45)

The Roman Catholic clergy used deceitful methods to convert the Hindus of the North. Tennent comments as follows: “They (Roman Catholic priests) assumed the character of Brahamans of a superior caste from the Western World; they took Hindu names, and conformed to the heathen customs of this haughty and exclusive race, producing, in support of their pretensions, a deed forged in ancient characters, to show that the Brahamans of Rome were of much older date than the Brahmans of India, and descended in an equally direct line from the Brahma himself.” ( 46)

“They composed a pretended Veda, in which they sought to institute the doctrines of Christianity in the language and phraseology of the sacred books of the Hindus. They wore orange coloured robes peculiar to the Saniasses. They hung a tiger’s skin from their shoulders, in imitation of Shiva, they performed the ablutions required by the Shastras; they carried on their foreheads the sacred spot of sandalwood powder; and in order to sustain their assumed character to the utmost, they affected to spurn the Pariahs and lower castes who lay no claim to the same divine origin with the Brahmins.” (47)

The Roman Catholic missionaries in employing methods such as e.g. pooja, processions, images, pilgrimages, holy water, feasts, fasts, prayers for the dead, dancers like the dancer in a Hindu Temple, that were utterly deceitful were impliedly indicating that they were prepared to go to any length however crooked the means adopted would be so long as their final objective could be achieved. Professor Tennakoon Vimalananda says that ‘” By a system of mingled deception and hypocrisy they enlisted followers from other faiths to the Roman Catholic Church” (48)

9. Mass Conversions

Many coastal communities in Sri Lanka underwent mass conversion, particularly in Jaffna, Mannar, and among the fishing communities living north of Colombo such as in Negombo and Chilaw. Roman Catholic churches with schools attached to them served Catholic communities all over the country. These schools also contributed to the spread of the Portuguese language particularly among the upper classes of society. The efforts of Roman Catholic clergy particularly the harsh methods adopted by them to convert Buddhists and reduce the influence of Buddhism among the public were viewed with great alarm by the Buddhist Sangha who had fled from Kotte to the Kingdoms of Sitavaka and Kandy, upon the conversion of Dharmapala and the seizure of Buddhist Temples.

But there was not much that the Sangha could do. The state of Buddhism and the political condition of the country were at low ebb. There were petty feuds and jealousies between the rulers of various principalities. There was no paramount figure that commanded the allegiance of the entire country. There were regular revolts and insurrections. Patriotic zeal for public welfare was severely lacking. It was a sad situation for the people and the country. These were ideal conditions for the Portuguese authorities to intervene with the help of the Roman Catholic Church and unleash an aggressive campaign of proselytization and repression of Buddhism.

Why did Buddhism collapse in Portuguese held territory without striking a single blow in self – defense? Ever since the advent of Arahant Mahinda in 3rd century B.C. there has been a close relationship between the Sinhalese monarchs and Buddhism. State patronage and heavy reliance on the State by the Sangha on every important matter including Sangha reform left no room for the development of independent and voluntary Buddhist organizations. The Sangha itself was amorphous(49) . Further there was no doctrinal or scriptural endorsement of self – defense or holy war as found in religions such as Islam or Christianity. Therefore when State patronage was removed and later the State became an instrument of terror, the collapse of Buddhism as a public religion in Kotte was inevitable (50).

The other important reason is that the competitor for the religious allegiance of the Buddhists, namely the Roman Catholic Church had the full backing of the economic strength of the State and military and sea power of the Portuguese (51). The campaign against Buddhism had the involvement of three principal agencies namely (1) The Roman Catholic Emperor of Portugal (2) His Viceroy at Goa and (3) The Roman Catholic priests in Sri Lanka (52) Dr Tennakoon Vimalananda says: ” They were all united in the effort completely to destroy Buddhism in our country. As the Portuguese were in possession of the sea coast of Ceylon, the Buddhists could not communicate with any sympathetic power outside Ceylon for help at that hour. Thus the Roman Catholic Church in Ceylon embarked upon a campaign of destruction and bloodshed unopposed by any political power.”(53)

10. Destruction and Plunder of Buddhist Temples

The Portuguese ransacked and burnt all the Buddhist Temples, Hindu Kovils and Muslim Mosques in their areas of control. Today there hardly exists a Buddhist Temple over 150 years old in areas once ruled by the Portuguese, particularly in the maritime coast. The destruction of Buddhist Temples can be brought under four categories when examining the evidence (54): i) Implementation of the decisions of the Portuguese Crown, Vice-roy at Goa, and the Ecclesiastical Council at Goa ii) War strategy (to cause diversion of armies of the enemy by destruction) iii) Method of compensation for the soldiery without causing a drain on the Portuguese Treasury (war booty for the soldiers) iv) Excesses of the Portuguese Captain – General (e.g. Azavedo) and greed of the Roman Catholic Church for Temple Land. D.G.B. de Silva says that all these four factors had their interplay in Sri Lanka as in other lands under Portuguese control. Therefore it can be surmised that the ‘ policy ‘ was followed.(55)

The involvement of the Portuguese Crown in respect to the destruction of Buddhist temples and images of the Buddha, is best illustrated in a letter that Dom Joao III, the King of Portugal, who was a fanatical follower of the Christian gospel, wrote to his Viceroy in Goa in 1546. An excerpt of this letter reads as follows:

” We charge you to discover all idols by means of diligent officers, to reduce them to fragments and utterly to consume them, in whatever place they may be found, proclaiming rigorous penalties against such persons as shall dare to engrave, cast, sculpture, lime, paint or bring to light any figure in metals, bronze, wood, clay, or any other substance or shall introduce them from foreign parts, and against those who shall celebrate in public or in private any festivities which have any gentile taint, or shall abet them.” (56)

In respect to Christian converts, he added, “they should also be encouraged with some temporal favours, such as greatly mollify the hearts of those who receive them.” (57)

It must also be noted that the expedition undertaken by the Portuguese General Thome de Souza Arronches to destroy villages, ports, and temples lying in the southern coast during the siege of Colombo by Sitavaka Rajasinghe in 1587 -1588, took place two years after the direction given at the meeting of the Ecclesiastical Council at Goa in 1585 to the Portuguese authorities to destroy the idols and places of worship of the infidels.(58) Some of the great Buddhist and Hindu temples destroyed by the Portuguese include the ‘ thousand pillar’ temples in Devundara, and Trincomalee, Saman Devale in Ratnapura, Sunethra Devi Pirivena in Kotte, Vidagama Pirivena in Raigama, and the Wijebahu Pirivena in Totagamuwe (near Hikkaduwa), Temples at Nawagamuwa, Kelaniya, Mapitigama and Wattala. Some of these Temples were plundered.

In the past, Sri Lanka had faced invaders from South India who sacked the Buddhist Vihares in places like Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, but it was never their policy to build their religious edifices on the sites of destroyed Buddhist institutions. In contrast the Portuguese conquistadors in close collaboration with Roman Catholic Church, set in motion a ruthless policy of not only destroying the Buddhist Viharas and monasteries, but also using the materials collected from the destroyed sites to build their churches on the very sites, which once had the Buddhist Viharas. For example, the Roman Catholic Churches at Kalutara, Totagamuwa, Keragala, Wattala, etc., were built on the sites of Viharas.(59)

The Portuguese led by the Captain – General of Colombo, Diogo de Melo attacked and demolished completely the Kelaniya Temple, which was of inestimable value to the Buddhists. This happened in 1575. The villagers who resisted were either killed or thrown to the Kelani river and were drowned. In Kelaniya, a temple building known in classical literature as the Kitsiri Mevan Paya has disappeared without trace. It was part of the Kelaniya Mahavihara. The Portuguese built the Church of St. Anne at the site of the destroyed Temple.

According to oral traditions the Portuguese upon entering any village would systematically destroy the nerve centre i.e. the Buddhist Temple and then erect a Christian shrine in the village some of which were to develop later into big churches. The Portuguese put to the sword all those who resisted the destruction of the temples.

Queyroz in Book 4 (pages 714 – 719) of his monumental work ‘ The Temporal and Spiritual Conquest of Ceylon’ provides a comprehensive list of the Roman Catholic Churches built by the Portuguese and he identifies specifically (without a sense of shame or guilt) by name the various Churches (and the localities) that were built on the sites of destroyed Buddhist Vihares and monasteries(60) ( See Appendix for details of this list )

In addition the villages granted to these Temples for the maintenance of the Sangha were removed and re-assigned for the maintenance of Catholic Churches some of which were built on the very sites that earlier had Buddhist Temples. By 1600 this campaign of destruction which had lasted for about 40 years was nearly complete.(61)

Hindu Temples were also not spared from destruction. Fellippe de Oliveria, the conqueror of Jaffna was reputed for having destroyed 500 Temples. (62) Some of the Temples were converted into Churches, one of which was a famous Temple in the Kingdom of Kotte. Upon Dharmapala joining the Christian fold, Trindade says ” and since they lacked a church where they could hear the word of God and assist at Mass and other Divine Services, the servants of God made use of a famous temple, which was there. They removed all the idols, some of which were of metal, others of stone, others of wood. Some of them they burnt, others they reduced to powder. They then consecrated it as a temple of God and as a house of prayer, sprinkling Holy Water and reciting prayers which are usually said when a Church is dedicated. In this Church, they taught and they dedicated it to St. Anthony, where we have a Friary and a school for boys”. ( 63)

P.E. Peiris comments ” The Missionary could see in Buddhism nothing but the abhorrent creation of the devil; he did not stop t o inquire what were the principles which were taught by the sages, nor what the ideals after which its lofty philosophy struggled. Buddhism was not Christianity, and since by Christianity alone could souls escape damnation and hell fire, it was his duty to God to destroy Buddhism by every means in this power. He did not ask whether the people were prepared to receive his new wine or whether the destruction of the ancient beliefs might not mean the destruction of all spiritual life; his every idea was centered on the one thought that Buddhism must be wiped out of existence” (64)

G.P. Malalasekera in his ‘The Pali Literature of Ceylon” complements P.E. Peiris with the following observations: ” No trouble was spared to achieve that object; monasteries were raised to the ground, and their priceless treasures looted; libraries were set fire to, or the leaves of the books they contained scattered to the wind; whosoever dared to worship in public or wear the yellow robe of the ascetic was visited with death; the great institutions at Totagamuwa and Karagala, which had long carried on the traditions of Taxila and Nalanda, were destroyed and their incumbents put to the sword. The land groaned in agony as one after another there fell, before the fierce onslaughts of the fanatic missionaries and their dastardly colleagues, the Buddhist religious edifices, those lovely structures which the piety of generations, had strewn broadcast over the country. Never was a glorious civilization and a noble culture more brutally destroyed. The work of centuries was undone in a few years – all that was noblest and best in the heritage of Ceylon was lost, and the damage thus wrought was irreparable.” (65)

The destruction of the shrine at Devi Nuwera or Deundara by the Portuguese provides an illustration of the methods adopted. The Portuguese soldiers on their way to Deundara sacked and committed to flames three great Buddhist Viharas. The Portuguese historian Diogo Do Couto describes the attack on the shrine at Devi Nuwara as follows:

“The inhabitants, on seeing the Portuguese, abandoned the city, and betook themselves inland. Our people proceeded to enter it without encountering any resistance, and reaching the Pagoda (Dagaba) broke open the gates, and entered it without meeting anyone to resist them, and went all round to see if they found any people: and seeing that all was deserted, Thomas de Souza delivered it over to the soldiers that they might do their duty, and the first thing in which they employed themselves was to destroy the idols, of which there were more than a thousand of diverse forms, some of clay, others of wood, others of copper, many of them gilt. Having done this, they demolished the whole of that internal structure of Dagabas, destroying their vaults and cloisters, knocking them all to pieces, and then proceeded to sack the store houses, in which they found much ivory, fine clothes, copper, pepper, sandalwood, jewels, precious stones and ornaments of the Dagabas, and of every thing they took what they like, and the rest they set fire to by which the whole was consumed. And for the greater insult to the Dagaba, they slaughtered inside several cows, which is the most unclean that can be, and for the purification of which are required very great ceremonies. And they also set fire to a wooden car made after the manner of a towered house of seven storeys, all large and most beautiful, lacquered in divers colours and gilt in many parts, a costly sumptuous work, which served to convey the idol on a ride through the city to which likewise they set fire, by which the whole was consumed.” (66)

11. Missionaries accompanied Portuguese expeditionary forces

There was a close association between the Portuguese expeditionary forces and the Missionaries. The latter had shown great enthusiasm as much as the Portuguese soldiers in the conquest of the island. This is evident from the available correspondence. Missionaries had accompanied every expedition not merely as army chaplains but also to inspire the soldiers in the name of Christ to conquer territory for the King of Portugal.(67). In one instance in 1611 when the Portuguese army was impeded in their march to Kandy by the swelling of the Mahaweli River, a Catholic friar is said to have dived into the river with a crucifix in hand and this gesture had inspired the army to follow suit(68) Queyroz says: ” To arms, To arms, To arms and let not Catholic hearts bear to see Heresy reigning in Ceylon. All these Religious with great zeal served God and the King in the conquest, helping in the campaigns and the sieges of Colombo like any other soldier, and so great was the experience and courage of Friar Antonio Peyxoto the Franciscan, of whom we spoke a short time ago, that in peace and war they made him for some time a Captain of a regiment of the Chingalaz” ( 69)

12. Execution of Buddhist monks

Oral history contains accounts of the indiscriminate murder of Buddhist monks by the Portuguese in areas under their control. The deliberate destruction and plunder of Buddhist Temples is unlikely to have taken place without some protest by the incumbent monks. The Portuguese, given their medieval upbringing and uncompromising stance on matters religion, would not have brooked any opposition to their use of force to obliterate non -Christian religions.

The destruction of the Wijebahu Pirivena at Thotagamuwa (near Hikkaduwa) had also resulted in the death of some of the incumbent monks who could not escape in time. Thirty monks (30) were arrested from a Temple and executed soon after some monks and civilians had protested in front of the King’s Palace at Kotte upon the conversion of Dharmapala. Three monks from Kandy were punished when they had appealed to the people of Alutkuru Korale and adjoining villages to revert to Buddhism and asked for contributions ‘for the decoration of the shrine of Kandy’.(70) The Captain – General Nuno Alvares Pereira had ordered the Buddhist monks to be arrested and the leader of the group of monks had been condemned to be thrown to the man- eating crocodiles of the Rosapane river, while the two other monks had been removed as slaves by Phillip de Oliviera, the Conqueror of Jaffna.(71) The Jesuit Friar Pelingotti had tried to convert them to Christianity much to the annoyance of the people of the area according to the Jesuit Emmanuel Barradas in his annual letter of 1617.(72)

13. Inducements to convert

The Portuguese while pursuing a policy of destruction and plunder of Buddhist Temples held out various inducements for Buddhists to convert to Christianity. Conversion meant a sure means of exemption from taxes due to the Government. For example, Christians were exempt from the marala.(73) i.e. death duties. This meant that they could leave the entirety of their property to their heirs upon death. Therefore death – bed conversions became quite common to enable one’s kinsmen to secure property upon death. This was a privilege granted only to Christians.

Further becoming a Christian also meant receiving preferential judicial treatment. Murderers and thieves upon embracing Christianity were able to escape severe punishment such as the death penalty (74). King Bhuvanakabahu VII himself had complained to the King of Portugal that criminals were converting to Christianity purely to obtain lenient punishment. The King of Portugal had issued standing orders to the Vice-roy of Goa to pursue a policy of lenience towards converts accused of crimes. This policy was followed in Portuguese – held areas of Sri Lanka. In 1618 pursuant to Jesuit intervention an order that ‘ no Christian prisoner be put to death’ was said to have been issued (75)

The local aristocracy was enticed to convert on the basis that they would be accepted into the fidalgo class (upper class) of Portugal and allowed the use of the honorific title ‘ Dom’ . For example the well-known Sitawaka court poet Alagiyawanna upon baptism became known as Dom Jeronimo Alagiyawanna.(76)

Ordinary Sinhala people saw in the newly introduced religion ways and means of acquiring benefits including placing themselves outside the jurisdiction of the civil and criminal laws of their King. In a letter dated 21st January 1549 addressed to the King of Portugal, Friar Antonio do Casal informed the King as follows: ” those of the country do not want to become Christians except through interest and ask before baptism what benefit there is ” ( 77)

Upon baptism the converts began to see themselves as coming within the legal jurisdiction of the monarch of Portugal and such attitudes were re-inforced by the keen interest shown by the Portuguese Crown in the welfare of Sinhala converts. The process of conversion did not stop at baptism. The Missionaries also promoted with zeal intolerance of practices, which are rooted in Buddhism. Any compromise with Buddhism or Buddhist way of life was to be avoided e.g. the eating of beef, slaughter of animals, consumption of liquor and the like were openly promoted on the assumption that such conduct would put the convert altogether out of the pale of Buddhism.

14. Bequeath of the Kingdom of Kotte to the Portuguese Crown

Dharmapala’s conversion and withdrawal of royal patronage from Buddhism was followed by the most shameful act of treachery in the history of Sri Lanka, when Don Juan Dharmapala by a formal Act gifted the reversion of his rights to his Kingdom to King Philip l of Portugal.(78) When Dharmapala died on May 27, 1597, King Philip l of Portugal laid claim to the Lion throne of Lanka.(79)

This event tightened the grip of Portugal in all areas of the country other than the Kingdom of Kandy and contributed to further repression of Buddhism. Historian Tikiri Abeysinghe in his book ‘ Portuguese Rule in Ceylon 1594 – 1612 ‘ observes that the whole machinery of the Portuguese controlled State was geared to achieve two complementary ends, namely that the local religions i.e. Buddhism, Hinduism be denied public existence and secondly holding out every inducement to the convert.(80) Abeysinghe then adds ‘ The persecution of Buddhism during these years of Portuguese rule was more severe than the persecution of Catholicism under the Dutch’.(81)

On the heavily debated question of whether conversions in Sri Lanka were effected by ‘force’ or ‘ at the point of the sword’ Abeysinghe says the question must be framed differently, not whether Catholicism was propagated by force, but whether force was employed against Buddhism and Hinduism. ‘ While the answer to the first question is ‘no’, that to the second is an unhesitating ‘yes’ ‘ (82) A question that Abeysinghe should have raised at this point is why did the Portuguese use force against Buddhism and Hinduism ? The simple answer is to clear the way for the successful propagation of Catholicism.

15. Conversion of Prince Vijaya Pala

The Portuguese were able to bring undue influence on a number of members of the Royal households of Kotte, Sitavaka and Kandy to embrace Christianity. This was done largely by way of missionary education, which was directed by political considerations. From the early period of Portuguese presence we learn that King Bhuvanakabahu was able to avoid being converted though Franciscan friars applied much pressure on him to do so. But he was unable to prevent missionaries from gaining intimate access to his court. Missionaries tutored his grandson Dharmapala, which finally resulted in him being baptized.

Likewise in the Kandyan Kingdom, Vikrama Bahu’s son the feeble minded Jayavira was converted and Jayavira’s daughter Dona Catherina was brought up from her infant days by missionaries. King Senerat who married Dona Catherina after the death of her first husband Wimala Dharma Suriya, was liberal minded but lacking in far sight. He allowed their children, mostly at the request of his wife Queen Dona Catherina, to be instructed by Franciscan priests. It had a denationalizing effect at least on some of the children. The classic example is Prince Vijaya Pala. The conversion of Prince Vijaya Pala to Christianity reveals deep – seated strategies of Portuguese State and Church policy to turn members of Sinhalese Royal families away from Buddhism.

King Senerat chose his youngest son Maha Astana (later known as Rajasinghe II) to succeed him in the Kanda Uda Rata over riding the claims of the latter’s elder brothers, Kumara Sinha and Vijaya Pala. Senarat was aware of the pre-disposition of young Vijaya Pala towards things Portuguese. Vijaya Pala himself acknowledges this inclination in his correspondence to the Viceroy of Goa as follows: ” .. I was born with a strong predilection for the Portuguese nation. In my earliest days greatly to the satisfaction of the Queen my mother, there was assigned to me as Mestre the Padre Frey Francisco Negrao, who taught me to read and write. Under his instructions I learnt very good customs and etiquette and some special habits which Royal persons employ. Though I am a Chingala by blood I am a Portuguese in my ways and affections” (83)

Vijaya Pala then laments bitterly saying ” that this is the chief reason for my losing my Kingdom, treasures, the Queen my wife, my son, and all that I possessed.” (84)

In another letter Vijaya Pala says ” I have no confidence in my own people’ (85) Paul E. Peiris referring to the above statements of Vijaya Pala says ” A more saddening confession it is not easy to imagine; his pride of race and country were destroyed, and in place of the fervid patriotism which alone befitted a Prince of the Royal family in this, the long drawn out death agony of his people, was substituted an ape like imitation of Portuguese habits and ways of thought” (86) Vijaya Pala harbouring a bitter dispute with his brother Rajasinghe crossed over to the Portuguese side seeking military assistance to overthrow his brother and gain the Kingdom of Kandy for himself. The Portuguese instead detained him in Colombo and later took him to Goa where Vijaya Pala came under intense pressure to convert. He was baptized on December 8, 1646 at a ceremony held at the Church of Sao Francisco and given a new name ‘ Dom Theodosio ‘ (87). The Viceroy of Goa ceremoniously crowned him as the new ‘Emperor of Candia'(88). But he was not allowed to leave Goa.(89)

His entourage altogether totaling 94 persons including Generals of his army, four princes of the Royal family, his Ambassador were also baptized on the same day.(90)

The reason why Vijaya Pala was not allowed to return to Matale, his abode, has been based on an order given by the Portuguese King to his officials in the mission fields that ” if by any means or chance any King or Prince, Gentile fall into our power, he should not be allowed to return to his territories to continue in their rites and ceremonies” (91) Instead such Princes should be persuaded to receive the water of Holy Baptism (92).

Vijaya Pala died in 1654 in Goa as a highly disappointed broken man – a victim of crass stupidity and denationalizing missionary education that finally had the effect of pushing him to desert his country, cross over to the enemy, denounce his race, betray his religion and ultimately give up his Sinhala birth name for the sake of an alien Portuguese name. In fairness to Vijaya Pala he was not alone among the ruling classes of this country during the long colonial period who found resounding honorifics from foreign conquerors as acceptable a compensation for the loss of the reality of power.

16. Claims for Compensation

Sri Lanka was a victim of western colonialism for a period of nearly 450 years. The rigueur of rapacious colonialism was felt in its most brutal form during the Portuguese period (1505 – 1658).

In exchange for the wonders of Christianity, the Portuguese empowered by the unstinted blessings of the Papacy and the Portuguese Crown, exploited the conquered territories to the maximum by stripping the country’s resources, labour, and the treasures of the Royal houses of Kotte, Sitavaka and Kandy. Parallel to this policy was their unrelenting engagement in the destruction of the cultural and religious heritage of the Sinhalese and the Tamils. The development of Sri Lanka stagnated during the colonial period. Much of the backwardness of post – colonial societies is now attributed by experts to the set backs suffered by the victims at both the physical and psychological levels. There is no dispute that the western countries were unjustly enriched and profited substantially from their colonial adventures.

The question arises whether Sri Lanka as a victim of western colonial expansion has the right to claim compensation from the Western colonial powers. In respect to the Portuguese period, which is the focus of this paper, it is clear that some of the acts of violence and destruction perpetrated by the Portuguese constitute ‘Crimes’ in international law as understood today.

These crimes can be broadly categorized as follows: i) Destruction of life – individual and mass murder ii) Cultural Genocide iii) Religious and ethnic cleansing including mass expulsions e.g. Muslims from the areas under Portuguese control iv) Expropriation and removal of Treasures, Artifacts, Gems and Jewellery, Gift items made of Ivory etc. to Portugal v) Destruction and plunder of Buddhist Temples vi) Construction of Churches on sites of destroyed Buddhist Vihares and Monasteries vii) Prohibition of the practice of non – Christian religions i.e. Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam viii) Religious conversion by use of force ix) Offer of inducements to embrace Christianity x) Channeling of revenue due to Buddhist Temples to Christian Churches and Seminariesxi) Sexual abuse of women

xii) Slavery xiii) War Crimes

Remedies A Public Apology from the Pope and Portugal

There are precedents:

  1. The Vatican released a document entitled ‘ Memory and Reconciliation: Church and the Mistakes of the Past’ on March 12, 2000. The Vatican sought pardon for sins committed against other cultures including the colonization of native people. This document attributes the roots of evil today to the past errors of the Catholics. Pope John Paul II has publicly asked God’s forgiveness for the sins of Roman Catholics through the ages, including wrongs inflicted on Jews, women and minorities. “We are asking pardon for the divisions among Christians, for the use of violence that some have committed in the service of truth, and for attitudes of mistrust and hostility assumed toward followers of other religions,” said Pope John Paul II. The phrase “violence in the service of truth” is an often-used reference to the treatment of heretics during the Inquisition, the Crusades, and forced conversions of native peoples. (93)
  2. Pope John Paul apologised to China in 2001 for the errors of the Christian missionaries during the colonial period The pontiff avoided detailing the Church’s mistakes in its evangelical efforts in China. He defended the “outstanding evangelising commitment” of a long line of missionaries, but said many had erred. The pontiff asked for “the forgiveness and understanding of those who may have felt hurt in some way by such actions on the part of Christians”. (94)
  3. When visiting Ukraine and Greece in 2001, Pope John Paul appealed for forgiveness for wrongs perpetrated by Roman Catholics in the past.
  4. The Pope has also asked for forgiveness from Israel for sins committed by Roman Catholics throughout the ages including wrongs done to Jews, women and minorities, while on a visit to Israel in 2000. However it must be noted that the Pope has yet to tender an apology directed specifically at Buddhists and Hindus of Sri Lanka and India for wrongs committed by Christian missionaries in these two countries.

Reparations

It is not within the scope of this paper to engage in a discussion on the viability of instituting legal proceedings against Portugal and other western countries under rules of public international law seeking reparations for wrongs done during the colonial period. Nevertheless it is necessary to draw attention to the existence of a potential claim for reparations from Portugal and colonial powers under international law.

Reparations or compensation are payments offered as an indemnity for loss or damage. There are several instances in history where this has been done and which provide a basis for developing this area of the law in respect to obtaining compensation for crimes committed during the period of Western colonialism.

In 1953 the West German government agreed to pay reparations to Israel for damages suffered by the Jews under the Hitler regime. Japan had to pay reparations after World War II. The United States administered removal of capital goods from Japan, and the USSR seized Japanese assets in the former puppet state of Manchukuo. Japan also agreed to settle the reparations claims of Asian nations by individual treaties with those countries. These treaties were subsequently negotiated.

At a United Nations World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa from 31 August – 7 September 2001 representatives from third world countries, primarily African, told the Conference that the problems facing their nations, among them, widespread poverty and underdevelopment, stemmed in part from slavery and colonialism. The wrongs, they further said, could only be corrected by clear acceptance of the past by the oppressing countries, and by developing schemes for compensation. A number of the speakers urged the Conference to recognize that colonialism and slavery were crimes against humanity.

17. Conclusion

450 years of colonial rule and particularly the Portuguese period (1505 – 1658) constitute a long and poignant chronicle of oppression and injustice meted out to the Sinhala Buddhists. It is a sad and tragic chapter. The Portuguese success might have become irreversible if not for the heroic resistance offered by the Kings of Sitavaka and Kandy against foreign aggression.

Sri Lanka might have become another ‘Philippines’ – an Asian country that has been stripped of its traditional religion and culture and to complete the humiliation the indigenous people i.e. the Filipinos, have to bear the ignominy of that country being named after a Spanish King i.e. Phillip.

The threat to Sri Lanka ‘s sovereignty and the pre-eminent position of Buddhism in the country’s religious and cultural landscape, has again re-surfaced from quarters both within and without the country.

It is a hackneyed truism but worth re-asserting that those who forget the lessons of history are condemned to live through a re-enactment. In such a context a wider examination and earnest study of Sri Lanka’s history under western colonial rule and more particularly the factors that contributed to Buddhism becoming almost extinct in Portuguese controlled territory may prove invaluable.

The End

Footnotes

  1. Boxer, C.R.,The Portuguese Seaborne Empire 1415 -1825 ( London: Hutchinson) 231 \
  2. Boxer, The Portuguese 231
  3. Boxer, 228
  4. Boxer, .228
  5. Boxer, 228
  6. Boxer228
  7. Perera, S.G., A History of Ceylon for Schools – The Portuguese and the Dutch Periods 1505 -1795, ( Colombo: Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd., 1932) 134
  8. Rajavaliya, ( A Historical Narrative of Sinhalese Kings from Vijaya to Vimala Dharma Surya II ), ( Colombo: Government Printer, 1900) 63
  9. Tennent, Sir James Emerson, quoted in the ‘ Betrayal of Buddhism’ Abridged version of the Report of the Buddhist Committee of Inquiry, 1956, vii – viii
  10. Peiris, P.E. quoted in the ‘ Betrayal of Buddhism’ Abridged version of the Report of the Buddhist Committee of Inquiry, 1956, ix -x
  11. Malalasekera, G.P., The Pali Literature of Ceylon ( Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1994 ) 261 -262 ( quoting Manuel de Faria e Sousa, The Portuguese Asia)
  12. Boxer, 66
  13. Boxer, 67
  14. Boxer, 67
  15. . Boxer, 68
  16. Boxer, 68
  17. Boxer, 68
  18. Boxer, 69
  19. Boxer, 73
  20. . Boxer, 73
  21. . Boxer, 68
  22. Boxer, 68
  23. Boxer, 71
  24. . Boxer, 71
  25. Boxer, 72
  26. . Boxer, 72
  27. Boxer,73
  28. . Peiris, P.E., Portugal in Ceylon 1505 -1658 ( Cambridge: Heffers, 1937) 5
  29. . Peiris, Portugal 4
  30. . Boxer, 70
  31. . Boxer, 76
  32. . Boxer, 76
  33. . Boxer, 76
  34. Boxer, 76
  35. . Boxer, 76 -77
  36. Boxer, 82
  37. Boxer, 81 -82
  38. Boxer, 82
  39. Rajavaliya, 68
  40. Queyroz, Fernao de, The Temporal and Spiritual Conquest of Ceylon, quoted in O.M. de Silva Cosme, Fidalgos in the Kingdom of Kottte (1505 -1656), Colombo, 1990, 140
  41. Queyroz, quoted in O.M. de Silva Cosme, Fidalgos in the Kingdom of Kottte (1505 -1656), Colombo, 1990, 144
  42. . Vimalananda, Tennakoon, Buddhism in Ceylon under the Christian Powers ( Colombo: M.D.Gunasena, 1963) xxv
  43. Abeysinghe, Tikiri, Portuguese Rule in Ceylon 1594 – 1612 ( Colombo: Lake House Investments, 1966 ) 199
  44. Vimalananda, Tennakoon, Buddhism in Ceylon under the Christian Powers , xxvi
  45. Tennent, Sir James Emerson, Christianity in Ceylon ( New Delhi: Asian Educational Services, 1998) 17
  46. . Tennent, Sir James Emerson, Christianity in Ceylon . 17
  47. Vimalananda, Tennakoon, Buddhism in Ceylon under the Christian Powers , xxvii
  48. Abeysinghe, Tikiri, Portuguese Rule in Ceylon 1594 – 1612, 210
  49. Abeysinghe, Tikiri, Portuguese Rule 210
  50. . Abeysinghe, Tikiri, Portuguese Rule 210
  51. . Vimalananda, Tennakoon, Buddhism in Ceylon xxx
  52. . Vimalananda, Tennakoon, Buddhism in Ceylon xxx
  53. De Silva, D.G.B, an unpublished paper entitled ‘ Temples, Buildings, etc., destroyed by the Portuguese ( Part 1)’ presented at a Seminar on the ‘ Portuguese Encounter ‘ convened by the Royal Asiatic Society ( Ceylon Branch ) on July 4, 2004
  54. De Silva, D.G.B., an unpublished paper entitled ‘ Temples, Buildings, etc., destroyed by the Portuguese ( Part 1) .
  55. Peiris, P.E., Portugal in Ceylon 1505 -1658 ( Cambridge: Heffers, 1937) 5
  56. . Peiris, P.E., Portugal in Ceylon 1505 -1658 ( Cambridge: Heffers, 1937) 5
  57. . De Silva, D.G.B., an unpublished paper entitled ‘ Temples, Buildings, etc., destroyed by the Portuguese ( Part 1) .
  58. Vimalananda, Tennakoon, Buddhism in Ceylon xxxii
  59. Queyroz, Fernao de, The Temporal and Spiritual Conquest of Ceylon (Translated by Father S.G. Perera), Vol II ( New Delhi: Asian Educational Services, 1992) 714 -719
  60. . Abeysinghe, Tikiri, Portuguese Rule 207
  61. . Peiris, P.E. The Portuguese Era Vol. II pp. 118 – 166
  62. Trindade, Fr. Paulo da, The Spiritual Conquest of the East, quoted in O.M. de Silva Cosme, Fidalgos in the Kingdom of Kottte (1505 -1656), 359
  63. . Peiris,P.E. quoted in Malalasekera, G.P., The Pali Literature of Ceylon,265
  64. . Malalasekera, G.P., The Pali Literature of Ceylon,265 – 266
  65. De Barros, Joan, and Do Couto, Diogo, The History of Ceylon from the Earliest Times to 1600 A.D., ( translated and edited by Donald Ferguson) Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society ( Ceylon Branch), 1908 Vol. XX ( No. 60)
  66. . Abeysinghe, Tikiri 212
  67. v Abeysinghe, Tikiri 212
  68. Queyroz, Vol II 720
  69. De Silva, O.S.M. Cosme .361
  70. De Silva, O.S.M. Cosme .361
  71. De Silva, O.S.M. Cosme .361
  72. Abeysinghe, Tikiri 208
  73. Abeysinghe, Tikiri 208
  74. . Abeysinghe, Tikiri 209
  75. Abeysinghe, Tikiri 208
  76. . De Silva, O.S.M. Cosme . 335
  77. Peiris, P.E., Portugal in Ceylon 1505 -1658 ( Cambridge: Heffers, 1937) 8
  78. Peiris, P.E., Portugal in Ceylon 1505 -1658 ( Cambridge: Heffers, 1937) 9
  79. Abeysinghe, Tikiri 209
  80. Abeysinghe, Tikiri 209
  81. . Abeysinghe, Tikiri 209
  82. Peiris, P.E. ,The Prince Vijaya Pala of Ceylon, Appendix: Document 12, Correspondence of Prince Vijaya Pala to the Viceroy dated May 1, 1643 ( New Delhi: Asian Educational Services, 1995 ) 31
  83. . Peiris, P.E. ,The Prince Vijaya Pala of Ceylon . 31
  84. . Peiris, P.E. ,The Prince Vijaya Pala of Ceylon, Appendix: Document 2, Correspondence of Prince Vijaya Pala to the Viceroy dated October 2, 1635, 19
  85. . Peiris, P.E. ,The Prince Vijaya Pala of Ceylon .15
  86. . Peiris, P.E. ,The Prince Vijaya Pala of Ceylon, Appendix: Document 18 ‘True Account of the Baptism of Don Theodosio’ 42 -50
  87. . Peiris, P.E. ,The Prince Vijaya Pala of Ceylon, Appendix: Document 18 ‘True Account of the Baptism of Don Theodosio’ 42 —-50
  88. . Peiris, P.E. ,The Prince Vijaya Pala of Ceylon, Appendix: Document 22, Correspondence of the King of Portugal to the Viceroy dated January 31, 1651 60
  89. . Peiris, P.E. ,The Prince Vijaya Pala of Ceylon 50
  90. . Ribeiro, Joao, The Historical Tragedy of the Island of Ceilao, ( translated by P.E.Peiris ) ( New Delhi: Asian Educational Services, 1999) 130
  91. . Ribeiro, Joao, The Historical Tragedy of the Island of Ceilao 130
  92. . BBC News -Sunday, 12 March, 2000 Internet Website address: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/europe/674246.stm
  93. Internet Website address: http://www.acts2.com/thebibletruth/Papal_Aplologies_China.htm

 

CONVERSIONS IN INDIA ELOQUENT EVIDENCE (A STUDY BASED ON MISSIONARY REPORTS)

CONVERSIONS IN INDIA
ELOQUENT EVIDENCE
(A STUDY BASED ON MISSIONARY REPORTS)
By
B. SHREEPRAKASH, B. JAYAPRAKASH
SHREE VILAS, CHERAVALLY, KAYAMKULAM – 690 502, KERALA, TEL : 0479 – 444914.
ABOUT THE WORK
This study is a humble effort to bring forth some self-evident proofs about the missionary
activities in India. The uniqueness of this study is that the whole evidences are collected from
missionary reports itself. In this study, analysis is done purely on the basis of primary
evidences and own experiences.
THE METHOD USED
The method used is analytical, free from prejudices and emotional approaches. Much
importance is given to financial aspects. The tabular columns on conversions appended
herewith, are elucidated from scattered, monthly Missionary Reports. Even though, four
Missionary organizations are taken as specimens, all aspects of these four organizations are
not covered. For studying a particular aspect, a specific group is selected. Evidences of all the
facts and figures in this study , in Original, can be produced.
INCIDENT THAT INITIATED THE WORK

It was the 1998 Dec, issue of ‘The National Missionary Intelligencer’ which I came across
accidentally in the waiting room of a renowned doctor, to whom I was a patient, that invoked
my curiosity. The cover picture of a forest cascade attracted my attention. With a secular
mind, I just went through the book. That small book was a turning point. I was thrown into
the dilemma. If I was to trust our secular media, I should not have seen this book. If I was to
trust the book, I should admit the hypocrisy of our secular media. Conversions and
conversions inside the book – still, the secular media kept silent and blamed “Hindu
Fundamentalists”. Why This? . An answer of my own, within my limitations, was needed – I
felt.
AS A SEEKER OF CHRIST
A negative approach always hinders us from understanding reality. Becoming a seeker of
Christ was the effective way. Collection of addresses of evangelical workers and
organizations was the first step. About 250 addresses, both inland and foreign, were contacted
through letters. The replies were prompt. Responses flowed in. None of the addresses
remained dormant. (These addresses are included in Appendix-1) The replies reflected the
personal management skill of Christian Missionary groups. The policies of the organization
were evident from the letters of its office bearers. Request to enroll in “Free Postal Bible
Course” rushed in. 16 out of many were chosen. The addresses of these courses with my
student registration number are given in Appendix-2.
CORRESPONDANCE
Nearly about 500 letters were written to these evangelical groups and nearly the same
numbers of replies were received. Bibles, New Testaments, books, booklets and pamphlets
flowed in and all of them were free of cost. 30 Bibles(with old and new testaments), 20 New
Testaments, 40 books, 100 booklets and plenty of pamphlets were received by post. I even
received a Free Bible which was sent to me with Registered Post with postage of Rs72/-. In
the bible collection, an English bible signed by Gladdys June Staines. Remains significant. I
wondered why this peoples show so much interest for these activities, and how much money
spent for me.
STUDY MATERIAL
Bible correspondence courses are free of cost. The method of teaching in each study material
is well designed. The lesson plans echoes a high sense of modern educational psychology
behind them. They give a comprehensive outlook of Christian Theology. The evaluated
answer paper and the score sheet reaches the student very promptly even from abroad.
Clarifications for our doubts touch our heart more than our brain.
THE RECCURING QUESTION
Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?”- Each and every module of these
Bible courses concludes with this question. If our answer is ‘yes’, a chasing will start until the
prey is trapped.
MISSIONARY REPORTS-MONUMENTS OF CONVERSION
Missionary reports are restricted to the Christian believers only. It is very difficult to establish
an intimate relationship with these organizations through letters, with Christ and Christian
way of life as the central theme. Enquiry about us shall secretly be conducted by our nearest
missionary or local evangelist. They may even contact us in person, with free bibles for us. If
they are convinced on our faith in Christ, we can subscribe theseMissionary Reports.
THROUGH THE PAGES
Mission field news, messages from heads of churches, request for prayers and funds,
evaluation of current situation faced by evangelists, detailed reports on missionary activities
in each states and centers. Bible quiz, reports on healing and other miracles done by
missionaries etc. fill the pages. Reports revealing the conversions serve as solid proofs, even
though exaggeration and under-estimation can be seen here and there. They reveal the
systematic work and the close monitoring they do in the name of evangelization. Some
specimens of missionary reports as Appendix-3.
Sixty four issues of six Missionary Report of four organizations were collected in a span of
two years and are preserved as primary documents. The details regarding these documents are
listed in Appendix-4.
AMAZING NETWORK
As a part of this work, an address namely, ‘Workers Together’ in U.S.A was contacted. To
my surprise, a pastor of a Brethren Church, contacted me from my own town, his residence
was only 1km away from that of mine. He called me over telephone and invited me for a
personal meeting.(Similar incidents occurred oftenly.)
On visiting his house, he handed over to me an oxford Edition of the Bible, printed in New
York, and a few booklets and pamphlets. What astonished me was, that the pastor had with
him, a copy of letter which I had sent to U.S.A. On enquiring about how the nearness of my
residence with that of the pastor was understood by the party at Bangalore, he showed me an
official directory of the list of the evangelists working in India, with their family photographs
and complete details arranged in the order of PIN codes. Another directory of their
worldwide network was also shown to me.
MUCH EFFORT FOR A SINGLE HARVEST
One day, an evangelist traveled all the way from Trivandrum to my office, about 120 Km
away, to present me two copies of the Holy Bible – one in English and one in Malayalam,
each worth Rs.150/- each, and a few booklets and pamphlets.
ANALYSIS OF REPORTS
In this study, Missionary Reports are analysed on two aspects. One, analysis of the number of
conversions done as reported by missionaries and, two, financial analysis. Number of
conversions. Number of conversions done by two missionary groups are analysed and
tabulated in three appendices. The conversion figures related to Friends Missionary Prayer
Band as abridged from their monthly reports and annual reports are attached herewith as
appendices 5and 6 respectively. Appendix-7
Shows the number of conversions done by National Missionary Society of India. A report by
A.Bhaskaran, General Secretary of the National Missionary Society of India regarding the
number of conversions in each mission fields in Karnataka, during his inspection visit to
Bijapur, is produced as Appendix-8.
Even though analysis of Balance sheets is done elaborately, it is not described here. But
tabular columns revealing the main heads are given as appendices so that a comparison can
be made easily. Main heads from the Balance sheet of Friends Missionary Prayer Band as
on 31-3-2000 is given as Appendix-9 and that of Vishwavani as on 31-3-99 and 31-3-2000 is
given as Appendix-10, Appendix-11 brings us to the conclusion that even the death of a
missionary has a catalytic effect in income generation.
LIMITING THE SCOPE AND NATURE
By taking only 4 missionary groups for study, we are limiting the scope and nature of
missionary activities. This study is only a tip of iceberg of the actual situation. Even though
certain missionary groups could be traced, detailed study of all these groups is still defiance.
The details of such Missionary organizations and their various ministries, programmes and
activities meant for ‘harvesting of souls’ is noted in Appendix-12. The actual number of
organizations will definitely exceed our estimation.
A PEEP INTO THE STRUCTURE
The structural layout of two organizations was traced. Details of Missions India and
Viswavani are given as Appendix-13 and 14. Growth in number of Missionaries and growth
in income are graphically represented in Appendix-15.
POLICIES ON CONVERSION-A THREAT TO SECULARISM

The policies betray the policy-makers. Two specimens of policies of one Indian and one
International organization are given as Appendix-16. The so-called secularists, politicians,
intellectuals and cultural giants accidentally or deliberately ignore these policies. They often
project their own secular ideas as the policy of Christian Missionaries. For example, when
there policy clearly states that,
“we view evangelism with Conversion as a goal and we want to see people
leave their former faiths, whether they are secular or religious faiths, and
follow Christ as their only lord”, our secularists hail the missionaries as
apostles of secularism.
FOREIGN CONTRIBUTIONS
The actual figures of foreign contributions can never be traced out precisely. A report
submitted by Central Intelligence Dept. to Central Home Ministry regarding this matter is
given as Appendix-17 and an unofficial report published in a publication by The New Indian
Express is attached as Appendix-18. The veracity of government reports and unofficial
reports must be suspected. such a situation is explained in the note given in Appendix-18.
DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE BY BBC
Whatever studies we conduct and whatever facts we reveal, are turned down by our ‘secular’
media and our pseudo-cultural giants and misinterpreted before the public as ‘Indian Hindu
Fundamentalism ’ and atrocities against minority communities. The world renowned BBC
had serialized a vivid and clear picture of the global Missionary activities, in the late eighties
of the 20th century itself. When the BBC had serialized through the television, was published
as a book named “MISSIONARIES” by BBC Books, a division of BBC, books, in 1990. this
book researched and documented by Julian Pettifer and Richard Bradley, reveals the
insuperable and inhuman methods adopted by missionaries of expanding the boundaries of
Christendom, yet inconceivable for Indian intelligentia. It clearly shows us how much
securely and compassionate these missionaries are. This book is the one of the strong
evidence of the cancerous and monstrous face of Christian missionaries, who have invaded
and conquered nearly the whole of the world and it gives a deathblow to the arguments of the
missionaries that they are the sole agents of love, charity, compassion and even modern
civilization. This very book is more than enough for revealing the hypocrisy of the secular
missionaries. Some extracts from the above book are given as Appendix-19. Have our
secular media and secular cultural giants seen this book or they pretended not to have seen?
LIMITATIONS OF THIS STUDY
(1) Socio-cultural circumstances which pay way to conversions are not considered in
the study.
(2) Only four missionary groups are analysed and the rest are left. There may be
much more missionary groups working in the same fields(selected missionary
activity area).
(3) The consequences of conversions are not covered.
(4) The threat to national security in the north-eastern states due to missionary
activities , are described even though studied.
(5) The deceiving figures that Christian population forms only less than 2.5% in India
is revealed in this study, but not explained.
(6) The power politics played by the missionaries are not covered.
(7) The role of Christian NGOs in missionary activities is not taken in to account,
even though this is a key area to be studied and exposed before the public.
SUGGESTIONS
A collective intellectual work should initiated. Creative solutions should be elucidated from
such works. Datas from missionary reports should be documented yearly. The work must be
centralized. Arrangements should be made to reveal the facts to the public. The social
backwordness in some of the sectors of hindu society should not be overloaded. Now our
strategy on conversions is antagonistic. The correct antidote should be applied considering
each situations. Aggression always (even though they are highlighted) may not prove fruitful.
CONCLUSION
A socially organized Hindu society with sound cultural awareness is the ultimate solution.
First, we must know ‘Swadharma’ ,then only we can sense the merits an demerits of
‘paradharma’. Cherish in our hearts, the lines from Gita, “Death in one’s own Dharma is
nobler then accepting Paradharma“. Only by practicing it in our life, we can be true to ourself and true to our great tradition

source link for the book:

German & English Theravada Site with some English books, etc, for download

Theravāda-Buddhism

There are many English web sites with Buddhist literature. The entire Tipitaka has been translated and is available in English language from the Pali Text Society in England. Therefore I do not see the need to include too many books in my web site. Only a few books which I stored into my computer for personal use, I will share with the Internet society:

Other Literature:

Links:


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Reading Theravada Buddhism

Access to Insight: Readings in Theravada Buddhism

The non-doing of any evil,
the performance of what’s skillful,
the cleansing of one’s own mind:
this is the teaching
of the Awakened. 

What’s new

2011.03.24

Think Like a Thief, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
When problems arise in Dhamma practice, it pays to be imaginative and know how to come up with your own solution.

2011.03.19

Sattadhatu Sutta: Seven Properties (SN 14.11), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
An alternative way of looking at the stages of concentration practice
Bhāva Sutta: Becoming (1) (AN 3.76), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
The three levels on which becoming(bhāva) operates, in relation to consciousness.
Bhāva Sutta: Becoming (2) (AN 3.77), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
The three levels on which becoming(bhāva) operates, in relation to intention.
Bala Sutta: Strengths (AN 8.28), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
The eight strengths enjoyed by the awakened mind.

2011.02.21

In Simple Terms: 108 Dhamma Similes, by Ajahn Chah, translated from the Thai by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
A marvelous collection of Dhamma similes from one of the Thai forest tradition’s great teachers.

2011.01.31

In this book the author examines the nature of dependent co-arising (paticca samuppada) — the complex causal structure by which dukkha arises and ceases. It also shows how the factors of the path address the causes of suffering in a way that leads to its cessation. (PDF only) [PDF icon]

2011.01.30

Introducing Buddhism, by Venerable Dr. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Mahanayaka Thera and Jayasili (Jacquetta Gomes).
Originally published in 1988 to accompany the London Buddhist Society’s Introducing Buddhism course, this book provides an outline of the history and basic teachings of Theravada Buddhism. Also includes a bibliography and glossary of Pali terms. (PDF only) [PDF icon]

2011.01.03

Devadatta Sutta: About Devadatta (AN 8.7), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
On the hazards of allowing the mind to get caught up in the worldly ups and down of life (the eight ‘untrue dhammas’)
Uttara Sutta: About Uttara (AN 8.8), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Sakka, the king of the devas, repeats the Buddha’s teaching on the eight ‘untrue dhammas’ for the benefit of Ven. Uttara.
Nanda Sutta: About Nanda (AN 8.9), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Ven. Nanda sets a good example of how to take care of the mind.
Samatha Sutta: With Regard to Tranquility (AN 10.54), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
More on how to read your own mind.

Old news archive…

 

BPS ONLINE LIBRARY

BPS ONLINE LIBRARY

The BPS intends to put both its complete collection of Bodhi Leaf and Wheel Series publications on this website. Many of these have already been put on the internet through the Dharmanet and Access to Insight Transcription projects. Moreover, we also intend to put some of our book publications from our BP Series, such as Ven. Ñānamoli’s Path of Purification, and Ven. Narada’s The Buddha and His Teachings.

Please click a link on the sub-menu to the left to visit our libraries of Book Publications, Wheel Publications, Bodhi Leaves, Newsletters, and others.

Displaying Pali and Sanskrit Characters

Our publications are available in the following formats:

  • Plain text HTML. No special characters (except ñ) will be found in these documents.
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  • HTML with proper Pali diacriticals. For these, it will be necessary to download and install either a Unicode-compliant font, or a special 8-bit font that contains the diacriticals used in Pali. See the downloads section, below. Note that not all Unicode fonts contain the somewhat rare diacriticals required for Indic languages; it is usually necessary to download and install the fonts provided below.
  • PDF format. Consider these to be printer-ready versions of our on-line library publications. All special fonts are are embedded.

Please visit our fonts page to download the open-source fonts used on this site.

For those interested in learning the Pali Language we have offered two Pali-English dictionaries. The first, written in Microsoft® Access 97, contains both Pali–English and English-Pali entries. The second, called Pali Lookup, uses the Velthuis format to input diacritical characters, but displays the results in the open-source font Times_CSX. (This font will be automatically installed along with Pali Lookup.) Pali Lookup is a Pali-English dictionary only, but includes some useful functions such as providing a word usage count and complete declenation of each noun and adjective.

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The Vatican’s Holocaust by Avro Manhattan


The Vatican’s Holocaust



The sensational account of the most horrifying religious massacre of the 20th century

By Avro Manhattan

 

Avro Manhattan (1914-1990)

About the Author:

Avro Manhattan was the world’s foremost authority on Roman Catholicism in politics. A resident of London, during WW II he operated a radio station called “Radio Freedom” broadcasting to occupied Europe. He was the author of over 20 books including the best-seller The Vatican in World Politics, twice Book-of-the-Month and going through 57 editions. He was a Great Briton who risked his life daily to expose some of the darkest secrets of the Papacy. His books were #1 on the Forbidden Index for the past 50 years!!


The Vatican’s Holocaust – Revealed at Last!

A sensational account of the most horrifying religious massacre of the 20th century. Startling revelations of forced conversions, mass murder of non-Catholics, Catholic extermination camps, disclosures of Catholic clergy as commanders of concentration camps; documented with names, dates, places, pictures and eyewitness testimony.


Contents

A Word for the Fifth Edition….
Preface to the British Editions
Preface to the American Editions
Acknowledgments
Chapter 1

New nation from old ones

The Vatican frowns on the birth of Yugoslavia – Catholic policy of penetration and disintegration – Croat Separatism and the Catholic Church – Catholic storm troopers – The Ustashi.

Chapter 2

The year of political assassinations

The murder of a Chancellor, of a Foreign Minister and of a King.

Chapter 3

The birth of a monster: the independent Catholic State of Croatia

Catholic crusaders turn into Storm Troopers – A Catholic Gestapo – How a puppet King was made – A Fascist delegation to the Pope – Ante Pavelic and Pius XII plan a secret campaign.

Chapter 4

The nightmare of a nation

The Archbishop and Bishops support a Catholic Dictator – “We have three million bullets.” – Catholic concentration camps for children – Orders: “Cremate people alive.”

Chapter 5

The triumph of terrorism

Punitive expeditions – The pattern of mass executions – The Franciscan pupil who cut the throats of 1,360 prisoners – Pushed alive into their graves – Orthodox Serbs crucified – Eyes torn from their sockets.

Chapter 6

“Christ and the Ustashi march together.”

Catholic priests and friars lead Ustashi bands – Franciscan padres as bandits – Catholic fathers as Ustashi storm troopers – Archbishop Stepinac issues a pastoral letter – Catholic padres as Ustashi commissars.

Chapter 7

Catholic friars, priests, executioners, bishops and murderers

Orthodox clergy murdered – The Canon with the bull whip – Catholic persuasion and bayonets – Certificates of honesty for re-Christening in the Catholic Church – Conversion or death – “He converted six thousand persons.” – A Franciscan monster: Father Filipovic.

Chapter 8

The true inspirer, promoter and executor of the religious massacre: the Vatican

Catholic Bishops advocate “forcible conversions.” – Archbishop Stepinac, Supreme Apostolic Vicar of the Ustashi Army – Forcible conversion legalized – Forcible conversion for the “lost souls” of Orthodox children – The Catholic Church’s directives for forcible conversions – Pope Pius XII blesses Pavelic and his Ustashi.

Chapter 9

Catholic campaign of denial, smear and falsification

How the First News reached the outside world – Dr. Sekulich and the “Gestapo.” – A Catholic liar at the White House – Winston Churchill issues a writ – What Mrs. Roosevelt said – “I write to save my soul.” – The Archbishop’s answer: “I have forwarded everything to the Vatican.”

Chapter 10

The Pope, Stepinac and Pavelic try to save Croatia

They ask the “right Allies” for guns – Archbishop Stepinac is promoted head of the Ustashi Government – Ante Pavelic hides inside the Vatican – Stepinac, Cardinal Mindszenty and Pius XII prepare for a new war.

Chapter 11

The Catholic church prepares for the future

The Pope pigeon-holes a Bishop’s memorandum, promotes a phony religious campaign – Stepinac is arrested and imprisoned – The World Press whitewash the Ustashi horror – The Ustashi Army are resurrected abroad – Pavelic forms a new Ustashi Government. Makes ready for “The Day.”

Chapter 12

The Vatican and the USA as the defenders of the Fascist criminals of World War II

The Vatican and the USA as the protectors of the Croatian war criminals – The Vatican becomes their refuge – Falsifications of passports – Fake identities “made in Rome.” – Secret Vatican-USA instructions to “validate” them.

Chapter 13

The Vatican, the Mafia and the USA. Why they enlisted war criminals, Stalin and one third of Europe

The Mafia recruited by the Vatican and the USA – The Mafia helps the Vatican save tons of holy silver – Why the Vatican and the USA enlisted war criminals – The menace of Soviet Russia – Stalin swallows up one-third of Europe – The Vatican-USA secret Alliance to stop him.

Chapter 14

The USA and the Vatican’s secret plan to rescue war criminals

American and World Jewish reaction – The Jews are mobilized against the State Department and the Pope – The State Department and the Vatican are scared – They adopt a policy of “maximum prudence.” – The USA by-passed Jewish vigilance, by massive equivocal legislation – Official classification of evidence – Estimated 10,000 Nazi collaborators still in the USA.

Chapter 15

The Vatican saves the Catholic war criminals of Croatia – Roman monasteries as their asylums -The Croatian Holocaust minimized

The Pope saves a top war criminal from execution – The Nuns of Rome who were Croatian Ustashis – Monasteries and Nunneries invaded – The Catholic American grand conspiracy – The man who escaped from Yugoslavia with the first documentation of the Croatian atrocities.

Chapter 16

The Croatian Holocaust – Invention or Reality? The Ambassador and the Cardinal – The Archbishop of Canterbury’s fit of temper

The English Cardinal who kept his silence – An Embassy buys 2000 copies of the book – Distributions to the House of Lords and Commons – The launching of a book in Northern Ireland – The Archbishop of Canterbury’s unecumenical fit of temper – The Londoner who defied him.

Chapter 17

The Ambassador and the Pope’s Nuncio in a Red Embassy, a Vatican victory

The Ambassador changes his mind  – No more books about the Croatian Holocaust – Communist amnesty for all Croatian criminals – Communist Yugoslavia makes peace with the Vatican – The Vatican Ambassador in a Communist Embassy; its political meaning – Ustashi settlements abroad.

Chapter 18

Ustashi terrorism after World War II

The silent efficiency of Ustashi killing – Dr. Sekulich’s experience – The Serbian Convention of Chicago and the Ustashi’s shadow – The lecturer who was shot and killed – The speech advocating mutual tolerance between Serbs and Croats, which saved the life of the author – The would-be killer asks for an autograph.

Chapter 19

Forty years after – crime and punishment

Effectiveness of the protective legislation of the USA for war criminals – Thirty years of efforts to have a top Ustashi arrested – Artukovic, former Interior Minister of Catholic Croatia, is extradited – He is sentenced to death – Total absence of the religious motivation of the Croatian Holocaust – Distortion of the true nature of his trial – American and world opinion hoodwinked.

Chapter 20

The Virgin Mary and the Secretary of the USA Navy call for World War III

Consecration of the World to the Virgin Mary – The Cult of Fatima – Its anti-Russian significance – Catholic volunteers with the Nazi Armies on the Russian Front – USA-Russian atomic race – USA theologians advocate atomic war – The American Secretary of Defense jumps from a 16th floor window – USA Cardinal Spellman and Pope Pius XII support “the morality of a preventive atomic war.” – Ante Pavelich and the Ustashi make ready for World War III.

Chapter 21

The Grand Central European plot – the Pope, the Cardinal and CIA

The CIA and the Vatican Intelligence unite to carry on a “revolution.” – They designate a Cardinal as the future Premier of Hungary – Cardinal Mindszenty’s failure – He is imprisoned – He is driven into Budapest by three Hungarian tanks – The CIA and the Vatican are defeated by the Soviet invasion of Hungary – Cardinal Mindszenty as the “twelve year guest” of the American Legation in Hungary – Death of Pius XII – The Secret of Fatima.

Chapter 22

The Malta Inquisition – vote Catholic or be damned

Catholic punishing expedition against their opponents – Catholic children as whistling political hooligans – Church bells to silence anti-Catholic speakers – The bells ring THREE SOLID HOURS to silence the Socialists – Father confessors as political advisers – Grilled in the flames of hell if you vote against the Church – Refusal of absolution to exert political pressure – Voters terrorized by vigilante padres –  “Vote Catholic or be damned.”

Chapter 23

Vietnam – the Croatia of Asia

The religious origins of the Vietnamese conflict – Buddhists protest against a Catholic dictatorship – The Catholic Trio of a President, an Archbishop and a Security Chief – Catholic discrimination against Buddhists – Buddha’s birthday forbidden – The first 16,000 American “advisers.” – President Kennedy cold-shoulders Catholic Diem – Consents to Diem “assassination.” The Catholic Church “loses” the war for the USA – Collapse of the USA Anti-communist front caused by Catholic intransigence.

Chapter 24

Where will be the next Inquisition?


For more info on the Holocaust see U.S. News and World Report.

Holocaust Archive Pictures

Croatian war criminal arrested in Argentina

Pope to “Beatify” Archbishop Stepinac


Published by: Ozark Books

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National Crisis or Catholic Terrorism

HYPOCRITES(Evidence and Statistics on Child Sexual Abuse Amongst Church Clergy, 1990-2000)

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Used with permission.

HYPOCRITES 

Evidence and Statistics on Child Sexual Abuse Amongst Church Clergy, 1990-2000.

Published By THE EROS FOUNDATION
© Copyright — Eros Foundation, April 2000


Contents

1. INTRODUCTION

2. AUSTRALIAN SEX CASES INVOLVING CLERGY/CHURCH OFFICIALS

  • Death Of A Legendary Sportsman
  • Cases Settled Out-Of-Court
  • Clergy/Church Officials Convicted After Pleading Guilty
  • Clergy/Church Officials Found Guilty By A Jury
  • Allegations That Lead To Charges Against Clergy/Church Officials
  • Allegations Against Clergy/Church Officials Who Died Before Trial
  • Charges Dropped Or Convictions Overturned

3. AN OVERVIEW OF OVERSEAS CASES

  • Clergy/Church Officials Charged Or Convicted Of Sex Offences

4. OTHER INFORMATION YOU SHOULD KNOW

5. BRIEF PROFILES ON THE ANTI-VICE CAMPAIGNERS

6. A FINAL WORD ON ISSUES RAISED IN THIS BOOKLET

1.INTRODUCTION


Most people who follow a Christian lifestyle are dedicated individuals of good, moral character.

 

They are sincere in their beliefs

and generally work for the betterment of everyone in society.

However, there are also people involved in religious orders who, for reasons best known to themselves,

use their positions

of trust to molestand defile the most vulnerable individuals in our society – young children. Some of them have

stooped so low as to have molested intellectually handicapped children.

No-one wants to talk about these crimes because, for many of us, they are too horrific to believe and the gap from trusted spiritual leader to paedophile is just too difficult for many to traverse. So it is ignored. But these cases of child sex abuse, perpetrated by religious leaders, must be faced — no matter how difficult that may be — if we, as a society, are to reduce their number or, better yet, eradicate them altogether.

From the research contained in this book, it is clear that a significant number of child sex abuse cases do involve clergy and church officials, though a far greater number of cases occur than are ever reported. However, the increasing number of cases that are reported serve to highlight what a massive problem this has become. Some have even called it an epidemic but one that has been brushed under the carpet.

We ask you, the reader, to follow up this research with your own, and to discuss the problem with your family and friends. Above all else, find out what’s happening in your own community. Only then can you decide what to think about the sensitive and controversial issues of paedophile priests, the moral hypocrisy their actions engineer and the countless victims whose lives they destroy.

This booklet is not designed to criticise religion or make judgments on the day to day lifestyles of church clergy. It is published in the hope that by acknowledging these events, perhaps more will be done to prevent their continued occurrence.

THE NEED FOR AN OFFICIAL ENQUIRY

Nearly 450 individual child sexual assaults by church clergy are referenced in this publication as having been dealt with by Australian courts in the short space of 10 years. This shows that, as a profession, the priesthood has lost its direction and has become a real danger to the community. The scale of this travesty is so great that only the highest level enquiry will get to the bottom of it.

We ask for your help and support in encouraging the Federal Government to conduct a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse amongst church clergy and officials, immediately.

We believe the terms of reference for such an inquiry should include the following:

1) An examination of the content and practice of training programs that church and clergy officials have undergone in the past and continue to do so in the present;

2) An examination of the effects, if any, that celibacy and sexual repression have upon child sex abuse;

3) The nature and extent of the church’s cover up of child sexual abuse within its ranks;

4) The need to reassess current government assistance to church-based education and training programs that deal with children, including taxation and other breaks; and

5) The extent to which church leaders, who have presided over child sex abuse cases in their jurisdiction, have affected current censorship regimes that deal with child sexuality and sexual violence in general.

2. AUSTRALIAN SEX CASES INVOLVING CLERGY/CHURCH OFFICIALS

There are too many cases of sexual abuse perpetrated

 

by clergy and church officials for all of them to be listed in this small booklet. However, we have recorded

many of the cases

that were brought to trial in the 1990s. The first case we list involves a man whose tragic death you may already

know about but the reasons

behind this Aussie legend’s demise may come as more of a surprise to many of you.

Death Of A Football Hero

It is well known that child sexual abuse destroys many lives in this country, and around the world, but when that abuse leads to the death of a public hero, in later life, everyone sits up and takes notice.

Sadly, for Peter Jackson — the rugby league star known to fans as the happy-go-lucky clown prince of the league — he was never able to overcome the aftermath of the sexual abuse he experienced as a schoolboy at the Southport School on the Gold Coast in 1979 and 1980.

The untimely death of the star footballer-turned-media personality, from a heroin overdose at the age of 33 in November 1997, seemed unthinkable. After-all, Jackson’s career had gone from strength to strength, playing nine Test matches for Australia, representing Queensland in the State Of Origin 17 times, playing for the Canberra Raiders, Brisbane Broncos and North Sydney Bears before embarking on a media career.

But Jackson was also a troubled man, who sought medical help numerous times to battle drug addiction and manic depression and, during treatment, told doctors about the sexual abuse he experienced in his youth. There is little doubt that this abuse impacted greatly on Jackson’s life and may well have led to his premature death.

Just weeks before he died, Jackson had given his solicitor a four-page letter detailing his life story and telling of the abuse that dated back to when he was 16 years old.

The teacher involved was Ossie McNamara, a former Catholic Marist brother who had previously been convicted for indecently dealing with a boy at a Brisbane school and had also been charged with assault and indecently dealing with a male arising from his time at St Joseph’s College in Queensland in the 1970s.

McNamara confessed to molesting Jackson and said he felt guilty about it after being told that the abuse had tormented Jackson later in life. He even tried to contact Jackson after his 1989 wedding but Jackson’s wife, Siobhan, had told him to “never to approach [Jackson] again”.

“I know it was stupid, I think I was very naive,” McNamara admitted in a newspaper interview. “Jackson was something very special to me and it just got out of hand… I have always felt guilty about what did happen, I thought he grew out of all that.”

But like many victims of sexual abuse, Jackson was scarred for life and no amount of success on the football field, in the media and even in his personal life could cure him of the pain he felt within.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Jackson’s widow would eventually settle a case with the exclusive Anglican private school where the alleged sexually abused had taken place. The undisclosed settlement was believed to be in the vicinity of $250,000 but no amount of money could ever make up for the loss of her husband under such tragic circumstances.

Jackson was a brilliant sportsman, well liked by colleagues, fans and the media, but his tragic demise is just one example of what happens to many of the victims of child sexual abuse perpetrated by church and clergy officials every year.

Cases Settled Out-Of-Court

Following are some of the cases of sex offences committed by clergy/church officials and organisations that were settled out-of-court in Australia in the 1990s.

  • Barbara Smith received a near-record amount in a compensation settlement, in January 2000, from a Franciscan order for incidents involving sexual abuse perpetrated on her by two of their priests in 1982 and a separate compensation from the Melbourne archdiocese for sexual abuse by another priest in 1973. Although the terms of the settlement are subject to a confidentiality agreement, it is believed Smith received a total of more than $200,000. Smith said she was relieved her fight for justice was over but still felt bitter about her treatment, adding that she first brought her sexual abuse complaint to the attention of former Archbishop Frank Little in 1975.
  • The Sisters of Mercy and the Catholic Church negotiated an out-of-court settlement, in 1998, with more than 60 former resident of the Neerkol orphanage between 1924 and 1971, who claimed they were abused and imprisoned as children. In October 1997, the Sisters of Mercy apologised “unreservedly” to former residents who were “victims of physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual abuse”. The settlement ended one of the largest litigation cases in Queensland history.
  • In 1996, Christian Brothers in Western Australia agreed to pay out $3.5 million to more than 260 men claiming they were sexually abused in boarding schools and orphanages run by the Catholic order, dating as far back as the 1930s. The out-of-court settlement is the final chapter in a three year court battle by the men, in a case that was fought in the NSW and Victorian supreme courts. Former students will be paid at least $2,000 each, with higher payments of up to $25,000 for those who can show long-term trauma. The Christian Brothers will also pay a further $1.5 million in legal costs incurred by the ex-residents.Clergy/Church Officials Convicted After Pleading GuiltyFollowing are some of the cases of clergy/church officials who pleaded guilty to sex offences in Australia in the 1990s. There can be no doubt as to their guilt but some sentence conditions may have changed due to legal appeals.
  • In March 2000, Catholic priest, Terrence Thomas Keliher, pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent dealing with a girl under 12 years, occurring between January 1 and June 4, 1977. In sentencing Keliher to two-and-a-half years jail, Judge Brian Hoath said he accepted Keliher was remorseful but the acts he committed on the then 9-year-old victim were “particularly revolting” and done while Keliher was in a position of great trust.
  • In 1999, Catholic priest, Father Raymond Deal, a former secretary to retired Melbourne Archbishop Frank Little, pleaded guilty in the Broadmeadows Magistrates Court to three charges of indecent assault against an emotionally impaired 26-year-old man at his Corpus Christi parish in Glenroy between December 1998 and March 1999. The victim was a parishioner who had been placed in Deal’s care to serve out a community service order imposed for minor past offences. During Deal’s sentencing, magistrate, Mr Paul Grant, described the offences committed as “a betrayal of your position as a priest and a betrayal of the trust placed in you of your supervision of this man,” adding, “The offences must be regarded as serious breaches of the law…” Deal was sentenced to a two year good behaviour bond for the first two offences and a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, for the third offence.
  • Former Roman Catholic parish priest, Wilfred James Baker, pleaded guilty in 1999 to 15 charges of indecent assault involving seven boys and one count of gross indecency involving another boy. The child sex offences spanned almost 20 years, beginning in 1960, and the victims were all aged between 10 and 12 years at the time of the offences. Baker was a curate then parish priest at a number of suburban parishes including Gladstone Park, Eltham and Brighton East and was described by former parishioners as an enthusiastic priest who revitalised parishes at Eltham and Gladstone Park. Baker was sentenced to four years jail for the child sex offences.
  • A member of the Salvation Army, Phillip Martin Lawrence Briscoe, of Valley View in SA, pleaded guilty, in 1999, to possessing child pornography after photos were discovered of two young girls under his care as foster children. Briscoe claimed the photos were taken of the naked, young girls as a form of art. Though none were explicit, Judge Sulan said the photographs were “mildly seductive” and that Briscoe “showed little sensitivity to the girls in taking and retaining the photographs”. Briscoe was fined $1,200.
  • In 1999, former Anglican archdeacon, Louis Victor Daniels, formerly of St George’s Rectory, Burnie, admitted to four counts of indecent assault and two of oral sexual intercourse, involving a 14-year-old boy, related to two incidents between January 1, 1992 and April 10, 1992. More sex offence charges, arising from about 10 more incidents in 1994, that had been lodged against Daniels, were later dropped because the prosecutor was unable to give specific dates for the offences.
  • Former Christian Brother, John Joseph Jordan, was given a 12-month good behaviour bond after pleading guilty, in 1999, to one count of indecent assault on a male under 16 years of age. Jordan, from Valley View in SA, had engaged in mutual masturbation with a 13-year-old boy at a Geelong orphanage in the early 1960s then left the order soon after the offence, which came to light in 1997 after Jordan volunteered the information to police.
  • Catholic priest Patrick Joseph Cleary, formerly the priest of the inner western Brisbane parish of Ashgrove, pleaded guilty, in 1998, to three counts of indecent dealing between 1967 and 1973. He molested a 15-year-old boy whose mother had just died, while the boy was in the confessional at a church in Wavell Heights. A second attack occurred after Cleary contacted the boy’s father, telling him to send the teenager in for religious education. A second victim, who was 16 at the time, was molested after Cleary took him to a park to look for his lost bike.
  • John Gerard Patrick Sweeney, a former parish priest of Our Lady Queen of Peace at Greystanes and the founder and former superior general of the now-disbanded order of religious teaching brothers, the Society of St Gerard Majella, pleaded guilty in 1998 to committing an act of indecency against former trainee brothers over an 11 year period. Sweeney, who also helped administer the former Newman Catholic High School, was one of the order’s three ordained priests who have each been jailed in relation to sexual assaults of young men considering a religious life with the order. Two others are serving jail terms for offences involving novices and postulants. Sweeney had also been convicted by a jury in May 1997, of three counts of indecent assault and was jailed for 18 months in relation to those offences.
  • Brian Robert Gordon, former Queensland Catholic Education administrator, was sentenced to a minimum of 12 months jail for child-sex offences committed while he taught at a Sydney school. Gordon pleaded guilty in 1998 to six charges and was found guilty on a further two charges of indecently assaulting four 11-year-old boys at St Mary’s primary school in Dundas between 1970 and 1972. Gordon had confessed his indiscretions in 1971 to the Provincial of the Marist Brothers but was told to put it behind him. He went on to teach at a number of schools until he was arrested on charges of indecent assault in 1996. Gordon said that he was ashamed about what he had done to the boys, although he had never gone to confession about it. He is no longer a practising Catholic.
  • Former De La Salle Brother, Frank Keating — who was known as Brother Ibar, pleaded guilty in 1998 to 21 charges of indecently assaulting 12 Melbourne boys, between 1972 and 1978, and was jailed for eight months. The court hearing was told that Keating had joined the order at a very young age and was described as “sexually naive“. Keating, who was stood down from the Melbourne school after complaints of sexual abuse, had received specialist medical advice and ongoing medical support. He was later posted to the De La Salle College in Redcliffe as sports master in 1981 and then appointed school principal in 1989 but, two years later, he was stood down when “a further compliant was received”. Keating was sentenced to three years jail, with 28 months suspended.
  • Former Catholic primary school teacher, Andrew Langley Graham, pleaded guilty in 1998 to one charge of indecent assault between 1979 and 1980, four charges of indecent assault in 1983 and one charge of having sexual intercourse without consent in 1983. All the offences occurred at Camden and involved Graham masturbating the boy, who was 10 when the first offence was committed. During sentencing, Judge Helen Morgan said, “This matter cannot be treated as isolated offences. They constituted a course of conduct over a long period,” adding that the victim estimated Graham had molested him at least 30 time. Graham was jailed for 12 months.
  • In 1997, a Church elder pleaded guilty to unlawful carnal knowledge and to maintaining a sexual relationship with his 15-year-old sister-in-law and was jailed for four years with a recommendation for parole after 16 months.
  • Former Catholic priest and second in charge of the religious order the Society of St Gerard Majella, Peter Harold Pritchard (also known as Joseph Pritchard) pleaded guilty in 1997 to a charge of buggery, one of assault with intent to commit buggery and two counts of committing acts of indecency, committed against four teenagers. Pritchard also had four charges of acts of indecency, that occurred at HMAS Nirimba at Quakers Hill — where Pritchard was the Catholic chaplain, taken into account by the judge during sentencing. Pritchard received a six year jail sentence.
  • Former principal of a Marist Brothers college, Gregory Vincent Coffey, pleaded guilty in 1997 to six counts of indecent assault against two students that occurred in 1976 and 1977 at Immaculate Heart Marist Brothers College where he taught. Coffey was sentenced to a jail term of two-and-a-half-years, wholly suspended for two-and-a-half-years. Coffey was also ordered to pay his victims compensation of $7,500 each, in monthly installments of $500.
  • Catholic priest, Leo Daniel Wright, pleaded guilty in 1995 to nine counts of indecently dealing with a girl under 12, four counts of indecently dealing with her sister when under 16 and three counts of gross indecency with a boy under 16. The offences against the children occurred between 1968 and 1970. Wright also pleaded guilty to one count of indecently assaulting an 18-year-old woman in 1977. Wright was sentenced to three years jail. Two years later, in 1997, Wright pleaded guilty to four counts each of indecent treatment and indecent assault between 1971 and 1976 and was sentenced to a further 18 months, suspended after six months.
  • Catholic priest, Father Gerard Vincent Ryan, who worked in the Maitland-Newcastle dioceses, pleaded guilty in 1996 to 11 charges, six of indecently assaulting four boys and five of homosexual intercourse with another boy. He also asked Judge Rummery, in the District Court, to consider, on sentencing, eight more offences. Ryan was given a four year jail sentence. A year later, in 1997, Ryan returned to court to face a further 14 sex offences against boys aged 6-14. Sentenced again, this time in the Cooma District Court, Ryan had another 39 charges taken into account and was received an 11 year jail sentence, to commence in May 2000, after the sentence he was already serving had expired.
  • Mark Geoffrey Fisher, a former scoutmaster and Anglican church choirmaster, pleaded guilty, in 1997, to charges of 35 sex offences involving eight boys aged between 11 and 15, that occurred over a 17 year period up to 1988. Fisher, who was scoutmaster at the 1st Hunters Hill troop between 1969 and 1988 and choirmaster at several Anglican churches, told the Parramatta District Court he was sorry for his actions. “I’m truly ashamed and I hope they are in a position to forgive me,” said Fisher.
  • Marist Brother John Dyson, a former principal of the Catholic High School at Alice Springs, pleaded guilty in 1997 to four counts of indecent assault against two boys in a Catholic college in Victoria in 1983. Dyson admitted masturbating the boys up to five times a week while he was a teacher and dormitory master at Assumption College at Kilmore, Victoria.
  • Retired Salvation Army major, Charles Alan Smith, pleaded guilty, in 1997, in Perth District Court to 39 charges, including indecent dealing with a child under 14, carnal knowledge against the order of nature, gross indecency and indecent assault, committed against nine boys aged between 10 and 17 over a 15 year period. Many of the offences were committed in the 1960s and 1970s. Smith had earlier pleaded guilty to 76 offences against 20 boys in Perth from 1958 to 1977. During sentencing, Chief Judge Kevin Hammond described Smith as a dominant man and a true paedophile who had preyed on young boys and used them as sexual plaything, sentencing him to 15 years jail.
  • Catholic priest, Desmond Laurence Gannon, pleaded guilty in Melbourne Magistrates Court in 1997 to indecently assaulting three boys, one as young as 12, between January 1960 and March 1969. Gannon had already served a 12 month jail term at prisons in Sale and Ararat for child-sex offences to which he pleaded guilty at Prahran Magistrates Court in 1995. Gannon was sentenced to 12 months in jail, suspended for two years.
  • Former Anglican minister, Frank Dennis Martin Bazely, of Belhus, pleaded guilty in 1997 to four counts of unlawful and indecent dealings with boys under the age of 14, three counts of unlawful and indecent assaults on a male, two of unlawful and indecent assaults on a female and three of carnal knowledge on a male. The crimes took place between 1969 and 1975 and involved three children — two brothers and their sister, aged six to 16. Bazely was jailed for a maximum term of five years.
  • Former Christian Brother, Stephen Francis Farrell, pleaded guilty in 1997 to nine counts of indecently assaulting two brothers aged nine and 10, at the St Alipius Christian Brothers primary school in Ballarat in the early to mid-1970s. During sentencing, Magistrate Ian von Einem described the abuse as “repulsive and outrageous” and that it had a lasting impact on the victims. Farrell was given a two year jail sentence, suspended for two years.
  • Anglican youth group organiser and former Bunbury scout leader, Frederick Charles Underwood, pleaded guilty in 1997 to 79 counts of indecent dealings, 10 counts of gross indecency, one of procuring indecent dealings, one of inciting indecent dealings and another of attempted carnal knowledge. Underwood had originally been charged with 500 sex offences involving more than 25 young boys between 1971 and 1991. Some of his victims later committed suicide and at least one went on to abuse a six-year-old girl repeatedly over a two year period. Underwood was sentenced to a jail term of 12 years.
  • Church youth leader, Darryl Lindsay Mowday, pleaded guilty in Brisbane District Court in 1996 to eight charges of indecent dealing and carnal knowledge with a 13-year-old girl, between 1992 and 1994. Mowday, who admitted having sex with the girl in parks, in his car and at his home when his wife was away, was sentenced to seven years’ jail.
  • Father Ron John McKeirnan, the former Queensland Catholic Education deputy-director, was jailed for three years – suspended after 12 months – for child sex offences. McKeirnan, of Coorparoo in Brisbane, pleaded guilty, in 1996, to 15 counts of indecent assault and indecent dealing with boys aged 12 to 16 between 1964 and 1965 and again between 1975 and 1977.
  • A former Marist Brother, identified only as “AB”, pleaded guilty in 1996 to 67 charges against 15 children aged between nine and 11, from his year 5 classes at Mosman Marist Primary School in 1976 and 1977, at Eastwood Marist primary in 1978-79, St Thomas Moore in 1984-85 and St Carthages, Lismore, in 1986-87. AB admitted masturbating the boys, digitally penetrating the girls, forcing many of the children to masturbate him, some of the boys to masturbate each other and some of the girls to kiss him. AB also performed oral sex on one of the girls — on the kitchen table of her family home. After being arrested in the US, where he had fled just days after two of his victims complained to police, AB was extradited back to Australia to stand trial and later sentenced to 18 years’ jail. During sentencing in the Sydney District Court, Judge David Freeman said that AB had unrelentingly singled out innocent children, regardless of their sex or circumstances, to satisfy his sexual gratification, describing him as an “evil” man whose crimes had left deep scars not only on the children he abused but also on their peers, families and friends.
  • Former Marist brother, Peter Richard Spratt, pleaded guilty in 1996 to two acts of indecency against a 14-year-old boy from the Marist College where Spratt worked. The incidents occurred at Carinya Holiday Centre, Jindabyne, and at a Marist Brothers’ residence at Wategoes Beach, Byron Bay, in 1979. After taking into account Spratt’s remorse, co-operation with police and clean record, Cooma Local Court Magistrate Jill MacDonald placed him on a $2,000, two year good-behaviour bond. The victim’s stepfather called the sentence “really ridiculous…when you consider what it’s done to our son, it’s hard to quantify”.
  • Former Christian Brother, William Edwin Marchant, from the Bidyadanga Aboriginal community at La Grange (150 km south of Broome in WA), was charged with four counts of gross indecency with a 12-year-old boy at Tardun Boys Home in 1967 and 1968. Marchant pleaded guilty to one count in 1997 and was sentenced.
  • In 1996, Catholic priest, Father John Leslie Treacy, pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a 16-year-old in January 1988 and was placed on a $750 bond but no conviction recorded in May 1993. After the court hearing, Treacy was sent on leave while receiving psychiatric help then transferred from the Sandhurst Diocese to the Queensland town of Dalby, where he worked as an assistant priest.
  • Keith John Burton, an associate pastor at a Protestant church in North Brisbane, pleaded guilty in 1996 to one count of maintaining a sexual relationship with a minor, five counts of indecent treatment of a boy under the age of 16 and one count of having permitted himself to be sodomised. He was sentenced to seven years, the victims were aged 14 and 12 when the incidents occurred from 1985 to 1989.
  • A member of the Christian Brothers order, code-named X11, told the Wood royal commission in 1996 that he sexually molested 20 boys, aged as young as five, over a 28 year period. X11 admitted he preyed on disadvantaged boys under his care and that he told his superiors of some of the assaults as early as 1987 but the Christian Brothers did not tell police and allowed X11 to remain in the order. X11, who taught extensively throughout NSW since joining the order in 1961, was interviewed by police a year later, after a complaint was made by one of his victims, code-named X17.
  • Christian Brother, Edward Vernon Dowlan, pleaded guilty in 1996 to 16 counts of indecently assaulting 11 male students under the age of 16 between March 1971 and July 1982. Two counts were committed while Dowlan was teaching at St Alipius Primary School, four counts were committed at St Thomas’ College, seven at St Patrick’s College and three at Cathedral College. Originally sentenced to nine years and eight months’ jail, Dowlan had his sentence reduced, by the Court of Appeal in 1997, to six-and-a-half years.
  • Canberra Anglican priest John Phillip Aitchison pleaded guilty in 1996 to charges of sexual intercourse with a young boy and was sentenced in the Queanbeyan District Court to three years jail. Aitchison was already serving a three year sentence after being found guilty in the ACT Magistrates Court of three acts of indecency against the same boy when he was nine, 10 and 12 years old. Numerous other charges had been laid in NSW for incidences involving Aitchison abusing the boy in that state. The charges involved fondling and the victim also told the court that Aitchison would clothe him in nappies and rub talcum powder on his body.
  • Former principal of a Victorian Catholic school, James Richard Gunn, pleaded guilty in 1995 to five charges of indecent assault and six of taking part in acts of sexual penetration with a boy over 10 but under 16, committed between 1987 and 1989. Gunn was sentenced to three years jail.
  • Catholic priest, Father Gerard Joseph Mulvale, who was previously found guilty of three counts of indecent assault of one 15-year-old boy, pleaded guilty in 1995 to one count each of indecent assault and gross indecency in relation to another male victim of a similar age. Mulvale was also acquitted of two counts of indecent assault on the first victim. The offences occurred between 1977 and 1981, both before and after Mulvale became a catholic priest of the Pallottine Order in 1979. Both victims were members of church youth groups at St Christopher’s parish in Syndal, of which Mulvale was a leader. Mulvale was sentenced to three years jail.
  • Melbourne priest, Father John Kevin O’Donnell, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of indecent assault on 10 boys and two girls under the age of 16 between 1946 and 1977. During sentencing, Judge Kellam told O’Donnell he had committed an “audacious and rapacious breach of your obligations to these children and their parents as their parish priest’’. The counts of indecent assault occurred in Chelsea, Seymour, Tallarook, Dandenong, Hastings, Rosebud and Oakleigh and all of O’Donnell’s victims were students at schools attached to his parish — some were altar boys. O’Donnell received a total sentence of 39 months jail in 1995.
  • Former Marist Brothers Eastwood teacher and trainee priest, Phillip John Hardy, pleaded guilty to 13 counts (and was found guilty on another five counts) of sexual abuse charges committed against a boy from the ages of 8 till 16. In 1995, Hardy was sentenced to a minimum of seven years jail and a maximum of 11 years for his “abhorrent” crimes. During sentencing, NSW District Court Judge Angela Karpin said Hardy “represents every parent’s nightmare, a trusted friend, teacher and religious example who flagrantly abuses that trust… The prisoner is not a monster but over eight years he behaved in a monstrous way.”
  • Marist Brother, David Austin Christian, pleaded guilty in 1995 to eight counts of indecency, against a 10-year-old boy and an 11-year-old boy. The incidences occurred while Christian was the principal of Newman Junior College. He was sentenced in the Perth District Court and his $10,500 fine was paid by the Marist Church.
  • Catholic priest, Gerald Ridsdale, was jailed for 18 years in 1994, after pleading guilty to 46 charges of sex abuse of 21 children aged between nine and 15, in various towns around Victoria between 1961 and 1982. Ridsdale had earlier been charged with 180 counts including 21 counts of buggery, 102 of indecent assault and 55 of gross indecency. Ridsdale had also been sentenced to jail some 27 years earlier for sexual assault offences committed against eight victims at Inglewood and Edenhope. During sentencing at the County Court, Judge John Dee blamed the Catholic Church superiors for failing to take Ridsdale out of circulation after becoming aware of his criminal conduct, telling Ridsdale, “You were given some perfunctory in-house counselling before being shifted off to continue your criminal conduct in other areas.”
  • In 1994, the former Vicar-General of Parramatta and parish priest of St Marys, Father Richard St John Cattell, pleaded guilty to five counts of indecent assault on a 14-year-old boy who had gone to him to report a sexual assault by another teacher. Cattell told the boy that this sort of experience was “normal” then indecently assaulted him several times during the next three years. Cattell was sentenced in the Penrith District Court to two years’ jail.
  • Anglican priest, Father Michael Roderick Painter, pleaded guilty in 1994 to sex offences against a 16-year-old boy and faced four further charges of aggravated sexual assault against a 13-year-old boy. Sentenced in the Perth District Court, Painter received three years probation and 240 hours of community work.
  • Catholic priest, Father Peter Lewis Comensoli, pleaded guilty to assaulting two boys aged 11 and 17, and admitting he used alcohol, pornography and gifts to ingratiate himself to his victims. The former Gwynneville parish priest, was jailed for 18-months in October 1994.
  • In 1994, a former scout leader and YMCA leader, Robert John Richardson, pleaded guilty and was convicted on 29 counts of indecent assault, four of indecent acts with a child under 16, three each of gross indecency and indecent acts in the presence of a 16-year-old, and two of sexual penetration of a 16-year-old. Richardson was sentenced to 10 years in jail for sexually molesting the boys, who were aged 11 to 16 at the time of the offences. During the case, it was alleged that Richardson molested 12 boys in his charge and that the crimes he committed numbered about 100.* Roderick Albert Joseph Corrie, one of the most senior and highly decorated Scouts in NSW, was jailed for seven years in February 2000 after pleading guilty in the District Court to eight most serious of 77 charges of sexually abusing children as young as 11, including rape and buggery, occurring from 1969 to 1995. Two years earlier, Corrie had been convicted of eight charges of “aggravated indecent assault” and placed on a bond, given counselling and 70 hours of community service. The leader of Australia’s 90,000-strong Scouting movement, Dr Bruce Munro, apologised to the families of those abused after the Sydney Morning Herald obtain a copy of a 14-page report written by a senior Scout leader in 1981 that detailed serious allegations of Corrie abusing four boys, one aged 12 at the time. Munro admitted that those allegations were not properly investigated or referred to the police and that although Corrie was initially suspended, he was then simply allowed to transfer as a leader to a North Shore Scouting group. Even after police began investigating Corrie in 1994, he was allowed to continue having contact with – and sexually abusing — scouts until at least May 1995. According to chief executive of NSW Scouts, Mr Peter Olah, Corrie was one of seven paedophiles in the ‘movement’ to be convicted during the past 10 years.
  • Former Christian Brother, Gerard William Dick, pleaded guilty in 1994 to 10 counts of indecent dealing with a boy under 14, more than 30 years earlier. Dick was sentenced to three years jail.
  • Catholic Brother, John Littler, pleaded guilty in 1993 to three charges of indecent assault in Sydney’s District Court and received a five year good behaviour bond.
  • Christian Brother Bill Hocking pleaded guilty in 1992 to aggravated indecent assault of 14-year-old boy under his care at a youth refuge and was sentenced to 150 hours of community service.
    Clergy/Church Officials Found Guilty By A Jury 

    Following are some of the cases of clergy/church officials who were found guilty of sex offences in Australia in the 1990s. Some names have been omitted for legal reasons (as legal appeals may be pending).

  • In February 1999, Catholic priest, Bryan Coffey, was found guilty in the County Court at Ballarat, Victoria, of 12 counts of indecent assault on a male under 16, one count of indecent assault on a girl under 16 and one count of false imprisonment. The charges related to the sexual abuse of seven altar boys and one girl in several parishes in the Western District between 1963 and 1975. He was sentenced to three years jail with the whole term suspended. A later appeal to increase the sentence was brought by the Director of Public Prosecutions, who argued that the current sentence was manifestly inadequate. The appeal was thrown out in a 2-1 majority vote.
  • Bryce Kingsley Fennell, an active church member, was found guilty of three counts of rape after he invited a 19-year-old intellectually disabled teenager, who had come to his door selling raffle tickets, into his Mount Gambier home and raped him three times on 4 May, 1998. During the sentencing submission, the court heard that Fennell’s criminal history related almost entirely to his “sexual problems” and that most of his victims had been aged 15 years or under. Fennell’s solicitor, Mr Nick Vadasz, told the court his client had very little actual control over his desires and that he was now prepared to be chemically castrated. Fennell appealed against the judgment but the appeal was dismissed on 13 May 1999 and Fennell was subsequently sentenced to 5 years imprisonment.
  • In 1998, a Catholic priest was sentenced to two years of periodic detention after being found guilty of indecently assaulting an 11-year-old girl in his parish 22 years earlier. The priest’s name was suppressed but the DPP prosecutor, Robyn Denes, told the Campbelltown District Court that “the evidence discloses a systematic abuse of a young child. She was 11 years old when it happened”. Denes also said the priest had shown no evidence of contrition or remorse for his actions.
  • Stephen Joseph Robinson, a former Catholic brother of the Society of St Gerard Majella, was sentenced to a minimum jail term of 18 months after being convicted in 1998 of an act of indecency on a former postulant and a former novice in separate jury trials. Robinson had been the society’s former novice master and spiritual director.
  • A former Christian Brother’s headmaster was convicted on May 17, 1995 and jailed for 5 years after being found guilty of two counts of gross indecency. The Christian Brother had abused two aboriginal boys, one aged under 14 years, on a remote aboriginal community in NT.
  • Church elder and Sunday school teacher, Robert Arthur Selby Lowe, was sentenced to life in prison in 1994 for kidnapping and murdering a six-year-old girl. Lowe had been arrested in March 1993 with a written “confession’’ in his possession that admitted he had abducted the girl, but claiming she had died after accidentally choking. Lowe had earlier been convicted of sexual offences in Britain, New Zealand and NSW and been warned for indecent exposure in Croydon in 1991.
  • Anglican priest, Father John Sydney Morley, was found guilty on two counts of indecent assault in 1992 and was given an 18 month suspended sentence. The charges related to offences committed against an 11-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl.Allegations That Lead To Charges Against Clergy/Church OfficialsFollowing are some of the reports of allegations of sex offences made against clergy/church officials in Australia in the 1990s. Some names have been omitted for legal reasons, to protect the identity of those with trials and investigations pending.

     

  • In 1999, the Catholic Church’s Commission into Sexual Abuse found that priest, Father Peter Waters sexually abused Michael Santamaria, a nephew of the late B.A. Santamaria, in the 1970s. Independent commissioner Peter O’Callaghan made the finding but Father Waters “vehemently” denied the allegations and formally refused to accept the commission’s jurisdiction. However, Waters was replaced in his parish of Kyneton in 1999. Michael Santamaria said he did not disclose the incidents when his uncle was alive as he was still a force in the church and had befriended the priest involved.
  • In 1999, a witness from the stolen generations trial told the court how a missionary assaulted him, as a young aboriginal boy living in Northern Territory institutions, when he was bed-ridden with the mumps and alone in his hostel dormitory. The same missionary tried to assault the boy a second time when he next fell ill.
  • In 1999, former Guildford Grammar dormitory master and Scotch College primary school teacher, Peter Jeremy Longley, of Karnup in WA, was charged with 20 counts of indecent dealings with a child under 14 years of age. The charges, for offences allegedly committed between 1957 and 1984, arose after five complainants had come forward, two were former Guildford Grammar students, two former Scotch College students and another person. Trial has not yet taken place, scheduled for 21 June, 2000.
  • A senior Catholic clergyman was charged with two counts each of indecent dealing with a boy under 17 and indecent assault. Brisbane Magistrate Peter Mitchell suppressed the name of the clergyman and that of his alleged victim.
  • Former science and discipline master of a Sydney Catholic primary school, Robert Joseph “Dolly” Dunn is facing trial on numerous charges including homosexual intercourse, acts of indecency, indecent assault, aggravated sexual assault, attempted sexual intercourse, gross indecency, employing a child for pornographic purposes and supplying cannabis, involving 10 boys aged from seven years and upwards, occurring between 1979 and 1995. Dunn’s trial was delayed while his lawyers unsuccessfully argued Dunn should be granted immunity from prosecution because he was granted two indemnities in 1990 so he would help police by giving evidence about three allegedly corrupt former police officers. Although Judge Davidson dismissed the District Court action, as of October 1999, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is yet to re-list the case.
  • In 1998, an Anglican priest faced nine charges of indecent assault on a male for offences that allegedly occurred during 1973 and 1974.
  • In 1997, a former Christian Brother faced trial over alleged sex offences against a child under 14 years of age at Perth Magistrates Court. The Brother, who was too ill to face court at the time, was charged with nine counts of carnal knowledge and five of indecent dealings with a child under 14, alleged to have taken place in a Perth home between 1955 and 1956.
  • In 1997, an 80-year-old clergyman and former Neerkol orphanage worker was charged with three counts of rape and 37 counts of indecent dealing for alleged offences committed between 1945 and 1975 at the Sisters of Mercy’s St Joseph’s Orphanage. Charges against the clergyman, who could not be named, included rape of a girl under the age of 14 and indecent dealings with girls under the age of 16 and boys under the age of 14. The brother of one of the girls allegedly raped and abused by the clergyman told the Rockhampton Magistrates Court that he had “spied” on the clergyman and his sister for years, saying, “At the age of 14, I believed [my sister] had been chosen by God for this. I know it sounds ridiculous but that’s how I felt … you have to understand our up-bringing — the [clergyman] was almost God.” He added that it was not until he was about 18 that he realised the attention given to his sister was morally wrong and that “Not speaking up is something I deeply regret.”
  • In 1997, a Church Pastor, from Reedy Creek in the Gold Coast, was charged with raping a 16-year-old girl. The youth pastor for the Reach Out For Christ International, pleaded not guilty to the charges he faced in Southport District Court.
  • Two retired priests, from the disbanded western Sydney Catholic order, the Brothers of St Gerard Majella, were charged in 1995 with a range of sexual assault charges after a Sydney major crime squad team investigated allegations of sexual misconduct by the order. One of the priests, a 50-year-old, was charged with 13 counts of assault and committing an act of indecency, two counts of sexual intercourse without consent, three counts of buggery and one of indecent assault for offences allegedly occurring in Sydney between 1982 and 1992. The other priest, a 57-year-old, was charged with four counts of assault and committing acts of indecency, and six counts of indecent assault for offences occurring in Sydney between 1972 and 1985. The order, which had been running retreats for high school students and conducted religious classes in NSW high schools, was disbanded by Bishop Bede Heather shortly after the allegations came to light in late-1994. The names of the priests, both from Nambucca Heads, were suppressed along with the names of their alleged victims. The case was dealt with in the Downing Centre Court in Sydney.
  • In 1995, a Christian Brother was committed for trial on one count of buggery, allegedly committed on a nine-year-old boy at a school in Melbourne in 1958. The evidence was heard by Magistrate Phillip Goldberg.Allegations Against Clergy/Church Officials Who Died Before TrialFollowing are some of the cases of clergy/church officials who committed suicide or died before being charged with or tried for alleged sex offences in Australia in the 1990s.  

  • Father John O’Regan, former priest at Nazareth House in Brisbane, died before police could interview him over child sex allegations.
  • In 1997, Peter Bohrsmann, the boarding master of one of Sydney’s most prestigious schools, St Ignatius’ College at Riverview, was found dead in his car, with the engine running, close to the 1300-pupil Jesuit school’s boat shed. Two days earlier, Bohrsmann had professed his innocence when told by Father Christopher Gleeson, headmaster at the college, that an anonymous but detailed complaint had been made against him.
  • Prominent Wollongong figure and principal of the Edmund Rice College, Brother Michael Evans, killed himself just before Christmas in 1994, after a police investigation had concluded there was enough evidence to charge him with indecent assault. It is alleged that Brother Evans had been abusing boys for years and, since 1984, victims had complained about him to senior figures in the Catholic Church and to the police.
  • Catholic priest Father Nazareno Fasciale admitted to police that he had cuddled and fondled an 11-year-old altar boy at beach picnics and after mass in the early-1970s. Fasciale had earlier told the church hierarchy that he could not deny allegations he assaulted children in the mid-1950s, the comments leading to his removal from parish work. The 69-year-old Williamstown priest was facing 13 charges of indecent assault and gross indecency when he died of cancer on 13 March 1996.Charges Dropped Or Convictions OverturnedFollowing are some of the cases where alleged charges against clergy/church officials were dropped or convictions overturned on appeal in Australia in the 1990s. Some names have been omitted for legal reasons.
  • Former parish priest, Reginald Basil Durham, was found guilty of raping a 14 year-old-girl who was made a ward of the state to escape sexual abuse from her stepfather that had begun when the girl was eight. The court was told Durham had forced the girl had into a bedroom at the now closed St Joseph’s Orphanage, at Neerkol, and then raped her in 1966. Following the attack, the girl was admitted to hospital for five days, in December 1966, with abdominal pains and fever but records of the treatment had long been destroyed. The girl had complained to a nun at the time but was told no action would be taken because her allegation was “made up”. However, she decided to consult police about the alleged rape some thirty years later, leading to Durham’s court case. Judge Warren Howell, in sentencing Durham to a seven-and-a-half year jail term, said the Church had displayed “blinding corruption” and a “reprehensible attitude in trying to cover [the complaint] up.” Judge Howell told Durham, who had earlier in 1999 pleaded guilty to six counts of indecent dealing with another child in the 1960s, that he was an “evil man” who had engaged in a “gross and outrageous breach of trust”. The judge also suggested the community expected the Church to make a six-figure ex-gratia payout to the victim, along with an apology. However, in March 2000, Durham’s conviction was set aside, by a unanimous judgment of the Court of Appeal, because the trial judge’s summing up “lacked judicial balance”. The Director of Public Prosecutions will now decide whether Durham should face trial again on the rape charges.
  • Catholic priest, Father Kevin Cox, was charged with three counts of sexual assault against Margaret Heathwood who claimed he began sexually abusing her when she was 11-years-old. Ms Heathwood also claimed that Cox made her pregnancy at 17 then gave her $200.00 towards the cost of an abortion when she was sitting her HSC trials. After giving evidence at the committal hearing in Campbelltown Local Court in July 1997, Ms Heathwood returned to the public gallery where Cox sat, and suddenly produced a knife that she plunged it into her neck, telling the priest: “This is for your, Kevin.” Although Cox was convicted of the charges, the offences having occurred some 20 years earlier, the conviction was later overturned by three appeal court judges, leaving Ms Heathwood devastated.
  • Former radio personality, Hadyn Sargent, was charged with 12 child sex-related offences allegedly committed while he was a Church of Christ Minister more than 30 years earlier. The offences were allegedly committed against Norman Kozeluh, between 1959 and 1960, when he was placed in Sargent’s care by a court. The charges were later dropped.
  • Christian Brother, Robert Charles Best, the principal of a Christian Brothers primary school, was found guilty in 1998 of six counts of indecent assault and not guilty on a further 12 sex offences relating to three students between 1969 and 1971. Best had allegedly fondled a grade four boy four times as he sat next to the student in class pretending to take an interest in his work. He also allegedly twice abused a grade six boy at the school’s sick bay. Best was sentenced to two years’ jail but won a retrial in 1998 when the appeal court quashed the convictions and ordered a new trial which has not yet taken place.
  • A Christian Brother facing 72 charges of alleged sexual abuse of 35 Aboriginal children, some as young as six, appearing in NT Supreme Court was found guilty of several of the charges in May 1995. Sentenced to five years imprisonment, the Brother, whose name was suppressed by the court, later appealed his conviction which was quashed in October 95 and no re-trial was ordered.
  • Former priest Father Michael Charles Glennon was convicted in 1991 of five charges of sexually assaulting teenage boys and a girl while Glennon was master of a karate school run by the Peaceful Hand Foundation at a property at Lancefield. He was sentenced to nine years jail but the High Court later ruled that the trial judge, Judge Neesham, had misdirected the jury in relation to one of the charges involving a teenage boy, and that this had led to a “substantial miscarriage of justice’’, quashing the conviction and ordering a new trial. The decision added another chapter to one of Victoria’s longest-running legal battles, which has been to court 12 times with Glennon convicted, acquitted on appeal, then had his convictions reinstated on this and other sex charges.PLEASE NOTE: A FURTHER FORTY-FIVE CLERGY/CHURCH OFFICIALS ARE LISTED IN THE AUSTRALIAN PAEDOPHILE AND SEX OFFENDER INDEX THAT HAVE NOT EVEN BEEN MENTIONED IN THIS BOOKLET
  • The book The Australian Paedophile and Sex Offender Index, published in 1996, includes a listing of offenders by occupation. This listing reveals that Clergy and Church Officials make up the largest single group of offenders. Of the more than 350 offenders named in the book, 68 were Clergy & Church Officials, 38 were Teachers, Educators, Universities and Schools Related (but not religious teachers) followed by 34 Computers, Videotaping, Video Games, Entertainment & Media Related. Other occupations prominently listed included Public Servants, including Members of Parliament, Councillors, Council Workers, Defence And Police Force Members and Self-Employed, Managers, Directors, Farming And Business Related. The thoroughly researched book found no prostitutes, no sex shop owners, no X video producers and no adult publishers with paedophile backgrounds or sex offences recorded against them.*Published in 1997 by Hodder and Stoughton, Child Sexual Abuse and the Churches by Patrick Parkinson outlines the problem from within the church and offers a very Christian strategy as a way forward. The real problem with this approach is that it fails to recognise the root causes of why church clergy sexually assault young children and instead focuses on ‘overcoming’ the problems and becoming ‘more vigilant’ etc.*Sexual Abuse in Christian Homes and Churches by Carolyn Holderread Heggen. Published by Herald Press in 1993.This book is written by a psychotherapist who specialises in sexual abuse. It offers hope that confronting broken sexuality will bring healing – for survivors of abuse, for perpetrators and for the church. The book drew conclusions that were well ahead of their time in this area.Even in 1993, the book was able to state that:

    ‘A disturbing fact continues to surface in sex abuse research. The best predictor of abuse is alcohol or drug addiction in the father. But the second best predictor is conservative religiosity, accompanied by parental belief in traditional female-male roles.’

    This means that if you want to know which children are most likely to be sexually abused by their father, the second most significant clue is whether or not the parents belong to a conservative religious group with traditional role beliefs and rigid sexual attitudes (Brown and Bohn,1989; Finkelhor, 1986; Fortune, 1983; Goldstein, Kant and Hartman, 1973; Van Leeuwen, 1990).

    * Other reference works include:

    Betrayal of Trust: Clergy Abuse of Children by Annie Laurie Gaylor

  • 3.AN OVERVIEW OF OVERSEAS CASES

    In case you thought that the problems of clergy and church officials committing sex offences was a uniquely Australian problem, we give the following overview of a number of overseas cases.

    Clergy/Church Officials Charged Or Convicted Of Sex Offenses

    Following are some of the overseas cases of clergy/church officials charged with or convicted of sex offences or exposed in sex scandals in the 1990s.

  • In the largest settlement for a sexual abuse case, the Catholic diocese of Dallas, in the US, agreed in 1998 to pay .4 million dollars to eight former altar boys and the family of a ninth boy — who committed suicide at the age of 21, who were all victimised and sexually abused by former priest Rudolph “Rudy” Kos. The diocese had earlier agreed to pay three other Kos victims .5 million. Kos, presently serving a life sentence for abusing the boys in three churches in or near Dallas in the 1980s and early-1990s, had previously served a year in a juvenile detention centre for molesting a neighbour. The settlements came after a jury awarded 11 plaintiffs .6 million in 1997 but the plaintiffs (and a 12th victim that filed suit after the award had been made) agreed to take the much lesser amount because they knew the diocese could not afford the larger payment. The bishop of the diocese, Charles Grahmann, issued a “deeply” felt apology when he announced the payment.
  • In 1996, Canadian Roman Catholic bishop, Hubert O’Connor, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for sex crimes against native Indian women at a boarding school he ran in the 1960s. O’Connor was the most senior Catholic clergyman in Canada to be convicted of such offences.
  • In 1996, UK Roman Catholic priest, Father Adrian McLeish, was jailed for six years after admitting 12 charges of sexual abuse of boys under 14, eight of possessing and distributing child pornography and two of importing illegal videos. For five years McLeish had been abusing boys, contacted through their families’ connection with the church. During sentencing, Justice Moses said, “You sexually abused four young boys, some of whom you groomed with a view to indulging your sexual desires.” McLeish had also built a collection of child pornography that would have filled the 24-volume Encyclopedia Britannia 11 times over. Detectives said that some of his collection, that included 9,000 images, was the worst material seized in England.
  • Rabbi’s assistant, Yehudah Friedlander, pleaded guilty in 1995 to sexually molesting a 15-year-old girl on a flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles.
  • In 1995, Austrian Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, resigned his position amid claims he had molested up to 2,000 pupils, monks and seminarians.
  • American ex-priest, James Porter, who admitted to molesting as many as 100 children in three US states, was charged with 46 counts of sodomy and indecent assault committed against 32 people 30 years earlier in a southern Massachusetts diocese. Porter eventually pleaded guilty, in 1993, to 46 charges of sexual misconduct. A year earlier, Porter had been convicted in Minnesota of molesting his children’s baby sitter in 1987 and sentenced to six months jail. While a priest, Porter had been confronted by his superiors over sex abuse claims on at least five occasions in 1963 and 1964, where the claims were backed by solid evidence, but was simply returned to parish work after in-house counselling.
  • US television evangelist preacher, Jim Bakker, and his wife Tammy, once had 600,000 religious followers. But when news got out about Bakker’s affair with church worker, Jessica Hahn, his popularity plummeted. Worse was to come when Bakker was indicted then later convicted and jailed on fraud charges associated with his PTL Ministry.
  • 4.OTHER INFORMATION YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Research conducted by former vicar John Thorburn and presented at the American Psychological Association conference in 1999, found that a sixth of Church of England vicars in Britain had extra-marital affairs and another sixth was attracted to other men. This makes British vicars more likely to be unfaithful to their wives than businessmen. Just under half the vicars surveyed admitted indulging in pornographic books and videos, one in 10 visited strip clubs and “a few” also used prostitutes, citing loneliness and depression as the driving force behind their behaviour.
  • In 1999, The Queensland Commission of Inquiry into Abuse of Children, led by former state Governor Leneen Forde, uncovered such pervasive abuse that 14 allegations of criminal conduct, including criminal, physical and sexual abuse, were referred to police. The 380-page report examined 1,500 files and interviewed 300 alleged victims from more than 150 Catholic and non-Catholic homes, orphanages and child detection centres operated from 1911 to the present. The report concluded that the history of institutional care in Queensland until the 1980s was one of sacrificing children’s interests to expedience. There were many cases of children being preyed upon by paedophiles in some institutions, abused, raped, starved and flogged, sometimes with great fury, using belts and sticks. Often the children bled from the beatings, were forced to strip and endure cold as punishment, were locked up in darkness and force-fed when they would not eat. Over-all, the report found widespread abuse, neglect and deprivation in institutions for children.
  • Victoria’s largest class action was underway in 1999, with more than 100 former state wards alleging systematic sexual, psychological and physical abuse at homes and orphanages across rural and metropolitan Victoria that were run by several religious and lay bodies, notably Catholic nuns. Some cases stem from 1955 to 1965 and involve children being flogged, used as virtual slave labour, being victimised by paedophiles and, in some cases, being shared among fellow staffers by their abusers. Ms Vivian Waller, of the Melbourne law firm Maurice Blackburn & Co, confirmed legal proceedings were underway and that “both boys and girls were repeatedly forced (by male and female staff) to perform indecent acts and to participate in sexual intercourse”. She added that the abuse was often “repeated and severe” and that the state, “was the legal guardian of each state ward and had a moral and legal duty to ensure the safety of each child”. More than 200 former wards have given their histories to the law firm, many of whom have viable legal claims and those who experienced the most severe forms of abuse may be awarded as much as $200,000 in compensation.
  • A 1998 Tasmanian independent report into allegations of sexual misconduct and paedophilia by senior Anglican Church officials received 160 telephone call and 40 pages of face-to-face submissions relating to sexual abuse by clergy, staff, teachers and volunteers — identifying 17 individuals as abusers, 15 of which were members of the clergy. The report, known as Not The Way Of Christ, found there was a hard-core group of clergy with sexual tendencies towards young males, described by a member trying to break away from the group as the “grubby little circle”. Two males and one female also disclosed being raped as children and one male told how he and his sister were sexually abused over a five year period. The report also found eight women had entered into sexual relationships with ministers as adults and eleven people said they’d been victims of sexual abuse while boarding at Anglican schools. Several people also raised concerns about a lack of action by the church over the allegations.
  • According to Broken Rites, a support organisation for victims of sexual, physical or emotional abuse from members of religious organisations, 35 Catholic priests and religious brothers in Australia were sentenced for sexual crimes and five other died before their cases reached court, between 1993 and 1997. Another eight had been committed and awaited trial or magistrates’ hearings while a further dozen were charged on summons. Others were still under investigation by Police.
  • The New Criminology, by Max D Schlapp and Edward E Smith, studied two generations of statistics examining the population of prisons and found that about 1% of those incarcerated were atheists or people without religious training. The vast majority of inmates had been brought up with religious training and that more than half the prison population came from Catholic backgrounds in particular.
  • A newspaper article published in 1995 claimed that from 1987 to 1995, nearly 100 Christian Brothers, from Sydney, Wollongong, Toowoomba, Perth and Darwin, had been accused of misconduct — typically the sexual abuse of schoolchildren.
  • 5.BRIEF PROFILES ON THE ANTI-VICE CAMPAIGNERS

    Many people opposed to censorship often have difficulty understanding the moral crusaders who choose to become self-appointed custodians of public morality. One can understand any person choosing certain moral codes to govern their own lives but what motivates them to force their moral codes onto others?. Perhaps the following analysis of anti-vice crusader, Anthony Comstock, penned by Harvey O’Higgins and Edward Reede (in their book, The American Mind), sheds some much needed light on the motivations of other crusaders, even those in Australia.

    “The Puritan lived in a state of war with his instinctive self, which he regarded as his evil self tempting him to live according to the law of the flesh when he wished to live according to the Pauline law of God. He hated the flesh in himself and he hated even more fiercely that flesh appearing as the vices of others. Hence he was a great persecutor, a strong vice-crusader, the best witch hunter… It is useless to tell such a man to love his neighbour as himself; he hates so much of himself. His hate, reservoired within him, gets its drainage in raids on vice, in the prosecutions and suppressions carried on by anti-vice societies, and in the campaigns of reform that call for the punishment of evil-doers.”

    Keith Wright

    Former Labor MP and Baptist lay preacher, Keith Wright, was a strong moral campaigner — deeply religious, opposed to pornography and a vehement defender of children and their need for protection. As it turned out, children would need protecting from Wright, the former Queensland state Opposition leader and member for the federal seat of Capricornia, with a sexual bent towards adolescent girls. Wright was arrested, tried by jury and found guilty of one count of rape, one count of indecently dealing with a girl under 14, and four counts of indecently dealing with a girl under 16. His victim had been aged 13 when the abuse, which occurring between 1983 and 1985, first began. At the age of 16, when the girl involved tried to break off their relationship, Wright, refusing to take no for an answer, raped her in her own bedroom. Wright received an eight year jail sentence for these crimes in 1993 then, a year later, his sentenced was increased by 12 months after a second trial for more sex offences. In the second trial, involving another victim — an 11-year-old girl when Wright began molesting her — he was found guilty of one count of indecent and unlawfully dealing with a girl aged under 14, between 1984 and 1986, and two counts of indecent dealing with the same girl in 1989 and 1990. Wright was eventually paroled on 11 June 1999, after serving only five years of his sentence, and has now launched a new phonetics-based 4S literacy program for children on the Gold Coast. Wright has said that promoting his literacy package is a chance for him to “contribute to the community”.

    Pastor Howard Carter

    Baptist minister Pastor Howard Carter was the executive director and founder of the Covenant Evangelical Church’s political and educational arm, the Logos Foundation. The foundation had originally been founded in 1966, in New Zealand, but when Carter moved to Sydney three years later — joining the fundamentalist Christian Faith Centre and later founding the Covenant Evangelical Church — Logos moved with him. In 1988, Logos headquarters moved to Toowoomba, a more fertile ground for the emerging New Right church. Originally welcomed to this part of Australia, the established churches turned their back on Logos when the foundation ran a $100,000 campaign during the 1989 state election, arguing that moral issues like pornography, capital punishment, homosexuality and abortion were more important than political corruption. Purporting that his church had two basic commitments, Carter told Toowoomba’s Chronicle newspaper that year that “one is a profound and personal commitment to Jesus Christ, the other is to family.” However, even as he uttered those words, Carter was secretly committing adultery, a cardinal sin in the eyes of Logos, with a female member of the congregation. Carter was soon forced to resign his position in disgrace after being confronted by church elders. Carter’s actions eventually led to the demise of Logos, its properties sold for reputed several million dollars, some of the money used to set up a new organisation known as NCV.

    US Evangelist Preacher Jimmy Swaggart

    Well known American evangelist and ardent anti-vice crusader, Jimmy Swaggart was born in Ferriday, Louisiana, and grew up in a small town where his uncle paid for the construction of an Assemblies of God church, the largest Pentecostal denomination in the US. Both his parents were evangelists and his grandmother constantly studied the Bible. It was only natural that Swaggart too would become an evangelist and began preaching on street corners. Eventually Swaggart’s preaching crusades would encompass the US and many other countries. In 1973, Swaggart began using video as his primary medium and, within 10 years, had become the most popular television preacher in the US with some 200 stations sending his message into 2 million households. In 1987, Swaggart was instrumental in publicizing the scandal that brought about the downfall of fellow television preachers Jim and Tammy Bakker but, a year later, he too was forced to resign his position after a fellow preacher showed photographs of Swaggart with a New Orleans prostitute. Swaggart gave a tearful confession at the time, admitting to an unspecified sin, but refused to bow to church discipline and resumed his ministry. However, three years later, Swaggart was caught again with another prostitute in his car in Indio, California. Swaggart has remained entrenched in his religion and continues to fund raise compulsively, attempting to resurrect his lost outreach to souls by means of FM radio and the Internet.

    6.CONCLUSION

    If there was one crime in society that could be said to be the most perverse, it would surely be the sexual assault of an innocent child. So what is it that has caused the most elevated teachers in our community to perform the most perverted crimes so frequently?

    Bertrand Russell once said of clergymen, ‘Any average selection of mankind set apart and told that it excels the rest in virtue, must tend to sink below the average’. While there are many church clergy in Australia who clearly defy this description, Russell’s comments may be very appropriate to those clergymen who battle sexual repression and rigid dogma.

    From a very early age the novice clergyman is told to eradicate sexual thoughts from his consciousness altogether. Internal dialogue on sex is discouraged so that many priests grow into middle age with no framework to hang sexual urges or experiences upon. The number of paedophile priests who cited ‘sexual naivete’ as some sort of defence to their crimes in court reports is astounding.

    Some religious orders like the Mormons actually publish official instructions on how to avoid masturbation. The Guide to Mormon Youth under the heading of Overcoming Masturbation exhorts young people to ‘Set a goal of abstinence. Begin with a day, then a week, month and year….If you masturbate, colour that day black’ (on a calendar). Under the heading of ‘Avoiding Temptation’, the Guide encourages novices to leave the door partly open when on the toilet or in the shower and to ‘wear pajamas that are difficult to open’, ‘put on several layers of clothing that would be difficult to remove while half asleep’, and ‘In severe cases, tie a hand to the bed frame’.

    ‘Employ aversion therapy. To cancel out the pleasurableness (sic) of masturbating, associate something very distasteful with the act. For example, imagine bathing in a tub of worms and eating some of them’.

    Clearly these are extremist views and a form of mind control that is unacceptable to a reasonable adult. The Catholic Church has quietly and belatedly admitted that attitudes like this around the training of priests can cause problems. In December 1999, A Catholic Bishop’s report called Towards Understanding, suggested that little or no training in the issues of sexuality and celibacy could contribute to sexual abuse by clergy. However, the report also confirmed that the church had still not accepted its responsibility in the epidemic of child sexual assaults by suggesting that there was no evidence that the incidence of abuse of children was greater in the church than in the community at large. This is clearly and demonstrably untrue. With 450 individual child sexual assaults by church clergy acknowledged in the courts over the past 10 years, the nation’s churches constitute the largest employer of paedophiles in the country by a very long way.

    In fact this may just be the tip of the iceberg. Consider this.

  • A study conduced by Professor Freda Briggs, Russell Hawkins and Mary Williams at the University of South Australia found that of 179 men who were sexually abused as children or convicted child molesters, 15 per cent nominated Catholic priests as their abusers.
  • Research conducted by journalist, Jason Berry, in the US revealed that 15 per cent of all Catholic priests in the US had sexually molested children in their care, but only a tiny proportion faced charges. According to other news sources, US Catholics had filed suits against nearly 500 priests over the past several years from 1993 and the church had already paid out nearly million dollars to plaintiffs who could eventually number in the tens of thousands.
  • In 1992, ABC Compass program aired an episode entitled The Ultimate Betrayal that claimed at least 15 per cent of Australian Clergy, of all denominations, sexually abused people in their congregation.There appears to be approximately 20,000 church clergy in Australia. If the 15 per cent figure is ultimately proved then there could well be 3,000 child sex offenders in the church and not 450.More worrying are recent reports from the US that hundreds of Roman Catholic priests have died of AIDS and hundreds more are living with HIV. In late January this year, an in depth Kansas City Star/Reuters’ report stated that ‘priests were dying of AIDS at a rate at least four times that of the general population.’ The report quoted estimates from medical experts, priests and health statistics in drawing its analysis.The fact that the Church officially outlaws gay sexual relations and opposes the use of condoms says much about the reasons for such an epidemic. The report quoted most priests as saying that the church had failed to give them any early sex education that would have equipped them to deal with the issues.The statistics and the evidence that we have on hand suggests that the problem is getting worse rather than better.

    No other profession features in child sexual abuse statistics to anywhere near the extent that church clergy do. Their response to increasing criticism on the issue is to point the finger at the sex industry in an attempt to shift their guilt. Sex crimes and sexual depravity will naturally be found in an industry that deals in sex, they argue. So whenever prostitution or censorship law reform is on the agenda, Bishops, Cardinals, suburban and country priests all step forward to condemn those working in the sex industry as immoral and perverse. Politicians continue to bow to the church’s so-called ‘moral authority’ and turn a blind eye to the real facts about child sexual abuse.

    How strange it is then that not one prostitute or so-called pornographer appears to have ever been convicted of child sexual abuse in Australia. Not even one.

    Clearly there is something about the nature of the sex industry that diminishes child sexual abuse and there is something about church culture that encourages it.

    The job ahead for our legislators and community leaders is to conduct a formal enquiry to determine just what this ‘something’ is.

    Representing Australia’s sex industry, the Eros Foundation has approached church clergy on a number of occasions in the past with the aim of initiating dialogue on sex and censorship issues. From the Roman Catholic church there has been silence and arrogance on the issues. On the 11th October 1996, the Rev Mark Coleridge, a regular anti-sex campaigner in the church, wrote in reply to an Eros request by stating, ‘ In my capacity as Church spokesman, I have received many invitations but yours ranks among the more exotic. I am not sure what you have in mind when you suggest a debate, but I cannot imagine anything that would be of mutual benefit. I am afraid therefore that I shall have to decline.’

    On the 6th of June, 1997 and again on the 27th May, 1999, the Eros Foundation wrote letters to the Roman Catholic Church’s parliamentary representative, Senator Brian Harradine outlining the problems of child sexual abuse in the church and asking him to support an official enquiry. His silence was deafening.

    Without any engagement on the issue the church is isolated and will continue to make the mistakes of its past. The prosecution of 450 sex crimes against it in 10 short years is overwhelming and damming evidence. It is the responsibility of government now to impose that engagement for the good of the community and the good of the church.

  • © 2000 Eros Foundation

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