There were two stories that made me cry last night in front of the TV news last night both had a common theme. The church. Please do no comment on the SECOND case in specific details as it is currently before the courts (i.e. matters of guilt etc) any such comments will be deleted. However you are actively encouraged to comment on wider issues such as the church or .......

1) The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay $660 million to 500 victims of sexual abuse dating back as far as the 1940s in the largest compensation deal of its kind, the plaintiffs' lawyers said. Just hours before trials were meant to start. 'There really is no way to go back and give them that innocence that was taken from them. The one thing I wish I could give the victims ... I cannot," Cardinal Mahony said........ "I apologize to anyone who has been offended, who has been abused. It should not have happened and should not ever happen again."
DNA testing identified semen from George Evans Gwaze in the underwear of his 10-year-old niece who was found unconscious at his home and later died in hospital, Christchurch District Court was told today. The Crown has charged 54-year-old Gwaze with the murder and sexual violation of Charlene Makaza, and is calling evidence from 58 witnesses at the depositions hearing which began today.

The hearing is expected to finish tomorrow, with only seven witnesses being called to give evidence in person. The rest of the evidence is being handed to Judge John Bisphan in written form.

Crown prosecutor Kerryn Beaton said Charlene had been the niece and adopted daughter of Gwaze and his wife and lived with them at their home in Hollyford Avenue, in the Christchurch suburb of Bryndwr.

On January 5, Charlene and her sisters went to a church service and returned home about 10.30pm, and she went to bed. When her adopted mother's alarm went off at 5.45am next day, she could hear Charlene's unusual breathing and found her in bed unconscious and very unwell.
The girl had soiled herself and the mother stripped off the bottom clothing, wrapped her in a towel, and the family took her to the after hours surgery.

She was rushed from there to Christchurch Hospital by ambulance where intensive efforts were made to resuscitate her.While in the intensive care unit, medical staff found she had serious injuries consistent with sexual assault.Charlene had a hypoxic brain injury and multiple organ failure and died about 18 hours after she was found.
"The sudden onset of hypoxia was the result of asphyxia, the obstruction of the airway to the point of unconsciousness, but there was no evidence of manual strangulation," she said.
"The genital injuries were severe, but would not in themselves have caused her death."

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2 thoughts - add yours!:

  1. anna Says:

    Hi Lisa,

    Regarding 1) I wonder if the church really has learnt its lesson. I think if you look at the protestant denominations, how many of them have good procedures in place to protect children? How often is sexual abuse discussed openly in church circles?

    On the other side when was the last time a church welcomed a sex offender with a view of biblical restitution?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Unfortunately whatever can be found outside the church can also be found in the church. The tragedy in cases like these is that the place that should have provided protection, nurturing and love was a source of pain and betrayal. And the wounds that arise from such abuse and betrayal run deep.

    How can we protect our children and make church safer and healthier? I wish I had the answer.