Sep 08

The Australian Dream written by Stan Grant

It wouldn’t be right to say that I don’t like football. It wouldn’t be right to say that I do like football either. I don’t go out of my way to watch it or participate in it. I don’t have a passing interest in it or really care in the slightest about it. I accept it as part of the culture in Victoria.

Mind you, I don’t really follow any sport, so I’m not singling football out.

When you live in Victoria, it’s pretty hard to escape football. I mostly manage. Apart from those family dinners on a Friday night where the telly comes on after the meal and those of us interested sit around it watching, the rest of us sit at the table and continue our much more interesting chit-chat.

When Michael suggested to me that I might like to go and watch a movie about Adam Goodes, who until recently was guilty of being a football player, I thought perhaps my husband had begun his descent into madness.

Now, I know of Goodes. He was after all an Australian of the Year, even though he was a football player. He been the subject of much media coverage over his stance on racism in Australia football.

I guess he’s an OK bloke, even though he used to play football.

So, anyway, on a cold Melbourne Saturday afternoon, the sort that’s usually reserved for die-hard Richmond fans to go to watch their team play in the mud at Windy Hill, I found myself sitting in a cinema watching strapping young men kick a football around.

The story that unfolded before me was so gut-wrenchingly powerful that at times I had tears rolling down my face.

Here is the story of a man who clearly loves his footy and found himself at the top of the game. He then left it when the focus of others was on the colour of his skin, instead of his ability to kick a football.

Adam Goodes is an Indigenous Australian. During his time on the footy field, he was recognised as a player of note. Played in grandfinals, got medals, you know, the sort of things that mark you as an elite sports person. At the same time, he became a controverisal figure when he refused to accept the casual racism that was being hurled around. As Stan Grant says in the Australian Dream, he was a loud angry aboriginal, nobody likes that. The footy crowd would take to booing Goodes every time he got the ball. This ultimately led to him leaving his much loved game.

Let this sink in. At a football match with tens of thousands of fans, a whole bunch of them boo every time you touch the ball.

I do recall most of this, as it happened. Only because it crosses from football into society. Goodes becomes a topic of conversation outside of football. News bulletins lead with it, newspapers gave it front page, social media lit up. People like me couldn’t miss it.

What I did miss however was the nuance of the story. For this I had to see the movie. It was pretty clear, pretty quickly, that this story wasn’t so much about football. It is about the very essence of racism in Australia.

I don’t think I’m a racist. But how would I know?

I can pick a homophobe for you, because I know what it’s like to hear the casual homophobia in day to day comments. Take this little example from today, as I was trying to write this blog I saw this tweet:

Still not sure? What is a manly hug? Why does he need to give it to another man? Why didn’t he give him a womanly hug? A gay hug? An affectionate hug?

Adams is 80 years old. In his time, you probably didn’t hug men at all, in case it’s seen as gay. If you do have to hug another man, for example, because their wife just died, that’s ok. But you better give them a manly hug. In case people think you’re gay.

Is Adams a homophobe? I have no idea, I’d be surprised, based on his politics. Is this an example of casual homophobia? Yes, I think it is. It’s the sort of language that isn’t needed and seeks to establish himself as a man that doesn’t want to be perceived as gay. As if there’s something wrong with being gay. Of course, if you’ve never been at the end of homophobic language, this would roll off you and you’d find yourself booing me every time I touched the ball.

Have I ever been guilty of casual racism? You bet. Lots of times. At times I’ve been an all out racist. For this I’m sorry, and for all the times I’ll be a racist into the future I hope that someone is there to call it out.

Australian Dream not only tells the story of Goodes, it tackles an issue that so few of us what to hear about. The ingrained racism that is in every part of white Australia. None of us want that racist label, and yet we are so unaccustomed to listening to the voices of those that are impacted by our words. We dismiss their feelings and responses rather than listen to them.

Evidence shows that a young aboriginal person is more likely to kill themselves than their white counterpart. We lock up aboriginal people at a much higher rate than any other group of people. We still won’t let them be acknowledged in the constitution.

Australian Dream looks at racism from the eyes of those being discriminated against.

You need to see it.

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Jul 24

On a bright sunny cloudless day you expect to see your shadow. Just the one. It’s attached to you. We used to play shadow tiggy. If you’re it then you had to tag someone else by jumping on their shadow. It’s easy to twist and bend your shadow to avoid being it.

At night you don’t have a shadow. Sometimes you may see one on a full moon if you happen to be late on a hike and you really want to get to the camping ground. You and your hiking buddy find yourselves strutting down a white sandy bush track with the moon behind you and a long shadow in front of you.

I live in the city, and when I walk home at night, I have lots of shadows. Tonight I noticed my shadows for the first time in years. Street lights line our streets, on main roads there’s lights on both sides. I have a shadow in front, one behind. As I walk the light behind me throws my shadow in front of me, as I walk further away from that light I get taller, well, the shadow does. It’s not long before I’m passing under the next street light and my shadow begins to grow again, the first one so long it stretches out of existence as it fades away.

The lights on the other side of the street cast a shadow to my right. These shadows also grow and shrink, and as I walk past fences and driveways they leap up or fall away.

As the traffic passes me multiple faint shadows quickly appear and disappear, so fleeting they’re barely noticed.

When I was a young lad, 45 years ago, I delivered newspapers in the morning. The Age and The Sun. I’d ride my bike around in the cold dark hours pulling a paper out of the banana box strapped to the carrier on the back of my bike. One handed I would fold the paper on my thigh, holding the handlebar with the other hand. I’d grab the paper in the middle, thump it on my leg to fold, then do the same to fold it once more. I was then able to insert the paper into the letter box and keep riding, so never really stopping. Of course there was no real care and often the front page would be torn when I scraped it on the top of the letter box.

There would be a little distance sometimes between the deliveries, and a game I would play was to get to the next letter box before my shadow disappeared. As the morning was dawning, and it was getting lighter, the street lights would switch off and the shadow would disappear.

It was that strange time pre-dawn when the lights have gone off that I would have no shadow.

That’s a magical time.

Image by Manfred Richter from Pixabay

Jul 23

The alarm goes off at 5.10a.m. In my early days, it was an alarm clock with bells. Then a clock radio with a buzzer or the radio. Now my alarm is a watch, strapped to my wrist that vibrates. I hit the off button. There’s no snooze. I lay there for a couple of minutes trying to go back to sleep. I can’t. I have to do this.

I throw my legs out from under the doona. I say throw, not glide effortlessly out of bed. My legs are stiff and not so cooperative. The hit the floor and I feel around in the dark for my grandpa slippers.

I have to run, I want to do a 5km run in a couple of weeks for a charity event. I’m out of shape as I tore my calf muscle a few weeks ago and have been getting treatment to help it recover.

David Thwaites from Complete Sports Care has been taking care of me. My time with him normally starts by me standing one-legged on my toes raising myself up and down, he muses and then asks me to lie on the table. He then does this extraordinary process of taking his thumb and sticking them deeply into my calf. I grimace. A lot.

It does the trick, the exercises that he sends me off with and the little jogging that I’ve been doing has prepared me for this mornings effort.

Today, for the first time in weeks, I’m going to run 30 minutes. I’ll jog 10 minutes, rest a minute and then repeat twice more.

It’s 9° outside. I step into the cool darkness and make my way to the running track.

Unlike this time at the other end of the day, when I’m consumed with the noise of a city winding down, it’s quiet.

I can hear my footfalls as I step onto the driveway, and as I walk towards the little track that runs along the creek, I can hear the magpies stirring in the trees, giving a little warble as they begin their day.

A quick-paced walk and the watch vibrates and I start the run.

The wind whistles past my ears, in the old days it’d ruffle my mullet. The next family of magpies begin to stir and I’m surrounded by the delightful sounds of warbles.

As I pass the little pond a thousand frogs ribbit at me and the first traffic noise I hear happens as I pass under the Warrigal Road bridge.

I do a self-diagnosis. The calf muscle is holding up. Heart isn’t jumping out of my chest, breathing within tolerance. A few more minutes and the first 10 are done. The watch vibrates and I walk for a minute.

As I’m walking along the path, a couple of cars pass along the back streets. The headlights glare at me and for all I know they’re driven by ghosts, it’s impossible to see inside to ascertain whether or not a real person is behind the wheel.

Then off again. Up the hill to the Alamein line, then at the top, I turn around and head back the way I came. I’ve made it halfway.

More vibrations, another check of my sore bits – all good – last jog.

Another light comes towards me. It’s dark out here, so joggers wear a head torch. We greet each other in the traditional way of pre-dawn joggers, a nod of the head and a ‘morn’ to each other.

I find myself tiring, looking at my watch, hoping it’s counting down. It is, but it persists on precision and won’t go faster than a second at a time.

One last look I think, 26 seconds. I start to count down in my head.

Finally, the last vibration. I stop and stroll home.

The sky is brightening, or it could be the city lights reflected on the clouds. I don’t know. It’s another hour until the sun actually appears.

Michael and I are running in support of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in a couple of weeks. That’s where I work. We’re raising money for the important work of helping people seeking asylum. Head over to our page and sling us a few dollars.

I make my way up the driveway, thinking that I’ll be ready for Run Melbourne in a couple of weeks.

All the way this morning, I’ve been accompanied by my own footfalls. A wonderful time of the day, the still and quiet. Nothing but my own steps fill my ears.

Jul 15

I used to be able to hear my footsteps when I walked. Now, as I step off the train I can hear the churnning of its motors and the beep-beep of the doors closing. Lots of whooshing as it pulls out of the station to the next stop.

I whip out my phone to check when the next bus is. Sixteen minutes. It’s only a twenty minute walk home, so I’ll do that.

As I start up High Street I become aware of the noise around me. It’s busy peak hour and I spend my walk listening to the sounds around me. The noise of the traffic is overwhelming. Squeaky brakes, noisy engines, motorbikes, truck, buses. All in a hurry to get home.

What a noisy environment we now live in.

I can’t hear the birds settling down for the night, or the kids talking across the road. No low hum of music coming from the houses or even the dribbling of a basketball. Just traffic.

I turn off the High Street and into the quiet little avenue that will take me home. The traffic noise fades into the background. A couple of cars drive past, a lot quieter now on the suburban street.

I hear the faint sound of shouting and the clack of hockey sticks as it hits the ball. As I walk closer to the hockey field and away from the main road the noise becomes more background. I hear the scuffing of shoes as a woman walks past with her dog, I notice that the sound of my own footfall is still inaudible, but the noise from the hockey fields now includes the blowing of whistles, the shuffling of feet and the sound of clapping.

Only a short walk up the driveway now. I hear my keys clink as I take them out of my pocket and a few metres from the door I hear my footsteps.

Sep 08

The white tablecloth starts pristine, covering and protecting the tabletop. The family gathers around it to drink and eat. Breadcrumbs spread around as the loaf is cut and they gently coached into little piles to be swept away.

Main course and the cloth endures a splash of water, a piece of chicken skin and a sneaky wipe of a greasy palm.

The family ebbs and flows as does the conversation, cryptocurrency, prime ministers, weather. They all ebb and flow around the table. The main course is done, and the table arises, some head off to the TV for the Friday night footy match, others to the kitchen to deal with the remnants of the meal, stragglers sit around as the table is cleared, glasses removed, plates and cutlery stacked and carried off the kitchen.

There’s a respectable time before the final course appears. The time between sittings is not something that can be solved with a mathematical formula. It must wait until the newspapers have been flicked through, mobile phones have been checked and new apps downloaded. The kettle boils, coffee is brewed, tea-bags are dangled, and a fruitcake, a crumble and choc chip biscuits appear. Nobody needs to be called; the family knows that the magic sweet spot of dessert has arrived. As the crumble is put into bowls and passed around, milk and sugar added to the hot drinks a packet of Tim Tams appear on the table.

There’s only five left. Tim Tams come in a packet of 11, not 12, not 10. 11. The outer packaging is stripped and the five tempting biscuits sit on one end of the inner hull. Tempting those around the table.

The final ritual of the evening begins. Light-hearted chat while eating the sweet treats.

Then there’s one left.

The lone Tim Tam has the gaze of the table. Silence as all eyes are upon it. Who will break the convention and eat it?

Then the question and the offers.
“Are you going to eat it?”
“You have the last one.”
“That has your name on it.”

The final call is the forlorn question, “What’s so important about that Tim Tam?”

Then like a cold, soggy tea-bag the Tim Tam is forgotten.

The table breaks, everything is whisked away. Good nights are said, kisses exchanged. Lights dimmed.

All that’s left is a few crumbs, a couple of spills and the lone Tim Tam on the white tablecloth.

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Aug 31

There is no doubt in my mind that bullies and people who intimidate abound in Australia. It would seem that this is the case in the Australian parliament where Julia Banks, my local member resigned with these stinging words:

They know that I will always call out bad behaviour and will not tolerate any form of bullying or intimidation. I have experienced this both from within my own party and from the Labor Party.

The scourge of cultural and gender bias, bullying and intimidation continues against women in politics, the media, and across businesses. In anticipating my critics saying I’m “playing the gender card” – I say this. Women have suffered in silence for too long and in this last twelve months the world has seen many courageous women speak out.

Here we are presented with a worldview from Julia that clearly says she is a victim of bullying and intimidation in her job. She goes on to say that there is still a cultural and gender bias with politics.

She says that women have suffered in silence way too long.

Support has been plentiful for her position. Kelly O’Dwyer, Sarah Hanson Young among them.

However, others continue to down-play the behaviour. Something that I’ve seen many times. When those of us in the GLBTIQ community say that we are subjected to bullying and intimidation the response from some quarters is to downplay it and tell us that we’re not that badly off, that we need to toughen up.

The missing value here is those that deny the situation haven’t taken proper stock. If someone says that they’re the subject of a bully, then we need to listen to them.

Craig Kelly MP missed the mark when he said her resignation is the wrong thing to do and that she should “roll with the punches in this game”.

Roll with the punches? Such a violent, graphic image. Why should the game require punches at all? After all, this isn’t a game; it’s real life. This is her real job. I’d suggest that approaches like Kelly’s are the issue. Rather than check his behaviour, he tells her she’s wrong and to toughen up.

The Guardian in their article says this:

Former Liberal minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and the president of the federal women’s committee, Helen Kroger, both said on Thursday that claims should be properly investigated. But Kroger said she didn’t believe there was a bullying culture and Fierravanti-Wells appeared to blame Malcolm Turnbull.

There should be no ‘but’. The conversation needed to stop at ‘properly investigated’.

For Helen Kroger to suggest that there isn’t a culture of bullying is to turn a blind eye to the issues. Craig Kelly more or less acknowledges the problem, Helen Kroger ignores it. That’s her way of dealing with it. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells won’t admit it as a problem, and if it is would instead point at someone else and say ‘look over there’.

We have seen outright lying, sexism, misogyny and now bullying and intimidation.

This is no way to run a country. It’s not good enough to ‘investigate’. If our newly and temporary Prime Minister had any sense, he’d launch a special envoy for bullying and intimidation prevention, throw some money at it, set appropriate standards and change the constitution to allow the dismissal of any MP that breaches the standards.

Because that’s what would happen to anyone else who behaved in a deplorable way.

To bully or intimidate anyone is unacceptable.

 

Aug 30

My first bank account was with the State Bank of Victoria. I opened it when I was in Prep in 1969.  Here it is, in Gray Street, Hamilton.  On the right of the photo.

The SBV was bought by the Commonwealth Bank in 1990.

Today I walked into the Commonwealth Bank in Cheltenham and closed 2 accounts, thereby ending my long association with the bank.

The branch is your modern looking bank.  All gleaming and welcoming.  There’s a little foyer where the ATMs are and a concierge desk with two computer screens and a smiling face of a very nice man asking if he could help me.  Above him is the current bank promotion, the Dollarmites Club.  I signed my kids up for Dollarmites when they were in school.  It was how I was introduced to banking, taking my passbook along to school on banking day and depositing 20 cents.  Some at the Commonwealth Bank used the Dollarmites system to gain personal financial advantage.

The staff were very helpful, the process took longer than necessary I thought. The nice man asked me what I was going to do with my mortgage, I snorted and said I didn’t have one!

Anyway, he asked where I was moving my banking. Bank Australia I said. He then told me that he has only ever seen one branch for them, and he’s lucky to have seen one. Bank Australia has few branches, they use online and Australia Post. In fact, this was the first time in some years that I’d actually walked into a branch to conduct business.

At the end of the process, he looked at his screen and looked at me and remarked that I’d been with the bank for 33 years. Longer, I replied, I was also with the State Bank. He then asked the burning question, “Why are you leaving after all this time?”

The reasons are complex, and for some strange brain functioning on my part, it really is something that should have happened years ago.

Australians rarely change banks. Probably because it’s just too hard. It is quite the process. I needed to firstly open a new account at a new bank and then move each of my direct debits, automatic payments and various payment methods to the new bank.

My children and I all had Commonwealth Bank accounts, this was to allow the quick transfer of money. I’ve often said that the only time I hear from my children is when they want money.

These days with the introduction of PayID transferring money between banks happens within minutes. The old days, you know, a couple of months ago, saw your money disappear from your account and be caught up in some holding pattern before landing in another banks account.

The real clincher for me, however, was the banking royal commission.

This is what I told my new teller friend. I wanted a bank that had some ethical standards, who saw me as a member and not simply an account holder.

The Commonwealth Bank has been embroiled in scandal after scandal.  Each of the big banks has been.  They continue to reap the rewards of huge profits despite their proven fraudulent behaviour.

Bank Australia is the place to be for now.

In all my years at the Commonwealth, they have never given regard to my loyalty.  Without question, I fronted up to them for personal loans, a housing loan, credit cards, savings accounts and so on.  The most I ever got out of them was an unattractive interest rate and a computer mouse.

Yes, they once sent me a mouse for being a loyal customer.  Back in the 2000s.  I wrote to them and said I’d prefer money in the bank next time they wanted to reward my loyalty.  I never got a response.

So, the loyalty has been one way.  Action needed!  So, off I went.

What’s holding you back?

Mar 30

Bare The Musical is an emotional roller coaster that will have you gasping for breath as you journey with a bunch of teenagers making the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

We join a group of students in their final year at a Catholic boarding school, making preparations for the end-of-year play, Romeo and Juliet.

The storyline cleverly integrates the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet into the lives of the students. We can see parallels between the two as the story moves along.

It’s a compelling tale, one that we have heard and seen so many times. It’s a typical story about teenage angst. The tension between the boys and the girls, the competition between friends, the need to fit in and conform, the adolescent awkwardness and the overarching influence of religion in their lives.

The tension is palpable as the students ready for their performance. Underlying that tension is the battle with sexuality and the church. Our hero, Peter isn’t really struggling with his sexuality, he knows he is gay. His struggle is with how to tell his mother, how to reconcile his feelings with a church that tells him he is a sinner and most importantly how to get his boyfriend, Jason out of the closet.

It’s a potentially horrid time in the life of a young gay man. I know, I’ve been there. In a Catholic school, surrounded by boys who mock, tease and torment anyone who shows a hint of being gay. This musical gets that uncertainty, and the deep-seated fear of being different, right.

The love between Peter and Jason is innocent and sweet. It’s the sort of forbidden love that you know is just waiting to blossom. The actors portray a deep emotional connection with each other as they take us along on their love story of trust, betrayal and redemption.

The storyline drew me in, the world around me disappeared, even the uncomfortable seat of Chapel Off Chapel didn’t distract me as I laughed and cried with the performers.

And cry I did. I cried as I listened to Peter reach out to his mother, told him how alone he felt, how much he needed her and she denied him that.

I cried as Jason tried to sort out his life in the confessional. As he desperately tried to reconcile his faith with his sexuality and came up bare.

I cried as the final song played, the raw tragedy of a young life lost and the grieving of his friends.

I sat stunned as the final moments rolled in and I understood the complicit nature of the church in the death. How the last number No Voice echoed the injustice of a rigid Catholic system that is hellbent on keeping its magisterium intact.

As the lights blinked out, I gasped and covered my mouth in shock at the symbolism in front of me.

All through the play, I saw the potential of suicide. These young people were in desperate times. Whether it’s the unexpected pregnancy, the slut-shaming, the body-shaming or the rejection of love, the possibility of suicide was there.

The acting was outstanding. It seemed that I was watching their real lives play out in front of me. They really did take me along for the journey. I felt the joy, the angst, the fear and the sorrow.

The singing was superb, from the opening number Epiphany in the chapel, to the lament of Best Kept Secret and the hilarious God Don’t Make No Trash, it told the story of the rich and deep lives of this group of youngsters.

Overall the play has an anti-catholic feel to it. A couple of numbers balance that a little. It’s pretty clear that the priest carries the churches line and the nun is far more accepting. Mostly it seems like an accurate reflection of where the church currently sits in relation to sexuality.  I can see how you might squirm a bit if you are Catholic and believe in god.  As a social statement, there is an undertone of ridicule and an attempt to hold the church to account.  The cry of Are You There? as the students seek answers to their prayers says it all about the futile nature of needing divine intervention in your life.

Make no mistake though, the message is clear. That teenage angst puts these kids on the edge of oblivion. The pressure to conform is real. Sure, it’s not unusual for any of us to have our hearts broken, and our first loves disappoint. When you’re already vulnerable, however, it’s vital and incumbent on the adults to have empathy, and more importantly, take on the role of mentor and friend to help guide the next generation into happy, healthy lives.

Chapel off Chapel is an ideal venue for this musical.  You’re sitting in an old church decked out with its stained glass window.  The lighting is stunning and the soundtrack performed by a live ensemble makes the show.

Bare, The Musical is on at Chapel off Chapel until April 15th, 2018.

Mar 02

I’m sitting high up above the earth, flying towards Sydney. Michael is beside me, and a woman on the other side by the window. She has proper travel etiquette, not engaging with me at all for the duration. I really struggle with small talk.

I’m relaxed, have my tablet open, connected to the WiFi watching a program about comedy. I had never given any thought to women in comedy, and I’m somewhat taken aback by the notion that women have fought hard to overcome misogyny and discrimination in the comedy field. This is a revelation to me. Upon reflection, of course, I can see my error. Women have been the subject of jokes, making fun of them, suggesting that they are stupid, all for a couple of laughs. It’s been a long hard road for acceptance.

Planes are strange things, they hurl through the air at high speed and then somehow land, and generally speaking nobody dies.

The worst part of flying, I think, is just before landing. As the ‘Fasten Seatbelts’ sign comes on the aircraft starts its descent. You already know that you have no right to be up here where only clouds and birds belong, you also know that coming in contact with the ground in an uncontrolled fashion will be detrimental to your health. Even though you may understand that aeroplanes land without incident on a regular basis, there is nothing that prepares you for the insane reaction that your body has as you start going down.

It’s a combination of the drop in altitude and deceleration that is really scary. As the plane slows down you instinctively know that this is dangerous, it’s only speed that keeps you up here. Throw in a bit of turbulence, and even the most rational and sane amongst us will shit their pants.

The final insult is when the wheels do finally hit the ground. The engines scream in protest as they are thrown into reverse. You tense up, those fucking wheels are round, they roll, the struts they sit on the end of have suspension, and yet it feels like you are about to hit a brick wall.

At last a lovely voice says ‘Please remain seated until the aircraft comes to a complete stop’ and you give thanks to the science that means you are stopping in a controlled manner and not by having your feet shoved through your mouth. Now to get ready for the flight home.

Dec 15

I am utterly outraged by reports today that two Australian archbishops have dismissed out of hand the recommendation of the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse to remove the seal of confession in relation to sexual abuse.

Dennis Hart, Archbishop of Melbourne, and Anthony Fisher, Archbishop of Sydney have both dismissed calls to change the rules.
(https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/dec/15/royal-commission-final-report-australia-child-abuse”)

I tried when I was a kid to ‘confess my sin’ of being rude to a priest. (See my blog from 2012)

When asked what I meant, I said ‘with my brother’, he never followed it up to discover what that entailed.

I was sexually abused multiple times. Each and every time I confessed this because I thought it was me doing wrong.

An astute priest, you know, someone with some training, may have picked up on the abuse.

But what good would it have done with the make-believe ‘seal of confession’ that the church so loves?

If my confessor had have picked the abuse up, he could well have prevented further abuse happening to me by way of intervention. He could have prevented the abuse of other siblings.

Fisher said:

“Any proposal to stop the practice of confession in Australia would be a real hurt to all Catholics and Orthodox Christians.”

Children are the ones suffering the real hurt.  The Catholic church is hurting real children. The child who thinks they are the sinners, may well confess the sin and be met with the ‘pontifical secret’ barrier.

Hart and Fisher show by their words and actions that they have no interest in the well-being of children, they merely care about the right of the Catholic church to be beyond the reach of the law of the land.

They lack ethics and are morally bankrupt.

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