Comment on this article |
View comments |
Email this article |
Catholic Nuns Torture Children ()
31 Aug 2002
Modified: 09:29:32 PM
The monsters are coming out of the woodwork.
August 27 2002.
Nuns at a Brisbane orphanage allegedly raped children and forced them to eat faeces, rotting food and their own vomit.
A woman in her late 50s has come forward to tell of her experiences at the hands of nuns at Nazareth House in Wynnum on Brisbane's eastside during the 1940s and 1950s.
Lizzie Walsh, as she was known as a child at the orphanage, has told this week's The Bulletin magazine she was subjected to violence for seven years.
During her time at Nazareth House, Ms Walsh claims she was raped by a nun with a flagstick "to get the devil out" while the other nuns turned a blind eye to her being raped by two different priests.
Ms Walsh also recalls being forced to eat a nun's faeces, rotting fish and vomit and to drink her own urine.
While Ms Walsh's allegations have yet to be tested in a court of law, 17 other women have levelled claims against the Poor Sisters of Nazareth in the Supreme Court of Queensland, The Bulletin said.
The Catholic Church and the Poor Sisters of Nazareth have never admitted liability.
However, The Bulletin said an out-of-court settlement was reached with some victims with compensation up to $75,000 being paid out, depending on the level of physical and sexual abuse.
They also received a written apology.
Sister Clare Breen, regional superior of the Sisters of Nazareth, said she had met a number of claimants.
"We have just said to them that we are sorry that they've got unhappy memories of the past," she said.
Most of the people involved in the care of the children were no longer alive, Sister Breen said.
Ms Walsh, whose allegations were corroborated in statement of claims by other victims, told The Bulletin the compensation money meant "jack".
Bobbie flinched as she recalled how two nuns sexually interfered with girls at a Catholic orphanage.
"They would strip them and rub Vicks into their private parts, telling them they had to do that to get their puberty hair to grow," Bobbie said.
"They would push broomsticks and flag sticks into them, saying that they were trying to get the devil out of them."
The former resident at Nazareth House in the Brisbane Bay side suburb of Wynnum is one of 17 women suing the church's Brisbane Archdiocese and the Sisters of Nazareth order.
A former male student has also lodged a claim in the Queensland Supreme Court.
The claims cover the early 1940s to the early 1970s. Nazareth House has been a retirement village since the mid-1980s.
Most of the complainants have been offered cash to settle out of court. Bobbie said she had not decided whether to accept the $65,000 she was offered. "What I really want is for them to admit that it happened and that it was wrong, but they won't," she said. "That's what we really need for our spirits to heal."
Bobbie said a guinea pig had been put down one girl's pants. The girl was forced to leave it there while it bit and scratched her genitalia for several minutes.
She said that on one occasion she had been hung by her wrists while naked for several hours. In addition, she and other girls were held in a small dark cell for two or more days without food or toilet facilities.
In a statement of claim, another woman said she had suffered systematic beatings and assaults of various kinds by nuns.
The woman claimed she had her face rubbed in a urine-soaked sheet until her nose bled, had been made to kiss dead bodies, and been fed food infested with bugs.
Another woman said she had been left alone in the company of a priest, who had sexually assaulted her.
The woman said she was regularly told that the devil would "turn into a dog and tear my throat out". She said that once when she had been forced to eat food, which was so bad that she vomited, she was forced to eat her vomit.
Another woman claimed she had been forced to eat the faeces of one of the nuns who were sexually assaulting girls.
The Chancellor of the Brisbane Archdiocese, James Spence, said responsibility for the children rested with the Sisters of Nazareth. "The archdiocese had no involvement in the day-to-day running of the orphanage," Father Spence said. "The archdiocese acknowledges with deep regret the distress felt by former residents of Nazareth House."
The Sisters of Nazareth's regional supervisor, Clare Breen, said emotional and financial support was being offered to the complainants, but this did not mean the order accepted that their claims were true.
"We're very sad that some of these girls still have these unhappy memories," Sister Breen told ABC radio.
"We have financed a number of girls to have counselling. We feel that is what the girls have asked us to do and that is what we have done."
Bigoted anti-Cathollic propaganda (english)
(No verified email address)
31 Aug 2002
Of course, no organization can recall and rebut allegations regarding stuff done 60 years ago.
It is only common sense that this kind of grossly perverse behavior could not have been kept quiet for all these years. Spreading this kind of propaganda without any reliable source of reference is despicable