ANNE Ryan’s 25-year career as a Catholic school teacher ended abruptly in 1996 when her job came under threat over her trying to expose sexual abuse.
”I resigned that day,” Ms Ryan told a parliamentary inquiry into institutionalised child abuse sitting in Ballarat on Thursday.
Survivors tell their stories at abuse inquiry
Fellow Catholic school teacher Michael Crowe also told the inquiry his career had been destroyed for trying to report inappropriate priest behaviour. ”I’ve been persecuted, harassed, bullied,” Mr Crowe said.
Ms Ryan said her entire career had been spent teaching in the Ballarat diocese until she began to have concerns about sexual abuse. She complained to the then Ballarat bishop, Ronald Mulkearns – who she said described paedophilia as an ”illness” – and representative Catholic bodies, but was ignored.
”Due to the inaction within the church, I began to use my voice more publicly,” Ms Ryan said. ”I contacted Broken Rites, I wrote letters to the editor, I even went on a Four Corners program.
”In 1996, both the principal and the parish priest of my school actively threatened my position if I continued my activities in the public domain.”
Ms Ryan said she attended the inquiry to speak for the boys she taught. ”I am their voice. Hopefully we are moving towards peace, justice and some kind of recovery.”
Mr Crowe said he caught a priest inappropriately touching a student in 2010 and tried to report it but was ignored.
Source: The Age Victoria