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Any wiser? Sarah Ferguson’s macabre journey into the mind of a paedophile

Revelation ABC Barney Zwartz
Title: Any wiser? Sarah Ferguson’s macabre journey into the mind of a paedophile
Author: Barney Zwartz
Publisher: The Age
Date: 10MAR2020
Father Vincent Ryan was a vile and depraved man, a sex abuser with no compunction, who was guilty of sexual assault of altar boys and even trying to make prepubescent boys have sex with each other. So it is difficult to make sense of the slight, elderly, occasionally bewildered and apparently remorseful priest – yes, despite everything he is still a priest – in Sarah Ferguson’s new ABC documentary Revelation.

In the first of a three-part series, Ferguson tries to get into the mind of a paedophile who abused 33 boys aged six to 17 – with the connivance, one could almost say, of the leadership of the Catholic Newcastle-Maitland diocese, who knew what was going on and simply moved him from parish to parish.In 1997, Ryan was jailed for 14 years for his crimes, which he committed over 20 years from 1975. Last year, he was tried on two new charges and, according to the documentary, for the first time in an Australian court ABC cameras were allowed to film the trial. Although the first episode does not contain the verdict, Ryan was sentenced to another three years’ jail.

Besides showing this trial footage, Ferguson talks to both the prosecution and defence lawyers, to survivors (all thoughtful and articulate), a psychiatrist and the investigating police officer, Troy Grant, who later became NSW Police and Justice Minister.

How did Ryan justify to himself what he did? “As far as I was concerned I was in a relationship. I was getting the love and the human touch and belonging,” he tells Ferguson. He never thought of the consequences for the children. He says the children wanted to be with him but, as Ferguson notes, these “blatant deluded falsehoods” are not unique to him. “Ryan is not alone in the claim that the children were complicit, even to blame, for the sins of the fathers,” she says.

For more information visit: https://www.theage.com.au/culture/tv-and-radio/any-wiser-sarah-ferguson-s-macabre-journey-into-the-mind-of-a-paedophile-20200306-p547hh.html

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3 thoughts on “Any wiser? Sarah Ferguson’s macabre journey into the mind of a paedophile”

  1. 5000 predator priests have been credibly accused yet bishops empower them and fail to hold them accountable. Victims are shamed and rebuked and no one in Christ’s Church seems especially concerned.

    • Agree RC. Zero tolerance, mandatory reporting to civil authorities and dismiss from clerical state. Evil infiltrated the Catholic Church. Biggest, largest paedophile ring in the world (?) It’s up to Pope Francis to fix this racket. With the Vatican, Italy & the World in lockdown over the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pope has more time to do his job. Pope Francis needs to lead. He needs to make protection of children his Papal legacy. Children’s needs ahead of Church’s reputation. No more facilitation of criminal clergy or cover-ups. Children before church. Joolsmagools (R)

  2. How is it that Cardinal McCarrick is allowed to live in priests’ retirement By Bishop Estevez in St Augustine and has not been excommunicated?

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