Editorials 18 March 2010

March 18th, 2010 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The NZ Herald focuses on the departure of :

The trust board was also keen to see the museum throw off austerity and become part of an international trend typified by Te Papa. Part of this was a restructuring that left 46 personnel, many of them senior staff, without jobs.

Amid accusations that this meant core museum displays were being downgraded, the board backed Dr Vitali to the hilt for most of her tenure. Its support began to waver late last year, however, after a series of public relations disasters.

It is questionable who should bear the responsibility for these. Did the board, having appointed Dr Vitali and provided a mandate, fail to give sufficient direction and guidance?

Did it not recognise sufficiently that, as a Canadian, she was operating in an unfamiliar cultural context? Or did the director, like many set on instituting change, not see finesse and heedfulness as part of her job description? …

It must not become fusty and tradition-bound. Dr Vitali’s achievement can be measured by comments lamenting her resignation.

One of the more notable came from Naida Glavish, of the Ngati Whatua Runanga, who said she had brought the museum “back to life”. An initial reservation about Dr Vitali was her sensitivity to the Maori and Pacific exhibitions.

Museums are always seeking a balance. In Auckland’s case, that involves using flair and imagination to attract local people, while also catering for overseas tourists’ major interest, the Polynesian treasures.

Dr Vitali wrought major change in a short time. With a little finesse, the correct balance can be struck.

Is Te Papa still looking for a CEO? :-)

The Dominion Post is unhappy with :

The timing of Israel’s announcement of a new 1600-house Jewish development in East Jerusalem was the equivalent of a one-fingered salute to the United States and to the peace process.

It demonstrates a contempt for the Obama Administration so withering that it diminishes the American ability to broker any deal. The administration had last year demanded a freeze on Jewish settlements, but eventually got only a partial, temporary halt – except in Jerusalem.

Why should the Palestinians pay any heed to what Washington wants, when the Israelis clearly don’t? It will also raise questions even among those sympathetic to Israel whether its current leadership has any intention of reaching a negotiated settlement.

I am a friend and supporter of Israel, but on this issue I agree they are wrong. They really should stop building new settlements. It makes the job of achieving a peace agreement a lot lot harder, for little gain.

The Press focuses on bad driving:

It is the common complaint of many New Zealand motorists. Truck drivers hog the road and, being oblivious to other road users, are responsible for accidents and near misses, both in urban areas and on the open road.

Those who subscribe to this jaundiced view should be taking a hard look at the video footage on ’s website. This footage, which was taken from cameras mounted in Canterbury Waste Services (CWS) trucks and which has created great public interest, has graphic images of other road users behaving recklessly and illegally.

It includes video images of one car overtaking a truck and forcing oncoming traffic to take evasive action. Other footage shows motorists not stopping at red lights or compulsory stop signs, failing to adhere to the give-way rule at other intersections, adopting some appalling driving techniques at roundabouts, and skidding due to a failure to drive to the conditions.

Luckily Wellington drivers are better than that :-)

The ODT looks at child abuse in the Catholic Church:

It is hard to believe the senior ranks of the Roman Catholic Church, increasingly under siege in Fortress Vatican, have any real appreciation of the extent of the calamity facing them.

For if they did, surely they, and Pope Benedict XVI, would be cutting a radically different course from that now being offered to a confused, disappointed and sometimes angry congregation.

Prominent among the strategies it has adopted in the face of what is beginning to seem like a perfect storm of recent revelations – of sexual abuse cases and “cover-ups” in Brazil, the United States, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Germany and, periodically, in this country and Australia – has been the time-honoured tactic of attacking the messenger. …

It just reminds me of the South Park episode where a priest calls on the gathered Cardinals to stop priests having sex with little boys, and the response back is that as they can’t have sex with women, if they stop having sex with little boys, then they’ll get to have no sex at all!

Abstinence is not natural in my opinion!

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29 Responses to “Editorials 18 March 2010”

  1. lastmanstanding (1,154 comments) says:

    Dr Vitali was a graduate of the KGB school of charm and deportment. She like so many of her sort beguiled and conned the Trust Board then set about a slash and burn extermination of the instutional history of the organisation and installed her trusted accomplises.

    The Trust Board for their part picked and backed the wrong horse. They are a governance disaster and should be sacked and replaced with persons who have the competencies for ths job.

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  2. Jeff83 (765 comments) says:

    I would state that ‘unhelpful’ is putting it a little too nicely in terms of Israel. Its effectively stating it has no interest in a negotiated settlement. My sympathy for Israel is dwindling considering they went and elected a government which stated it wouldn’t make concessions, quite the opposite. It’s an ironic juxtapose you could say, on the one hand it shows their democracy is working, on the other its showing many of Israel’s detractors comments about Israel are accurate.

    In respect of celibacy completely agree. It was only brought in for two reasons, to protect church property against spousal claim and to also protect the clergy against the plague. Whilst I wouldn’t say that celibacy necessarily creates an attraction to young kids I would think it draws people to be clergy who have less than normal sexual tastes.

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  3. andrei (2,431 comments) says:

    Abstinence is not natural in my opinion!

    Lots of things are unnatural – lots of things that are unnatural Liberals go through all sorts of mental gymnastics to pretend they are natural, it can be quite amusing to watch at times.

    Its not so funny when they try and indoctrinate children with their nonsense though.

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  4. wreck1080 (3,533 comments) says:

    I’ve heard some excusing Vitali for her disregard of our war veterans because she is Canadian and does not understand .

    However, I’d imagine the Canadian veterans are held in just as high regard as ours.

    You never mess with those who fought for the country, whether it is NZ, Canada, the US (especially so), the UK and so on.

    I wonder where she gained her degree?

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  5. JC (840 comments) says:

    Last time I looked Israel was a sovereign state and entitled to make its own internal decisions.

    Talking about “Middle East peace” in connection with Israel and Muslims was never going to happen, and the media, the US, the Arab world and the rest of us should just give up on the pretense. If you want peace, just shut off the so called humanitarian aid to the Pallies.. all it does is support intransigence and terrorism, and allows them to ignore a two state solution.

    JC

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  6. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    A Chicago study showed that rates of sexual abuse against children by Catholic clergy were no different than those of teachers, policeman, parents and the population in general. Obviously the rate should be zero, but the point is that it has nothing to do with the vow of celibacy. You don’t here people saying “Oh that poor paedophile teacher/cop/parent, if only he was allowed to be married”.

    Calls for the Church to drop the abstinence rule tend to come from people who don’t know what they’re talking about and/or are applying their own low standard of sexual expression to everyone else in order to bring the heroes down to their level.

    The Catholic Church will be still be here in 100 years. The ODT probably won’t be.

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  7. tvb (3,952 comments) says:

    Israel is a failed state and the US has invested much of its prestige into Israel to the cost of relationships everywhere else. Their one card is they are a reliable ally but even that is now qualified. New Zealand has long since taken a more even handed approach to the Middle East. Frankly I would not care if the Arab States pushed Israel into the Med.

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  8. berend (1,602 comments) says:

    East: A Chicago study showed that rates of sexual abuse against children by Catholic clergy were no different than those of teachers, policeman, parents and the population in general.

    And clearly teachers, the police force and the population in general have been covering up those who have done so, moved them around to other places where they could start again.

    East, you’re talking a load of bullocks here. Ever read that report from Ireland? We’re talking about SYSTEMIC abuse. Please name me a non-catholic school that has come anywhere close to what went on there. You won’t find such schools.

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  9. berend (1,602 comments) says:

    One more: The Catholic Church will be still be here in 100 years. The ODT probably won’t be.

    I’m afraid you are right. They have killed and burned their thousands, estimates are actually millions, of heretics, now they have abused their thousands of children, when will it ever end?

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  10. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    The Press focuses on bad driving:

    Very very true – New Zealanders are pretty bad drivers and the aging population isn’t helping things either.

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  11. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    berend,
    My comments are directed at the assertion that celibacy vows are the cause of sexual abuses by clergy. I’m not for a moment defending any abuses and cover ups.

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  12. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    berend

    “I’m afraid you are right. They have killed and burned their thousands, estimates are actually millions, of heretics, now they have abused their thousands of children, when will it ever end?”

    I assume you have copies of the facts, figures and historical studies to back up these sensational and yet vague claims. If so can you please distribute.

    Recent studies of the Spanish Inquisition limit the numbers of accused to the hundreds, and note that these were largely carried out by civil, rather than religious, authorities.

    But sure, keep regurgitating clichés. They’re good for a giggle.

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  13. berend (1,602 comments) says:

    East, is the Roman Catholic church now down to the hundreds of heretics killed? I thought the study always cited by the Church was done by the Inquisition itself, and it had 3,000. But I suppose they redid their claim. No doubt in 100 years the number of abused children will be hundreds, nay dozens even.

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  14. Pete George (21,831 comments) says:

    They really should stop building new settlements. It makes the job of achieving a peace agreement a lot lot harder, for little gain.

    Surely they must know that.

    Is it bloody-mindedness (and they know that the US is compelled to back them regardless)?

    Does a continual state of conflict (where they know they are the stronger force) suit them?

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  15. Pete George (21,831 comments) says:

    Its not so funny when they try and indoctrinate children with their nonsense though.

    The Catholics?

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  16. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    hey really should stop building new settlements. It makes the job of achieving a peace agreement a lot lot harder, for little gain.

    David I think you need your head read, history shows that there will be no peace, never was any peace and there never was going to be any peace until the Arabs drive the Jews into the sea or the Jew’s Messiah comes to deliver them from the world arrayed against them.
    Israel is an affront to Islam and their god Allah and as long as it is there, their prophet Mohamed is a liar and charlatan.
    When will you understand there will be NO PEACE.

    How much land must they give? how many Jews must be killed before you and others tell your self the truth and admit it openly to us.

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  17. Jeff83 (765 comments) says:

    Its not so funny when they try and indoctrinate children with their nonsense though.

    What religion. I completely agree.

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  18. Jeff83 (765 comments) says:

    MikeNZ – so thats why when they gave land back to Eygpt they got a lasting peace?

    Yip. Your logic is flawed and beyond stupid.

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  19. Scott (1,614 comments) says:

    Berend – recent credible scholars state that over centuries the inquisition killed at most a few thousand. Now I would agree that is a few thousand too many. However to give some perspective that number is less than the communist nations of China and the Soviet Union killed in a week.

    Regarding child abuse the claim of systemic child abuse is simply not correct. The facts are- the Catholic church has looked after many millions of orphaned and/or delinquint children over centuries in a large number of countries including Ireland.That there was some child abuse has been proven and that is horrific. However much of the problem appears to be inexperienced priests and nuns who were inadequately supervised.

    There were some molesting priests and they appear to be treated by their supervisors pastorally and in hindsight too leniently. But I have seen no evidence of supervisors colluding with others over molestation. So the claim of systemic abuse is unproven in my view.

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  20. RRM (8,997 comments) says:

    Memo to the Pope: Free broadband for clergy, brothers, etc.

    Just let any that are feeling sexually frustrated sift p0rn like normal kids and jerk one off in their rooms when they feel like it… should do wonders for reducing sexual abuse within churchy walls.

    My 2c….

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  21. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    The ODT looks at child abuse in the Catholic Church:

    Perhaps child abuse occurances in the RC church (especially sexual abuse by priests against boys, but not limited to) is related to the fact that the RC church forbids marriage for those in the (RC) priesthood?

    1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
    1Ti 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
    1Ti 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

    And perhaps, also, some of the other descriptors contained in the above verses give insight into the minds of those within such a religious system which forbids marriage (of the priesthood); for example “having their conscience seared” and “giving heed to seducing spirits”.

    When we combine these contributing factors should we really be surprised that sexual abuse is rife within the Roman Catholic church hierarchy? And also, that the RC church leadership has done all it can to cover up such abuses throughout its history, rather than confronting those that are guilty of sexually abusing children (boys) and bringing them to justice?

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  22. Repton (769 comments) says:

    “I’m afraid you are right. They have killed and burned their thousands, estimates are actually millions, of heretics, now they have abused their thousands of children, when will it ever end?”

    I assume you have copies of the facts, figures and historical studies to back up these sensational and yet vague claims. If so can you please distribute.

    I don’t know if you could get to millions, but the church killed 20,000 when it put down the Cathar heresy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathar#Massacre

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  23. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    MikeNZ 3:39 pm

    … history shows that there will be no peace, never was any peace and there never was going to be any peace until the Arabs drive the Jews into the sea or the Jew’s Messiah comes to deliver them from the world arrayed against them.

    Indeed, Mike.

    As hard as the US leadership tries to broker peace in the ME between Israel and the Islamic hordes which surround her, at least some of us have inside knowledge that this will, in fact, never happen.

    And as you state above; there are only two possible outcomes – “the Arabs drive the Jews into the sea or the Jew’s Messiah comes to deliver them from the world arrayed against them”.
    I’ve got my money on ‘Option 2′.

    You and I obviously have shares in the same ‘investment portfolio’ – not quite ‘insider trading’, but close. Heh.

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  24. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    News of the Catholic Church and its “sexual indulgences” intrigue me and add momentum to the argument of much needed reform within the Catholic faith.
    These indulgences are nothing new, in fact they have been occurring for centuries and this is just one (of many) reason that favoured the Protestant break away from the church many years ago.

    The orthodox of Catholic leaders “abstaining” from marriage should be changed to suit the modern era, as many churches have attempted successfully. Although its traditional stance is admirable, its particular stance on Catholic leadership needs to be relaxed to prevent continued pedophile activity.

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  25. jeremyn (19 comments) says:

    As Jeremy Clarkson says.. Truck drivers are making our lives better by delivering goods. What are the mums in RAV4′s (literally, jacked up Corollas) doing for the rest of us? Endangering our lives and theirs.

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  26. berend (1,602 comments) says:

    Scott: That there was some child abuse has been proven and that is horrific. However much of the problem appears to be inexperienced priests and nuns who were inadequately supervised.

    Some child abuse. Yeah right.

    Have you ever read the report Scott? If you can’t stomach the entire report, here the summary.

    Yes, only some abuse. Everywhere else it is worse. I found that Wikipedia even had a claim that 14% of Southern Baptists ministers admitted to inappropriate sexual conduct. But where are the class actions?

    Why does this happen all over the place? All over the world Roman Catholic institutions appear to have exactly the same issues. And we must believe that over the centuries all was fine, except in the 20th century?

    From the report:

    The 1090 witness reports relate to the period between 1914 and 2000, of which 23 refer to abuse experienced prior to 1930 or after 1990.

    So the abuse started in 1914, before that there was no widespread abuse on a world scale. Here what kind of institutions the Roman Catholic Church ran:

    Physical and emotional abuse and neglect were features of the institutions. Sexual abuse occurred in many of them, particularly boys’ institutions. Schools were run in a severe, regimented manner that imposed unreasonable and oppressive discipline on children and even on staff.

    Ah, but it is just some abuse. Nothing to see here, move on. The typical Roman Catholic reaction.

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  27. Pete George (21,831 comments) says:

    However much of the problem appears to be inexperienced priests and nuns who were inadequately supervised.

    It seems like many priests got quite a lot of “experience” of an unsavoury kind as they were moved from victims to victims, aided and protected by their supervisors.

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  28. Flashman (184 comments) says:

    In my vantage point of 30 years observing catholics, the typical weekly-mass-rosary-clicking catholic parent would hardly ever dare complain to the bishop that their parish priest was kiddie-fiddling: such was their indoctrinated fear/respect/terror of drawing attention to themselves in such a way. Instead it was a priest’s own obscene criminality that might attract the attention of his peers so that few quiet words would be said to the bishop and good old Father O’Doogle would be “transfered to a new parish” and [perhaps] assigned a confessor to “counsel and pray with him”.

    It was a blatent cover-up from start to finish. And it all happened because it was allowed to happen, with responsibility sheeted straight home to the bishops.

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  29. bearhunter (859 comments) says:

    “That there was some child abuse has been proven and that is horrific.”

    What bollocks. Every catholic school I knew of back in Ireland had the priest/brother that boys were warned to stay away from. It was well known among the pupils that abuse was possible if not inevitable. OF course it wasn’t just sexual abuse. Very few of the religious who taught in the schools were averse to using appalling violence in a casual manner.
    Of 22 schools in my area, there were incidents of violent/sexual abuse at 16 of them that led to police involvement. One brother was warned for cracking a kid’s skull and that was it from the police.
    The six where no abuse occurred were secular or Church of Ireland schools. It’s all in the Ferns Report, the Dublin Report and the report linked to by Berend above.

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