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Morgan Michael's story

After Morgan’s parents separated in the 1980s his mother moved to Brisbane with the children, and he started at the local Catholic school. Before this ‘I’d never even heard of God’.

Although he was not Catholic, his Year 5 teacher ‘started talking to me about God and brainwashed me, got me to become an altar boy, got me to be baptised’. After his conversion, Morgan soon had his heart set on becoming a priest.

The parish priest, Father Blayney, encouraged this vocation.

‘He told me that I was destined for greatness in the Church, that he was blessed to have me. Got me to kneel down and he unzipped his pants, told me that we were having a special communion that I can’t ever tell anybody about.’

The priest then forced Morgan to perform oral sex on him. This abuse occurred on ‘at least six other occasions’.

‘Eventually I said to him “It’s wrong, I don’t like it, I don’t want to do it”. He grabbed me by the throat, threw me over the chair, and raped me.’

After this Morgan began drinking heavily. ‘The next day I was drunk. And I stayed drunk for nearly 30 years.’

Morgan reported this abuse to the school librarian (having a great love of reading, he spent a lot of time in the library) but it appears no action was taken. He went from being a sociable and happy student to an aggressive child. His ‘straight A’ grades dropped, he became violent, lost friends, and was eventually expelled from high school for carrying a weapon.

He has not had any contact with his family for a long time. ‘I told my mother when I was in Year 11 what happened. She threw me out of home. I haven’t spoken to any of the cunts since. If they come near me they know that I’m going to hurt them. I wouldn’t even try to stop myself.’

As an adult Morgan has been violent towards others, in trouble with the law and spent time in prison for drug-related offences. ‘I’ve blocked out so much, I’ve spent almost 17 years as a heroin addict, starting when I was 14.’

Unable to maintain employment and living by himself with no friends, Morgan leads a lonely life. He has been diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and told he will require frequent and ongoing counselling.

‘I don’t care about people anymore. I desensitised myself to it, and I know I did it deliberately, and now I want to stop.

‘I want to have an actual life for a change. I want to know that I can pay my rent next week, I want to know I can hold down a job ... I can’t hold down a job, I’m too aggressive and too angry.

‘I’ve seen a psychologist and he said I’m going to have to relive absolutely everything. He said I’m probably going to have to see someone daily for years on end.’

Having given up alcohol and drugs to the point where he will not even take over-the-counter painkillers, he refuses to take any medication to manage his mental health. He believes he would qualify for the disability pension due to the debilitating nature of his PTSD, but does not want to have to engage with a psychiatrist to get the necessary assessment as this would entail having to talk about his trauma again.

Almost 10 years ago Morgan reported the sexual abuse to a senior Catholic official, who asked what assistance he would like from the Church. As he required money to pay his car loan off, an amount was deposited into his account to cover this. The official told him he need not worry about Father Blayney offending anymore, but he later learned that the priest was still working and living on a Church property next to a primary school.

More recently Morgan made a statement to police. He does not believe that any investigation was conducted, but rather that they referred the matter back to the Church.

He would like the Catholic Church to have its tax free status removed and to be forced to sell off many of its properties, so that its child sexual abuse victims can be compensated properly, including unlimited access to counselling.

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