10 Feb 2022

Man recalls priest taking photos while he was forced to sexually abuse another child

5:10 pm on 10 February 2022

Warning: This story contains graphic references to sexual and physical abuse and may be upsetting for readers.

A man who spent time in a church orphanage as a child has told the Abuse in Care inquiry he was forced by two priests to sexually violate another boy.

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Marylands School on the left and St Joseph's Orphanage in Christchurch. Photo: Supplied / V C Browne & Son

The man, identified only as Mr A U, was sent to St Joseph's Orphanage in Christchurch in 1968 at the age of 11.

It was run by the Sisters of Nazareth and was next to the Marylands School, operated by the Order of St John of God.

He was taken to the orphanage by his mother and left there. He had been sexually abused by his stepfather.

A U said he felt the need to go to confession to talk about the abuse.

This turned out to be a big mistake.

''I thought this was an opportunity to tell someone who could be trusted and who would have listened to me and give me good advice.''

He said during confession the priest kept asking for details of the sexual abuse.

''I was asked whether I had got an erection during the abuse, and for details about exactly what happened with masturbation, penetration. He kept asking me to describe what happened.''

A U said he was shocked to be asked such details.

Two days later he was taken by a nun during the night into a room where there was a boy of about 5 years old, lying on a bed naked.

''I was forced to sodomise him in front of two priests. One was dressed in a long black robe, the other was naked except for wearing a face-mask of a clown face. Photos were being taken by the one wearing the mask. I was made to do all kinds of inappropriate things.''

He was told that if he did not do as he was told he would go to hell and would never see his parents again.

''I was also told nobody would want me.

''I blamed myself for opening up in confession.''

He said when he went into the dining room soon after the incident, he saw the other boy and became enraged.

''I threw the meal on the ground and I was dragged away by the nuns and put in a cupboard until I calmed down. I was beaten over the knuckles with a bamboo.''

He said the incident at St Joseph's was like having his security blanket taken away.

'' Whatever I had left to believe in was taken. I was not wanted at home and I was not protected even by the God I believed in.

''I had no one to talk to or even turn to about the abuse.''

He was in constant fear after leaving St Joseph's that the police would come and arrest him for the rape of the young boy at St Joseph's.

''To this day I carry tremendous guilt about what I was forced to do to that young boy.''

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