'He roared like a lion': father who waged decade-long war against the Catholic Church over the shocking sexual abuse of his two daughters dies aged 64 after suffering a major stroke
Daily Mail Australia
27 May 2017
- Anthony Foster has died after reportedly suffering a major stroke on Friday
- Mr Foster is believed to have died after falling and hitting his head
- He was an advocate for child sex abuse victims after his daughters were raped
- Daughters Emma and Katie were abused by a priest between 1988-1993
Anthony Foster, 64, became a relentless campaigner after his daughters Emma and Katie were sexually abused by priest Kevin O'Donnell at their Melbourne primary school between 1988 and 1993.
He is believed to have died on Friday evening after falling and hitting his head.
Mr Foster rose to prominence after engaging in a decade-long battle with the Catholic church for a compensation payout.
The Fosters were offered a $50,000 payout from the church which they rejected - later taking them to court.
The church settled the Fosters in 2006 for $750,000.
Mr Foster publicly accused Cardinal George Pell - who was archbishop of Melbourne at the time - for stalling their compensation claim.
Mr Foster and his wife Chrissie shared their torment to the media and a royal commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse.
The chair of the child sex abuse royal commission said he is 'deeply saddened' Mr Foster's death.
Justice Peter McClellan extended his condolences to the Foster family and praised their dedication to achieving justice for survivors of child sexual abuse.
'They attended hundreds of days of public hearings and participated in many of our policy roundtables,' he said in a statement on Saturday.
'With a dignity and grace, Anthony and Chrissie generously supported countless survivors and their families whilst also managing their own grief.'
Mr Foster and his wife Chrissie endured further tragedy after their daughters were abused as children.
Emma took an overdose of her medication and died in 2008, while Katie was hit by a car after a drinking binge and is now brain damaged and in a wheelchair.
Tributes poured in for Mr Foster on Saturday, with many describing the father as a voice for survivors who struggled to discuss their personal experiences.
'Anthony was the person that stood up and he spoke in quiet, but powerful words, and in many ways you know, he roared like a lion on this issue,' friend Paul Kennedy said.
Mr Kennedy co-authored a book, Hell on the Way to Heaven, with Mrs Foster in 2010.
Fellow victims advocate Manny Waks said he was devastated to hear of the death of his friend and colleague.
'Anthony, together with his dear wife Chrissie, has been one of my inspirations,' he wrote on Facebook.
'Despite all they endured, they maintained determination and dignity in their ongoing campaign for justice and reform within the Catholic Church - for them and for others.'
Mr Waks also voiced his anger with the Catholic Church for the 'ongoing pain and suffering they caused the Fosters'.
'At the very least, they should belatedly publicly acknowledge the incredible work by such an amazing family,' he said.
'Many of us are mourning with you. We will continue to support you in whatever way we can.'
Originally published at Daily Mail Australia.