Posts Tagged Australian Royal Commission

Australia and Catholic Church ‘failed’ abused children, inquiry finds / The New York Times

“Tens of thousands of children have been sexually abused in many Australian institutions,” said the report, which was particularly critical of Catholic organizations. “We will never know the true number. Whatever the number, it is a national tragedy, perpetrated over generations within many of our most trusted institutions.” (The New York Times)

A royal commission investigating the sexual abuse of children in Australia found Friday (Dec. 15) that the nation was gripped by an epidemic dating back decades, with tens of thousands of children sexually abused in schools, religious organizations and other institutions.

“The commission, the highest form of investigation in Australia, urged government action on its 189 recommendations, including the establishment of a new National Office for Child Safety and penalties for those who suspect abuse and fail to alert the police, including priests who hear about abuse in confessionals. It also urged Australia’s Roman Catholic leadership to press Rome to end mandatory celibacy for priests.

“‘Tens of thousands of children have been sexually abused in many Australian institutions,’ said the report, which was particularly critical of Catholic organizations. ‘We will never know the true number. Whatever the number, it is a national tragedy, perpetrated over generations within many of our most trusted institutions.’

“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said all Australians should read the report.”

By Jacqueline Williams, The New York Times — Read more …

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Victims tell their stories to Australia’s royal commission on child sexual abuse / National Catholic Reporter

“In some respects, the story of the Australian government inquiry into institutional responses to child sexual abuse is a story that can be told in numbers.

“Since its first hearing three years ago, the inquiry — the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse — has received 29,223 telephone calls from victims and other interested parties, as well as 16,171 letters and emails. It has conducted 4,874 sessions in private (to provide, where requested, a safe and confidential environment for those testifying) and made 961 referrals to authorities, including police, many of which have resulted in arrests and charges …

“Numbers, of course, rarely tell the whole story. To the extent that the commission has been a cathartic experience both for individuals and more broadly, its impact is impossible to quantify.”

By Chris McGillion, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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The Catholic Church’s performance at the Royal Commission is farcical / Commentary in The Age

The Catholic Church continues to harm sex abuse victims by its failure to acknowledge the extent to which it covered-up sex crimes against children. For three weeks, the County Court of Victoria has been host to countless victim survivors of Catholic clergy child-sex crimes.

“The severe psychological and psychiatric harm caused by these crimes was evident not only with the primary victims giving evidence, but also the many family members of loved ones who had killed themselves because the pain and damage of the sex crimes were too great to bear.”

By Judy Courtin, a lawyer representing victims of institutionalized sexual abuse before Australian Royal Commission, commentary in The Age — Click here to read the rest of this commentary

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