Posts Tagged catholic church

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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‘Changes must be made’: shocking Australian child abuse inquiry ends / CNN News

(Hon. Justice Peter) McClellan (head of the investigation) singled out the Roman Catholic Church in particular for often putting reputation above the safety of children in what they found to be decades of systematic sexual abuse — a familiar pattern of scandals dogging Catholic institutions globally. (CNN News)

Children are still being sexually assaulted in Australian institutions.

“That was the stark warning of an exhaustive five-year investigation by an Australia Royal Commission into institutional child sex abuse that concluded Thursday (Dec. 15).

In a short hearing in Sydney, Hon. Justice Peter McClellan, who has headed the investigation, said the ‘nation thanks the survivors’ who gave testimony about decades of systematic abuse and cover-ups in religious and state institutions such as churches, youth groups, care homes and schools.

More than 8,000 people gave evidence in private sessions, and 2,559 referrals were made to authorities, including the police, as a result of the $383 million (AU$500 million) probe.

“‘The sexual abuse of children is not just a problem from the past. Child sexual abuse in institutions continues today,’ said McClellan. ‘In some case studies into schools the alleged abuse was so recent that the children are still attending school.’

“McClellan singled out the Roman Catholic Church in particular for often putting reputation above the safety of children in what they found to be decades of systematic sexual abuse — a familiar pattern of scandals dogging Catholic institutions globally.”

By Lucie Morris-Marr, CNN News — Read More …

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Australian bishop urges end to clericalism / National Catholic Reporter

“The sex abuse crisis was more than the evil acts of individuals. (Bishop Vincent Long) Van Nguyen said the culture of the church contributed to the crisis in Australia.” National Catholic Reporter

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen of Parramatta, Australia, speaking to the National Council of Priests of Australia, urged an end to clericalism in the church and expressed hope that a newly revitalized Catholic clergy would emerge from the sex abuse crisis that has wracked the Catholic Church in Australia.

“He spoke Aug. 30 to the National Council of Priests in Australia, which reprinted his remarks in the December edition of The Swag, its quarterly magazine.

“Van Nguyen, 55, a Conventual Franciscan who became bishop of Parramatta last year, declared in a message to a Royal Commission investigating sex abuse in the Catholic Church that he himself had been abused by church members as an adult. He told the priests’ group that ‘we are in a big mess’ as priests ‘bear the brunt of public anger and distrust in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis. It is one of the hardest times to be a priest.’

“He suggested they look to the example of Pope Francis as a vision of priesthood based on a servant, not an authoritarian, model.”

By Peter Feuerherd, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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Archbishop Wilson stands trial in Newcastle / Australian Associated Press on 9news.com

(Adelaide Archbishop Philip) Wilson, 67, the most senior Catholic official in the world to be charged with concealing child sex assault, sat quietly in court behind his team of lawyers during the prosecutor’s opening address. (Australian Associated Press on 9news.com)

Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson has been accused of covering up child sex abuse by the Catholic clergy for nearly three decades.

“Crown prosecutor Gareth Harrison told the Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday (Dec. 6) that Wilson had allegedly been involved in a number of cases where he had tried to prevent abuse claims being reported to police from between 1976 and 2004 to protect the Catholic Church.

“In his opening address on the first day of Wilson’s trial where he is accused of concealing information about the abuse of an altar boy by now-dead pedophile priest James Fletcher in the NSW Hunter region, Mr Harrison said the evidence would show Wilson had failed to report widespread child abuse by the Catholic clergy and a teacher.”

By Australian Associated Press on 9news.com — Read more …

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Study ranks dioceses’ online financial transparency; Sacramento on top / National Catholic Reporter

Transparency in diocesan financial statements is a means to keep dioceses accountable while also encouraging donations, Margaret Roylance, a member of the Voice of the Faithful committee that put together the study, told NCR. (National Catholic Reporter)

Separated by a continent, the dioceses of Sacramento, California, and Camden, New Jersey, are also divided by degrees of financial transparency.

“Parishioners in Sacramento can find out where their donations go with the click of a button on the diocesan website. Those in the Diocese of Camden, which covers southern New Jersey, will have a more difficult time.

“That is a takeaway from a study on financial transparency undertaken recently by Voice of the Faithful, a church watchdog group. The study surveyed dioceses and archdioceses across the country, rating them from most transparent to most opaque. The study was based on how much financial information is accessible on diocesan websites.”

Peter Feuerherd, Naitonal Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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Melbourne’s Catholic archdiocese let pedophile priests free to abuse children / Victoria Herald Sun

In its report the commission found Archbishop Little’s “culture of secrecy … sought to protect the Archdiocese from scandal and liability and prioritised the interests of the Church over those of the victims.” (Victoria Herald Sun)

CULTURE of secrecy inside Melbourne’s Catholic Archdiocese let paedophile priests free to abuse scores of children, a damning report by the child abuse royal commission has found.

“Releasing its report into the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne today the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was most scathing of former Archbishop Frank Little …

“The commission found Archbishop Little lied about the resignation of paedophile priests, concealed ongoing financial assistance to others, and shuffled others between parishes.”

By Shannon Deery, Victoria Herald Sun — Read more …

 

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After waiting years to be heard, the children of Smyllum tell their heartbreaking stories / The Sunday Post

“And, finally, after all those years, these adults, who were once children in Scotland’s care homes, would tell their stories. Stories of neglect, of cruelty, of abuse and of murder.” (The Sunday Post)

They had waited a long time to be heard.

“But in this nondescript office block, as commuters rushed by outside, they would speak at last.

“And, finally, after all those years, these adults, who were once children in Scotland’s care homes, would tell their stories. Stories of neglect, of cruelty, of abuse and of murder.

“The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry started its second phase in Edinburgh last week as judge Lady Smith turned her attention to Smyllum Park children’s home in Lanarkshire, the orphanage where, as we revealed in September, up to 400 children are buried in an unmarked grave.

“The hearings were harrowing for those who gave evidence and those who heard it. It was often heart-breaking.

“Some in the seats open to the public wept as former child residents – most are now pensioners – described growing up in Smyllum.”

By Gordon Blackstock, The Sunday Post — Read more …

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