Loading
Australian bishops pledge cooperation with abuse inquiry
Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne.
Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne.

.- The Catholic bishops of Australia’s Victoria state have said the Catholic Church in Victoria will cooperate “fully” with the Australian state’s parliamentary inquiry into child abuse.

“Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has caused deep concern among Catholics and the wider community,” Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne said Sept. 21. “It is shameful and shocking that this abuse, with its dramatic impact on those who were abused and their families, was committed by Catholic priests, religious and church workers.”

The Victorian parliament has launched an inquiry into how religious and other non-governmental organizations handled child abuse, following suicides by dozens of people abused by clergy, Agence France Presse reports.

The Catholic bishops said the incidence of abuse has fallen “dramatically” from the “appalling numbers” in the 1960s and 1970s. In the last 16 years, the Catholic Church in Victoria has upheld about 620 cases of criminal child abuse, with most claims regarding incidents between 30 and 80 years ago.

The bishops said there have been “very few” complaints of abuse since 1990.

Michael Holcroft, President of the Law Institute of Victoria, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that there is a need for independent investigations.

“Obviously there’s a public perception that the church investigating the church is Caesar judging Caesar, and I think that the community is now looking for somebody external, someone independent to get to the bottom of what's obviously been a big problem for a long, long time,” he said.

Chrissie Foster, the mother of two daughters raped by their parish priest in the mid-1980s, objected that the Church only revealed the figure on Sept. 21. Foster also accused the Church of doing nothing to stop abusive priests.

Archbishop Hart stated the Church’s support for “brave” victims of abuse who come forward and speak to the inquiry and the Church’s support for those who do not testify.

“We acknowledge the suffering and trauma endured by children who have been in the Church’s care, and the effect on their families,” the archbishop said. “We renew our apology to them.”

He said the Catholic Church’s submission to the inquiry examines what the Church has learned from “past failures” and how it has changed its approach to victims and offenders.

The submission discusses the Church’s commitment to caring for children and developments in society’s and the Church’s understanding of “the pernicious nature of pedophilia.”

“The Church, both internationally and in Australia, has continued to review and refine its processes, procedures, and practices,” he said. “We put the child first, and our refined measures promote the protection of children.”

Tags: Sexual Abuse


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Aug
20

Liturgical Calendar

August 20, 2014

Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 19:23-30

Gospel
Date
08/19/14
08/18/14
08/17/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ezek 34: 1-11
Gospel:: Mt 20: 1-16

Saint of the Day

St. Bernard de Clairvaux »

Saint
Date
08/18/14
08/17/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 19:23-30

Homily
Date
08/19/14
08/18/14
08/17/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: