The truth matters. It matters most when its ruthless pursuit is essential to ensuring justice for people whose rights have been cruelly violated, and to ensuring that any failings in law, policy and practice which may have permitted, facilitated or even turned a blind eye to such abuses, are fully identified and dealt with.

Australia could learn from the Irish investigation, which focussed on the Catholic Church. Picture: AP

It is of course the responsibility of the State to protect and vindicate the rights of its people. The State is ultimately responsible for ensuring that its citizens - especially those who are most vulnerable, such as children - are properly protected and provided for. Where a pattern of abuse is identified, it is the job of the State to investigate it, bring any perpetrators to justice and ensure effective remedies for victims of abuse.

Australia is about to undertake a remarkable investigation. The newly established Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse faces a mammoth task.

It has two years to inquire into child sexual abuse within all institutions across Australia. This obviously includes inquiring into child sexual abuse perpetrated by Roman Catholic priests.

Indeed, it was the scandals involving the Roman Catholic Church which led to the establishment of the commission after many years of campaigning for justice by Australian victims and their families. That the commission has been established is testament to both their courage and tenacity.

That their efforts have paid off finally is very good news. But the worrying element is the scale of the thing.

This commission is expected to investigate institutional child sexual abuse across the entire nation, in schools, scouting associations, children’s clubs, residential institutions and church parishes.

And it is expected to complete all of this work in just over two years. I worry that the Australian Government has underestimated the scale of the task they have set the commission.

I worry that they have not fully realised the resistance the commission is likely to face from Roman Catholic Bishops and other church leaders when it tries to investigate their handling of child sexual abuse.

The Roman Catholic Church does not recognise the need for its leaders to be answerable, openly and honestly accountable, for the manner in which they have handled this issue. In country after country, Bishops and Cardinals have adopted a highly legalistic and adversarial approach to such investigations.

They have fought tooth and nail to avoid investigation, and where they have been unable to do so, they have worked with ferocity to limit the scope and defectiveness of such inquiries. They have even promised full and open cooperation, and then gone on to resist and delay the process of investigation at every opportunity. I have no reason to believe that the Australian Catholic Church will be any different.

When one considers how they have exploited their privileged position under Australian law to prevent victims of abuse from suing them for damages in the Australian Courts, there is obvious reason for concern.

The Archdiocese of Sydney has successfully avoided accountability before the courts by arguing that it does not exist as a legal entity and as such cannot be sued in the civil courts by victims of abuse.

This travesty of justice has meant that victims of abuse have been forced to enter a church process in which they are utterly dependent upon the very institution that they hold responsible for their abuse to decide what, if any, justice in the form of compensation they are entitled to receive.

I hope the Royal Commission addresses such issues. It cannot be acceptable to the Australian Government that any institution is allowed to operate outside the rule of law, to be so unaccountable for such gross failures before the civil courts, most especially one which plays such a major role in the care and education of many Australian children today.

Yes, the Catholic Church has pledged its cooperation, saying that it wants the truth to come out. I hope this is the case. I hope that Australia will mark a turning point in decades of obfuscation and simple deceit on the part of Bishops, Cardinals and even Popes.

The commission will have to investigate the role of such leaders in the abuse scandals. It will have to wade through the complicated mess that is internal church law and practice. It may well have to seek cooperation from the Vatican departments which will undoubtedly be involved in dealing with Australian cases of child sexual abuse by priests.

Others have also tried to secure the cooperation of the Vatican in such investigations and failed. The Vatican, for example, failed to engage with State inquiries in Ireland as recently as within the past five years. I hope, despite all my experience to the contrary, that the Australian Bishops and their Vatican bosses will adopt a more cooperative approach to the Australian Royal Commission.

The Australian Government has made some very big promises. It has promised that victims of abuse will be heard and hard lessons learned. It has promised that the resources necessary to get to the truth will be available to the commission. These are laudable commitments. I hope they can be delivered upon, not just for the sake of child victims of past abuse, but for the sake of today’s children and their children too.

Tune into Dateline tonight at 9.30pm on SBS ONE for a special report on how Ireland handled its ten-year inquiry into child sex abuse, and the lessons for Australia.

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEDT.

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45 comments

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    • Fiddler says:

      09:05am | 19/02/13

      The Irish one concentrated on the Catholic Church because lets face it, the Catholic Church is infinitely bigger and more powerful in Ireland than in Australia

    • P. Darvio says:

      09:24am | 19/02/13

      I wonder if the Head of the Christian Church in Australia will take an extended 2 year vacation in the Christian Vatican State after he votes for the new Dear Leader? Maybe he will even be elected as the new Dear Leader?

    • bemused says:

      10:08am | 19/02/13

      who and what are the christian church?

    • Stained says:

      04:46pm | 19/02/13

      @P. Darvio “I wonder if the Head of the Christian Church in Australia will take an extended 2 year ....”

      I expect you are a Muslim.  No one could be this naïve about Christianity.  Islam has many sects under it just like Christianity old cock.  There are Mormons, Catholics, Seventh Day Adventists, Methodists, Baptists….etc all those big buildings with a crucifix atop them, OK.  There is no head of the Christian Church!

    • P. Darvio says:

      09:30am | 19/02/13

      Yes the Christian Church knows how to use the law to its favour – especially when its money is at stake.

      http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/26/us/colorado-fetus-lawsuit

      So when money is involved a fetus is not a person according to the Christian Church – so much for their alleged Christian morals and ethics…..the unborn dollar is far more important than the unborn child.

      No doubt they will try and use other clever legal tactics again with whatever legal action against them comes out of the Christian Priest Child Sex Rape Royal Commission.

      Maybe they will try and argue there is no age of consent? – because there isn’t in their Bible – so sex with a 10 year old boy is just fine in accordance with Bible Law.

      Morals and Ethics in Religion……..ha ha ha ha ha…..

    • St. Michael says:

      11:52am | 19/02/13

      So you do think a fetus is a person, Pee?

    • Austin 3:16 says:

      02:39pm | 19/02/13

      Hey St Michael,

      Why is what Pete thinks about the matter an issue ?  Does Pete preach on the topic, condemn anybody to hell for not following his preachings or try and influence public policy on the issue ?

    • St. Michael says:

      03:27pm | 19/02/13

      Only base hypocrisy if he thinks, as with most rabid atheists, a fetus is not a person in any event.  If so he should be applauding the Church’s decision, not calling the kettle black while being a pot.

    • Austin 3:16 says:

      05:57pm | 19/02/13

      Hey Michael,

      Regardless of what P’s views on the topic are the Church has taken quite a hypocritical stance.

      It’s a stand alone matter.

    • Anjuli says:

      09:41am | 19/02/13

      “It does not exist as a legal entity “, then why is it allowed tax concessions ?.

    • bananabender56 says:

      01:59pm | 19/02/13

      If the Australian Catholic Church fails to cooperate then it should have its tax concessions revoked.

    • Kerryn says:

      09:44am | 19/02/13

      I think it’s telling that the one Bishop who was working with police to get sexual abuse dealt with got removed from his position by Rome.

      I am still very angry at how the Catholic Church has handled this, and I doubt I’ll ever go back.

    • Jolanda says:

      09:53am | 19/02/13

      When you think about it many of the victims of abuse by the Church complained, they complained to the Police, the complained to the Government and because the PROCESS that the system has set up to deal with complaints and allegations is the same as what the Church uses and is designed to protect those in and with power our children are not protected and the abuse continues.

      You are always going to get those who abuse and fail in their duty of care, it is how complaints are dealt with that makes the difference.  Asking those who are accused of being responsible to respond to the allegations and taking whatever they say on face value, discrediting the complainant and closing the matter is not a fair and just process and does not protect the children and that should be of paramount concern.

      Education – Keeping them Honest
      http://jolandachallita.typepad.com/

    • TheRealDave says:

      09:56am | 19/02/13

      Spot bloody On Mr O’Gorman!

      Exactly what I have been saying all along when they announced this Inquiry. This whole saga was brought about by a huge case involving the Catholic CHurch and its continual coverup and protecting of one of its priests. Announcing a Australia wide inquiry that will only operate for 2 years is going to do bugger all to address the root cause of the problem as the Catholic Church, which as you say is well known for hindering legal investigations, knows it only needs to delay for 2 years and it will ‘go away’ - again. Its a bit like the Taliban knowing they only have to wait till the end of 2014 and NATO troops will be gone and they can waltz right back in again. Actually - its EXACTLY like it.

      Adress the huge INDENTIFIED problem we have now with the Catholic Church, once that is completed THEN go after a bigger wide ranging inquiry. Otherwise, all we are going to get with this limited timeframe and scope inquiry is a watered down result hat will acheive nothing.

    • Bho Ghan-Pryde says:

      10:09am | 19/02/13

      You say “The State is ultimately responsible for ensuring that its citizens - especially those who are most vulnerable, such as children - are properly protected and provided for” - and well god help us if that is true. Wasn’t it the state that was responsible for the two biggest acts of child abuse in Australia’s history? The stolen generation and the forced child migrants. And that is just the first two. The list of the states abuses of children via its agencies would make the Paedophile Society of Australia blush. Hell, lets look at just the record of the ALP (as it is in government) with regards child abuse by its members and the cover-ups that have gone on. In some cases the victims watched for decades as their abuser was fated in Canberra as a minister while they went back to a shanty in the NT. And there were many others and we know who they are even if the cover-ups and death kept them from the courts. Yes, we all know the extent of cover-ups there. And that is just Australia. All around the world if you are raped the chances are it will not be by a random person or even a family member. No the odds are it will be a member of the states security services.
      The state as the ultimate protector, what a laugh - how naïve can you get? Grow up FFS.

    • Achmed says:

      10:11am | 19/02/13

      The only way to get support from Abbott and the Libs was to extend the Commission to investigate schools, scouting associations etc and not restrict the inquiry to only the Catholic church.
      And Abbotts support only came after he met with Pell.

    • Tropical says:

      10:45am | 19/02/13

      One word - crap.

    • Achmed says:

      11:00am | 19/02/13

      No - true.  Abbott did not come out and support the Commission until after he met with Pell.  Well reported in the media

    • james says:

      01:03pm | 19/02/13

      Royal commission is cancelled after the 15th of September, remember who pulls the strings.

    • lostinperth says:

      01:07pm | 19/02/13

      The ONLY way they would support it?
      I call bullshit on this one.

      So what was the alternative - if you were abused in state care or by a Lutheran you do not get to speak? Only victims of Catholics count?

      Or do you propose a seperate Royal Commission for every organisation
      that may have had a pedophile in its midst in the last 50 years?

    • SPY UNDER CARPET says:

      10:27am | 19/02/13

      Myths and facts of child sexual abuse

      Myth: Child sexual abuse/incest/child rape only happens in poor families.
      Fact: Child sexual abuse/incest/child rape occurs in all racial, cultural and socio-economic groups.

      Myth: Child sexual abuse hardly ever happens.
      Fact: Approximately 33% of Australian female children will be sexually abused before they reach 18 years of age (Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault CASA forum).

      Myth: Child sexual abuse is unacceptable in our society.
      Fact: Child sexual abuse is prevalent, talking about it is forbidden. Secrecy makes it easier for men to abuse children.


      Myth: It is only abuse when a violent physical attack occurs.
      Fact: Adult power and authority are such that physical force is unnecessary. Children can be coerced, bribed or threatened to make them comply. Offenders avoid doing anything that will lead to discovery.

      Myth: Child sexual abuse only happens in dysfunctional families.
      Fact: Offenders are ‘normal’ men who are involved in ‘normal’ relationships and have ‘normal’ vocational/professional and social roles.

      Myth: Sexual abuse (when it happens) will only occur as a single, isolated event.
      Fact: Most abuse continues over a long period of time – usually for years.

      Myth: Most children are sexually abused by strangers.
      Fact: According to Australian Crime: Facts and Figures, 2011, only 11% of reported sexual assaults on females aged 0-14 were perpetrated by strangers. 40% of assaults are perpetrated by a family member, 45% by a non-family member (i.e. a friend of the family, neighbour, youth group leader etc…), and in the remaining 4% of cases, it is not reported who the perpetrator is.

      Myth: Girls fantasise/make up stories/lie about being sexually abused.
      Fact: Sexual abuse is a feminine reality. Claiming otherwise provides social and person protection for the abusers.

      Myth: Only adolescent girls are sexually abused.
      Fact: Two thirds of respondents in the Personal Safety Survey, 2005, who indicated having a history of experiencing child sexual abuse prior to them turning 15, stated that the abuse occurred before the age of 11.


      Myth: All girls wish to seduce their fathers.
      Fact: The adult offender approaches the girl in a variety of ways, such as going into her bedroom while she is asleep, waiting or organising for her to be alone, threatening to kill her or significant family members. Assaults are planned well in advance and will include limiting or removing escape and support systems. The social response is that the girl is blamed and expected to say no or run away, even though there is recognition that a battered child cannot do so.

       

      How did we feel as sexually abused children?
      (Taken from Facing the Unthinkable, written by Dympna House Editorial/Writers Collective; editing, Annee Lawrence, 1998)

    • Tim from Canberra says:

      11:16am | 19/02/13

      I felt like crying after reading your comment.
      When you are sad, google pictures of puppies. It helps.

    • St. Michael says:

      11:18am | 19/02/13

      “Myth: Child sexual abuse is unacceptable in our society.
      Fact: Child sexual abuse is prevalent, talking about it is forbidden. Secrecy makes it easier for men to abuse children.”

      Myth: Only men commit sexual abuse against children.
      Fact: Women also abuse children in more than a tiny fraction of cases, and when caught for it, are invariably dealt with far more leniently than men are.

    • lostinperth says:

      01:14pm | 19/02/13

      “Myth: Only men commit sexual abuse against children.
      Fact: Women also abuse children in more than a tiny fraction of cases, and when caught for it, are invariably dealt with far more leniently than men are. “

      Very true. A report a few years ago estimated that less then 10% of sexual abuse committed by women is ever reported. And even if it is reported, the chances of a women getting an equivalent jail sentence (assuming that it is investigated or charges laid) for a similar offence as a man was also minute. Often they get suspended sentences.

    • SPY UNDER CARPET says:

      10:29am | 19/02/13

      Many survivors of sexual assault, rape and child abuse who have gone through the legal process to find justice speak of their experiences as being equally ‘abusive’. How do we allow the justice system to fail some of the most vulnerable members of our community?

      Sexual assault, rape and child abuse cases are notoriously harrowing for the survivors, as their word is pitted against that of their assailants. For many, facing the legal world after their assault can be an equally traumatic experience. However, for those survivors who are courageous enough to step forward, seeking redress through the criminal justice system remains vital for their sense of closure after the assault.

    • Rose says:

      12:11pm | 19/02/13

      “How do we allow the justice system to fail some of the most vulnerable members of our community?” Largely because we really don’t want to know. Knowing means that we have to face some of the unpleasantness of life, it means we have to accept that. Knowing means we have to accept that some people we have held up as good people are in fact evil predators who target the most innocent. For most of us the idea of any sexual contact with a child is abhorrent, we just can’t see the attraction and don’t understand why others would ‘go there’. Knowing means we have to face up to that, and if we want to start protecting kids, we need to start to try and understand why it happens. Ultimately. knowing means that we also have to accept that the societal structures we’ve established over years, decades and even centuries are not the protectors we thought. Being a member of a family, a Church, a community group, a school or a sports team often bring a child into a dangerous net rather than protecting the child from the ugliness and danger.
      That’s before even considering that facing up to it completely means taking into account the financial, political, legal and societal damage that organizations have to be hit with when sorting out the mess.

    • Daz says:

      11:17am | 19/02/13

      It’s only a small point, one that has been lost in the heat of debate, but it’s also very much in the interests of the catholic church to participate fully and openly with this Royal Commission. They probably can’t see this clearly right now. Given the almost hysterical, lynch mob mentality of the crowd gathered outside the church gates one could understand them adopting something of a seige mentality. I suspect some of this hysteria is fuelled as much by ignorance and anti-religious sentiments as it is by a desire to obtain justice for those who have been abused and molested. 

      Catholics as much as anyone else are appalled and disgusted by revelations of molestation by priests and brothers. In fact probably more so. It is our church’s reputation and ours as catholics that has been irrevocably damaged. It is our priests and brothers who have betrayed the trust and loyalty we placed in them. It was primarily our children we enrolled in our schools they did this to. We have our own very personal sense of outrage.

      So they must cut deep and hard and get rid of this evil cancer wherever it is found. Otherwise no young person will even think of becoming a priest or brother when the rest of society views them as just pedofiles waiting to happen. The future and relevance of the church itself is at stake here.

    • Interloper says:

      12:39pm | 19/02/13

      @Daz,
      I agree with your post in its entirety.

      To date, the Australian church has responded appropriately to the Royal Commission. It’s publicly welcomed it, and it’s privately appointed a legal team who have told the Bishops that full and open cooperation is required. So the signs are promising. Let’s all hope that this attitude stays the course, because there’s a lot more ugliness to be revealed and dealt with before healing can begin.

    • vox says:

      01:40pm | 19/02/13

      Daz, you are doing exactly what your evil church expects you to do. You raise fallacious arguments, faulty logic, and a faux-concern re paedophilia.
      What have you, personally done about the cancer that is the Catholic Church? Nothing? Why not?
      Are you ignorant of the fact that your group of fanatics are all paedophiles or, and it’s the same thing, condoning and encouraging paedophilia within the church by your inaction?
      If you are “appalled and disgusted” by “revelations” of child abuse when did this first become known to you? Yesterday?
      I suffered at the hands of your so-called “priests and brothers” many years ago, but the first time I spoke out was on behalf of a boy somewhat younger than was I. He was six. I reported it to the Brother and my life was made hell from that day on.
      When a friend’s mother reported the whole horrible episode to the Bishop she was told it was all lies and that I was an attention seeker. She believed him. He was the Bishop.
      I have been “attention-seeking” ever since both here and overseas.
      Mind you, if I’m being unfair and you happen to be the only person in Australia who remains unaware of your church’s protective stance toward child molesters then I apologise.
      The oft-offered reason for complaints against the church, (and you mention it of course), is that they come, hysteria-like, from the ignorant and the anti-religious. I am not ignorant of the inner evil that exists within your chosen religion and nor are you, I suspect. Am I anti-religious? You bet your last tithe I am. And with your lot at last on public display so are many others, including those who may have considered the priesthood for reasons other than access to children.
      If my child is interfered with by anyone and tells me then action is taken. Swiftly. If a child is molested by his priest then he is hesitant to tell his parents because they, like many of your following “refuse” to believe that their church could betray them. And if they do report it then the Bishop smothers it and the child carries his burden alone. That’s why the churches should be the main target, and the Catholic church in particular.
      And Michael, your last sentence should read “chooses to not” rather than “cannot” move to repair.

    • Austin 3:16 says:

      03:11pm | 19/02/13

      —but it’s also very much in the interests of the catholic church to participate fully and openly with this Royal Commission. —

      This being a Royal Commission that’s come about due to a serving police officer going public with complaints of the Church hierarchy doing everything it can to stymie any investigation by the police into abuse. 

      The Church has had a considerable amount to time to participate fully and openly with the authorities who investigate abuse and the public at large. Do date it has completely failed to do so.

    • Daz says:

      03:31pm | 19/02/13

      @vox

      So what would you like us to do? Ignore it or deal with it? Curse the darkness or light a candle? I get the feeling ignoring it would enable you to better nurture your anger.

      Personally I have never encountered a whiff of it in all my time in catholic schools and parishes and that has been at three different catholic schools in three different regions of Queensland. So I have never had to personally confront it. The abuse and molestation I refer to is what has been widely reported in the press at places like Hay and Ballarat and elsewhere.

      My children all go to or went to catholic schools. And rest assured if I suspected the slightest thing I would indeed confront it in a very personal way.

      The truth is, as you probably know, a lot of those old brothers and priests have died out or have left the church. These days one priest has to stretch himself over three or four parishes and the vast majority of teachers at catholic schools these days are not brothers and nuns but ordinary people.

    • St. Michael says:

      05:34pm | 19/02/13

      “Are you ignorant of the fact that your group of fanatics are all paedophiles ...”

      Not all, vox.  In fact not even most.  I’m sorry you can’t seem to get past your anger to understand that.

    • St. Michael says:

      11:22am | 19/02/13

      For people in a hurry, here’s the short version of the article:

      (1) The Gillard government has screwed up because it demanded the Royal Commission do its job in too short a time.
      (2) Because the Catholic Church in one diocese in Australia and in Ireland resisted criminal investigations into paedophilia, the whole Catholic Church in Australia will therefore do the same during the Royal Commission.

      Item (1)  is undoubtedly correct.  Item (2) is argumentum ad ignorantiam.  Which is not to say that the Commission is not needed: it is, since the Church simply cannot move past its own blinkers to deal properly with the problem of paedophilia in the churches.

    • Rose says:

      01:30pm | 19/02/13

      Item 1 is not necessarily correct. By giving a time frame there is a certain urgency to the work. In 18 months or so I can almost guarantee that there will be a request for extra time and it will be granted. However I imagine that there will also be some sort of interim report which sets out where exactly they are up to and what they have already learnt.
      The only hiccup I see is that if the government of the day wanted to stifle investigations they have an out. It’s up to everyday Australians to ensure that won’t be accepted.
      I think it may have been better if they had left it open but given set dates for regular reporting back in reasonable time frames but this way may still work well. Far better than to have an open ended inquiry which could be left to slow burn for years, possibly so slow that no real momentum is achieved.

    • St. Michael says:

      03:29pm | 19/02/13

      ...then Item (1) is argumentum ad ignorantiam as well.

      Guess I can just summarise the article as ‘argumentum ad ignorantiam’ and be done with it.  Thanks for the edit! wink

    • Bruno says:

      11:36am | 19/02/13

      re: the first two paragraphs. Exactly. Now what do we do about the rising cost of living. I suppose we have to wait for soccer hooliganism to grow and become political. I mean who else is going to stand up for us, you mob?

    • Darren says:

      12:06pm | 19/02/13

      i am waiting for it to shine some light on the surf life saving movement -

    • Gordon says:

      12:52pm | 19/02/13

      I really don’t see why an offender in organisation X should escape attention just because organisation Y has a worse rep for it. the uptick in sectarian and anti-religous rhetoric around this issue is unhelpful. We had generations of poisonous sectarian hatred in Aust, only settled in the 70’s with state aid etc.  If making the Commission’s job more comprehensive avoids any accusation of bias or excuse for sectarian finger-pointing then I’m all for it. The Commission may need more time and money eventually and who cares? Pursue them in whatever hole they hide in.

    • sfasdfafsda67890asfa says:

      01:17pm | 19/02/13

      If a government or secular organisation did the same thing, what would the media say? What would society say and how would it feel?

      It would not criticise these organisations as harshly, would it?

    • Mel says:

      01:22pm | 19/02/13

      The Royal commission needs to keep it`s gaze totally focused on the Catholic Church until all the priests and all the Church hierarchy have been found guilty and jailed , if not for actual pedophelia , then for covering it up , if not for covering it up then for failing in duty of care . Nothing less will do . Once this evil organisation has been removed from Our society like the cancer it is , then and only then should they move on to the next group .

    • St. Michael says:

      01:47pm | 19/02/13

      Sorry, darling, but the Royal Commission has no power to disband the Catholic Church outright.  Go back to “Hitch-22”, I promise you’ll feel much better.

    • Q says:

      01:48pm | 19/02/13

      **Jesus wept!!!**

    • W J Craig (Mrs) says:

      05:06pm | 19/02/13

      Q says:
      You forget the punch-line:
      Jesus wept when Moses crept into the bed where Mary slept”
      Mind you that’s a bit of an oxymoron isn’t it”?
      Moses was, allegedly, around thousands of years before Mary was born (necrophilia, anyone?)
      & if Jesus-baby was the outcome it was one hell of a long gestation & how could he have wept ‘cos he wasn’t there when Moses did the dirty!
      Sorry!! I am now 86 so I’m entitled to question things!!!

    • Robert S McCormick says:

      01:47pm | 19/02/13

      As usual, where religions are involved, this will simply result in just another massive cover-up. People in high places, be they Archbishops Bishops, Cardinals, Popes, Politicians, Police, Lawyers, Industry will see to it that their mates are fully protected. Anyone in SA remember that nasty little (or maybe not so little) criminal paedophile group called “The Family”? When it first came to prominence it was reported in the media that it’s members included people from all walks of life. The judiciary, police, politicians, business people, members of religious orders, teachers - you name it they were represented. Yet not one of them has been brought to book in the decades since the Police revealed it’s existence. If when they did reveal it &, as they claimed at the time, they knew of it membership why did they not act? Too many close mates involved perhaps? Too many big names involved? Too much money changed hands?
      Nothing has changed. At least it hasn’t in SA. We have Child Sex Abuse, including rape, being reported to the SA State Government’s Education Department & they do nothing about it until someone leaks the information & even then those running the show deny they are responsible for not taking action! They also allow known offenders to remain in the system.

    • stephen says:

      06:03pm | 19/02/13

      No, not the Catholic Church only, (and, by the way, you sound like a Republican) but all organizations should be under scrutiny who have a responsibility for children, they are in authority over them, and they demand the option of punishment against them upon misdemeanors.
      Churches should be held legally accountable as well as youth groups, The Boy Scouts, schools, child-care centres and so forth.
      But the most important societal impact this investigation may encourage, is that the inquiries should always be made public, and that the punishments meted out should be too, and the guilty should be identified.
      Everybody should know what has been happening against children, and the more that do, might well give childhood a greater emphasis in their own lives, if only as a matter of subtraction.

 

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