Time to fully face the Catholic Church’s disgrace
Premier Barry O’Farrell should not set up a Royal Commission into sex abuse in the Catholic Church.
It should be up to Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
This is a boil that needs to be lanced at a Federal level.
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox has turned the heat up on the issue in a most dramatic fashion. In an astounding interview on Lateline the respected police officer (who, according to the ABC was an investigator for more than 30 years) detailed his own experiences, and set out a compelling case for a Royal Commission.
I can testify from my own experience that the church covers up, silences victims, hinders police investigations, alerts offenders, destroys evidence and moves priests to protect that good name of the church.
I had other priests that hadn’t been charged with anything removing evidence and destroying it before we were able to secure it, and we just went around in circles.
The statistics on clergy child sexual abuse in the region he investigated are alarming and include 400 known victims – a number sure to be the tip of the iceberg.
If that’s not enough (and it should be) Chief inspector Fox says he had an “explosive”, “monumental” statement from a critical witness… but he was forced to hand that evidence over.
He also writes in an opinion piece in the Newcastle Herald that he is haunted by the pain of the victims, who are permanently wounded, and he says despite arrests and despite victims coming forward it is taking far too long to bring individuals to justice, and in the meantime “the priest continues to prey on more little children”.
“Often the church knows but does nothing other than protect the paedophile and its own reputation,” he writes.
The powerful Catholic Church is riddled with this issue, and the rot reaches right into the upper echelons.
It certainly doesn’t stop at state borders.
Only a Federal Royal Commission will have the power needed to blow the issue wide open and let light shine into all the church’s dark corners.
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