There is a textbook study in how not to handle allegations of systematic child sexual abuse and it was written by the retired Anglican bishop Peter Hollingworth. The mistakes made by Hollingworth cost him his job as Governor-General. They are now being repeated, arguably to an even graver and more offensive degree, by Catholic Archbishop George Pell.
Hollingworth’s biggest misjudgement in the scandal surrounding his knowledge of and response to child abuse in his church was to go on Australian Story and declare that a young female victim of abuse had actually instigated the sexual contact herself.
George Pell had his own Hollingworth moment on Sunday when he declared that he wants the NSW Police to wade through the total number of child abuse cases on their books so that the public can get a sense of what proportion of such cases involve the Catholic Church.
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