Catholic Church Abuses, Another State Launches Investigation

The Australian state of Victoria has announced a parliamentary inquiry into child abuse in the Catholic Church.

The announcement follows decades of accusations and court cases, including an ongoing investigation which is revealing a number of suicide clusters.

Deputy Commissioner of Victoria’s police, Graham Ashton, told a Melbourne radio show last week that the Catholic Church in Victoria has never come to the police with knowledge of suicides or sexual offenses, despite them being aware of committed offenses.

“I can’t think of a single referral we’ve had from the Catholic Church in the last couple of years I’ve been around,” Ashton told presenter Neil Mitchell.

Ashton said he had met with the Catholic Church to urge them to pass on to police any awareness of criminal acts, but they had their own processes in place where they would internally decide upon criminality.

“Our point is we’re the ones to make the decision around whether things are criminal or not, that’s what investigations do,” he said.

“We need the opportunity to make those investigations. We can’t just wait for victims of their own volition to come to us. We’ve had victims turn up in different location that appear to have been the subject of the same offender who has moved locations.”

Mitchell said the Catholic Church were effectively frustrating police attempts to investigate and prosecute pedophiles within their system.

“That they are not coming forward with cases that they know of, they’re dealing with them internally. They’re not helping the police with it, and it’s only when the victims come forward that these pedophiles face the prospect of justice,” Mitchell said.

“This is an organisation that will get into the pulpit and tell you how to live your life. It has got the inherent immorality to protect pedophiles within its own system. Not in the 60s, not in the 70s, now. Today.”

Lawyer Vivian Waller said that the Church has adopted the approach of making each victim feel they are the only one making allegations “when in fact a basic line of inquiry will uncover a systemic pattern of abuse in a number of Catholic clergy organisations.”

The inquiry will have the power to compel witnesses and subpoena documents. Anyone refusing could be in contempt of Parliament. It will also hear evidence from Melbourne’s Jewish community about allegations of child abuse within the ultra-orthodox Yeshiva College.

Victims groups have demanded that the Church surrender decades of confidential records on child sex abuse.

The Catholic Church in Victoria said they are prepared to cooperate and welcomed the inquiry as “an opportunity to clear the air.”

Following the announcement of the Victorian inquiry, there have been calls for a national inquiry into child sex abuse in churches that would focus on the Catholic Church’s repeated failure to report allegations to police.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance spokesman Andrew Morrison said that people who have been sexually abused by Catholic clergy in Australia face difficulties seeking compensation because of a High Court ruling, which limits liability for past abuse.

‘‘In Australia the Catholic Church has sought to avoid liability for the conduct of its priests,’’ he said.

“The Catholic Church is liable for the conduct of its priests in the United States, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom, but it’s only in Australia that it can hide behind a structure that avoids liability for priests’ misconduct.’’

Related stories:

Ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn Jews Covering Up Child Abuse

“Sheer Horror:” Catholic Church Castrated Abuse Victims

Catholics Fight Church’s Victims – Again

Image source: Wikipedia


Tammy Andrews
Tammy Andrews5 years ago

PLease sign my petition to Pope Francis asking him to protect children from sexual abuse by Catholic priests. Thank you for caring and taking action.

Natasha Salgado
Past Member 5 years ago

I'd love to castrate these pathetic Cardinals,Bishops and Priests. There is no other church that is associated with such controversy,child abuse and CORRUPTION. SHAMEFUL.

KS Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Lauren B.

Since when does freedom of religion mean immunity from the legal and ethical responsibility to report crimes of abuse to the police? The Catholic Church has long prioritized its own survival and self protection over the protection of the vulnerable.

Jane Barton
Jane Barton6 years ago

How again did the white man get that nickname "WHITE DEVILS"? They have gone around the world forcing native people to "convert" to their stupid made up violent "Christian" religion and using them for slaves and holes. They have invaded our government and subverted the constitution. We sane people need to revolt against these thugs. The Catholic Church IS and always WAS a front for the mob.

Philip Amos
.6 years ago

More than the Catholic Church is sick here. This issue should be seen also in the context of Australian Government policy that mandated police to in effect abduct aboriginal children from their homes and clans, and social services to put them in Catholic and Anglican 'orphanages', and also with Christian families, to have their aboriginal culture bred out of them. The abuse that stemmed from that was staggering, not just abuse by the clergy, but also by families, notably of famers, who used them as slave labour and in some cases subjected them to violence and rape as well. This policy was adopted in the 1920s and remained on the statute books until the early 1970s.

Sandra L.
Sandra L6 years ago

Where have the parents or guardians of these children been in all of this? I know, I know, it's an unchallenging mentality to start with but holy mother of peace, how could you stay silent to abuse of your own child?

Huffnpuff B.
Huffnpuff B.6 years ago

their should also be a inquiry within the goverment childrens homes as well as its not only the churches where these crimes have taken place so why has not the goverment childrens homes not been included with this inquiry as the churches are just not the only childrens homes of where the abuse and suicides took place and their are those of us who are adults who have attempted suicide when we were children from what we suffered as children in the childrens homes and their are many who have attempt suicide since being an adult and their are those who have committed suicides in their adult life of which they were children who were raped and abused and these suicides are still taking place with adult victims who have tried to get justice for the crimes they suffered i know this because i have been one of these victims of the goverment childrens homes of n.s.w

Sharon R.
Sharon Re6 years ago

May there be an end to these incessant allegations of abuse and the problem be addressed once and for all. Might right be done for all concerned.

Donald B.
Donald Burnison6 years ago

The C/C is just one more example of power and control gone wild. Their intent is to protect those who follow their attempts to control and maintain their power over the masses. Kind of like Mitch McConnels call out to the GOP to make their primary goal to keep Obama from serving another term before anything else. Before the USA s health and welfare as stated in the Preamble to our constitution.