Australian royal commission finds 7% of Catholic priests accused of abuse

Australian royal commission finds 7% of Catholic priests accused of abuse

Since its founding in 2013, the government-sanctioned commission carried out 50 hearings to quantify the extent of Australia's documented history of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Data gathered by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse revealed between January 1980 and February 2015, found 4444 people have come forward with alleged incidents of child sexual abuse in relation to 93 Catholic Church authorities.

Some of Australia's most notorious abusers were part of a paedophile ring operating in Ballarat for decades.

For example, in one particularly egregious case, 40.4 percent of religious brothers from the order St. John of God Brothers were accused of abuse.

The claims identified 1,880 different alleged perpetrators.

90 percent of the alleged perpetrators were male, 10 percent were female.

"Every child that's damaged, there is a ripple effect".

American Dominican priest Father Thomas Doyle, who was sacked from his Vatican embassy role after showing an interest in sexual abuse cases in the 1980s, said he still remembers the "empty" face of the first victim he met. In response to the allegations of abuse, he said that the church has established an independent body "to set standards within the Church for child safety".

Get "heart-fit" during American Heart Month
There are a few risk factors that one can not change, for example age or the history of heart disease in their family. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American men and women, claiming more than 600,000 lives each year.

In a statement, Sullivan - who heads the church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council - said leaders of the church had committed themselves to "repairing the wrongs of the past".

Late Pope John Paul II was aware of priests sexually abusing children, and of efforts by the Catholic Church to cover up the allegations, an American canon lawyer claimed on Tuesday.

Dr Michael Whelan, a Marist priest and director of the Aquinas Academy, told the hearing verbal apologies for past abuse were meaningless without action.

Church leaders misunderstood human sexuality and had not historically realised a victim's life would never be the same again, he said.

"In total, over half the witnesses to be called are priests or religious, with most others employed by or working directly with the Church or on Church-related matters", she said.

"This is not just a history lesson", he said. Although most of the charges mentioned in the study were in the 1950s, '60s and '70s, Archbishop Fisher encouraged anyone alleging sexual abuse to contact police.

"The fallout of this destruction is to the very fabric of our humanity".

Dr Doyle says the pastoral care of victims is a massive hole in the church's approach.

Leeds United loses to Huddersfield
Sub Izzy Brown had put the hosts in front from Tommy Smith's cross before Chris Wood showed composure to level. Kyle Bartley headed on Pablo Hernandez's cross and Wood reacted first to score from close range.

Survivor Andrew Collins said recent estimates suggest more than 4 per cent of Catholic clergy may still be offenders.

Royal commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan.

"The saddest part is we aren't even shocked by the figures".

"The data is an indictment on the priests and religious who abused these children".

"Education and training that happens before ordination is far more holistic", he said. It also looked at information provided by 10 religious orders.

"I am convinced that at the end of the humiliation and purgation through which we are presently passing, we will be a humbler, more aware and more compassionate church in this area", he said.

On average, abuse claims arise 33 years after they are alleged to have taken place.

Over the past four years, the commission's private sessions have taken testimony from more than 2400 people who were allegedly abused in Catholic institutions.

Israel targets Hamas sites after Gaza rocket attack
Gaza residents said an armed training camp, a security compound and an observation post belonging to Hamas were hit. One landed at an empty area causing no harms and the other exploded into the air.

Related Articles