Australia: Royal Commission into Catholic Church's Paedophiles
By Gianluca Mezzofiore | November 13, 2012 3:12 AM EST
Accusations of a massive cover-up by the Church have mounted in the past weeks after a case emerged in the Hunter Valley region north of Sidney. Officials are also investigating a separate series of priest sex abuse allegations in the state of Victoria.
"There have been too many revelations of adults who have averted their eyes from this evil. I believe in these circumstances that it's appropriate for there to be a national response through a Royal Commission," Gillard said.
The Royal Commission, which is the top investigating institution in Australia, will look into a wide range of cases across the nation.
Authorities in the New South Wales state ordered a state probe following the accusation of a veteran police detective, Peter Fox, who spent years investigating abuse allegations, aimed at the Catholic Church. He claimed the church damaged evidence, silenced victims and wrecked his bid to uncover the truth about the allegations.
"Any instance of child abuse is a vile and evil thing. Australians know that," Gillard told reporters in Canberra. "Australians know, from the revelations that they've read in recent weeks, that too many children have suffered child abuse but have also seen other adults let them down. They've not only had their trust betrayed by the abuser, but other adults who could have acted to assist them have failed to do so."
Australia is not new to allegations of abuse by priests but the Church's response has been to ship the offending priests to another diocese, commentators say.
"The denial by the Catholic Church in Australia can be explained only by the desire of its hierarchy to build a wall against these charges," said an editorial by the local Herald Sun. "But it is at the expense of those whose lives have been ruined by the pederasts the church has shielded."
Even Sidney Archbishop Cardinal George Pell, who previously claimed an inquiry would be "disproportionate" attack on the church, said the religious institutions will collaborate.
"Public opinion remains unconvinced that the Catholic church has dealt adequately with sexual abuse," he said in a statement. "Ongoing and at times one-sided media coverage has deepened this uncertainty. This is one of the reasons for my support for this royal commission. I welcome the prime minister's announcement. I believe the air should be cleared and the truth uncovered."
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Prince Harry & Camilla Thurlow Getting Serious, St. Tropez Holiday Before The Prince’s 30th Birthday [PHOTOS]
- Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt Heads to Malta For New Movie After A Whirlwind French Wedding [PHOTOS]
- Prince William & Kate Middleton Caught Flirting In A Countryside Dinner Date [PHOTOS]
- Chris Martin Getting Serious With Jennifer Lawrence, Actress Joining Coldplay Tour [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Ukraine Crisis: Putin Dangles Nuclear War Threat, US Senators Advise Sending Defensive Weapons
- James Foley Is A Spy – Jihadi Recruiter Reveals
- Australia's Renewable Energy Industry Braces for Removal of Support
- Europe, US Next on ISIS’ Hit List, Says Saudi King; Seized ISIS Laptop Reveals Terrifying Bio-Warfare Plans
- Australia Races Against Potential Genocide In Iraq
- Apple iPhone 6 Actual Release Date after September 9 Confirmed 128GB Variant with New Resolution
- Moto G2 Release Roundup: Specs, Pricing, and Release Date Details
- PlayStation 4 Killing Xbox One Costing Microsoft Millions But It's Fine
- Google Chrome 64-bit for Windows 8 and Window 7 with Mac Beta Available
- Apple iOS 8 vs Android 5.0 L: OS Wars Puts Android to Lower while Apple to Higher
- Nexus 6 on Release Date Confirmed with Phablet-Size Display as FCC Filing Hints of 5.9-Inch Screen
- Google Can Kill Samsung with Android KitKat and Android One: Here's How