The Age newspaper has been investigating the child abuse stories from the Catholic Church in Victoria Australia for some time. Not surprising really as it's a big story, and getting bigger.Currently the Victorian parliament has a Child Abuse investigation going on and hearing will start on the 19th October
This article from The Age here is very worrying:-
The Age also reported earlier this month that a senior police investigator had told victims of a suspected Catholic paedophile of his ''grave'' concerns that his investigation into their alleged abuser was being derailed and that ''pro-church police members'' might have interfered in his inquiry.Can you imagine that! Members of the Police force interfering with an investigation into the Catholic Church. Please, also note it's hearsay, and includes the word "might". Of course on Sunday morning, Policeman goes to church......has a bit of a chat with the priest....
The letter from Waller Legal to the Child Abuse Investigation is particulary worth reading, here is a short extract:-
In a pastoral letter dated 1 July 2010 Archbishop Denis Hart said that 300
complaints had been dealt with in the Melbourne Archdiocese Response
process, an in-house sexual abuse complaints process. It seems that not one
of these was referred to the police.
I know this because recently the Victorian Police have criticised the Archdiocese of Melbourne for not eliciting the assistance of the police or referring allegations of sexual abuse for investigation, despite requests by the police to do so. Denis Hart has said that the 300 complaints related to 60 priests in the Melbourne Archdioceses.
Think about that for a moment: Sixty different priests in Melbourne are allegedto have committed sexual offences. There are at least 300 people who report being victims - these are just the matters that have been reported within the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Some individual victims have reported to the police, but the Church has not taken this initiative.
I know of no other community group, school, business, company, government agency or volunteer organisation who could preside over such astonishing and horrifying statistics and yet consider themselves to be above the law or somehow separate to it. Any responsible CEO of a company, the president of a football or social club or the manager of a community group would seek the assistance of the police to investigate known or suspected criminal activity of such a scale.
Click on the video below to see a short movie about how the Catholic Church has historically had a problem with child rape.
Here is the website of Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Organisations
A PDF of the police submission to the Child Abuse Investigation
A PDF of the Waller Legal submission to the Child Abuse Investigation
Oh..This is new to me http://www.verschueren.at/International_sexual_abuse_newsmonitor.html
In some circumstances the Church has alerted the alleged offender to an a police investigation. This happened as recently as 2009. In this instance it was evident that by the time police had arrived that evidence had been removed or destroyed -Police Submission to Child Abuse Investigation