A shocking revelation has been made regarding the child abuse cases against the Catholic Church on Monday. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse stated that there have been more than 4,000 such cases reported over 35 years. This is the first time when an Australian arm has made such revelations against priests and religious personalities.
The commission stated that 4,444 people reported cases of child abuse to superiors of the church. The report mentioned that almost 20 percent of the members of some of the Catholic churches were involved in child sexual abuse. The Catholic Church members included Marist Brothers and Christian Brothers. It added that the victims belonged to an average age of 10.5 in case of girls while 116 in case of boys. The average time gap between the occurrence of the event and date of claim was 33 years.
While over 20 percent of those working in the Catholic Church were allegedly involved in the child sex abuse incidents, more than 40 percent of people from St John of God Brothers were the alleged perpetrators of the assault. Gail Furness SC opened the commission’s hearing citing a survey that revealed that the reported incidents took place between January 1980 and February 2015.
Royal Commission’s Take on Catholic Church Child Sex Abuse Cases
Truth, Justice and Healing Council’s Francis Sullivan mentioned the details on how the Catholic Church child sex abuse has affected victims. “The data tells us that over the six decades from 1960-2010 some 1265 Catholic priests were the subject of a child sexual abuse claim. These numbers are shocking. They are tragic and they are indefensible,” News.com.au quoted him as saying.
“Each entry in this data for the most part represents a child who suffered at the hands of someone who should’ve cared for and protected them. And let’s not forget the ripples of abuse. The data is an indictment on the priests who abused these children. It also reflects on the church leaders who at times failed to take steps … failed to deal with them in accordance with the law.”
The royal commission has already conducted 15 public hearings into the Catholic Church child sex abuse matters. The commission, after seeing the shocking revelations, has begun examining the current policies and procedures relating to child protection and child safety standards concerning the church authorities across Australia. The commission is also evaluating the church authorities’ response-handling procedures in connection with the allegations of child abuse.