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Tag Archives: Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
JOHN MENADUE Repost of a Submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
In November 2013, together with colleagues, I made a submission to the Royal Commission on the governance and systemic problems which lead to an abuse of power in the Catholic Church. That abuse of power is not limited to sexual … Continue reading
JOHN MENADUE. The Catholic bishops don’t understand their responsibility and accountability. (Repost from 27 February 2017)
In any other walk of life or area of public administration, admission of criminal neglect would be a prelude to the tendering of resignations. The criminally negligent are not fit and proper persons to hold senior administrative responsibilities. Not so in … Continue reading
This is not an easy time to be a believing/practising Catholic. Indeed, many good people have given up on the Church because of the horrendous revelations of widespread sexual abuse of children by priests and religious and by the possibly … Continue reading
A more difficult issue is the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ practice of “shunning” those who decide to leave the organisation as adults because of sexual abuse. It may be that the Commission is left with no other alternative but to condemn it … Continue reading
I don’t think anyone was prepared for the extent of the abuse and the appalling rate across male religious orders and within the priesthood. The posturing and spin of years past has been seen for what is was – an … Continue reading
Clerical privilege took a heavy blow when Catholic bishops were summoned to appear at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to child sexual abuse (RC). The church answering to the state.
I am convinced that there must be a full and open discussion of all aspects of the Church if we are ever to put this scandal behind us. Quite simply, we need a different church. The Royal Commission was not … Continue reading
There are now no survivors or parents of survivors on the Commission nor are there any on the Australian Towards Healing or Melbourne Response agencies for handling complaints by victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The same criticism … Continue reading
It’s not a time for business as usual. It’s a time for outbursts of horror, for open-throated cries for justice – a time for sackcloth and ashes, for fasting and floggings of repentance – a time to cease celebrating, singing, … Continue reading
Zero tolerance in a professional context almost invariably means dismissal, but Pope Francis’s claim that the Church has a “zero tolerance” policy is not borne out by the figures he presented to the United Nations: only one quarter of all … Continue reading
The major intersection between the child abuse royal commission and the Catholic Church went into act four over the past week. The drama, plot and moral of the miracle play would be much enhanced if scene one, rather than scene … Continue reading
Despite all the warnings, I don’t know of anyone who has not been shocked by what has emerged from the Royal Commission. For twenty years or more, we have heard accounts of abuse, sometimes very close to home. But somehow … Continue reading
But in the past, these spiritual leaders were also professing their commitment to an institution which commanded their hierarchical obedience and clerical acquiescence in protecting the institution’s public reputation and its coffers.
While the Catholic population is increasing, active participation in parish life is steadily decreasing. This means that the pool of future lay leaders is steadily getting shallower. If this decline is to be reversed, now is the time to select … Continue reading
Last Monday, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse commenced its three-week examination of the causes of child sexual abuse and cover up in the Catholic Church in Australia over the last 60 years. The statistics were … Continue reading
In research prepared for the Royal Commission, 7% of priests were identified as perpetrators. By far the worst offenders were in religious orders: for example, over 40% of John of God Brothers, 22% of Christian Brothers and 20% of Marist … Continue reading
“It would be easy to write the problems off as a few ‘bad apples’; however, the problems that have brought the [Catholic] Church to the very edge of disaster and beyond, trashing its reputation as a moral leader, were never … Continue reading
I heard the Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge, a man I counted as a good friend many years ago when I too was a Catholic priest, speaking to Fran Kelly on RN Breakfast yesterday [https://tinyurl.com/rn170207]. Rightly, in my opinion, he … Continue reading
An extraordinary piece of evidence presented to the Commission is that up to 7% of Australian Catholic clergy have been child abusers.
In May 2016, the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released Issues Paper 11 – Catholic Church Final Hearing, inviting submissions for its final Catholic Church hearing scheduled for three weeks 6-24 February 2017. That … Continue reading
Three law professors, Michael Quinlan and Keith Thompson (Notre Dame) and Frank Brennan (ACU) have criticized any attempt by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to discuss the doctrines and canon law of the Catholic … Continue reading
Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon is currently being investigated by French police for failing to report sexual offences against children by some of his priests. It is alleged that he knew about allegations against them in 2007 and 2009. Despite his … Continue reading
The “Nuremberg defence” takes its name from the claim by Nazi officials at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal that they should be acquitted because they were following “superior orders”. In one of the most significant judgments in international law, the … Continue reading
When Cardinal George Pell enters the witness box at the Royal Commission we see a legal counsel interviewing him to find to what extent he is to blame for a failure in his church’s duty of care. The adversarial setup … Continue reading
Despite the unpersuasive Vatican spin on Cardinal Pell’s appearance last week before the Royal Commission into child sex abuse in institutions – that his performance was “dignified” and “edifying”, his performance, in the assessment of most observers including this one, … Continue reading
For a committed Catholic George Pell’s evidence to the Royal Commission was excruciating to watch. It wasn’t just Pell himself with his turgid, wooden responses and lack of interest in appalling crimes against those whom Jesus called “the little ones.” … Continue reading
What George Pell Might Have Said Meanwhile, in a parallel universe … “Your Honour Please could I start by making a statement that I hope will help the Commission and that I pray will give some solace to so many … Continue reading
So, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will take Cardinal Pell’s final evidence next week by video link from Rome. Tim Minchin’s song and the associated crowd funding effort will allow some victims of abuse to … Continue reading
Frank Brennan SJ. An Unholy Mess: Cardinal Pell, the Royal Commission are Owed Justice, not Vigilantism
Cardinal George Pell still has a lot of questions to answer before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. On medical advice he has decided not to risk the long plane flight home from Rome. This makes … Continue reading
Lord Acton said that ‘Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ It was in correspondence about the then pope’s proposed new doctrine of papal infallibility. It is often overlooked that he added, ‘Great men are almost always bad men, even … Continue reading