The Victorian state government’s report on clergy child sex abuse recommends sweeping changes to laws which the Catholic Church used to shelter itself and accused church leaders of trivializing the problem as a “short-term embarrassment”.
Inquiry Chairwoman Georgie Crozier introduced the report in State Parliament, saying that the Catholic Church sex-scandal was “betrayal beyond comprehension” involving “unimaginable harm” to children. She also said the inquiry had referred 135 previously unreported abuse cases to the police.
The report, Betrayal of Trust explained how the churches handled clergy sexual abuse claims and calls for a new crime for people in authority knowingly putting a child at risk, not reporting suspected abuse or leaving a child at risk. The report calls for an independent government-monitored authority to replace the present system in the Catholic Church. Parliament was told that the Catholic Church had minimized and trivialized the problem, kept the community in ignorance, and ensured that perpetrators were not held accountable.
The report also says that church leaders viewed the exposure of the abuse of children as a “short-term embarrassment” that would be quickly resolved with the least damage to the church’s standing. They do not see that the problem is the systemic culture of the church itself. The report also said that those involved in abuse were trusted figures in organizations of high standing and that “parents experienced betrayal beyond their comprehension…”
The betrayal was in such dramatic contrast with the Catholic Church’s religious values that some Catholics have found it almost impossible to acknowledge the betrayal.
“The leaders of the Catholic Church who were involved [in] some of these actions ought to absolutely hang their heads in shame…,” said Victorian State Premier Denis Napthine.
And one day the church will hang its head in shame. “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore (the corrupt church), and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh and burn her with fire… And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” Revelation 17:16
If ever a city wanted to reign over the nations and the rulers of nations, it would be Vatican City (Papacy).
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