Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The church has failed victims of clergy. The state must not

The church has failed victims of clergy. The state must not   - reform-network.net

"   Where are the Victorian government leaders brave enough to say the age of deference is over and enough is enough? A royal commission will not bring back the lost lives of two of my daughters or many other victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, but it will help prevent much further suffering.
The Catholic Church is one of the richest and most powerful organisations in the world. Australia is no stranger to its influence, power and wealth. Recently, Cardinal George Pell stated: “Australia is 26 per cent Catholic and we are now the largest denomination, having passed the Anglicans. He went on: “We have a huge network of services; we educate 20 per cent of all Australians in our schools, operate 23 per cent of hospitals, we provide 55 per cent of palliative care.”
The Catholic Church is one of Australia’s biggest property owners, enjoys tax-free status, is the biggest single employer in this country and receives the support of weekly donations from its 1500 parishes.
Children are small and vulnerable, they have no real power. They cannot vote, have limited vocabulary, cannot organise a union to represent them. Their word holds little authority. They are reliant on others for food and shelter. They are easily intimidated. They cannot lobby the government. And they are considered unreliable witnesses in court. In the eyes of those who sexually assault them, all of this makes them perfect victims.
Our society continues to hear disturbing revelations of sexual assaults and rapes from brave survivors, who were attacked and silenced by criminal clergy. If these courageous people did not speak up, child rapists such as Father Gerald Ridsdale, Father Michael Glennon and the many other Catholic priests convicted in Victoria would have been left in parishes to reoffend. " ........

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