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Church abuse procedures assailed at Australian inquiry

CWN - October 19, 2012

A police official denounced Catholic Church leader for failing to report sexual abuse by clerics, as a parliamentary inquiry on abuse opened in Australin.

Graham Ashton, the deputy police commissioner for Victoria, said that his department had uncovered over 2,000 reports of sexual abuse since 1956, but not a single case in which Church officials reported an incident to the police. He charged that the Church’s current policies regarding abuse emphasize “legal liability and public relations rather than the long-term interests of victims.”

A separate witness at the parliamentary session, law professor Patrick Parkinson, claimed that Catholic priests are far more likely to abuse children than clerics of other religious denominations.

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