Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $36,649 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Priests are worst abusers, ex-cleric tells Australian inquiry

Catholic World News - October 23, 2012

A former Catholic priest has told an Australian parliamentary inquiry that Catholic clerics are more likely than any other ministers to engage in sexual abuse of children.

Des Cahill told a Victoria state parliamentary commission that at least 1 in 20 priests in the Melbourne archdiocese had been guilty of abuse; he voiced his suspicion that the actual figure might be closer to 1 in 15. Cahill, who is now a professor of intercultural studies, said that the culture of the Catholic priesthood is “verging on the pathological” and incapable of reforming itself. He called for the admission of married men to the priesthood, and suggested that the state should eliminate the Church’s exemption from anti-discrimination laws to ensure that married men are allowed to serve in Catholic priestly ministry.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($124,738 to go):
$150,000.00 $25,262.05
83% 17%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 6 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: mgreen32234 - Oct. 24, 2012 9:48 AM ET USA

    I bet the abuse data is similar to what happened in the US. Most abusing priests were homosexuals whose victims were young men or teenage boys not little children,not girls. The priesthood is not for men who can't be faithful to their vows.

  • Posted by: chady - Oct. 24, 2012 4:51 AM ET USA

    I think Mr Cahill is deluding himself about a 'fix'for the reformation? of the priesthood. An old friend once told me a bird has only one nest. How can a priest be expected 2 balance 2 vocations of life and the responsibilities 2 the Church and a family? It also assumes the married state would impact on these failings - it could potentially put individuals at greater risk. As a married practising Catholic one vocation is enough for me. Maybe I am the exception?

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Oct. 23, 2012 9:02 PM ET USA

    From an ex-priest an unreliable statement. Ax-grinding,I imagine.

  • Posted by: geoffreysmith1 - Oct. 23, 2012 5:56 PM ET USA

    In Mr Cahill's less-than-honest opinion. I assume that he has been canvassing the entire priesthood in the Melbourne archdiocese, asking them individually if they have ever abused children. Yeah, right. Having obtained the answer he was looking for, he extrapolated it to cover the whole of Australia! Only the atheist, Julia Gillard, would believe this baloney.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Oct. 23, 2012 5:30 PM ET USA

    I am curious where this "professor of intercultural studies" gets his data, and why the interparliamentary commission accepts his opinion on anything.

  • Posted by: shrink - Oct. 23, 2012 3:20 PM ET USA

    I'm surprised that you did not reference in "Additional sources" one of CWN's own articles "Does Celibacy Contribute to Clerical Sex Abuse?" that was published a few years back on this topic. Too bad you left the claims of this ex-priest go uncontested.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Could respect for the papacy mean resisting the Pope? 1 hours ago
The Church Moves On, Slowly October 24
Is Cardinal Kasper losing his grip? October 24
The Pope is not the problem October 23
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. October 23

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6