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Australia: 2,215 abuse allegations made since 1996

Catholic World News - December 10, 2013

The Australian government’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has begun its examination of Towards Healing, the Australian bishops’ response to child sexual abuse that was launched in 1996.

“The data indicate the following for the period 1 January 1996 to 30 September 2013: 2,215 complaints were received and about 1,700 people agreed to participate in the Towards Healing procedure, although not all of these were necessarily pursued or substantiated,” said attorney Gail Furness.

“76% of all Towards Healing complaints related to alleged incidents of child sexual abuse that occurred from 1950 to 1980 inclusive,” she continued. “Over 60% of all Towards Healing complaints detailed the incident location as a school, college or orphanage. The Church authority with the largest number of complaints was the Christian Brothers, followed by the Marist Brothers and then the De La Salle Brothers.”

43% of alleged abusers were religious brothers, 21% were diocesan priests, and 14% were religious priests.

The commission then heard from Joan Isaacs, who was abused by a priest who was subsequently convicted of his crime, as well a Church attorney, who apologized for clerical sexual abuse.

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  • Posted by: GymK - Dec. 10, 2013 7:58 PM ET USA

    First, the SSPX are schematics, not traditionalists. Second, all abusers need to be rooted out of our Church and our society. Who cares if they were/are liberals, conservatives, progressives or traditionalists? If they are abusers, they are sick and criminal and need to be locked up and locked out of our church and all churches, schools, etc. Let's put aside the attitude and criticism of others and work together to accomplish this goal and protect our children.

  • Posted by: normnuke - Dec. 10, 2013 1:37 PM ET USA

    No, VII didn't 'precipitate' these awful crimes. Didn't do anything to stop them, either. I'm a 'traditionalist, etc.' because of the Mass, not because of what Cdl. Spelman may have behaved like when Irish eyes weren't watchin'.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Dec. 10, 2013 7:27 AM ET USA

    This is sickening stuff (read the links). It makes me laugh when "traditionalists" (SSPX, etc.) talk about the "good old days before Vatican II," as if the council somehow precipitated these kinds of crimes. Fact is, the Church was shot through with rot around the globe and desperately in need of renewal in the decades preceding Vatican II. The recent scandals have made this fact abundantly clear to all but those who refuse to see.

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