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Australian royal commission finds 7% of Catholic priests accused of abuse

February 07, 2017

The royal commission investigating sexual abuse in Australia has released findings that show more than 4,000 accusations against Catholic institutions and Catholic clergy.

The Australian Royal Commission in studying Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse said that between the years 1980 and 2015, 7% of all the Catholic priests in Australia had been accused of sexual abuse.

Francis Sullivan, the head of a separate independent commission set up by the Australian Catholic bishops’ conference in response to the sex-abuse scandal, said that the new report indicated a “massive failure” by Church officials. “These numbers are shocking, and they are indefensible,” he said.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher agreed. “As Catholics we hang our heads in shame,” he said.


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Feb. 08, 2017 9:50 AM ET USA

    "Feedback's" point No. 3 cannot be emphasized enough. I went through "Safe Environment Facilitator" training last summer. I have not yet offered to lead a training session for others because I cannot promote a lie--the lie that the majority of male-on-male sexual abuse is not homosexual in nature. In reviewing some of the literature on how the studies of abuse were conducted, it became obvious that the term "homosexual" had undergone the same type of fundamental transformation as the word "gay."

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Feb. 07, 2017 8:17 PM ET USA

    This report needs to be read in full. All you see or hear about are snippets of data that can be misleading. Although for some reason during the 80s and 90s we seemed to have a lot of abuse here and there. Who do we hold accountable? Not only the bishops but the seminaries training them. Lots of questions for everyone.

  • Posted by: feedback - Feb. 07, 2017 2:47 PM ET USA

    This report is missing important details: 1) Accusations are not the same as actual abuses; false accusations do happen. 2) What is defined today as "abuse" can range from a single accidental (unintended) touch to serial rape of multiple victims. 3) Any report that omits, or conceals, the predominantly homosexual nature of clerical sexual abuse isn't fully honest; it smears the Church and propels lawsuits but without leading to real solutions for the future.