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Australian bishop: I too was victim of clerical abuse

February 21, 2017

An Australian bishop has revealed that he himself was a victim of sexual abuse.

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen of Parramatta told a royal investigating committee that he was abused by a cleric when he first arrived in Australia as a refugee from Vietnam. “That had a powerful impact on me,” he said. The bishop said that he was an adult when the abuse occurred, but still considered himself a victim, and found it easy to sympathize with other abuse victims.

Bishop Long told the royal commission that he believes the abuse problem has been aggravated by a hierarchical system that can “breed clerical superiority and elitism.” He said that priests are protected by sympathetic bishops, and bishops are protected if they are backed by the Pope. “There’s no accountability that reaches downwards or outwards,” he said, “and that’s the critical problem.”

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Feb. 21, 2017 12:32 PM ET USA

    Test question: Which bishops are more likely to found implicated in clerical abuse scandals involving either themselves or their clergy? Choose one: (A) bishops who stand for the disciplinarian, unbending in the face of sinful behavior, accusing Christ; or (B) bishops who promote or at least acquiesce in dissent against definitive Catholic moral and faith doctrines out of sync with the times (i.e., "the worldly"). Yes, Christ was compassionate and loving, but He was equally just and judgmental.