In the wake of Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox' TV interview and a mounting national pressure, the prime minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, has announced that there is to be a royal commission to look into allegations of priest sexual abuse past and present. A royal commission, assuming it is not co-opted by the power of the Vatican, is a serious investigation, one that the Vatican and its minions might well seek to avoid.
"Child abuse, child sex abuse is a vile thing – it's an evil thing done by evil people," said prime minister, Julia Gillard, announcing the royal commission on Monday.
"It's not just the evil of the people who do it. There has been a systemic failure to respond to it. The allegations that have come to light recently about child sexual abuse have been heartbreaking. These are insidious, evil acts to which no child should be subject. There have been too many revelations of adults who have averted their eyes from this evil."
The Catholic Church issued a statement:
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference released a statement saying it supported the royal commission and that child abuse was an issue for the entire community, not just the Catholic church. While the statement acknowledged there were significant problems in some Catholic dioceses and religious orders, it rejected suggestions there were systemic problems of sexual abuse (emphasis added) in the church.
"It is unacceptable, because it is untrue, to claim that the Catholic church does not have the proper procedures, and to claim that Catholic authorities refuse to co-operate with the police," the statement said.
It is unacceptable, because it is untrue, to suggest that the Catholic Church DOES have proper procedures. If this were true, the transferring of pedophile priests from parish to parish and the lock-down mode for all documents relating to what, in other circumstances, would be a civil crime, would not have occurred. The evidence does not support the assertion.
For the moment, all I can think is,
GOD BLESS THE AUSSIES!
How I wish my country were as straightforward and kind.