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Old 12-02-17, 22:12   #1
 
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New Zealand 6yrs of Child SEX Abuse in Australia's Catholic Church

Australia's Catholic Church Tallies up Six Decades of Child SEX Abuse Allegations

4,444 victims: Extent of SEXUAL Abuse in Catholic Church in Australia Revealed

  • 37% of all private sessions royal commission held with survivors related to the Catholic church
  • The average age of alleged victims was 10.5 for girls and just over 11.5 for boys
  • In one order 40% of religious brothers are believed to have abused children

By Reuters, 11 February 2017


SYDNEY, (Reuters) - Seven percent of Catholic priests working in Australia between 1950 and 2010 were accused of child sex crimes, but few were pursued, data from Australian church authorities showed on Monday, as hearings began over allegations dating back decades.


The commission has previously heard harrowing testimony from scores of people who suffered abuse at the hands of clergy. But the full scale of the problem was never clear until Monday, when the commission released the statistics it has gathered.





FILE - In this July 15, 2008, file photo, Cardinal George Pell walks onto the stage for the opening mass for World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia. Seven percent of priests in Australia's Catholic Church were accused of sexually abusing children over the past several decades, a lawyer said on Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. Cardinal Pell has previously testified before the commission about how church authorities responded to allegations of child sex abuse during his time in Australia. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)



Commissioners surveyed Catholic Church authorities and found that between 1980 and 2015, 4,444 people reported they had been abused at more than 1,000 Catholic institutions across Australia, said Gail Furness, the lead lawyer assisting the commission. The average age of the victims was 10.5 for girls and 11.5 for boys.

Overall, 7 percent of priests in Australia between 1950 and 2010 were accused of sexually abusing children, Furness said.

Last year, Australia's most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell said the church had made "enormous mistakes" and "catastrophic" choices by refusing to believe abused children, shuffling abusive priests from parish to parish and over-relying on counselling of priests to solve the problem.

Monday's data, seen as the most substantial to detail the extent of child sex abuse in the church, were compiled with the cooperation of the church as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Francis Sullivan, chief executive of the church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council, said 1,265 Catholic priests and religious brothers had been accused between 1950 and 2010.

"These numbers are shocking. They are tragic and they are indefensible," Sullivan told the commission in Sydney. "As Catholics we hang our heads in shame."

Sullivan held back tears as he described the "massive failure on the part of the Catholic Church in Australia to protect children from abusers".

Commission research showed 4,444 people had made allegations of abuse to 93 Catholic authorities between 1980 and 2015.

The worst-offending institutions were the orders of brothers who often run schools and homes for the most vulnerable children, with girl victims aged 10.5 on average, while boys were 11.6 years old, the commission's research showed.

The church surveyed 10 religious institutions and 75 church authorities to uncover the abuse data on priests, non-ordained brothers and sisters, and other church personnel employed between 1950 and 2009.

Prosecutions have been launched in 27 of the 309 abuse cases the commission has referred to Australian police, with 75 more being investigated, it says.

The hearing is due to run for three weeks.

Two members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors set up by Pope Francis were invited to give evidence via video link but instead opted to provide written evidence on the group's work, the commission was told.

Church sexual abuse broke into the open in 2002, when it was discovered that U.S. bishops in the Boston area moved abusers from parish to parish instead of defrocking them.

Similar scandals have since been discovered around the world and tens of millions of dollars have been paid in compensation. (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
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