Thursday, December 24, 2015

Growing Sex Abuse Scandal in Australia as Church Celebrates Win for Bigotry in Slovenia

Even as the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy is celebrating the repeal of same sex marriage in Slovenia this week - Pope Francis obliquely told Slovenian pilgrims to vote against same-sex marriage, as Agence France Presse reported, telling them that everyone, "especially those with public responsibility, [should] support the family, a structural reference point for the life of society" - the sex abuse scandal in Australia is continuing to grow.  Now, police are now investigating sex abuse allegations that occurred at Melborne's St. Patrick's Cathederal on the watch of Cardinal George Pell, the highest ranking cleric in that nation.  It is more of the same familiar story: a shocking disregard for the well being of children and youths and deliberate cover ups.  Despite crocodile tears of remorse from Pope Francis and others, nothing has really changed.  The Church remains vitriolically anti-gay while in the same breath protecting sexual predator priests.  Here are highlights from The Age on developments in Melborne:
The Catholic Church in Melbourne has been hit with child sexual abuse claims just two days before Christmas as police target allegations that fall directly under the leadership of George Pell.

In a rare public statement, Sano taskforce detectives investigating historic allegations of abuse have made an appeal for information about sexual assaults at St Patrick's Cathedral between 1996 and 2001.

Its investigation centres on claims that 14-year-old boys were sexually assaulted at the East Melbourne landmark, described by the church as the "mother church of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne".
The timeframe of the allegations covers the years when Cardinal Pell was archbishop of Melbourne and current archbishop Denis Hart was vicar-general.

"It happens to be under their watch," said Dr Judy Courtin, a lawyer who represents victims of institutional sexual abuse.

The development came after Cardinal Pell cancelled his flights to Melbourne from Rome, citing ill health for being unable to give evidence in person at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It is not known whether he had knowledge of the investigation.

On Wednesday, the commission announced it would test whether Cardinal Pell and former bishop of Ballarat Ronald Mulkearns were still too ill to appear in person at a directions hearing on February 5.

Nicky Davis, from Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests Australia, said she believed there were more "many more victims" who had yet to come forward and congratulated detectives for launching a public appeal for information.
"What we're seeing so far is just the tip of the iceberg, there's a lot more information that needs to come out if we're to have dealt with this properly and understood exactly what's going on," she said.
University of Melbourne criminology lecturer Dr Dave McDonald said the allegations "raise questions not only about the effectiveness and suitability of the Melbourne Response, but go to the heart of the archdiocese given they implicate the cathedral".

Organized crime bosses seemingly have more integrity than the Catholic Church hierarchy when it comes to protecting children and youths.  Once again I ask, why do otherwise decent people continue to fund the criminal enterprise known as the Roman Catholic Church which fosters anti-gay discrimination while protecting criminals?

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