Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Australian Catholic Archbishop: Sexual Abuse Was Covered Up

While not receiving the news coverage in America that it deserves, the government of Australia's investigation into the sexual abuse of minors is ongoing and it is turning up evidence of the same pattern we've seen worldwide: rampant sexual abuse by Catholic  priests, the shuffling of predators from one unsuspecting parish to another, and cover ups orchestrated from the highest levels of the Catholic Church hierarchy.   Recently, in testimony Archbishop Denis Hart admitted that a predecessor had actively suppressed and covered up information on child rape and other sexual abuse.  The Sydney Morning Herald has coverage.  Here are excerpts:

Melbourne's most senior Catholic has admitted the church covered up child sexual abuse, was slow to act against abusing priests and placed its own interests ahead of victims.

Archbishop Denis Hart says a knighted former archbishop kept reports of sexual abuse to himself and that the church was keen to look after itself when addressing complaints, placing its reputation ahead of victims.

"The question of confidentiality of these matters was probably kept in one sense too much in that the church was too keen to look after herself and her good name and not keen enough to address the terrible anguish of the victims," Archbishop Hart said on Monday.

He agreed former archbishop, the late Sir Thomas Francis "Frank" Little, had covered up abuse reports.   "Archbishop Little kept all these things to himself and there were no records," Archbishop Hart told the Victorian parliamentary inquiry.

Pressed on whether there had been a cover-up he said: "Well I have to agree with that."  "The only person who's ultimately responsible is the archbishop at the time," he said.

Archbishop Hart, who has been the Melbourne archbishop since 2001, agreed the crimes should have been revealed to the police.

Archbishop Hart admitted in the past child sex abuse had been endemic in Melbourne's Catholic Church.   Twelve out of 50 priests identified by the church were responsible for more than half of the offences committed, he told the inquiry.

Despite these admitted cover ups and conspiracies to protect criminals,  we continue to see members of the Catholic laity financially supporting this criminal enterprise.  I can only ask myself, WTF is wrong with these people.

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