Cardinal George Pell’s column for November 18th reflected on the findings of the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Child Abuse. An excerpt:
On Wednesday the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Child Abuse brought down its 700 page report. I welcome the publication of the report. It should help the victims.
While the Inquiry hearings were sometimes unconventional and emotional affairs, the report itself seems fair and reasonable. Naturally it covers the awful abuse which occurred in Catholic communities, mainly between 1960 and 1985.
The report details some of the serious failures in the way the church dealt with these crimes and responded to victims, especially before the procedural reforms of the mid 1990s. Irreparable damage has been caused.
By the standards of common decency and by today’s standards, church authorities were not only slow to deal with the abuse, but sometimes did not deal with it in any appropriate way at all. This is indefensible.
I am totally committed to improving the situation; I know the Holy Father is too. There are significant persons in the community who believe, rightly, that we have failed, but we have done quite a bit. I commit myself to doing whatever further is required.
Unfortunately this Inquiry only examined non-government institutions, which will be safer places after the recommendations are implemented.
Read the entire column on the Archdiocese of Sydney website.