CNA Staff, May 7, 2020 / 11:00 am (CNA).- Cardinal George Pell has expressed his “surprise” at newly released findings of an Australian investigation, which concluded that the cardinal was aware of sexual abuse by clerics in the 1970s and 80s, and failed to act.
In 2017, Australia’s Royal Commission released a report on sexual abuse of minors in the country, the result of a five-year enquiry into the behavior and responsibility of institutions including the Church. Sections of the report relating to Cardinal Pell were redacted until the conclusion of criminal legal proceedings against the cardinal.
The redacted portions were released May 6.
In the newly available material, the commission found that Pell knew about the abusive activities of two priests during his own years as a priest, and that he failed to act to stop them.
On Thursday, Pell said through a spokesperson that the commission’s conclusions about him were “not supported by evidence.”
Pell gave evidence to the commission in 2016 via video link from Rome. During his testimony, he denied failing to act against known sexual abusers in the clergy. Pell specifically denied that while he was a priest in Ballarat in the 1970s and 80s, he had any awareness of the actions of then-Father Gerald Ridsdale, a serial abuser from the same diocese.
The Royal Commission concluded that, as a member of Bishop Ronald Mulkearns’ college of priest consulters in the diocese, Pell would have been made aware of allegations of abuse against Ridsdale during discussions about the priest’s transfers between assignments in 1977 and 1982.
But Pell told the commission that he and the other consulters had been deceived by Mulkearns and were unaware of Ridsdale’s crimes until years later.
“The Consultors who gave evidence on the meetings in 1977 and 1982 either said they did not learn of Ridsdale’s offending against children until much later or they had no recollection of what was discussed. None said they were made aware of Ridsdale’s offending at these meetings,” Pell said in a statement released through a spokesperson late Wednesday evening.
In a 2017 statement, Pell said “I would never have condoned or participated in a decision to transfer Ridsdale in the knowledge that he had abused children, and I did not do so.”
The commission rejected Pell’s testimony, and found that it “ought to have been obvious” why Ridsdale was being transferred from one assignment to another.
“We are satisfied Bishop Mulkearns gave reasons for it being necessary to move Ridsdale. We are satisfied that he referred to homosexuality at the meeting, in the context of giving reasons for Ridsdale’s move,” the report found. “However, we are not satisfied that Bishop Mulkearns left the explanation there, as Cardinal Pell said there would have been a discussion."
“We do not accept that Bishop Mulkearns lied to his consultors.”
The commission did not delineate specific proofs for its conclusion.
The commission also said that Pell would have known about allegations of abuse made against Fr. Peter Searson, who was active as a Melbourne priest during Pell’s time as an auxiliary bishop in the Melbourne archdiocese.
In 1989, Pell held a meeting with representatives from the parish and school in Doveton, where Searson was assigned. During that meeting a number of complaints were made against Searson but, according to Pell, sexual misconduct with children was not raised, and Searson’s removal was not requested.
Following Pell’s installation as Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996, Pell placed Searson on administrative leave and removed him from parish ministry in 1997. Searson died in 2009 and was never charged by police.
A spokesman for Victoria Police, which brought charges against Pell leading to his imprisonment for more than a year before the High Court freed him last month, told the Guardian that the newly released sections of the report would be studied and police would “undertake an assessment of those findings.”
“At this time it would not be appropriate to comment further about any possible action,” The spokesman said.
Current Archbishop of Melbourne Peter Comensoli released his own statement in response to the new material from the commission, in which he repeated his previous apologies “for the failure of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne to responsibly care for and protect our young people and vulnerable adults.”
“Child safety and care is not a project with an end date”, Comensoli said, but a project that “requires life-long vigilance.”
In December 2018, Pell was convicted of five counts of sexual abuse, but was acquitted by the Australian High Court last monthl. Following that decision, the redacted portions of the commission’s findings were released.
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“The commission rejected Pell’s testimony, and found that it “ought to have been obvious” why Ridsdale was being transferred from one assignment to another.”
I’ve read the transcripts of the interviews with Cardinal Pell. The commission seemed utterly clueless about several things (such as the utterly different atmosphere about discussing sexual matters and abuse that existed years ago), and appeared to believe that just because some people knew of rumors, or even information, about evil behaviors it must perforce have been known by everyone.
There is also one section where one of the people asking questions coolly informs the Cardinal that the Church should copy business practices and have “middle managers” between bishops or archbishops and priests. Apart from the fact that having middle managers does not prevent abuse, as even a perfunctory look at abuse in institutions at the present day would show, it is absoutely staggering that the person would presume to meddle in the organization of the Church, or any religion. Doing the same to, for example, Muslims, are they? Or perhaps to the indigenous peoples of Australia?
I find it odd that they are convinced that Bishop Mulkearns must have discussed the matter in the meetings. If it is because they are taking his word for it (though I thought I read that he died before he had completed giving evidence), they are taking the word of someone who manifestly did not deal with abusers when he had the authority to do so, over the word of someone who did deal with abusers when he had the authority to do so. Why?
Leslie, you continue in your efforts to dismiss the Royal Commission by cherry picking two issues with while seemingly remaining anchored in your false assumptions and ignorant of the wider work undertaken by this commission.
Let me take jus one of your statements above to illustrate your obvious ignorance to matters ‘Australian’……..
This statement of yours in trying to establish unfair treatment by Govt of the singling out the Catholic church while not doing same for other constituencies:
[quote] “it is absoutely staggering that the person would presume to meddle in the organization of the Church, or any religion. Doing the same to, for example, Muslims, are they? Or perhaps to the indigenous peoples of Australia? [end quote]
On 21 June 2007, the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, announced the following measures to combat child abuse in Indigenous communities in the Northan Territory:
* Widespread alcohol restrictions on NT Aboriginal land for 6 months
* Medical examinations of all Indigenous children in the NT under the age of 16 years
* Quarantining of 50% of the welfare payments to parents of children in the affected areas for the purchase of food and other essentials
* Enforcing school attendance by linking income support and family assistance payments to school attendance for all people living on Aboriginal land
* Taking control of townships through 5-year leases to ensure that property and public housing are improved
* Requiring an intensive clean-up of communities to make them safer and healthier, by marshalling local workforces through Work for the Dole arrangements
* Scrapping the permit system for common areas and road corridors on Aboriginal lands
* Banning the possession of x-rated pornography in the proscribed areas
* Increasing policing levels, and making law and order a central focus of the measures announced
* Amending NT land rights legislation
[ source of above:https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2007/187/4/interventions-halt-child-abuse-aboriginal-communities ]
The rest of the article makes very interesting reading.
and from the perspective of our Indigenous people:
The Intervention was a set of policies introduced by the Howard government in 2007 in response to the The Little Children are Sacred Report, which claimed that neglect and sexual abuse of children in Indigenous communities had reached crisis levels.
The Intervention applied to 73 Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory
Social Justice Report 2007
Chapter 3: The Northern Territory ‘Emergency Response’
intervention – A human rights analysis:
How would you accept such intervention by the Australian Government in the affairs of the Catholic Church with respect to the very same matted of the abuse of children? Do you see thew hypocrisy of the Howard Liberal Government’s responce to Child abuse in indigenous communities and the same Liberal pParty conservative Gove member, John Howard and ex PM Tony Abbott’s response, or more accurately, lack of response, to Child abuse in the Catholic Church and Cardinal Pell’s role as a leader along with all others in leadership? It is my position that all responsible for inaction to protect the safety of children should be held accountable. That has been my argument all along. Like it or not Cardinal Pell is a central figure as are all Bishops and Arch Bishops and Cardinals of the time when the abuse was rampant in the Australian Church. We have the glaring hypocrisy in the Church at that time of not permitting divorcees to re marry yet pedophile priests where shifted from parish to parish to continue their diabolical behaviour while leadership deliberately did not take minutes of those matters discussed at the relevant meetings, reckords where destroyed and paper trails of evidence where eliminated, all the while those still in office state that only those bishops who are now dead knew what was going on. The royal commission proves that this narrative is a lie and all you and others here want to do is bury your head in the sand! It seems all well and good to point your collective finger at the McCarick’s of this tragedy while dodging weaving and denying your way around Cardinal Pell’s role in Ballarat, Melbourne and Sydney.
Leslie, have you a legitimate argument that would lead to those responsible not being held accountable, both abusers and those who failed to act swiftly and irrevocably in order to protect children and their families?? We have the glaring dichotomy in the Church at that time of not permitting divorcees to re marry yet pedophile priests where shifted from parish to parish to continue their diabolical behaviour.
“Leslie, you continue in your efforts to dismiss the Royal Commission by cherry picking two issues with while seemingly remaining anchored in your false assumptions and ignorant of the wider work undertaken by this commission.”
I am not the only person to dismiss the Royal Commission, and Australians are among those who do. I provided two issues as examples. Those two are sufficient to prove my point.
“Let me take jus one of your statements above to illustrate your obvious ignorance to matters ‘Australian’…….. This statement of yours in trying to establish unfair treatment by Govt of the singling out the Catholic church while not doing same for other constituencies: [quote] “it is absoutely staggering that the person would presume to meddle in the organization of the Church, or any religion. Doing the same to, for example, Muslims, are they? Or perhaps to the indigenous peoples of Australia? [end quote]”
“On 21 June 2007, the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, announced the following measures to combat child abuse in Indigenous communities in the Northan Territory:”
None of which have anything to do with their religious practices, which is obviously what I was talking about.
There are a couple of interesting statements in the “Little Children are Sacred” report: “The Inquiry… remains concerned that, at times, Aboriginal men have been targeted as if they were the only perpetrators of child sexual abuse in communities. This is inaccurate and has resulted in unfair shaming…”
The many nasty comments about Catholic priests that are all over the Internet attest to the fact that this attitude also applies to them.
“Myth: Aboriginal law is the reason for high levels of sexual abuse This Inquiry notes that this myth has gained popularity in recent times … It is a dangerous myth as it reinforces prejudice and ignorance… The Inquiry believes that the general effect of this misrepresentation of the Northern Territory situation has been that the voices of Aboriginal women and men have been negated by powerful media and political forces.”
The Royal Commission would have done well to read that, and read about the vicious prejudice surrounding the Lindy Chamberlain case, and make a similar statement about the Church and the priesthood, rather than joining in the powerful media and political forces in reinforcing prejudice and ignorance.
“How would you accept such intervention by the Australian Government in the affairs of the Catholic Church with respect to the very same matted of the abuse of children?”
The interventions regarding the Aboriginal communities had nothing to do with religious matters.
Neither priestly celibacy nor the seal of Confession have anything to do with the abuse, as even an idiot should be able to deduce by noticing that the rates of abuse among priests are not higher than those among other groups. Yet the Royal Commission decided to intrude on religious matters by saying those should be changed.
“Do you see thew hypocrisy of the Howard Liberal Government’s responce to Child abuse in indigenous communities and the same Liberal pParty conservative Gove member, John Howard and ex PM Tony Abbott’s response, or more accurately, lack of response, to Child abuse in the Catholic Church and Cardinal Pell’s role as a leader along with all others in leadership?”
No, as it happens, I don’t. The interventions in the communities all have to do with matters that are external to the religious practices of the Aborigines. In fact, the various reports point out that the problems stem from the breakdown of the Aboriginal communities and traditional ways of life; that is, to their failure, for various reasons, to comply with Aboriginal beliefs. In the case of the Church, however, the committee decides that Catholic practices which actually have absolutely nothing to do with abuse, specifically priestly celibacy and the seal of Confession, must be changed. In fact the abusers and those who covered up abuse failed to comply with Church teachings.
“It is my position that all responsible for inaction to protect the safety of children should be held accountable. “
Of course. But in order to be responsible for inaction, one must be aware of it. Having read the evidence, I remain quite confident that Cardinal Pell was not.
You still haven’t answered my question about whether you reported the abuse you claim to have known about so well: “Can I say that among the thousands of Catholics in Melbourne, relatively few would have anything near a comprehensive understanding of the scope of instances of abuse in the Parishes of Melbourne. Hardly anyone has an intimate knowledge of the goings on in the streets of the CBD in the 80’s I count it a great privilege and responsibility that I do…”” If you didn’t, that makes you one of the “all responsible for inaction to protect the safety of children,” and you “should be held accountable.”
“That has been my argument all along. Like it or not Cardinal Pell is a central figure as are all Bishops and Arch Bishops and Cardinals of the time when the abuse was rampant in the Australian Church.”
Actually, your original argument was that it didn’t matter if Cardinal Pell’s conviction was unjust given the lack of evidence for the crime of which the complainant accused him and the exculpatory evidence of large numbers of other witnesses; Cardinal Pell deserved to be convicted of rape because there has been abuse and cover-up of abuse.
The only central figures are those who committed the abuse and those who covered it up. You and the bigoted swine in the Royal Commission have decided that Cardinal Pell knew about the abuse, based on evidence that shouldn’t serve to hang a dog.
Those who knew about it and had the power to do anything and didn’t should be held accountable. Cardinal Pell was not among them. As soon as he had the power to do anything, he did. I believe him when he says that he did not know that he did.
“We have the glaring hypocrisy in the Church at that time of not permitting divorcees to re marry yet pedophile priests where shifted from parish to parish to continue their diabolical behaviour “
The Church upheld the teachings on marriage. The Church did not deny that sexual abuse of children was wrong; some priests chose to commit evil, and some in authority did not do what they should have to stop the priests who were abusing, and covered it up. The people who want to enter into invalid second marriages want the Church to proclaim that this just perfectly okay. The ones who committed and covered up abuse were not saying that the Church should change any teachings; they were concealing sin. The cases are not parallel.
“while leadership deliberately did not take minutes of those matters discussed at the relevant meetings, reckords where destroyed and paper trails of evidence where eliminated, all the while those still in office state that only those bishops who are now dead knew what was going on. “
Given that the peak of the abuse was in the 1970’s, which is between forty and fifty years ago, naturally many of the bishops who knew what was going on are now dead. You are presuming guilt baed on lack of evidence; not just saying that since there’s no evidence, Cardinal Pell must be guilty, but going further and saying that the lack of evidence is in fact evidence of guilt.
“The royal commission proves that this narrative is a lie”
No, it doesn’t prove anything of the sort. Its conclusions boil down to, “Well, this person must have known, because we think he must have known. Because, ummmm, priests gossip, yeah, that’s it, priests gossip. Also we don’t like Cardinal Pell so we don’t believe him.”
“and all you and others here want to do is bury your head in the sand! It seems all well and good to point your collective finger at the McCarick’s of this tragedy while dodging weaving and denying your way around Cardinal Pell’s role in Ballarat, Melbourne and Sydney. “
Cardinal Pell’s role was to set up a procedure to deal with allegations of abuse, to help the victims, and to remove priests who had committed abuse. We are not burying our heads in the sand; we just don’t like scapegoating.
“Leslie, have you a legitimate argument that would lead to those responsible not being held accountable, both abusers and those who failed to act swiftly and irrevocably in order to protect children and their families??”
I have a legitimate argument that only those who were responsible should be held accountable. I do not consider that Cardinal Pell was among them. Who did act swiftly and irrevocably to protect the victims; he put in place the Melbourne Response. I’m sure your response will be something like “The Melbourne Response had flaws!!!!!!!” The fact remains that it was an effort to deal with the evil that had been done, and any that might later be done, and that it was put into place as soon as he had the power to do so.
“We have the glaring dichotomy in the Church at that time of not permitting divorcees to re marry yet pedophile priests where shifted from parish to parish to continue their diabolical behaviour.”
That’s twice you’ve mentioned not permitting marriages to divorced people. Is that what’s behind what I must term your spite against Cardinal Pell? He upholds the Church’s teachings on marriage, and that upsets you somehow? Who is it that you know who is divorced and wants to remarry, or already has, that is causing this fixation?
* that he did not know that he did.
Sorry, when I rearranged a sentence I left in an extra “that he did” at the end of the sentence.
There was once a rich man in England who became tired of watching his friends’ estates being eaten up by lawyers’ fees in disputes over wills. So, he made a very simple will leaving everything to a friend, and then wrote a letter to the friend explaining what he wanted the friend to do with his estate, thinking that this was the best way to keep lawyers’ snouts out of it. That will and the letter ended up becoming a lawyer’s veritable pig feast because it became the classic case in the House of Lords on secret trusts. I could not help being reminded of that while watching George Pell in the witness box at the Royal Commission, trying to explain his reasons for “vigorously” fighting John Ellis’s claim for compensation arising out of his sexual abuse by the Sydney priest, Aidan Duggan.
In 2002, Richard Carleton interviewed Pell on Sixty Minutes about his Melbourne Response. Pell admitted that the victims had to swear to observe secrecy in return for the limited compensation that the scheme offered. He said that if the victims did not want to sign this, they could “go to the courts.” Two years later, in the Ellis case, Pell demonstrated what would happen to them if they tried. Pell and the Trustees of the Archdiocese spent $756,000 paying lawyers to fight a case that Ellis initially was prepared to settle for $100,000, and then for $750,000 at the time the application for leave to extend the limitation period.
Pell and his lawyers revealed all the classic symptoms of someone wanting to run a test case to prove a point, and to indicate to potential claimants that their claims were on shaky legal ground. They succeeded: the New South Wales Court of Appeal found that the Catholic Church does not exist in law, Pell was not liable for the negligence of his predecessors as Archbishop of Sydney, and the Trustees of the Archdiocese were not liable for the sexual abuse of a priest because they had nothing to do with the appointment and supervision of priests. The High Court refused leave to appeal.
Anyone wanting to run a test case will never try to settle it. If the other side makes an offer of settlement, it is rejected, and no counter offer is made. If a counter offer were made, the other side might accept it, and that would be the end of the test case. This is precisely the strategy that Pell and his lawyers adopted with Ellis.
Pell conceded at the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry that most priests are “not well off”, and therefore a sex abusing priest is unlikely to be able to meet a judgment. The so called “Ellis defence”, where used by the Church, saved it hundreds of millions of dollars, as is shown by a comparison between the average amounts paid out by the Toowoomba diocese, where former Bishop Morris refused to have anything to do with it, and the average payouts by the Melbourne Response and Towards Healing.
In the witness box, Pell was caught between trying to justify his test case, and denying that he was trying to protect the Church’s coffers. Pell accepted that his instructions to his solicitors, Corrs, were to “vigorously defend the claim” and that part of that was an attempt “to encourage people not to go into litigation.” If they could not go into litigation, their only other recourse was to go cap in hand to the Church for compensation through the Melbourne Response with its official ceiling of $50,000 and Towards Healing with its unofficial ceiling of the same amount. In other words, despite what Pell said to Richard Carleton in 2002, he wanted to make sure that victims of child sexual abuse knew that they really did not have the alternative of going to the courts. As the Chair of the Royal Commission, Justice McLellan pointed out, in those circumstances, the Church, and not the courts, had complete control over the amount it would pay. Justice McLellan has already dropped a gentle hint that all the settlements achieved through Towards Healing and the Melbourne Response may need to be re-opened.
Like the man who wanted to avoid enriching lawyers by writing a letter to the beneficiary of his will, the Church will not only be paying out significantly more in compensation than it otherwise might have, but it will be enriching lawyers as well. The Church won this battle in the High Court, but it has lost the war.
Perhaps the Church should have listened to something a wise man once said that might be paraphrased: what does it profit a Church if it gains the whole world, and suffers the loss of its soul. And the loss of the Church’s soul could not have been more starkly demonstrated than by the evidence given to the Royal Commission about the treatment of John Ellis.
Way to shift the subject.
And evvery time you post, Christopher Hallam, you make it even more
abundantly clear that you dislike Cardinal Pell, are prejudiced against him in eery circumstance, and would have been perfectly delighted to have the unjust conviction stand.
And you still haven’t told us whether you ever reported to the authorities the comprehensive understanding of the scope of instances of abuse in the parishes of Melbourne of which you brag. Did you, or did you not, report the abuse?
Here’s what the commissioners found, having had the benefit of Cardinal Pell’s own sworn testimony.
In 1973, Cardinal Pell was an assistant priest in Ballarat Diocese. He shared a house for about 10 months in Ballarat East with Gerald Ridsdale, who has since admitted to sexually assaulting 65 children but no doubt had many more victims than that over the three decades the church allowed him free reign. Pell knew that Ridsdale had been taking groups of boys away on overnight camps. The commission found that Pell “turned his mind” to the prudence of this because of the risk of sexual abuse or at least gossip about it; “by this time, child sexual abuse was on [Pell’s] radar” in relation to Ridsdale. He took no action. Ridsdale remains in prison, having been sentenced five times for child rapes.
In 1989, Pell was an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne (which includes 216 parishes and 331 Catholic schools). He received a list of extremely serious allegations against Father Peter Searson, one of the worst serial sexual offenders in the whole sordid history of Catholic institutional abuse that the commission uncovered. The commission found that Pell’s evidence, that he had been deceived by the Catholic Education Office because it did not tell him what it knew about Searson’s crimes, was “implausible”. It did not accept that Pell was deceived. It also found that “it ought to have been obvious to him at the time” that action was needed, that he “should have advised the Archbishop to remove Father Searson and he did not do so.” Searson continued his predation for another seven years after this.
In 1996, Pell was Archbishop of Melbourne and became aware that Father Wilfred Baker, another serial paedophile, would probably be charged in relation to a historical sexual assault in 1965. Pell had authority to remove Baker from his parish at North Richmond, which had a primary school attached to it, but did not do so until a year later. Baker was later convicted and sentenced to four years.
In 1993, Pell (then a bishop) participated in a meeting of an advisory board that dealt with employment of priests. The meeting accepted the resignation of Father Nazareno Fasciale, on grounds of ill health, and did not record any other matters relating to Fasciale. In fact he was resigning because he had admitted to multiple sexual abuse offences dating back to the 1950s. The commission found it “inconceivable” that this was not discussed at the meeting, and heavily criticised the cover-up. Fasciale died in 1996, his crimes unreported, and was given a Requiem Pontifical Mass.
Pell was also part of a meeting of the same body in 1995 that accepted the resignation on health grounds of Father David Daniel. The commission found that the real reason was multiple allegations of child sexual abuse, known to many at the meeting and “probably” known to Pell. It found that all those present at the meeting, including Pell, knew of the true reason and participated in an act that was misleading. Daniel was later convicted of multiple offences.
Arguably the most culpable leader of the institutional cover-ups was Archbishop Frank Little (Pell’s immediate predecessor who was Archbishop between 1974 and 1996), who never took any meaningful action against the many predators who operated in plain sight under his control. Pell, who reported to Little, was among many senior priests, the commission found, who had the capacity and opportunity to persuade him to take action on matters known to them, and “either did not do so or were ineffectual”. The commission considered their inaction to be “a series of individual failures by those priests”, in line with what it was satisfied was “a prevailing culture … of dealing with complaints internally and confidentially to avoid scandal to the Church”.
For those interested here are the links to the 2 case studies and one volume of the Royal Commision that have been unredacted.
I’ll repost here again two things I’ve posted on another thread:
I’ve read the unredacted testimony. And the Royal Commission’s bias is on display in flashing neon letters a foot high.
As an example, in the case of a priest named Baker who had abused a child and was moved to another parish, “There is nothing in the minutes to indicate whether the complaint in relation to BTO was discussed. The minutes record nothing at all of the discussion (if any) surrounding the appointment. Monsignor Connors’ evidence was that he would not have raised the complaint and could not recall whether the Archbishop [Little] did so. Monsignor Connors was the only person who gave evidence of this meeting and we accept his evidence. It follows that we do not know whether the BTO complaint was discussed.”
On the other hand, in 1977 Cardinal Pell was at a Consultors meeting where a priest named Ridsdale who had abused boys was moved. Cardinal Pell said that pedophilia was not definitely mentioned at the meeting, but that homosexuality might have been, as another Consultor testified. But the Commission said that no, pedophilia must have been mentioned. Because gossip. No uncertainty here. Oh, no, Cardinal Pell must have known.
I’ve already mentioned the different way that the denials of Paul Bongiorno (former priest, now left-wing reporter) and Cardinal Pell of convresations and of knowledge of Ridsdale’s activities were received. Re Bongiorno: “Well, after all this time we really can’t tell which one is remembering correctly.” Re Pell: “We believe what the other person said and don’t believe Pell.”
You, on the other hand, boasted, “I do not have intimate knowledge of the matters of abuse but i have walked with and talked with those who do. Can I say that among the thousands of Catholics in Melbourne, relatively few would have anything near a comprehensive understanding of the scope of instances of abuse in the Parishes of Melbourne. Hardly anyone has an intimate knowledge of the goings on in the streets of the CBD in the 80’s I count it a great privilege and responsibility that I do…” So, you admit that you had knowledge of abuse, and I want to know whether you did anything about it. Did you report the abuse to the authorities? If not, why not?
The Royal Commission was never about protecting children, and always about engaging in anti Catholic bigotry. It recommended removing the legal protection from the seal of confession, which is dead in the water as no priests would comply with it. The report is good for nothing except testing paper shredders or starting a dumpster fire.
Johann, In suggesting the Royal Commission should be taken seriously, I am not saying ALL recommendations should be adopted. I am respectful of the churches position on the seal of confession. It does seem to me your position is somewhat extreme, unreasonable and without due consideration of the depth and scope of the work undertaken by the Commission.
Your position is also somewhat at odds with the position taken by the Vatican:
“The Vatican has said the report of Australia’s Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse “deserves to be studied seriously”. The Vatican “reaffirmed” that the Church is committed “to safe environments for the protection of all children and vulnerable adults”.