Australia - Child Sex Abuse Ignored in Catholic Church

George Pell

Protection of innocent kids should be the number one priority for everybody, especially for the institution which preaches honesty, purity, and life without sins. The thing is that Catholic Church always selfishly chooses to protect its reputation instead of revealing the perpetrators.

According to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Australia has been found to have ignored or dismissed or covered up allegations of appalling child abuse by seven of its priests in order to protect the church’s reputation. “Complaints were dealt with in a way that sought to protect the Archdiocese from scandal and liability and prioritized the interests of the Church over those of the victims.”

The commission’s report found that the former archbishop Thomas Francis Little, who headed the archdiocese of Melbourne from 1974 to 1996, “dismissed or ignored serious allegations of child sexual abuse against a number of priests” and did not investigate or report them to police. Terms such as "special issues" were used to conceal complaints of child sexual abuse against priests. The commission also found that Little moved offending priests to other parishes where they continued to offend. Little died in 2008.

The Age reports that the redacted report released on December 5th made no findings on the conduct of Cardinal George Pell, who succeeded Little as Archbishop of Melbourne, but pointedly mentioned that its terms-of-reference prevented the release of information that could "prejudice current or future criminal or civil proceedings".

The Commissioners used the shocking case of Father Peter Searson to underscore the Archdiocese's systemic failure to discipline priests accused of predatory behavior. That case included the rape of multiple children. In 1982 Searson brought a handgun to Our Lady of Carmel parish school in Sunbury, Victoria, and threatened children with it. He also tortured animals in front of children, the commission heard.

“The case of Father Searson is remarkable in terms of the volume of complaints against him and the number of church personnel to whom they were made,” the report found. “This was not a story of serious but isolated allegations being reported only to the archbishop or vicar general. Rather, Father Searson enjoyed a level of infamy within the parish and … within other parts of the archdiocese.” Searson never faced any charges for his crimes because he died in 2009.

After all the information this report presented, there is the impression that all this had to be revealed much earlier before the deaths of those who are responsible for child sex abuse. Abusers have died without being eligible for their crimes, while victims continue to live their lives with trauma.

Photo Credits: Wikimedia

If you like our posts, subscribe to the Atheist Republic newsletter to get exclusive content delivered weekly to your inbox. Also, get the book "Why There is No God" for free.

Click Here to Subscribe

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.