The Catholic Church does not commit sex crimes against children and the vulnerable.
It does, however, ensure that known child sex predators are protected by their status as representatives of the Catholic Church, facilitated to continue offending, and facilitated in privileged and unquestioned access to their favourite prey.
These dangerous criminals are shielded from the normal processes of civil and criminal law by the actions of bishops and leaders of congregations, as well as by other priests, church employees and ordinary Catholics, including even their own families in some cases, turning a blind eye to the criminal activity in their midst.
Anyone who tries to combat this culture of secrecy, exploitation of the defenceless and protection of criminals is subjected to abusive reprisals and treated as a liar, ostracised and blamed, because telling the truth is a far worse crime in the Catholic Church’s eyes than child rape.
The Catholic Church routinely claims to have improved its methods of dealing with this issue. But for those on the receiving end of the Catholic Church’s “compassion” and claims to “help victims and bring criminals to justice”, such changes are minute and barely noticeable, and the Church’s behaviour still clearly falls within anyone’s definition of a criminal conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Judicial inquiries in Ireland and the US have consistently found a pattern of bishops sacrificing child safety to the protection of the church’s interests and reputation. More recent reports released this year in Cloyne diocese in Ireland and Philadelphia in the US have also found that despite strident claims to have put their dangerous practices of the past behind them, in actual fact Church officials are still lying about this issue and still routinely endanger children by their single minded protection of child rapists.
In Australia, Catholic child sex abuse victims are ignored, dismissed, treated as liars, misled and denied crucial information. Their voices and their stories remain unheard beneath an avalanche of Church lies and callously deceitful PR. They are bullied, threatened, re-abused and hoodwinked into courses of action not in their own best interests, or the interests of child protection.
The Australian criminal justice system is littered with loopholes that keep those who destroyed our lives free to destroy hundreds more. The small percentage who are convicted only ever face a tiny fraction of their actual crimes and a tiny fraction of their actual victims and receive ridiculously light sentences. Once their comparatively short jail time is served, despite still representing a serious danger to children and the community, they are released, free to reoffend, helped by a strenuously defended right to anonymity. Anonymity which assists their preying upon unsuspecting new victims.
The civil justice system is effectively denied to Catholic child sexual abuse victims in some states of Australia, thanks to decades old laws enacted when Church leaders dictated directly to malleable politicians.
Which leaves victims at the mercy of Church “compassion” and “pastoral care” in their efforts to find help to recover.
Most victims are more in need of help recovering after dealing with the Catholic Church than they were before.
They are also stripped of their legal rights and sworn to secrecy, all factors which make it almost impossible to leave behind the harm they have suffered. None receive sufficient financial, emotional, medical or psychological support to undo the years of abuse and denial and repair the physical and mental effects of their traumatic childhood, far less lost educational, professional and personal opportunities as a result of the terrifying abuse and its equally damaging cover-up.
And our cowardly politicians are content to turn their backs on the suffering of victims, just as Catholics and the rest of Australian society does, because it is simply too difficult to take on the obscenely wealthy, belligerently powerful and corruptly influential Catholic Church.
Two brave politicians in Victoria are calling for a judicial inquiry into the Catholic Church’s coverup of child rape, and one human rights hero in South Australia is drafting a private members bill to ensure the Catholic Church are properly covered by mandatory reporting provisions.
From all Australian victims of Catholic Church sponsored and enabled child sexual abuse, thank you.
Thank you for your efforts to help us heal by delivering a tiny glimmer of hope we will one day see justice.
Hope that one day the Australian Catholic Church will be prevented by law from continuing to endanger innocent children.