Child Abuse

Opinion: After Cardinal Pell verdict, Catholic Church must reform

Pope Francis once made George Pell one of the Vatican’s most powerful men. Now, the cardinal is headed to prison for sexual abuse. It is time for the Catholic Church to reform itself, says DW’s Christoph Strack. Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s third-highest ranking official who once served as the pope’s finance chief, was sentenced to six years behind bars on Wednesday for child sex abuse. The Australian is the most senior Catholic to ever be convicted of such crimes. Pell’s lawyers ... Read More »

Pell verdict: Judge Kidd got it absolutely right with the sentence

After the deafening storm of publicity surrounding the conviction of Cardinal George Pell, finally there was silence. Duncan Fine The Age For one hour Chief Judge Peter Kidd delivered his sentencing and the reasons behind it. Courtroom 3.3 of the Victorian County Court went quiet. Pell stood calmly, with his arms behind his back. The sentence was six years with a non-parole period of three years and eight months. Immediately, the storm started up again. Some groups representing abuse survivors ... Read More »

Andrew Bolt, please stop implying that you know all the facts about George Pell

Clare Linane, whose husband Peter Blenkiron is a survivor of clerical child abuse, writes in response to Andrew Bolt’s defence of George Pell Clare Linane The Guardian I am a Ballarat local who has been living with the aftermath of child sexual abuse for many years. My husband, Peter Blenkiron, is a survivor of clergy abuse at 11-years-old. You met him whilst in Rome three years ago. I am compelled to write to you after you expressed your opinion that ... Read More »

My anger with George Pell has been replaced by immense sadness

I don’t see a monster. I see all the women and children and men and nuns and priests destroyed by shame, fear and lies Christos Tsiolkas The Guardian I  have been angry with Cardinal George Pell for a long time. That anger was first stirred by his absolute disdain for extending compassion to people living with Aids, and also by his refusal to accept queer people into Catholic fellowship. I was also made furious by his perverting of the teachings ... Read More »

Society is still failing in its duty of care to children in detention

The findings of the inquiry into child sexual abuse in custodial institutions make distressing but necessary reading Editorial Independent ” The report of the inquiry into the sexual abuse of children in custody is yet another cause of frustration that so much of our political and media attention is focused solely on Brexit. There are so many things wrong with Britain today that are barely affected by whether we are in or out of the European Union. Some of the hardest problems ... Read More »

Royal Commissions tell us a great deal about Corruption. But will Justice be an inevitable final chapter?

The string of Royal Commissions have provided us with stinging visual images of corruption, notably among bankers and clergymen. Josephine Zananiri Tasmanian Times Aside from some gratifyingly blunt cross-examination, causing a degree of humiliation, the legal outcomes are far from clear. At this point we might hazard a guess that corruption and justice are a sleight of hand depending on the cards dealt. Now if you happened by chance to find yourself in the top say five per cent of ... Read More »

Pope Francis Ends Landmark Sex Abuse Meeting With Strong Words, but Few Actions

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis ended a landmark Vatican meeting on clerical sexual abuse by calling “for an all-out battle against the abuse of minors” and insisting that the church needed to protect… By Jason Horowitz and Elizabeth Dias The New York Times But for all the vivid language and the vow “to combat this evil that strikes at the very heart of our mission,” the pope’s speech was short on the sort of detailed battle plan demanded by many ... Read More »

Catholic archbishop in Brazil bans priests from being alone with children

Decree follows court order forcing archdiocese to pay almost £2.5m in compensation over sexual exploitation of minors Tom Embury-Dennis Independent A Brazilian Catholic archbishop has banned priests in his district from being alone with children. Manoel Delson, archbishop of the northeastern state of Paraiba, signed the decree on Wednesday following a court order forcing the archdiocese to pay almost £2.5m in compensation over the sexual exploitation of minors. Mr Delson’s decree prohibits priests from being in the company of children and vulnerable adults unaccompanied by their ... Read More »

Why Australia should not have a public register of child sex offenders

To many, “sex offender” conjures a specific image: stranger abduction, child victim, sexual assault, murder. Danielle Harris Brisbane Times Such horrible things do happen but’s it extraordinarily rare. It’s so horrible that it makes the news. And it happens so rarely that it makes the news every time it happens, and when it happens it shakes us to our core. As a child, I was keenly aware of the fates of Sian Kingi and then of Ebony Simpson, and of ... Read More »

NSW institutions can now be sued for abuse

The NSW government has eliminated a legal defence used by churches to avoid being sued by victims of child sex abuse. SBS AAP Victims of child sex abuse in NSW can now sue the church after the state government removed a legal roadblock used by institutions to avoid compensating survivors. From January 1 churches will no longer be able to use the “Ellis defence” as a way of avoiding paying compensation. In 2007 former altar boy John Ellis lost a ... Read More »

Pope demotes two cardinals over sexual abuse scandals

Two cardinals facing allegations linked to sexual abuse have been removed from Pope Francis’s inner circle, the Vatican said. BBC Australia’s George Pell and Chile’s Francisco Javier Errazuriz will no longer sit on the Council of Cardinals, set up by the pope as an international advice body. The pair were absent from the last meeting of the group in September. A spokesperson said the Pope wrote to them both in October to thank them. Cardinal Pell, who remains the Vatican ... Read More »

South Sudan region ‘sees huge increase in rape’, says charity

Dozens of women and girls have been subjected to rape and other violence over the past 10 days in a northern region of South Sudan, Doctors Without Borders has said. BBC A midwife at the charity said 125 women came to its clinic in Bentiu, more than in the whole of the previous 10 months. They included girls under 10, women over 65 and pregnant women, she added. The country has been ravaged by civil war for most of its ... Read More »

Former archbishop Philip Wilson’s lawyers say forcing a child into a sex act wasn’t indecent assault in the 1970s

Lawyers appealing former archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson’s conviction for covering up child abuse have argued that convincing a child to perform a sex act did not constitute indecent assault in the 1970s. Ben Millington ABC Wilson was convicted in May of concealing the indecent assault of a boy by paedophile priest Jim Fletcher in the Hunter region of NSW. The court found that in 1976 the victim confided in Wilson that he had been sexually abused, yet Wilson failed ... Read More »

Dr Azeem Ibrahim: Where the far-right goes wrong about Pakistani paedophile gangs

Ethnicity does not seem to play a significant role in rates of child sex abuse despite recent high-profile cases involving men of Pakistani origins; instead, what is unusual about their behaviour is the… Dr Azeem Ibrahim The Scotsman Shocking grooming scandals involving Pakistani men have created another tense moment in the history of race relations in the UK, And there really is a deep problem here – it is not just about the… Soon after the news of that case, ... Read More »

Home Secretary accused of ‘sowing division’ after tweeting about ‘Asian paedophiles’

‘In a nod to the far right, he has increased the risk of racist abuse and violence for Asian people’ Saman Javed Independent Sajid Javid is facing backlash from MPs and race equality advocates after tweeting about “sick Asian paedophiles”. The home secretary’s tweet came after a gang of 20 men were found guilty of the rape and sexual abuse of girls aged as young as 11 in Huddersfield. The full tweet reads… The tweet, which targets Asians, was condemned by Labour MP David Lammy who ... Read More »

Turkey’s Future is at Stake: Forgotten Children of Turkey

Nowadays, protecting and even improving the rights of the children are among the key requirements of being a democratic country. Deniz Zengin PoliTurco It is an incontestable right for the children, who are a part of the social life, to take part as individuals in the community. The convention on the rights of the children, which contains the most extensive regulation about legitimatizing and protecting the rights of the children in international law, is based on the fact that the ... Read More »