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Royal Commission into child sex abuse

Analysis and Comment (11)

George Pell insists it is individual moral failures that are the root of the Catholic Church’s problems. George Pell insists it is individual moral failures that are the root of the Catholic Church’s problems. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Church’s moral failure on trial at the Royal Commission

It is the long-held view of Cardinal George Pell and other senior Catholic officials that the sexual abuse crisis is an issue primarily about the moral failure of individual priests and not related to…
Throughout his recent royal commission appearance, Catholic cardinal George Pell focused on the ‘choices’ that victims of abuse make. Throughout his recent royal commission appearance, Catholic cardinal George Pell focused on the ‘choices’ that victims of abuse make. AAP/Paul Miller

Moral responsibility a drive-by victim of Pell’s view of the church

Cardinal George Pell’s appearance at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will do little to rehabilitate his image in the eyes of clergy abuse victims. Via video link…
The Anglican Church has responded to the Royal Commission by allowing priests in some circumstances to report confessions of sexual abuse. The Anglican Church has responded to the Royal Commission by allowing priests in some circumstances to report confessions of sexual abuse. AAP/Jeremy Piper

Anglican shift on confessions puts abuse victims' interests first

The Australian Anglican Church has put the interests of children and victims of crime ahead of tradition and doctrine. Priests who hear confessions about serious criminal offences, including child abuse…
The child sex abuse royal commission under Justice Peter McClellan has asked for more time and money to complete its investigation. The child sex abuse royal commission under Justice Peter McClellan has asked for more time and money to complete its investigation. AAP/Jeremy Piper

Report makes a compelling case to extend sex abuse royal commission

On Monday, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released its interim report, detailing for the first time the full scope and comprehensiveness of its inquiry into institutional…
George Pell explained his actions in the landmark Ellis sex abuse case to the Royal Commission by saying he was relying on legal advice. George Pell explained his actions in the landmark Ellis sex abuse case to the Royal Commission by saying he was relying on legal advice. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Pell was wrong to blame the lawyers, but they aren’t blameless

When counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse put it to Cardinal George Pell last week that his lawyers weren’t his moral advisors, she was implying that he…
Giving care leavers special access to their records might be one way to help them achieve justice, recognition and a firmer sense of belonging and community. Giving care leavers special access to their records might be one way to help them achieve justice, recognition and a firmer sense of belonging and community. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Not just about abuse: records access is key to care leavers' identity

“You have the records of our abuse.” So read the placards held by protesters outside hearings of the Royal Commission and the recent Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse. These protesters…
The estimate that there have been several thousands of victims is conservative, at best. The estimate that there have been several thousands of victims is conservative, at best. shutterstock

Child sex abuse inquiry uncovers generations of cruelty and moral corruption

Twelve months ago, I wrote an article encouraging inquiries into child sex abuse to treat the church like a corrupt police force. Today, the first of the nation’s inquiries to child sex abuse, run by the…
Cardinal George Pell apologised to victims of child sex abuse by the Catholic clergy at a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the issue. Cardinal George Pell apologised to victims of child sex abuse by the Catholic clergy at a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the issue. AAP/Joe Castro

Cardinal Pell and the inquiries into child sex abuse

Cardinal George Pell has apologised to victims and survivors of child abuse by Catholic clergy during his appearance before the Victorian parliament’s Inquiry into child abuse by by religious organisations…
Justice Peter McClellan (centre), Chair of the Royal Commission into child sex abuse, delivers a media statement with his fellow commissioners in Sydney. Justice Peter McClellan (centre), Chair of the Royal Commission into child sex abuse, delivers a media statement with his fellow commissioners in Sydney. AAP/Damian Shaw

Child abuse inquiries as catalyst for deep change in the Catholic Church

The awful record of the institutional Catholic church’s leadership in dealing with the scandal of clerical sex abuse of minors has clearly, and rightly, been a trigger for the federal government’s Royal…
The terms of reference announced by Julia Gillard could bring about cultural change around issues of institutional abuse. The terms of reference announced by Julia Gillard could bring about cultural change around issues of institutional abuse. AAP/Stephanie Flack

Royal commission faces challenges but provides an opportunity for change

The terms of reference of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse have been prudently drawn, providing scope for both inquisitorial depth and transformative policy recommendations…
Prime minister Julia Gillard met with victims and their families at Kirribilli House on Saturday. Prime minister Julia Gillard met with victims and their families at Kirribilli House on Saturday. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Royal commission has the power to bring justice to victims of sexual abuse

The terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, as announced by the prime minister on Friday, certainly seem to tick all the right boxes if survivors and…