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Scandal…Yet Again

December 17, 2017

Scales of Justice with emblem of Holy See, Author Ktr101 (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)

Just when the dust appeared to have settled, the Catholic Church sex scandal has expanded to a new venue.  This time the setting is Australia.  The proportions are massive.

A Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has uncovered the widespread abuse of children by religious schools and other institutions [1].  Most of those suspected are Catholic priests and religious brothers.

Tens of thousands of children were impacted.  While the exact number of victims cannot be known, the abuse extended across generations.

The Commission’s official report reads, in part:

“It is not a case of a few rotten apples.  Society’s major institutions have seriously failed.  In many cases those failings have been exacerbated by a manifestly inadequate response to the abused person.  The problems have been so widespread, and the nature of the abuse so heinous, that it is difficult to comprehend.”

More than 4400 victims have come forward and more than 4000 institutions been implicated.  In numerous cases, the commission found those in leadership were aware of the abuse, but failed to take effective action.

Senior Counsel, Gail Furness, informed the Commission:

“Children were ignored or, worse, punished.  Allegations were not investigated.  Priests and religious [figures] were moved.  The parishes or communities to which they were moved knew nothing of their past.  Documents were not kept or they were destroyed [2].”

Accusations of cover-up have long been directed at Australia’s Cardinal George Pell, who earlier this year became the highest ranking Vatican official criminally charged with sexual offenses [3].  The charges against Pell relate to his mishandling of misconduct cases against clergy while head of the Archdioceses of Melbourne and Sydney.

The Australian Catholic Church has, thus far, paid $276 million to victims [4].

[1]  New York Times, World, Australia, “Australia ‘Failed’ Abused Children for Decades, Royal Commission Finds” by Jacqueline Williams, 12/14/17,

[2]  Al Jazeera, “ ‘Shocking’ scale of Catholic Church sex crimes revealed”, 2/6/17,

[3]  New York Times, World, Australia, “Australian Cardinal and Aide to Pope Is Charged with Sexual Assault” by Jacqueline Williams, 6/28/17,

[4]  The Guardian, “Australian Catholic church has paid $276m to abuse victims so far, inquiry shows” by Australian Associated Press, 2/15/17,


  1. Anna, it is one thing to be groped by a movie producer or a politician, reports of which have filled the news, for he is just a man. But to be molested or mentally abused by a priest or a pastor or someone that represents God in the mind of the victim, this is the devil’s master stroke. That victim will go on through life hating God for the abuse they have suffered unless Jesus can break through all those scars and heal them with His love. As He said,

    It would be better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he was cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble.” (Luke 17:2, KJ2000)

    Christ’s love to you, dear sister,


    • I agree 100%, Michael. This was beyond despicable. It was demonic. God knows all you had to endure, yourself. He loves you, dear brother, and so do I.


  2. Crazy stuff! And being an Aussie has meant I have not only seen it unfold but also know people who have been impacted. It’s all very sad Anna

  3. I like your post 😊.

    • Thank you for reading it. Abuse is a difficult topic for most people. But raising awareness of the problem is vital.

      • Take a look on my last post 😉

      • I am somewhat confused. I did read and enjoy your posts of 12/23 and 12/25. However, I found no connection to this topic. Perhaps the problem was in translation. Happy Holidays!

  4. The people in my mother’s birth country pride themselves on being super Catholic (one foot in Heaven type of thing). Worst people I’ve ever met. Bring up a case of abuse, and they will immediately blame and shame the victim. There’s a very special place in hell reserved for them. And again, which God do these jerks worship? Really glad you’re bringing attention to this.

    • A great many people confuse the trappings of religion for a relationship with God. If they have never had that relationship, they may not realize what they are missing.

      It can feel “safe” clinging to an authoritarian institution. The institution, itself, can become a kind of idol. This is especially true for those taught from childhood that God is harsh and punitive.

      And feeling superior to others is all too human. It is easier to blame abuse victims than deal with the corruption within the church.

      Of course, it angers me deeply when the victims of abuse are blamed or shamed. I suspect, however, that God recognizes ignorance for what it is.

      Thank you for your support.


      • God most definitely recognizes it. And people have a lot to work on. That’s a fact. I guess the trappings of authoritarianism are just easier to follow, less for you to do. I see it here every day, and it’s crazy. They claim Christianity, but all they do is spread hate.

      • It’s a tragedy on many levels. Those who spread hatred in the name of Christianity turn others away from a faith which could comfort and save them. Of course, those who spread hatred are, themselves, lost.

      • Yes. And lose others in the process.

      • Between the wolves and the sheep, the wolves in sheep clothing are the worst. This is why revival must start from the church. The hypocrisy in the church is the reason why cynicism and skepticism are blossoming.

      • Well said, Gbolabo. The church should be a source of comfort and strength, an example of virtue in an imperfect world. This scandal is the very antithesis of that ideal.

  5. both evil and sad

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