And that’s just Melbourne.

[Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Professor Des Cahill] told the [Australian] parliamentary inquiry [into clerical sex abuse] that 14 of 378 Melbourne priests were convicted of child sexual abuse, and church authorities had admitted that another four who had died were also abusers.

But the actual figure was much higher when under-reporting was taken into account. “One in 20 is a minimum. It might be one in 15, perhaps not as high as one in 10,” Professor Cahill said.

Professor Cahill said the Church hierarchy was incapable of resolving abuse issues because of the way the institution operated with a “clerical caste system” that made protecting the church’s reputation and priests more important than caring for victims. Bishops who did want to put victims first were prevented by the Vatican.

It operated by canon law rather than civil law, “but canon law has nothing to say about the rights of child victims”.


One In 20 Priests An Abuser, Inquiry Told (The Age)

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