From the BBC, news of the admission by the Australian Roman Catholic Church to more than 600 known cases of child sex abuse since the 1930s.
This appalling statistic tells of a culture of abuse which has brought shame upon the Christian communion worldwide and broken a huge amount of trust and good will non-christians previously had towards the Church and towards Christianity in general.
It has to go down as one of the most brazen and insidious crimes against Christ, and especially against the children involved, given that the perpetrators were supposedly dedicated to the service of the cross and had taken vows of celibacy, which, in the truest meaning of the word, means a promise to have no sexual relations at all, and, in particular, refers to holy matrimony and the decision by Roman Catholic priests to abide by the vows made before God.
There is nothing holy about child abuse. The admission finally lifts the lid off an era of coverup and denial which has left hundreds of people emotionally scarred for life and brought the whole of the Christian community into disrepute.
Of course, the vows are, in a manner of speaking, forced on men who seek to enter the priesthood, and, therefore, are made for them before they can make their own emotional and physical decision to remain celibate. It is not a Biblical necessity for Christian service or leadership, but has been imposed by the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church.
There has to be an inquest into the causes of such a high number of abuse cases, including the change in celibacy laws to allow priests to marry, more stringent vetting processes for candidates, and a mentoring system for those who wish to remain celebate.
Australian Roman Catholic Church admits child sex abuse
The Roman Catholic Church in the Australian state of Victoria has confirmed that more than 600 children have been sexually abused by its priests since the 1930s.
The Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, described the figures as “horrific and shameful”.
They were released in a submission to a state parliamentary inquiry into the handling of abuse cases.
Campaigners say the true number of abuse victims could be up to 10,000.
In its submission, the church said the 620 cases went back 80 years with the majority taking place between the 1960s and the 1980s.
It says it is still investigating a further 45 cases.
In a statement, Archbishop Hart said it was important to be open “about the horrific abuse that has occurred in Victoria and elsewhere”.
“We look to this inquiry to assist the healing of those who have been abused, to examine the broad context of the church’s response, especially over the last 16 years, and to make recommendations to enhance the care for victims and preventative measures that are now in place,” the statement said.
Campaign groups say that many cases of abuse have gone unreported, and they believe the true number of victims is closer to 10,000 in Victoria alone.
Abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests has been a major issue in Australia recent years.
Posted by Steve