RC Chair, Peter McClellan, addresses Uniting Church Assembly
In a wide ranging speech to the Uniting Church Australia's 14th Assembly in Perth this week Royal Commission Chair, Justice Peter McClellan, has outlined his latest thinking on a range of issues including redress and the liability of institutions when child sexual abuse takes place in an organisation.
In a breakaway from conventional legal thinks, Justice McClellan speaks extensively about the accountability of an organisation in which abuse takes place, not just the liability of the abuser.
He asks if it is now time to consider whether institutions should be criminally liable for the abuse of children under their care.
In the editorial that is part of this week's series of stories in the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) on child sexual abuse readers are painted a thumb nail picture of how it was dealt with for many years by Church leaders in the USA. We read of cover ups, denials and condemnation of victims and more.
The author says "this highly toxic dimension of the institutional church and its clerical subculture has been exposed in country after country on every continent". In Australia the Church has a unique opportunity. The Royal Commission is driving change. Not just in the Catholic Church but across the community.
30-years later: NCR special series on CSA in the US
For more than 30 years the National Catholic Reporter in the US has been reporting on child sexual abuse both within the US church and more broadly across the Catholic Church world-wide.
As revealed in a series of stories over the past week, the experience in the US disturbingly mirrors the experience here in Australia with our history of denial, criminality, reputational protection and the abandonment of children.
Over the decades progress has been made, particularly with reforms and accountability introduced by Pope Francis.
England and Wales public inquiry into child sex abuse opens
Thousands of victims of child sexual abuse are being invited to testify in a truth project set up as part of the biggest public inquiry into criminality and corruption by public and private institutions in England and Wales.
Justice Lowell Goddard, the New Zealand judge appointed to run the long-awaited independent inquiry into child abuse within state and non-state institutions, vowed that no individual or institution however powerful would be able to obstruct her investigations.
Dr Monica Applewhite, an authority on sex abuse and its prevention within faith-based and non-profit organisations, is visiting the Brisbane Archdiocese from the USA to conduct a series of workshops starting this Saturday with parish lay leadership, clergy and youth ministry groups.